Pages

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Christmas Jars with Tasha

Today is the second installment of Unwrapping Our Gifts, where each Tuesday and Thursday between now and Christmas, I welcome a special guest blogger who has generously offered to share a holiday-inspired idea/story/tip/etc. that illuminates his/her individual gifts.

MaMe Musings


Today I am excited to welcome Tasha from One Day at a Time. Tasha was one of my first blogging friends and one of the first people to extend a helpful, supportive hand to me when Drew was diagnosed with infantile scoliosis. Nurturing is certainly one of Tasha’s many gifts. She’s also a cook who can make a pumpkin into a feast, a crafter who can make an acorn a work of art, a woman with an eye for style who can rock a pair of boots, and a mom who knows how to make learning fun for her two sweet boys. I am sure you will love Tasha and her blog as much as I do.


I am so excited to be a guest on MaMe Musings today!!!  Melissa and I "met" earlier this year and I have been a follower ever since.  I love reading her blog to see what those sweet babies are up to.  It brings back lots of memories for me since I have SIX year old twin boys. Plus Melissa just has the knack for drawing me in with her style of writing.  But you all already know that!

Before I share some Christmas fun let me tell you a little about myself and my blog. My name is Tasha and I blog over at One day at a time....

I am a stay at home momma, have been since my boys were born and love it!  I also homeschool our boys.  I enjoy anything simple----crafts, cooking and decorating.  I love working in our gardens and just being outdoors in general.  And I LOVE making/baking anything with sugar!!  We have an addiction folks.  I am working on our December goodies list right now!  A whole month of a sugar high!

When Melissa ask me to share a gift I wasn't sure what exactly I had to share.
"Me, do I have a gift to share?"

I suppose I do.  I think everyone has a gift they can share.  For me it is sharing what makes me happy.  What makes my family happy. 
And a gift is something you love to do.  I love to make my boys smile and have fun! It's all about memories. Throw the magic of Christmas into the mix and this is right up my alley!!!

Now on to the FUN!!!  Christmas time is such an amazing time of year. But we all know how busy it can get.  The hussle and bussle....pure craziness sometimes!!

For our family we try to keep things very simple to avoid missing the real meaning of this time of year.  Last year I wanted to make memories.....something the boys would always think about when it came time for Christmas.  So I started what we call "Christmas Jar Memories".



This is so easy you will likely have everything you need to start a family tradition this year!!!!

First off gather your family together.  Have a pen and paper on hand.  Talk about, discuss and write down ideas/things you want to do during the month of December.  As a family.  Make this time during the week, only on the weekends or both.  We do both, but keep them very simple......key word here is simple!

Next, type or write each idea on a piece of paper.  I print them out on the computer(in a cute font of course!)and cut them apart.  Find a jar or some sort of container and put all the ideas into the jar.  A pretty bow is optional, but I insist you add something to it to make it special. 



Now decide how often you will pull from the jar.  The children take turns pulling out an idea.  As well as Mom and Dad.  I like to pull an idea the night before "in case" I need to make a trip to the store for supplies and such. 

Here are some of our ideas for this year. 



The one thing I want to do is make it FUN! And not spend lots of money. Memories are of the heart and you do not have to spend a lot of money to make them. My goal as a mom is to leave the boys a legacy of FUN memories at Christmas.........not a legacy of "stuff" under the tree.

I hope I have inspired you to make a "Christmas Jar" this year and fill it with FUN memories for you and your family.



What's in your Christmas jar?

I hope you find time to come visit me over at One day at a time during December as I share our Christmas Jar Memories.  Thanks so much to Melissa for having me over today!

Merry Christmas everyone!  Now get to making a family memory!
Love, Tasha


It’s not too late to put your gifts under MaMe Musings’ tree! Interested in contributing a guest post? Get more details here!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Wordless Week










It’s not too late to put your gifts under MaMe Musings’ tree! Interested in contributing a guest post? Get more details here!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Unwrapping Our Gifts: Our first guest post!!

With Thanksgiving behind us and Christmas before us, MaMe Musings is excited to introduce our first-ever holiday series: Unwrapping Our Gifts. Each Tuesday and Thursday between now and Christmas, I will be welcoming a special guest blogger. Each guest has generously offered to share an idea/story/tip/etc. that illuminates his/her individual gifts and is related to the holiday season in some way.

MaMe Musings


Today, I am excited to welcome Ginger from (not) Just Another Mom of Twins. Ginger has many gifts. She’s a supermom to 22 month old boy/girl twins, a talented scrapbooker, a writer with an awesome sense of humor, the wife to an equally hilarious man, a master of organization, and a cook not afraid to enlist the help of her local grocer. I am lucky to count her among my bloggy world friends. Her post on believing and giving is perfect for kicking off the series. I think you’ll agree Santa is real.


Hi there Melissa and her bloggy world friends!  Thanks for inviting me over for a "coffee n' chat".  I was so excited when you asked me to do a guest post for the holiday season, especially when you told me that you thought I had so many "gifts" to share (insert huge smile of gratitude).  I've thought long and hard about what I wanted to "talk" about and I have decided that I want to tell you about the best gift I have ever received in my life.  The gift of Believing & the Joy of Giving. 

To get to the heart of my story I have to first share with you the shock of my life I experienced when the "IS HE or ISN'T HE REAL" question came up for me as a child.  Rewind about 30 years...



It was a long time tradition at my house that my mom and I would gather in her room and wrap Christmas presents.  I looked forward to this most.  Aside from Christmas morning, of course.  I fancied myself as a "professional" gift wrapper.  I learned at a very young age the "art" of cutting the paper ever so perfectly so that the corners would fold "just right".  I loved to don the parcels with ribbons and bows galore...sometimes to the extremes, read tacky.  Anywho, the way it would work is that my mom would sit on one side of the bed (on the floor) and wrap and I would sit on the other side, so we couldn't see each other's gifts we were wrapping.  I was always responsible for wrapping her friends gifts and that somehow made me feel really important.  SHE in-trusted me to wrap the gifts she was giving to her bestest friends....WoW!  When we were done each gift we would place it up on the bed and admire one an others "talents".  I never paid much attention as to who's presents she was wrapping, I was far more interested in comparing my "wrap job" to hers. (I always thought mine was far superior...for the record...LOL!)   I was probably about 8 or maybe even 9 years old when I looked over and read the tag on one of the gifts she had wrapped...I was SHOCKEDHere is the conversation that ensued, the best I can recall:

Me- "To Ginger, From Santa.  WHAT?  How can this gift to me, be from Santa?"  All of a sudden all those comments I had heard for years from the kids at school flooded back into my mind.  The ones where the kids talked about how Santa wasn't real.  I was one of the few who never paid much mind to those statements and would often challenge and "defend" the big fat guy's validity.

Mom- "Ummm.....Ummmmm....I thought you knew?"

Me- "Knew what?  That he isn't real.  Are you telling me he isn't real?"  In hindsight, I was being overly dramatic about the whole thing.  But in my defense, I felt like my entire existence was now in question.  How could THIS BE

Mom- "I really thought you knew." Poor mom.  She felt so bad.

Me- "I guess I do now." I was so defeated.  Sad.

Mom- As always, my mom knew just what to say, "Santa IS real Ginger.  He lives in our hearts and he is the spirit of  receiving but more importantly, of giving.  Santa will always come to our house, every year, as long as you believe."

I was positive that had I stopped believing at that very moment, Christmas would be forever ruined.  I never questioned if Santa was real again. Never. 


And so this bring me to the best gift I have ever received, the gift of Believing & Giving.  You see, I understood the complex nature of what my mom was saying; that the spirit of Christmas, aside from the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ,  was about giving the gift of "believing" to others.   How glorious. 

That Christmas, I bought my Cabbage Patch doll tons of presents from Santa.  All the gifts I purchased for my parents...yup, you guessed it...they were from Santa too!  I remember feeling such elation and joy. 



Santa had come for my "baby" and my parents that year.  Because of me!  Because I believed and the spirit of GIVING had truly "rang" true in my heart.  That was the best gift I have ever received.  From that moment on, Christmas became less about receiving and more about giving (Oh! And the pretty wrapped presents too...LOL!).

I know THAT question is going to "come up" in my house one day when Ave & Bryce ask me with big wide eyes if Santa is REAL.  I plan to tell them the exact same thing my mom told me and I can only hope that they embrace the spirit of believing and giving the same way I did.  That they see that as the best present they will ever receive.  At the very least, I hope that I get it right from the start...that Christmas is more about giving than receiving.  I pray that I can get that right.


Merry Christmas Everyone!






It’s not too late to put your gifts under MaMe Musings’ tree! Interested in contributing a guest post? Get more details here!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like...

Christmas!

With Thanksgiving behind us, I quickly shifted into Christmas mode when I joined the ferocious crowds for a little Black Friday deal hunting. I must admit, I don't do it for the deals (although I love a good one) as much as I do it for the sport. Every year my sister and I strategically plan our shopping route based on when stores open, proximity, and best deals.

This year's trip started at 10pm Thanksgiving night, included a total of six stores and two cups of coffee, and ended around 5am Friday morning. With the IKEA trip a few weeks ago and yesterday's shopping marathon, I am happy to report we are almost finished with the babies' Christmas shopping. I've met with Santa and here's some of what he's bringing the babies this year:

A kitchen set. They need to see someone cooking.

Image Credit


Play food. I passed on the pizza set and stuck with the healthy food groups instead. They'll learn how to order that soon enough.
Image Credit


A bowling set. I'm really excited about this set although Marty is betting the pins will be missing by Christmas night.
Image Credit


Puzzles. Santa will also be delivering several of these puzzles. We opted for the wood ones since Emily likes to eat the paper puzzle pieces.
Image Credit


A doll bed. Emily has discovered baby dolls and loves them! She's getting this cute doll bed and a baby stroller. We're both betting that Em and Drew spend more time in the bed and stroller than the baby doll.
Image Credit


A loader. Drew loves anything with wheels. If it has wheels, he'll try to sit on it and ride it--regardless of the size. If it doesn't have wheels (chairs, coat racks, baskets), he'll still try to push it all around like it does. I wanted to find him a large (plastic) dump truck but haven't had any luck yet. I did find this cool loader at Target. He'll either love the sound effects or be scared silly.
Image Credit


Bath crayons.Stocking stuffers for 18 months olds are tough since I don't want to fill them with candy I won't let them eat or junk that they will try to eat. I was excited to find these bath crayons that are perfect for toddler hands.
Image Credit


I still need to pick up some books and a couple more stocking stuffers. Oh, and shop for everyone else on our list...It was so easy to get carried away on just buying for the babies (even though Marty and I said we wouldn't)...

Score any big deals on Black Friday? What will Santa be bringing your little ones this year? Any good recommendations for books or stock stuffers?

What are you loving this Christmas?

Manic Mother




When I picked this song, I had visions that our house would look a lot like Christmas. Currently, it looks like about 10 plastic tubs of decorations exploded, leaving tangled, burned out lights, assorted Christmas balls, an artificial tree in three pieces, and glitter in its wake. Decorating was so much easier when the babies weren't mobile and Mommy wasn't moody. I gave up, cracked open a nice bottle of red, and started blogging. I think I'll just close my eyes and listen to a little Buble now...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Where did all the balls go?

Where the balls should be...


Where the balls actually are...









Where they hide the motherload...

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Unwrapping Our Gifts

Several things make me particularly sentimental: alcohol, birthdays, and holidays.

Since it’s Tuesday morning, I can’t blame the wine, so the recent rush of sentimentality must be related to the fact that Thanksgiving is Thursday and I have a big birthday on Sunday.

As I stare down the backside of my thirties, I have nostalgically started taking stock of the many gifts in my life.

1. Each person in my life is a gift (I am resisting the urge to...quote...No, I can’t resist: “Some as they enter; others as they leave”).

2. Seriously, the older I get, the more I learn to appreciate the individual talents and quirks of others.

3. I have some amazing family and friends (online and in real life) who teach me, entertain me, and inspire me daily.

4. I think we often don’t give ourselves enough credit for the intangible gifts that make us the special individuals we are.

5. I want my children to learn to recognize and appreciate differences while being confident enough to embrace what makes each of them unique.

(See, I warned you it was getting sappy around here!).

With all of this emotion swirling around, I decided to celebrate my birthday, the holidays and all the gifts in my life through a special holiday blog series that centers around the "gifts" we all possess. My idea is to have guest bloggers share an idea/story/tip/etc that illuminates their individual gifts and that is related to the holiday season in some way.

Image Credit


Do you...
• have a gift for hospitality? Why not share a recipe, tips for creating a meal on a budget, ways to survive the holidays?

• have a gift of reflection? Want to share something important you have realized about the holidays? A touching story from your past?

• have the gift of humor? Have a funny story to tell? A how-to guide to surviving holiday stress?

• have a gift for ministry? How about sharing ways you remember and remind your family of the real meaning of the season?

• have a gift for storytelling? Why not share a tale of Christmas past, present, or future?

• have a gift for service? Why not share how you will be serving others this holiday season and how we can help?

• have a gift of creativity? What about sharing craft ideas for the kids, holiday decorating on a budget, or your one-of-a-kind Christmas tree?

I am excited about the response I have received so far (including one finished post from Ginger!).

I know you’re going to love unwrapping reading each gift guest post.

I would love to include as many of my readers as possible. You certainly don’t have to be a blogger to participate. (I am excited to announce that my mom, sister, best friend, and my husband have all agreed to be a part of “Unwrapping Our Gifts.”)

The beautiful thing is you don't have to be anybody but the fabulous YOU that you already are.

Interested? Email me!

Excited for the first post? Check back on Tuesday for the first official installment of Unwrapping Our Gifts!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Caption This


"I make even Crocs look cool."


Contribute to the world's laughter pool today, and leave a comment with your own funny caption for this funny picture. Or, better yet, link up/visit Kristen at A Little Something for Me for her Make Me Laugh Mondays.




Interested in being a guest blogger for MaMe Musings? Click here for more details!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Muffins and Music

One of the babies’ first (and favorite) solid foods was butternut squash, so it was only fitting that my first batch of homemade muffins ever were made from this delicious fruit/vegetable.

We’ve been looking for a way to change up our breakfast staples of waffles and pancakes, and these muffins are a nutritious and tasty alternative.

After a very successful first batch, I am actually excited about trying some other varieties. Up next: blueberry!

I found this great recipe at Simple Daily Recipes.

Being a total novice in the kitchen, I followed the recipe as closely as possible, but I did make a few tweaks:

  • no baking soda (since the only box in the house was currently being used for odor control in the fridge)
  • peach-apple sauce instead of just apple (since that’s all we had)
  • 2 tablespoons of ground flax (to prove to Marty that, yes, I would eventually use the bag I bought several months ago)
  • A few more cranberries and raisins (I love the extra tartness the cranberries added)

Manic Mother




Brrrr! It’s cold outside this morning! Our neighborhood is having a community yard sale. My stuff is all outside, but I am sitting in the warmth of the dining room, eating muffins, drinking coffee, and watching out the front window for potential buyers. In honor of the cold, my song for the week is a remake of a winter classic by one of my favorite groups.

Please join me in wishing the geniuses behind Songs that Make Us Sing Saturday, Ginger and Becca, a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!







Interested in being a guest blogger for MaMe Musings? Click here for more details!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Week in Review

Drew and Emily are both talking. Some popular words this week include: da-da, ma-ma, all done, sissy, up, yes, and Emily’s favorite: no.

Both babies love reading. Some days, we read Itsy Bitsy Spider ten times. Other days it’s Up and Down with Clifford. Last weekend, we went to Barnes and Noble to pick out some new books because Mommy and Daddy are tired of Itsy and Clifford Emily and Drew wanted some new reads. We bought some great touch and feel books that work on animals and other common everyday objects.

All of this reading seems to be paying off because the babies are learning so many words. When we read their touch and feel books, they can point to so many of the objects. Emily loves to point to the shoes and say shoooes. Marty is worried this early proclivity towards shoes does not bode well!

Even when we’re not reading Itsy Bitsy, there’s a good chance Emily’s singing it. She also likes to sing her ABCs. We’ve got the tune. Now we just need to add the letters!

Emily has started wearing her hair in a little ponytail every day. It’s super cute and we have even managed to make it all day without her ripping the bow out. However, our cute hair days may be coming to an end for a while because…

Emily expanded her palate this week by eating the rubber band that held her pretty ponytail. When I asked her if she ate it, she enthusiastically said, YES!

They are hugging and kissing on demand. Nothing is sweeter to me than to see the two of them hug each other. My heart swells with pride when I tell them to hug everyone bye and then watch as they happily give hugs and kisses. Their teachers told me this week that they really are the most loving babies. What more could I ask for??

Being apart really isn’t something Drew and Emily experience all that often. After I took Emily to dance and Marty took Drew with him to run errands, we realized how few times we have taken them anywhere separately.

Emily and Drew are also getting really good at throwing things, most commonly balls and tantrums.

Drew lovesridinghis battery-operated four wheeler. If he gets loose in the garage, he goes straight for his helmet. Glad we’ve taught him safety first!


I am working on a special holiday blog series that centers around the "gifts" we all possess. My idea is to have guest bloggers share an idea/story/tip/etc that illuminates their individual gifts and is related to the holiday season in some way.

Image Credit

Do you...

  • have a gift for hospitality? Why not share a recipe, tips for creating a meal on a budget, ways to survive the holidays?

  • have a gift of a reflective spirit? Want to share something important you have realized about the holidays? A touching story from your past?

  • have the gift of humor? Have a funny story to tell? A how-to guide to surviving holiday stress?

  • have a gift for ministry? How about sharing ways you remember and remind your family of the real meaning of the season?

  • have a gift of creativity? What about sharing craft ideas for the kids, holiday decorating on a budget, or your one-of-a-kind Christmas tree?

The beautiful thing is you don't have to be anybody but the fabulous YOU that you already are. I would love to include as many of my readers as possible. (You don't have to be a regular blogger--I've already recruited my mom and sister!)

You just have to be willing to share your light.

Want to share your GIFTS with MaMe Musings' readers? Email me. Want to participate but unsure of what to write about? Email me :-)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Dancing & Gift "Giving"

Finally, on the third week of dance, I was able to get a picture of Emily in her dance clothes! Unfortunately, my adorable dancer was being a diva and didn't want to cooperate for the photo shoot. Between the sippy cup and the toys, she was too busy for the camera.



See that grimace on her face? I should have taken her mood as a sign because things went downhill fast once we made it to class (only two minutes late this week). She screamed the entire time. We would have left early, but it was fitting night for recital costumes, so we toughed it out until we had her measured and then we ran for the car left.

Because Mommy didn't want to crack open the wine on a Wednesday night, Because Emily was having such a rough evening, I decided to take us both to Starbucks where Emily had a chocolate milk and Mommy a Refresh tea. We cuddled in one of the big chairs for a little "Mommy and Me" time. Refreshed, we will attempt dance again next week.

And what about Drew? He took a moment to cheese for the camera before leaving with Daddy for a guy's night out.



I am working on a special holiday blog series that centers around the "gifts" we all possess. My idea is to have guest bloggers share an idea/story/tip/etc that illuminates their individual gifts and is related to the holiday season in some way.

Image Credit

Do you...

  • have a gift for hospitality? Why not share a recipe, tips for creating a meal on a budget, ways to survive the holidays...

  • have a gift of a reflective spirit? Want to share something important you have realized about the holidays? A touching story from your past?

  • have the gift of humor? Have a funny story to tell? A how-to guide to surviving holiday stress?

  • have a gift for ministry? How about sharing ways you remember and remind your family of the real meaning of the season?

  • have a gift of creativity? What about sharing craft ideas for the kids, holiday decorating on a budget, or your one-of-a-kind Christmas tree?

The beautiful thing is you don't have to be anybody but the fabulous YOU that you already are. I would love to include as many of my readers as possible. (You don't have to be a regular blogger--I've already recruited my mom and sister!)

You just have to be willing to share your light.

Want to share your GIFTS with MaMe Musings' readers? Email me. Want to participate but unsure of what to write about? Email me :-)
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...