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Showing posts from December, 2011

Please no Photgraphs

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Brinley has become a total Daddy's girl over the past few months-really it's been heartbreaking for me. Of course I want her to love her Daddy, but to go from absolute Mommy's girl to "I want nothing to do with you Mom" has been tragic. A couple of months ago I weened her from nursing-could there be a relation? Yes that was it, my daughter was just using me for my milk. :-(. Once the well dried up, that need to cuddle was gone. I'm trying to cope, but really it's like going through a break up. Danny and I went to the DC for the day and the Cooper grandparents watched the girls. When we arrived home and Brinley saw me, her usual pout on those cute lips remained. The moment Daddy walked through the door, those small eyes widened and her pout curled into a giant smile. "Mommy!" she shouted-yes were both Mommy, even though she does know how to say DaDa. At least Elly still loves me. ;-)

My present to Danny

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As I mentioned earlier in another post, Danny and I aren't "gift" people, at least not your typical gifts.  However, I did give Danny a gift for Christmas this year.  Yes a gift to last the whole year long.  My gift to Danny, 52 dates in a year.  That's a pre planned creative date once a week.  Some cost money, some don't, some are at home and some are out on the town.  I'm very excited to give this gift since it will kick out butts into gear about getting a little more roman.c.  Our first date we had was this past Friday.  A simple- after the kids are in bed date- (this is will be half of my preplanned dates by the way-cuz it costs money to pay for out on the town dates)  We went outside in the cold, lied on  the trampoline, gazed at the hazy night sky and asked fourteen pre planned questions.  This was fun, because after a while you tend to stop asking questions, thinking you already know everything about each other.  Although really we did know most of th…

Cabelas

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Our family loves to visit Cabelas, and we should because we visit pretty often.  It's in between our home and the Cooper grandparents.  Sometimes we meet up there and check out the sites-it's like a museum....a FREE museum!!  We usually buy something, like treats or eat at the buffet they have there, or Danny buys bullets for his guns (Danny does competitive shooting for sport)  But mostly we just walk about and enjoy the scenery.  The kids love looking at the BIG fishies and animals.  Danny is usually busy salivating in the gun section.  I am busy drooling wherever there is food, the candy shop, the buffet, the check out stands where they sell goodies-edible goodies....I love food.  But we always have a good time, and really it's the perfect break between a long trip to Grandmas house.  What's not to love.  You can check it out at exit 29 going west bound on route 78.  I believe it's in between Reading and Pottsville.



Cove Haven

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"Merry Christmas to Us!!  Danny and I are not big gift people.  It's rare that we exchange gifts for birthdays, anniversaries and Christmas.  Now before you go thinking that we are unromantic, let me explain.  We aren't big on "thing" gifts., however we are crazy about "experience"gift.  If you want to sweep me off my feet, then jewlery and flowers are not the answer, no I'm much more expensive.  A weekened trip will always make me swoon, as well as regular dates and one on one time together.  So in this spirit, Danny and I didn't do "gifts" this year, instead we went to Cove Haven for a night.  What is Cove Haven you ask?  Why it's a tacky looking couples resort. But even with the 70's themed decor, it was lots of fun!  For a 24 hour trip, it was exactly what were looking for.  A little ping pong, a couple games of pool, ice skating, archery, miniature golf, shuffleboard, and basketball kept us busy and on our toes.  We had …

Our Christmas

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The holidays are magical. For example, it's impossible to get my husband to dress up for Halloween, but to act out AND dress up while reading Luke 2, that's a whole other story-magical. We all took part in this, reliving the traditions I had while growing up. Danny is such a wonderful sport.
Elly was as pleased as punch to open up her gifts: Polly pocket with house, leapster pen pal with books and three church dresses. Let's not forget the stocking gifts, play doh, a head band wig and recorder. Brinley received, -though was uninterested in unwrapping anything- pretty much the same, but a little less since we can get away with that this year.
Church on Christmas Morning filled us with cheer as we sang carols and spoke of keeping Christmas in our hearts all year long. Then back home again to baking! Yummy butterscotch and raisin bread pudding infused the air and our stomaches...mmmm. A little lounging and watching "It's a wonderful life" th…

A Christmas Confession

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I was standing in line at Giant this late afternoon, piling bacon, sausage, milk and raisin bread onto the conveyer belt (Last minute trappings of a delicious Christmas brunch for tomorrow), when  I glanced up to meet the eyes of the gentleman in front of me.  He was a colorful looking character with a golden hoop in his earring and a diamond tennis bracelet around his wrist.
"You ready for Christmas?"  He asked.
I couldn't help but notice the worn shirt drooping down his sides, and his black pants cut short, just above his ankles.
"I think so, I mean yeah, I better be."  I chuckled. 
He smiled faintly and pointed
"You've got a baby?" 
I looked back at my pile, and noticed the diapers I nearly forgot to buy.
"Oh yeah, two kids, one still in diapers."
His eyes sagged, he appeared to be tired.  His peppered hair and weathered skin seemed to place him in about his fifties. 
"That's great.  Babies are great.  And you and your boyf…

Christmas in Bethlehem

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Danny met the girls and I in historic downtown Bethlehem for a leisurely stroll today.  I love walking in historic Bethlehem and picking out the houses I'd dream of living in.  We passed the cute shops, old Victorian Mansions and was even able to view the Christmas Putz at Central Moravian Church.  Good Day!                                       Just some of the festive decorations we were admiring.

The Christmas Putz at Central Moravian Church in Bethlehem, very nice and FREE, my favorite word!  They are accepting donations!!
Downtown Bethlehem with the Moravian Bookstore on one side and the Historic Hotel Bethlehem on the other.
                                                  MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!!!!

Scaling down the toys

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"Mommy why are you giving away my Dora the Explorer pajamas?"
A frown slid across her lips as I backed out of my parking spot at the Goodwill. I really, really need to get new trash bags. Why they make clear trash bags is beyond me.
"Oh Honey, that's because Christmas is coming and your going to get new pajamas.".
Note to self: buy Elly new pajamas for Christmas.
"I am?"
I nod vigorously and smile.
"Dora the Explorer pajamas that are silky and pink"
Oh boy, now were getting specific, and I really have no idea if I'll find any.
" I think so". I lie, as I pray she forgets this whole conversation.
"Yay! Thank you Mommy"
Crisis reverted: now if I could just do something about this guilt.
PS On the upside, at least she didn't notice the stuffed animals, dolls and train set that refuses to work any longer.

Neighborly Love

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I love my neighbors! Really, I do. Yesterday we were greeted at our doorstep with a bag of goodies for the kids and us, and today after arriving home from a MOPS meeting we were yet again graced with another bag this time filled with delicious baked treats and cookbooks.
I love the fact that I can borrow books from Brenda, recipes from Helen and learn new games from Kathy. I look forward to the friendly hellos and catching up. And the Christmas Season is such a good time to recognize the good you have in your life. And a friendly neighbor is sweeter than gold. My hubby and I always joke that we aren't moving unless our neighbors move.....and yeah that's pretty much true.
But the thing is if you want a good neighbor then you've got to be a good neighbor. I've learned from my excellent examples of neighbors and reciprocate through out the year, not just the holidays. But I can do better I'm sure of it. Let me tell you, what a blessing to trust, appreciate and enjoy y…

N is for Naughty or Nice

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1) Prayer
2) Pledge of Allegiance
3) Weather
4) Calendar
5) Months of the Year Song
6) Alphabet Song
7) Sing Santa Claus is Coming to Town
8) Discuss what is naughty and what is nice. One girl is given 3 candy canes, another two dolls, another one book. We talk about what each child should do with these things with her friends, what is naughty or nice. In the end Kelsey share two of her three candy canes, Elly shared her dolls and Maren shared the book with everyone.
9) The Naughty or Nice Game-sort of like mother may I. I tell each girl an example of a nice or naughty act and they tell me which it is, naughty or nice. They can take a step closer to me each time they answer right. Naturally they all answered right and got to me around the same time.
10) Counting Time! The stockings were filled with books, barbies and toys. Each had 14 items in their stockings once more an counted them out.
11) Craft time! We made Santas today, as well as tracing out the number 14 on paper and lette…
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5...4....3...2...1 Happy Resolutions!
I don't know about you, but I am a resolutions kind of person. Call me crazy, but I get excited about making goals for the new year! It's pretty easy to after December. I love Christmas and New Years, but it's really easy to over eat, over spend and over react during the holidays. So to ease that pressure, we have a long awaited slow paced winter...perfect for something like GOAL SETTING!!! Excuse me for my overzealousness-is that a word?
Just picture a blank canvas where you can paint any kind of picture you'd like, that's my New Years. How about you? You feel the same way? Last year my resolution was to lose weight and get in shape-I recently gave birth to my second daughter-and I did, thirty pounds. I'm working out on a regular basis and it has given me joy, energy and my old jeans. The other goal was to pay a big debt off-a second mortgage- and we did-it's dead, done, gone!! You see why I like resoluti…

Chicken Bread Salad

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Well I made my first healthy supper since the summer. Yes there is hope. The goal: to add a healthy recipe to my meal plan each week. I plan to accumulate six weeks worth of nutritious dinners. It'll probably take about six months to get there....and six months to adjust to the "lifestyle change". Im craving chocolate as we speak! By the way it was delicious meal, so maybe not all is lost, maybe I can do this....? I just know that I need your help! Anyone? Anyone?!? Suggestions??? Anyways here is the recipe.
My version of chicken bread salad:
Diced red and yellow peppers
Diced tomatoes
Cut up chicken
Slightly cooked and sliced asparagus
Peas
Croutons
Add olive oil, red wine vinegar salt and pepper to taste.
Served with sweet potatoes on the side, with some butter....hey I can NOT go cold turkey from all thats bad

F A T Fat: full from appetizing temptations

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Dear Reader,
Ah, the Christmas season is upon us, a time for baking cookies, decorating gingerbread houses, sampling fudge, eating pies sipping hot cocoa and gaining weight....all of which are things I have been busy with. I love the holidays and all the festivities it entails, but I do not like the outcome to all this eating. Can someone please tell me their secrets?!? Okay I'm pretty sure it's not a secret at all- you health concious people are just staying away from the sugar, but really how on earth do you do it?!? Where do you get your motivation? I'll be honest I feel relieved when January 1st arrives. I'm happy to be on yet another unreliable diet to lose the holiday 5 I picked up from October to December. But I find diets to be unsuccessful in the long run, so Diet Shmiet. This year what I really need is a lifestyle change, ugh just thinking about it makes me irritable. But I need to treat my body better.....and I need help with this, because if you kn…

Polar Express at New Hope

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We are lucky ducks! Nonna and Pop Pop bought us tickets to the Polar Express! And yes I like exclamation points!!!
The Polar Express happens to be in New Hope PA. A charming town next to the Delaware River, filled with little shops, fancy restaurants, a canal, trail, ferry, playhouse and kids museum. I love coming here.
My hubby and I had our first date here....it was sunny and warm and the trees had leaves on them. But not yesterday, the wind was biting and our faces were rosy from the bitter temperatures. You could hear the chattering of teeth, and witness the chalky puffs of smoke from our mouths. And this is the day we decide to come early.
Once we got into the cheerfully lit and thank heavens heated passenger car, we sat down to a table with four seats. Right off the bat they handed out hot cocoas and cookies...they must have known we needed thawing.
The train began creeping out of town, and Danny and I were happy we decided to go when it was still light out, because the views…

Coopers Annual Caroling Party

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Last night we had our annual Caroling Party. I love this tradition, growing up my parents would throw a caroling party every year, and my friend Jen and I were the stars! We would get to sing "jolly old Saint Nicholas" as a duet, and the neighbors loved it!
Afterwards we would sip on creamy cocoa and munch on cookies everyone brought. This event has always been my favorite Christmas memory.
As an adult now, we hold a caroling party every December. These are the festivities
1) Begin the games!

Cookies, Caroling, Christmas
Every year we play the clothespin game- everyone receives a clothespin they clip onto their shirts
Rules: you can't say cookies, caroling or Christmas....except when we are caroling (we sing we wish you a merry Christmas)
If catch someone saying on of these words, you get to take thier clothes pin. If you catch someone saying cookie, caroling or Christmas and they happen to have more than one clothes pin, then guess what? You win them all! At the end …

Annual Christmas Lunch Inn

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I love going to my parents house, it's so warm and inviting and comfortably big. It's not overwhelmingly spacious, just roomy enough to have a party and small enough to avoid being ostentatious. Their home has plenty of windows to let the light in, a wonderfully working pellet stove, the fluffiest soft sofas, and homemade cookies always seem to be baking in the oven...Mmm home. But really, I enjoy my parents house so much because they are there. I love their company, friendship and support.
This is probably why I look forward every year to my Mom's annual Christmas lunch in. Homemade soups, breads, salads and cookies decorate the tables and counters. Twinkling lights from the numerous Christmas trees and cake stands set the mood. Soft songs of carols float through the air and the smell of yummy concoctions waft into all of our noses.
It is a time to visit with old friends, catch up, wish merriness to one another. Is there anything better than friendship? Especial…

Kids say the Darndest Things

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Me taking a seat on the couch
Elly: Mommy play with me!!
Me: Ugh, give me a second my head is dizzy.
Elly walks up to me, feels my forehead and goes
Elly: You don't feel dizzy to me.

Service

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"He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat let him do likewise."
Luke 3:17


I happen to enjoy the winter from within my cozy capecod. I relish in the warm, lazy moments of curling up to a good book. I look forward to the days of sweat pants and roaring fireplaces. However I am aware that for many winter is just a reminder of their lack of....whether it be temporal, spiritual or loneliness, our trials can feel like; bitter dark and deadly. It's easy to remember those suffering during the holidays, but how quickly we forgetthis once January 1st approaches.
Let me just mention that I have been blessed by those who have served me, service has fed my soul when in need and energized my faith when acting upon it. I am oh so grateful for those whom took it upon themselves to serve me and for the growing experiences I had when the tables have been turned and I can give back.

This is why I'm making it a New Years Resolution to be more awar…

A box will do

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Proof that you don't need a ton of fancy toys to entertain a four year old, yes a big cardboard box will do the trick. Just throw all your stuff in there and voila instant home, or is it closet? Not really sure. Just know it keeps a kid amused for hours!! And mom can actually get something clean!

De cluttering the Kitchen

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Do not fear even with all of my other obligations: preschool, motherhood, Christmas traditions, primary, bills, laundry, running, and all the other "normal" stuff a stay at home mom lives everyday I'm managing to remember that I want to simplify my cluttered house!
To let you know that yes I am still on track I'm revealing the cabinet I cleaned this afternoon. Voila! My hubby will be so happy, really I mean it cuz it seems like the pots and pans cabinet is always the most disastrous....well that and the plastic containers, your feeling me on this one right?
Yes I am one step closer to an organized home!

M is for Manger

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I don't typically blog about the wonderful preschool lessons the two moms I do the co op with but really I should. We are onto the letter "M".  The topic this week, manger, and naturally the Christmas story was taught.

Preschool mommy Kathryn whipped up her genius idea and created the Christmas story for kids to play with. Several laminated scenes colored by my daughter, revealed the places and things that happened during this glorious holiday. Each scene came with Velcro character attachments. Way cute!

Yes this is why preschool co ops are wonderful. My daughter gets to benefit from having awesome teachers, each with a different teaching technique. Love it!

A flurry of new memories

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I have really reveled in this Christmas season thus far. I think it's my favorite as a grown up. It has everything to do with that wide eyed four year old and rosy cheeked one year old of mine.
In truth it's the first year on which Ellyanna will have an inkling of a memory. I hope she will reminisce of snuggling on the couch to watch the Christmas Specials on tv, and tearing open a gift under the tree each night, then paging through them as I read a new story each night (thank you local library!). I wonder if she remembers anything from "A Christmas Carol" other than the many non applicable questions she expressed.
I know she'll remember "The Nutcracker" seeing that she carries her ornament nutcracker with her everywhere and talks of the evil king rat obsessively-that and the fact that she loooves watching "A Barbie Nutcracker" nearly everyday.
Caroling will be imprinted in this girls brain seeing that she was able to sing her heart out to t…

Letters to Santa, Making a Gingerbread house and Apple Crumb Pie

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Ellyanna wrote her first letter to Santa, which informed the jolly old man that she decorated her own four foot purple Christmas tree, played with her friend Kate, and had been a good girl all year.
Her list of requests was short-gotta love a four year old-
1) Barbie and a Fashion Fairytale secret Movie- or whatever you call it
2) Polly Pocket
3) Something that changes food?!? That'll be fun for Santa to figure out.
Ellyanna: "And uh...that's all. I'm done"
When asked if she had any requests for her one year old sister Brinley she mentioned a Teddy bear.
Ellyanna: "and umm...that's all"
When the letter was complete we moved onto something even sweeter, making a gingerbread house. Ellyanna had a good time decorating any area that mom unskillfully plastered with frosting.
Brinley was too busy stuffing her face with candy to be decorating. In fact she'd rather undo all the hard work Ellyanna put into her yummy little house. One second of not keeping our e…

Setting the Table

Brinley is helping Ellyanna with her chores. She is now setting the table too! Ignore the crazy doo she has, this is what it looks like when she pulls out her sticking straight up ponytail.

Pizza Night at the Hansons

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Had a great time Friday night. We went to the Hansons (friends of ours) for pizza night, and not just any pizza, gourmet pizzas. Mmmm....we sampled chickn bar b que, chicken alfredo, bacon and mushrooms, pepperoni, and tai pizza.
They were delicious, hands down best pizzas ever I've tried. We also had some yummy wings as well as played a game of outburst, while the kids played.
This couple has five adorable children, whom my daughters love playing with. Our other friends the Hobby's and their two children were there too.
It was boys against girls, and yes the guys won...unfortunately. But it was nice to play games, eat good food and have some fun for free! Ended with some dessert, butterscotch spice cake with rum frosting-imitation rum.

Ward Christmas Party

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Our church Christmas Party was tonight? You wanna go somewhere for good food? Well then go to a church function, all I have to say is yummy....well that and I'm stuffed. Our primary kids sang "The Nativity Song" while acting it out. It was so cute! Ellyanna was a sheperd. It was darling. Afterwards the nursery kids came up front with baby dolls in their arms and we all sang "Away in a Manger" while the nursery kids rocked their babies and acted out sleeping parts. Sooo sweet!

Another hair pic

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It feels so nice to comb my fingers through my hair! Yay! It will also feel good to brush it faster and blow dry it faster.

New do, whaddya think?

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Welp, I got sick and tired of my hair and got five inches chopped, as well as layers and bangs. Wish you could see the layers better. You can in person. It was time, it's only been over a year since I've even had my hair trimmed! Yup not a single set of scissors touched my hairs for over a year.

Kids Say the Darndest Things

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Watching a Kay Jewlers commercial with Ellyanna
Ellyanna: Ooh Mommy those are so pretty! (those two hearted neckalaces)
Me: Yeah they are
Ellyanna: I know! Daddy should get you that for Christmas!
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My junk drawer after de cluttering

Decluttering the Kitchen, one drawer at a time

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Hey well I've been reading a lot of simplifying blogs. You heard of the living on 100 things or less? Yeah not possible for us. Danny probably has a hundred items of tools. And I well, I'm a clutterific gal. Not that I want to be, I just mean sometimes I open a drawer and gasp because of all the junk we have accumulated.
I love going to my sister in laws house because she's the exact opposite of me. Seriously I actually have gone through her closets and drawers and bathroom vanity to witness immaculate cleanliness and organization. I know rude right? Well I know I'm rude, but I just had to know if it was a phasaud....like my house. But it's not, it's clean and organized and comfortable.
Yes people will come to my house and say, "oh it's so clean" when really clothes are stuffed into drawers, closets are overflowing with shoes and toys seep out of the toy chests. Enough is enough. Really, truly it is time for a change!
So to make this easier on mys…

Kids Say The Darndest Things

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I'm almost 70% positive that Brinley was chanting the word "happy" while dancing atop the kitchen table this evening. It was her ambitious journey to climb up the chair then on to the table to walk about and giggle her words of joy- wait no words of "happy".
Ellyanna proceeded to follow. At first I began my ranting and raving for them to get down. Then Ellyanna cried and claimed I was mean and didn't love her-a daily almost minute by minute accusation these days. So I caved mostly because Brinley was still giggling and smiling back at me. And then I got to enjoy watching them dance about and sing. Ellyanna dances all cutesy and can see her reflection in the nearby window. It entertains us both, it's adorable.

Caroling at Saucon Valley Manor

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Such a busy weekend! After Fonthill we joined a bunch of friends at Saucon Valley Manor to go caroling. My friend Kathryn organized it passing out jingle bells to the kids, to jingle of course, sheet music with words and candy canes for the kids to hand out to the residents. There was about six families in all. What fun, and we kept warm :-)

The Nutcracker

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Yesterday Ellyanna, myself with cousins, Aunt Amber and grandma got to see The Nutcracker. It was fun watching Ellyanna literally hang on the edge of her seat, eyes glued to the stage. Grandma bought their own lil Nutcrackers which they promptly broke. Love this tradition!

Fonthill Festivities

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Brinley and Elly- doesnt Brinley look overjoyed?

Fonthill Festivities

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Free!! Everybody loves free!! Especially when it involves free tours, Santa, cookies and hot cocoa! So that's of course where my family was, at the Fonthill Museum in Doyelstown. Every year they have a freebie day for families. It always seems to fall on a Sunday between the hours of 1 and 4pm. But what a steal of a deal! 

I loved Henry Mercers mansion, made completely of concrete and decorated with his lovely tiles.
The girls loved making ornaments and munching on cookies and cocoa. And of course Santa! Well I don't think Brinley was a fan. Ellyanna requested Hannah Montanna stuff for Christmas?!? We don't even have cable, and she's a bit young for Hannah Montanna, so I'm not really sure where that came from.

Danny loved it all....I think. But I also think he always enjoys the tile works tour. You get to see workers in action making fancy tiles the way the did it in the 1800's.
It was lots of fun and a beautiful day for it. Enjoyed having some friends join us wh…

Happy 7!

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My hubby and I just celebrated our 7 year anniversary....today! And we aren't feeling itchy at all! Seven years may not be all that long, but it's still longer than most celebrity marriages! Beat that J.Lo and Marc Anthony, Ashton and Demi ! Our special day has got me pondering though what makes a marriage successful? One word that seems to overshadow a marriage is expectations. I remember being a teenager and watching the chick flicks sighing to myself and thinking "my husband is going to do that for me". Yes, visions of perfection danced in my head as I pictured my "Prince" showering me with flowers and chivalry. He had to play the guitar, sing, write me songs, and go to medical school to become a rich doctor. Yeah, my husband does none of those things. He was supposed to do everything for the sole purpose of making me happy and content. The guys got a mind of his own so obviously he doesn't cater to my every whim.
But oh the plans I had made…