Wednesday, November 14, 2012

How I celebrate


My birthday falls this month. The traditional way to celebrate a birthday is cake candles presents singing blah, blah, blah. I am not so much into, all that. I even prefer we cut the cake and then let the birthday person spit on their own piece of cake...I mean blow out the candle that is in that piece. 
I don't want to hear the dreaded happy birthday or see it on my facebook. It is not the getting older aspect I just feel uncomfortable with the attention. I have a nephew who cries when someone sings Happy Birthday. I know his pain. If someone I know sings I cry happy song, sad song, it doesn't matter I am that woman in the back with a case of chronic sniffles. And have you seen your own face when you cry? SCARY!!! There is usually little children around and traumatizing a toddler is not my goal but I have seen my face crying and it is soooo not good. So nope, no birthday for me. 

Several years ago ( I can't remember how long ago, as I am getting older after all) I started a fun tradition of giving my parents gifts on my birthday. 

One year I had a local bakery make a cake and my sister served as my go-to person by picking it up and delivering it for me. 
One year they got a gift certificate to a wonderful steak house that they enjoy. My brother helped with that one.
One year they each got a gift of their own. Amazon helped with that one.
One year my Dad got a gift and my Mother got flowers. Amazon and the flower shop helped with that one.
The year my father passed  we were pre-occuppied with the funeral and I am sad to say I did not honor this non-traditional tradition I had started. 
The next year my Mother got a beautiful dress that she made look great!
The point here is not the gift, the point here is I have had a good time giving back to my folks who sacrificed so much just to have me.  
I also noticed I have really good siblings who help out whenever they can. I really appreciate that. 

Mothers and Fathers day are wonderful days to celebrate parents but I really enjoy spending my birthday giving rather than receiving. 

What non-traditional traditions do you have?


An adorable edible centerpiece

Are you ready yet? Thanksgiving is next week. I am NOT! I am looking for more ideas for the kids. 
The few hours before Thanksgiving dinner is really hard on the kids.
 They are all so excited and they are really hungry.  As all Moms know this is a explosive combination. A real holiday ruiner in motion. Is ruiner a word? Hmmm I will google that later. 
For now I will focus on a few things to help the kids stay out of your hair, in a good mood and out of hungers  evil grasp. 

Blood sugar issues are enemy numero uno!

Keeping children's blood sugar level in balance is important to help them stay in control of their little bodies and emotions.  Plan ahead and have some snacks ready and available to them. Here is an easy list that requires not one bit of work after you put them in the cart. Simply open them and pour in a bowl. 

Cheese sticks, baby carrots, crackers, Cheerio's, Crispix party mix, raisins (or Craisins for a holiday twist) and popcorn. 

While looking for ideas I found this really cute idea for a POPCORN Turkey.
paper bag popcorn turkey closeup Isn't that the cleaverest thing. Oh did I make a funny? Well it is clever and you could use a cleaver but a simple knife will cut open the top and allow the popcorn to be devoured by hunger stricken lil monkeys. If you would like to see the tutorial please visit

Now then all better let's play

The enfamous kid's table can be fun! I prefer it most of the time because that is where all the giggling is done and who doesn't love making canned cranberry sauce come flying out of their cousins nose because you were all laughing so hard. It is where Holiday memories are made. 
My Mother found a really fun kids table tablecloth. It has coloring and games and searches galore! We will be trying that out before the meal is served for sure. I may even pack a couple of crayons into the place settings to encourage the frolic! 
Until we are ready to sit down to color and later eat I have projects for the 9 lil hooligans who will be crawling all over the place. We have kiddos in a range of age groups from "eye rolling", "loud sigh making" "I would rather be locked in the bathroom with my iphone" 12 year olds, to a"lets play dress up" "I LOST my Blankie" "I need you to hold me for no apparent reason other than I said so, so.... why are you not holding me yet" 4 year olds. Yep it is a REAL GOOD time. And now you see why we need to keep the animals corralled.  
Boys project: Explode CRAP. Uh huh you got it. I said it. They will be doing exploding science projects. What boy (of any age mind you) would turn down the opportunity to throw that mentos into a plastic coke bottle? If you guessed NONE you would be absolutely correct. I do not think I will have any complaints from the hubs and the Uncles to help be the parental guidance with this one. 

Girls Project: Make an apron BORING! I know but they can also get involved with the explosions. The girls can score them. WHAT? DOUBLE BORING!!! Yeah I know as a kid I would have wanted to explode crap too. Hmm perhaps Barbie could aid us in the adventure. Barbie was always my go to toy to get thrown, be used as a slingshot, be a great torpedo, she can even poke out an eye with her fancy ninja fingers. But the little girls in our family are girly girls not a tomboy like me. So I really do have plans for them. Actually we may make beaded keychains, colorful t shirts, decorate our own shoes or some other little ready made craft kit I can find. I want it to be super easy and not take a ton of pre planning as the boys project (not to mention cleaning the house, packing for the trip and well breathing) will take me a while.

What will your lil monkeys be in to..Oh I mean doing this Thanksgiving?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Operation Giving Back

Operation Giving back

When I was younger my family had a fire at our house. Our church family, friends and neighbors stepped in to help us in our time of need. As a kid it was really unsettling. In times like these I tend to go a bit numb. Not sure if I should cry, scream, run, fight, hide or what, I simply tend to shut down. Crawl inside and watch what happens around me. I don't think as the oldest of five that I was much help with anything. All I could do is sit and watch the firemen come and go. That is what I remember about the fire. The people who helped.Some of them were people I barely knew if at all. It was amazing.  The fireman, the friends and family that stepped in. It left a mark on me. That fire made me want to try to help families who have suffered from fire and other losses. 
"I promise Mrs. Truvy, not to let my personal tragedy affect my ability to do beautiful hair!" Steel Magnolias - the original movie. Sorry that movie just pops into my head from time to time, as it did here.
  But seriously we have all had our share and some of us have had more than our share of tragedy and if you are one of the few who has not, well then, I am very, very happy for you. What is important is to give to share, it teaches us appreciation and restores our faith in human nature and brings us back closer to God..  

As part of the charities being featured this month I found two really deserving and inspiring charities to share with you today. 

Operation Shoebox

This charity is for the troops. They fill boxes with needed supplies and try to fill specific requests and needs.
For example they were in need of softball equipment, personal hygiene supplies (travel sized), and used golf clubs. 
If you don't know what to do with all that left over Halloween Candy, send it to Operation Shoebox and they will get it over to our troops! Every year Operation Shoebox will go through tons of candy that they send to our troops and would be happy to have your left overs!  

Operation Christmas Child

The mission of Operation Christmas Child is to demonstrate God's love in a tangible way to needy children around the world, and together with the local church worldwide, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Many of these countries are closed to church's of any kind. This may be the only opportunity to share that love with a child. 
You can follow your box on it's journey if you donate online. You can also fill a shoe box yourself. Let your heart be your guide as to what to put in the box. If you want an idea of what has been sent in the past please take a look at their website.
We will be doing this project with our children. It is a really good experience.
Now I know some of you are saving why send it away when so many here in the states are in need. This is the good part so listen up. They serve our country as well. You don't designate where your box is sent but just know that every box is guided by God's hand to a child who needs it. 

Local idea

A fun local idea is to spoil one family in need. If everyone "spoiled" one family with food, warm blankets, hygiene products, little toys, school supplies, warm socks or shoes, hat, gloves etc...every year we would have such a happy community. So if the shoebox and Christmas child aren't up your alley "spoil" a family. Your soul will thank you.  


Saturday, November 3, 2012

Grateful: Weekend Day 3, 4,& 5

Grateful: Day 3

Today I am making Thanksgiving cards to give/send to those who we are grateful for. 
A few people in our daily lives are overlooked. These people bless us everyday without us even acknowledging their efforts and role in making our lives more enjoyable. 
A short list follows: your mail person, trash person, church secretary, sheriff, deputies, police chief, policemen/ women, Teachers, Janitors, a friend, a neighbor, Dry Cleaner, Librarian, Doctor, Nurse,DayCare teacher,  Dentist, Optometrist, Paper boy, Scout leader, Sunday School teacher, Cashier at the grocery store, the bagger at the grocery store, this list is really open to anyone who you come into contact with that you feel has blessed your day. 

We will be making cards and I am encouraging the kids to give away at least one card a day. Now they will be instructed to give the card thoughtfully and not just give it away or to simply hand it to their buddy to satisfy Mom. This needs to be an exercise in thoughtful appreciation of others efforts in your life and to show your gratitude for those efforts. 

Here are the cards I was making for our neighbor and Preacher gifts a few days ago. You can make these or something less fussy just keep the focus, you want something simple but thoughtful.

Simple card that looks like it took a awhile to make.  I designed is using elements in the Silhouette Cameo. 
A rectangle that I welded together with the turkey. The turkey and bottom fold have a small score to help them fold nicely.  I used four different colors to mix and match. A melon (the really pink looking one which is not pink at all in person), a burgundy, a deep hunter green, and a sandy tan color. Four passes through the cameo, a little weeding, glue and sign the inside and you are done! The smile on the recipients face is worth every second.  

Interested in these cards but don't want to make them yourself? They will be coming soon to my Etsy shop. Etsy Shop for CreativeCarbaholic

Want to make them yourself but don't have a Silhouette? I can send you the kit! Leave me a comment with your email and I will get right back to you.

Today's Charity: Make A Wish Foundation

Here is a list of wishes granted in 2011. Made me want to cry, such sweet little wishes.
Thank you for stopping by today!
Best wishes in all things, to you and yours.

Grateful:Day 2

Grateful Day 2

America I am grateful for you and I am grateful for the opportunities we have.
America is a very blessed country. I love it. I wouldn't want my children or loved ones being anywhere but here. I am about to be brutally honest though, Americans are spoiled. Be honest with yourself we are spoiled. We have worked very hard to obtain our freedoms and our servicemen and women work everyday to assure that freedom. In many, many ways we are spoiled here in America. So many others have so very little in comparison. This happens to be a factor not only when comparing countries but also right here at home. We seldom take notice of all the many things, sometimes little things, sometimes big things, but these things are all things that we are so blessed with. We are so blessed that we assume others are as well. We also seldom realize that others would be blessed by our sharing with them. No now, I don't mean empty your purse in the hand of the nearest homeless person. I am saying there are those in our lives, communities etc...that are in need and sharing even a little of what you have, even just a kind word can make all the difference in the world to someone else.

Many people think of this time of year for charities. (I agree but please don't forget them the rest of the year.)
Everyday for the next week I am going to give you a list of common charities and of uncommon charity opportunities that you may not think of or know of. Please choose one this year if not two and make a simple donation of either your time or resources. 

Today's fun charity opportunity: Movember


This charity is so FUN!!!!!!! 
Movember is the month formerly known as November, where men and women across the globe join together to raise awareness and funds for men’s health issues. Men grow and women support a Mo (moustache) for 30 days to become walking, talking billboards, for our men’s health causes - prostate and testicular cancer initiatives.

Men who support Movember, called Mo Bros, start by registering at Mo Bros start Movember 1st clean shaven, then grow and groom their Mo, for the rest of the month, raising money along the way. Women who support Movember, called Mo Sistas, also start by registering at Mo Sistas champion the Mo by supporting their Mo Bros, organizing events, leading a team and spreading the important message of men’s health.

 You can even start entire team of Mo's and ask for people to support your team with all donations going toward the charity. Ladies there are opportunities for you as well read up on Mo Sistas. The site is hilariously full of mustache paraphernalia. It is an entire site for of styling tips, pictures and funny sayings. If you have a man you love in your life this site will both make an interesting read but help men's health.

Please Donate $5 today to my Movember Mo Sista Team.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

30 days of teaching an attitude of gratitude

30 days of teaching an attitude of gratitude

Gratitude is defined as the state of being grateful : of having thankfulness. 

This is something that I have tried REALLY hard to impress on our kids. Some days they make me proud and do something that shows they heard and listened and retained that impression. Other days they make me want to scream! They are kids. It is part of the process. I am trying to remind myself of that.  I am thankful for having children that I want to hang by their toes sometimes, I realize others are not that blessed and would love to be able to have these experiences. 

That realization has made me think a lot lately about making the month of November more than just a month of eating, gorgeous autumnal colors and the anticipation of Christmas. I plan on taking the next 30 days to really teach gratitude to our children. I will be learning along the way too. After all you never really learn something until you teach it.

Thankful tree

Today is November 1st and as the day after Halloween we are going to have a Halloween Hunt. We have a hunt after every holiday. This hunt includes the kids going with me room by room and removing the holiday decorations with me. It makes the chore of putting the holiday things away a little less tedious and less depressing. : )

After our hunt we will be putting up a Thankful tree. Using paper bags from the grocery store we will construct a paper tree on our wall. This tree will hold all of our leaves. Each leave will contain something that each child is grateful for. Each day our children will pick out a leaf and write what they are grateful for and then we will hang them on the tree.  The point is to have the kids think about all of the blessings that they have on a daily basis. 

After our tree is up we will be taking a treat & card over to our neighbors and Pastor. We have great neighbors and Pastor and we want them to know we appreciate them very much.