Sunday, December 25, 2011

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Christmas Quiz!

Thanks to Jesse over at for letting me borrow her quiz idea. Be sure after to leave me a note that you drop by her blog to sweet her sweet post!

1. Egg nog or hot chocolate? Hot Cocoa. I so enjoy experimenting with different flavors. Starbucks serves up a delish Salted Carmel Hot Cocoa!

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? My daughters are 17 and 20 so they know Santa's real identity. We never gave Santa credit for any gifts, just the fun stuff in their stockings. We just felt that Daddy worked hard all year to buy their gifts and they should know he bought them for his girls. We wrap all of the gifts under the tree and stuff the stockings with small items.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? White on the tree, Colored on the house

4. Do you hang mistletoe? Nope, although since it is Oklahoma's state flower I suppose I should make the effort. I have always found it to be very odd that the state "flower" is actually a fungus.

5. When do you put your decorations up? Since my older girlie was born on a date that often falls on Thanksgiving I always waited until after her birthday so that she would feel her day was truly all about her. As she has gotten older and we tend to celebrate her birthday somewhere besides at home, we put them up on Thanksgiving afternoon/evening.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish? I love all of them but it wouldn't be Christmas without my hot apple cider made with mulling spices from Williams Sonoma.

7. Favorite holiday memory as a child? The year I got the worst "present", chicken pox! But what made it a good memory was my grandparents were at our house, they usually spent the winters in Arizona, and I got a new doll. I just loved baby dolls when I was a little girl. Still do!

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I was either 7 or 8. We lived in Colorado and Santa dropped by our house. I really don't know if it was Christmas Eve or just right before Christmas. I was told to go to bed as soon as he left. When I got to my room, I peeked out the window and saw him driving off in an RV. I really have not a clue who that man was, but guessed he was a friend of my parents. After that, I knew my parents were actually Santa.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Of course! I have bought my family PJ's since the girls were small to open on Christmas Eve. It's fun to spend Christams morning in our new jammies.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? Which one? hehehe. In OK we have a traditional green tree decorated with an angel on top, tons of red wooden beads strung on a string, and the ornaments we have collected since Superman and I were in high school. We buy one each year to signify a major event or a trip we have taken that year. In my OK dining room I have a green tree with a star on top, white bulbs/balls, and hand cut from card stock fleur de lis. I have been known to leave this tree up through Valentines Day! In our NC house I chose a white tree and have decorated it with a sea theme complete with an anchor on the top. This year, the white tree is full of colored bulbs and a star on top.

11. Snow! Love it or dread it? I have a love/hate relationship with snow. Since I grew up in Colorado, I enjoyed it as a child. No responsiblity, just got to play in it! Now, however, that has changed so IF I can stay home and just watch it fall, it is beautiful. If I have to get out in it and it is deep or the roads are slick I hate it. In OK we experienced an ice storm that made history. Our house was without electricity for 13 days! Living in NC I no longer have to decide if I love it or dread it, the only white stuff here is the sand!

12. Can you ice skate? Yes! Since taking ballroom dance lessons I have greatly improved. I credit the lessons for teaching me the proper posture and balance needed to ice skate.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? I have to say I have two that are tied for favorite. My diamond necklace that my hubby bought for me about 6 years ago and the ballroom dance lessons he completely surprised me with about 5 years ago. Diamonds and a guaranteed date night every Friday night for 2 years, what could be better?

14. What’s the most important thing about the holidays for you? Jesus. I am constantly trying to point my family back to Him and love how God shows me unique ways to teach about Jesus every year.

15. What is your favorite holiday dessert? Cherry Cheesecake, fudge, and cookies!

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? I know this may be silly...but having my girls' pics made with Santa. When we lived in OK we always went to Santa's house at Utica Square for a high quality photo. Just standing outdoors in the cold with other families waiting for our turn, seeing all of the decorations in the square, and dropping by Starbucks created many memories for us through the years. Having a picture of my girls in the same location each year allows me to look back and see them grow up right before my eyes.

17. What tops your tree? Depends on the tree...we have two stars and one angel, as well as an anchor! I know an anchor seems strange, but after all, Jesus is my Anchor!

18. Which do you prefer: giving or receiving? Giving! I just love to watch eyes light up when someone is truly surprised or gets something they have wanted for a long time.

19. Candy canes: yuck or yummy? Yuck. Unless they are chocolate covered and used in hot cocoa or used as decorations.

20. Favorite Christmas show? A Charlie Brown Christmas, see my previous post.

21. Saddest Christmas song? The Christmas Shoes song...I don't know the exact name of it but it touches my heart every time I hear it sung.

22. What is your favorite Christmas song? I truly don't have a favorite, I just love all Christmas music. The top five? Mary Did You Know?, Silent Night, A Baby Changes Everything by Faith Hill, The Charlie Brown Christmas music/song, and Santa Baby.

I hope that you are all finished with your Christmas preparations and will be able to spend the day with your families!

Merry Christmas Eve!

Friday, December 23, 2011

A Sweet Project

Years ago the home school group that we are members of in OK made a GIANT gingerbread house for a fundraising event called Festival of the Trees at the Philbrook Museum of the Arts. The houses that were donated by groups like ours were on display for a short time, then auctioned off. We were given tickets to attend a showing of the houses before the public opening. I honestly don't remember if the money raised at the auction went to the museum or to an organization. While it was a lot of fun building the house with about 30 children, it was also a bit chaotic for this super organized momma. I like to enjoy projects, not be completely stressed out by them and I think the other moms agreed, so that was the last year our entire home school group joined forces to create a big house.

The next year I began the tradition with my own two girls. One year we made two and took one to our pastor's elderly mother to enjoy. The girls (and myself!) enjoy making them so much that I have often purchased extra kits after Christmas for as little as $2.00 to use on other holidays such as Valentines and Easter. The girls are excited about making one this year on Saint Patricks Day.

After building so many houses we have decided that the trick to making them look amazing is to buy lots of extra (generic brand) frosting and candy. Since Superman LOVES candy, left overs are never a problem at our house!

Here is a step by step of the house being built this year....

The items needed to make the perfect gingerbread house

Walls are up and ready for the roof to go on!

It takes two!

My girlies~they are becoming quite the gingerbread house experts!

Ally and Tyler. This is the second house he has helped to build. Last Easter he and Ally built one that was super cute!

The smiles show how happy they all were with the finished house.

the front complete with a yellow "brick" road...

Ally's her twist on the lettering...

Natalie's side with a window...

Tyler designed the back of the house. He pointed out that he made a sled out of two candy canes and a triscut with two gum drops as "kids".

What is your favorite craft project during Christmas time?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Guest Post from The Three Mango Seeds

   Thank you, Clydia, so much for inviting me to share about my family's Christmas traditions and decorations. I hope to share my heart of wanting to make this month fun but still focused on Jesus and maybe even inspire some new traditions in your family!  I also have to give some love to my daughter, Natalie of The Lime Lens, for taking most of the photos you will see in this post. 
 I have to be honest, when she first approached me I was just so excited to get started.  When I actually started to prepare the photos, ideas, and etc...I began to get a bit of the Christmas blues.  I honestly am content and love living to in NC about 98% of the time, but then the holidays approach and I am reminded again of the many traditions, parties, decorations, church activities, and family events we will be missing.  I had to remind myself that "living to seas the moment" really means I have to grab hold of what I have to work with and make it fun!  I am blessed to have such a beautifully furnished and decorated home to live in here at the beach.  The following pictures show how I completely left my idea of a picture perfect green and red Christmas in OK and expanded my ideas to include our color scheme here in NC.  I am pleased with the results and have actually enjoyed the more less is more approach of decorating.  By the time I was finished with my post, I had my focus back where it belonged, on Jesus.  Thanks for stopping by!

Just thought I would share my original post from a guest post day over at The Three Mango Seeds. Be sure to scroll all the way to the end for my favorite picture!

This is the view when looking up at the entrance of our house. 

This anchor, as well as the other elements on this and the banister, were on the tree for the first two Christmas seasons in NC.  My daughters let me know this year that they would really like to get a more traditional look so I just used those elements on these areas instead.

The banister was fun to decorate.  I have wanted a banister to decorate for a long time, so I really enjoy the finished results!
The Flamingos.  My family is divided about these birds.  Half of us like the birds the other half, not so much.  I happen to be on the " I like them side of it" so I decided they needed a little Christmas fun...

Now, isn't that better? Their heads will stay warm while keeping our hats ready to grab as we run out the door.  Much more festive looking too, don't you think?  

I made the peacock ornaments last year after seeing them used in many Christmas decorations.  This year I just added some of the bulbs we didn't use on the tree.  This light fixture hangs in the formal dining room, which gets used at least 5 nights a week. 
This year we added color to our tree and a few personal ornaments we have picked up in the past two years.  Our OK tree is full of tradition as we have added at least one ornament each year since Superman and I met when we were 15 years old.  We picked these colorful bulbs up in a big pack at Sam's club which made for quick decorating.  A star on top perfects the tree.
The bell hanging on the bottom branch is for our dog, Lulu, to ring.  She just loves to use her paw to ring "her" bell each Christmas.  She started this a few years ago after we hung bells we rang at a December wedding, when the bride and groom made their exit, on the bottom branches of our tree.  It is also a great way to know if she or any small children are close to the tree.

 Meet Presley! He has come to live at our house this year after I saw so many cute pictures on Pinterest.  I really didn't know exactly what The Elf on the Shelf concept was but was looking for new traditions in our new home so I grabbed him up at a Hallmark store and began to search for ways to make some fun.  My family was a bit apprehensive when he first sat around but after his first "appearance", they quickly changed their minds and love having a new family member.

Presley was welcomed with open arms when he brought a little something for my Sunshine gal as the rest of the family knew their turn was coming!  I thought of the scripture a day idea after seeing a list of scriptures to read each day, every day in the month of December.  I have to admit, I have missed a few days but am trying to be diligent with our newest tradition. 

Now, to answer a few of the questions Clydia asked me to answer....

Do you travel or stay home for Christmas?  My husband and I grew up traveling for the holidays.  We decided early on in our marriage that we would not do the same with our own children.  It was such a rush to hurry up and open gifts then get out the door to travel to a distant home for the rest of the day which left little time to actually enjoy the day.   So, we were firm but polite with our parents that we would have Christmas morning at our home once we had our own children.  The beauty of this has been that we also invited anyone and everyone in our families to join us.  In the past we have had as many as 20 or more in our home for Christmas day!  I truly love a houseful!!!  At least twice we have traveled right after Christmas to CO to be with my Grams and this year we are still trying to make the decision to stay in NC or travel to OK.  The key to a happy family?  flexibility!

What is your favorite dessert and who makes it?  Cheese cake! and usually my oldest daughter makes it.  My youngest daughter and I usually find a new recipe to try and she makes it.  We all work together to decorate a gingerbread house.  It is an important part of the decor and so much fun to make.  Our secret?  Buy tons of extra icing and candy at the dollar store, what comes with the kit is never enough. 

What is your favorite tradition?  We have many and since moving to NC they have almost all changed!  In OK we have Christmas plates which come out the first day of December and are used the entire month for every meal.  I always feel that if you have it you should use it and not wait for that "special" occasion.  My favorite "new" tradition which I have been able to continue here in our beach home is a themed Christmas meal.  In the past, I would make the turkey dinner just like we made at Thanksgiving simply because Superman loves turkey.  As my kids were getting older I decided I was tired of being in the kitchen all day either cooking or cleaning, I wanted to spend the day with them not with the food.   We decided to chose an ethnic meal instead, allowing for much of the work to be done in advance.  We have had Mexican, Italian, and our new favorite, Carolina Christmas from Southern Living Christmas magazine. 

Thank you again, Clydia, for allowing me to be your guest today!  I hope you will all leave her a sweet note and find time to drop by my blog someday too!

As you celebrate this year, remember
It's not what is under the tree, but Who hung on the tree"

Merry Christmas!!!

Just had to share one last pic.  These are my girls and their friend, Tyler, who dropped by Saturday for some homemade lasagna and to help make the gingerbread house.  You can barely see on the side of the house next to Tyler they spelled out "Jesus".  This blessed me as they came up with it all on their own.  Jesus the Reason for the Season!

What is your favorite Christmas decoration? tradition? food? Please leave me a comment!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Isn't There Anyone Who Knows What Christmas Is All About?!

I just wanted to share my all time favorite Christmas TV show. Just in case you missed the airing of it, like I did, or if you have never seen it, I have added a link for you! Also, be sure to check out itunes for all things Charlie Brown. I downloaded an interactive book that is super fun!

What is YOUR favorite Christmas show or movie?

Thanks for taking time to stop by, be sure to leave me a note!


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

All Things Purple and the Sooners

Today is my dear, dear friend's birthday. She was the first lady I met at our OK home church and has become one of my favorite ladies and closest friends. Her husband actually introduced us and has probably regretted that introduction many times. Each time I am in OK we tease him that he is a Kim widower, HA~HA~HA! Many pedicures, dinners & lunches out, and late night shopping trips have bonded us together. Seriously, we have raised our daughters together, moved to different homes together, and have studied the Word of God together.

Being the sweet person she is, she never complained when her birthday came along in December and our regular group of eight ladies who always celebrated one another's birthdays was often too busy to spend her day with her. I decided about 8 years ago that was going to change so she and I began an annual birthday/Christmas just the two of us girls night out. It was a great way to reconnect during the super busy season and for her to feel a bit pampered, which is how every girl should feel on her birthday. Moving to NC brought a halt to our tradition so I decided this year to use my blog to show how much she means to me!

Meet Rhonda....

This is Rhonda (in the purple), myself, and our friend, Kim S. We had been to a Beth Moore conference and stopped off to eat some chocolate before heading off to do some shopping. Bible study, chocolate, and shopping all in one day!


This photo was taken on our lunch break during the Beth Moore Bible study. We eat Mexican food every chance we get and this day was no exception. Meet some of my other dear friends...Kim S, Melissa, Me, Rhonda, and Shawn.

Rhonda is passionate about purple! I think this is my favorite photo of the two of us.

Not the best quality but I had to add this as is shows her other passion...her SOONERS! I know everyone says an OU Sooner and an OSU Cowboy can't get along but we are living proof that just isn't so!

I hope you have enjoyed meeting Rhonda and a few of my other Okie gals. Leave her a note wishing her a happy birthday in the comments section please!

Happy Birthday sweet Rhonda!!! I love you and pray every dream you have ever dreamed comes true this year.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Sometimes It's Worth The Wait!

Since my girls were small, I have wanted to take them to see The Nutcracker Ballet. Each year as Christmas was ending, I realized that once again I had failed to get tickets in a timely manner and would have to put that on my "to do next year" list.

Recently I recieved an email from our homeschool group that we would have the opportunity to attend a school performance in Myrtle Beach at the high school PAC. I signed up right away, not wanting to miss the chance to get our seats. At just $5.00 per ticket I didn't know what level of performance we would see but the girls and I were just excited to see the ballet.

This morning we were up and out the door early, 8:00 am to be early morning for this home educating family! We made a stop at Starbucks for some energy and headed to the high school. Our seats were great, 4th row from the front! The dancers were from the Coastal Youth Ballet Theater and danced beautifully. The music and props were top notch. We enjoyed every minute of the Nutcracker.

Thanks to Natalie for the photos. She forgot to grab her camera on the way out the door this morning, it WAS early!, so she borrowed mine and snapped a few pics for us.

Is the Nutcracker on your Christmas to do list? What is your favorite Christmas play or movie?

Thanks for taking time to drop by, please leave me a comment!


Be My Guest!

Today I was featured on Three Mango Seeds blog as a guest! Please head over and give Clydia some love! Merry Christmas!!!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Meet My Family

Just like everyone else, my family has been super busy since just before Thanksgiving. We did take the time to have some professional pictures made by the super talented Kelly Higgins of KMH Photography. I may have mentioned that my oldest daughter is a photographer but she really wanted her mentor and friend to take these photos. We first met Kelly through my hair stylist at a hair salon in Calabash, NC. I quickly hired Kelly to take Natalie's senior pictures. Kelly was still in college but did an outstanding job and as a double blessing, she and Natalie hit if off right away. Soon Kelly asked Natalie to be her assistant and Natalie was thrilled to have a mentor. They have worked together several times and have become great friends. I am still amazed at how God places the right people in our lives at just the right time! 

Kelly gave me her blessing to share these with you. My husband, you have "met" him as Superman, is Andy. Isn't he just super handsome?  He is my best friend and I can't wait to see where our adventures take us in the future. My oldest daughter, Natalie, has the cute short hair while Allyson, my baby, has the long hair. As you can tell my daughters are polar opposites and I wouldn't have it any other way. They are my favorite girls in the world.

Take the time to have your family photographed, even if just by a friend.  Chose a fun location and clothes that coordinate.  Just enjoy yourselves and let your personalities shine! 

Thanks for taking the time to drop by.  Come back soon as I promise to be posting about Christmas soon!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

My parents have arrived from Oklahoma and we are super excited to be sharing our area beaches with them this week.  After giving thanks on Thursday, we will be celebrating my daughter's 20th birthday on Friday, then attending the Intracoastal Waterway Christmas Flotilla on Saturday!  We have a busy weekend ahead of us! 

I will be taking a bit of a break and be back soon ready to share some new pics and stories of these events and more.  

Enjoy Thanksgiving with your family and friends!  See you soon!

Here is my birthday girl at Sam's Club last weekend right after she purchased her new toy!  Isn't she precious?  Hard to believe it has been 20 years since she stole our hearts! 

Monday, November 7, 2011

I'm late, I'm late, for a very important date!

I must apologize for being so late with passing The Versatile Blogger on in a timely manner.  Now, being a new blogger I had to learn the rules of blogging and have been thankful to a few ladies who have been so helpful to teach me!   Rule number 1, thank and link back to the one who gave me the award.  Many thanks to Clydia at Three Mango Seeds for this opportunity to share the love. She is super creative and makes some amazing signs as well as revamps furniture in some incredible ways.  Please drop by and you might just find something you need for your home.

Rule number 2?  I am to share 7 things about me that you might not know....

1)  I met Superman when we were both 15 and in the high school marching band.  He was the drum major and I was a little testy with him.  I thought having my boyfriend as the drum major should give me room to be a little sassy...well, that little sassy got me kicked right out of band one day!  It was my first lesson in submission to my man.  Thankfully, I learned that lesson quickly and we have been married for 23 adventure filled years.

2) I have been a home educating momma for 12 years.  It is an honor and a joy to be with my children on a daily basis, watching them learn and grow into young adults.

3) I have lived in more than 15 houses since I was born!

4) I am an Independent Kitchen Consultant for The Pampered Chef.  I tied on my apron 13 years ago and so enjoy helping others to "discover the chef in you!"

5) I enjoy studying the Word of God with other women.  Beth Moore and John Eldridge are my favorite Bible studies to dig into!

6) I find organizing to be great fun!  My friends tease me when I want to take yet another seminar or read another book on the subject.

7) I traveled, ALONE, to Istanbul, Turkey!  I went to see a dear friend and we had an amazing two weeks touring her new home city and other parts of Turkey. 

I truly live each day in the moment, trying to seek God for His perfect will in my life.
NOW, for the fun part!  I chose 4 blogs I want to award the Versatile Blogger to, based on different reasons.

Jesse at Good Girl Gone Glad.  She was the very first blogger I met and followed.  She is a super chic wife, momma, and artist.  Her blog is full of decorating, home educating ideas, and glimpses into the life of her adorable family.

Sheryl at The Altered Passport  A gifted paper artist, calligrapher, and world traveler, her blog is the perfect place to travel through her eyes without ever leaving the comfort of your own home.  She also shares her love of all paper arts and photography.

Joy at My Turkish Joys A professional chef who has followed her husband to Turkey as an expat. Her blog is for all foodies who want to learn about world cuisine.  When she travels, her blog posts almost always focus on foods in the area. 

The Girls of Project 64: Out of the Box here you will find 6 multi talented photographers who have a wide range of abilities.  Each week they "color" a photo based on the 64 crayons found in a box of Crayolas.  Others are invited to link up each week with their own version of the color.  The ladies who post to this blog live all over the US and in one foreign country so you can be sure it is truly versatile!

Be sure to visit these blogs soon and become their newest followers!
Remember, to leave me a message!  I just love to read them!

Just thought I'd share a bit of the beauty of Colorado today.  My mother took this photo on a recent trip to my home state.  The Aspens are gorgeous this time of year!  While she was in Vail she just happened to notice this particular tree had my name carved into it.  Amazing how God will give you something exciting when you least expect it!