Tag Archives: Toys

“Four Christmases” Watkins’ Style

30 Dec

I know that every family now has a crazy, hectic Christmas, so we’re not so special or different from others, but I will say that we have a lot to do over the holidays.  What made our Christmas so hectic this year was not the number of family obligations that we had, but the number of major get-togethers and events that we held at our house this year, beginning right after Thanksgiving.

First, I had a Small Business Saturday Open House here on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  As I said in an earlier post, my sisters and I are starting up a business.  (You can check us out on Facebook at facebook.com/mommyinbonlee or at one of our shops: etsy.com/mommyinbonlee or mommyinbonlee.storenvy.com. )  We had several local vendors and craftspeople over to sale their things and it was a big success.  I really live in a great community.  This was just the beginning of a busy month.

A couple of weeks after that, we were part of another vendor fair at a local school.  This was to raise money for the 8th grade students to take a trip to NYC.  This one, not so successful.  That night, we had Jason’s office Christmas party at my house (along with  my mom’s and step-brother’s offices).  I will admit, by this point I was a little stressed and Charlie was watching a lot of TV!  All of the cute Christmas crafts I had pinned were getting pushed aside!

The next week, I had a cookie exchange at my house.  This was the 3rd annual one, and it is always fun and everyone leaves with lots of great cookies.

In the midst of all of this, I am doing tons of stuff at my church right now.  I am on the pastor search committee, teaching 2 classes, helping with youth, working on the bulletin, and helped decorate our church for Christmas.

Then there was just all of the normal Christmas stuff-buying and wrapping gifts, cooking and cleaning, looking at lights and visiting Santa Clause.  Not to mention Martin, our Elf on the Shelf, who had to magically fly to the North Pole every night and show up at a different spot in our house the next morning!  There was more than one morning when I would hear Charlie’s bedroom door open and have to jump out of bed to make a mad dash to move Martin to a different spot.

Anyway, Christmas has come and gone.   We did have to cut out Christmas Eve in Mt. Airy, which was kind of bitter sweet for me.  I enjoyed being home on Christmas Eve and it was much easier on all of us, but I kept looking at the clock that night and imagining what my family was doing at that moment.

Charlie was so much fun this year.  He was in his Christmas play at church and was absolutely hilarious. Charlie was a shepherd and had 2 lines: “Mighty God” and “Amazing.”  If I never have to listen to “Census Time in Bethlehem” again I won’t mind!

Superstarrrrr!

Superstarrrrr!

He loved Santa this year and the only thing he asked for was a reindeer and sleigh.  Santa ended up bringing him a smaller version of his reindeer and sleigh.  He also got some pirate stuff and some construction things.

A new pirate ship from Santa!

A new pirate ship from Santa!

Maddie is a hot mess:

Jumping off her new stool....

Jumping off her new stool….

Maddie's new earrings...

Maddie’s new earrings…

She got a new kitchen and tons of stuff for her bebes, as she calls them.  She is a good little Mama.  The girl thinks she is grown.  She won’t be 2 until February, but she decided yesterday that she wants to use the potty.  I really look forward to the day that I don’t have to buy or change diapers, but the girl takes forever on the potty!  She throws a tantrum if I don’t have half an hour for her to sit on the potty.  It is crazy!!!

Anyway, Christmas is over and, while I did really enjoy Christmas this year, I feel very unstressed right now.  I always love January and the new year for the cleansing power that it always seems to have for me.  I just love a chance to start over and feel new.

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to write in this blog more.  I really have enjoyed looking back at the little I have written over the past few years and I look forward to this new venture with my sisters.  If you do read this, please keep us in your prayers that we are doing God’s will and that everything be used for His good!

One thing I do want to share (for the few who will make it to the end of this long post:)) is this yummy soup recipe that I have simplified and perfected.  I made a huge crockpot full for a soup dinner at my church a few weeks ago, and it is so good.  I always double it and freeze the leftovers for later.

Cheeseburger Soup

1 bag of matchstick carrots

1 onion, chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

1 bag of frozen potatoes (either hashbrowns or southern style)

3 cans of chicken broth

1/2 pound of hamburger meat

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup flour

1/2 cup milk

1/4 cup sour cream

1/2 lb Velveeta cheese

salt and pepper to taste

Brown the meat in a large pot.  While it is browning, add the onions and celery.  Cook until the meat is done and the onions and celery are clear.  Drain and return to pot.  Add the potatoes, carrots,  and the chicken broth.  Simmer until the potatoes are hot and the carrots are tender.  While this is cooking, melt the butter over low heat and add the flour.  Stir until thick and set aside.  When the meat and veggies are done, add the flour mixture to thicken the soup.  Stir well, then add the cheese cut into blocks along with the milk.  Stir until the cheese is melted.  Add the sour cream right before serving.

This is really great with some toast with butter on it or some good bread!  Maddie loves this soup so much that she just tips the bowl up and drinks it!

Cheeseburger Soup-so good!

Cheeseburger Soup-so good!

Here’s me, the survivor:

Wearing my new shirt-thanks Mama!

Wearing my new shirt-thanks Mama!

 

Exercise Mommy Style

5 Jan

I am usually a pretty avid exerciser.  I try to do something most days of the week.  After Charlie was born I became addicted to spin class, but I have found that it is difficult to find people to watch 2 children, especially considering that all of my extra caretakers have to take off of work if I need anyone to keep the kids for an hour or two.  I just hate to ask, and I can’t bring myself to take Charlie and Maddie to the childcare offered by the gym. 

This spring, summer, and fall we had a really great routine going with our friends at the park.  At least three mornings a week we would go walk a couple of miles and then play on the playground.  It was great to be outside and have adults to talk to for a little time in the mornings, and Charlie really enjoyed it.  This winter, however, I have found myself in an exercise conondrum. 

It is too cold to walk at the park, I can’t get to spin class, and my treadmill is broken!  So this morning, I decided to create my own exercise plan.  I put 10 minutes on the kitchen timer and went to it.  I jogged around the kitchen island for 1 minute, did lunges for 1 minute, did 50 jumping jacks, did 50 situps (with Maddie sitting on my stomach because she loves to crawl all over me when I am on the floor), did 120 leg lifts, then 50 butt crunches, then jogged around the house for the remaining 1 minute and 45 seconds.  The kids thought I was crazy, but towards the end Charlie was jogging around the house behind me! 

I am planning on doing another 10 minute spurt later today, maybe this time including the stairs.  I know it’s not much, but it’s definitely better than nothing, which is what I am doing currently.

Something fun I did with Charlie a couple of weeks ago: I tied a long piece of streamer to a rod that Charlie took off of my clothes drying rack.  He had a lot of fun swirling it through the air. And when he eventually tore it to shreds I didn’t freak out because it cost me nothing!

 

A Great New Use for Empty Baby Wipes Containers

27 Dec

Well, Christmas is over and we are dealing with the aftermath of the toys.  They are everywhere!  Right now Charlie and I are deciding what toys we are going to put away for awhile to bring out later and what toys are going to be given to Emma, my neice who will be born in March. I am coming up with lots of different organizational ideas for all of the toys.  Here’s one idea:

I had 2 children in diapers for about 7 months, so I have thrown out (well, we did recycle them) a gazillion baby wipes containers.  I just came up with a great idea for them. 

I have been trying to keep up with all of Charlie’s little matchbox cars.  It seems that they are everywhere, and there is nothing worse than stepping on one of them barefoot in the middle of the night.  I decided to put some of the enpty containers to use to hold small toys.  Use foam letter stickers to label the containers with whatever toy you need to gain control over, and there you go! I made one for cars, people, and animals.  I think I am going to also make one for trucks.  This would also be a great way to store art supplies.

One unexpected plus of this system is that Maddie (10 months) really loves taking the toys out and putting them back in the small slots at the top of the containers.  That is great fun for her.