31 December 2013

Sayonara, 2013!

I am so ready for a NEW year! This last one has continued to be a fairly intense one with the family and work and life stresses. I thought life was simmering down a bit but somewhere around Halloween, my kids forgot rules and manners and respect and decided to be more like hobos or Spanky and the gang. Separated, they are each a joy to be around, but together, it's like they hemorrhage IQ points and they totally offload any survivor type (a.k.a. "common sense") information. It can be so disheartening and frustrating sometimes. Some days I wish we had more Benadryl on hand... I know it's just a phase but c'mon and evolve already!

So, as I was saying. I am ready for a new year. I have typical goals that I won't bore you with here, but I will highlight some things I am really stoked about. I will tell you that w.r.t. fitness goals, we are going to be resurrecting the WiiFit Balance Board (we don't own a scale) and that crazy lady will probably have a nice smarmy remark about it being 976 days since she last saw me after wincing verbosely when I step onto the board...but no pain, no gain, right?

Reading the Bible in a Year
I have tried this before and quit before I finished Leh-vih-tih-cuuuuuuus.  Some parts of the bible just don't grab my attention like my recreational reading  (Doctor Sleep) but it's still a goal.  And this year, I am taking the family along with this goal. I think I have made the goal attainable for me by lowering the bar down to the kids' level. Baby steps.

I was looking for something similar to the iMarriage study which we really enjoyed. It involved couples reading the lesson, then gathering at my friend's house to nosh, chat, view a video and discuss the lesson. I loved that study...and all of the group studies I've been a part of over the years. You bond, you learn, life is good. We haven't done that since our family expanded and we really, really need to now...

So I found some free online lessons to use with the kids that require mom/dad to research the answers first. Scott and I can research the lessons during the week and work with the children on the weekend to complete the lesson. This beats us dropping them off to their respective classes at one of three churches we "attend" and then quizzing them about their lessons afterwards. They are really only in it for the play time and snacks. These lessons help with bible study but also include coloring and a couple of activities.

Kentucky Derby Party
On Sunday evening I was at a small gathering with some of my friends and we started talking about themed dinner parties as we always do. I have had them in the past but kids have hindered us from trying to have gatherings outside of birthday parties and family gatherings. I don't know exactly who mentioned the Kentucky Derby but it caught on like wildfire in the group. We already have a bunch of ideas for decorations, food and drink and shopping for the perfect hat will be a challenge for me but I am game. My grandmother (Nanny who haled from Louisville originally before moving to Florida where I always knew her) used to make the best bourbon balls. I remember sneaking them from the fridge as a child. I am going to try to honor her memory and her recipe with Bourbon Ball Pops at the party.

Years ago I had a Cuban themed dinner party and it was great. I don't think anyone dressed Cuban but we ate, drank and played Cuban. I even forced my guests to learn about the Cuban culture. And when I turned 40, I had a Party Like It's 1969 themed party and while some dressed the part, we all learned about history and pop culture from that year - we slapped name tags inscribed with people/places/events on the guests backs and forced them to ask questions about their name tag ID from other guests. Love that icebreaker.

Thinking we'll need to have some games or activities at this party as the race is known as the "Most Exciting Two Minutes In Sports". We are thinking of calling the party "Talk Derby to Me". Can't wait!

Reconnecting with Old Friends or Making Stronger Connections with Current Friends
I don't get much time with friends but I treasure the time that I do have with them. I am going to redouble my efforts into reconnecting with an old friend who is not into social media. Not like, stalker-y or anything, but bordering on... Snail mail letters just like when we were kids...

I am truly grateful for the friends I have but I don't think I show it often because I am usually in a hurry or busy with kids. I know they understand when I barely have time for them but this year I want to be sure to show them in thoughtful ways that I am happy they are in my life.

I am sure that when I sit down to create our 2013 year in review slide show I might feel differently but right now I am focusing having "No Ragrats" in the next year.

Happy New Year!!

23 December 2013

Going to the Chapel

My nephew (who was our ring bearer so many years ago) got married this past weekend. And my little man was a ring bearer and Aubri was their flower girl.

Little Rascals?

Emi helped out too -- mostly out on the dance floor.

Emi and Nick Bustin' a Move

Mother-Son Dance
Mother of the Groom and the Groom
Me and Vincent on my wedding day (17 years ago!!!)

Sparkler Sendoff
Bon Voyage
What a trip to be a part of my nephew's wedding!

08 December 2013

Girls Day In

The guys went to watch the Bedlam game and the girls stayed home to veg and relax.

Cute Smiles

06 December 2013

Babies, It's COLD Outside!

And that is why mama's INSIDE!

039 copy

Hell's Chicken?
Our lonely little chicken is keeping warm inside....

Snow Play
Our furry kid's playing in the snow too!

A little more composed...she hardly disturbed the snow..

01 December 2013

Advent - Day 1

Open Advent Calendars

This was sort of a cheat for us as we just had them open up their Advent calendars that their great grandparents sent them...

Slices of Heaven

Marinated Cheese

Marinated Cheese