December 28, 2006

The Larabie Family - Christmas Day 2006

We hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. We certainly did. Kelly's aunt and uncle arrived on the 23rd (from Illinois) and the visiting started. On Christmas Eve we took cookie platters to the fire station and police station as a Christmas gift and a "Thank You" for all they do. Then we all went to Michael's house for a cocktail party complete with fire in the fireplace and a bonfire outside. Well, it was supposed to be a bonfire but we could only get a portion of it going because it had rained for a couple of days & got the wood damp. It was still nice. Tish's mother and youngest sister had come to visit (from FL) so we got to see them as well. We left about 9pm because we needed to get the kids to bed. We managed to get home, leave out cookies, milk & a note for Santa, sprinkle magic reindeer food outside (front & back), do the last night on the Advent Calendar and get the kids to bed by 10pm. Of course, Corey and I had to stay up a while to make sure everyone was asleep and finish "preparing" for Santa's visit.

Christmas morning arrived about 7am at the Larabie house. Morgan and Alex started in on their stockings while Kelly and Corey got Diet Coke and coffee. Then they opened their 2 Santa gifts (Morgan - Barbie stable & Tawney the walking horse, Alex - Lego Airplane city set and a Magna Doodle/Etch-a-Sketch combo pack) and then the presents from us. Morgan did a good job of handing out gifts and made sure that Corey and I took turns opening gifts as well. It wasn't chaotic or crazy...which was nice. We took our time and enjoyed looking at each gift. By 9am we were ready for breakfast. The kids got to play with some of their gifts and Corey & I started working on the food we were taking over to Kelly's mom's house for Christmas dinner.

Christmas afternoon found us at GC's house (Kelly's mom) surrounded by family. In attendance were: Kelly, Corey, Morgan & Alex, GC, Michael & Tish (Kelly's brother & his girlfriend), Aunt Susan & Uncle Jeff (Kelly's aunt, GC's sister and her husband), Aunt Ilene (Kelly's other aunt...her husband & Kelly's dad were brothers), and Beth & Kelly (Tish's mom & youngest sister). We had stockings filled for everyone, gifts galore...GC went *nuts* as usual. LOL! Seriously folks, gift overload. It was fun, wonderful and sooo chaotic (the gift opening part). Everyone had such a great time. But I tell ya....when we got home I was in sensory overload, had NO clue what my children had received as gifts and from whom, I didn't know what *I* had received! Eeeek! I think we fell into bed & didn't move.

On Tuesday, Morgan, GC & I went shopping at Target (our day after Christmas tradition) but didn't find much. Aunt Susan & Uncle Jeff headed into Nashville to pick up Pete (Susan's son) from the airport. We met up for lunch and then met up with Corey & Alex back at GC's house. Corey had to go back to work and so Alex had stayed home to play with Daddy. We had a great visit, opened gifts from Pete, had dinner & played games. Another late night...very unusual for our children. I'm beginning to wonder how we will ever get them back on their normal schedule after all of this is over. LOL!

Yesterday, we did our own thing during the day but then had everyone over for burgers on the grill at our house. You know...nice & simple, just the 10 of us. LOL

Tonight we are heading back over to Michael's house for chili and one more night of visiting because on Friday Susan, Jeff & Pete all head home. GC will have a few more days of visiting and I'm thinking that she will spend it recovering. ;-)

I have pictures on my computer but have NOT had time to upload them anywhere so the family pic above is all you get for the moment. Take care.

Happy New Year!

December 23, 2006

Merry Yule! We hope everyone had a blessed day. It was the Winter Solstice today...the longest night of the year. After this the sun will return a wee bit more each day leading up to the longest day of the year at the Summer Solstice. It is a celebration of light.

The kids received 2 gifts this morning, a book and a pair of homemade pjs by Mom. They were excited and happy with their gifts. They were even willing to model their pjs for us so I could get a picture. :-) Morgan started reading her book right away. Our little bookworm.

Speaking of pictures...I have pictures up of our recent crafts & projects as well as the kids this morning. You can just click on the link on the right for the Yule & Christmas projects. Our paper balls, the relaxation pillows and Morgan's pillow are all there.

Today we had planned on finishing up the candy making so we got started. Last night we made the almond coconut balls and the dipping part was a disaster! We finally got just under 1/2 of them dipped and called it quits. We froze the remaining dough balls and I'll cover them later. I was really having a meltdown and Corey came over to rescue me from myself. He is such a sweetie and I'm so very thankful because I really had myself worked up GOOD about those darn candies. By the end of it he had me cracking up. Thank you honey! So...back to today... we were making orange creams covered in milk chocolate and mint creams covered in dark chocolate (thanks to my friend, Anita for the idea & recipe). So we made the fondant and color & flavor each half. We set it aside in the fridge and start with the milk chocolate. I had the melting wafers so I thought it would be easier than the night before using chocolate chips. Well, the fondant was too sticky and I couldn't roll it out or shape it. When I tried and dipped it in the melted chocolate it became a gooey blob. I about lost it! This was 2 candy disasters and I just wasn't dealing with it well. So I put the fondant back in a ball & back in the fridge and covered the chocolate and left it. LOL! I vented to some friends & went on with my day. After helping my mom finish up her house, we all went to dinner and she came over to our house. She helped the kids wrap their gifts to us. She was dying for these orange creams to be made and came up with a suggestion. Another friend suggested adding some more confectioner's sugar to the fondant & that helped...then my mom's solution was to drizzle the chocolate over the pieces instead of dipping them and VOILA we had candies!! I think she enjoyed herself as well. So thanks to a little help from family and friends, I got all my projects done. :-) Thanks!!

So for a complete rundown of what we've made, here ya go:
Oatmeal Cookies, Snickerdoodles, Chocolate Fudge, Peanut Butter Fudge, M&M Cookies, Pecan Pie Cookies, Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies, Peppermint Bark, Almond Coconut Balls, Orange Creams w/Milk Chocolate and Mint Creams w/Dark Chocolate. In addition I made 10 relaxation pillows (3 of those with lavender), 2 jammies, paper balls, helped Morgan with her pillow sewing project, and painted wooden ornaments.

I think that covers it. :-) All that is left is gift wrapping and enjoying family & friends. My aunt and uncle will be in town tomorrow from IL....and let the visiting begin.

Merry Yule and Merry Christmas everyone. I'll be checking back in at some point and will have plenty of pictures to share. Enjoy your families and be safe.

The Larabie Family - Kelly, Corey, Morgan & Alex

December 21, 2006

Tired, tired, tired. I think that about covers it. LOL! I can't believe it has been a week since I last posted. Sorry about that. It has been a busy week. Morgan's sleepover and Yule Ball went great last Friday. Corey managed to get home before I got home from picking up the girls. I think they all stopped giggling about 11pm. Saturday morning we all went to see Eragon. I thought it was good and I think everyone else thought so too...except for those that read the book and they had a lot to say about how much was cut out. Doesn't that always happen though? We met up with the girls' mom and spent some time up in Cool Springs doing shopping with my mom. Then we met my brother & his girlfriend for dinner. Alex dumped some Creole seasoning (powder) onto the table and then ended up getting it in his eye! Then poor little man fell asleep before his dinner came & slept right through.

We have decorated the tree and put up more inside decorations...bows on the banister, stockings hanging and some candles out. The kids are enjoying the heck out of their Advent Calender and Morgan has another countdown up on the dry erase board. They aren't excited or anything. ;-)

We have been doing more baking...pecan pie cookies and a double batch of M&M cookies. I just have candy to make and then I'm all done. I've also been sewing and working on other craft projects, which causes Corey to think I'm absolutely nuts. Who am I to disagree with him??
LOL I learned about a paper craft from my friend Carla's blog (linked on the side bar on the right of this page) and she learned about it from someone else that saw it in Martha Stewart's Holiday magazine...or something like that. Anyway, I got the stuff & just had to try them out! Paper Balls or Paper Sphere Ornaments. They came out great and we plan on making more. I need to take a picture of them and then I'll share with you. We also have painted wooden ornaments, and Morgan is learning to sew. Corey let her pick out some fabric as long as she completed a project with it. She bought 2 fat quarters and decided to make a pillow using 1 print for each side. She sewed it this morning all by herself with Mom standing at the ready, just in case. We now need to get the stuffing for it and she'll have herself a cute & funky pillow for her room. It is big enough to be used as an extra on her bed, for reading, etc. It is a purple print on one side and a pink & purple swirl on the other...will match her room just right.

I have one pair of pajamas finished for Morgan. It is a pair I started before but didn't finish & then became too small. So I opened them up at the sides and adding coordinating fabric in "racing stripe" fashion. Yea, it worked! :-) Tonight I cut out a pair of lounge pants for both kids. I was going to make them pajamas but the pattern calls for knit fabric for the tops and JoAnn had none...well, brown & some weird colors but no blue, yellow, pink, or purple. So we will have to get coordinating long sleeve t-shirts. Tomorrow night will be sewing them up and then VOILA they will be done.

Lastly, I made 5 relaxation pillows today, so tomorrow I will fill them & close them up and they will be complete.

Will I make it? Hopefully I will live to tell you all about it. Corey is officially on vacation and Saturday starts the extended family aunt & uncle arrive in town and we will be visiting a lot at my mom's, my brother's, etc. :-) Thankfully Yule will be a nice, quiet family celebration with just Corey, the kids and myself. I'm looking forward to it.

Just had to share, Corey has been blogging again so stop by & say "HI".

December 14, 2006

Yea, Corey will be home tomorrow night. We've managed to get through the week just fine but we have all missed him and he has missed us. It hasn't been an easy week for him while attending the class the big project he is on has had problems so he keeps getting called out of the class to log in & deal with it. Very frustrating since he is missing the class he is supposed to attend.

As for Mom and the kiddos all has been pretty good. Monday, after school, we had our organic co-op delivery which ran VERY late. Morgan ended up missing her dance classes but was okay with the whole thing. Both kids were VERY good while waiting for the late truck, helping out while we distributed & split up everything. I was very pleased. As we left, at 6:15pm, they were both voicing their hunger and Morgan informed me that I needed to take them to a "suitable" restaurant since they had been so good. LOL! She's such a character. We went to Beef O Brady's and even participated in the trivia game they were doing. We had a good time and the kids got to stay up late. Bedtime went smoothly too...yea! Tuesday we did stuff around the house after schooling and then just did some hanging out. Wednesday we had planned on going to park day & then to my mom's for some baking. But she had bad back spasms & ended up being home from work the whole day so we headed over earlier. We got some baking done for her, 2 batches of fudge and 2 batches of delicious pumpkin bread. We took dinner over there so she even got a home cooked meal out of it. LOL! Again, another kind of late evening for the kids. Today, we got some baking done, snickerdoodles, peanut butter fudge and rice krispie treats. I finished washing the fabric I'll be sewing so that is all ready. I think Alex decided the day hadn't been interesting enough because this evening he tripped while coming down the stairs. He was about halfway down and just tumbled, completely head over heels, down and smacked the back & side of his head on the wood floor at the bottom of the stairs. I saw it happening but couldn't stop it. I scooped him up just as the scream came out of him. :-( Poor thing, scared both of us and then he had the headache to deal with. He got a lot of loving after that from both Mommy and Morgan.

Morgan finished reading Eragon tonight. She is thrilled because we go see the movie on Saturday morning. Tomorrow will be a busy day....we have a few things to do around the house, then we pick up her 2 friends, Tayler & Autumn and head over to the library for the girls to help decorate for the HP Club Yule Ball. When they are done we come home and they will make the treats they are taking (Troll Boogies & Magic Wands) and will make crackers to exchange. After dinner, I'll take them up to the ball at 7pm and Alex & I get to have some special time together. Corey's plane is due in at 8pm but he has at least an hour drive home via taxi. The ball is due to finish at 9pm so I'll get home with the kids around the time he should be getting home. After a sleepover we are all going to Eragon at 10am.

Next week we will be finishing up our holiday preparations...Yule and Christmas.

December 10, 2006

It is official....I'm 39 now. Funny, I don't feel it. Or maybe I do and this is what 39 feels like. LOL! Either way, it is all good.

This week has been a cold one here in middle TN but we are loving it. The kids are learning to layer their clothes and we are all remembering to bundle up. Our NY days are coming back to us. ;-) I am in desperate need of a better coat & we are working on that.

Thursday, Morgan & I went over to my mom's house and helped my brother work on the fence he is building for her. It was SOOO very cold but we bundled up good and got a LOT done! I defrosted eventually after coming inside. Morgan was a great helper and has learned to measure the boards and mark them. She'll be a big help when we do our fence.

Friday we had a field trip to the Tennessee Agricultural Museum for Home for the Holidays and really enjoyed it. We got to tour the museum after the presentation and then go visit the horses from the Metro Mounted Police at the barn next door. We took my mom with us on the field trip and she enjoyed it. Her first homeschooling field trip with us.

Saturday we went to the Leipers Fork Christmas parade. This is the town that my brother lives in and they have a really cute parade. We had a great time. Corey couldn't come because of being on call & having been paged earlier in the day. We missed him. We picked up Quizno's (what I wanted for my birthday LOL) and brought it home. He surprised me by baking a birthday cake while we were gone. What a sweetie!!

Today we are going to try to get our tree and get the rest of the outdoor lights up. Corey has to travel next week...leaving early Monday morning & will be gone all week. He's going to Tampa for a class....last minute of course. The kids & I wanted to go with him so we could see friends but we have several days scheduled with things that we can't cancel or postpone. One of them is Morgan's Yule Ball that she has worked so hard with on the decorating committee. She's having 2 friends over to spend the night & go to the ball with her. Corey should be home late Friday night and then on Saturday we are all going to a special showing of Eragon with her HP Club. They've rented the local theatre just for the club & friends. The kids are so excited. Morgan is reading the book and is about half way through. Corey just finished it.

December 4, 2006

Brrrrrrrr!! Talk about cold! Tonight was the local Christmas parade. Every town around us has a parade on a different day/evening and tonight was Columbia's turn. The parade started at 7pm. We headed up there at 6:30pm to find a place to park before the road was closed. It was 27 degrees at that time. We were all layered and bundled but man 'o man it was still so cold. The theme was "Santas, Santas everywhere" and so there were Santas everywhere....every float, walking around, etc. It was cute. Morgan's dance classes were cancelled for today because all the teachers & older girls were to be in the parade. We saw them dance by & yelled hi to all the ones we knew. Morgan thought that was cool. By 7:30pm the kids had had enough of the cold and wanted to go. There was a little more to the parade but since we were there for them to have fun we left when they were ready. I think we all had a numb nose & toes. Thank goodness for a warm van. LOL! On the way home it was 25 degrees, with the windchill in the teens! We got home and made some yummy hot cocoa. :-) They are now watching Rudolph and the Island of Misfit Toys on ABC Family.

Earlier today we made a batch of fudge and some homemade turkey soup from Thanksgiving leftovers (we froze the turkey leftovers just for this). It came out great and was perfect for pre-parade dinner. While we were working on everything Morgan started asking about spelling. She's been into it since seeing Bee Season and Akeelah and the Bee. Corey tells her that if she is interested we could start giving her words to learn or see about a spelling curriculum for her. I said that I remembered spelling tests in 3rd grade and that squirrel was one of the words. She said "ACK! I can't spell squirrel" LOL! Then, she asked if we could give her a spelling test. So I asked her to spell the following words (trying to come up with some while working on the turkey soup & baking rolls): apple, thought, banana, academy, penguin, squirrel, freezing, blanket, telephone, and hungry. She spelled all of them correctly except penguin & squirrel. She had "peinguin" and "squerell" so not far off. So I think we have a new interest for her.

We put some lights outside today...some net lights over the bushes in front of the porch and our little train. I can't wait to get more up! Our fiber optic penguin doesn't look so lonely out there now.

December 3, 2006

Let the baking begin. LOL! Today we made oatmeal cookies and peanut butter blossoms (peanut butter w/choc kisses). So that is 2 down. ;-) Cookies baking always make the house smell so good. :-) This afternoon we went over to my mom's house so Corey could help my brother work on the fence. He is making her a 4 board fence and has all the posts in and is now working on the boards. They were doing good until the nail gun jammed so bad they couldn't get it to clear. While at my mom's house, Alex fell off her bed while watching TV. I was outside and heard my mom screaming for me & Alex screaming. I came running in to find my mom holding a screaming, sobbing Alex, while he clutched his right arm to his body. Mom was so worried that he had broken his collar bone or dislocated his shoulder or something. I finally got him to calm down enough to answer questions & show me where it hurt. He kept placing his hand under his right arm & against his ribs...and was very worried that he was bleeding. I think he fell with his arm out & something caught him under his arm. Nothing seems out of place or causing him pain or trouble so I think it is all just bruised.

It is COLD here and we are loving it. Just wish we had some pretty snow. I have to laugh because I think it would be neat for the kids to have snow because Alex doesn't remember it at all & Morgan does just a little. However, I do not want the mess that comes with it...tracking mucky snow into the house, puddles by the doors,etc. Also, snow is only pretty when it is freshly fallen snow...after that it becomes dirty, yucky stuff.

Tonight at dinner Morgan got hit with a severe headache. The onset was very sudden & took us all by surprise. We had just started eating & she pushed her plate away, was crying that the light, the noise & everything was just too much. We were out with my mom & didn't have anything with us that might help her. Corey ate quickly & then took her home. Mom, Alex & I finished up and stopped at Walgreen's on the way home because we just weren't sure we had something at the house to help her. I gave her some Jr. Tylenol and within 45 mins of taking it the headache was gone. During the headache her cheeks were BRIGHT pink almost like she had been smacked or something. When the headache had subsided her cheeks were back to normal. I hope this was an isolated event.

May tomorrow be less eventful! LOL! At least in the drama/trama scheme of things.

Ooh, I almost forgot. I just have to share. First I have to say that we still have our Tampa phone numbers for our cell phones. So, yesterday (Saturday), I get this phone call on my cell phone from my half-brother, Donny, who is living in Ocala, FL. He and a friend are in the Clearwater/St. Petersburg area and he wanted to check on some directions and also to see if he could stop by to say hi & visit. After chuckling for a minute, I had to let him know that we were no longer in Tampa. I thought for sure he had been in all the notices when we were letting people know about our move. And I know that my step-brothers & everyone know about the move so I would have thought for sure that he would have been told. LOL! He thought it was funny and said he would have to plan a trip up here since so much family is up here now. Sooo...Dad, if you are reading this...let Donny know our new information when you talk to him. He said he was going to email me so hopefully I hear from him again. ;-)

December 2, 2006

Shopping on Friday was fun. Mom loved The Fairy Grotto at The Factory and spent some money there (I knew she would). After checking out other shops, the 3 of us had some lunch and headed out to JoAnn's and some other places. I can't mention all of them because some people we were shopping for read this. ;-) LOL! I was bummed at JoAnn's because they didn't have diddly for cotton interlock which I need for the tops to the jammies I'm making for the kids. Ugh! So I'm going to have to make the pants & get t-shirts to match them. A little frustrating but workable.

We have our list of all the cookies & candies we are going to make for the holidays. Some we will give as gifts, some keep for ourselves and some share with the local firemen & police officers. We are making 10 things! So the baking had better begin. We have all our ingredients so will start tomorrow.

Corey went up into the attic and got down the holiday totes. I swear one tote weighs as much as he does. LOL! We will start putting up the lights & such outside. We put our fiber optic penguin out on the porch but that is it. Corey has to work a change window from 2-4am so will be a little tired tomorrow. So we shall see how much we can get done.

The kids saw Cars this morning and tonight, Corey & I watched You,Me, and Dupree. Both good movies and we enjoyed them.