Sunday, November 29, 2009

Show Us Your Life~Holiday Traditions~Advent Mailbox

I have been away from blogging for several weeks, but I just couldn't resist doing a post about holiday traditions the Kelly at Kelly's Korner is doing. Probably like many of you, our family has a ton of traditions, but a favorite tradition for my boys is one that my sister started for them several years ago and they look forward to it every year when they see the little red mailbox come out of storage. We have an Advent Mailbox.

This little mailbox sits at the foot of the stairs and each morning there is an envelope inside that contains a single piece from...

this nativity scene. This is the sweetest little clay nativity scene every. I think my sister got it from the Cokesbury Bookstore. They look so forward to seeing what is in the mailbox each day and adding it to the Creche. (This picture was made from the Santa's Secure Workshop Location... bathroom. )

This little insert tells you what piece is for each day There are a couple of days that it wants you to make paper things like a road, etc... However, on these different days I on put a surprise treat in the mailbox to make it special for the boys. This year I am planning on putting the fixins for s'mores and homemade hot chocolate mix. We have an outdoor fireplace and they LoVe to make s'mores and hot chocolate. I thought this would be better than candy. I think that will give me something extra for four days.

On Christmas Day is when Baby Jesus goes into the mailbox. I have him nestled into a pretty gift box on a bed of raffia, for our most precious gift from above. They are so excited amongst the hub bub and excitement of Christmas Day to finally get the baby Jesus and add him to the scene.

Since my boys are getting older and they still "Believe" I want them to "believe" that Big Daddy and I have nothing to do with the advent mailbox. We hide the envelopes and put them in the mailbox after they go to bed at night. I have also wrapped up the actual creche and am going to have my neighbor put it on our doorstep and ring the doorbell this year. A little mystery for this magical time of year.
Day one will start with Mary...
"But the angel said to her, Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High." Luke 1:30-32

This is such a fun way to get the Christmas season going and to remind us daily the real reason for the season. Thanks Aunt Cindy for starting this wonderful tradition for the boys. I have a feeling I will be doing this one for a long time.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

DipTacular!~Bleu Cheese Chips

BooMoma is hosting this week DipTacular in honor of the return of college football!! Oh Yea baby!!! We love football, it doesn't matter what it is PeeWee, City League, Big 12, SEC, WAC, or even high school. Like I said "We love football!!" Go Red Raiders and Allen Eagles!!! Anyway, she was wanting suggestions for your favorite dip to munch on while rooting for your favorite teams or tailgates. My go to dip is called "Bleu Cheese Chips" and is a total pour and go. Three very simple ingredients...
Kettle Chips, Sea Salt and Cracked Black Pepper.

Prepared Pico de Gallo from your produce section.

Small Container of Bleu Cheese Crumbles.
= HeAvEn!!!!

Here is the process...Get a nice size serving bowl like a pasta bowl. Pour chips into bowl. (Tip: cut the bottom of the bag and pour out of the bottom where all the "Uglies"(crumbles and broken chips) are first, that way they are in the bottom of your bowl). Then pour your prepared pico de gallo over the the top of chips and sort of spread it out. (No need to drain) Then sprinkle the small container of bleu cheese crumbles on top. Don't mix it up, it sort of looks like a pile of nachos. Put a nice large serving spoon to the side. Viola!!! It holds up well because the chips are so thick. If you want to you can pop it in the oven and melt the cheese a bit to add a twist to it. You will be the HIT of the party. It looks like something so special, but it sooo easy!!! I get giddy thinking about someone else trying this because it is so delicious!!! CrAzY SiMpLe ToO!!!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Show Us Your Life~School Pictures

This week on Kelly's Korner she is having everyone show their old school pictures. I don't really have access to old school pictures from "the good old days" since my mom has all of those at her house so I thought I would show pics of my boys and the first days of school this year. I have been wanting to post about the first day of school, but time has just escaped me and plus I have just been just too tired from starting as a school nurse at the brand new elementary school here. WHEW!!! I'm tired!!

One of the biggest traditions of starting school is getting in the mail a letter from your new teacher. This is the way that the kids find out whose class they are going to be in. I will never forget when Big Boy got his first letter for Kindergarten. I started crying because Mrs. English had told the class to wear something red, white, or blue for the first day of school since it was the school's colors and we had just bought a cute red and white polo shirt for the first day. I thought that was just precious and that was when I knew I would be in a heck of a mess the first day of school if I was already crying over the teacher letter!!!

Since I am a school nurse I had to go back to work when the teachers did. So my mom came and stayed with us and the boys during my while I was back at work. I made her PROMISE me that she would take a picture of the boys opening their teacher letters. They had been stalking the mailman and I knew there was NO way they would wait until Big Daddy and I got home from work.

WhooHooo!!! We got the teachers we were hoping for!! Big Boy got Mrs. Angie Butler and Little Man has Mrs. Laura Gongos. Both are some of my favorite teachers at their school. We are already off to a great start!

The next big event was Meet The Teacher night. This is the Thursday night before school starts and the students get to meet their teachers, bring their school supplies, buy spirit wear, put money in lunch accounts, and sign up for tons of volunteer opportunities. Of course, I couldn't go with the boys because I had to be at my new school this year. Big Daddy was on his own with some help from my mom. He did manage to get a few pictures for me. Thanks Memommie!!

My baby is starting Kindergarten this year and he is so excited. I made for each teacher chalkboard painted buckets with goodies like Clorox wipes, hand sanitizer(the nurse in me), extra school supplies, bottle of Smart Water, and snacks from my boys. Little Man is giving his to his sweet new teacher.

Unwrapping the school supplies that we bought LAST MARCH!!! Yes!! At Kindergarten Registration Round-up. I LOVE LOVE the wrap packs!!! No driving around town looking for that special sized construction paper, plus it all goes in a community stack anyway.

WHOA!!! Third grade!! Our school is two-story and it is a BIG DEAL moving to the second floor. 3rd-6th are upstairs.

Big Boy had to go right out the back doors of the school after a quick Meet The Teacher to get to football practice. Poor thing had to wear his football pads/pants and cleats to Meet The Teacher. So much for looking cute and dressed up!!

Little Man checking out what it feels like to sit in Big Bros. 3rd grade desk. I think he likes it!

Big Boy and Mrs. Butler

On the first day of school I make signs for the boys to hold that shows their grade, year, and teacher's name. It is a tradition that we stole from my neighbor Judi and her family.

The boys are sporting their new red, white, and blue school spirit wear shirts. Yes!! Both boy's letters told them again to wear the school's colors. I swear I didn't cry this year!!

I tried real hard not to think about not being with my boys on the first day of school. My mom was a teacher and she was never there at my school with me. My dad had to do all the duty on the first day of school. I don't think I am warped or was emotionally disturbed by it, so I think they will survive without their Momma there.

Big Boy is looking like he is the only one who has a parent snapping pictures!!
Come on DUDE!!! Just one more with a smile for your Momma, and I'll get out of here and leave you alone!!!

I can't believe my big boy is a third grader!!!

I also wanted to show you my entry way table and iron tree. I love to decorate it for back to school. It starts out the fall decorations and this means the pumpkins and fall leaves are not too far away...

I put their pictures from the first day of school in the little school house picture frames.

I found these ornaments at Hobby Lobby this year. I have been looking for those little paper mache' apple ornaments that come by the dozen and can't find them anymore. You would think Hobby Lobby would have them since they have had Christmas decorations since May.

I looked forever for a school garden flag. I don't love this one, but it works! We have gotten off to a wonderful start to school. Now its time to get down to work!!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Sweet Home Alabama~Gulf Shores

Welcome to another installment of Kelly's Korner~Show Us Your Life. This week Kelly is featuring favorite vacation spots. Welcome to our Sweet Home Alabama. The Hargrove Clan has made Gulf Shores, Alabama our summer beach tradition.

We fell in love with beach vacations 10 years ago when we first went to Destin Florida with my sister's family. We can hardly wait to sink our feet to the white sugary sandy beaches each summer.

We pretty much just hang out at the beach most of the days, then head to the pool , then back to the beach, etc... This year we invited our friends The Arrington's to come along and we had a total blast. It was so fun for our boys to have friends to play with 24/7.

We have always stayed at The Beach Club at Fort Morgan and love it!!! It is out from Gulf Shores, but well worth the few extra milesbecause it has a real resort feel to it. This is what I love to do the most at the beach, sit under the umbrellas and read. Check out the boy's trench in front of our chairs.
A little "Hot Box" on the lawn. Why is it baseball is never too far out of our minds??

Of course, our other main activity is EATING!!!! This is our clan eating at Lulu's. LuLu's has gotten so big a popular now. When we first starting going to Gulf Shores, it was a little bitty place and now it has tuned into a money making empire!!!

Of course, what would be a trip to Gulf Shores without eating at Lambert's? Home of the "throwed" roll! If you have never been there, it is a Gulf Shores MUST!!! They actually throw their delicious yeast rolls to you. The kids love this place and the food is so good and cheap!!!

We also went to a new place called The Hangout. Very Fun!! I would say it is like Lulu's meets Joe's Crab Shack.

If you have ever been to Gulf Shores, you know where this is...Souvenir City. The best place to buy those souvenirs.

We also spent one day at Waterville, the local waterpark. We usually do this mid-week to break up the beach for the boys. This was particularly fun because our boys experienced a roller coaster for the first time. Look at Little Man's face in the last says it all.

Pure Delight!
A visit to The Track to ride go-carts

One of the things that I love most about this trip is that is full of family time without all the distractions of work, home, school, sports, etc... We just get to enjoy being together. We ( Me) wanted to take some pictures on the beach. The last two times we had a photographer come out and take our pictures and I am so glad we didn't this time because it was so windy. I can't believe I wasted one minute fixing my hair....that was 30 minutes of my life that was totally wasted that I will never get back. It looked a total mess!

However, I did get a good one of my boys.

While we were on vacation, Big Daddy and I celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary.

pause...sigh..., ok back to reality...

We had a wonderful time making memories with our friends.

Bye, Gulf Shores...we will see you next year...