Tuesday, December 23, 2008

New Addition to our Family

I know you all will be very surprised. You may even wonder why we didn't call and tell you. But, we thought this would be the best way to tell everyone at the same time.
We have adopted. The new addition joined us today.
Yes, Allyson has a baby brother. We didn't have a lot of notice. You may not have even known that we were trying to adopt.
We were thrilled when we found out we would be getting him before Christmas.
Our family is rejoicing! We know all of our friends will, too.
We may get some strange looks because our baby does not look like us, but we DON'T CARE! We will love him anyway.
I know you are dying to see his picture.
So, here he is.

Did I get you!? LOL!
This was a project for Allyson and me.

She had so much fun putting the candy on.
She's very proud of her "baby brother." She named him Gin-Er Bread Man.
Urm, yes, sometimes we just let Allyson wear her pull-up. Nice, I know!
Adorable, isn't he?
On Saturday, we went to Albany to meet Michael's mom and nephew, Josh.
We ate at Longhorn. It was great! We really enjoyed the visit.
After dinner, we swapped gifts. Allyson had so much fun opening gifts from Grandma.
She loved all her gifts, especially the Tinkerbell doll.

What do you give the woman who gave you the best gift you've ever received?
Easy. A Mother-in-law basket. You just fill it with everything that you think a gift basket should have. For instance: Bath & Body Works soaps/lotions, home fragrance, a photo album/frame, jewelry, and of course, something monogrammed.

Holiday Candy Making

This tray includes (from middle, out) reindeer food, orange balls, and fudge. I have been asked for the Orange Ball recipe, so here it is.
Orange Balls
1 box Nilla wafers, crushed
1 C. confectioners sugar
1/4 C. butter, room temp.
3/4 C. orange juice concentrate
1/2 t. vanilla extract
Flaked coconut for coating
Combine cookie crumbs and confectioners sugar. Blend in butter. Stir in orange juice concentrate. Add vanilla. Shape mixture into balls. Shake each ball in a bag with flaked coconut. Arrange in single layer on wax paper. Store uncovered overnight in fridge. Makes 3 dozen.
Merry Christmas, everyone. We hope Santa is good to you!
Love, the Paces

Saturday, December 20, 2008

What causes mommy rage?

I think there can be many causes. I'd like to list what caused mine today.
  • Daddy is at work. He is working 60 hours a week. When he is home, he's too exausted to do anything. He either needs to rest or work on school work. He is no longer cheerful at home. This saddens me to the depths of my heart.
  • When your child, whom you assume is taking a nap so that you can do the millions of chores that need to be done., calls you from her room. Then, when you enter you find her bottomless with poop smeared EVERYWHERE inside her crib. Including falling out the side onto the floor. All over the rails. And, globs on the sheets. To top it off, she's smiling, as if to say she's proud of her accomplishment.

So, what ensues from such stress as listed above? Mommy Rage.

Now, I will list the symptoms of mommy rage.

  • Screaming
  • Yelling
  • Saying curse words (not at the same time as in room with child)
  • Gnashing of teeth
  • Holding hands behind back so as not to strike child, who is now looking confused and pouting, not smiling.
  • Slamming fists into bathroom countertops asking WHY?
  • Not feeling content with just that because nothing broke, so throwing hairdryer (It didn't break, but it startled me when it came on.)
  • Finally, feeling tons of guilt from acting like a maniac. Then, hugging gently and saying "Sorry. I love you. Mommy just doesn't like poop."

So, there you have it. For those of you that think that I have it all together, now you know. I struggle with moments of mommy rage. I have a feeling I'm not alone. But, I'd like to know for sure.

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

No Longer Afraid

Allyson & I attended the Elberta Nursing Home Christmas party Monday night. We helped pass out gifts to the residents. Then, we took cookies to them. Allyson was such a big girl holding the plates with cookies with both hands to give an older person a tasty treat. I didn't have my camera to get a picture of that part.
And, guess who was there! SANTA CLAUSE!
Guess who ran right up to him to get in his lap! That's right; Allyson did!
She sat in front of him, on the carpet with the other kids. I didn't realize that she was waiting her turn. But, as soon as Santa's lap was empty, she ran tight up to him. I was shocked. She has always screamed and clung to me anytime she sees the Cheery Old Elf.
I think that this was a very special Santa, and that's why she felt so at ease.

Even Santa's mommy still takes an active role in his job! :)

Here she is telling him what she wants. Santa told us that Allyson wants a Barbie. Just like Stacia said, isn't it funny that they tell Santa different stuff than they have been telling you all along?

When she hopped down, she got a candy cane. She was very proud of it!

Tonight coming home from church Daddy was doing his best Santa impression. He asked what she wanted Santa to bring her. She replied that she wanted Santa to bring her something that sounded like "King King."

"What?" I asked.
"King King!"
Then, I figured out that she is saying candy cane. Well, of course, that's what Santa gives you. Well, that will make it easy this Christmas!
We really enjoyed Santa this year. This year's Santa is very special to us. We love him very much. No matter what!
Also, special thanks to Sarah for letting me take Santa pictures with her camera since I had forgotten mine. :)

Monday, December 15, 2008

These busy December weekends...

Each weekend in December every year is always full. But, I love living such a full life. There's no time to be sad or wish for things that I don't have when I have so much to do!
The weekend started off on Friday evening with a Christmas Party for Life Group 2. Mike is a Life Group leader, so we thought this would be a good time for our life group to get together and have some fun. But, half the people that came aren't actually in our life group. Oh, well, they can pretend! The more the merrier!
Here's Brian, Jeanette, Crystal (she was cold), Larry, and Sheila.

Nirav, Michael B., Mary, and Tim

We had an ornament exchange. It was really fun. The husbands had to give the wives compliments and a kiss before the ornaments could be opened. This was Sheila's idea!

I snapped these before everyone arrived. I found this adorable Christmas tutu. Allyson said she was a ballerina. Then, she had to twirl and dance.
The kids totally wrecked Allyson's room. But, it was worth it because they had so much fun! Ms. Sarah helped me get things put away. On Saturday, Allyson spent a long time playing in her room. I decided that this was because she watched the other kids have fun with all her books and toys and she decided that that her stuff was pretty cool after all.
Saturday, I spent the entire day in my PJ's. I did my holiday baking. I made fudge, orange balls, and reindeer food. It was nice to be at home all day. I heard the Warner Robins traffic was just awful on Saturday.
Saturday evening, we took Allyson to Disney on Ice: Disneyland Adventure. Pictures were allowed. I was surprised, but I didn't get very many good ones.
Mike actually knew the guy that sat next to us. We got him to take our picture. I wish Allyson's eyes had been open!

Here's Cinderella's back. And, a cool alligator that was trying to attack the Incredibles. It was really fun. We all really enjoyed it. It was over way too quickly!
Pictures from Sunday. I couldn't keep her from running around outside of the church building to get her picture in her Sunday coat. But, here is the back of it. I hope she'll be able to wear it next year, too! Oh, she has "Candy Man candy in her hand!"
Here we are after church. Mike refused to get in the picture. He said he needed a haircut. It looked fine to me. I wish this picture wasn't so blurry!

So, what is on the agenda for this weekend? Two Christmas parties on Friday and a trip to Albany to see Mike's mom and nephew on Saturday. But, I won't be facing going back to work on next Monday! Yessss!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas Survey- Couldn't Resist!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? I like wrapping paper better, but bags are so much easier. So, as a compromise, I look for pretty bags!

2. Real tree or Artificial? Artificial. I had a real tree once...Totally overrated!

3. When do you put up the tree? The Saturday after Thanksgiving, but I have learned this year that I need to start on Friday!

4. When do you take the tree down? Before New Year's Day, if at all possible!
5. Do you like eggnog? It is yummy!

6. Favorite gift received as a child? An Alf doll-Child of the 80's!
7. Hardest person to buy for? Mike, I'm always worried he won't like what I picked out.
8. Easiest person to buy for? Allyson

9. Do you have a nativity scene? Nope

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Neither one this year! Sorry!

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? A pocket calculator from a friend when I was a kid. I was so disappointed because the box looked like maybe it could have been a bracelet. Now, I could really use that!
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? Polar Express, but I really like National Lampoon's, too!
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? The week of Thanksgiving. I make a Tanger run during the break!
13. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? I plead the 5th!

14. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Sweets!

15. Lights on the tree? Yes, a must!

16. Favorite Christmas song? I like that Amy Grant song, Grown-Up Christmas List. It kinda makes me cry, though. I'm such an emotional weirdo!
17. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Stay home, but I have this dream that one day I will spend Christmas at some ski lodge and have a white Christmas. Probably never happen, but I would probably only do that once!

18. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Yes

19. Angel on the tree top or a star? Star or bow

20. Open the presents Christmas Eve or Christmas morning? Open presents with extended family Christmas Eve. Mike & I exchange at any point when we can be alone.
21. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? How stress gets in the way of the fun!-I totally have to steal Stacia's answer!
22. Favorite ornament theme or color? I love my gingerbread men and now I'm collecting penguins and/or snowment, too, for my blue and white bathroom.
23. Favorite for Christmas dinner? Cristmas Eve we have party food. There has to be boiled shrimp! Christmas Day lunch is a fancy meal. Usually prime rib or turkey.

24. What do you want for Christmas this year? Santa is supposed to bring me a ring in Allyson's birthstone.
25. Who is most likely to respond to this? If they haven't done it already they probably won't. But I will tag Bry, Andrea, Sarah, Susan, and Tabby anyway!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Oh, Christmas Tree!

Our Christmas Tree and Decorations 2008

We have a new tree this year. I love it! I have had white lights for years, but it's time for a change. This year, I went for brighter, more colorful and whimsical decorations. So, the tree had to have multi-colored lights. In previous years, my tree had to be all white, cream, and golden with very few sentimental ornaments or decorations. It was pretty, but now with a little one, we need a family tree.
Before we decorated the tree, I made this wreath. I bought the ornaments a couple months ago. I knew I needed a new wreath to go with the new theme.

Here it is in all it's glory. I really like how it is tall and skinny. We can get more presents around it!

And, with no flash. I love the glow around it.

The whimsy goes outside, too. Here's the ice skating snowman I bought a few years ago, after Christmas, of course! That's when I buy anything big like this (that includes our new tree!). The lights on our house are also multi-colored. I think it makes our house look like a gingerbread house. I'll try to take a picture of the whole house soon.

Now, for Part II of this post!
Last weekend, we attended Hailey's birthday party. I had some cute pictures I wanted to post.

Allyson loves Auntie 'Shaun! And, all the kids loved the cool light-up toys.

Hailey looks so pretty! Stacia made a beautiful and delicious cake.

Hailey gets so excited about her presents! It's so sweet.

When your Papa is not around to read stories, borrow someone else's. I love the Johnson family Christmas tree.

Family picture-Good of Mommy & Daddy, but not really of Allyson. Notice that my husband is actually smiling. Oh, Tabby, you could print this out and put "Merry Christmas from the Paces". That way you won't have to draw stick people! :D

Pedro and Mike really bonded. Yes, he's smiling again! Either he didn't know he was being photographed, or he had a good time at the party. Probably both! We really did have a nice time.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Our family picture from Winter Wonderland

Here's our family picture from Winter Wonderland last week. Allyson's shirt reads I'm on the Nice list...trust me!

I also have an important announcement. I have been looking at my nearly completely full calendar for the month of December and I have been asking myself, "Self, what of these events/ parties/activities can I possibly cut out?"
Well, unfortunately, it seems, there's not much that can be done away with. We are either obligated or have already paid for pretty much everything we are planning to do. Not to mention the fact that we just don't want to miss out on any of the holiday fun!
So, this year, I regret to tell you that I have decided to cut out (gasp) Christmas cards. I'm not writing or sending ANY. Sorry!
I don't want to sound like a Scrooge, but something has to give! Or, I may very well lose my mind this holiday season.
I hope that no one's feelings are hurt. I completely understand if you don't want to send us a card. Our feelings won't be hurt. But, please know that we do have a special place for displaying any cards we receive. We don't throw them away as we open as some may do. Hmm...
Oh, I just cannot express to you the relief I feel after deciding to forego this holiday chore!
Remember the mantra...Enjoy! Don't stress!!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Now we're on Blogger!

Welcome to our new blog! I am very excited about getting started on Blogger! Special thanks to my friend, Stacia, for helping me out with finding a background and uploading a header. You are the BEST!

This first post is about the Winter Wonderland at Linwood Elementary. As you probably know, I'm the school media specialist. I love my job!

At the Winter Wonderland, a FREE event, sponsored by the school, my entire responsibility was to take photographs. (It's easy at the event. Just snap, snap. But afterwards, I spend hours dealing with all of the pictures, anyway!) So, this made it easy for Mike and Allyson to come along.

I wasn't working at LWES this time last year, so I really did not know what to expect. Basically, each family travels to different stations to do holiday projects together. Allyson had a BLAST!

She wrote a letter to Santa. I'm very proud of it. She worked on it for a long time. Usually, she's done with coloring in no time flat. So, this may have had something to do with the fact that she got to use markers and not crayons.

She made a Christmas Tree Cone. I had never seen this before. You take ice cream sugar cones and twist them around in a large tub of cool whip. Then, you set it upright on a plate and spoon sprinkles over the top. Delicious! And, fun to make. A great idea for a kid's party! Allyson ate every bite. She really enjoyed watching the older kids.

Allyson and Daddy made ornaments together. They had the black wax on them that you scatch off with a stick and then different colors show through. Allyson's were scribble, of course. I think she was pretty impresssed with what her daddy was doing.

Mrs. Peavy, a kindergarten teacher, painted Allyson's nails. I think she had a hard time because Allyson kept holding her fingers up so that she could see. They got all smudged because it's hard when you are two to wait for any kind of paint to dry.

Another kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Swords, painted a snowman on Allyson's face. Since last Thursday, Allyson has been asked several times what she wants for Christmas. Her reply has been a snowman about half of the time. I think this is why. Oh, and it was very sweet when she was done, Mike told Allyson to say thank you. She did and she gave Mrs. Swords a little kiss, too.

We also got to enjoy hot chocolate and sugar cookies. We had a family picture taken with a Christmas scene, but I have to re-email it to myself.

This was a lot of fun for my family as I'm sure it was for all the families that attended. Even though two can be such a trying age, it is also a very sweet age. She can participate in all of these experiences and give hugs and kisses, too!

We'll have more Christmas event postings in the weeks to come!

My personal resolution for the next few weeks...Enjoy! Don't stress!

We should all adopt this as our mantra. If we keep saying it over and over it will happen, right? :)

Thursday, December 4, 2008


I'm sick of MSN Spaces! They have changed the format and I'm tired of being jealous of my friends' fabulous backgrounds!!!