Saturday, December 31, 2011


Here it is, the end of 2011.  This is the time of year when everyone starts talking about making resolutions...things they want to do or do differently or do better in the new year.

Let me ask you something.  Do you make resolutions?  The most common resolutions are lose weight, exercise more, eat better, watch less TV, spend more time with family. And how long do you keep them?  Have you ever lasted more than a couple of months?  A few people make it all the way into February, but most don't even last 2 weeks.  

I think the reason we don't keep these resolutions is we try to do it on our own.  By our own power.  With our own strength.  Have you prayed about them?  Are you trusting God to get you through the tough times?

Before you make any resolutions this year, I'd like to ask you to pray for guidance.  Ask for God to reveal his purpose for your life.  Then go after that!  I guarantee if you surrender to His will for you, you will succeed!

Psalm 37:4 "Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart." 

And if the going gets tough remember this...

2 Corinthians 12:9  "...My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness..."

Only when you surrender everything in your life to God and His perfect plans, will you find happiness...not when you lose weight or eat better or start exercising or even when you spend more time with your family.  He has great plans for you...Are you ready?

Jeremiah 29:11  "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you saith the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you an expected end."

Love you all and Happy New Year!


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Yes, Virginia...

"DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old. 
"Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. 
"Papa says, 'If you see it in THE SUN it's so.' 
"Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?


VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except [what] they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You may tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding. 

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas from the Monkeys

Merry Christmas

This is the picture we chose for our Christmas cards during our recent family picture outing I blogged about here. I think they turned out pretty OK if I do say so myself!  Thanks, Cassie, for bringing out the best in my little bunch of monkeys!  You are great!  Hope you all have a wonderful holiday!

Love you all,


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Welcome, Sammy...

Do you elf on the shelf?
This is our first year to have Sammy (that's what my adorable husband named him) and we are having soooo much fun with him!  He is the first thing the monkeys look for when they wake up.  They have found him in all sorts of fun, unusual or just regular places, waiting to see what the kids will be up to today.  

If you don't know about the elf on the shelf, he is Santa's little helper.  He keeps track of what the kids are up to and reports back to Santa every night.  The monkeys aren't allowed to play with him (he might lose his magic) but they can talk to him and have him pass on messages to Santa.  

Here are some of the places we've found him...
In the basket of pinecones...
on top of the TV...
Hanging from the top of the "little" tree...
On the shelf (where he's supposed to be!)...
Riding the reindeer...
Drinking Mom's last Coke (naughty elf!)...
hiding in the plants...
Watching "Elf"...
"Helping" color our Christmas placemats...

I don't have a picture of our favorite escapade...he was head down in Monkey Princesses stocking at Grammy's house!  We think we was putting something in there, but she thinks he was trying to take something so she "wrote" a note to Santa telling on him!  It was priceless!!!!
I'm sure we'll have a couple of interesting things happen before the big day and Sammy has to go back to the North Pole, so I'll keep you posted!

Just one more thing... I wanted to let you know that, Yes, my kids believe in Santa (until they are old enough to figure it out for themselves) and even then, they still believe, because around here, when you stop believing in Santa, you get socks.  We don't celebrate this holiday as the birth of Jesus.  We do not own a nativity set.  I know to many Christians this is the reason for the season, but we feel Christ is the reason for every season and it is much more important to remember His death than the arbitrary day the Pope picked to recognize His birth.  No, I don't look down on or criticize you if you choose to think of Jesus this time of year - I think it's great!  Romans 10:5 states "One man esteemeth one day above another; another esteemeth every day alike.  Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind."  We see this a a fun time to get together as a family, eat too much, and give.    

I hope you and yours have a special holiday and make wonderful memories for years to come.

Love you all,


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Advent Fun

I'm am so excited about our Advent activities that I posted here!  The whole family has been having sooo much fun!!! (And I'm not just saying that - we ALL are!)

We've read books

and watched movies.

But, so far, the most fun has been making Christmas candy.  Now, I have to admit, what happened is not what I had in mind when I made this activity.  I was envisioning traditional candy perfected by generations of my husband's family.  However, my monkeys had other ideas.  (Don't they always?)

Monkey Boy decided to create his own candy.  He wanted it to look like peppermint, but not be "hot", so he wanted to use Twizzlers and Marshmallows.  (Can I tell you that I was a little scared because I knew I was going to have to eat this concoction!)
(We didn't have large white mallows, so he opted to use the big Strawberry ones.)
I must say, they weren't bad.  Now - I'm not saying I asked for seconds (kinda sweet & hurt my teeth), but I was able to eat my whole cup.  I'm pretty impressed with his imagination!

My firstborn monkey is somewhat of a cook, so I wasn't as scared of what he would come up with.  He opted for no bake cookie dough that I had found on Pinterest a couple weeks back.

Pinned Image

This is what he used (no eggs - so the dough is safe to eat!)...

     1 cup butter, softened
     1 1/2 packed brown sugar
     1 tsp vanilla
     2 cups flour
     6 oz mini chocolate chips

Following the directions, he creamed the butter and sugar together, then added the remaining ingredients.

He then rolled the dough into balls, added some sucker sticks to some of them (just because we had them and he thought they were cool) and let them chill for about 30 min.  Then he wanted to cover or drizzle some of them in chocolate, so I melted some chocolate almond bark and he did just that.  End result?  DELICIOUS!!!  I mean, really...who doesn't love cookie dough?

I hope your December is turning out to be just as scrumptious!

Love you all!


Saturday, December 3, 2011

Oklahoma Football

Happy Bedlam, Everybody!

For those of you not from around here, today is Bedlam.  It is the day when OU and OSU duke it out for the the win (and this year, for the conference championship!)  OU has won the last 8, but OSU has their best team in recent history and, if they win, they have a shot at the National Championship game. Nail biter!  And what makes it even more fun is that my brother, sister, mom are OSU fans and the hubby and I are OU fans!  You see that a lot around here...

It is quite chilly and windy here today, so we are going to hunker down, watch football and have some extra tasty chicken chili.  The recipe is SUPER easy (so I have more time for football) and SUPER yummy (I have to make a double batch so we can have leftovers!) Doesn't it look good?!

Here's how it's done!

White Chicken Chili
1 pkg McCormick White Chicken Chili mix
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can white beans
2 chicken breasts cooked & diced OR 1 lg can chicken

Throw everything in the crockpot, add 1 cup water.  Cover and cook on low for 2-3 hours (or longer) or on high for 1 hour.  You can also make this on the stove pretty quickly, but the flavors don't mesh as well.

We serve ours with cornbread.  Enjoy!

Love you all!