Ever find yourself really wishing you had more time to get ready for Christmas... December just seems to SNEAK up on you? Well, maybe we can make a difference... together!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Favorite Fall Things....

Just want to take a minute and do a fun little "FAVORITE FALL THINGS" countdown...
before we dive right on into Christmas... 
We need a little FALL celebrating don't you think ???

and... before you know it ... 
it will FALL away!  :)  so sad...
I really wish for it to linger... a little longer this year! 
I so.... so.... so.... enjoy fall! 

My top 10 Favorite Fall things! 
I just love a warm, chunky, comfy sweater! 
I get to wear SOCKS again!!! I LOVE SOCKS!!!! (I don't wear shoes, so my feet LOVE and welcome a new pair of socks... on that first CRISP FALL DAY!!!) 
and... SLIPPERS..... 
awh.... don't you just want to slide your feet inside of these babies.... awe... HEAVENLY! 
 I love that FALL allows me "down" time... to pick up and drown myself in some good books! 
  I just LOVE pumpkins... of all kinds!!!!  
PUMPKIN anything..... pies... cookies.... rolls.....pancakes.....candles....MMMMM love pumpkin!

Yes - SOUPS!! that is FALL for sure!!! 

I just LOVE the smell - I could have it going all day long.. every day.... fall is here! 
4-Crisp Air...
love the feel... love the smell.... fall is in the air! 
(Can't you just feel the "CRISPY" air from this picture.... amazing!) 
 I love love LOVE leaves!  They just make me feel warm... cozy....safe....yet happy too! 

I haven't ALWAYS enjoyed decorating.... In fact, there was a time in my life when I did anything and EVERYTHING I could to avoid pulling out the boxes of decorations... the only problem.... my kids would not LET IT GO!  Because I had done it for so many years and my oldest 3 unfortunately REMEMBERED... They wouldn't stop bugging me... I managed for a few years to put up less and less...  and then one year -I found myself over stressed... financially we were struggling... and my world seemed to be caving around me... I had just had my 5th baby.... my husband was layed off... my oldest that was a senior in high school and was on home and hospital... and I just couldn't find the "UMPH" in me to do it.... I didn't even want to get the boxes out ... it took TOO much energy just thinking about it....I didn't want the mess... it was just going to add to my STRESS! For a couple years I managed to get by with very little to NONE in the holiday decoration department - AND I didn't even put up the Christmas tree until 3 days before Christmas... and it came down the day after Christmas... YEP! I was a BAH-HUM-BUG mom! It was just more than I could take on. But I noticed... when my house was not decorated... it just didn't "FEEL" right.... (Shortly after the holidays, we discovered that I was dealing with postpartum baby blues... who knew it could hit 10 months after giving birth! OH SO GLAD we were able to get it under control!)   

Shortly after discovering my issue, it was General Conference - and I ALWAYS look forward to Conference weekend and being able to receive council and guidance from our church leaders. I remember very well one of the talks that conference - it hit me like a ton of bricks!  I know - just know that Elder L. Tom Perry, was speaking to me ... basically telling me to GET IT TOGETHER! ... but in his NICE way.... he said ...

 Well... that did it!  Finally, that following fall season... when I just wasn't sure I had anything left in me.. somehow, this talk filtered to the top of my head and I had the "UMPH" to make our home a heaven on earth! That fall, I transformed our main living area from blah to warm.... comfy, cozy, inviting and I've loved it ever since!... and guess what I did??? I decorated in fall colors, a fall theme.... leaves and branches, twigs and such... they were my inspiration.  We were very poor (still are) but really poor - so I did what I could within our means, but I was determined to make our house a home... a safe, warm, inviting, comfortable place to be.  I wanted my children and their friends to feel safe here.  To feel loved.  To feel inspired.  As I was driving around, I was looking for anything in nature that I could use to decorate our house in... branches became my curtain rods - (I had never had curtains in our home... it's amazing what a window treatment will do!)  I found a great deal on some iron "leaf" knobs that became the curtain rod holders and picture holders on our walls.  I found some sconces at a yard sale, spray painted them and then filled them with weeds from the road side - LOVE THEM!  

Decorating for the seasons has once again returned to a tradition in our household, it’s something that my  children always looked forward to. (well, most of them!)  I have found that even when I didn’t feel like it, once I got started and began changing things around, sprucing up this and that....my crazy ideas will get going wild! It’s such a great feeling to stand back and see the transformation that just a few touches can make. Simple touches....

AND... my most FAVORITE thing about fall..... 
My family!
Oh, don't get me wrong....  I LOVE them all year long... But for me, FALL means.... I usually see them MUCH MORE OFTEN!  Which is always a treat!  I have a large family - and it is continually growing! I love that we are all so different - yet so much alike... I love that we have so many personalities... so many talents.... and still..... so many quirks! Just like fall leaves, we are each a different color, shape, size, and texture,  but that makes us all the more beautiful!

This is one of my favorite quotes (and I don't know where it even came from... but I just love it)
"Plant happy moments and harvest a lifetime of happy memories"....

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Counting down.... 10! (weeks that is!)

Well, it is time to pull them out... blow off the dust and LET'S GO!

With just 10 weeks to go - it's time we get down to business... Now, if you are already there - GOOD FOR YOU!!!! WAY TO GO!!!! You are just AWESOME!!!!!! well... heck - if you aren't even there - you're still amazing and awesome!  I mean... who else is worried about Christmas with 10 weeks left???? I promise we are a few steps ahead of the majority of others around us!

Just for fun - I post countdowns every now and again on my face book page ... and honestly, I ruffle a few feathers! I've been called a few... shall we say... not so pleasant names... and I've been told a time or two to SHUT UP!  ...I mean,  be quiet .... but it is all OK! FINE AND DANDY! Because ... when they are all running around like wild chickens missing their heads and frustrated because they can't find what they want... stressed to the gills.... pay WAY more then they should for those "special gifts"... IF they can even find them.... fighting for parking spaces in a major snow blizzard....freezing their little TOOSHIES off..... and WISHING the season to "get over with".... I'll be sitting in my warm house.... watching it snow from the comfort of my soft couch..... sipping on some hot chocolate.... singing Christmas carols with my children... or reading stories... or watching movies..... having the TIME OF MY LIFE..... They will be wishing that they heeded the "countdown warnings...."  so, go ahead - if you have fallen a little behind (such as I) it's ok - we're still gonna make it count - every single minute!  I promise!!!! 

Are you ready????   BRING ON WEEK 10!

During this week, it is just a matter of gathering everything up and getting it all organized and in one location.... I've been purchasing Christmas gifts all year long - and they are ALL over the place!  I just discovered cute little VALENTINE outfits I purchased for the grandbabies... I completely forgot about them!  OOPS! I can tell it is time to get organized in every direction for me! ... but back to Christmas!

Things to do this week:

Be sure to pull out your cute little CHRISTMAS NOTEBOOK!!! 

You'll be so glad you did! 

  • Make the promise! Spend 15 minutes each day this week to get organized for Christmas.
  • Get comfortable for holiday planning--create a Christmas project center in your home. A place that is allocated for just CHRISTMAS!  In the next few weeks, we'll be doing some "PURCHASING" of necessities so you will want to have a "safe" place for such items - that way when it is time to WRAP IT ALL UP - you know just where it all is!  Oh this is going to be fun!
  • Set up your Christmas Planner  (this is an amazing website- browse around and print the pages that best fit your needs - be sure to place them in a notebook or three-ring binder.Keep them ORGANIZED!
  • Begin (if you haven't already) your Christmas card list. Locate addresses,purchase stamps (or at least one fifth of what you will need), decide on the "type" of card you are going to do, make list of what needs to be done to make your card complete. (photo sessions, homemade card supplies etc.)
  • Make an appointment for family photo sessions for holiday giving or photo Christmas cards.
  • Schedule carpet cleaning now! As the holidays approach, business picks up. Call now for your choice of appointment times. (This seems to be the LAST thing on my list EVERY year, and I STRESS all month about not having CLEAN carpets... so that is why it is on my week 10 list!  It's going to happen this year!)
  • Review your CHRISTMAS gift list - check off things that have changed, are already taken care of etc. Reprint your list (if your like me - I get tooooo confused when there are toooo many scribbles ... I prefer a clean slate!... and you KNOW you're going to have some scribbles...) 
  • Plan your menu for the month of December, be sure to include those special treats and extra functions, parties, gatherings etc... 
  • Make a grocery list for December, and keep it close, so that during the upcoming weeks, you can watch the ads and get the best deal for the items that you need.  I like to put the items that I purchase in a large tote bin marked DECEMBER MEALS and another one marked DECEMBER BAKING - and I keep my master list in my purse, so when I'm out and about if I should find a "DEAL" I can cross it off and immediately put it in the tote when I get home... before some little meeces'  gobble them up! (If I put it in the pantry, they think it is fair game... but in my tote - they know HANDS OFF!) :) 
  • Hopefully, you made your "decorations" list as you put away Christmas last year... but if not... it is that time when the holiday decorations are being brought out - and perhaps now, (as you are looking for your Halloween items) you can do a quick inventory on your Christmas decorations as well.... Update your list... or make a new one.
  • Review your NEIGHBOR GIFTS list, teachers, kids friends, co-workers etc. list....  Make any adjustments needed and then prepare the list for items needed to complete those items. (Yes, I have another tote marked "Neighbor/Friend Gifts".... because, remember.... I purchased my neighbor gifts the day after Christmas last year... and HEAVEN knows... If I didn't have them in a tote, I SURELY would not know where they are!  It comes in quite handy to have the totes all made up - now, I just need to find a "storage" place for them that looks NEAT! So I LOOK organized! awh... wouldn't that be nice! 
  • Make your cleaning schedule.... I know, I know... really!?!? BUT... this is ALWAYS something that REALLY stresses me out - and this year I have made it VERY VERY clear with my family - that they WILL be helping with the FALL deep cleaning! There are no IFS or BUTS about it!  It is MANDATORY! Especially, if they want a JOLLY HAPPY MOM this holiday season! :) 

Well... I think that should give us PLENTY to do this next 7 days!  Don't you think!?!?!  If I missed something... please PLEASE let me know!  My brain is feeling a little over-loaded.... 
at the same time!

Christmas is coming!!!! 
Can't you just hear those bells....

Let the WORK begin!

Have you ever thought ....
"There is no need to RUSH...."  
"It will ALL work out!".... 
Come on... have you? 
Probably not, it's just me.... 

I found this little quote the other day, and .... well..... can we just say..... it hit HOME a little tooooo close.... OK! It HIT HARD! 


So, thus began my REALITY hit.... "If I want CHRISTMAS to work... I just HAVE to work!"  AGH!  Don't you just hate those WAKE UP calls????

Well, now that I have REVIVED myself, and come back to REALITY.... I'm finding the PANIC attack is beginning to take over my life! Who has time for this?!?! NOT I! I refuse.... REFUSE to let the Jolly Little Fella take charge of my life again.... instead.... I'm determined to let my SAVIOR lead me and guide me through the holidays and enjoy every minute of  LOVE and  SERVICE, bring the true REASON for the SEASON to every day of December... and the only way that will happen is if I WORK!  Starting NOW!....  

Did you notice the JOLLY LITTLE FELLA over on the right...  
2 months.... 1 week..... and 2 days....
(which really breaks down to... 10 weeks exactly from TODAY!!!!)  
until CHRISTMAS REALLY counts! 
OH BOY!  It is time to FOCUS! FOCUS! FOCUS! 
So.... are you ready to FOCUS!?!?!? To really get on track!?!?!  There really is absolutely NO time to THINK about it - we just gotta DO IT!  So.... pull up your britches and LET'S get things rolling in the right direction! 

For the next month, we've got a lot to do - and HOPEFULLY you have not been waiting for QUEEN SLACKER to get it together....(well, I'm sure you haven't, because you are much WISER than I and you have remained FOCUSED throughout the year.... and I'm not so certain that I have many followers....I mean... who follows a slacker????)  But if you are there (or here)  HOPEFULLY you have been really good and you have made the entire year count towards your goal!  BUT.... if not... join me and let's make this Christmas REALLY count! 

So, here it goes!
I'll make a LIST of the categories I'll be working on during the next 10 weeks!  
(YIKES! That sounds SCARY!).... 
ok...focus...focus....focus....... and BREATHE!....
Here we go! 

10 week count down! 


OK! There ya go!  Now.... Let's FOCUS! FOCUS! FOCUS!!!!  
Count Down from TEN is posting tonight! 
So get ready! 
GET set! 
And LET'S remember the reason... for the SEASON!