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Merry Christmas to ALL

Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Merry Christmas to all of our Family and Friends. Hoping you have a holiday season full of love, happiness and laughter.

Sean, Bonnie, Emma, Abby and Miley

P.S. I will be taking a Christmas break from blogging. See everyone soon.

We have been "ELF"ed!!!

Monday, December 21, 2009
Check us out:

Click here to see us "ELF'ed. Make sure you check out all 5 versions. Just click on try another dance and it will bring up all the options.

Christmas Books

Saturday, December 19, 2009
Over the years we have accumulated many Christmas books. So to make it more exciting to read them, I found this idea on another Blog (didn't bookmark the blog...now I can't find it). I wrapped up 18 Christmas books all in the same paper except for one. The idea is that the girls take turns unwrapping a book each night and then we read it. Wrapping them up makes it more exciting to unwrap and the surprise of finding out which book it will be. The book wrapped in different paper is for Christmas Eve...The Night Before Christmas. The girls have really enjoyed this and it will be a tradition I hope to do every year (only expense is the wrapping paper).
I put the books in a basket under the tree.


Sunday, December 13, 2009
Not sure if have posted about this before but if I did it is definitely worth saying again and again.

After my Grandmother (my Mom's Mom) died 17 years ago there was worry that the family of 3 brothers, 4 sisters and many grandchildren would loose contact. This was definitely hard for my Mom as well as me. I have many fond memories of the entire family cramming into my Grandmother's small row house in Highlandtown (now Canton) for Christmas, Easter and Birthday celebrations. There would be plenty of food, fun and family.

It seemed like after Grandmom West died there was a lull in the family gatherings. My Mom was always willing to have the entire family over at anytime. Then 9 years ago my Mom passed away. Several years went by without seeing the family together all at once. Just like my Mom I cherish my family and love to spend time with them.

So 6 years ago I started a new tradition: a Family Christmas Party in hopes of getting the family together as least once a year. I know this is a busy time for everyone, yet everyone seems to make it and have fun.

Yesterday was the 6th gathering and another one I will cherish. I have family that comes from the Eastern shore has far as Ocean City and family that comes from West Virginia. I try to spend time with everyone and catch up on the year's happenings. I know my Grandmother and Mom are just as happy as me to see everyone together.

(Aunt Jean, Uncle Tommy, Aunt Maryann, Uncle Dick, Aunt Gail and Uncle Carl - my Mom's brothers and sisters)

I want to thank my family for sharing in this wonderful day.

Dear Santa

Sunday, December 6, 2009
The girls wrote their "Dear Santa" letters yesterday and then delivered them to him today. Abby did great...huge difference than in the past few years. Two years ago we saw Santa 4 times before she would even stand within 5 feet of him. The MAGIC of Christmas has the girls very excited.

Naughty or Nice

Wednesday, December 2, 2009
So which list will you be on this Christmas? This past weekend we started a Naughty and Nice list to help keep the girls in line. Then I remembered an idea from last year. Several people we know did this, so we decided to give it a try.
Have you heard of Elf on a Shelf??? If you haven't, basically it is a "pretend" elf that sits on a shelf or somewhere in the house and watches to make sure you are being good. Check our this website to read more about the original idea: https://elfontheshelf.com/indexnf.php
I personnally think the official Elf on a Shelf is a little creepy. So my friend Julie had an idea to get an elf from the Disney store since they have the new Disney Christmas show "Prep and Landing".
So this morning Magee the Elf appeared on top of a bookshelf in our living room. On the dining room table was this letter:

Dear Emma and Abby,

My name is Magee and I am an elf. I have been sent to your house by Santa Claus. Santa is very busy this time of year and needs help making his Naughty and Nice lists.

My job is to keep my eyes on you for Santa. I will come to your house everyday and sit somewhere where I can see you. I will make sure you are being good. Every night I will report back to Santa and let him know if you were Naughty or Nice.

I have strict instructions not to talk to anyone while I am in your house. You however can talk to me. If you have a message that you want to give Santa just let me know and I will make sure he gets it.

Another important thing to remember is that you cannot play with me or touch me. I have an important job to do and Santa doesn't want me playing around.

Santa has told me that the two of you are very good girls but sometimes have a little trouble listening your Mom and Dad. I know it is hard to be good all the time but just remember I am watching for Santa.

I hope I can let Santa know that you are good so he can keep you on the Nice List.

I have left a little book for each of you. This book will help you get ready for Santa's arrival.

Thanks for letting me visit you.

Your Elf Friend,


When Emma first found Magee she said...."she is just a stuffed animal, look she is soft." Emma is asking lots of questions about Santa. Can't believe she is so curious at 6. I've had to be quick on my feet. Then before we left the house I heard Abby say...."Bye Magee, we are going to school and Mommy and Daddy are going to work." It was really cute.

The girls were pretty good tonight, hopefully this will work.

So the plan is for Magee to perch herself in a different spot everytime she returns in the morning. Hopefully this will keep the girls on the Nice List.

P.S. Abby said tonight that Santa lives at the North "pool"!!!!

Tis the Season

Monday, November 30, 2009
Now that Thanksgiving is behind us....the Christmas season is in full swing, even though it seems like it has been here for months.
We have decorated the house and will get the tree on Saturday. We have been watching holiday movies and enjoying the holiday spirit.

We are looking forward this weekend to a Christmas parade, tree shopping, decorating the tree and possibly visiting Santa (don't want to wait till last minute like last year and have to wait 1 1/2 hours).

We are making our list and checking it twice and hoping for a season of family, love, laughter and joy.

Thankful for...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009
*For my HOME that provides warmth, comfort and protection. A place where my children will grow up and create memories they will remember forever.
*For our jobs. Sean and I are very lucky to have very good jobs. We both work with such wonderful people that are like our extended family.
*For our friends. The ones me met in years past that have helped shape who we are, our current friends and those that we will hopefully re-connect with (thanks to FaceBook).
*For my Husband...by best friend, the father of my girls, my protector and my HERO. He makes me smile, he makes me laugh, he makes me feel safe and he melts my heart.
*For my GIRLS. They remind me on a daily basis of the importance of life and love. They make me laugh and make me feel like a kid again. They teach me patience and show me the world through their innocent and believing eyes.
*For my Family. For my Mom and Dad that raised and nurtured me into the person I am today, for my brother that I am very proud of and for all my extended family...aunts, uncles, cousins and in-laws.

I have so many blessings in my life and I am thankful for each and every one of them.


Thanksgiving cookies and.....

Monday, November 23, 2009
Today the girls made Pilgrim hat cookies. These are super easy. I showed the girls one time and they made rest.

We took Fudge Striped cookies turned them upside down, took a Reese's cup and dipped it in vanilla icing (added a few drops of yellow food coloring) then added a orange Tic Tac. I changed it up a little and tried to make one look like a turkey by adding candy corn.

Super easy, Super fun.

P.S. Yesterday I made ham and bean soup with DUMPLINGS. It was the first time I ever made Dumplings and they turned out. I have many memories of my Mom making dumplings. Many times they turned out but many times they didn't. These things are pretty temperamental. I was soooo excited that they turned out, especially on my first try. All turned out YUMMY!!!

Emma lost her first tooth on Friday (it had been loose since September). The Tooth Fairy stopped by and left $5, a certificate, and sprinkled some fairy dust on her pillow but the Tooth Fairy must of forgotten her fairy dust because Emma found it on my vanity...OOOPPS!!! Emma then said she thought the Tooth Fairy left it because she saw the scrapbook room and thought we could use it.!!!! Whewwwww!!! Hopefully the Tooth Fairy takes all her belongings with her next time!!!

Countdown Calendar

Monday, November 16, 2009
Last year as an easy and fun way for the girls to countdown the 25 days leading up to Christmas I made this.

I used a muffin tin then covered magnets with scrapbook paper. Everyday under the magnet is a treat or something fun to do. Here are some of the goodies I have planned for this year:
*watch Polar Express
*drive around and look at Christmas lights
*go visit Santa
*go ice skating
*bake cookies
*I bought reindeer pens and a snowman puzzle for other treats.
*decorate the Christmas tree
*watch a movie in Mommy and Daddy's bed
I've been planning out the schedule for the month. I then write the treat or surprise on a piece of paper, fold it up and put it under the magnet. The girls loved it last year and I look forward to the excitement and fun again this year.
(If you are one of my wonderful dedicated BLOG followers you might have seen this on my old BLOG.)

BIG Savings

Saturday, November 14, 2009

I love it when I SAVE MONEY and that I definitely did today. Of course it took some work: I planned our weekly dinner menu, perused the grocery store circulars, made my list, and pulled out coupons.

My first stop was Safeway. My total came to $76.28. I saved $23.28 with my Club Card and an additional $8.60 with my coupons. I spent $40.40.

Next I went to Superfresh (my usual place to grocery shop). My total came to $188.22. I saved $63.75 with my Club Card and an additional $20.65 in coupons. I spent $103.79.

So this week I saved $196.28 (this includes the $80 I saved at Toys r Us on Wednesday...see previous post). I also got $35 in gift cards as an added bonus (Toys R Us and Sears) and will get another $12 back in mail-in-rebates.

Not too bad for a weeks worth of shopping.

Countdown to Christmas

Thursday, November 12, 2009
* I started my Christmas shopping yesterday and got lots accomplished.

* Went to Toys r Us and saved $80 (all items were on sale), got $25 in gift cards to use later and will get $12 back in mail-in-rebates....not too bad.

* Local radio station WLIF will start their Christmas music in 13 days.

* Printed out ABC Family's November and December Holiday show schedule and the 2009 Holiday Specials Television Schedule (for all the channels).

***I guess I really need to focus on Thanksgiving, it will be here before we know it.

50 days til Christmas

Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Have you started shopping, have you planned your menus, have you made you gift list, have you planned any parties, have you made your Christmas wish list?????
If you haven't...better get with it. The stores have already sent out the Wish Books, Christmas music will be heard on the radio soon and Santa will be arriving at the malls in just a week or so. Crazy how every year the Christmas Season starts earlier and earlier. October thru December is my favorite time of year and the busiest.
About a month ago I made something to help me stay organized. It will hold ALL MY LISTS in one place and it is small enough to fit in my purse.
In this planner I will keep my Christmas gift list for my family and friends, family Christmas party info, receipts (in the envelope), Christmas to do list, Christmas traditions/memories, misc. Christmas shopping list and our fun stuff to do list. I can't take full credit for this idea. I did see something very similar on another BLOG but do not remember which one (if I did I would definitely post the link and give them credit). I did however make some changes so that it worked for me.
So WELCOME the the Christmas Season. Will keep you up to date on our Christmas adventures.

Halloween Happenings

Sunday, November 1, 2009
I hope everyone had a Happy Halloween. We certainly did. It was a busy day of carving, parading, partying and trick or treating.

Emma's class had a Book Character Parade on Friday (Fancy way of saying we don't celebrate Halloween) and Emma dressed up like Fancy Nancy.

The BIG Haircut

Thursday, October 29, 2009

About a month ago the girls said they wanted to get their hair cut. This all started when a little girl they know from Pre-school got her haircut into a bob. It did look really cute but that would be drastically different for my girls. I let it go but they kept saying they wanted their hair cut. I could see Sean CRINGE every time it was mentioned. Finally Sean and I talked and agreed to have it cut to their shoulders. I made an appointment with the girl that cuts my hair and today was the day.

I took them and it was harder than I thought. Abby was first. As I watched the first 8 inches of hair fall to the floor I thought I was going to burst into tears (As I am typing this I am getting all teary eyed). I had to hold it together so they wouldn't think something was wrong. Not to mention I was a little worried about Abby going through with it, considering the last time she had her hair trimmed she freaked out and would only sit on my lap. We talked all week about being a "big girl". I watched as Abby sat on the chair with a smile on her face the entire time. She was soooo excited. I was then worried Emma would chicken out when she saw all the hair on the floor.
Well as the pictures show they both did it and now they have "SHORT" hair. It is going to take some getting used to.


AFTER: sorry I don't have a better picture will post more soon.