Santa Letters

The Dear Santa letters are written and are now on their way to the North Pole.



In my opinion, there really is nothing cuter than little kids handwriting.


And my eight year old has included a special message to Santa just to explain a few of his behavior choices lately.


“I haven’t been perfect, but I’ve been good.”


I’m pretty sure Santa has noticed the good.

Christmas Wreath 2013

Because I am trying to decorate on the cheap but also needed a change from our regular Christmas decor, I decided to make as many of the new items as I could.

This wreath on our door is one of the new items (looks better in person).


I took a sad old wreath which I had previously glued ornaments onto (it was a sad hot mess) and decided to spray it white.


I then put on a row of glue and my daughter and I put a glitter mixture on top of that. I used equal parts silver and gold glitter.


I kind of love it.

100%  change for free.

I may add something in the middle eventually but for right now I’m enjoying that I can sale right through the rest of winter with this on my door.



Have you added any new decorations this year?


I have a confession.

I’m kind of bah humbugging it over here.

I know I have everything to be thankful and grateful for but I’m still feeling a little like Scrooge.

I feel like someone is missing from our family. Someone a long way off who I’ve never even met.

I know it’s crazy but that’s how I feel.

It was made momentarily worse when we received a letter from our adoption agency letting us know the process to adopt in Ethiopia has gotten even slower. The government wants to make sure all adoptions are legit and I get that. I commend that.

It’s just really slow.

Gee, other bloggers are showing off their holiday recipes and decorations, aren’t you glad you stopped over here?

I’m also starting to feel completely overwhelmed with class parties, class party meetings, gifts for teachers (that’s 17 teachers if you count them all), present buying, cleaning house, decorating, Christmas card sending, wrapping, present making, present sending, Christmas pageant prep, and everything that goes along with all of that.

Plus, I just tried on my nice pants which I’m planning to wear on Christmas Eve and there’s a good chance I won’t be able to eat Christmas Eve dinner if I don’t want the buttons to pop.

I think it all came to a head for me as I stood in line at the post office yesterday on the busiest day of the year getting the last of our out of town packages sent. When I walked into the post office there were 28 people in front of me. Each with several packages. And letters. And questions. And apparently the inability to understand that you must tape your boxes closed in order for the post office to send them.

I finally walked out of the post office 50 minutes later thrilled to have that task crossed off but knowing that was really just the start of my list.

I promptly ignored my list and went for a swim. Hey, I figure that’s at least trying to address the Christmas Eve pants issue.

So here’s what I’ve decided to do so that I don’t turn into a fully green Grinch.

I’m making my lists,
checking them twice,
going to only give gifts to teachers who are liked,
& I’m thinking of going on a cleaning strike.
My kids are helping with the wrapping,
but that really means more work for me.
I’ve decorated the house on the inside
but ignoring the outside and hiring a lady named Nancy.

Ok, so maybe song writing isn’t my thing but I think you get my drift.

I’ve just accepted the fact that all the house projects I wanted to accomplish just won’t get done. We are not going to have outside lights, the house will not be spotless, and some how everything else will just get done.

Of course, it might help matters if I was to get off the computer and go start on those teacher gifts. I’m sure they are going to all love my Cheezits in a ziploc.

And tomorrow?…Christmas decorations.

I promise.



Missing Socks

I’ll give you one guess as to who is not getting their socks to the laundry bin…



It’s not little one.

And no, my eight year old did not suddenly start wearing itty bitty teeny tiny pink socks.

He wears white athletic socks.

Don’t see them on here?

That’s because just about all his socks are missing.

There’s not even one loose one to be found.

I’m waiting for that day when I open a drawer, look under a cushion, or empty a box and they all fall out.

Until then, I guess I’m off to buy more socks.

Or maybe he can just wear some of his sister’s socks, some of which are getting to the laundry bin.

Days 1, 2, & 3 While in Japan

My husband just returned last night after being away for almost 2 weeks on a business trip to Japan.

(He had to go train people in a computer program. No one in Japan has the technical knowledge to do this training? I think he really just went for the Okonomiyaki and Ramen. Love you dear!)

Regardless, we are all very glad to have him home.

Each day I emailed him a little synopsis of our day so I thought I would share days 1, 2, and 3 with you.

Day 1

  • Roughly 5 hours after you left…
  • Caroline woke up with a fever
  • toaster oven handle broke totally at breakfast
  • garage door suddenly not working correctly so we are now walking the bikes through the house
  • filled Caroline up with Advil and she went to school
  • swam 1400 until got kicked out of lane
  • picked up Sophie and the vet informed me that she needs to have her ears washed out and medicine put in everyday for the next 14 days – I will let you guess who will be doing the last 2 days of treatment
  • music class – made $20 selling cards towards adoption
  • dinner at Cici’s
  • basketball – Andrew’s head coach is weird, like straight from the chimps looking weird, Andrew thought he was fine
  • Andrew swims then Alex swims
  • Smuggle Caroline into girls locker room where I give her a shower and ignore the mean looks from the cleaning lady who is doing no cleaning
  • Drive home while Andrew & Caroline watch Tom & Jerry Nutcracker in car
  • Alex is dropped off by Sheryl from practice
  • went to bed at 1:00 am

Day 2

  • Caroline still had fever, went to school, would not hear of not going
  • swam 2100 – didn’t get kicked out – tired
  • pick up Caroline and she has a constant cough
  • Alex goes early and stays late to work on project
  • piano lesson
  • drive thru mac n cheese & cornbread for boys for dinner, Caroline thinks I’m poisoning her with said bread
  • drop Andrew off at boy scouts with Bryce
  • drive Alex to soccer practice (Laura brings him to indoor game after practice)
  • go back to Boy Scouts
  • Andrew has to bring a collection of 10 of something to next meeting – he wants to bring 10 pencil leads – our kid is weird sometimes
  • take little 2 home and shower them
  • drive to indoor soccer game at 8:30 pm game where team is killed 9-0
  • drive home & kids asleep by 10:15 – yikes!
  • went to bed at 12! getting better

Day 3

  • fever still, doesn’t go to school, cough is too bad
  • Drive Alex to school early
  • Start cleaning out closet with Caroline – complete waste of time attempting that with her
  • doctor’s appointment at 11:30 who says she has no idea what the cough is – if doesn’t go away by Friday will do chest xrays – decides to put her on liquid zpack
  • go to target to pick up a few things before winter storm which is supposed to hit tomorrow night – $160 later we leave Target
  • get Caroline lunch and medicine and start to heat lunch in microwave
  • Caroline starts throwing up everything she had to eat that day
  • Clean up puke – fun!
  • Put Caroline in shower and eat lunch
  • Andrew comes home and shows me his collection of pencil lead that he has had at school – Jessie is helping him collect the lead “I think she’s breaking her pencil lead on purpose. She gave me like three leads in three minutes.”
  • Get lecture from nurse on phone about why Caroline needs to have her medicine & that if she doesn’t take it, she’ll have to come in for a shot
  • I plead, I beg, I try and hide it, I literally sit on top of her, and yet no medicine goes in – it all comes out with spit and runs down her face
  • I say, welcome shot!
  • Pick up Alex from band rehearsals. He is so enthusiastic about the practice that I’m willing to bet that he will want 76 trombones played at his wedding.
  • Eat chicken dinner, burn rice, eat leftover cornbread, and strawberries. I eat the corn. No one else acknowledges its existence.
  • Everyone “helps” in giving Sophie her medicine. Basically Sophie got 3 treats and no medicine tonight. I don’t care. She can go deaf.
  • Drive to swimming.
  • Again shower Caroline in locker room.
  • Drive home. I say no to Tom & Jerry. Caroline proceeds to harass me for next 15 minutes on why she can’t watch it. I win.
  • Put younger to bed in our bed. You are going to have to kick Andrew out of your spot. He’s been loving sleeping there every night and says it’s so cozy.  Have to reassure Andrew that Caroline will not throw up on him.
  • Alex gets dropped off from swimming and takes worlds longest shower all while humming Christmas carols. He then eats last piece of pumpkin pie and 2 granola bars.
  • Tuck Alex onto the sofa cushions in our room. We’re having quite the slumber party without you here.
  • I eat tons of Halloween candy while sitting at the computer.
  • Looks like it might be another 1 am night.

Love you and miss you – only 9 more nights till you come home!

Jennifer & the kids


Big D & Me Christmas & Winter Fun

I’m sure everyone is in the final stages of gift buying for the holidays so I wanted to remind you of the wonderful Christmas products available in the Big D & Me Etsy Shop.

For those Christmas & Winter parties there’s bingo!

Printable Christmas Bingo


Printable Winter Bingo


For neighbors, teachers, friends, and family there’s Christmas Conversation Cards & Lunchbox Jokes…

Printable Christmas Conversation Cards & Lunchbox Jokes




Ready to Send Christmas Conversation Cards & Lunchbox Jokes



Head on over to Big D & Me Etsy to do some last minute Christmas shopping 🙂


Fat Belly

I was helping my four year old with something when she poked me in the belly and said, “You have a fat belly.”

“That is not nice. People don’t like to hear that they have a fat belly.”

She poked me again and said, “You have a medium belly.”

I see many parent teacher conferences in this ones future.


Baby It’s Cold Outside

Baby, it’s cold outside.

Actually, it’s not just cold in Texas right now, it’s freezing.

Wednesday we were in shorts and it was 79 degrees outside.

Thursday we had tons of freezing rain and temperatures below 30 degrees.

School was cancelled on Friday (insert cheer from my kids) so we stayed home all day. With temperatures not expected to reach above freezing until Monday we may be in the house for several days.

The kids wanted to go outside because everything was covered in white. Initially, I told them no, “It won’t be fun. It’s just ice.”

But I relented and we all bundled up and ventured outside. After five minutes I was done. Actually I didn’t want to go out at all so I’m being pretty generous when I say five.

“Can we have a snowball fight?”

“No, it’s just ice.”

“Can we make a snowman?”

“No, it’s just ice.”

“Can we slide down the hill?”

“No, it’s ice and you would kill yourself.”

I went inside after about 15 minutes, standing in the doorway, watching them, peppering them with constant demands – “Get off the fence,” “Please don’t climb on that, “Get down from there.”

Seriously, I’m worried about their common sense.

It’s ICY folks.

With temperatures that officially felt like 13 degrees and ice covering the ground, my kids naturally played soccer outside for an hour and a half.


Now they’re inside watching Christmas movies which I’m completely fine with.

Gives time for the pneumonia to set in.

Just a joke, please oh please God, just a joke.

Update: The kids are home again today (Monday) and still thrilled about it. Too much ice on the roads. No one to clear them for us in the South so we wait till it warms 🙂

Good Morning!

I’m fairly sure…


that this is…


how the rest of the world…



eats their breakfast.


Nothing says “Good Morning,” like a cheetah hat and Mardi Gras mask.

Told you she was a fashion icon in the making.