Saturday, December 20, 2014

The most annoying Christmas song is...



I thought I would blog this today because ironically I was on Facebook and someone who just lost their spouse was walking through Kmart and Christmas Shoes came blaring over the PA... She's like who the heck makes a Christmas Song about a boy who wants to buy shoes for his dying mother. Shouldn't Christmas songs be beautiful. I kinda laughed because how true but I do like Christmas Shoes myself but I am not going caroling or anything.

So I asked my tween daughter and my husband for help and we played a little game voting from the scale of 1-10 (10 being the most annoying) Christmas Songs. Of course they aren't much help because my husband has well weird taste in music like Dr Demento and Neil Diamond... but that's none of my business haha. Well my daughter she is who she is at 12 with developing her musical tastes. We will just say she's still learning. I had to tell her what Nirvana was the other day *face palm* and then she claims to like My Chemical Romance, The Beatles, One Direction, Ed Sheeran, 5 Seconds of Summer, Oasis, etc... 

I have to say one of the most annoying songs at Christmas time is Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time... I knew I would lose to both of them if I played the Paul McCartney version so I played the Demi Lavato version and I still lost. I don't care who sings it I am just not a fan of this song. 

My adopted father loved him some John Denver and I never quite got the badge of #1 fan from his fan club if you know what I mean... I mean he's just got a certain style of music that I can't see myself listening to constantly. I love me some Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton, and Loretta Lynn but I can't do the whiney drunk country music much for myself. So I guess my next two songs won't be on my Christmas playlist like ever...

John Denver ~ Please Daddy Don't Get Drunk This Christmas

My daughter just started telling me "turn it off just turn it off!" 
Do I even have to say why is an alcoholic singing about his daddy being an alcoholic? 

the other one I think my favorite Radio Station and probably a few others are overplaying 30 years late just a bit. Last Christmas by Wham I am not hating on the singer I promise. George Michael has some epic songs but *sigh* this one doesn't do anything for me.. How about you wake me up before you go-go? 

My husband thinks the most annoying Christmas song out of the ones I picked is Funky Funky Christmas by NKOTB (New Kids on the Block). I can't ever say I find NKOTB annoying I was a die hard fan then and I am still a fan now.. My friend +Pamela Leffler is traveling and she was listening to this very CD today and she said "... realizing some of this is just bad.. but I am singing anyways" So maybe the music isn't Epic, Great Music... Maybe even a little painful but come'on its NKOTB! I love me some Funky Christmas! Just as long as my husbands dirty socks aren't being used for stockings.. not that kind of funky Christmas. One day I hope my daughter and I can fan girl together with our favorite boy bands and Ed Sheeran... but today she is voting with her dad... 

What is the most annoying Christmas song to you? 

Friday, December 19, 2014

Creative Gift Ideas


Sometimes I get a creative bug up my butt and I come up with an idea that I won't let go of. My husband calls this a Honey Badger. Anyways our first Easter here I wanted to make Easter baskets for the kids (not just mine but her friends too) so I went to the dollar store got sand buckets, bubbles, shovels and other sand tools, and some candy and filled the buckets up and it probably cost me a few bucks a bucket.. He was amazed what I could do with $20 Then our second Christmas and I wished I would have taken pictures but I went to Old Time Pottery and got decorative Christmas boxes

Like these and filled each one with a Fireplace DVD for those of us who don't have a fireplace we could have a beautiful digital one. Then I made homemade cocoa in a Mason Jar.. topped it off with marshmallows I am pretty sure the marshmallows dried out but it was more there for the effect. I got inexpensive mugs that represented the people like my brother in law and sister are cat parents (you think I am a cat lady haha) so I got them cat lover mugs. an inexpensive blanket, With some with families I put in a travel game. It was like Christmas in a box. 

Being that we are a military family shipping was painful for each box though :/
The next year Rick wanted me to continue the tradition so I got a box and then bought popcorn cups at the dollar store, put in some popcorn packages, popcorn salt, candy and a movie. Movie in a Box?

I had an idea for teacher gifts too one year I made altered clipboards and it was something Skylar could help with.
 

For teacher gifts I got a big furry stocking and bought lots of school supplies (Don't teachers ALWAYS need supplies?) and I filled the stocking with supplies and candy :)

Ive done Ice Cream Sundae in a box... Noooo I don't put ice cream in there (a gift card will work), ice cream scoop, ice cream cones and bowls, a bunch of different toppings, and of course a gift card to either an ice cream place or just the grocery store... 

I guess my creative gifting started when Rick was deployed. My months of deployment were passed by Skylar and I coming up creative theme deployment boxes... For Thanksgiving I sent Turkey Spam, a box of stuffing, a can of green beans, and a can of cranberry sauce... with Turkey themed paper products... Of course he fed the Turkey Spam to his Iraqi cat friends and gave the other food products to the Iraqis (after all the Army and Iraqi's kept him fed and the cats kept him company)

What kind of creative gift ideas have you wanted to try or have you tried?








Thursday, December 18, 2014

The best stocking stuffers...



 

Look at these really cool type of stockings I saw at Walmart! I thought they were nifty...

The story of how the Christmas Stocking came to be is that Saint Nicholas used to leave gold coins and oranges in the shoes of poor children.. I guess we finally got a clue that we were putting oranges in dirty shoes so why not put them in a clean stocking so the evolving again.

My kids make out pretty good on the stocking front. We celebrate St Nicholas Day so they get the above every year from old St Nick. Then for Christmas I get them a stocking filled with different goodies and Santa usually leaves one too. Some great stocking stuffers I have seen are things that are sentimental, jewelry, hair do- dads, tooth brushes, hair brushes, body wash, bubble bath (we have a couple of fans in the house), Razor things for the men, perfume maybe, gloves, and my husband gets a wallet every year. Things like that :)

Oh and the most awesome thing in our stockings Santa leaves his Santa Dollar behind its an actual dollar with Santa's face!

What do you get in your stocking?

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Why I wait until the last minute to buy gifts...

I don't think that I am a super scheduler, hell I am horrible at time management. But I do like to have a timeline to get things done. It always has been an area of contention between Rick and I. I am a little bit of an organizer and I tend to think ahead... I also took Marketing in high school and a few college courses afterward. I know the marketing aspect of all those Christmas Tree's right after Halloween. Basic logic for you scrooges that say lets just get through Thanksgiving for most people that get checks every two weeks that means there is only two pay cycles before Christmas.. Not many people can buy everything within two pay cycles... am I right? So I learned from either my mom or my guardian or perhaps just gotten in the habit myself to buy Christmas gifts throughout the year. Yeah that bit me a little bit when Skylar was no longer interested in something but its okay I could return or resell it if necessary or even donate it. I am a bargain shopper too I look for sales and matter of fact I would say I am almost addicted to a sale I can't resist the 50% off sign haha. So I would rather buy it on sale. So I am fine with Christmas being up in Thanksgiving.. the longer I get the magic right? Plus I don't feel as pressured to rush those last three weeks of November and December to buy last minute gifts. My hubby isn't having heart failure from his debit card catching on fire and he sees all the money draining out of his account like blood running out of his face (haha!). So if I hit $20 here and there over a period of three months he won't kill me as fast! I also don't want to be paying for Christmas in July.. That's not what Christmas in July is supposed to mean. But we are on a budget like everyone else and money only goes so far... Tomorrow I will be running to Target to get a gift card for William's teacher for his Christmas party tomorrow due to our pay period. Friday is Skylar's class party so I will have to get a small gift card because that's all we can afford and frankly I think a teacher can have only so many Best Teacher Mugs.. also if I may be honest I am not thrilled with either child's teacher this year so they won't be getting favors from me other than the pat of the back... Thank you Mrs so and so you put up with my child ALL year and didn't kill him/her. See I have to wait to give that gift in May when I know my child and their teacher has survived the year. Waiting till Thanksgiving two years in a row hasn't gotten my house fully decorated. I think next year I am going to have to deck the halls (like our loft tree that takes a lot of time and effort) and spend more time on those and then I can put up the family tree Thanksgiving weekend by tradition. So other stuff first and put up the family tree last. Because I just don't have time to spend all that time decorating the whole house and then get to enjoy it for a week? Nah! With my Osteoarthritis, kid and husband schedules, my Fibromyalgia, etc... I need some leeway to work around. Hubby's just going to have to start being understanding. This year we didn't use Layaway except for two items and if we were to have to use layaway then that would also require time to pay things off so we wouldn't have a balance on our credit cards. I think Christmas takes time and planning or it just doesn't feel right. Best laid plans of mice and men often go ary... especially for me so yeah I COULD be the one at the store on the 23th and 24th getting stocking stuffers or Christmas dinners :)

+Richard 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The scents of the season... {what smells remind me of the Holidays}


I used to LOVE Yankee Candles and I thought I would never give them up and switch to Scentsy then I realized why am I spending $20 on a candle when I can buy a burner and switch out the smells? LOL ... No I am not a Scentsy rep and never have been but boy I have like 10 burners!

I love the smell of Sugar Cookies (I just hate to bake them)
Banana Bread
Cinnamon anything
Caramel
Pine but not in the scentsy
Rosemary
Apple Pie
Cocoa
Snow
Peppermint
Pumpkin Pie
Gingerbread
Vanilla
and a real wood fireplace <3 p="">
What are your favorite smells? What smells remind you of your childhood holidays? What are your favorite smells of the season?

Monday, December 15, 2014

Movies we enjoy during the Holidays...



I don't know if its a Christmas movie but I think it is.. It at least has a scene about Christmas and its one of my favorite movies of all time. 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meet_Me_in_St._Louis


The animated classic set with the Land of Forgotten Toys, Santa, Rudolph and Frosty of course


Polar Express is near and dear to me..


http://youtu.be/YgmVNxoWm98

Other great ones we enjoy are the original animated The Grinch that Stole Christmas (or the Jim Carrey one), Jim Carrey Christmas Carol, Santa Clause, Miracle on 34th Street, Charlie Brown Christmas, Mickey's Christmas Carol, and my kids and my husband are particularly fans of Elf and Muppets Christmas Carol. 

What are your favorites?



Sunday, December 14, 2014

My Grown Up Christmas List



Rick, the little kids, and I were shopping for each others gifts. I took Skylar first and had her pick out gifts for Rick, William, and her best friend. Then Rick took her in to get a gift from her to me. I picked out something for William to Rick because William was tired and cranky. He's a typical male when it comes to shopping. Anyways while we were shopping Skylar said Mom the best Christmas present would be to see Mackenzie again (her older brother). I gave her a big hug and said me too baby me too! I would give up all the presents for years to come just to see Mackenzie.

So Dear Santa, That is at the top of my grown up Christmas list.. Let me babies see their older brothers. Let my husband see his sister and aunts again. My grown up Christmas wishes are that no child goes without Christmas or food. That no families are torn apart by evil, sin, and disease. If my life wasn't torn apart I wouldn't have Rick, Alex, James and William though. So if its your will....
My grown up Christmas Wish is that our military was home even if its just for one day during the holidays. That no one dies in vain or at the hands of another. That the ill could get proper medical treatment. That everyone could find the spirit that I love and believe. My grown up Christmas wish is that no one would ever feel alone that they know the love of another. So Dear Santa even though my childhood fantasies seemed to be out of reach I hope that you can keep this letter close to your heart and know that truly this is what we need here... for Christmas and every day after. Peace on Earth.

Love Bella
I believe! 


Saturday, December 13, 2014

Country Christmas


I had a vision for the past few years of getting a pretty country quilt and going out to a piece of land that has the big rolls of hay...and have the backdrop of what is so beautiful around here mountains and our tree's.. The clouds and sky are also unique to me..

In 2011 I was working with an awesome photographer for all our family photos. We had paid and scheduled a country vintage photo shoot.. We had bought our outfits and then a tragedy struck.. our area was hit by a series of tornados that is rare nationwide.. So the photo shoot was off.. Since then I had the idea for the roll of hay but never got the money or area to do it in.. I don't have a DSLR camera myself either.

I was lucky to find William a pair of overalls just like my grandfather would wear. Overalls for my son's size are hard to find apparently. I actually needed them for Johnny Appleseed day and someone on a yard sale page answer my request and they happened to be just like my grandfather used to wear. They were a smaller size so I just prayed they fit. They fit perfect so he wore them for Johnny Appleseed.. I was under even more pressure to get that picture done but its been cold or rainy for the most part. Its been very all over the place impossible to schedule an outdoor appointment.

I figured Skylar already had some country styled dresses I know one I bought for her birthday. I remember that a friend had pictures done JCPenny that had a bit of a country western theme.. So I called JcPenny and they had a bit of country theme but they told me the Christmas tree was up to stay.. I was like shoot. Then I saw groupon so I decided there was no time like the present to jump. I would make do with angling the Christmas tree out since we didn't get Christmas church clothes this year and William's Christmas Pajamas have also not been easy to get my hands on.

I was talking to my cousin and she said she never remembers Papa Bear (my grandfather) out of overalls I vaguely remember one time going to church with Papa Bear and Nanny on Easter Sunday and I don't think he was wearing his signature overalls but perhaps a crisp button down and slacks.
This is the only picture I have of Papa Bear (and my horse Nugget)

We went to get ready and Skylar tells me she outgrew her dress... and two dresses.. I was so frustrated and couldn't find William's button down. William's boots would go on his feet but they were really tight. Skylar also didn't want to wear her boots. I spent 45 minutes getting the kids ready I didn't have time to get myself ready or hair and make up done nothing. I was so frustrated ready to cancel the appointment with Rick being sick anyways. Rick and Skylar still wanted to go so I was like whatever.. It has been years since we've gotten our picture done.  Make do with what we got and how we look.. whatever..

We got our pictures done then walked around the mall. An elderly woman walked up to William she started to get visibly emotional. She told William how adorable he was. She said little boys don't wear overalls anymore but her grandfather always wore overalls every day of his life. He was even buried in them. Rick told her that's the reason why I chose the overalls as well because my grandfather wearing his. Just an interesting encounter. It seemed to move her that William was in them.








Friday, December 12, 2014

My childhood dream Christmas gift.


Most little girls dream of horses... My grandfather owned a farm so I had a horse..
There was a year I asked for an electronic diary... I didn't get it till I was like 16.. way out grown of it at that point sadly...

What I dreamed of getting and never stopped wishing for was an American Girl doll. Yes you've heard me talk about it before but I am serious... I wanted the doll. My Guardian wouldn't spend the money on the doll but fed my love to read these doll's stories and they had several other things you could buy as well. I had it all.. Samantha's stories, Kirsten, Molly, and Addy... I had their books and like stationary and diary.... I never had that moment to own Samantha or Kirsten (my favorites) and their worlds... beds, dolls, clothing galore... As another blogger said even in the 80's and 90's it was easily someone's 401K. In the 80's and 90's it was mainly only available by catalog order that could have also played a role... My grandmother did get me a nice doll but it wasn't Samantha and Kirsten. When my daughters friend introduced her to the dolls I was ecstatic and she got her first one for her birthday.. I got it locally through another mother though. At least I made her dreams come true.. oh and one year a few years ago... my husband surprised me on my birthday finally with Samantha...

(Skylar's first American Girl doll)

(McKenna her doll she got for Christmas)

and finally my Samantha from my handsome husband


Follow Friday Four Fill In


The statements:
  1. I can’t believe this year is almost over where did it go?
  2. Dumbo is my favorite Disney character
  3. If I could go to school I would be a zoologist _
  4. December is is a busy month
Feeling Beachie

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Giving at Christmas time


I am very big at giving at Christmas time.. I wish someone would hand me a loaded gift card and I would buy gifts for so many and not think of my family at all. Does that sound crummy? I love to give especially little kids I don't think would have Christmas otherwise. That little boy Billy in the Polar Express hits home with me. I have been in a bad circumstance growing up I remember living in the managers office of a hotel and I think there was probably lots of time my mother couldn't afford Christmas or didn't save for Christmas. Then as I have said in recent blogs I became a ward of the state and it felt like a Norman Rockwell painting. She would try to get me my hearts desire as long as it was decent. I mean nothing that was a fad or too expensive.. Sometimes she would say I wasn't responsible enough. Sometimes I got a gift I had wished for when I was 13 when I was 17. Sometimes she gave me the same Christmas card multiple years in a row.

Then I married Adam and Adam and I were doing it on our own for a time. We got a real tree because it had been a long time since I had a real tree. Serious as can be we decorated it with Adam's old Star Wars figures and beanie babies.. Either the stuffed animals or our 30 lbs lab puppy killed that tree haha. I have got to look for a picture I thought I had of our first Christmas as adults.

Then after he passed of course I was alone with Skylar and I was on welfare working at the shoe store and my boyfriend was working at the carpet mills. The only gifts I had for Skylar were three donated by a local thrift store.. The only tree I had was 1 foot tall and it was a gift from a person I met online.. Skylar was small and doesn't remember that year. That year we received a help from Salvation Army.

Now I make it a point for my kids to pick out a gift to put in the Toys for Tots box to give to another.. I make it a point to put coins in a can. I make it a point when I am able to adopt an angel off of a tree.. Sometimes people in my own backyard need help and I do what I can. Not for the notoriety or praise.. really I would just simply label the gift with From Santa.. I just want to put a smile on someones face and a parent to breathe a little and not have to hide tears on Christmas.

I started a tradition of giving a Christmas Tree every year because of that original small tree as well.

This year money has been tight. I have tried to put forth any money toward my best friend's father's funeral expenses, and our own medical bills, so I took an American Girl item out of our gift closet and dropped it into Toys for Tots. I can't imagine what that little girls face will light up when she sees that special box.

To me folks that's what the magic of Christmas is all about

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Huntsville at Christmas



Huntsville is like the lyrics of Silver Bells.. Every street corner has something to make you bright eyed and in awe.. We are a smaller city but we are a busy fun filled city.. From poor to rich there is something to do. We are situated around a military post and NASA but I wouldn't particularly say we were a military town. Most of the white collar jobs are DOD situated.. I never wanted to live in Alabama but once Rick took me by the hand and introduced me to Huntsville and I fell in love. Its not Georgia noo.. I miss home but I do love Huntsville and all its treasures.

For the holidays around here Tinsel Trail (picture above) is decorated Christmas tree's around Big Spring park... The building on the right? It has a seasonal out door skating rink. At the VBC you can watch the Christmas Carol christmas play.. or see the Nutcracker Ballet. Huntsville Ballet company has always been nice enough to invite the military for a special showing for free. There are huge light displays in neighborhoods I have even made a map.. There is Constitution Village that turns into Santa's village for the holidays. (you never know when the old man might need a pit stop). The Botanical Garden has a huge drive through light display as well. Many area's have a Christmas tree lighting, Santa at the mall(s), Celebration at the Library, Toys for Tots Bikes or Bust hosted by our own favorite celebrity Mojo Jones on WZYP, Christmas Parades, Santa Train, Maple Hill Cemetery Annual Candlelight Memorial, Living Christmas tree, Harrison Bros hardware store open house, Caroling at library, the Army band performs a concert, Horse driven carriage ride through the historical part of town, and this is our first year without Operation Christmas Bear.. The Shrine used to host military families in a free celebration we are SURE going to miss that! Monte Sano does a bunch every holiday and the mall hosts Santa breakfasts (as does one of the high schools), and Santa story time... RocketCityMom.com (My Blogging idol) keeps me all up to date about what I should be doing every weekend.. Bad news for my homebody husband during this time of year :)