Tuesday, December 30, 2008

52 Blessings Project~Week 51

This Week I Am Grateful For ~ Fun, And FREE!

Christmas is a drain. Financially, physically, and emotionally. It is easy to get caught up and not take the time to enjoy the moment.

During the holidays money always seems to be tight so even though the kids are out of school and we have the time to do things we never seemed to have them money to do it! This year I have felt fortunate that we had some activities that were both fun and free. They allowed us to take the time to be with the family, share some fun times and just enjoy the time together.

We got the tickets to zoo lights that included a great catered dinner. We took one day and went to Bass Pro shop for their Christmas celebration. They had cookies to decorate, free target shooting, letter writing to Santa, a Santa to visit, and lots of fun stuff to look at! It was very nice.

Temple square on Christmas Eve was fantastic and once again..Free!After Christmas Ashley was here for a visit so we went to the zoo again. A whole different experience than going at night, and once again Free! I love free!

Me being cheap I went to Target before we left and bought popcorn. Only $1.00 compared to the $4.00 at the zoo! The kids had fun and I was lovin how sweet the older ones were with everyone! It doesn't happen often so when it does I love it!

This year I think was one of the best years for me this Christmas. For some reason the stress was just gone. It was like magic! We didn't have a lot of money to spend but we somehow had enough to do what we needed.

And having things to do for free helped stretch the budget and the FUN! And for that I am very grateful!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Was Your Christmas Merry?

Mine started out a little tentative I have to admit. Ladies..I am sure you will side with me on this I swear!
It began the night before my birthday. Grace broke my crockpot and I was telling Tony I am in deep trouble here without my crockpot! So for my birthday the next day I unwrapped a crockpot for my gift. Not my favorite present by far! Whatever!
So Christmas Eve Tony gives me one gift to open from him. He swears it is so fantastic! I am going to love it! He really talks it up! I am getting super excited! So.. I tear into it with anticipation and excitement! And..what is it?? A electric knife sharpener! What the? Are you crazy I asked him? What next? Is Santa bringing me a vacuum tomorrow I ask? If so I swear I might go postal!

Fortunatly for Santa and the family I did not recieve a Vacuum or any other appliance on Christmas day and everyone was saved from me having a selfish Christmas meltdown!

In fact the day turned out to be delightful!

Here are some of my favorite things about the day~

Favorite gift received~ Photoshop Elements 7.0~ Good one Tony...really, really good! Much better than the sharpener fo shure!

Favorite Saying of the day~ Bailey when after openeing all the presents she did a little dance then jumped in the air and said "YES!!! I got lots and lots of presents! I guess Santa Can't see me all the time after all!" I guess she wasn't all good all the time and she was a little worried about how the bad times might have affected her loot!

Favorite Moment~The girls coming into the living room and seeing the presents and stockings for the first time! They were so,so cute! it was great listening to them as they opened the stockings!

Favorite Food of the Day~ All of it! It was so good. Rib roast, potatoes, dressing, rolls, pie..the works!

Favorite Act Of Kindness for the Day~ Tony letting me go back to sleep for another TWO hours after presents! And he helped with the picking up and supervising of the kids. It made a much nicer day for me to not have to do it all!

It was a wonderful day. Watching my kids open presents and seeing the excitement in their faces was priceless. They were so sweet and shared everything and were so happy for each other. The older kids helped the younger ones and even helped me.

I didn't lose it once. Yeah me!

It turned out to be a very merry Christmas indeed!

How about you? Was your Christmas Merry?

Low Key Christmas Eve

Kind of strange not being with my whole family for Christmas Eve. I feel kind of lost as to what to do sometimes! It feels off if we don't have 30 or more people gathered for dinner, caroling and presents.

This year I decided to keep it low key. Not many expectations, just to enjoy the night with the family. That's exactly what we did. Instead of cooking a huge meal I bought deli meats and we made sandwiches and had chips, dips and crackers and cheese.

We opened presents then headed out to the Mesa Temple to look at the lights.They were amazing and helped me feel in the holiday mood a little more!

By the time we got home the lil ones were exhausted so I sent them to bed and the wrapping began! I don't know how I manage to do this every year but somehow I forget what I have bought and I end with more crap than is necessary. I worry and worry I don't have enough and in the end it is always the family joke when we pull everything out and I find lots of stuff I had forgotten about!

You could tell Zachary and Rachelle were excited for the morning as they helped with the wrapping and commented on how fun it would be to see the kids open the presents

So~ Even though it was a low key Christmas Eve I have to say it was nice.

I hope all of you had fantastic evenings as well!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

It's My Party And I'll Cry If I Want Too!

OK, have you ever felt that way on your birthday? Seriously! I have! Having a December birthday so close to Christmas SUCKS sometimes!

BUT~ Not this year! My family actually remembered! Rachelle got up early and took the lil ones. I got to sleep in! She and Hannah picked up the house and Hannah made a homemade card and made sure everyone signed it!
I got may hair done and then Tony and I went out to dinner to my fav restaurant the Fish Market. It was such a nice day!
No one forgot and everyone went out of their way to be kind and make sure I had a good day!
So to my family~ Thanks for making it a great day! It was fantastic!

Oh.. and Tony? He is ON this year! Not only has he gotten me presents for Christmas this year he did it all by himself. No help from me. And he says the gifts are fantastic! No last minute trips to CVS to buy me crap I don't like cause he didn't bother to buy me anything until 11 pm on the 24Th! I told him over and over it is the thought of the gift.. you actually looking for something I would love. The time and the thought!Let's me know you care! And he has finally gotten it! I am so proud of him! And~It only took me 11 years to train him! Dang I'm good!
Way to go Tony!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

52 Blessings Project~ Week 50

This Week I Am Grateful For~ A Sense Of Humor

I have found myself getting a bit frazzled and sometimes just plain angry with the hustle and bustle of Christmas preparation and kids and keeping up with the house and life.

Several times I have had Grace or Bailey say something so funny that just when I feel like I am going to cry I find myself laughing!

Well that same thing happened last week in the Circle K. I was frustrated, angry and feeling overwhelmed. I left the house to take a breather and go get a soda. I swear I was so on edge that I was trying not to cry when I walked into the store. I wasn't paying attention very well and almost ran smack into this huge, huge black woman. I stopped just short of ramming her and she was giving me the dirtiest look. I gave her a once over and almost started laughing out loud. I SERIOUSLY couldn't believe what I saw! She had a gold cap on her tooth.She had a gold hairpiece in her head, a HUGE pair of hoop earrings in the upper cartilage part of her ear, another bigger pair in her ears, A gold purse, a gold shirt, pants with gold stitching down the leg and to top the eye catching, sparkly ensemble off she had on a pair of gold sneakers! Freaking AWESOME!!!! I mean who has the guts to wear something like that?

So I get my soda, and I notice this scrawny, little white boy. He is trying to look all pimped out. Gold hat.He has his pants below his butt cheeks,ALL the way below and he also has lots of gold jewelry on. I couldn't believe my luck getting to see TWO people so blinged out and over the top And then... they met up~yes! They were together! How could I not have guessed?

Then I was blocking the cheese sauce for nachos when I was putting the lid on my soda and they asked me to move cause they needed to sneak some cheese onto their chips. They each had a bag of chips. One was Cheetos and one was Funnyuns. They told me it was the most delicious treat and I should give it a try. They then opened their bags and loaded on the cheese.LOADED IT! Trashy goodness or just trashy? Hmmm!

Not sure why but the whole thing cracked me up. Hope I didn't offend them but I was laughing my butt off by this time.

And by the time I left Circle K my mood had done a 180.

Strange but I have had things like this happen alot the last two weeks or so. I am angry or frustrated and then something happens that makes me laugh and seems to right everything for the moment and for that I am grateful
PS~ Rhonda Lu just mentioned I shoulda used my camera phone! I KNOW!!! I was so bummed cause that is totally what I wanted to do! My phone broke and I am using a crap little phone with no camera! RhondaLu has the best photos she captured with her cell phone! I love seeing them!I am totally going to have to capture some of the great photos you do!

Doesn't She Look Cute?

I was over it. her mousy flat hair! I am used to having girls with curls. Curls, I know how to do. Straight hair? Not so much! Sooo after trying to make her hair look somewhat cute the other day and failing miserably I admitted defeat and I decided it was time! I'm vain that way. I like my girls hair to look cute and it wasn't happening. I admit it. We need help. Professional help.We went to the kids cuts salon to look for some guidance!

They came up with this cute a line haircut for Bailey! See how the cut makes her mousy flat hair not look so mousy and flat? I love, love it and even better? So does she! Yesterday I caught her twice up on my counter staring at herself in the mirror!

I guess she was tired of the mousy flat hair too!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Cookie Exchange!

Today was my cookie exchange! It was a ton of work getting ready for it but I have to say it was more than worth it!

I went to Walmart and asked for some of their donut boxes. They didn't even charge me for them.I got them for free. I love free!

I wanted to jazz them up a bit and make them a little more festive so I added the little gingerbread men and the trees and stars.They turned out pretty cute if I do say so myself Pretty humble I know..that's just who I am!

I invited 7 people but only 5 could come I was a little worried but that ended up being just perfect. Everyone brought their kids and they had so much fun playing. We had a yummy lunch then we started the swap.

Now I would have tons more photos but I have a sad tale to tell...I had almost all of the house clean,but not my room! In fact my room is a total dump right now. Seriously sick. So I was walking by my room and saw Bailey in there with some of the her friends and I just about died! I just knew that one of the ladies was going to walk by and gag if they saw it so I had to resort to drastic measures and lock the door! And...my camera was in the room! And...I have no clue how to open the door by myself when it is locked!I am so bugged. No pictures of my friends, no pictures of the food, no pictures of the kids playing. UGGHHH! I was in blogger hell for a moment there.

But~ I do have a picture of the boxes I made before the party and I have a picture of all the yummy cookies after the party when Rachelle came home and opened my door for me! SO I will post those and you will just have to imagine how fabulous the other photos would have been if I had cleaned my room!
Don't the cookies look so cute in the box?

Oh.. and I made up a treat plate to take visit teaching tomorrow. Look how cute it is! I LOVE Cookie exchanges! Warning ladies...I am going to do it again next year so you might want to begin now and start baking by next month Ü
Can't wait to do it again!

Bailey's Preschool Christmas Program

Yesterday was Bailey's Christmas program at preschool and let me tell you it was stinking fantastic! her teacher outdid herself!

When we walked in they had tables set up with all the little gingerbread houses that the kids made along with a Angel they made and pictures of each child. Bailey's picture was probably the cutest picture taken I am fairly certain! It made the whole room look so festive.

Once the kids were all settled the program began.To start off they had a prayer. I loved that. It is so unusual today to have prayer anymore in public and I loved that there were people gathered from all religious backgrounds and we started the program off with prayer.Especially at Christmas. A little boy in her class offered the prayer and it was so sweet. The songs then began.The kids were so dang cute. Bailey was totally into it.I was surprised.

They had the cutest props, great songs and I actually loved watching the whole thing

After the program we had lunch and then the kids go to sit on Santa's lap!

It was a fun, fun day and I am even more impressed with Mrs McClure now than I was before!It takes a miracle worker to pull of what she did!

I hope she knows how much we appreciate all her hard work and love she put into this!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Wii Fit Contest!

My friend Amber is hosting a giveaway with Nintendo! They are giving away a wii system and a wii fit!

You'll have to check out her blog. http://crazybloggincanuck.blogspot.com/

She writes for the Denver Mile High Mamas and is one of the funniest, most talented writers out there. I love reading her blog, so check her out and enter the contest too! Maybe if I don't win you might. I'll try not to be hater if you do! Good luck!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Zoo Lights!

This year Lowe's was a sponsor of the annual Zoo lights so we were fortunate to score some free tickets!
We started the night with having dinner at a special event they did for families and friends of the sponsers. The food was great even though it was little too sophisticated for some of the lil ones! They weren't lovin the brie cooked in a puff pastry. I on the other hand loved the food served. And it was all free! Can't beat that!
We strolled through the park and looked at all the lights and listened to the music. We bought the kids flashing bunny ears,flashing necklaces, etc. They were in heaven!
To finish off the night we took the kids on the carousel for a ride!
It was a perfect ending to a perfect night and a great way to enjoy the Chritmas season with the family!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

52 Blessings Project ~Week 49

This Week I Am Grateful For ~ The Christmas Season !

I have had the best time getting ready for Christmas this year. I love the small acts of kindness that people offer to one another this time of year as they strive to be a little more Christlike. I love the carols. I love the nativities. I am hoping to find a live one this year.I love trying to teach my little ones the true meaning of Christmas. I love the lights and the shopping and the baking. The older ones were asking on Thanksgiving if I was going to buy them a chocolate advent calender too this year. I had to smile at that one. I always buy those calenders and we open them each night as we read out of our book and sing Christmas songs. And I have loved the kids asking me to make some of the Christmas smell.
Tonight I made some homemade caramels and the kids were so excited to help me pull out the Christmas taffy wrappers and wrap them. Zach was saying the treats that I make each year is one of his favorite things.
I love pulling out decorations that we have had for years and remembering who we got them from. I love decorating the tree and seeing the sweet ornaments that the kids made for me in elementary school. One of my favorite ones is a clay star Zach made that has his picture on the front of it. I can't get over how quickly time flew.
I love the kids drawing each others names and the shopping as they try to find the perfect gift for each other. This year we are trying to have the kids not only give each other a gift but also a gift of service. I hope it helps them feel more kind towards one another.
I have always been so stressed over Christmas and there have been many years that I have not enjoyed it. It was just a season to survive. But..this year is different. I am enjoying it. I am feeling some Christmas spirit. It has been fun, and touching, and exciting and one of the best years yet! For that I am thankful!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Christmas Tag

My cousin Sherry tagged me on this one. Luckily it's easier than the others so here goes...

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Both

2. Real tree or Artificial? Artificial. We used to get real ones but they were always bone dry and I was afraid they would catch on fire! last year a bulb on my artificial tree went out and I spent hours trying to find the burnt out bulb. I finally got pissed and started cutting the lights off! I had blisters on my fingers and was hopping mad. After Christmas I threw that sucker in the trash and swore I'd never buy another fake tree again. Tony's work has a 50% off sale of all Christmas and we get another 20% off. So today I am heading off to buy another fake one. So much for never. I just can't pass up a good bargain!

3. When do you put up the tree? When I have a fake one I like to put it up the day after Thanksgiving. If it is real whenever I have the money to buy it and the time to put it up!

4. When do you take the tree down? Always before April. Always.

5. Do you like eggnog? Nope, sick nasty!

6. Favorite gift received as a child? A doll cradle. I don't remember a doll but I remember how much I loved that cradle!

7. Hardest person to buy for? Tony without a doubt! he sucks at how picky he is! And he often finds out what I buy and tries to be subtle at letting me know it wasn't a great choice! I just have him tell me what he wants and where it is. I do have a few surprises this year though...

8. Easiest person to buy for? My little ones. They are so excited for Christmas and it makes the season so magical! Bailey and Grace fight over the commercials. One screams I want it and the other hits them and says NO I WANT IT!! Yesterday Bailey was in my room and I was in the bathroom in the hall. I kept hearing her scream I want it. I want it. I was wondering who she was saying this to and why she kept saying it over and over. When I came in to see I was horrified. EVERY commercial that came on she was screaming to herself and the universe at large that she wanted it. They are every advertising firms dream! I'm thinking I can't go wrong here. They want everything!

9. Do you have a nativity scene? Some. I am super excited though cause Lowes has one that I am picking up today. Yes 70% off. Are you jealous? It has tall standing Mary and Joseph and baby Jesus in the manger. The stable is one of those blow ups. The whole thing is for the front of my house! Yeah!! I can't wait.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail. I am horrible at getting them sent out in time but I love getting them and I feel good when I get them out!

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? From my Ex. It was a dark turd green outfit embellished with gold to help you not puke a little in your mouth when you look at it! He even bought matching gold shoes! Seriously the ugliest outfit EVAH! Saddest part??? I wore it many times to please him! Didn't want to hurt his feelings that I hated it! He had the WORST taste. Christmas was a bummer with him.

He took Zach and Rachelle shopping for Mother's day for me. He wanted Rachelle to buy me this African Dress with a matching head piece. She came home freaked out and said "Mom, you just wouldn't believe it, you really, really wouldn't!" Ummm, Rach, yes I would! I really, really would! Hehehe!

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? A Christmas Story. You'll shoot your eye out! I look forward to that saying all year long. If you haven't seen it do it now! You'll laugh your butt off. It is one of our favs. That and Christmas vacation. Fav part of that one? The man says where are you going to put a tree that big? Clarke says bend over and I'll show you. The man says how dare you talk to me like that. Clarke says I wasn't talking to you, I was talking to your wife! Sick I know but I had tears rolling down my face and was humiliated the first time I saw it! It was so freakin funny. gotta see that classic too if you haven't seen it. Last movie~ It's a wonderful life. I like to watch it when Christmas is hectic and I am frustrated. Perspective goes a long way folks1

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? A few weeks before Thanksgiving. Christmas will be tight so I am shopping sales. Yes..I even gave in and did black friday!

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Probably

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? The cookies and candies. I love cooking all season long. I love the favorites we make year after year.

16. Colored or Clear Lights? Colored

17. Favorite Christmas song? Christmas isn't Christmas without Amy Grant, John Denver, and Alabama Christmas Cd's. My fav song? Candle in the window by Alabama!

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Home

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Nope. Not even gonna try!

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Star or Santa depending on my mood!

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? We open P.J's on Christmas Eve and the gifts from the name exchange with the kids and the kids open presents from Grandparents and the rest Christmas morning.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Nothing so far!

23. Favorite ornament theme or color? Santa's and deep red.

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? Traditional Proffitt family Christmas food.

25. What do you want for Christmas this year?My house cleaned. Same as always. probably not gonna happen so I'll settle on a cute outfit!

26. White or Warm Christmas? White. I am trying to come to grips with having a warm one and making it feel like Christmas still. I miss snow!

27. Favorite thing about Christmas? The lights. We go driving with the kids often and rate who has the best light displays!

28. Favorite Christmas Tradition? We light a candle and read from our Christmas book. It has scriptures and stories nightly. We sing and open a door on the advent calenders. It is a fun tradition that we look forward to every year.

29. Favorite Christmas Location? Home.

30. Who do you tag? OK. I won't steal all the sisters again! Shelli, Claudia,Jennifer,Kiran,Cara,and Rhonda Lue! Have fun ladies!

Monday, December 1, 2008

52 Blessings Project~ Week 48

This Week I Am Grateful For~ Thanksgiving!

I love Thanksgiving.I love the gathering of our family.I love the food. There is something comforting when you prepare and eat the same foods that you grew up having at each holiday. It bridges the gap and helps me to feel a little more connected to my family even if we aren't together that year.

I love sitting around the table and having each of my children tell me about the things they are thankful for. It is always a good reminder for us to recognize how blessed we are.

I loved that the weather was cooled off for the day! It actually felt fall-ish! It was fantastic!

I felt very thankful for so much that day.

here are a few things that struck me throughout the day that I was thankful for~

Tony's job. Tony is opening a new store in Tempe. They had a job fair to fill some positions. They needed to fill 37 positions in the store. They had over 500 people show up to interview for it! Time and time again he heard people tell him that they were laid off from their jobs and are desperate to find some work. Tony has a very good job that pays well and gives us some stability in our lives. Yes we have had to move several times but we have been blessed knowing that our family will be taken care of.

My health! Our families have had a heck of a year with health issues! It has been very difficult with all the trials that have come their way. I have been so impressed with the resolve and spirit in which Maria has handled her health difficulties. I admire her courage and strength.

Rosemary, Isabelle, Adam, and Angie have also had health issues or injuries! Crazy year I swear!

My sister has just had a stroke last week and the Dr's are still trying to figure it all out. She has been so calm throughout the whole ordeal.I can't imagine how scared she must be feeling. I am worried for her. She is young and it is wild to think of her going through this right now!

Know that you are all in our thoughts and prayers! And..I can promise you I won't take good health for granted again!

My kids! Whoa did I just say that? Well yes! I enjoy the good and great times. It was fun to sit around the table Thanksgiving and laugh with them and listen to the stories.They are smart and funny and difficult and strong willed and loving and kind. They are my hardest trial and my greatest joy! I need to chill and enjoy them more!

Willing helpers! This year after dinner Tony got up and cleared off the table. Then Zachary got up and started doing dishes. And he washed the things that wouldn't fit into the dishwasher by hand. Wow..he doesn't do that often! It was nice! And Rachelle and Hannah helped put away food. I think this was the first year that I wasn't freaking out and angry that no one would help and I had been working my tail off! It was delightful and relaxing!

Living in the best country in the world. Even though the elections took a few years off of my life and I don't always agree with the politics of this country I recognize how blessed I am to be free to express it. We have a abundance in our lives. We have great medical care. We have religious freedom. We have amazing soldiers and their families supporting them as they bravely stand up for us and fight for our freedom!
I love, love this country!
I could go on and on .There was so much I have been blessed with and I love that we take the time every year on Thanksgiving to acknowledge all the blessings in our lives!

52 Blessings Project~ Week 47

Running behind posting but have been meaning to on this one. So..

This Week I Am Grateful For~ Going To The Temple!

Tony and I haven't been to the temple for over 6 years! Gasp..yes I know. But when we moved into our new ward our bishop told us he feels that there are blessings that come to your family when you attend the temple and he felt very strongly that we shouldn't wait any longer to get our recommends! Wow! When we lived in Colorado our bishop there said he wouldn't give us a recommend for at least a year and then it was still only a maybe. I was upset thinking it was extreme but we went along with it. We hadn't done anything really wrong but were just inactive for awhile.

So I was thrilled and emotional and grateful all rolled into one when we got our recommends!

Last weekend our stake had a day of gratitude. They asked all the families in the stake to attend the temple. They wanted adults to attend a session and they wanted families to visit the visitor center and the temple grounds. They even served a lunch for everyone at the chapel.

So we took the kids and made a day of it. It was such a neat experience for us and my kids were so sweet. I was so moved by some of the comments the older ones made. It gave me hope that there is a testimony in there hiding. And that we were on the right track to help build it.

I knew it was where we should be and that we were doing the right thing.

Needless to say it was a emotional day!

I felt such peace and I am feel so grateful to be able to have a temple recommend and to be able to attend. For that I am very grateful!