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Saturday, December 29, 2007

T'ville

I am very disappointed that I didn't take many pictures during our Christmas visit to Thomasville. I am usually snapping photos left and right. It didn't help that I left my battery charger at home. You'd think that with all the trips I made to Walmart that I would have thought to pick up a few Energizers! Anyway, the kids got way TOO much stuff but now I have more of a reason to purge all the old toys and rotate in the new. I ate way too much and slept less. What else is new? Oh yeah, happy new year!

Here's Luke and Andrew with their cousin, Emily (my sister's youngest). Emily and Andrew share the exact same birth date but four years apart. Crazy!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Time with friends

We ate dinner last night with our friends, the Gysen family. The kids gathered around the small table in the den while the adults ate at the "grown-up table". Afterward, Andrew and Lee enjoyed being silly boys!



Sunday, December 23, 2007

Asleep in the car seat

All three kids fell asleep in the car on our way home last night from MeMe and Pop's house. So sweet (and peaceful!).




The boys enjoyed their stocking stuffers alongside their cousins.



Abigail just wanted a lap to sit on all night. HA!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Haircut for Luke

Luke has NEVER cooperated for a haircut. Because of that reason, we decided to splurg and try the new salon that caters only to children, Pigtails and Crewcuts. Instead of the typical hair salon chair, the children sit in either an airplane, race car, cab, police vehicle, or a fire engine. Luke decided he wanted the fire engine because of its ringing bell. However, as soon as the buzzer started, he began arching his back and fighting. It took four adults to get his seat belt on, drape the cape, and hold him still. At one point, the stylist had to put him in a gentle headlock to keep from cutting him. Believe me, she was a great woman and very patient. I'm sure Luke wasn't their first screaming customer. Some say to take him more often so he'll get used to it while others say to let his hair grow as long as he can stand it before cutting it again. I know it will get easier....right?


This picture was taken before he saw the buzzer and clippers.


This is the result of determination.

Merry Christmas!

The McGinnis Family
December 2007
MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Luke dances with Elmo

Luke has disco fever! Notice that his gum flies out of his mouth when he grunts at the end of the video. Of course, he picks it right back up and pops it into his mouth - that gum is important!

A Baker's Secret

Here are my "No bake goodies" that I'm going to give to a few teachers at Andrew's school this Christmas. I decided to keep it easy this year and only use the microwave rather than bake all afternoon in a hot house with the oven on. I got these two recipes from the Kraft website (thanks for the reminder, Kirstin!). They are scrumpdillyupmcious!

I also made my favorite peanut butter-graham-honey balls. Yummy!

Kraft Foods Mint Thins


Kraft Foods Marbled Graham Bars


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Sugarland



The boys and I decided to do what many of our friends are doing this Christmas season - make sugar cookies with our Christmas cutouts. Hopefully this fun task will develop into a tradition as well as an event that, as the children grow older, I won't have to be so "hands on". All the little guys wanted to do was lick the mixer sticks, dig the dough out of the bowl, lick the bowl, make holes in the cookies, and drown them in sprinkles. I promise that no one licked any fingers during the process!

The Gift of the Magi

Another listen for your heart (ears). I got this link from the gals at GirlTalk. We can learn a lot about what makes good gifts good by looking to Jesus. As the website suggests, gather your family around to listen to this fifteen minute story and then reflect upon our Savior and how blessed his birth was to the hearts of men.

Free Max Lucado reading download


Chick-Fil-A is sponsoring a free download of a reading by author Max Lucado's of his book, You Are Special here. Andrew received this book as a gift a few years ago. I'm excited to read it with him and watch him turn the pages as we listen.

A Homeschool Family

I dedicate this video to all my friends who homeschool, or once homeschooled, their children.

Amy H
Laura M
Maja C
Chrissy S
Jenny B
Angela B (my sister)
Peggy B
Leslie T

Who knows...I might be "one of those" in a few years! (I hope you realize this video is just a joke!)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

It costs what?!?!?!?!

Took Luke to the doctor on Monday for his two year well check-up.

Found out he has an ear infection.

Mom is so glad we already had a scheduled appointment.

Mom is glad the doctor found the infection before the screaming, yelling, and misery broke out at home, at all hours of the morning.

Since the holidays are upon us, Mom was glad the doctor suggested an aggressive antibiotic (Omnicef) to possibly avoid the emergency room.

Mom goes to pharmacy #1 and was totally shocked to learn that her insurance paid for $30 of the prescription....my balance??......$72.

Mom made a phone call to the doctor's office to request a different antibiotic.

Doctor prescribed Amoxicillin.

Mom went to pick up the prescription and found out pharmacy #2 declared the month of December as FREE ANTIBIOTIC month (except for Omnicef).

Mom's checkbook is smiling.



Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas party

We had our LIFE small group Christmas party tonight and played Dirty Santa. I think Mitch and I walked away with some pretty darn good stuff. Mitch left with two DVDs (including Zoolander) and I ended up with a new game called In a Pickle. Here we are after playing the game - some were so proud of their gift that they were too scared to set it down for fear someone would snatch it up (yes, I'm referring to you and your pink pig, Jennifer!).


Friday, December 14, 2007

number 2


Happy
2nd
birthday,
Luke!
Tomorrow we will
PARTY and will
be sure to post
pictures of your
celebration.
We love you,
sweet boy!


Thursday, December 13, 2007

Nap time

Andrew and Abigail taking a nap in my bed yesterday afternoon. Precious!


Can you read?

Thanks, Melissa, for these great laughs!

I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid - Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig, huh?

YOU KNOW YOU ARE LIVING IN 2007 when...
1. You accidentally enter your PIN on the microwave.
2. You haven't played solitaire with real cards in years.
3. You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of three.
4. You e-mail the person who works at the desk next to you.
5. Your reason for not staying in touch with friends and family is that they don't have e-mail addresses.
6. You pull up in your own driveway and use your cell phone to see if anyone is home to help you carry in the groceries.
7. Every commercial on television has a web site at the bottom of the screen.
8. Leaving the house without your cell phone, which you didn ' t even have the first 20 or 30 (or 60) years of your life, is now a cause for panic and you turn around to go and get it.
10. You get up in the morning and go on line before getting your coffee.
11. You start tilting your head sideways to smile. : )
12. You ' re reading this and nodding and laughing.
13. Even worse, you know exactly to whom you are going to forward this message.
14. You are too busy to notice there was no #9 on this list.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A different take on 12 days of Christmas

This is worth watching....they are truly talented! You'll be sure to smile, laugh and remember the 80's.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Subway

Went to Subway today.

I hate that they don't have napkin dispensers....you have to ask for more if you need them.

They love their napkins.

They must have a "napkin nazi" working in the store because they don't like to hand out many when you ask very nicely for more.

Subway's napkins are two-ply and very thick - great for soaking up a spilled drink.

Note to self: Ask early for an extra helping of napkins before sitting down to eat with three small children.

Or, I might just pack my own napkins in my purse next time I plan a trip to Subway.

They love their napkins.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

What a hoot!

I am sitting at my computer WAAAAAAYYYYY too late. While doing a few things online, I hear the rumblings of a train approaching on the nearby tracks. Then the whistle begins to blow. The engineer must be a festive kind of man (or woman - you pick one) 'cause he's tooting away to "Jingle Bells"! I think he's actually moving really slow or at a stand still because he's now on verse two. I kid you not!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Kelly & Holly

I'm giving my cousin, Kelly, a free "plug" for her business. She and her husband live in Birmingham where she stays at home with her two small children and also keeps busy with her own graphic design business. She can design anything your mind can imagine so visit her website to see some of her work. Not to mention that you will find my friend Holly Tye's photography being used in some of Kelly's artwork. Click here to see some of Holly's photography.

Fun pictures

Just a few of the happenings in our household this past week.

The boys playing hide-n-seek behind the curtain.

Making yogurt pops one night for snack - recipe is so easy! For two servings, include 2 cups of vanilla yogurt, 1/2 banana, 6 small strawberries, and 1 cup of milk. Blend on high & freeze overnight.

Luke playing with his friend at our house.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Lord, help me to cherish.....

Christmas traditions are something that should serve your family - building memories and bonding. When we become slaves to the idea that we MUST do everything perfectly and we get frustrated and frazzled, the whole point is lost.

- Barbara Curtis

Chips

Ok, it's not the healthiest snack in the world but the boys asked nicely and were craving some time outside. So, I let them each have a bag full of chip crumbs and watched as they sat in the garage talking to each other while cramming their mouths. Aren't they cute as they dig the bottom of the bag for the last little bit?

Andrew's school Christmas program was tonight. Although he's not looking, he's the blonde in the direct center of the photo. It turned out to be the best I could do for the night. I was sitting in a bad spot and couldn't get any closer.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Just ramblings....

My feet hurt.

The attempt at the Advent activity is going well but it's hard to keep the attention of a three and two year old. The excitement of finding a treasure in the drawer helps, though.

My kids ask for gum and candy far too many times throughout the day.

Getting up at 5 a.m. to workout is hitting me hard.

Missed church yesterday because Luke had conjunctivitis...did I spell that right?

Did I mention my feet hurt? Need a new pair of sneakers.

Mitch and I have TiVo'd Wheel Of Fortune for over a year every weekday night hoping to see our spin numbers from a prize puzzle. A free trip is our only hope for a far-away destination vacation.

The dishwasher has run twice today and it's waiting to be unloaded for more.

I have managed to only make two trips to Walmart over the past seven days.

The gym is practically empty on the weekends which means I get my pick of machines!

I just folded three loads of laundry while sitting on the floor. Another is currently spinning in the dryer....oh, happy day.

We decorated our Christmas tree as a family on Saturday afternoon. The boys enjoyed hanging the ornaments ALL IN ONE SPOT! Now we are fighting the battle to keep them from running around it and underneath as a tunnel (we won't put presents out until Christmas Eve).

Luke, age two, answered the first three catechism questions correctly tonight. It certainly surprised me since all I thought he knew was #1.

I'm starting to fall asleep while sitting here typing.... ZZZZZZZ

Friday, November 30, 2007

Spinning, anyone?

I have just joined the gym. The best and most realistic time for me to work out is in the morning while the kids are still asleep. So, I've started going to the 5:45 a.m. Spinning class, along with the rest of the crazy people in this town. You have to pre-sign up for the class since it's always packed and there's usually a fight for bikes. I hate being in the front near the instructor but that's where I was stuck today. The only good thing about it was that it made me work harder since she was practically staring at me. Signing up for the class the day before also holds me accountable to getting out of the bed when the alarm rings rather than hitting "snooze". I don't like working out in the afternoon or night....rather, I like doing it first thing in the morning so I can come home and take my shower and be done with my workout for the day. Anyway, I hope to be a few pounds lighter by the end of next week. And, no, I'm not posting my progress, Crissy.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Got it for Free!

My college roommate, Libby, called me this afternoon to discuss something about Advent. She gave me a good idea to try to find a container of some sort that would be able to house all the trinkets for the Advent activity I posted earlier. On my way to pick up Andrew from school, I decided to drive-thru Starbucks and get my usual White Chocolate Mocha since I had a few minutes to spare. That's when I spotted "IT". There in the window was a container shaped like a tree with 24 small drawers to hold items (originally the drawers held small bite-sized chocolates from the company but this was just a display model with no candy or bar-code or packaging). I asked the lady how much it cost and that I wanted to purchase one. The manager soon came to the window after searching to let me know they were sold out but THAT I COULD HAVE THE DISPLAY MODEL since all he was gonna do was toss it in the trash after the holidays ended. So, I got one for free! Thanks, Starbucks! Thanks, Libby, for the great idea....now if only you could get the same deal.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Gami's tree

I've posted about this tree before. It sits in my mother's front yard and the kids love to climb it. It will be one of those activities they will always remember when going to their grandmother's house. Here is a picture of my two boys with their cousin, my sister's daughter. This picture was taken last week during Thanksgiving, almost a year after the first picture was taken in the highlighted post.

Celebrating Advent with your kids

Want a creative way to celebrate Advent with your children? I got this idea last year from my friend Amy H. I wanted to post it again so, if you chose to do it, you'd have time to gather the materials. I want to do it but we'll see if I make it happen.

Advent Countdown

LIST OF GIFTS:(LISTED IN THE ORDER THEY ARE USED)
1. Quarter
2. Grape gum (or candy)
3. Smiley sticker
4. Gummy fish
5. birthday candle
6. Bell
7. fish crackers
8. Cotton balls
9. piece of a map
10. Soap
11. Heart sticker
12. Cross
13. Packet of salt
14. Sand
15. Flowers(silk)

16. Raisins
17. Seeds
18. Christmas carol
19. Small rock
20. Crumpled foil
21. Mustard seed
22. Dove
23. Small scrap of woolly material
24. Blue marble
25. Picture of a baby.

  • Dec 1 - A quarter! That equals 25 cents. But 25 also stands for the number of days till Christmas, when God gave us His best present. Jesus told about one woman's gift and the way she gave it. Read: Mark 12:41-44
  • Dec 2 - Grape Gum! Grapes make jelly and juice, raisins and wine. But Jesus didn't need grapes to perform His first miracle. Read: John 2:1-10
  • Dec 3 - Here's a smile! A smile usually expresses happiness. Jesus gave us many instructions to keep us happy. Read: Matthew 5:1-12.
  • Dec 4 - Fish! Well, if you were surprised to find these fish, wait till you read the story today! Others were surprised to find fish, too. Read: Luke 5:4-7
  • Dec 5 - A birthday candle? As you know, we are getting ready to celebrate Jesus' birthday. However, Jesus talked about something else that is related to this candle. Light! Read: Matthew 5:14-16
  • Dec 6 - You could make some noise with this. But it would not have bothered a certain man--until he met Jesus. Read: Mark 7:31-37
  • Dec 7 - These would not go very far if you were really hungry! But Jesus could make much out of little. Surely He knew how to multiply! Read: Matthew 14:13-21
  • Dec 8 - These cotton balls would be helpful in a thunder storm, wouldn't they? We could use them for ear plugs to muffle the loud noises that thunder makes. But we know someone who doesn't need cotton. Jesus can control the weather. Read: Matthew 8:23-27
  • Dec 9 - People needing to use the other parts of this map are in trouble! Don't you get lost today! Read: John 14:1-6
  • Dec 10 - It's soap. Do you like to wash? Behind your ears? Washing turned out to be a happy time for a man who met Jesus. Read: John 9:1-7
  • Dec 11 - Hearts. Wordlessly, they speak of love, don't they? Jesus spoke some commands about love. Read: Matthew 25:17-41
  • Dec 12 - We use the cross as a symbol, representing Jesus. Do you know why? Read: Phillipians 2:1-11
  • Dec 13 - Ordinary salt. Yes, Jesus related salt to us and our behavior. He also gave us some advice. Read: Matthew 5:14 and Colossians 4:6. (Notice that pepper is not recommended!).
  • Dec 14 - Don't try to eat this! It's sand. It reminds us that Jesus knows something about architecture, about buildings--and building lives. See His instructions: Matthew 7:24-29.
    Dec 15 - Flowers are pretty, aren't they? Jesus used flowers to teach us a reassuring lesson. Read: Matthew 6:28-34.
  • Dec 16 - Raisins! Many children are given raisins instead of candy for a snack. That's because they are a health-promoting and delicious fruit. Jesus told us how we can produce good fruit. Read: John 15:1-5.
  • Dec 17 - Jesus told a story about seeds that man planted. Then He explained it, revealing its deep meaning. Read: Matthew 13:3-8 and Matthew 13:18-23.
  • Dec 18 -Christmas is just about a week away. And here is an appropriate song. Sing it loudly! Read: Psalms 100.
  • Dec 19 - A hard stone! Can you change this stone into a piece of bread? Do you think Jesus could? Jesus was asked to do just that. Do know how He handled it? Read: Matthew 4:1-4.
  • Dec 20 - Try to smooth out this piece of aluminum foil and use it as a mirror. It's hard to see your reflection plainly, isn't it? Many circumstances are hard to understand, but someday everything will be clear. Read: 1 Corinthians 13:12.
  • Dec 21 - The mustard seed is the smallest there is! When it sprouts, it grows into one of the largest plants! See what Jesus said. Read: Matthew 17:20.
  • Dec 22 - We've learned that the cross represents Christ, but do you know what the dove stands for? Read: Matthew 3:13-17.
  • Dec 23 - The threads that compose this fabric came from the wool of a sheep. Jesus called Himself the good shepherd. Do you know who His sheep are? Read: John 10:7-18.
  • Dec 24 - A marble! Do you know what is sometimes called the "Big Blue Marble"? The world. God made the world for us. What does God continue doing to the world? And who is the world? Read: John 3:16.
  • Dec 25 - Isn't this baby cute? When he was born, he made a whole family happy. Jesus was born a baby, too. He came to make the whole world happy. Read: Luke 2:1-20. Enjoy your celebration today. Continue to learn about Jesus--and love Him forever!

If the above is too involved for you, try one of these simple ideas:

1. Count-The-Days Cookies - Make, or buy plain cookies and number 1 to 24 with icing. Once the icing is dry, wrap and place in freezer. Take a cookie out each day until Christmas.

2. Countdown Chain - Make a simple paper link chain special by numbering the strips from 1 to 24. Write a special message or event on each link before you stick them together in order.

3. Candy Calendar - For an easy to make advent countdown, tape a piece of hard candy to each block on a wall calendar.

Paci Party

YES, I know....Luke will be two years old in just two more weeks but he has been addicted to his paci since the day he was born. After taking him to the pediatrician last week with his ear infection, I was reminded that the paci contributes to the pressure and fluid buildup in the ear and it would be a good idea to toss it ASAP. So, I decided to wait the week of Thanksgiving to do it so to keep my extended family from being miserable in case there would be screaming and tantrums galore. Guess what!?!?!?!? We had our PACI PARTY today. I snipped the tips of all four pacis (not in front of him, mind you) and then, when he asked for one, I handed it to him and he simply looked at it, put it in his mouth, smiled, removed it, and said, "Broken, Mama." I pointed to the trash can and he just walked over to it and tossed them all in together. I was amazed at how easy that was. He asked for his paci a few times this afternoon but I reminded him that they were broken and in the trash can. He was ok with that! Then, at bedtime, he asked for one again. I gave him a broken one (don't worry, I washed it) and he just cupped it in his hand and fell asleep. Wish I had done this sooner. Here is a picture of Luke tossing his paci into the trash can.

Mitch and I just finished watching the movie, AMAZING GRACE. It was really good.

We've only been living in this house for nine months but already the carpets are stained and worn. I'm not a big fan of carpet, especially when small children are living in the house, but it's what is in place at the moment. Although this is life for me right now, I am sometimes embarrassed at the condition of the carpets when we have company over just because the stains are huge and cover an extremely wide area. Not to mention that, during our LIFE group each week, most of the people who come over have small babies and put them on the floor to sit and crawl. In my mind, to ease the burden of housework, I am reminded of the words of friend Jill Hooper, "THIS IS NORMAL!". So, imagine my delight today when my sweet friend, Melissa, loaned me her Hoover Steam Vac! Mitch and I had so much fun vacuuming tonight! The carpets are now shampooed (well, at least one room is....one down and many more to go) and the house is smelling quite clean (I love the smell of Pine-Sol). However, I'm sure I'll need to borrow the steam vac many more times if nine months time did that much damage.

Andrew has remodled his bird house from last week's craft time. Here's what it looked like last week.
Here's what it looks like today.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thanksgiving

We have had a delicious meal with Mitch's side of the family and with mine. Andrew made Christmas cards with his cousin Emma and Emily. We've eaten, played cards, watched football, picked up pecans outside, played on the porch, shopped, painted Christmas cards (click here for the instructions to our Santa card), slept late (huh? what's that?), and had some great conversation. Just a few pictures from our time together.









Tuesday, November 20, 2007

My dancing elves

Click here to see what my three little ones are excited about.
(Thanks to my friend, Amy H., for sharing this link!)

Found a new blog I like to read. Here's a sample of her writing.

Going to the doctor

Luke ran a fever for three days and has since been screaming. I've given him Motrin, baths, my time, and love...nothing is working. He acts out his frustration through pain by screaming, pinching me, biting things, hitting furniture, and throwing toys and his limbs about. I think it's an ear infection but we'll find out soon...we are heading to the doctor in 30 minutes. Here's a picture of him 24 hours before the fever hit.



Andrew's craft time Friday afternoon consisted of taking old Christmas cards and making a collage.


This is a normal everyday look of Abigail. She's always content with a smile on her face.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Solid food time!

I know it might be a little early in her life but I couldn't resist....Abigail had her first taste of rice cereal this morning and loved it!


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Time with my oldest

The two little ones napped at the same time today so I had some sweet quiet time with my oldest, Andrew. I can quickly get selfish with this time and inwardly crave this moment for "me", wishing Andrew would just take a nap...but that's a battle I don't like to fight. Plus, spending time with him is far more important than laundry, dishes, toilet cleaning, or posting to my blog.

I was inspired today as I listened to Barbara Curtis at our MOPS meeting. She gave some great practical activities to do with you child everyday...so we came home and put them into practice. Here, Andrew is learning how the suction of a dropper works while enjoying the blue colored water. He worked left to right as he transferred the water from bowl to cup. He really enjoyed this. Later, I mixed some rice and macaroni in a bowl and had him take a large spoon, scoop up the mix and see if he could transfer it to another bowl without spilling any of it. The whole time he transferred, he whispered, "Don't spill it, don't spill it, don't spill it". Barbara said this is a good activity to envoke focus and concentration. It worked!


Later, I remembered an idea that my friend, Melissa, mentioned to me of decorating a small birdhouse with outside materials....so we got busy on that activity as well. First, we went outside to gather "nature" materials. Here, Andrew is squatting on the ground collecting acorns, leaves, and sticks. We came back inside where Andrew painted the birdhouse and then began gluing (with my help on the hot glue gun) all of his items to it.



Here is the final result. Cute, don't 'cha think?

Monday, November 12, 2007

Playgroup, LIFE group, & WIC

Pictures from this past weekend:

The women in the church (WIC) making blankets at our meeting last Friday night.

Today at play group - the kids loved the rice table!

Last night at LIFE group, we smoked hotdogs over an open fire pit and roasted marshmellows to make smores. The kids loved it and the adults had a great time hanging out in the cool night air.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Abigail laughing

Blog

I just LOVE this blog! The perma link is on the right side of my blog as well, in case you want to click on it in the future. You just might get addicted, too!

How many trips do you make to WW?

My younger children fell asleep earlier than expected one day this week so I asked my friend if she would pick Andrew up from school and bring him home. When she arrived, this was their conversation:

Melissa: "Hey, Andrew! I'm gonna take you home today!"
Andrew: "Why?"
Melissa: "Because Mommy had to do something."
Andrew: "Oh, she must be at Walmart."

Guess I better scale down on the trips to Wally World.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Self portrait & bug exam

During "rest-time" today, I needed to get out in the garage to get a few things done. While the two little ones slept, Andrew tagged along with me to help me accomplish my tasks. He quickly got bored of riding his bike, climbing on the van, exploring under the floormats, and rummaging through many boxes of junk. So, I had him lay down on some paper and trace his body. He thought it was so funny! Later, we colored his portrait and hung it on the garage wall. My goal tomorrow is to go to his class and do this as a project. Let's hope they all think it's funny, too. Oh, and, by the way, I did manage to accomplish a few of the tasks in the garage that I set out to do. Imagine that.




After Luke woke from his nap, he joined us outside. He and Andrew found a dead wasp and decided to inspect every part of it. In this picture, they are talking about the guts that are oozing out of it. Boys......