Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and cultivate faithfulness. Psalm 37:3
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Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Years Nails

For new years I decided to add a little bit of sparkle to my nails.    I used a nude polish that I found at CVS called Spoiled by Wet n Wild, color  -Show Me Some Skin.  It was only $2 and it has a thick flat brush that made the polish go on really great.  I haven't had any trouble with it staying on either.  I'm not sure why I usually pay $6 or more for polish.  I think I'll go back for more!  The sparkles are essie, color  -set in stones.

It's a lot of fun.  I just wish we were going to a fun New Years party...  too bad Brian gave me the flu!  I'm getting over it now, thankfully!

Happy New Year!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Our Christmas Day

Christmas morning!!!  Up early and right to the breakfast table.  This year we decided that it would be a good idea to let the kids open their stockings while we got breakfast ready.

Every Christmas after breakfast Brian reads the Christmas story (from a children's Bible for now).
Sorry it's blurry!! 

Next, to the tree...
Wow!!  Look at all the presents! 

Ella is handing them out.

Lucas, how many gifts are in your pile?  Lots!  5 always means lots!

Ella is VERY excited about her new Lalaloopsy!  She thanked me at least a dozen more times over the next few days!

LEGOS!!!   He really did have a happy face.

Big brother willingly helping Kinslie open her gift.

I love this surprised face!  She was extremely excited about everything she opened for at least a few minutes!

Bubble Bath!!!!   They have been asking for this for a while.

Christmas Morning at church.  My lovely little Christmas kids!

Just a snap shot of the dinner table.

Hope you all had a beautiful Christmas!!!!!

The night before Christmas

 The night before Christmas, and all the gifts are wrapped...

I love the look of all the gifts under the tree just ready and waiting for morning.

The stockings are stuffed.
Notice that Kinslie's doesn't have a name on it...  I wanted to sew their names myself so I started with Ella's and when Lucas saw that Ella's had a name and his didn't he was a little sad so I had to be sure that his had his name on it before Christmas...  Kinslie's still doesn't have a name.  I may have to wait till next year.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Last Christmas Surprises

23. Bake Cookies  ~ We must have lots of Cookies for Christmas!  My all time favorites are Kiss cookies.  (most know them as peanut butter blossoms.)

24.  Christmas Eve Candle light service and open 2 gifts.  ~Our church service was lovely and the kids were bubbling with excitement to open a present.  On Christmas Eve the kids get to to open two presents...  One is always and ornament for the tree and the other is new jammies!  Of course if forgot to have the camera out while they were opening the gifts.  But I did take pictures of their ornaments.

Ella's:  because this is her first year of school.  (kindergarten) 

Lucas':  because he LOVES Woody!  So much so that when you ask him what he wants to be when he grows up he says Woody.  I think he is thinking "what do you want to dress up to be".  But it's pretty funny!

Kinslie's:  because she's on the move all the time like a dancing monkey.

  Really the best part of the day was the Brian was home all day!  He has been so busy with work that we haven't seen must of him.  I'm so thankful he is able to set work aside for a couple of days!! So it was a wonderful day and we are ready for Christmas!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Ella's Nativity

Ella carefully set up her stuffed nativity set that Grandma Jean made for her a couple of years ago and took some pictures.  She loves to take pictures!!   I can see it as an interest and talent that may stick with her for years to come.  Now, she is only 5 so you can't really see any "talent" yet but she sure enjoys it and puts a lot of thought into it!
The Nativity set and a close up of baby Jesus

She asked me to teach her how to use the timer so that she could take pictures of herself.  In the one by the tree she is showing her Hello Kitty ornament from last year.

Using the timer we captured a lovely picture of the Nativity, Ella, Lucas and myself!!

Surprise!...  As Ella was taking pictures of EVERYTHING Christmas in the whole house she discovered that there was something in the kids stockings.  I'm assuming that my Mother snuck something in while she was here yesterday but it really made the kids bubble with joy!  This is what Lucas looked like at the discovery:

Lovely Christmas Countdown Day

Yesterdays countdown surprise was... 21. Go look at Christmas Lights.  ~But first the kids woke up to find a snowball fight had happened overnight in the kitchen...

 This was fun and Ella had eve more fun eating the mess!

 Brian informed us that to go look at lights we must have cookies and milk.  A great opportunity to try one of the many recipes I have pinned on Pinterest.  I chose one called Gingerbread Softies.  Sounds amazing already right?!?!  You can find the full recipe here.

It made a really thick dough that was easy to work with.

Before  and  After

Ella came into the kitchen and said "wait...  where are the Christmas cookies?"  I told her that's what I was making.  She said they just look like regular cookies.  So this is what I did to make them a little more Christmasy.  I got out the Christmas cookie cutters and since the dough was more sticky than a typical roll out and cut dough, I put a small ball of dough between two layers of wax paper to roll it.
Peel back one layer of wax paper and cut with a cookie cutter.  I scraped away the extra dough before picking up the cookie cutter then sprinkled it with sugar, turned it over onto my hand and then peeled off the wax paper and sprinkled the back with sugar.  It actually worked out really well!  and I didn't even have to wash my rolling pin.  ; )     I only baked that batch for 6 or 7 minutes.   

So I should have known when I read through the recipe and it said measurements like 2 cups sugar and 4 cups flour, but is sure made a HUGE batch of cookies...  It made 53 cookies and 8 shaped ones.  And OH BOY they sure are YUMMY!!!  SO soft!!  I LOVE gingerbread flavor but would prefer soft rather than crunchy cookies so these are ideal for my liking!

This picture is for my Mother...  this is only 15 minutes after the last batch of cookies came out of the oven...  and all dishes are clean or in the dishwasher and the counters are wiped clean.  I cleaned up as I went along.  (insert proud smile)

Looking at lights was a lot of fun and we all enjoyed the cookies and milk!  

 22.  Christmas Special Movie.  ~We watched the Prep & Landing Christmas Specials on ABC and enjoyed popcorn and hot chocolate with marshmallows.  It was a cute show and a fun family time!

Merry-almost-Christmas!  We can hardly contain ourselves!...  Lucas woke up from his nap today crying because it wasn't Christmas yet.  Oh, the anticipation!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


I am NO expert when it comes to makeup or hair but I can get a little excited about it!  Especially when I find something or try a style that actually works!
So Saturday during my lovely and quiet shopping time with only Kinslie in toe Brian said I could get some makeup that I had been asking for for quite a while.  So I went to Sephora and came home with...

Bare Minerals starter kit and Tarte sample set.  Makeup brush cleaner and two samples for waiting in line.  Cool!!  I returned the brush cleaner because I was told you could use mild face was instead.  Since I've never cleaned my brushes before anything will be better than nothing.

The Bare Minerals kit came with custom color foundation powder, warmth powder and mineral veil finishing powder.  Prime Time, foundation primer and brushes for each powder.  I'm liking it so far but I'm not super picky!

I just happened to ask a makeup lady in the store about the Bare Minerals who was a rep for Tarte.  I've never even heard of it before but now i know it's a natural line that is designed to be a little more exciting than all the others.  I bought the set just to get the Amazonian clay eyeliner -brown-.  It actually has clay from the Amazon River in it.  It's not liquid but it's not solid like a pencil either.  You put it on with a brush.  It's just cool.  Along with it there was a natural cheek stain -flush-.  I really wasn't sure about this one.  It's the texture of chapstick so I just wasn't sure how it would go on.  But it actually blends in nice and soft.  The lights, camera, lashes mascara is pretty great.  And then LipSurgence lip tint -enchanted- is also really neat.  It's very smooth and lasts a long time.

I also picked up an angled eye shadow brush because I had a gift card left over for Bloomingdale's.  And I love it!   And I really love free stuff!  : ) 

So needless to say I have been having a bit of fun with my makeup the last few days!  What is your favorite makeup product?

It's all about Christ our Savior!

As I have been so busy with all the goings on of this festive time of year I have been reminded to keep the focus on Christ!  Lately I have been thinking a lot about the "gift"of Christ.  I have seen signs and artwork that say "True love was born in a stable".  It is a sweet thought but more importantly it is true!  God out of His loving kindness gave the sinful world the gift of Salvation in His Son.  What greater love could there be?

I read this article on a blog called the Cripplegate that answers 7 questions about true Christmas.  The first question he addresses is; What is Christmas?  His answer:     "Christmas is the celebration of Jesus’ incarnation. This is actually the most critical of all the questions. When Christmas is simply seen as the celebration of God becoming man, the rest of the questions should grow wings and take flight."  -Jesse Johnson

He also said this in response to; If it is Jesus' Birthday, why do we give gifts to each other?:
Christmas is not so much Jesus’ birthday, as it is a celebration of God giving his son to the world. “Birthday” sort of trivializes it. But we give gifts because Christmas is a celebration of God’s gift to us. Christmas is an occasion to show love and joy to those whom we love, and it is a time of celebration. Gifts are simply a way to express that joyful celebration.  -Jesse Johnson

These are things I have known and "believed" but never understood and adopted as my own convictions.  I have had a wonderful Christmas season this year!  Maybe it's because I got shopping done a little earlier than usual or because my house is more in order than usual or maybe it is because I have directed my attention intentionally toward Christ and the undeserving gift I have been given and the joy of that has overflowed as Christmas cheer!
MERRY CHRISTMAS to you!  I pray that you know the true gift of Love in Salvation this Christmas and all to come!

I can't help but share this article also...  I am often asked why my kids don't believe in Santa...  I just say...  "Well, he's not real and Jesus Christ is." and leave it at that but this article shares great biblical truth on the matter and is pretty much how we feel about it too!  The Cripplegate- Santa?  Obviously, from previous posts, we have a lot of fun with Christmas...  Hiding Elves, and seeing Santa movies but we and the kids know it's all pretend just like other fairy-tale type movies.  And we enjoy it just the same.

25 days of Christmas... part 2

10.  Make Christmas Crafts.  ~We made a few crafts as gifts this year...  I can't post pictures or it would ruin the surprise for some of you.  But I can share about one of them because it has already been given.

Cookie cutter Christmas ornaments.  These were fun but a little tricky and I loved how they turned out.
First use the cookie cutters as stencils to trace and cut the pictures.  I also used black construction paper behind each picture to fill in some holes.  Punch a hole at the top of each picture.  It's hard to see but we also dipped the front edge of the cookie cutters in glue then glitter.  Let that dry then dip the back edge in glue and put the pictures on.  I placed them on tin foil and set a book on top to let dry.  String a ribbon through the hole and give to someone you love!

BTW:  I have been saving the foam trays that come when you buy a bundle of apples or vegetables at the grocery store.  They are GREAT for crafts!   Paint or glue trays, great to hold small buttons and pom poms or as a glitter catcher.   See...

And then the kids also made popsicle stick snowflakes, just for fun.
Ella's         and          Lucas'

Then we had Pumpkin Pancakes!!  Yum!!  Recipe here

11. Christmas with Papa and Nana.  ~This is such a great story!  Ready?...  Saturday morning I got a phone call from Brian's mom.  (They live in Indiana) She told me our Christmas presents were going to arrive that night at 10:30.  I couldn't figure out how she knew the exact time and why so late on a Saturday night?  She went on to say they were coming in to the Palm Beach airport.  She said she was thinking about sending the kids presents and thought it would be so much fun to deliver them in person.  So as long as we didn't have plans they would be on their way.  See, She's a flight attendant so they can do that.  So they jumped on a plane and came!  We woke the kids up when Papa and Nana got to the house for a midnight Christmas party.  The next morning we had a big breakfast and celebrated Christmas together!  It was so much fun!  They had to leave around 2 that very day so it was a very short trip but the best surprise of the year!  I love their spontaneity!

Papa and Nana Bare!  Aren't they Lovely!  I'm so glad to be in their family!

This was in the middle of the night when we woke the kids.  They had way way too much energy!!

Opening gifts!  Merry (early) Christmas! 

Nana and Kins!
Lucas really was around the whole time but for some reason missed getting in the pictures.

12. Play a game together  ~At the Dollar store we found a card game with Bible trivia questions.  It's a lot of fun.  At least Ella and I have enjoyed it!

13. Bethlehem Village  ~In Coral Springs there is a church that builds a huge Bethlehem village for people to visit.  We went 2 years ago and it was just as much fun this year!

Me and my little loves!  Waiting in line with hot chocolate of course!  Even though it's not really cold here we still pretend!  ...a lot!

While waiting in line the Roman guards walked around interacting with the people.  They were not very nice!  (acting) but it did scare Ella a little bit.  Then we saw the shepherds in the fields and they told us about the angels announcement of the Saviors birth!

Ella was most excited to go back to the Midwife booth where they show you how they cleaned and wrapped a newborn baby.  She even brought her baby Hello Kitty to have swaddled properly.

There were lots of other booths where we learned how they made bread, olive oil, paper and ink.  There was so much to see!       And of couse finally we found baby Jesus in the stable with Mary, Joseph and the animals!
Funny story:  After we left Ella said "that baby pretending to be Jesus was really a girl baby Mommy."  I asked her how she could know that.  She said it must be because it has curly hair!  Ha-ha!

14.  Decorate Gingerbread houses  ~This was the Best!!  The kids had so much fun!
We're Ready!!

 Look at my gingerbread house!!   And it's yummy too!!

Ella admiring her yummy decorations and trying a taste.

Kinslie enjoying some graham crackers

Mommy's house (though you can't tell any difference from the kids)  Ta-Da!  We are proud of our work!

15. Christmas Concert  ~Our Church puts on a wonderful Christmas concert and this year we waited too late to get our tickets so we went on Thursday night to the dress rehearsal.  The music was amazing and it was nice to be able to let the kids move around a little bit.

16. Wrap and take gifts to ITA  ~Brian bought a small tree for the office so Ella has been asking to get presents for everyone there.  So we had picked out some dart guns and shooters from the dollar store for them.  Ella LOVES to wrap and the guys at the office really seemed to have fun opening up some toys!

17.  Christmas shopping with Daddy  ~Brian took Ella and Lucas to the mall to do some shopping for me...  insert excited grin.  Kinslie and I tagged along but went to different stores.  It was one of the most quiet and enjoyable shopping days I have had in a long time!  I enjoyed myself very much!  And got some new makeup.  I'll post about that later.  Brian said Ella displayed amazing shopping skills...  They would go into a store, he directed her to the right section and let her pick a few things.  When she made some choices they talked about prices and she made the choice and then paid for it by herself too!  That's my girl!  : )

18.  Make a Christmas craft  ~Sock Snowman.  SO easy and the kids are loving them!  They are just filled with rice and we used rubber bands to separate the two parts and tie off the top.  Glued on eyes and buttons with hot glue.

19. Bake for neighbors and deliver  ~I tried a new recipe to give to our neighbors this year.  It's Pumpkin and Cream Bread.  It was quite yummy!!  Get the recipe here

20. Gift wrapping Day  ~Ella has gained my love of wrapping!  So we got started on all the wrapping to be done!

Only 4 more countdown days to come!