Monday, December 28, 2009


I love giving gifts! Especially to my kids. The anticipation of their reactions just about kills me. I know I'm going to really miss these days when they are grown. For now though, I'm just going to enjoy them, and so are you!

Levi opens presents like me. I always start at the tape. Something in me has a hard time ripping paper open. I like to unwrap them. It drives my family crazy! So, naturally, I love this about Levi.
This was a shared gift for both boys. Here Levi is posing with it. What a ham!
Here are my two gifts from the boys. Isn't it cute how they wrote on them? I know you are wondering what was inside, so I'll just tell you. They happened to be the latest Sugarland and Carrie Underwood CDs.
I asked Levi to show me what he got from his aunt so I could take a picture. So he did.
I think Winchester thought this one might be for him.
CJ giving himself a hug from his aunt as directed on her card, which contained $10. CJ loved that!
Oh my gosh! What could it be? This... this is what I love about kids and opening presents.
Another shared gift. CJ looks almost sweet there doesn't he? I'm sure there will be many fights over who gets to play with this.
After the boys went to sleep Santa visited and left some great stuff for the boys. Again, the anticipation! I have to wait aaaaaaallll night.
Here's Levi Christmas morning, playing with his new Football Guys and wearing his new Humanitarian Bowl stocking cap and head light. We sure do have some lucky and spoiled children on our hands!

We hope your Christmas was a wonderful one! Go Vandals!

Remember your blessings!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Tree

I'll show you the full picture in a few, but right now I want to share what I love about Christmas trees. My favorite things are ornaments that mean something. Pretty ornaments are fun too, but ornaments that entice a memory or remind you of someone are the best.

This guy was a gift from a co-worker friend of mine. She makes these by hand from scratch every year! I always feel so lucky that she includes me. When I think of the time she puts in making these I'm in awe.
These little fellows are a new addition this year. They remind me of my Grandma Ann. She loved birds. The red wooden beads remind me of my mom.
This ornament will remind me of my friend every year. It was won by my husband at an ornament exchange for a work christmas party. There's a funny story behind it.

I picked up these gorgeous red velvet bells in Nebraska last year when I was visiting my best friend. There are two different sizes. I love them and they remind me of her and the fun we had.This cup belonged to my Grandpa Dale. He gave it to me about a year before he passed away. It was his as a small child.
This ornament was made by Levi this year. Handmade ornaments from my kids are always a big hit. No matter if they match the tree or not, they always get a front-and-center seat on the tree.I put poinsettas on my tree every year. My parents did it and still do it now. I love how the lights make them glow.
So now that I shared just a few of my ornaments on the tree I'll let you see the big picture. All 10.5 feet of it. Next year I'm going to find a tree that's fuller, but I love the ones with lots of space too.
Merry Christmas Eve Day everyone!
Remember your blessings!
Amber & Family

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Kids Are So Resourceful

We went out in the woods and cut down our tree on Saturday with some friends. We made a whole day of it with a fire, hot dogs, and chili. While the adults got everything set up the kids found an old tailgate someone had used as a target. Our camp became a playground/rodeo in no time.

Remember your blessings!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Change It Up For The Holidays

I'm limited on how much room I have for storing my holiday decorations. This is why I'm such a fan of using accessory pieces in my home that can easily be added to or switched-up according to the season.

Let me explain what I'm talking about.

This is the inside of my mantle. It always has the candles, window, mirror, and scale. In the fall I had some fall garland with acorns, orange and brown berries, and twig-like accents intertwined all through these candles. To change it up for the holidays I simply wrapped a few of the candles using the ribbon I used in my wreath and window garland. I also added some whimsy by hanging some fun glittery snowflakes using fishing line and scotch tape.This dish sits on my coffee table. It usually holds wicker balls but I switched those out with these red ornaments for Christmas.
I love this window I picked up at the Antique Mall. I just added a plastic removable hook to it and hung this simple green candle ring to look like a wreath. The best part is that the candle ring was on clearance for $2.00.
I switched out the small green gourds in this glass candle jar for a couple ornaments and used a cut-down skewer to hang a pretty ornament for display.
This is my dining table centerpiece. It is so versatile! I removed the white candles that usually reside in the glasses and replaced them with more of these red ornaments. I also removed the pumpkins, gourds, and fake pears and replaced them with pinecones and faux pine from the craft store.
I thought filling this completely with red ornaments would 1) be too expensive, and 2) be overkill on the red ornaments so I just incorporated a few into the existing wicker balls.
Feel free to add a pet or two as well. They can be bribed with just a small piece of cheese and they really add a homey feel to your decor.
Rember your blessings, and share the joy!

Thursday, December 10, 2009


I just thought I'd post a quick Winchester/Tristan update to let you know how they are getting along. They are pretty good buddies now. Winchester will still occasionally chase Tristan and sit on her, but she holds her own and, really, pesters him more than he pesters her.

Take this picture, for instance. Awwww.... isn't that sweet?
Right after I snapped this picture Tristan attacked Winchester's head. He takes it and doesn't complain. What a good boy he is. Tristan on the other hand, well, we've dubbed her "Monster Kitty." Hopefully she grows out of that.

Remember your blessings!

P.S. - I know some of you are anxious for more holiday decorating that I promised on Monday. I should have time to finally take the rest of my holiday decorating pictures tonight so I can put them online tomorrow. It's been an incredibly busy week!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Tis The Season!

We decorated Saturday. It was so much fun! My fine specimen of a man put up the lights on the house while I decorated inside.

Hubby is afraid of heights so this was quite an accomplishment for him. Look at him up there risking his life to make our house shine. We're definitely not the Griswoalds, but our house is still full of Christmas spirit.
Inside I was busy decorating the windows and mantle. Here's a few photos from around the livingroom.

I found these rusty bells and stars at the local craft store. I LOVE them! They really give a rustic feel to the swags, and the gingham ribbon was perfect. It added just enough of a cottage/country feel without overdoing the country part of it.

I was going to put poinsettias in with these hydrangias until I found red hydrangias. I was so happy to have found them!The boys even put up their bedroom tree and decorated it.This was Levi's contribution to the decorations outside. He found this old bracelet of mine somewhere and thought it looked perfect here.

Tomorrow I plan to post about versatile decorating. You know, decorating with what you have and just adding/changing it for the holidays. Storing specific decorations just for a holiday can take up a lot of room. I've come up with some solutions that work well for me.
Hooray for Christmas and the joy it brings!
Remember your blessings!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Football Guys

I found the perfect gift for little football fans. They're called Football Guys. I know my youngest is going to LOVE them! I just had to share. They also come in hockey, soccer, and baseball.
Set includes:
26 2" players
1 referee
2 goalposts
24"x 36" washable felt field
10"x 6"x 5" stackable container with attached lid and handle

Don't you just love it when you find the PERFECT gift?

Remember your blessings!