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Ho! Ho! Ho!

I've found another FUN site!

"Thank You!" to my friend Linda
for telling me about this website so I could share it with you.
(Sorry I didn't let you know sooner, though)

Even so, if the kids are stir-crazy and need some fun, quiet time.
Or if you're needing some last-minute recipe and gift ideas.
This is your place!

There are all kinds of interactive
activities for children AND us grown-up kids!
Yummy recipes in
In the children's section you can do things like...
Send Santa a letter and he'll write you back

Track Santa as he makes his way to your house
Print stories and color the pages
Personalize a story with YOU as the star
Find the hidden stories throughout Santa's Secret Village
Visit the Elf Clubhouse for fun games to play
Send holiday e-cards to your friends, family, and teachers
and on, and on, and on.

You'll have to go check it out for yourselves.
There's just too much to list.

The website is You're gonna love it!!

My Family Sends You Our VERY, VERY Best Holiday Wishes!
Please stay safe and warm!
Holiday Hugs!

Seems Like Yesterday...

Ever hear that phrase?

Me too! From my PARENTS!!
But I caught myself actually using it today.

Because today Billy and I have been married for 30 years.
(YIKES!!! Somebody must be getting old! And when did THAT happen?!?)

And as I look back I think of things like,
"I was just a baby! (Well okay 19) But awfully young to get married"
and most especially...
"Who? In their right mind? Would get married 2 days before Christmas?!?"

But I have to tell you my friends
What I've heard all these years really is true... you get older, time really DOES seem to go by faster.
I don't know how. But it does.
(I'm thinking it's some kind of Einstein theory yet to be explored)

And as I look back at all those yesterdays.
They are filled with some of the GREATEST memories.
I wouldn't trade any of them.
(Well, okay, maybe a couple) {{snicker}}

But truly, the Lord has blessed me
with a kind, spiritual, and loving husband
and a beautiful, caring, and devoted family.
I can't wait to see what the next 30 years brings!

Many Hugs My Friends!!

Operation Christmas Cheer!

Happy Holidays My Friends!!

I have a very special request of all my blogger friends.
Many of you I already know and
many of you are brand new friends that
I look forward to getting to know better.

So, here's my request.

My sister-in-law Sandy had a dream the other night
and we want to help her make it come true.
The only thing is we can't do it alone.
So we need your help!

My nephew (Sandy's son, Amy's brother) Jon is currently stationed
in Baghdad, Iraq and will spend the holidays there.
This is his 14th year in the Air Force and the first time he has had to spend
the holidays away from all his loved ones.
His work schedule keeps him from even having a day off!
Sandy dreamed that on Christmas morning Jon was greeted
with bags and bags of Christmas cards and letters just like the scene in Miracle on 34th Street.
We've been busily spreading the word by emailing all our contacts,
notifying all our friends, and Billy and I have even bought cards
to bring to work with us to have folks sign right then.

Isn't this the NEATEST IDEA!?!
For all of us that support our troops,
hate to think of someone spending the holidays alone,
or know someone who has had to serve during the holidays past,
we urge you to add an address to your Christmas card list.

And if any of you know of others who are serving...
Please Let Us Know!
We'd like to do this for others as well!

His address is:

SSGT Jon Bureman
JIDC Unit 42129
APO AE 09342-2129

(And don't worry if you can't get it out by Dec. 15th
--Send it anyway--
He'll love getting a card no matter what day he receives it!)

If you'd like...please let him know who you are
and feel free to pass this on to anyone you know
that might be interested in helping us out.

Thank you so much for joining us!

Sweet Dreams Sandy!!

Many Holiday Hugs!!


Fashionably Late...

Hi Ladies!!!
I am the "Guest Blogger".
 And I have to say I am ashamed of myself.

I usually am a guest that arrives on time--and sometimes early.
But being a "Guest Blogger" stressed me a little!

Allow me to introduce myself...
My name is Amy.
I am Cheryl's niece. Her husband Billy is my mother Sandy's brother.
You've probably read about me and my 3 kids in previous posts from Cheryl.

I became a "guest blogger" because I harass Cheryl about not blogging enough.
I will either call her and say "uh...I'm bored with your lack of blog" or leave little comments like "it's time...".
She told me next time I say something about her not blogging she was going to tag me to be a guest.

I didn't think much of it until the time came
and all I felt was fear and stress!
I never realized how hard it was to come up with something to talk about!
I even laid in bed at night thinking "what if nobody cares about what I write"...I hate rejection...LOL!

Well, I've put it off long enough.

But I have something AWESOME to blog about!

Last night I was doing the dishes and the phone rang.
It was my friend Christy.
She asked me what I was doing tomorrow, if I had any plans,
and if I had someone to watch my youngest Sadie.
She went on to say that she'd won a prize and wanted to share it with me.
I was thinking she won a free lunch or a free manicure or something.

 Well, she shocked the heck out of me
when she said she'd entered her name in a contest with a local TV channel and won...
are you ready????...

Yes, you read that right!!!
I danced with the Rockettes this afternoon!!
My friend won this for her and 9 of her friends
and I was so touched that she chose me as one of 'her 9'!

 Well, after she gave me all the details of the day
I got off the phone and went straight into panic mode!
What will I wear?
How should I do my hair?
I have no dance experience except ballet when I was 5...
I almost thought about not going just because all those thoughts were stressing me out.

I held it together and ran to Kohl's and spent an hour searching for that perfect outfit.
What I ended up with was actually cute {whew}...
a pair of grey workout pants...a black shirt with "bling bling" from Canton, TX. and a black fleece vest.
I put it all on this morning and was happy with my choices.
My hair was cute and I even put on a dab of eye shadow.

When I arrived at the convention center I had no idea what to expect...
But when we all met up and went to our room I was happy to see
the other girls that Christy invited were normal like me.
For some reason I had envisioned the other 8 girls showing up
in full-on dance gear with professional shoes and all.
 But nope, sweat pants and tee shirts {whew}

Then...the moment we'd been waiting for...
(drum roll please)...
the ROCKETTES arrived in FULL costume!!

They looked awesome!
They had on cute Christmas hats with fur trim!
Their outfits were cute little Santa dresses with sequins and fur all over!
...Sooooo cute!

There were 4 Rockettes to spend the hour with us.
(I have to say that I was surprised to see that some were shorter than I thought they would be).
I learned that the height requirement was 5 6' to 5 10' 1/2 MAX.
Their dance shoes are 3 inch heels so that makes them look taller.

They had us line up and they told us where they were from
and how long they have been Rockettes (mostly ranging from 3-7 years).
We learned they all lived in different States (you don't have to live in New York to be a Rockette).
They perform 4 to 5 months out of the year
and the rest of the time they have normal jobs (one was even a Yoga instructor).

I asked if there was an age limit and the answer is 18.
You must be 18 to audition. There is no max age so that brought me to my next question which was, "how old is the oldest Rockette now?"
Their answer was, "We don't know."
They said, "No one will give their ages because it becomes an 'occupational hazard'
and they are afraid they will not get picked the next year.
So everyone is 18!"{LOL}

It was time to learn dance moves.
We started off with the traditional kick line.  That was awesome to learn!
We were taught how to pose, how to stand, where to put our hands (every part of the body has a place it needs to be), even where to look...
It was crazy!
 Everything is so timed and on-point.
We were also taught the 360' circle
(this is where 1/2 the women face one way and the other 1/2 are facing opposite).
You are in a line and turn the line 360'. We actually accomplished this after 3 tries.
I was amazed that 10 women with no dance experience were able to do this.

The hour went by soooo fast!
I was sad that it was over but what a great memory!
We all took pictures with them and said our goodbyes.
Here is a group picture of us...take a close look at the costumes, they were so cute!
(I am the one in the middle up front...short hair, dark gray pants and a black vest.)

Well there you have it!
My first guest blog...that wasn't so bad.
Actually, kinda' fun!
And you know...I didn't realize it was so easy to upload pictures.
Now that I know this, I think I should upload some of my kids! 
This is my youngest Sadie, she is 4
This is Kaylie, she is my oldest..8 yrs.
Here is Brandon, he is 7 and he's my sweet boy!!!

I am blessed to have such wonderful kids!!

 I hope you enjoyed my post!
Please leave me a comment so I know that someone did read it
and I won't lay in bed at night wondering if anyone liked what I wrote...LOL.

Jingle Bells!!

I said it.

(Oh Look! I made a Christmas Tree!)
--Sorry. Easily Sidetracked.--

"What's to love?!!" you ask. "This time of year is CRAZY!"
"Everyone is rushing. Cooking. Planning.
Stressing. Fretting about money."
"Seriously! What's to love?!? Christmas is for kids!"
The fact is...
I love that we start the Holiday Season with Thanksgiving.
Being thankful for what we have and anticipating what we will give.

A couple of years ago, as we sat around the dinner table,
we each took a moment to say what we were thankful for.
And God bless little Sadie!

It was her turn. And in her innocent, then 2 year old voice she said...
"I'm thankful for air"
I promise to never forget that even our smallest blessings are big ones!

I love holiday music, and Christmas movies, and giving gifts,
and driving around looking at lights, and baking cookies with kids,
and I secretly think it's fun to sit in Santa's lap for a picture.
And I love getting Christmas Cards in the mail.
(I just wish I were better at mailing them) {sigh}.
(Hey, I've been known to send out Christmas cards in June.
It's actually brilliant! Then you don't know if I'm early or late. {grin})
And decorating. Oh how I love decorating!
It's all just so magical!
I love that we spend time thinking of others.
And what we can do to make them smile.
I love Santa Claus! and Nutcrackers! and Toy Soldiers! and Twinkling Lights!
and Handmade Gifts from the Heart! and Desserts! Lots of Holiday Desserts!

And you know, now that I look back I realize
that it's all my parents fault.
I grew up in a family filled with lots and lots of love but not much money.
And yet, Mom & Dad somehow found a way to make every Christmas special!
I remember sitting around the coffee table
pinning sequins onto styrofoam balls to make ornaments
that were so heavy that the branches of the tree couldn't hold them.
And the year I got an old Underwood typewriter and stand
because my parents knew how much I enjoyed my typing class.
Oh! And the year I got a BRAND NEW coat!
I screamed so loud I think the neighbors heard me!

And I'll never forget the couple of years that my mother
somehow found the means to take 3 young children
(my little brothers and I) to see "The Nutcracker" ballet where we lived in Austin.
Who knew there was such a glorious world of magic and fairy tale--right there before our eyes!?!
I loved that, even if just for an afternoon, dreams could seem so real.

So, I started thinking...
What is it that really makes Christmas so special?
And why can't we get back to that?

You know what I keep coming back to?
The Holidays really are about
Giving Something of Yourself.

We all talk about it.
So let's do something about it!
Let's give something of ourselves.

Let's give at least one gift either from
Our Heart
Our Hands

By that I mean that our gift could be a simple as
giving our time to someone else by
raking, cleaning, repairing, cooking,
doing laundry, or even babysitting for someone special.

And if you enjoy making things as much as I do
then I can't wait to see what you'll be making for gifts this year.

So please join me in our Handmade Holiday Challenge!!
To post pics where they can be shared with everyone
I've opened a Flickr Group so we can
share our photos there.
(Just praying I did it right! Please let me know!!)

And of course you can always comment here
to tell us your plans too.

Oooh!!! I Can't wait to see
all the ways we'll be giving of ourselves!

Hugs and Happy Christmas!!!!!