The Rabbits, It’s Always the Rabbits – Part 4

Read here for The Rabbits – part 1, part 2, part 3

I know what you are thinking…Again with the rabbits?

Yes, the rabbits but this time it’s different.

Unbelievably, I just bought some rabbits.

I know.

Along with the rabbits I also purchased some ducks, geese, chickens, and honeybees.

You can close your mouth now.

Thankfully I purchased these animals from the comfort of my home.

And even more thankfully, I will never ever see any of these animals in my backyard or, even better, dead on my dining room floor.

Instead of angel Christmas gifts this year, my kids, influenced greatly by my 8 year old, decided they want to buy gifts through Heifer International.


“Heifer International works with community groups in third world countries and provides them with animals which help families help themselves. They train beneficiaries in animal well-being, agroecology, water quality, gender equity, and other topics. The training enables them to care for livestock, grow crops sustainably, and further lift themselves out of poverty.

Families then share the training they receive, and pass on the first female offspring of their livestock to another family. This extends the impact of the original gift, allowing a once impoverished family to become donors and full participants in improving their communities.”

I gave each child a budget and told them they could buy whatever animals they wanted as long as we didn’t exceed our total. We went through the gift catalog on the website reading about each animal, their cost, and talked about how those animals could help someone.

They contemplated, they added and subtracted, they debated, and they discussed.

Eventually, they decided and we bought a flock of hope (chickens, geese, and ducks), honeybees, and rabbits.


Yes, rabbits.

Once we convinced Caroline that buying a pegasus horse was not an option she went with the rabbits.

The family that kills rabbits just bought rabbits.

Cue the Lion King music. Again.

This year our family has talked a lot about poverty, families that are struggling, and kids who are hungry, both locally and far away. My hope is that by exposing them to programs like Heifer International and the Angel Tree they will see themselves as part of the solution and know that they can make a difference even at just 11, 8, and 4.

Donating to Heifer International was new to our family this year but based on the kids excitement I know it will not be our last experience with them. I think this program would also be fun for a school service project, a bake sale focus, or even an animal themed birthday party.

I’m not receiving any sort of compensation from Heifer for telling you about their program. I’m only asking that once you can purchase “a pegasus” our family is notified immediately.

Christmas Card 2013

Whew. It’s been awhile since I was here.

So sorry about that extended break.

I meant to warn you beforehand but I didn’t quite get to it.

Since it’s 2 weeks past Christmas now seems like the perfect time to share our Christmas card – OK not perfect but just go with it.

The week before Thanksgiving my husband found out he was going to be in Japan for the first two weeks of December so I knew we had to get our Christmas card picture taken immediately or it just wasn’t happening.

So we did what any family does and headed to the drainage system near our house.

Thankfully, we just took shots by the trees and saved the ditches for next year’s card.

We first started off taking a couple of nice shots…


…but then we quickly moved on to silly…



and even sillier when trying to set up the next shot.




Until finally we got what we were going for…


The card above is scanned so it’s not the best colors but I was very happy with the actual card.

Hope you have all had a wonderful start to the new year!

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.



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 🙂

Holidaying It Up

Hope you holidays have been wonderful.

Our break even included lots of snow!

A white Christmas in Texas!

I’m going to take another week off to enjoy with the kids before they head back to school.

Hope you are getting to spend some time enjoying the holidays!

Simple Christmas Card Display

Last year I hung our Christmas cards in the entry way. They were placed on large pieces of ribbon and attached with clothespins.

Well, I’ve radically changed things up this year and hung them in the family room on ribbons with PAINTED and GLITTERED clothespins.

Yep, pure craziness around here!

One of our countdown to Christmas activities was to decorate the clothespins.

Can you tell who has been a challenge to photograph lately?

The kids each painted about 8 clothespins with white, red, and green paint.

Some were solid colors, others with stripes and dots.

Yes, she’s in her bathing suit in December. Technically it was about 45 degrees outside at the time so she should have been in pants and a long sleeve shirt but sometimes it’s best to choose your battles.

The next day, after the paint was dry, the kids used a glue pen to make designs or words. Silver and gold glitter was then poured over the glue.

 “Ho Ho Ho.”


“Nice” and candy stripes

In order to hang the ribbons I used Command Strips.

I folded the ribbon several times and then cut a hole so that I could double up the ribbon.

 Add a bow to the top and your done!

These pictures were taken a week ago so the ribbons are filled with cards now and look great.

How are you displaying your Christmas cards this year?


Baby Jesus

Caroline’s teacher told me she had the following conversation with Caroline last week.

Teacher: “OK class,we have all the parts to make Baby Jesus in front of us.”

Caroline- “That’s not Baby Jesus.”

Teacher – “Well who is it then?”

Caroline – “That’s Charlie Brown.”

Teacher – “You know Caroline, I think you’re right.”


I think this will be the last year my oldest will believe.

In fact, he may not even get to the 25th but I’m crossing my fingers.

Now, we haven’t completely sheltered our kids – they’ve known sadness, been aware of world events, and been a part of serious dinner conversations.

It’s just that, to believe, is so magical and child like. Once he stops believing, he’ll be so much more grown up than he was just moments before.

He can rattle off the names of Civil War battles, go into detailed plane descriptions, and listen to eight straight hours of football coverage.

But he still believes.

When I hear him discussing reindeer characteristics and sleigh routes with his brother I smile.

So I think we may go see the Christmas movie before it hits the dollar show in March and buy the extra large gingerbread house to work on as a family.

And hopefully we’ll get through this last season with everyone believing.