Merry Christmas

I will be away to take time to spend with my family as we celebrate the birth of Christ our Savior.  I wish you all a wonderful Christmas!

Christmas Cards

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I love giving and getting Christmas cards but after Christmas is over I never know what to do with all the cards I received.  I feel so guilty throwing them away but I don’t see any reason to hold on to them.  Our new church has a great solution.  The children take them, tear off the front cover, and reuse it.  They glue them to a construction paper card and decorate them.  They send these to the local jail to be handed out to the inmates.  I think this is a great idea!  And I don’t have to feel guilty about throwing out a card someone took the time to send.  

Anyone can do this.  You could do this at home with your own children.  Some various places you could send them to would be a care center for seniors or handicapped, a children’s home, a hospital, a special needs school, a retirement community, or a juvenile detention center.  This is a great way to let someone who may be lonesome and without hope at Christmas know that Jesus loves them. 

Out of the Cage

We have recently decided to let Chloe have a little bit of free roam while we are away.  We took down her cage and made her a place in the hallway.  Every door gets shut so she just has a 10×3 or so space.  She seems to like it for the most part.  She really likes it when daddy leaves the bathroom door open and the toilet seat up!  We are having to get adjusted to this as well.  It is easy to forget to close a door to one of the rooms.  All in all we are all doing a really good job.  

We were hoping this would allow her to get more energy out during the day playing with toys and chewing on her bones.  It has maybe just a little but at the end of the week she was still nuts.  It has rained all week so she has had to stay inside all week.  This leaves for one crazy dog as she really needs an hour a day of exercise.  So we decided to take her with us while we tried to do some Christmas shopping on Saturday.  She really enjoys car rides and they seem to help her get some of the energy out.  That’s when it all began…

We were trying to get to Lexington early so we could get some doughnuts from this little bakery that Blake loves.  He had his heart set on them all week!  Chloe must have decided that he really didn’t need any because she was determined to keep us busy all morning.  She would get into the bathroom when we weren’t looking, she would try to drink the water from the Christmas tree, she just kept getting into things!  I was just about ready; all I had to do was get Chloe’s blanket and some toys together for the ride.  Blake asked me were Chloe was at and I told him that she was in the sun room.  (No harm there, so I thought.)   She then ran into the kitchen and started drinking some water that was on the counter top.  Blake had just about had it with her so he tried putting her back in the hall and giving her a swat on the rear to let her know she was not allowed to get things off the counter.  

The next thing I now he is showing me his hand that has some black stuff on it resembling ink.  He asked me what it was as he smelled it.  He quickly discovered it was poop.  Or at least it smelled like it.  Sure enough it was!  The cat apparently was sick and had diarrhea on the floor in the sun room.  Chloe decided that she liked it and rolled in it.  That’s right, from head to tail on one side she was covered in it.  I couldn’t just leave her in the hall to deal with it after we returned because there is brand new carpet in there.  I also couldn’t take her with us like that for obvious reasons.  So….

….I got to give her a bath.  Oh it smelled so bad!  She had it up inside her ear and everything.  How could she be so dumb???  (and so smart at the same time)  Of course she never new how upset we were because she loves getting in the bath.  It is just a giant water dish to her.  I finally managed to get her clean and decided regardless we should still take her because we really needed to get some of that energy out.  So we made it to the bakery with 30 minutes to closing.  Blake is finally cheering up at the thought of these doughnuts.  Then we find out “cash only”.  We had to run across town to the bank, get some cash, and head back.  The place was packed.  It was about 10 minutes till closing and everyone and their brother was there.  Blake ran in and managed to come out with the last of the doughnuts they had (other than a pumpkin one no one seemed to want).  The end result…

…they were really good!  And Chloe had fun and got some of her energy out!  We ended up getting most of our shopping done and had a really great weekend!   

Cookie Baking

Every year my the girls in our family get together for what we call Sugar Day.  It is a great cheap way to get lots of baking done for Christmas!  We organize our recipes and buy all the ingredients.  We buy in bulk and use almost all of what we buy.  We split the cost so that way it is lots cheaper than if you were buying everything yourself and only using some of it.  The best part though is the time we get to spend together.  My mother-in-law and I drove up to my aunt’s in Cincinnati last Saturday for the event.  There we met with my mom, sister, grandmother, 2 aunts, and some of the kids.  Not as many people made it this year compared to past years but we still had a blast!  Here are some photo’s from Sugar Day ’07.

baking.jpg  (left to right) My aunts; MariAnn, Kay, and my Mom.

daph.jpg  my cousin

mawmaw.jpg  my grandmother making gingerbread men

kay.jpg  Kay making cinnamon poinsettia cookies 

What does your family do for Christmas that is frugal? 

Christmas Shopping

I have not even started my shopping.  Well let me take that back, I have one gift done so far.  I did however start thinking about what to get Blake.  I am horrible at keeping secrets and we are shopping together so there will be hardly any surprises as far as gifts go.  I have decided for sure to give Blake Tony Dungy’s new book.  I heard him the past 2 days on Focus on the Family and it sounds like a great book!  Any of you who have a sports fan should check it out.  I know that Blake really wants this. 

I am not sure what else to get him.  He asked me what I wanted and all I could think of were things for the house.  I have almost nothing as far as anything goes in the house since I never had a bridal shower.  We get by right now just using things of my mother-in-laws.  It would be great to start getting my own things!  It seems funny though that those are the things I want because usually girls freak if their husband gets them small appliances.

As for Chloe, she will get a few things.  I really need to order this jacket for her.  She absolutely will not go outside if it is raining.  We have fought all week with this because it has rained everyday.  I am hoping the jacket will help her stay warm and actually go out they way she is supposed to.

Companion Road® Quilted Reflective Coat   In baby blue of course!

I noticed they are running out of blue in the larger sizes so I am crossing my fingers on this one.  I really am not the dress your dog up kind of person but I think she needs a coat.  She freaks out when it gets cold.  I hate to see how she will be in the snow when we go to Ohio.  Some hunting dog our big baby is!

So now I just have to think of more gift ideas for Blake.  Time is running out.  I think I will get him some more cologne because he ran out and maybe I will look at a new Bible for him.  He wants a watch too.  Hmmm maybe this won’t be so hard after all.

How are you all doing on your shopping?

Our Not So Good Present

Oh ah doesn’t it look like so much fun!!!  This is what we decided
to get for Christmas.  I have been so excited about it.  I can’t use it yet because I am having some back problems but that should be better soon.  Then I am ready to jump on this thing and loose that weight! 

Oh but wait… it doesn’t work!  “What?” you say.  How could that be?  We just bought it 1 week ago.  It has only been used a few times!  Oh but yes it is broken.  The pedals are stuck, immovable, motionless, stationary, immobile, frozen, motionless… I think you get the picture!  Blake was in the middle of using it when it broke.  We can’t figure out what has happened. 

I am now waiting on a reply from customer support to see about getting it fixed.  Till then it is a big yard room ornament.  Merry Christmas to us!

A Sunday Morning Surprise

As we were getting in the car to head off to breakfast at church yesterday morning, I looked up and couldn’t believe what I saw.  I can honestly say this has never happened before!  It was all the way back at the end of the yard staring at us.  
  cow.jpg  For all of you who have never had one of these in your back yard either here is a better look.
cow2.jpg  Yes that is right it is a cow.

Apparently the farmer who lives behind us had a cow get out.  It was such a funny experience!  I just looked at Blake and said…”uh, Babe, there is a cow in the yard”.  He was just as surprised as I was.