Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas pics

Hi everyone!
I hope your Christmas was as special and wonderful as ours was. We had a wonderful day at home just being with family. I wanted to post pics while it was still fresh in our minds. I didn't take many pictures on Christmas, but I had a few to show of our fun day.
Here we are making cookies for Santa! As you can see, everyone really got into it. Aubrey got to choose what kind of cookies we made, and he thought that Santa would like sugar cookies, so we had fun and made a big mess making Santa cookies. I know he loved them. (So did Mrs. Claus)








Aubrey and Mallory both got things to ride on this Christmas. A bike was all Aubrey asked Santa for. Actually he asked him for a "four wheel bike", which I had to translate to Santa meant a bike with training wheels. After we left Santa, Aubrey was upset because he had forgotten to tell Santa he wanted the bike that had a water bottle on it. I assured him that Santa would know. And sure enough, Santa came through. Aubrey couldn't even wait to get outside to ride his bike. Fortunately we have a long hallway, so he got to practice a little inside. Our hallway has miles and miles of Aubrey riding various toys up and down it. Mallory always wants to ride on Aubrey's four wheeler, but she isn't big enough yet, so she got her own little "four wheeler".

Bompie and Grandma Bonnie came over for lunch and we had fun playing with them. Then the Higgins clan came over for dinner. I channeled my inner Paula Deen and made her Peppermint Cake. It turned out good, especially with Mayfield Peppermint Ice Cream. Perfect for Christmas!
I'm always full of mixed emotions when Christmas is over. I love the decorations and special days, but I'm also ready to get back to "normal" (whatever that is). So today I am cleaning and putting away all our decorations. It actually feels really good and refreshing. It's still nice to have Aubrey home and all of us able to stay in our jammies for a long time in the mornings!
Also, if you would like to win $150 worth of Cosmo Cricket scrapbooking supplies, head over here Leah, not my sister, is giving them away. She is a wonderful designer for their team, so check out her blog. You will love it!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I can't claim this as my own. I got this from another blog I visit. I think it is a wonderful reminder of what is important. At least it is for me!
1 CORINTHIANS 13 CHRISTMAS VERSION

If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls, but do not show love to my family, I'm just another decorator.

If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, but do not show love to my family, I'm just another cook.

If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home, and give all that I have to charity, but do not show love to my family, it profits me nothing.

If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the choir's cantata, but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.

Love stops the cooking to hug the child.

Love sets aside decorating to kiss the husband.

Love is kind, though harried and tired.

Love doesn't envy another's home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.

Love doesn't yell at the kids to get out of the way, but is thankful they are there to be in the way.

Love doesn't give only to those who are able to give in return but rejoices in giving to those who can't.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails.Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust.But giving the gift of love will endure.

Merry Christmas!-- Author Unknown
I hope you all have a very merry and blessed Christmas! See you after (with lots of pictures)!
Love to you all.
S.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Busy little elves

Aubrey and I have had so much fun today just crafting and baking together. I started last night
getting two layouts done. I had this Crate paper I wanted to play with and this perfect picture of Mallory, so I sat while we watched The Grinch again and had fun. I also updated our Christmas card/Santa pictures album. It's a small album that I put our family's card and Santa picture in each year. I love looking back at these each year. So much changes in a year.

Today we were very busy. I altered an "H" I had here and didn't know what to do with it. So, I decided to make it a Christmas "H". I added some paper and fibers with jingle bells. It will hang on our "H" wall during the Christmas season now.

Then Aubrey and I went to work. We began by making banana bread. My mom's recipe is the best, and I had some ripe bananas so we used them up. Aubrey loves to help cook, so he mashed the bananas and mixed it all up with the mixer.

Next we made a couple of ornaments from kits I picked up for him somewhere. I try to keep things like that on hand for times like this. He had so much fun making them, and even named the Snowman "Snow". How original!After we finished the ornaments we put together a Nativity set I also found somewhere for him. (probably Wal-Mart or Hobby Lobby) We worked together on this because it was a little small for a little guy like him to do on his own. Aubrey did draw all the faces on Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus.
Finally, I finished some ornaments I have been working on for my family. I put our Christmas card picture on them along with paper, ribbon, buttons, fibers and jingle bells. I just think jingle bells say Christmas. I love them.







So, it was a fun, lazy, busy day here. More to come this weekend!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

It's the little things


D. laughed at me the other day when I got so excited about Aubrey getting dressed and ready all by himself. He said, "It's the little things, isn't it Sarah?" I told him that in my life the little things were what do it for me. It is the little things that bring so much happiness to me most. I think we anticipate the big moments and holidays so much that we overlook the little, small things that most would not consider special, but they really are if we treat them as such. Sometimes it is an actual material little thing that makes me happy such as my morning heaven these days, Millstone Peppermint Coffee. My first sip every morning is one of the best moments of my day. Some might think that sad, but it's just because it is comforting and warm to me.
Sometimes, it's just doing little things with my family, like Aubrey and I decorating cupcakes and making candy pretzels and magic reindeer food. I have really had to work at not being antsy if the cupcakes aren't really pretty or we make a big mess while doing these things. I have to be honest and say it wasn't my finest moment yesterday when Aubrey poured almost half a bottle of sprinkles on ONE cupcake. He reminded me, "Mom, you said I was in charge of the sprinkles!"
So, I apologized and we moved on, and just swept afterwards. Lately it's been playing "horsey" before bathtime. It is so much fun to hear these little ones belly laugh as they are riding the horse. So precious!


Anyway,the holiday we are getting ready to celebrate focuses on a little thing. A really tiny baby born to set us free and save us from our sins. Baby Jesus. Let's keep reminding ourselves that sometimes the littlest things are the most important. You all have to know that I'm writing to myself as much as anyone else, so keep me in your prayers as you check in!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Whew!

I haven't posted this week, mainly because I have been knee deep in "stuff"! We have had a busy week of holiday preparations, places to be, etc. I really try to guard against being so busy at this time of year, but some things you just have to do. I've also been struggling with a sinus infection since last weekend, so I've been moving a little slower. We did get to visit Santa, which was a success with both children. Aubrey was so cute with him, although he forgot to tell him that the bike he wants has a water bottle on it. We assured him that Santa would know. Mallory didn't cry, but didn't smile either. She just took it all in. I got to finish most of my shopping, so that was helpful. Overall, just day to day stuff. I am getting ready for my annual Christmas Cookie/Treat Exchange tomorrow. I am excited about that. I made my cookies yesterday and they are super yummy. I also made Pretzel Turtles, which I'm sure everyone knows about, but they are my fave and super easy to make. Here you go:

Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees.

Lay pretzels on a non-stick pan.

Put a Rolo on each pretzel.

Bake the pretzels until the Rolos get glossy.

Take them out and put them on wax paper.

Press a pecan onto each Rolo.

Wait to cool and then eat.

In the words of Rachel Ray, "Yum-O"!


I hope everyone is preparing not just their homes for Christmas, but also their hearts. Here is a verse from Mark 1 recalling the prophet Isaiah. "Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for Him." Let's make our paths straight for Him to find us ready for His arrival this Christmas. I am really working on keeping my focus on Him and the true meaning of Christmas this year.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

First pub (and a little confession)

I just had to let everyone know that my first published scrapbook page is now online at Scrapstreet. I have recently started trying to get my work published and this is the first page that made it. You will love all the great layouts and projects as well as ideas over there. It's a great site for digital scrappers too. My layout is in the "birds of a feather" section, page 3. I just had to share my excitement.

Also a quick confession. I was so excited about my advent calendar, and I still am. But the other night when I was opening up all the boxes of my Christmas decorations guess what I found? Yes, an advent calendar. Purchased last year at Pottery Barn when they were 50% off. So, I am going to sell it to a friend, but just had to confess that I am really goofy at times, and having children and being busy just sucks the brain cells right out of me. Can any of you relate?

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Preparing for Advent

I have been wanting an advent calendar since Aubrey was born. I have looked and looked, and loved the ones at Pottery Barn, but I didn't want to spend that much. I decided I could make one very similar to the one in PB so I ordered some felt and got busy. This is what it became. About $20 worth of materials and 2 Saturdays watching football while working on it, and here is our Advent calendar. I am so pleased with how it turned out. It's about 3 feet by 3 feet, and now I have to figure out what to put in the pockets each day. If you have any suggestions, please leave me a comment! Advent begins tomorrow. It's hard to believe. I want to really teach my children that Christmas is not about the presents, Santa, trees, etc, but truly about Christ's arrival and the gift that God gave to the world with His birth. It is hard in this day and age, but maybe with traditions like the Advent calendar we will get there.
Now I'm on to ornaments and other Christmas crafts. I would show pics, but they are presents, so it will have to wait till later! We are going to get our tree today and get out all our decorations. I love it! It is so perfect that we are going to possibly have snow flurries tonight too. Just in time.
On another note, it was a great day in the Higgins house yesterday as the GaTech Yellow Jackets beat the UGA Bulldogs IN ATHENS! The Gators also beat the Noles in Tallahassee, so it was a perfect football day. Way to go teams!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

thankful

Just posting some recent creations. Since the weather has been colder I have been taking advantage of staying inside and getting some creative juices flowing.
I just had to post this thankful banner I made this week. My very talented and generous friend Jill is a wonderful digital scrapbooker and she created these leaves for a design team she is on. She made a cute banner with hers, and sent the files to me also. So of course I had to do something with them and this is what I came up with. It's perfect for the season I think.



This layout is one I recently did of Mallory. It's one of my all time favorite pictures of her. I entered it in a calendar contest for the hospital she was born in and she didn't make it. Can you believe it? Something is wrong with those people! Just kidding, but I do love it.
I am so looking forward to this week. Tomorrow Aubrey has his Thanksgiving feast at school. (This year he's not going to be a turkey like his class was last year, he's just going to be "plain old Aubrey" he tells me). On Wednesday Leah, Chris and Jay are coming into town. We can't wait to see them. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, so I am really excited. Have a wonderful week full of thanks and giving.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

So Thankful




This week Aubrey and I have been talking about Thanksgiving and I saw this idea in a magazine. I thought that it would be a great way to remind us through Thanksgiving how many things we have to be thankful for. So Aubrey and I got out the paper, paint, scissors, markers and crayons and went to town. He really wanted to have a squirrel, so we printed one out and he colored it. He also thought we needed some grass, so he was in charge of it. Anyway, our list of course includes our family and friends, God's love and also pumpkins, trees, Aubrey's four-wheeler, etc. I love how Aubrey is so literal about what he loves. He can make a list that noone else would think about. That's how he prays too. So sweet and I know God loves it. I am hoping to make this a yearly tradition. We can't be thankful too much, you know?!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Hawaii Highlights

I know I have been slow getting this post on here. We have just had a nice week of getting back into our normal routine. I know I said it before, but there is no place like home. I love being at home. Makes me kind of boring I know. Anyway, here are a few highlights from Hawaii.

Our first outing was to the Honolulu Zoo. It was a neat zoo, really laid back. The kids of course loved it.
These trees were so cool. I just had to take a picture of them.
From the time we told him we were going to Hawaii, Aubrey said he wanted to surf. We had to tell him he was too young, but the boogie board was a great substitute. It even made it back to Georgia with us.
Here is our bathing beauty. It was her first time at the beach and she loved it! She had so much fun playing in the sand.

Is there anything more precious than baby feet? I don't think so!

We got to have dinner on the USS Missouri, which was the battleship where the treaty to end WWII was signed. It is docked in Pearl Harbor. It was so beautiful at night, and we were the only people there (our group). Norman, the C12 leader in Hawaii's father was the interpreter for General MacArthur when the treaty was signed. He was a Japanese-American soldier in the US Army. Norman spoke of the work his father did in the Army and how they didn't even know he was part of that historic event until after his death. We owe our freedom to so many amazing people.

D. and Aubrey took a helicopter tour of the island. They both loved it. You couldn't pay me to do that!

Here is Mallory with some strange man she took to at the last dinner. He had some crazy hair!



Here's the whole clan. We had a fun time each night at dinner and the food was wonderful.

Here is the Aloha Tower. It is down by the ports. It used to be the tallest building in Honolulu. Now you can go to the top floor and go out on the 4 balconies to look out on Honolulu.

Here are some of the tropical fish that swim in the harbor where the ships come in. It is so crazy because you expect the water to be nasty, but it is beautifully clear and the fish are just like in Finding Nemo!

Here is the view from one of our hotel room windows. We were overlooking the Hawaii Yacht Club, founded in 1901.

And here is the view from our house in Georgia this week. Fall is so gorgeous in this neck of the woods. I'll leave you with this verse that is such a wonderful reminder to me.

"Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you." Psalm 116:7


Even with all that is going on in our world that troubles us, the Lord has and will continue to be so good to us.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Aloha! and Tag I'm It!


Aloha! We are back from Hawaii and very sleepy! I am embarassed to admit this, but I didn't get out of bed today till about 9:45! The kids are actually still sleeping right now at 10:15. I know it will just take us a couple of days to get back to normal. (whatever that is!) I will post pics of our trip in a day or two. I haven't loaded them onto my computer yet, but I will. We had a great time, but I am a firm believer that there is no place like home. So check back in a couple of days and I will have them on here.

For today, I was tagged by Heather to write 7 random things about myself! Heather was in my class at Big Picture Scrapbooking and is very crafty, so check out her 7 things and her fun blog. Here you go:
1. I can't wait to vote! I look forward to it every time I get the chance to vote, even in local elections. I am so proud to be able to do my American duty. If you haven't voted, please, please do. (but only if you are going to vote like me, otherwise you can skip it!) (: Just kidding!

2. I love candy. Those of you who know me well, know that, but D. makes fun of me b/c I have stashes usually around the house!

3. I can move my ears. I'm hoping at least one of my children will also be able to since it is a genetic trait.
4. Saturdays in the fall are my favorite days in the whole year. College football just makes me so excited! With that I have to say GOOOOOOOOOOOOOO GATORS! They did it and did it well this weekend against the Dawgs. Now I don't have to listen to the Dawg fans again for another year. And I love the cool weather and beautiful trees. Just everything.

5. I really am not a beach person. I don't really like the sand and hotness. I would rather be at the lake or the mountains. It's not the being outdoors, just mostly the sand I think.

6. I lead a book club for women at my church. We read Christian fiction. The best book I have read lately is The Shack. If you haven't read it, run, don't walk to the bookstore or hop on to amazon. com and get it. It is life-changing. Fabulous.

7. I don't like to cook, but I love to bake. I don't know why.

Now I have to tag 7 of my friends! Here you are, you have been tagged!

Meredith

Amy

Sue

Jennifer

Ok, there you have it! Now we can learn 7 random things about you.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Happy Halloween and off to Hawaii!

Just a quick post because we are super busy around here today. We are leaving for Hawaii in the morning! It has taken a lot of prayer and effort, but we are all going. I am finally getting excited. I don't like to fly, so I have been anxious over the trip, but God has really been working on me. We are going to the national C12 conference with my mom and dad, and both of my sisters and their husbands. Please pray that this week will be a special time of fun and fellowship with our family. It is a huge blessing to be able to go.

This weekend we were able to celebrate Halloween a little early. We had our church Fall Festival on Saturday and Aubrey and Mallory had a great time. They both dressed up and were just precious. This year Aubrey is a knight and he is such a cute knight. If he needed to rescue a princess, she would just love it! Last night we went over to Amy and Keith's house for trick or treating and a birthday party for Hal. Their neighborhood trick or treats early, so that was a special treat for us. D. took the Gator over and we drove through the neighborhood. Since their neighborhood is hilly, it was extra nice. Here are our knight and our owl. Precious, don't ya think?


In honor of the upcoming weekend and national election here is what I have to say:
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO GATORS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Beat Those Dawgs Senseless!

(Isn't she the cutest UF cheerleader ever?)

And.............


I tried to take a picture of a business in town that says, "Save Our Country Vote McCain/Palin Nobama" but I couldn't do it while driving. I'm sure you and the other drivers are glad to hear that.

Have a great week! I'll post when we're back from Hawaii!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

pumpkin patch perfection

Each year we go to a pumpkin farm near here. It is one of my favorite days of the year. The people who own it are sweet Christian people. It is just a fun time of being outside and enjoying the sights and smells of fall as they always have some type of pumpkin goodie baking while we are there. We have gone every year since Aubrey was born. This year we went with some friends from church. The weather was absolutely perfect. Here are a few pictures from our day. (I'm leaving out those of Aubrey throwing up in the car while Mallory screamed for 30 minutes straight on the way there. You can thank me later for sparing you!)

The best shot we could get of everyone. Too much for the kids to look at!

Mallory loved, loved, loved the pumpkins and the wood chips!

Here are the talking pumpkins who tell us we plant the seed, but God brings the sun and the rain to make the pumpkins grow. This is at a pumpkin house during the hay ride. Really sweet.

Mallory was anxious to try out her new pumpkin.

Aubrey's favorite part each year is the old tractor the kids can climb on and ride. My Deere boy!


We ended the day with a picnic lunch on the creek bank. Of course the boys had to get in the creek. It's just what they do.