Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Christmas Pictures 2014

The time of year has come where my kids have to get dressed in their Christmas attire and smile for the camera like they're actually enjoying it, when we all know that they are not.  There are so many ideas for Christmas pictures on Pinterest,  that I decided to scope it out and see if I could come up with something cute that the kids might actually have fun doing.  I came across a picture with a Mommy and Daddy tied up in Christmas Lights and the kids were on the other end of the cord looking like they're the ones who had tied them up.  I thought I would change it up a little and wrap the lights around my two older ones and let my three year old be the villain.  I thought they would all have fun with it and I might actually get some cute pictures out of it.  BOY WAS I WRONG!!!!  My three year old wouldn't even participate and Colton and Bailey were not thrilled with the idea either.  So, with that being said here are the pictures that will not be making the Christmas card this year.

The lights we were going to use went out and Kinley was hiding so I told Colton and Bailey that I wanted to take some practice pictures and have everything in place before we brought Kinley into the mix and brought in more lights.

I told them to try looking like they were surprised to be tied up. 
Colton ended up looking like the kid from Home Alone and Bailey....well in her defense she did have a tooth pulled that day, but was was perfectly fine until I asked them to take pictures.

Colton and Bailey were getting a little better, but my hopes of getting a decent picture with all three kids were quickly diminishing since I could hear Kinley in the hallway yelling, "I'M NOT TAKING A PICTURE", and Greg is sitting in his recliner saying, "Let's just do this on Saturday when everybody is in a better mood."  I'm sure it had nothing to do with the fact that he was trying to watch football and this had become a distraction for him.
Needless to say, these will not be making the cut.  As a matter of fact, I went to bed that night and gave myself a mental pity party and pretty much had myself talked into not doing Christmas cards at all.
 Moving on to the weekend.....There was no talk of Christmas card pictures on Saturday, mainly because I didn't have the energy to deal with it.  I wasn't even sure I wanted to deal with it at ALL!
Sunday evening I decided I would give it one more try, but this time I would try a different approach.  It went something like this....ME:  "Kinley, do you want to go sit in a tree in the back yard?"  KINLEY:  "Sure Mommy!"  ME:  "It's a little cold outside, so we need to get you dressed."
KINLEY:  "O.K. Mommy"  ME:  (thinking this might just work)  I tell Colton and Bailey to get dressed and meet me outside which they reluctantly do.  On the way to the backdoor I decide to try and get a picture of Kinley standing in front of the tree.

Enough Said!
She LOVED being in the tree.

 Greg came out to see if I needed any help making her smile.
She didn't know it in this picture, but he had one of the biggest grasshoppers I've ever seen on his back.  He picked it up out of the yard and put it on his back in hopes of entertaining her and making her laugh.

 Why didn't I think of this tree thing sooner?
Colton and Bailey came outside so I took a few group shots.


Greg suggested that we sit Kinley on the riding lawn mower and have Colton and Bailey sit in the trailer and take their picture.  I then suggested that if the riding lawn mower was a Great Big Tractor that would be a Great idea.  Sorry, I really don't want to send out Christmas cards with my kids sitting on a lawn mower...but that's just me.  The kids climbed on anyway so I figured it wouldn't hurt to take their picture.  Kinley was on the lawn mower seat, Colton and Bailey were in the trailer and remember that HUGE grasshopper I mentioned earlier?  Well, he was on the lawn mower hitch.  I was getting ready to start taking pictures when Kinley turned around, picked up the HUGE grasshopper and threw it into the trailer with Colton and Bailey.  Before I knew what was happening, Bailey jumped out of the trailer and landed belly flop style on the ground.  Colton didn't hesitate to laugh at her and Kinley didn't know what to think.

They decided the lawn mower wasn't such a great idea.
Colton wanted me to take a picture of him chopping wood.  We compromised and he just stood by the wood pile while I took his picture.

 and then Kinley decided she would pose by the wood pile too.

Meanwhile, Bailey was climbing a different tree and getting in position to have her picture taken.

Colton and Kinley decided climbing the tree was a good idea and joined in.

It was a little hard getting them all into place and comfortable enough to sit and smile for a picture.

 but we managed to get it done.

After Kinley decided she didn't want to be in the tree anymore, a miracle happened. 
Colton and Bailey actually agreed to take a picture together and Colton didn't even freak out when Bailey touched him. 

During all of this Greg had gone in the house to watch a little football, but came back out right as I was finishing up with the kids.  I took this opportunity to get some pictures of them together.  Again, Kinley would not agree to posing for another picture.
By this picture, you would think that Greg had a head full of hair.
I hadn't planned on being in any pictures especially since I was in my warm pajamas, had no make up on and my hair was a mess, but at the last minute I decided differently.  It was getting close to dark and when I told Greg my plan, his response was "It will be dark before you can get yourself dressed and ready for any pictures."  He thought he was home free until I ran in the house, slapped on some make up, ran a brush through my hair and dressed myself from the waist up and was back outside just in time to get a few shots before the sun went down.

Colton and Bailey took turns taking our picture and we did manage to get Kinley to take a couple with us.  
 This picture had the potential of being a good one if Colton wouldn't have been standing behind Greg with deer antlers. 

I couldn't take a picture with Kinley and not with Colton and Bailey, so here we are.
  I have officially survived another year of Christmas pictures.
Next year I think I will just hire a professional........even though I think I said that last year too and possibly the year before that.

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Friday, December 6, 2013

Jake, Our Elf on the Shelf 2013

     We've had our elf on the shelf, Jake since Colton and Bailey were 2 or 3 years old.  He arrived at our doorstep one day and the kids have loved him ever since.  When they are old enough, I will tell them that their Aunt Mary actually adopted him and had him sent to us. They are nine now, so he's been a part of our family for quite a while.   He has visited the kids and brought smiles to their faces for many years now and he is definitely a big part of our Christmas tradition.  This year he came a little later than usual and I think the kids were starting to get a little worried when he didn't show up on December 1st.  Thankfully he finally arrived with his annual North Pole Breakfast and all worries went away.

This year he came with a new scarf and boots.
and a few sugary treats for breakfast. 

Jake's idea of breakfast is Gum drops, powdered donuts, cupcakes, candy canes and little red and green chocolate chips.
He brought each of them a little gift.  Bailey got a chocolate bar and elf on the shelf earrings, Kinley got a Minnie Mouse Christmas tin with Chocolate Minnie Mouse heads inside and Colton got Chocolate tools.  For those of you who really know Colton,  you know he likes to save unique gifts, so of course he didn't want to eat his Chocolate tools.  He wanted to save them FOREVER!  Kinley took care of that!!!!  He walked in on her in his room going to town on his Chocolate saw.  All I heard from the living room was, KINLEY, NOOOOOOO,  YOU BETTER RUN!  Two seconds later I see Kinley rounding the corner and running full speed into the living room with Colton right behind her.  Needless to say that ruined his collection so he decided he might as well eat the rest. All that is left is a Chocolate Hammer.  We will see how long that last.  You would think by now that Bailey and Colton would know if they don't want Kinley getting into something, they  need to hide it and put it where she can't reach it.  Although she is a good seeker and climber so I'm not sure if that would even work.

The North Pole breakfast was a success and of course they were supervised while brushing their teeth to make sure there was no sugar left on them.  Thankfully no one went to School with a belly ache.  This is the only day of the year that they are allowed to have a candy filled breakfast so they really have fun with it. 

The next day Jake arrived dressed as Willie from Duck Dynasty, complete with a beard and bandanna,  which was a big hit!  
Usually by now I have taken the kids to Bass Pro Shops for our annual picture with Santa which also is when they write out their Christmas list and put it in Santa's mail box.  I have been a slacker and we haven't made it there yet so Jake brought cards, envelopes and stickers so the kids could get their list made and delivered to the North Pole before Christmas.  The kids were surprised to see Jake in some new pajamas.  It seems his wardrobe grows every year.

The kids got their list written last night and left them for Jake to take back to the North Pole.
We assume that's what he did because they were gone this morning.
I'm thinking maybe these elves should come with a confidentiality agreement for the kids to sign saying that they won't discuss their elf with friends at School.  Bailey came home the other day and said, "We have such a good elf!" "I was telling my friends at School about everything Jake does, and some of them were disappointed because they said their elf just moves around the house at night and never brings them anything.  I can just see those kids going home and complaining that their elf isn't meeting up to their standards.  Honestly, moving to different areas in the house at night is what the elves were intentionally made to do, but I guess our elf just can't help himself.
So here we are on Friday and Jake has managed to keep the kids entertained with his little surprises.
This is how we found him this morning.
Such a sweet little elf!
We have until Christmas Eve before Jake goes back to the North Pole to stay until next year and we all anticipate what he will do next.  He starts our mornings out on a Happy note and gives the kids something to be excited about TOGETHER which is a rare thing around here.  The fighting between Colton and Bailey isn't near as bad during December because they know Jake is watching everything they do and reporting it back to Santa.  Occasionally they will even tattle on each other to Jake....."JAKE DID YOU SEE WHAT BAILEY DID!" or visa versa and then I have to remind them that they are making themselves look bad in front of him.  WIN WIN for me!!!!
I don't know who has more fun with him....ME or the kids!
I hope everyone is having a nice Holiday Season!!!

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Friday, November 22, 2013

How I got new floors just in time for the Holidays!

My little three year old bundle of joy can quickly turn into a bundle of disaster.  This week has been a trying week for me.  Greg has been at the Deer Lease all week and I usually look forward to him coming home everyday and keeping our little one occupied so I can get some things done.  On this day, while I was making Kinley's lunch, she decided to get my iron, plug it in and lay it on my carpet.  I'm not really sure how long the iron sat on my carpet, but when I smelled something burning, I first checked the stove and then noticed my iron plugged in, face down on my carpet.  My heart sunk because I knew when I picked up that iron, I was going to have a burn mark in my carpet.  I was thinking maybe a brown stain, but I was in for a big surprise!  Let's put it this way....there was more carpet on my iron than there was on my floor.



 I honestly couldn't believe it.  I think I went into a state of shock for a moment and then went into "WHAT AM I GOING TO TELL MY HUSBAND" mode.  I just knew I was going to get a lecture and I seriously thought about not telling him and putting a rug over the burn spot, but I figured it would become obvious to him the first time his foot sunk into the rug where this iron shape hole now was and I probably wouldn't be able to get away with pretending I didn't know how it happened.  Of course it was in the area that you see the minute you walk in the front door and there was no option of covering it with furniture.   I knew that it would eat at me until I told him, so with a plan in place....plan meaning bust out in tears the minute the conversation went south, I made the dreaded call.  Me:  "Honey, I think I'm going to have a nervous breakdown! " I am so upset!"  Him:  "Why?"  Me: (With a shaky voice)   Kinley burned a hole in our carpet in the shape of an iron clear down to the padding."
Him:  Silence.......  Me:  "Are you there?"  Him:  "How did she do that?"  Me:  "Well, I was in the kitchen making her lunch and I guess she got my iron and plugged it in and sat it face down on the carpet." (wimper, wimper) Him: "Well, there's nothing we can do about it now."  "At least she didn't burn herself or burn the house down."  Me:  Silence.....thinking REALLY, THAT'S IT!!!  I HAD A PLAN IN PLACE TO CRY!!!!  Him:  Too bad we don't have money set aside for new floors. (Small dig on my spending habits as he sees them.)  Normally I would challenge that comment, but I felt like I had already dodged a bullet so why reload the gun.   Feeling a weight lift off of my shoulders, I end the conversation as sweetly as possible and hang up the phone.....of course with the thought of new floors now on my mind.  I jump on my laptop and start trying to find out how much hardwood floors would cost.  I decide to make a call to a flooring company, but first I wanted to make sure that little miss, "I'm in the mood to destruct" was being supervised so I walk into the garage/man cave/playroom and ask my two older kids who have just come home from School to please keep her occupied while I was on the phone.  Well, I might as well have been talking to the wall because as I'm hanging up the phone with the flooring company who had just talked me into scheduling a free in home estimate, I see Kinley coming from the hallway covered in paint.
 Complete panic comes over me as I run towards her to keep her from touching any walls and I reluctantly walk into the hallway hoping that this paint had originated in the garage and that the paint that covered her body was just left over from something she had painted in there.  That thought quickly left me as I see several empty craft paint bottles and a multi colored floor.   I can't take it!!! I run into the garage dragging my painted three year old behind and give Colton and Bailey the big speech on "Is it too much to ask that you watch her for a few minutes so I can make a phone call."  I drag her kicking and screaming to the shower and scrub and scrub and scrub until the paint comes off.  I then get out my magic sponges and peroxide and start scrubbing the carpet which only managed to make the paint smear and cover a larger area than it already was. 


(This picture does not do justice to my new multi colored carpet)

Did I mention this happened two weeks before Thanksgiving and I had my Parents, My In-laws, Greg's Brother, my Sister in law and their kids all coming over for Thanksgiving Dinner. 

So, here I go again....making that dreaded phone call.  I knew at this certain time of the day, he would be in the Deer Stand, but I needed to get this conversation over with and at least I knew he wouldn't raise his voice and risk scaring off any wildlife. 

HIM:  Answering the phone in a whisper, "Hey"
ME:  "Hi" (In my most pitiful possible voice and without any hesitation) "Kinley just painted the hallway carpet and I have someone coming out to give us an estimate on hardwood floors." (Totally expecting the "We're not going to spend that kind of money right here at Christmas time" speech.)  I'm pretty sure I was holding my breath waiting for his response.  HIM:  "What color floors are you thinking about getting?"  ME:  (Dazed and Confused and wondering what kind of game he was trying to play with my emotions and quickly deciding to go along with it and hope for the best) "I don't know, but they are going to bring samples when they come."  HIM:  Are you wanting to do the bedrooms too or just the living room and hallway?  ME:  (Am I awake?????  Has he been drinking????)  Well, of course I would love to do the bedrooms too, but I guess I will decide that after I hear how much this is going to cost.)  HIM:  "O.K. I'll call you later when I get back to camp"  ME:  O.K.  (hanging up the phone and wondering if he is about to call me back and tell me he was kidding and that there was NO WAY we were going to spend that kind of money right now)  You would have to know my husband pretty well to know that he has a tendency to say things just to get your hopes up and then thoroughly enjoys watching you as he makes it clear that he was not being serious)  I have learned through the years to take most of what he says with a grain of salt knowing that he may or may not be serious.....Don't get me wrong, he doesn't do this in a vicious way, it's just his personality to watch you sit in wonder what he's going to say or do next.  I think he gets a lot of joy out of having that much power for a second or two.  I have also learned over the years that when he says no, it really means do what you want and I will just deal with it.  I can't tell you how many times I've heard, "Why are you even asking me?  You're going to do what you want to anyway! Through the years,  I've always been pretty laid back and let him make the big decisions...for instance, the night before we got married without me knowing he arranged for one of his friends who was also a groomsman who just happened to also work at a dealership to drive a Tahoe into the driveway right before we were about to leave for our rehearsal.  I saw his friend pull up and Greg looked over and said, "Go check out your new car!"  WHAT!!  My Parents and I looked at each other trying to figure out if we had heard him right.  I stalled because I didn't know if he was playing a joke on me and when he finally convinced me that it was true, I walked out, stuck my head in the truck and pretended to check it out still not sure what was happening and fought back tears of excitement.  A few years and two kids later, he calls me out of the blue one day to tell me to drive my Tahoe up to the Dealership that his friend worked at and check out an Expedition that had just come in and if I liked it to leave my Tahoe there and drive the Expedition home....(and I did)  A few years later, when we decided to move to San Antonio, he moved first and I stayed behind until the house sold and to finish out my job responsibility and he found the house he wanted to buy and called me and told me about it and put a contract on it the same day without me even seeing it first.  So, I got that far off track to try to explain how I have always just went with it and never felt the need to get that involved in the decision making because I completely trust him to make good decisions and now for the first time in our 11 year marriage, I am making a big decision ALL BY MYSELF!!!!  I was on a mission.  There was no way I would be able to handle looking at a nasty burn in our living room and a multi colored hallway and there was certainly no way I was going to be able to lay a rug over it knowing that it was there. I HAD to make this happen!!!! I had to take control of this situation and make sure I got what I wanted.  OK....with ALL that being said, he went right along with my plans for new floors and we had them in before Thanksgiving.   The only thing he got involved with was dealing with the price of the floor.  He was still at the deer lease and with me on the phone with him and the floor lady on the phone with her boss, a price was agreed upon and  the deal was done. Well, Greg basically had me say, "This is what we're willing to pay, take it or leave it!  I am not a good negotiator....I would have probably just gone with what they first quoted me, but thankfully Greg was telling me everything to say and in the end everyone was satisfied.  Who knew getting new floors was like buying a car???  I would have never even thought to negotiate the price.  I know, I know I'm getting off track again.  I don't even know where to go with this story from here. What started out as a disaster ended up being pretty great.  I guess the only thing left to say is I got new floors just in time for the Holidays and I LOVE THEM !!!  I also kind of enjoyed watching my kids forget that we no longer have carpet and come barreling into the living room just to slip and slide and trying not to eat it.  It was like watching Tom running after Jerry where his legs were moving but he wasn't going anywhere. 

I think the floor matches perfectly with my Christmas d├ęcor :)

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