Sunday, December 28, 2014

9 years ago

9 years ago there was this guy stationed in Korea. Trying to keep his head on straight, bored, and trying to stay out of trouble... So he started reading this girls blog on Yahoo 360. She blogged about her crazy life.. the highs the lows and her relationship. Occasionally he would message me some advice or a comment (never posting for public)... who knew how things would turn out... 9 years ago we certainly didn't have a clue the world would bring us together

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Uncle Buck and Uncle Butch

So my goal was to blog about Christmas until Christmas but I missed yesterday. I am sick :(
Today's topic isn't so much about Christmas either but I have stories to share

My grandfather his name is Carlton. He is the most special man I have ever known. He passed away July 22, 2000. He struggled most of his life with cancer at least all of my life. I think its safe to say my Papa Bear (thats our nickname for my Grandfather) was close to his siblings. He owned a farm in Jonesboro up until a few years before his death. On each side of his farm his brothers also owned farms. Uncle Buck was on one side. Growing up if Uncle Buck was up visiting he would tease us granddaughters a lot. He would pull my pony tail and say Boy why do you got a pony tail in your hair.. He was alway teasing. He would be pulling it and say are you a pony? etc. I was 18 and I moved on the farm with my biological mother and Papa Bears bulldog took a liking to me and I would sneak him in mom's house (she lived in the farm between Buck and Papa Bears houses) and he would cuddle and go to sleep on my lap so I would paint his nails. One day Uncle Buck caught me and he would say Boy, you're Papa Bear will tan your hide if he caught you with that dog in the house. That is an outside dog who doesn't need to get spoiled by being in the heated house. Then what will your Papa Bear say when you finds out you painted Pluto's nails? I said he hasn't noticed yet *big grin* I loved my Uncle Buck and Aunt Beverly and all his children my Uncle Mike. Sadly I lost track of them as I became adults. I did hear that Uncle Buck passed a few years ago. I sure do love him and miss him dearly. I would give up this fancy suburbia to take my kids back to that farm as I had it. <3 life.="" p="" s="" that="" the="">

Uncle Butch really isn't my uncle by blood or relation. Uncle Butch is actually my ex boyfriends Uncle. He is one of Skylar's favorite people. My 12 year old daughter. Growing up I dated Donnie for the first 4 years of Skylar's life and Butch was a constant in her life as if he was a grand parent but better even. He loved to spoil her and play with her. He kept in contact even after Donnie and I broke up and so far he is the only person to visit me since I moved from Georgia to Alabama nearly eight years ago. He made sure we were taken care of and honestly for years I struggled to do what was right or whether or not to accept it. It has been a very big moral dilemma for me. Shortly after I saw him last in 2007 he moved up to Pennsylvania to help his ex wife and adopted son. His health began to fail and and as his father before him and as I suspected for awhile he had diabetes and alzheimers just like his father who passed away a few years ago. I will send him a New Years card along with everyone else (because I didn't get Christmas cards done) I hope he is okay healthwise last I heard it wasn't looking good. Shamefully I was thankful he moved up to Pennsylvania to shield Skylar at the time from the tragedy that is Alzheimers. She was too young to see his father deteriorate and I have seen it many times. I can't imagine the heart break of your favorite person forgetting who you are. Now she's old enough to understand but she still has much anxiety and depression over losing him.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The most annoying Christmas song is...

I thought I would blog this today because ironically I was on Facebook and someone who just lost their spouse was walking through Kmart and Christmas Shoes came blaring over the PA... She's like who the heck makes a Christmas Song about a boy who wants to buy shoes for his dying mother. Shouldn't Christmas songs be beautiful. I kinda laughed because how true but I do like Christmas Shoes myself but I am not going caroling or anything.

So I asked my tween daughter and my husband for help and we played a little game voting from the scale of 1-10 (10 being the most annoying) Christmas Songs. Of course they aren't much help because my husband has well weird taste in music like Dr Demento and Neil Diamond... but that's none of my business haha. Well my daughter she is who she is at 12 with developing her musical tastes. We will just say she's still learning. I had to tell her what Nirvana was the other day *face palm* and then she claims to like My Chemical Romance, The Beatles, One Direction, Ed Sheeran, 5 Seconds of Summer, Oasis, etc... 

I have to say one of the most annoying songs at Christmas time is Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time... I knew I would lose to both of them if I played the Paul McCartney version so I played the Demi Lavato version and I still lost. I don't care who sings it I am just not a fan of this song. 

My adopted father loved him some John Denver and I never quite got the badge of #1 fan from his fan club if you know what I mean... I mean he's just got a certain style of music that I can't see myself listening to constantly. I love me some Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton, and Loretta Lynn but I can't do the whiney drunk country music much for myself. So I guess my next two songs won't be on my Christmas playlist like ever...

John Denver ~ Please Daddy Don't Get Drunk This Christmas

My daughter just started telling me "turn it off just turn it off!" 
Do I even have to say why is an alcoholic singing about his daddy being an alcoholic? 

the other one I think my favorite Radio Station and probably a few others are overplaying 30 years late just a bit. Last Christmas by Wham I am not hating on the singer I promise. George Michael has some epic songs but *sigh* this one doesn't do anything for me.. How about you wake me up before you go-go? 

My husband thinks the most annoying Christmas song out of the ones I picked is Funky Funky Christmas by NKOTB (New Kids on the Block). I can't ever say I find NKOTB annoying I was a die hard fan then and I am still a fan now.. My friend +Pamela Leffler is traveling and she was listening to this very CD today and she said "... realizing some of this is just bad.. but I am singing anyways" So maybe the music isn't Epic, Great Music... Maybe even a little painful but come'on its NKOTB! I love me some Funky Christmas! Just as long as my husbands dirty socks aren't being used for stockings.. not that kind of funky Christmas. One day I hope my daughter and I can fan girl together with our favorite boy bands and Ed Sheeran... but today she is voting with her dad... 

What is the most annoying Christmas song to you? 

Friday, December 19, 2014

Creative Gift Ideas

Sometimes I get a creative bug up my butt and I come up with an idea that I won't let go of. My husband calls this a Honey Badger. Anyways our first Easter here I wanted to make Easter baskets for the kids (not just mine but her friends too) so I went to the dollar store got sand buckets, bubbles, shovels and other sand tools, and some candy and filled the buckets up and it probably cost me a few bucks a bucket.. He was amazed what I could do with $20 Then our second Christmas and I wished I would have taken pictures but I went to Old Time Pottery and got decorative Christmas boxes

Like these and filled each one with a Fireplace DVD for those of us who don't have a fireplace we could have a beautiful digital one. Then I made homemade cocoa in a Mason Jar.. topped it off with marshmallows I am pretty sure the marshmallows dried out but it was more there for the effect. I got inexpensive mugs that represented the people like my brother in law and sister are cat parents (you think I am a cat lady haha) so I got them cat lover mugs. an inexpensive blanket, With some with families I put in a travel game. It was like Christmas in a box. 

Being that we are a military family shipping was painful for each box though :/
The next year Rick wanted me to continue the tradition so I got a box and then bought popcorn cups at the dollar store, put in some popcorn packages, popcorn salt, candy and a movie. Movie in a Box?

I had an idea for teacher gifts too one year I made altered clipboards and it was something Skylar could help with.

For teacher gifts I got a big furry stocking and bought lots of school supplies (Don't teachers ALWAYS need supplies?) and I filled the stocking with supplies and candy :)

Ive done Ice Cream Sundae in a box... Noooo I don't put ice cream in there (a gift card will work), ice cream scoop, ice cream cones and bowls, a bunch of different toppings, and of course a gift card to either an ice cream place or just the grocery store... 

I guess my creative gifting started when Rick was deployed. My months of deployment were passed by Skylar and I coming up creative theme deployment boxes... For Thanksgiving I sent Turkey Spam, a box of stuffing, a can of green beans, and a can of cranberry sauce... with Turkey themed paper products... Of course he fed the Turkey Spam to his Iraqi cat friends and gave the other food products to the Iraqis (after all the Army and Iraqi's kept him fed and the cats kept him company)

What kind of creative gift ideas have you wanted to try or have you tried?

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The best stocking stuffers...


Look at these really cool type of stockings I saw at Walmart! I thought they were nifty...

The story of how the Christmas Stocking came to be is that Saint Nicholas used to leave gold coins and oranges in the shoes of poor children.. I guess we finally got a clue that we were putting oranges in dirty shoes so why not put them in a clean stocking so the evolving again.

My kids make out pretty good on the stocking front. We celebrate St Nicholas Day so they get the above every year from old St Nick. Then for Christmas I get them a stocking filled with different goodies and Santa usually leaves one too. Some great stocking stuffers I have seen are things that are sentimental, jewelry, hair do- dads, tooth brushes, hair brushes, body wash, bubble bath (we have a couple of fans in the house), Razor things for the men, perfume maybe, gloves, and my husband gets a wallet every year. Things like that :)

Oh and the most awesome thing in our stockings Santa leaves his Santa Dollar behind its an actual dollar with Santa's face!

What do you get in your stocking?

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Why I wait until the last minute to buy gifts...

I don't think that I am a super scheduler, hell I am horrible at time management. But I do like to have a timeline to get things done. It always has been an area of contention between Rick and I. I am a little bit of an organizer and I tend to think ahead... I also took Marketing in high school and a few college courses afterward. I know the marketing aspect of all those Christmas Tree's right after Halloween. Basic logic for you scrooges that say lets just get through Thanksgiving for most people that get checks every two weeks that means there is only two pay cycles before Christmas.. Not many people can buy everything within two pay cycles... am I right? So I learned from either my mom or my guardian or perhaps just gotten in the habit myself to buy Christmas gifts throughout the year. Yeah that bit me a little bit when Skylar was no longer interested in something but its okay I could return or resell it if necessary or even donate it. I am a bargain shopper too I look for sales and matter of fact I would say I am almost addicted to a sale I can't resist the 50% off sign haha. So I would rather buy it on sale. So I am fine with Christmas being up in Thanksgiving.. the longer I get the magic right? Plus I don't feel as pressured to rush those last three weeks of November and December to buy last minute gifts. My hubby isn't having heart failure from his debit card catching on fire and he sees all the money draining out of his account like blood running out of his face (haha!). So if I hit $20 here and there over a period of three months he won't kill me as fast! I also don't want to be paying for Christmas in July.. That's not what Christmas in July is supposed to mean. But we are on a budget like everyone else and money only goes so far... Tomorrow I will be running to Target to get a gift card for William's teacher for his Christmas party tomorrow due to our pay period. Friday is Skylar's class party so I will have to get a small gift card because that's all we can afford and frankly I think a teacher can have only so many Best Teacher Mugs.. also if I may be honest I am not thrilled with either child's teacher this year so they won't be getting favors from me other than the pat of the back... Thank you Mrs so and so you put up with my child ALL year and didn't kill him/her. See I have to wait to give that gift in May when I know my child and their teacher has survived the year. Waiting till Thanksgiving two years in a row hasn't gotten my house fully decorated. I think next year I am going to have to deck the halls (like our loft tree that takes a lot of time and effort) and spend more time on those and then I can put up the family tree Thanksgiving weekend by tradition. So other stuff first and put up the family tree last. Because I just don't have time to spend all that time decorating the whole house and then get to enjoy it for a week? Nah! With my Osteoarthritis, kid and husband schedules, my Fibromyalgia, etc... I need some leeway to work around. Hubby's just going to have to start being understanding. This year we didn't use Layaway except for two items and if we were to have to use layaway then that would also require time to pay things off so we wouldn't have a balance on our credit cards. I think Christmas takes time and planning or it just doesn't feel right. Best laid plans of mice and men often go ary... especially for me so yeah I COULD be the one at the store on the 23th and 24th getting stocking stuffers or Christmas dinners :)


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The scents of the season... {what smells remind me of the Holidays}

I used to LOVE Yankee Candles and I thought I would never give them up and switch to Scentsy then I realized why am I spending $20 on a candle when I can buy a burner and switch out the smells? LOL ... No I am not a Scentsy rep and never have been but boy I have like 10 burners!

I love the smell of Sugar Cookies (I just hate to bake them)
Banana Bread
Cinnamon anything
Pine but not in the scentsy
Apple Pie
Pumpkin Pie
and a real wood fireplace <3 p="">
What are your favorite smells? What smells remind you of your childhood holidays? What are your favorite smells of the season?

Monday, December 15, 2014

Movies we enjoy during the Holidays...

I don't know if its a Christmas movie but I think it is.. It at least has a scene about Christmas and its one of my favorite movies of all time.

The animated classic set with the Land of Forgotten Toys, Santa, Rudolph and Frosty of course

Polar Express is near and dear to me..

Other great ones we enjoy are the original animated The Grinch that Stole Christmas (or the Jim Carrey one), Jim Carrey Christmas Carol, Santa Clause, Miracle on 34th Street, Charlie Brown Christmas, Mickey's Christmas Carol, and my kids and my husband are particularly fans of Elf and Muppets Christmas Carol. 

What are your favorites?

Sunday, December 14, 2014

My Grown Up Christmas List

Rick, the little kids, and I were shopping for each others gifts. I took Skylar first and had her pick out gifts for Rick, William, and her best friend. Then Rick took her in to get a gift from her to me. I picked out something for William to Rick because William was tired and cranky. He's a typical male when it comes to shopping. Anyways while we were shopping Skylar said Mom the best Christmas present would be to see Mackenzie again (her older brother). I gave her a big hug and said me too baby me too! I would give up all the presents for years to come just to see Mackenzie.

So Dear Santa, That is at the top of my grown up Christmas list.. Let me babies see their older brothers. Let my husband see his sister and aunts again. My grown up Christmas wishes are that no child goes without Christmas or food. That no families are torn apart by evil, sin, and disease. If my life wasn't torn apart I wouldn't have Rick, Alex, James and William though. So if its your will....
My grown up Christmas Wish is that our military was home even if its just for one day during the holidays. That no one dies in vain or at the hands of another. That the ill could get proper medical treatment. That everyone could find the spirit that I love and believe. My grown up Christmas wish is that no one would ever feel alone that they know the love of another. So Dear Santa even though my childhood fantasies seemed to be out of reach I hope that you can keep this letter close to your heart and know that truly this is what we need here... for Christmas and every day after. Peace on Earth.

Love Bella
I believe! 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Country Christmas

I had a vision for the past few years of getting a pretty country quilt and going out to a piece of land that has the big rolls of hay...and have the backdrop of what is so beautiful around here mountains and our tree's.. The clouds and sky are also unique to me..

In 2011 I was working with an awesome photographer for all our family photos. We had paid and scheduled a country vintage photo shoot.. We had bought our outfits and then a tragedy struck.. our area was hit by a series of tornados that is rare nationwide.. So the photo shoot was off.. Since then I had the idea for the roll of hay but never got the money or area to do it in.. I don't have a DSLR camera myself either.

I was lucky to find William a pair of overalls just like my grandfather would wear. Overalls for my son's size are hard to find apparently. I actually needed them for Johnny Appleseed day and someone on a yard sale page answer my request and they happened to be just like my grandfather used to wear. They were a smaller size so I just prayed they fit. They fit perfect so he wore them for Johnny Appleseed.. I was under even more pressure to get that picture done but its been cold or rainy for the most part. Its been very all over the place impossible to schedule an outdoor appointment.

I figured Skylar already had some country styled dresses I know one I bought for her birthday. I remember that a friend had pictures done JCPenny that had a bit of a country western theme.. So I called JcPenny and they had a bit of country theme but they told me the Christmas tree was up to stay.. I was like shoot. Then I saw groupon so I decided there was no time like the present to jump. I would make do with angling the Christmas tree out since we didn't get Christmas church clothes this year and William's Christmas Pajamas have also not been easy to get my hands on.

I was talking to my cousin and she said she never remembers Papa Bear (my grandfather) out of overalls I vaguely remember one time going to church with Papa Bear and Nanny on Easter Sunday and I don't think he was wearing his signature overalls but perhaps a crisp button down and slacks.
This is the only picture I have of Papa Bear (and my horse Nugget)

We went to get ready and Skylar tells me she outgrew her dress... and two dresses.. I was so frustrated and couldn't find William's button down. William's boots would go on his feet but they were really tight. Skylar also didn't want to wear her boots. I spent 45 minutes getting the kids ready I didn't have time to get myself ready or hair and make up done nothing. I was so frustrated ready to cancel the appointment with Rick being sick anyways. Rick and Skylar still wanted to go so I was like whatever.. It has been years since we've gotten our picture done.  Make do with what we got and how we look.. whatever..

We got our pictures done then walked around the mall. An elderly woman walked up to William she started to get visibly emotional. She told William how adorable he was. She said little boys don't wear overalls anymore but her grandfather always wore overalls every day of his life. He was even buried in them. Rick told her that's the reason why I chose the overalls as well because my grandfather wearing his. Just an interesting encounter. It seemed to move her that William was in them.

Friday, December 12, 2014

My childhood dream Christmas gift.

Most little girls dream of horses... My grandfather owned a farm so I had a horse..
There was a year I asked for an electronic diary... I didn't get it till I was like 16.. way out grown of it at that point sadly...

What I dreamed of getting and never stopped wishing for was an American Girl doll. Yes you've heard me talk about it before but I am serious... I wanted the doll. My Guardian wouldn't spend the money on the doll but fed my love to read these doll's stories and they had several other things you could buy as well. I had it all.. Samantha's stories, Kirsten, Molly, and Addy... I had their books and like stationary and diary.... I never had that moment to own Samantha or Kirsten (my favorites) and their worlds... beds, dolls, clothing galore... As another blogger said even in the 80's and 90's it was easily someone's 401K. In the 80's and 90's it was mainly only available by catalog order that could have also played a role... My grandmother did get me a nice doll but it wasn't Samantha and Kirsten. When my daughters friend introduced her to the dolls I was ecstatic and she got her first one for her birthday.. I got it locally through another mother though. At least I made her dreams come true.. oh and one year a few years ago... my husband surprised me on my birthday finally with Samantha...

(Skylar's first American Girl doll)

(McKenna her doll she got for Christmas)

and finally my Samantha from my handsome husband