Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Giving Thanks ~ Day 26! or TURKEY EMERGENCY ::snort::

~I'm thankful for the diversity that makes up a chapel community. I loved our Thanksgiving service tonight, which included a range of Protestants as well as Catholics.

~I'm thankful that God began to speak to me about 5 years ago about "simplifying" holidays, life, ministry and schedule. This allowed me to focus today on spending time with children (we went shopping and bowling) rather than creating the "perfect" Thanksgiving meal.

~I'm thankful for Yvonne, an online friend of nearly 10 years....or maybe 7 or 8?

~I'm thankful for a sense of humor.

~"Someone" in my home has continually put the turkey, which I put in the fridge, into the freezer. I've moved that thing TWICE in the past 3 days. Sure enough, I went to put the turkey into the Nesco so that it could slow cook all night. I have a 28 lb ICE I remembered Yvonne! We are having lasagna tomorrow. We'll have salad, veggies, fresh bread and dessert. We'll have turkey, cranberries and potatoes on Saturday or Sunday. I planned on getting some great photos tomorrow. It's Josiah's "last Thanksgiving" before we move....but honestly this is hilarious! I don't think my traditionalist husband finds it as funny as I do, but I'm thrilled to have the day to focus on games and family....and I'm so thankful that God told me to begin to simplify and refocus years ago. ::snort::

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

{Jared informs me that he isn't sure he can be thankful without the turkey. ::snort::}

©2008 D.R.G.'s a Christmas Secret

Oh my word (and that is not swearing)!

I took Stacia and Arielle out shopping this a.m. Our mission? To buy the ONE "big dinosaur" left in town for Zander for Christmas. I explained to Stacia that this was for Christmas and that it was a surprise.

We had a blast. We discovered a secret - you can get great deals the day BEFORE Thanksgiving - no lines, great selection - about 10% more....but well worth it for ME. LOL I also discovered that many stores will offer the same deals I bought a gift for the older 3 kids online this a.m.

We picked up the big dinosaur - no photo. Zander won't read the blog - but he could SEE a photo if I included it. ::snort::

We also found this. We've never had an Advent Calendar. WHAT do I put inside the boxes? There is no room for candy or coins (as Stacia suggests) for each child in each little box.

Stacia was drawn to these ornaments. It was only as we checked out that we realized she thought they were REAL. ::snort::

Each year we create photo ornaments for each child. Most our ornaments are now photos of the children. As they leave home, they will take their ornaments...and in our old age we'll have a set of all the Christmas'. I found these on sale today. I'm quite sure they'd have been cheaper tomorrow but you see I needed them ALL and got them ALL. When you live in AK or in a small West TX town you learn that rain checks etc do you no good during the Holidays. You learn to shop early. LOL

Are you wondering why I titled this, "Shhhh, it's a Christmas secret?" I'm getting to it.

We arrived home and told Stacia to make sure that Zander was in his room so we could sneak the big dino into the house. The big boys came out and helped with the groceries. We snuck the dino in and I went to let Zander know he could come out of his room. He was sitting on a stool looking stern and perplexed. He KNOWS my rule: "If you guess your gift or find your gift, it goes back to the store!"

He was saying, "Stacia, I KNOW you did NOT buy me a big dinosaur!"

She was earnestly and sweetly looking up and saying, "ZANDER, MOM DID BUY YOU A BIG DINOSAUR!"

We got her out of the room. Jamin set about convincing Zander that Stacia is clueless and he shouldn't trust her observations.

Nolan explained to Stacia that it was a Christmas Secret. She walked back into the house, looked at us all and said, "Shhh....Zander....your big dinosaur is a Christmas secret!" ::SNORT::

Well....he didn't set out to discover it. We hid it in a new spot and he's not been able to find a big dino in his forays into my closet. He may still be surprised....We spend $50 per child on Christmas - so this is it! Let's hope he thinks she's mixed up. ::snort::

Meanwhile, I'm also uploading photos for a Christmas surprise I'm creating.

Our Christmas cards are on their way - and I plan to mail them this year.

I purchased the well-loved gift card that I like to put in Christmas stockings.

I also PURCHASED goodies for tonight instead of baking this afternoon. We've decided it more important to meet Mike on base at 4:30 to go bowling before the Thanksgiving service. We've been promising Zander we'd go bowling for months.
©2008 D.R.G.

Blog Things

Since several have emailed, I'll create a blog entry.

Debbie turned me on to a cool site about a month ago. Check out The Cutest Blog on the Block.

TCBOTB has FREE templates, accessories etc. You CAN purchase customized elements if you desire, I haven't. They've come up with a way that you add the template as a page element on the "add an element" page. This makes it EASY and you DON'T loose things. You can then go and customize fonts and colors.

The site also hosts tutorials for making your OWN templates etc. I plan to use several of them when I have time to play. ::snort::

Amy' Tutorials (linked in my sidebar) used to be my favorite spot. She CERTAINLY has more tutorials....but the ones at TCBOTB are really easy to follow. Both are now my favorite spot to look when I need to know how to do something. LOL

The next time I have a bit of time, I plan to download a photo editing program and create my OWN signature so that I'm not at the mercy of 3rd party scripts. ::Grrrr::

AND....somewhere I learned that it's all the 3rd party java scripts and codes that slow down the loading of a blog. I moved most of those to the bottom of my sidebar and wala - it loads quicker. It's always fun to learn new tricks. (I HAD to leave the girls countdowns at the top).

©2008 D.R.G.