Monster Truck Jam

So I admit! I never would have expected that I would be someone to go to the annual Monster Truck Jam - to be honest I think I always kinda stuck my nose up at it, but our friends invited us to go with them and we thought 'sure, we'll go - the boys will love it!'. Well not only did our boys LOVE it, but Mark & I had a great time too!!!! We got to experience the 'Jam' in style. Our friend Jill's brother had a box, so we got to spend the evening there - room for the kids to move around and a bit of shelter from the crowd. Definitely the way to do it!!! I can't believe I'm gonna say this, but we can't wait til next year!!!

the men all ready to go - did I mention it was FAREEZING outside (thus the snow)

Dirty faced Anderson donning his earplugs - it was soooo loud in there!

where it all takes place!

Carter was entralled!


Dearest Modge Podge

So I have had a deepening relationship with my dear friend, Mr. Modge Podge. It's so wonderful - and the possibilities are endless with my friend and a little bit of scrapbook paper. Heavens know I don't do a good job actually scrapbooking, but I sure love to use it in every other imaginable application! We've been 'renovating' or updating our powder room and since we're on a bit of a budget round here, I've been trying to decorate it 'for less'. This was a cheap & easy project and I'm very happy with the results!!! I grabbed a few wooden unfinished craft 'plaques' from my beloved Hobby Lobby, got out my burnt umber craft paint, picked out a few sheets of coordinating scrapbook paper, and broke out my jug o' modge podge..... Here's the end result!


No more swiffer refills for me!

For any of you other frugal gals out there -I tried this, and it totally worked! No more $4+ bottles of Swiffer for me! And if you don't know what a vice grip looks like- I just grabbed some tool out of our garage that looked like you could get a really tight grip on the neck... (who knows if it was actually a vice grip!)



Mountain Judds

We had an absolute wonderful time in the TN mountains with Mark's family after Christmas - the best part is the non-stop quality cousin time the 8 cousins enjoyed together. We attempted to get some pictures outside with all the cousins together - Monica brought her camera and will hopefully have some winners, but if my slow poke point n' click is any indicator, I think we'll be pleased! Oh, did I mention it was like 30degrees outside- brrrrr!

Anna (18m), Catherine (7.5), Avery (2), Mary-Scott (almost 4), Adam (6m), Benjamin (10), Anderson (5), Carter (2.5)

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The Nativity

I absolutely love Nativities- I think they are beautiful on every level - it's one of my favorite things to do each Christmas is to pull out the Nativity set and set the characters in motion - and remember the birth of our Savior!

my original nativity- Mark & I got it our 1st Christmas

my mom gave me this one this year- I love the colors and the detail

my new favorite nativity - one that my boys will actually be able to play with in the years to come and maybe pass down one day to their children - I recently 'crafted' this nativity during our time in the TN mountains after Christmas. My sister-in-law Monica has a friend who had made one and she fell in love with it. We replicated the nativity that was posted on The Pioneer Woman's blog (which I love!). Monica made one for her family, Rebekah made one for her family using scrapbook paper (vs felt) and I made the above one for our family. Monica carefully traced the images so we could create templates and our father-in-law Scott cut and sanded the wood. Once the paper templates were created, we each cut our individual pieces using the colors we desired for each piece. This was a laborious 'craft' but was so much fun to do with Monica and Rebekah - we spent hours upon hours around the kitchen table cutting our little characters. I'm so glad that in the future years I'll have such a wonderful rememberance of this time together!

the wise men

the baby that changed it all!

a few furry friends, a couple shepherds and an angel....
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Picture Perfect

This post is way overdue.... oh and you are going to be so sick of seing my collages after this post...

As you can tell from my new banner & my Christmas card- I have some new pics of my boys! My sister-in-law Monica has a fantastic camera and a wonderful 'eye' for photography, so I asked her if she would be willing to take some pictures of the boys for me - for one, what mother isn't constantly craving precious pictures of their beloved children, and second, I needed a pic for our Christmas card. During a brief overniter at their home, Monica and I (along with cousin Benjamin) took the boys to a local park for a photo shoot- the location was absolutely perfect - you didn't have to try very hard to find a nice backdrop and Monica took nearly 300 pictures! Here are some of my favorites collaged below....

But my very favorite pictures are from a chance meeting with the on-duty leaf blower - he had paused his 'blowing' to let us pass by, but Monica asked him to rev-up and blow somes leaves Anderson's way - the result was a neat sequence of pictures that I absolutely adore. I am going to try to figure out a way to display several of these 'in sequence' in my home....

Monica - a million thanks thanks thanks!!


Got Antlers?

We hosted Christmas Eve at our home- and my parents, my brother and his wife, and Mark's sister came to join in the fun. We had a wonderful time and at one point played a game of Catch Phrase. Whomever the buzzer 'buzzed' on had the priviledge of adorning a set of reindeer antlers for the next round. So fun!


Resourceful & Green! Many friends know that over the last year I have been more able to indulge a passion of mine to be crafty - I have been inspired to do many projects big and small - from renovating rooms in our house to wrapping presents. I ran across this idea on a blog and just loved it- this is a Target bag cut up and secured with a twist-tie to make a bow! I love that this was festive & green! I feel so bad that I can't find the link to the blog post, but this wasn't my idea....
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Perfectly Imperfect!

I picked up a cheapo gingerbread house kit at Walmart so that we could begin a tradition of decorating a home each year. I knew from the very beginning that when including an 'into everything' 2 year old that my nice quaint idea of a sweet little gingerbread house had to go. We weren't 2 minutes into our decorating when Carter chomped on the 'Christmas tree' in the kit, and he was popping the decor in his mouth the whole time.... But in my mind, this little house turned out perfectly!!! ;)

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Elvie the Elf

Earlier in December, Anderson wrote to Santa Claus and asked him to send an elf to our home for Christmas - after a week or so, Santa Claus obliged and sent "Elvie" - after we learned how to care for Elvie, Elvie would find someplace safe from a 2year old to observe both Anderson & Carter and then report back to Santa nightly with the day's 'naughty and nice' findings. Anderson warned Elvie from day 1 that he needed to stay 'high' so that Carter wouldn't come touch him. As the urban myth goes, if anyone besides a parent touches Elvie, he loses his ability to fly home to Santa that nite. Elvie remained safe and was never touched by either boy! Here are a couple of places Elvie decided to "hang".

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The Different Looking Santa

Anderson meets Santa Claus - he patiently waited and waited in line, while his parents - well not so patient! Carter decided he did not want to sit with Santa and we were not about to try to make him, so we'll wait til next year, or the next to capture his time with Santa.

While we were waiting in line Anderson told me that this Santa Claus looked different than he did last year. Uh oh...

What did Anderson tell Santa Claus that he wanted for Christmas - - - Star Wars "stuff". Check!
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Gingerbread Judds

We got together with our friends, the O'Neills, to make some Christmas crafts - some reindeer candy canes - which ended up being a mommy project basically, and then our boys decorated gingerbread men. The boys all really enjoyed decorating/eating the gingerbread men - and the finished products were absolutely adorable and proof of their ages and their mommy's assistance!

Anderson getting a help from Santa , I mean Mark

Anderson showing off his work so far....

Evan proud of his 'man'

Mommy giving Carter a hand - mostly so he wouldn't completely consume the gingerbread man and all the decorations....
Drew working on his masterpiece...
the end result - from left to right- Drew, Carter, Evan & Anderson

What fun!
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