Thursday, December 31, 2009

Good Bye 2009 & Hello 2010

Thank-you Lord for providing for our family in 2009! We had to get creative at times but you provided all that we needed!

Thank-you for our jobs; John is learning more about his job all the time and was blessed to travel to Little Rock for training twice this year. If I have to work outside the home I could not be more thankful for the job that I have! I love working with children & really believe God has lead me to work with children with special needs. My student improved scholastically & behaviorally by leaps and bounds in 2009. I took at week long class at the state school for the blind this summer. It was very hard to be away from my baby girl but I am thankful I went because I learned a lot. I totally love the time off I get with this job.

Thank-you for our daughters! Amanda turned 16 in April, she got her license and is a good driver. I had the privilege of spending the afternoon with her this summer while, because I was close by taking a class. She loves her Digital Media/Graphics design class and is quite the math whiz; taking a collage algebra course for college credit this semester and next semester she takes trigonometry. Our baby is turning into a little girl with opinions of her own and 2 year old emotions to get her point across. LeAnne's vocabulary keeps expanding, she runs instead of barely toddling and she is SLEEPING like a champ which is a huge blessing! Sleep is awesome! We are working on saying good bye to her binky too!!! Today is night # 1 without it.

Thank-you for our beautiful home in the country! John did an amazing job of landscaping our front yard. We are both hoping the Crape Myrtle survives the winter. John repainted our front door, did some fancy paint work to the upper portion of our house, and scored a riding lawn mower on Craiglist for $25 and LeAnne makes a great helper in the shop.

Thank-you Lord for our health & keeping our family safe from harm! Yes, John has struggled with neck and back pain a lot this year but it could be so much worse. My mama was in a serious car accident and we are so thankful she was not hurt worse and is on the mend.

Thank-you for the many family members who visited us throughout the year.

Mama bear says thank-you for her new found obsession, entering blog giveaways. I have been blessed to win some great giveaways and be exposed to a lot of amazing products. :-)

2009 is ending similar to 2008 in that Amanda was with us for Christmas last year, last year she stayed an extra day due to an overbooked flight and this year she's here and extra day due to not checking in on time. UGH! We feel really bad this happen, us parents were too nice, should have been a lil more forceful with our 16 year old procrastinator.

Also similar to last year, on this extra day we did enjoy a few more laughs together, and LeAnne about knocked her sister over with her good night kiss.

In 2010 here are a list of hopes and/or things I am excited for: (in no particular order)

1. Reading through the bible in a year with my husband & LeAnne close by playing.

2. Getting connected to a church. We ARE going to church this Sunday. We need to get connected, to grow and give back!!!

3. Amanda says she is excited 2010 is one year closer to 2011 when she will graduate from High School.

4. When I asked John his hopes for 2010 his responses were fish, food, gloves, wood. Then he said "Show me the money" & even did a little dance. :-) Alrighty comedian. My greatest hope for him this year is to be pain free as soon as possible!!

5. LeAnne will be moving to a booster chair for meals and hopefully start using a potty chair.

6. Wii & Wii Fit (maybe tax return)

7. All of us look forward to making new friends.

8. Fun family outings & date nights with my husband.

9. Mama bear would love to find a group of people to scrap book with. She's need to get caught up on her scrap books

10. Taking LeAnne to see the Ocean for the first time.

11. We will be praying about adding to our family .

12. Organizing LeAnne's room & our storage room.

13. A few trips to see family on the other side of the state & in Oregon

14. Big blog wins!

15. Mama bears biggest hope for this upcoming year is that each of us would never lose sight of God's amazing provisions in our life. I pray that we would see his guidance for all things in our life.

Happy New Year to you all!!! Many 2010 bring you and your loved ones great joy!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Snow Angel

This afternoon while LeAnne & I were playing in the snow all of a sudden she laid down all on her own and started moving her legs like you do when you make a snow angel. It was neat! So I laid down showed her how to make a snow angel. She ate a ton of snow, I pulled her around in her sled and we had a little snow ball fight. She is totally loving the snow this year. I am so thankful Grandpa Larry & Grandma Elaine got her a snow suit for her birthday. It kept her warmy & dry today! Here are a few cute videos I took today.

LeAnne & her 4 legged sisters playing in the snow!

We got about 2 inches of snow last night. I was able to hold LeAnne off until 8:30am to go outside and play. She had a lot of fun kicking the ball around and of course eating snow. Why is it that kids love to eat snow so much? Gracie & Bella were so excited to go outback and play in the snow. They were both covered in snow. LeAnne's gloves & hat kept her nice and warm. I think this afternoon I'll have to put her snow suit on her and go back out to play. :=) We'll drag big sister outside.

Snow soccer

Gracie had a blast playing fetch in the snow

LeAnne was too busy eating snow to care what the dogs were doing.

Snow is yummy!!

Bella girl

Less Words Wednesday - Sisters

These pictures are very precious to me because the girls were having so much fun together this afternoon. Since we live so far apart LeAnne only sees her big sister a few times a year. I love how quickly they're able to warm up to each other. Amanda has an amazing way with LeAnne & I can see she really enjoys her lil sis. LeAnne has been very curious about big sister's face. Could she be seeing how she looks like her? It's going be very hard to see big sister go home New Years Eve. We will treasure the memories & hope to see her again in March 2010.

New shoes, big sister picked them out for LeAnne

For more Word Less Wednesday head on over to 5 Minutes for Moms.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Operation Snip the binky

We have been having quite the struggle to wean LeAnne from her pacifier (aka binky)! Starting in November it was our goal to only let her have her binky in her bed at nap time and bedtime. Then in a week or 2 we'd just get rid of it all together. Nice plan but that's not the way it's happened. It's not been fun at all, she gets so emotional, calls for her binky, throws a fit when we won't give it to her and has crawled up onto her changing table to get it out of her drawer. It doesn't help that daddy & I have given in on a number of occasions and let her have it. She gets plain ticked off at us when we tell her she can't have it. It makes life very difficult & all of our stress levels go WAY up. It's like were taking away her friend. She definitely has an emotional attachment to it. I can't stress enough that we should have taken it away when she was a year old. She was not near as attached to it. Next time around we'll know better.

So last night I said "okay that's it, I am throwing the binky away". Well this morning I was dreading the days full of screaming so I thought I am going to see if anyone out there as any tips about weaning kids from the pacifier. That's when I came across an article about a mom who snipped a hole in the binky and when the little boy went to suck on it he said something like "broken". He carried it around, tried to suck on it but eventually forgot about the binky all together and the mom threw them away.

I am going to give it a try. I cut off the tips of the binky so she has no way of getting any suction. She could bite on it but not get suction. Oh lets hope this works. I am thinking if it's her idea to not have it anymore it might happen quicker and less painful. I gave it to her a minute ago, she tried to suck on it, pulled it out quickly, looked at it and said "oh no, binky, broke, oh no" She is trying to suck on it though. I think I will give it a day, then tomorrow cut off more until there is nothing but the plastic part left. I'll keep ya updated.

Tip snipped off the binky.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Merry Christmas at the Leonard's

We celebrated Christmas on Christmas Eve this year because John had to work Christmas day. It all worked out fine, it's the way life goes with shift work & the extra pay will be nice. Upon instruction when I heard LeAnne squeaking at 5:40am I woke up Amanda first & then daddy. They wanted to see her reaction when she saw what Santa brought her. She didn't know what to think of her kitchen at first but was loving it in now time. LeAnne was a little more into opening gifts this year. After we finished opening gifts, Amanda promptly went back to sleep on the couch until about noon. Poor girl wasn't feeling so hot. Later that day we had my mom over for Christmas dinner. Oh my word, talk about delicious! Mom & I said a combined prayer at dinner. I got a little swept up in the moment and before I knew it I was crying. :-)After dinner, upon my prompting we all went for a short walk. Then came back to play a few board games. LeAnne watched Mickey's Christmas for the 10th time. She can say Mickey now and keeps asking to watch him.

It was a very wonderful Christmas. Very relaxing! We were so thankful Amanda was able to be here with us. It was a blessing to have our whole family together. Thank-you to all our family for the beautiful gifts!

Then Christmas day after LeAnne had a nap we all headed down to my sister's place. We enjoyed playing Wii Fit with them, ate a yummy dinner, open gifts and enjoyed each others company. I forgot to get my camera out to take pictures. oops!

Christmas Eve Morning before anyone else was awake. Santa's elf did an awesome job of assembling LeAnne's kitchen. :-)

LeAnne & Mama - She was so done wearing a dress but I wanted a picture.

John & Amanda

Amanda - the scarf grandma Marcia made her matched her hat & gloves!

Oh I love to see her beautiful smile!!

LeAnne playing with her kitchen - see the cool bunny her big sis got her, he sings too!

How much can I cram into this oven?

First time she saw her kitchen, she kept taking the pans off and off because they made a boiling and frying noise. :-)

Playing with her My Little Ponies

Merry Christmas Everyone!!! Love the Leonard's

Special Ornaments

Every year we get our girls an ornament that reminds us of them to preserve childhood memories. Its fun putting the ornaments on the tree, reflecting on their meaning. This year we hadn't found one by the time Amanda came so we let her pick out her own ornament and we found a perfect one for LeAnne.

My 3 fave people in front of The Village Shoppe. It's such a neat place because they're are 26 little shops in once place. I love there window scene! It's a nativity and the sign reads The Reason For the Season.

Amanda chose this beautiful black star.

We chose a Christmas pickle for LeAnne because she loves pickles! There is also a neat legend behind the Christmas pickle. It is the last ornament put on the tree, it is hidden in the tree and the child who finds the pickle has a year of good luck and gets an extra present.

This is the 1st ornament John & I got together the year we were married. It is always hung near the top of the tree.

My mama made us a few of these Snowman ornaments! :-)

LeAnne's 2007 Christmas footprint ornament.

The Salt dough ornament LeAnne colored for us this year!

Ornament my student colored for me. :-)

Amanda's soccer girl ornament

Who can forget Amanda's days of loving Pikachu. :-)

This is an ornament Grammy & Grampy brought Amanda from Ireland

Amanda's beautiful patriotic girl. I think we got this one in 2001.

This is one of John's keepsake ornaments - They have his name & the year they're were given on them.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Less Words Wednesday - Christmas Cookies

Our girls making sugar cookies

We made sugar cookies, snickerdoodles, and Peanut Butter Cookies

For more Word Less Wednesday head on over to 5 Minutes for Moms.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Family Fun & Christmas crafts

Mama bear didn't have to go to work today because the roads were very icy and just too dangerous for travel. SWEET, an unexpected day at home two of my favorite people! I finished up writing our Christmas note. Now I just need to pick up the photos from Walmart, stuff the envelopes and get them in the mail box. Time for some Christmas crafts with our girl.

The first thing we made was a snowman made using cotton balls. LeAnne loved dipping her cotton ball in glue, the more glue the better, and then putting it on the snow man! She really got into it and he turned our really cute.

The next thing we did was finger paint some pictures I printed out. Oh boy finger painting was messy. LeAnne LOVED it!

Then later on in the day we went outside to play in the snow. Daddy & I built a snow girl. LeAnne had a blast jumping in the puddles of melting snow.

Next daddy pulled LeAnne on her new sled from Auntie Katie. She's not so sure yet what to think of her sled.

It was a blessing to have this day with my family!

Less Words Wednesday - Our Snow girl

Rising temperatures made for awesome snow to build a snow girl! :-)

For more wordless Wednesday fun head over to 5 minutes for Moms.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Random Babblings from Mama Bear

I should be going to bed but I've got thoughts whirling around in my head and some adorable stories, pictures and videos I want to share.

Snow Fell on Saturday
The snow began to fall Saturday 12/12/09 about 7am so mom & I headed to town early to get our shopping done. LeAnne hung in there with us, cold and all. Poor girl had the worst running nose she's ever had.The snow fell through out the day and we ended up with about 4 inches. I'll admit it's beautiful.

Penguin outfit from Coco Bonbon's
I won this adorable outfit from Mahayla's Mommy blog. LeAnne thought the had would accessorize the outfit well. hee hee! Coco Bonbon has some adorable clothes. I would especially love to get the Heart & Flower Knit Dress w/Stitching, and the matching tights. This rain coat & boots are pretty cute too! Thank-you Mahayla's Mommy & Coco Bonbon for the great win!

Life Lesson learned from LeAnne
I had a blast being at home with our girl on Sunday! I love it when we can spend quality time together. Before her nap around noon she had watched cartoons, eaten 2 dill pickles before breakfast, had a bath, tap danced, played with doo dah (play dough), played in the bubbles, colored with mama and played in the snow. She was feeling much better today. She still has a runny nose and you can just tell at times she is not feeling 100%. Many times today she would run up to me and want to be held. I wasn't happy with myself when I felt myself feeling annoyed. I was busy and wanted to get things done. Then I 'd look into her smiling face and remember it's not all about me anymore. I am a mama, and part of my job as her mama is to be there to hold her when she's not feeling well. I was reminded of a post I wrote December 6, 2007 titled No more stinkin Thinkin. After putting things in perspective I began to Cherish each one of her hugs, take time to rub her back, to talk with her and just enjoy my precious girl. I am a blessed woman! I am a work in progress. It's okay if house work goes undone. It's okay if I don't get through my to do list. The years will fly bye quickly & before I know it our girl will be grown so I intend to slow down and treasure our time together.

Tap Dancing
LeAnne grabbed her tap shoes out of her drawer this morning and to my surprise they fit her!

Winter Wonderland
I bundled LeAnne up in her the snow suit she got from Grandpa Larry & Grandma Elaine and we went outside to play in the snow. She had a lot more fun that last year. She kept saying whoa. She was having a blast until she fell down, her hand got wet and the show as over. If I could only get her to keep gloves on. I can't wait to take her for a ride on her sled.

View down our street

Another Great Blog Win - Cake Mix Cookies Cookbook
I recently won the Member's Only Giveaway at Bless Their Hearts Mom blog. Thank-you Nicole for this great gift package. One of my favorite items was the Cake Mix Magic cook book. I've already made the Quick Peanut butter Chocolate Chips cookies, the Swiss Chocolate Crispies, and the Chocolate softies. What makes these so easy to make is you use a cake mix instead of sugar and flour and soda. They taste very good.

My favorite so far is the Swiss Chocolate Crispies:

1 pkg Chocolate cake mix
1/2 Cup Shortening
1/2 cup Butter
2 eggs
2 Tbls water
3 cups crispy rice cereal divided.

Mix 1 pkg Chocolate cake mix,v1/2 Cup Shortening,1/2 cup Butter, 2 eggs and 2 Tbls water with electric mixer for 2 minutes on low. Then fold in 1 Cup Rice Crispies. Chill for 1 hour. Crush 2 remaining cups of Rice Crispies. Shape dough into 1 inch balls, roll in Rice Crispies and bake at 350 for 11 to 13 minutes. Cook 1 minute on cookie sheet.

I also made another batch of Salt Dough ornaments today. My student and I have 20 more ornaments to make on top of decorating Sugar Cookies for his class mates. OMGosh and we need to make cards for his family members. I think I'd better find a way to incorporate reading, writing and math into these projects. hee hee!

Oh my word I just realized it's almost midnight! Ahhh I have to be up at 4am. I am going to be zombie to say the least. Good night! 6 more days until Amanda arrives! Yahooooooo!!