Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Sorry I have been MIA. Just taking a blog break over the holiday season. Will resume at the first of the year. Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Busy Weekend

Very busy weekend for our household. Two of Grace's friends stayed the weekend with us, hosted a Christmas party for our drama ministry team, participated in a church musical and had lunch with friends after church. All fun but tiring. Grace had a great time with two friends staying all weekend.

At the Christmas party we play Chinese gift exchange with just dollar store gifts.

Also an epic game of Apples to Apples. Eleven teens playing one game. Any chance to play and they take it.

Grace and her two friends before church this morning. Grace performed today in her first adult Christmas musical at church. Only her and one other teen joined the rest of the adult choir to sing. The program went off without a hitch. We also had another family from our drama ministry team come and watch the performance then we all went out to eat Mexican afterwards.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Tone Chimes Performance

Today was our tone chimes performance at the assisted living center. The group played two Christmas songs on the tone chimes, two songs on the piano, two songs on the violin and a group song. The women in the audience were very nice and so happy to meet the kids. I think we will try to keep the tone chimes group going through the year and play some hymns. Two of the girls from this group have come home with us to spend the weekend with Grace. She is so excited to have them here.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

More Christmas Fun

Today was filled with fun. Not only did we go to see the Nutcracker in the morning but this afternoon and evening we spent time with friends. Started with a short tone chimes practice for a performance tomorrow at a nursing home. Followed by pizza and cookie decorating.

Lots of talking, laughing, wii, and having fun. This is a group of Grace's friends that she hangs out with alot (mostly drama kids).

Nutcracker - New Christmas Tradition

Today we traveled to down town Atlanta to see the Nutcracker Ballet at the Fox Theatre. The Fox Theatre is an Atlanta icon. Many Broadway musicals and play visit the Fox each year. Today's performance was a condensed version of the Nutcracker for children. Many schools brought in buses with lots of children. We were there with our home school group.

I think my favorite part was the costumes and music. Very enjoyable.

Scott's favorite part was the set and props. He is our chief set builder when we put on our own dramatic productions. He was fascinated with how fast the props were moved on and off stage and the backdrops. Gave him many ideas for upcoming performances on our end.

My mom went with us. Sorry for the dark picture but forgot my camera at home and had to take with phone camera without a flash. Had to sneak the picture also, no photo taking allowed in the theatre.

Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Yes Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. But for us gardners out there, the next best time is when seed catalogs start rolling in. Yesterday we recieved three seed catalogs in the mail and should be getting more through the next couple of weeks. After dinner me and hubby sat down to peruse and start selecting what we might want for the garden next year. So many to choose from, it will be very hard to make the final selections. Last night though we used greens and red potatoes from our fall garden and dried potatoes, carrots, green peppers, and tomatoes to make a soup from the leftover roast. But looking so forward to another gardening season.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas Giving

Once a month our small church holds a food pantry/clothes closet day. We serve 60 - 110 families each month. In December we tried to do a little something extra. This will be our third year of collecting toys to hand out as well. Each family gets to come in an pick 1-2 items per child for Christmas. I was blown away this year with how much was donated. This is a church that averages about 130 each Sunday.Grace and myself had the privilege to go help today setting everything up. On food pantry day we usually have refreshments for the family when they come in to get food/clothes, etc. On Monday and Tuesday I hope to bake some goodies to take for the pantry day.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Where Does It All Go

Money that is. I think it doesn't matter how much you make it still goes fast. We have been living fairly frugal for the better part of two years, but still can't seem to make progress. I think the money sucker in our family is transportation. One car will be paid off in 5 months, motorcycle still has two years, and the newer car still has two years. Motorcycle was purchased because of gas prices and hubby has to drive one hour and 15 minutes to work three days a week. In one sense it did save on gas but for those of you out there with motorcycles the money you spend on maintenance almost makes it not worth it. On a side note hubby's business took a big hit yesterday and lost 25% of their business. Some truck drivers and warehouse employees will be laid off. This will affect us in a shift change back to four ten hour days a week which increases gas prices and wear and tear on the car. But we feel blessed to still have a job. After paying bills today what is left for the next two weeks will have to cover gas and groceries as well as one doctor appt. Hubby did call today from work to let me know his company gave him a $50.00 gift card to Kroger. He had mentioned giving it to me to make goodies for Christmas presents for neighbors, etc., but I mentioned with our low funds over the next two weeks I would rather use it for some meat to stock the freezer. I don't mind staying at home and not spending money. Although this time of the year it is kind of difficult because of the holidays. As I mentioned before Christmas will be on a much smaller scale than previous years. Sorry for all the rambling, I know that many of you out there are going through all the same thoughts and problems. The only thing I wish to encourage you to do is stock up. Times are only going to get worse.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

First Drama Ministry Team Performance

It is great when everything comes together. This group has been practicing since September. On Thursday our practice was pretty bad. The old saying is that if the practice before a performance is bad....then the performance will be good. Today went off pretty much without a hitch. The kids had a great time and the audience laughed and enjoyed themselves. This is a great group of kids and I really enjoy working with them. Next performance will be at my home church in January.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Advent Tree

Eight years ago my sister bought this for me for Christmas from QVC. Now it is a treasured Christmas tradition. The cabinet contains 24 small compartparts that hold 24 little ornaments. Each day starting on December 1st Grace opens a door and pulls out an ornament to hang on the tiny tree. On the 24th, Christmas Eve, there is a glass star to put on the top.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Random Updates

Christmas - We have all the indoor decorations in place. Nothing fancy this year. Just the tree and our advent tree. Still need to do the outdoor lights. We don't do outdoor lights every year, but this year I will be having a Christmas party for the teens on our Drama Ministry Team and I want the house to look nice. Shopping is happening slowly. As I mentioned before, there is not alot of money to go around this year for presents. This is the first year in 24 years of marriage that we have had to really scale down. Of course I will say that the last couple of years we have been scaling back just didn't realize it as much. I am having to space out shopping to a few presents each payday which will make me shopping for the last gifts just two days prior to Christmas. I have never been that late. But it is all good. The kids know they are getting three presents each and alot of money was not spent on any of them. They are good with this too.

Chickens - Betty our Americana (sp?) is still laying every other day and the Buffs are all laying 5 out of 7 days a week. So we are still knee deep in eggs. Scott is researching dehydrating eggs. In the early Spring when everyone else starts laying we will be thigh deep in eggs. We are also considering buying a few more chicks in the Spring or letting some of our hens sit. I really don't want anymore game fowl chicks so we will probably purchase.

Garden - The only thing we have left growing in the garden is greens for us and the chickens. Spinach, Romaine, Iceberg and Mixed Greens. My red cabbage never really did much. I requested a bunch of seed catalogs this week so hope to be receiving them soon to start planning for next year's garden.

Homeschool - After taking a week off for Thanksgiving it was slow go getting back to it this week. Now that Robin Hood is over we can focus on some other things. As mentioned before Grace and I joined Jazzercise and this we the first week we were able to go to three classes. We use this as P.E. so it is counted as one hour of school on the days we go. Today will prove to be busy with Art Class, Tone Chimes practice, and Drama Ministry Team practice. Only a little book work scheduled for this morning. Tomorrow will be Jazzercise and Tone Chimes practice again. The Tone Chimes class is preparing for a performance at a nursing home in a couple of weeks and the Drama Ministry Team will have their first performance this Sunday at a local church.