New traditions and Gingerbread houses

child magicchristmas

Last night the boy and I finally put together the Gingerbread house he had be given. It seemed simple enough when I looked at it. 5 main pieces, a tree, 3 ginger folks and a dog/cat creature. It appears that it would only take about 30 minutes-ish so we eagerly started the project.

The boy wanted it to look like the picture on the box. My first thought was I’m making him OCD like me and I worried. I knew that I would try my damnedest to make it look that that. About halfway through, I realized it would not look like the pretty house on the box. After all, I am fabulously graceless and he is my offspring. I suggested we make it custom for us. He agreed it would be “more funner” that way and that our would look so much better! Bless him!

After an hour we finally finished! From the walls, to the icing glue (and boy does that stuff set fast) to the fruit candy and M&M decor, we had it completed! Then we saw the package of the spinkle thingys – teeny tiny little balls that looked festive. Straight from hell is more like it as when you carefully dumped them where you wanted them to land, they bounced everywhere and only half ended up where we wanted them. *Ahem. The other half was on the table and the floor that was just cleaned yesterday. But he loved it. He went on and on about how our Gingerbread house looked so awesome and he was so proud of it. It was worth every bit of irritation and biting my tongue as to not say words he doesn’t need to learn.

He then said, “Mommy we need to do this every year!” I smiled and of course told him we would add it to our Christmas traditions. Of course, I mentally noted that a good strong adult beverage for me will be had before we start the next one!

He is so excited about the holidays. He loves the decoration and to help. Helping my mom with the tree a few weeks ago, we realized how we had basically done the decorating with everything in it’s place, to look festive and beautiful. What we were missing was his touch. The clumping of ornaments, the placing of decorations in places we would never think to put them and his general ideas of a “new way” of doing things. Somehow, it made it even better and more special.

He wanted me to make sure I had the reindeer food ready for Christmas Eve and has informed me that Santa wants homemade cookies this year and not the ones from the store. So we will be baking a small batch of peanut butter cookies because hey, if Santa’s going to eat them I might as well make my favorite, right?!

Last year he was with his dad on Christmas Eve and I had to make a batch of reindeer food for him to take with him. Reindeer food consists of uncooked oatmeal and glitter. Not some fancy smancy hard to create dish as there is enough going on without me having to make something complicated. I also had to make sure it was scattered on our porch so that when he came home he could see how messy the reindeer were and how they ate the food we had prepared for them.

Christmas is magical for a child. The wonder of it all. The lights, festivities, mangers, Santa and elves. The carols we sing and the things we do to ensure that everyone is happy.

Presents are great but I love that he loves all of the other stuff and that isn’t the main thing. Of course he loves getting gifts but he is happy with whatever he gets. At least at this age. That could all change soon I know but for now I am happy that he finds joy in those little things. He loves creating traditions and doing things from my childhood and incorporating new things. Like the Gingerbread house this year!

In the weeks leading up to Christmas we watch all kinds of Christmas movies. He loves the classics – Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph, Santa Claus is coming to town, Charlie Brown Christmas, The Nightmare before Christmas and of course the Grinch. Each year we add a new movie to our collection to watch.

Before he arrived in my life, I think I was getting a bit more bah humbug. Now I am not even allowed the option! I couldn’t be happier about it to be honest. Yes, it can be work but he is worth every minute of it.

We are always looking for new things to try and ways to enjoy the holidays together. I think we have achieved that already this year and we still have a bit over a week before the actual day.

I hope you are all having a fabulous week and not too frazzled over this holiday season!

Never forget to keep hope alive! Believe me I chanted it a lot while making that Gingerbread house and it turned out pretty good. Plus it made my boy smile a bit wider and throw his arms around me and tell me how much he loves me and how much fun I make Christmas for him. To me, that’s the best present there is.

Have a fabulous Tuesday my friends!

Check out our custom Gingerbread house!



Tis the season for joy and thieves

Tis the season of giving, of hope, of friendships and of love and family.

Sadly, it is also the season of lies, greed, deceit and thievery.

I got home late the other night after dropping off gifts and playing Santa’s ghetto elf. I was tired, but feeling so blessed and happy to be a part of helping children who wouldn’t have Christmas and knowing their parents/guardians would be able to breathe a bit easier and their little ones would have presents on Christmas day. I had driven many miles to drop presents off for 18 children. It was dark and I had worked a full day. I was exhausted but also excited. These sweet children were going to have Christmas!

I then learned that the previous day a home in our neighborhood had been broken into. This happened in the middle of the day when the son went out for a few hours and not turned on the alarm. He came home to find the house had been ransacked and many items were stolen. Presents, jewelry, TV’s, computers… basically anything of value that they could grab they took.

Having been robbed myself several years ago around Christmas time I know how they felt. Shocked, sick and violated. I believe the ones who robbed my home went out the back window as I pulled into the driveway. They had also stolen a spare key. Needless to say my roommate and I had the locks re-keyed that night and took turns keeping watch as we were both freaked out. These idiots came back a week later. We guessed it was to finish off the bottle of the good booze we had in the cabinet. I’m sure they were surprised they couldn’t get back in.

The first time “visited” they had helped themselves to a few drinks out of our coffee cups. Classy thieves. We had, of course, dumped the rest of the bottle as it felt dirty. They had ransacked our bedrooms, pulling everything out of drawers, flipping mattresses over and even drew on the bathroom mirror with my makeup. I tossed what was left because it felt unclean. The local law enforcement chalked it up to kids and the holidays. They only became more interested when they realized one of our legal, registered guns was taken. Even then, they weren’t too concerned. Neither was our landlord. We promptly moved out within 3 weeks to a home where we at least felt safer and got a big dog. It seems many thieves are deterred by large dogs and I had been wanting a dog so I got my Christmas wish on that. But the things we lost that couldn’t be replaced just made us sick. Family heirlooms and jewelry, our cameras and computers. We were by no means well off but they robbed us of things that we couldn’t place monetary value on because it was sentimental to us.

The thieves were finally caught about a year or so later. It was a ring of teens who had apparently been hitting homes and taking the items and selling them for cash. Several of the kids came from good homes. Of course, nothing of ours was recovered even though we had been regularly checking pawn shops and the like as had our friends for months in the hopes of recovering at least a few of the items that were taken from us.

Why do people feel the need to take from others? I mean don’t they have some kind of voice inside their head that says, “This is wrong. Karma’s a bitch & I don’t need to do this”?

I was an absolute wreck all day until I delivered those gifts for the kids. I had put them all in bags, then in large black plastic garbage bags to try and conceal what was inside. I was so worried someone would break into my jeep and try to steal the clothes and toys that had been collected and purchased for these babies.

What is sad is that I even felt that way at all. That I had to worry about someone breaking into my old beat up jeep and taking from children who wouldn’t have anything for Christmas if I did not get these gifts to their parents.

I ask you to please remember to be safe this holiday season. Lock your cars and your homes. Watch when you are out and about, even in broad daylight. It seems these people are getting bolder and not caring about the time of day, just that they have the “opportunity” to take something from others.

Tis the season to be joyful. It is also the time when, if we don’t do it all year as I think we should, we should be watching out for each other. Not taking from each other.

This greediness and self-entitlement needs to stop. Not just during the holidays, but all throughout the year. There is nothing worth dying for or going to prison for in someone else’s home, car or that doesn’t belong to you.

Let’s work to do the right thing. Not only for others but for yourself too. Because remember, what goes around comes around. Karma really is a bitch!

Keep an eye out but also keep your spirits high too.

Keep hope alive my fabulous friends!



Beautiful Sunday, time for sharing and SEC Champs

Oh what a beautiful mornin’, oh what a beautiful day. I got a beautiful feelin’, everything’s going my way.

How I wish that was true! Sadly, I haven’t cloned myself yet nor received new body parts, but I woke up breathing and still free to as my good friend says, it’s a great day to be alive!

The other day I wrote about my love, and lack, of sleep. I am hoping to get some rest today, however, I will also be running around getting things done.

let her sleep she move mtns

I did have a fantastic day yesterday though. I set my alarm to get up and we went and volunteered for a local Christmas charity for kids. I was in “Santa’s shop” in the back helping the kids “shop” for their parents. Once they picked a gift I sent them on to the next station where their gifts were wrapped up and they went back out to the party. I can’t tell you how much fun it was to see those kids so happy to be able to get things for their mom and/or dad. Some of them were so funny and so serious. I made sure to ask, “Who are we shopping for?” because not all of them have both parents or even a parent. Being part of such a fabulous group of volunteers and being able to help so many is, to me, a huge joy and blessing!

sharing christmas

After the party, we went to a friend’s house and watched the SEC Championship game and in case you weren’t aware the Alabama Crimson Tide rocked it out and Won! Roll Tide Roll! The food was fabulous and the company was pretty good too! I found another female who was nuttier than I was about cheering, and after a few adult beverages, we were hollering and screaming and jumping up and down. My throat is sore but man did we have fun!

au al football

So today as I run my errands to pick up for a few more kids, I love playing Santa’s elf, and do all of the things that need to be done, I say a prayer of thanks. I am so thankful for my friends, family, loved ones and also be able to help others along the way.

I hope you all have a fabulous day!

Keep Hope Alive!

Delicate balance of fall and winter

I love the fall and I love the changing of the seasons, the leaves as they fall in mass yet still there are beautiful colors of the trees. The thunderstorms and cooler temperatures.

I do not like the migraines, aching body and the sometimes dark places I can go in my mind when it’s rainy and icky out, I feel overwhelmed and it’s cold.

Yes, those statements could seem a bit contradictory but yet there aren’t. To me it’s a delicate balance. I love Halloween, Thanksgiving and the Christmas holidays but not always the chaos that comes with it. Some of the over the top, and not a la Grizwald style as they are hands down coolest ever when it comes to Christmas decorating, but it’s some traditions and people get to me though.

I Love Halloween. I love to decorate, wear costumes, watch scary movies and do the whole gauntlet from fall festivals and pumpkin patches to haunted houses.

The following month we have Thanksgiving and the month after Christmas. Yes, I am pretty sure everyone knows that but when you look at it in a broader picture it makes more sense why I, and many others, often become crabby, distant or just weird during what is one of our favorite seasons.

You go from fun and dress up, to Thanksgiving with Christmas falling less than a month later.

Thanksgiving, for many, means travel, cooking and volunteering. All fun under most circumstances, however it can be stressful if you are spending a portion with some you aren’t so fond of, don’t know well, or you are missing someone you once spent holidays with. The same can be said of Christmas.

Plus, it is now a fact that Christmas and Thanksgiving supplies can be purchased and are displayed at many stores in October and in some places, as early as August. I would not be lying if I said that I didn’t want to punch someone in the throat when I went into a local store and Christmas carols were playing and the Christmas section was larger than the Halloween section…it was the very beginning of October! Here in Alabama it was still warm and not even close to time, in my graceless mind, to be displaying Christmas items, especially when they took away things for the fun holiday that was still over 3 weeks away!

People post on social media the countdown to Christmas and have since last Christmas. I love Christmas too and yes, after Christmas sometimes get things for the following year when the sales happen, however I am not a Christmas tree up all year kind of gal. I have been known to keep up festive lights and just call them “holiday fairy” lights throughout a year. That all depends on where you are living and how well it works and if it looks good or just plain odd!

I remember when I was younger and you shopped for Christmas presents the day after Thanksgiving. The real Black Friday. Now you have stores open on Thanksgiving night and the week of online specials. I noted that those run for about 3 weeks! The Only places that were opened and you could go to on Thanksgiving and Christmas night were are few gas stations and the theater. I worked at the theater in my teens and we could get time and a half if we worked on a holidays. There were so many families that came to the movies as a family for on those two days more than any other day of the year. This was before cell phones and having to schedule in time with the family. It was something you just did.

I am all about bargain shopping but this is too much! People need at least 2 days a year to celebrate with friends and family. A holiday that along with all government offices are closed, businesses are closed so that people can truly get a day off. I understand hospitals, care facilities and the like will of course have people working. We take care of each other. But it’s time to enjoy and reflect in my opinion.

I can understand why people can go into a funk during this time of the year. I know there are many reasons, but I truly think we now place too much on ourselves and each other and don’t take the time out to actually relax and enjoy the holiday before we begin jumping into the next holiday. I understand getting jump on Christmas shopping but give the rest of us time to enjoy the holidays as they come in the order they come. You may want to try it. It can be fun!

Just sharing the thoughts and opinions of my maotic mind!

As always, keep hope alive!

Also, Happy 95th to my Guardian Angel Papa, It’s been 5 years since you left us yet I see you in my boy, your great grandson daily. I will always love you!