Wednesday, December 31, 2008
There are really really GOOD people in this world ~ Total strangers have banded together, in response to my "All I Want for Christmas" blog, and started work on my bathroom. Free of Charge. In their Free time. How nice is that? My friend Sarah, and her hubby Jeff, attend One Community Church here in town, and Sarah got her small group to give this to us as a gift. I can NEVER repay this group for doing this for me out of the goodness of their hearts. All I can do is pay it forward somehow. When the opportunity presents itself for me to do that, I will. As they make progress, I will post on it. Look for more on that subject in the future. Religion gets such a bad rap in the press, but I plan on correcting that soon. These people ROCK! Thank you Sarah for being such a good friend to us!
No matter how much money I make, I will always be broke ~ Before I had kids I made a decent salary and still managed to be broke, most of the time. I still work, though the type of work has changed dramatically, the salary has remained about the same. I don't work outside of the home, but run a daycare from my home. The money I save on gas, clothing, lunches out, childcare for my kids, etc, pretty much evens things out for me. Not to mention the tax deductions I can take for operating a business from my home. Bottom line is the same, I am still broke. I am convinced that if I made a million a year, I would STILL be broke.
Family counts more than anything ~ they are the ones who will stick by you through thick and thin. I have had some baaaaddd moments that all started right at the very beginning of 2008 and my family really stepped up to help us out this year. I only hope that one day I will be able to return the favor.
Question things, but never be afraid to take a chance ~ A few things have come up recently that made me ask a lot of questions. I won't divulge because Chris has asked me not too. It involves my child. We had to make a decision about the best way to handle a situation and after asking a lot of questions, we decided to dive in head first. It turns out to be the best decision we could have possibly made. Total turn around in the life of one little boy that I think will help him excel in his life. Had I not been willing to take that leap of faith into the unknown, I would have been doing him a HUGE injustice.
Hope you all learned something from 2008 and that 2009 brings you lots of opportunity to grown and change for the better! HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
The outside of my house at night. Couldn't get the hubby on the upper part of the roof to hang lights this year. Maybe next...
I LOVE Gingerbread themed decorations, so, I just HAD to get this to put on the porch wall to greet visitors as they approach the front door.
The mantle and fireplace where the man in red makes his entrance. Our stockings are hung by the chimney with care. I am hoping that one Christmas morning, I wake to a FULL stocking...
This is another more modern Holy Family tealight holder that I really like. It has since been moved from the mantle to another location in the house.
The kids and I have a tradition each year of making gingerbread houses at Grandma's house. Harrison's is on the left, Maia's is on the right, and I made the mini houses in the background and the foamie decorations. They sit atop the TV.
A close up of Harrison's house, struck by an avalanche. He got a bit carried away with the frosting.
Some of my Foamie creations. I have found a new calling in life. To create foamies! I have never had so much fun in my life as when I made these!! All my friend, who thought it was terrible that I made them and not the kids, said was "aren't they for like 3 and up?" I don't get her point...
Maia's house. She could not have gotten any more candy on hers or the roof and walls would have caved in.
Because I am anal, my Mom bought me my own houses to make so I wouldn't harass the kids about theirs. I know, SAD. Hey, I have a degree in fine arts, what can i say?? The house on the right is a johnny house, complete with moon above the door. It really was just a house, but it looked like an outhouse, so that is what it became!
Another Foamie creation. Part of the gingerbread scene.
Cute little gingerbread cookie people are part of the piano village. I know, I am getting a bit carried away with all the photos, but I was having fun!
Ahh, it wouldn't be Christmas without the tree, complete with cute kitty Amos sitting on the tree skirt. You can just make out his white face. My favorite is the candy garland I got for $.50 a tube at Lowes one year.
Of course, I LOVE this ornament of my two angels done a couple years ago.
This ornament reminds me of Harrison catching snow on his tongue...
The dining room table. Clean for once...
... sold at Target for $7.99, comes complete with cookie cutters, frosting and cookie mix. Just add water! Tastes great and half the cost of buying all the ingredients yourself! Yep, I am a slacker. Shhh, no one else has to know...
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Maia sporting the reindeer antlers at TCM's Winter Fanfare!
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
I typically don't like this time of year. I do, but I don't. There, now if ALL makes sense! The reasons are many. First, there is so much pressure to buy gifts and give the perfect gift to everyone. I don't have the money to buy gifts for people and that makes me feel bad and icky. I like to give gifts and when everyone else in my family is exchanging gifts and giving me a gift and I have nothing to give in return I just feel bad. REAL BAD. I am 36 and I don't think it is asking to much to be able to get a little something for people who have done so much for me. BUT, our finances pretty much dictate that we cannot do this and it sucks. I also hate dragging out so much holiday crap, ie. decorations, and having to somehow try to make my house look festive when all I really want to do is leave them in the boxes and pretend it will all go away. My house is a mess and dragging out another mess to add to it just doesn't make me all that happy.
I know I should be more thankful, and maybe I should revisit my Thanksgiving post after typing this bit of negativity. Maybe I will. There is just too much pressure on everyone this time of year. People are crabby out in public. Lord, the man in Wal-mart that got trampled?? Come on. Lets get real. Was it really worth someone dying over to get to whatever it was that was inside? I can't stand that type of behavior. I may be a scrooge but I would never stoop so low as to act that way in public.
The kids want lights on the house, I want it to look a certain way, and no matter what, it never measures up to what I had in my head. Everyone else's perfectly decorated house just makes me feel inferior. Trying to find the time to get it all done if hard. I had the best intentions of making a go of it over Thanksgiving, but the time got away from us and NOTHING got done. My to do list is a mile long and just adding more (decorating for the holidays, play practice, parades, birthday parties, etc, etc.) just isn't my cup of tea right now.
People ask me what I want for Christmas. Do they really want the answer to that? OK, lets see. If you are reading and you are one of these people, take note...
1. A better financial situation
2. my BATHROOM finished
3. More time together as a family
4. to find a way to reconnect with Chris
5. MY BATHROOM
6. Some fresh coats of paint in... (pick a room, any room will do)
7. A better financial situation (oh, yeah, i meant to repeat it!)
8. Some kids to keep to help out #7
9. Appliances that actually work without making ungodly noises (stove, oven, dishwasher, TV, computer, washer)
10. For people to get off my back about crap I can't control or change.
I just can't get into the spirit of the season. It has become too much about things that don't matter and that makes me feel like a lesser person because I can't be a part of it due to financial constraints. That is a crappy feeling. No matter how many times I tell myself that "it" is not what matters, society dictates otherwise. I will never be able to measure up in this regard. Unless I win the lottery, and you gotta play to win. Heck, I don't even have a dollar right now to buy a ticket if i wanted too! NO JOKE!
So, if anyone has any humbling words for me that will help me get into the spirit please, please pass them on to me. I could really use it. And, if anyone is looking for a gift to give me, just check out the wish list above. After all, that IS truly all I want for Christmas this year.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Saturday, November 29, 2008
The three Toler Men, Harrison, Tim aka Uncle Tim, and Chris.
Harrison doing the limbo. He did pretty good!!
How low can you go?? Harrison was quite impressive...
Chris kept saying how long Maia's legs looked in these bell bottom jeans...
Ryan and Harrison's attempt at being serious for a photo.
This is what we got when we asked them to be silly.
On a side note... After uploading these photos, I must say I am NOT impressed at the quality of them considering I was using my brand new $250 camera. I exchanged it tonight for the same camera because I think it is defective. I hope it works better now. My friend has the same camera and hers works great! Leave it to me to get the bum camera!!
Friday, November 28, 2008
Chloe (Gina's eldest daughter) and Alexis "Lexi" (Meghan's eldest child) in 2004
Miss Chloe in the jungle gym at McDonald's.
Lexi and Meghan having some lunch in 2004.
Miss Maia sitting inside the tunnel, Nov. 2004. On this particular trip, she had to be rescued from the tunnels/jungle gym several times by Gina. Usually, crying. At least she is happy here.
Harrison playing with the truck that Chloe and Gina gave him for his birthday in 2004.
Holly, (Gina's youngest daughter) was just several months old when we met up with each other.
November 2006 was a bit more successful in getting all six kids into a group shot! Maia kinda disappears in the back, but she is there!
This is a better shot of Miss Holly and Maia. Aren't they cute!!
She (Holly) is such a pretty child. Love the blue eyes.
Holly, Lexi and Chloe pose for a quick photo. The two sisters could be twins if it weren't for their age difference.
Harrison in the tunnel slide.
Meghan and Collin.
Maia in the tunnel slide. Had to bribe her to get this shot. A Momma will do what she has too!!
Gina playing rescue again, this time with Holly, who refused to leave. Here, she is literally dragging her out of the tunnel slide by her foot. Not the most flattering shot of Maia...
Since our kids are all older now, we were able to get Harrison and Lexi to snap a photo of us together. Three old friends. I really really have to find an old photo and get a scan for comparison. Can't wait to do it again next year girls!