I've been so busy that I have not had a chance to post about how great Christmas was!
We have this "tradition" in our family of wrapping gifts in a unique way. We make the receiver work to get their gift! Multiple boxes, layers of wrapping paper and other tricks are always fun!
This year my little brother was the recepient of a treasure box from my brother Pete and his girlfriend Debbie. They created this huge treasure chest out of cardboard boxes and duct tape. Inside the box was various boxes , crumpled up paper and lots of chocolate and other hidden "gems". The theme was "Legend of Zelda", my little brother's favorite video game. My brother Pete had sound effects the treasure chest too. He had the sounds choreagraphed for each box or layer.
We laughed as my brother went through each layer of paper and each box. The boxes either had chocolate or Little Debbie Christmas Tree cakes. He finally got down to a tiny ring box. He opened it to find a lone hershey's kiss. The little paper sticking out of the kiss said "failure"
So finally after his "failure" my brother hands him another box. It's smaller but as he starts opening it he finds more boxes. Finally he got to his gift and it was some flute from the video game. We were all tired after watching him go through all that to get his present but it was worth all the laughs.
We also did something similar for my Mom's gift. But her gift was more sentimental. We put together 6 boxes inside of a bigger box. Five of the boxes represented each of my siblings and the last box was the gift. We had her open the boxes in birth order.
Each of the five boxes had a momento and personal note from each of us. Each box was individually wrapped so Mom had to work to get her gift too! My box had an old ring and a little something of each of my kiddies. These things represented the fun times we had in the past and the Mom I had become because of her :)
We all cried as my Mom went through all the boxes and read all the notes aloud.
Finally she got to box six, the gift box. Inside she found something that she had been asking us to get her for years... A Mother's Ring. Her face was priceless and she cried some more. She actually took off her wedding ring and replaced it with the Mother's ring! My Dad laughed and took her wedding ring to replace his lost one.
I wish I had pictures but I do have a video of my Mom opening her gift. I'm just waiting for my Dad to upload it to the computer and send it to me. Once he does that I will post it up!
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
I've been so busy that I have not had a chance to post about how great Christmas was!
I am excited about 2009. A new year always marks the possibility of change and new beginnings.
ISome things I am doing to start the new year:
1. I finally cleaned out my 2 e-mail inboxes!!! I had over 5,000 e-mails in my gmail account!!!
2. We went through all the toys and threw out everything that was broken or not used anymore. I would have donated some of the stuff but Julia's toys were not in great condition!
3. I started studying for the test to get myself certified to teach in NYC. I minored in English Education when I went to college as a back up and now I need to use my back up!
4. Making a plan to lose weight after the holidays. I need to get serious. I gained back all the weight that I had lost and I have to get control of my yo-yoing weight! 2009 is my year to lose the weight and keep it off!
My list is short but I'm sure there will be more to add in the coming weeks and months! What are your plans to start out the new year???
I wish everyone a Glorious, Prosperous and Happy New Year!
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
I read this for the first time this morning and I hope it blesses you as much as it blessed me this Christmas Eve morning.
But he didn't believe all that stuff about God becoming man, which churches proclaim at Christmas. Why would God want to do anything like that?
So when his family left to attend midnight services on Christmas Eve, he stayed home.
Shortly after the family drove away snow began to fall. He went to the window and watched the flurries getting heavier and heavier. Sometime later, as he was reading his newspaper by the fire, he was startled by a thudding sound that was quickly followed by another. Then another.
When he went to investigate, he found a flock of birds huddled miserably in the snow. They had been caught in the storm, and in a desperate search for shelter had tried to fly through the window.
"I can't let these poor creatures lie there and freeze," he thought. "But how can I help them?"
Then he remembered the barn. It would provide a warm shelter. He quickly put on his coat and boots and tramped through the deepening snow to the barn. He opened the doors wide and turned on the light.
But the birds didn't come in.
"Food will bring them in," he thought. So he hurried back to the house for bread crumbs, which he sprinkled on the snow to make a trail into the barn.
To his dismay, the birds ignored the bread crumbs and continued to flop around helplessly in the snow. He tried shooing them into the barn by walking around and waving his arms. They scattered in every direction -- except into the warm, lighted barn.
"They find me a strange and terrifying creature," he said to himself, "and I can't seem to think of any way to let them know they can trust me."
"If only I could be a bird myself for a few minutes, perhaps I could lead them to safety."
Just at that moment the church bells began to ring. He stood silently for awhile, listening to the bells pealing the glad tidings of Christmas.
Then he sank to his knees in the snow. "Now I understand," he whispered. "Now I see why You had to do it."
Louis Cassels was religion editor for United Press International. His "Parable of the Birds" has been reprinted and rebroadcast on radio many times in the years since it first appeared in the Christmas editions of newspapers across the country in 1959.
God bless you all and Merry Christmas!
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
When I was little Christmas Eve dinner was at Grandma's house but the "real" party was down the block at my Aunt's place. After we ate and enjoyed time with our Grandparents we would walk down the block and celebrate the rest of Christmas Eve. There was always lots of salsa music blaring out of my Uncle's huge sound system. Plenty of more food was ready to eat and for the adults lots of Coquito (Puerto Rican Eggnog). The laughter was at high volume and us kids loved watching and laughing at the adults having a great time.
One Christmas the adults decided to surprise us with a visit from Santa. Unfortunately Santa was having some "happy" juice with one of his "elves" in the kitchen before his scheduled appearance. When Santa finally arrived, he was very, very jolly!!! He was feeling so full of mirth, that he wanted to climb up on the roof!!! Me and my cousins, brothers and sister were all laughing watching Santa stumble around and then poor Santa lost his pants!!! That is when the laughter became uncontrollable!!! To this day Santa can not live down the infamous Christmas when he traumatized us kids by mooning us!!!
Saturday, December 20, 2008
I have so many old favorites when it comes to Christmas music. But today I want to share a new favorite. I heard this song for the first time a few years ago on the Oprah song and ran to Starbucks the next day to purchase the CD. It's by Bebe Winans with Rob Thomas. I couldn't find a good video of it on youtube but I did find the song! Enjoy!!!
Friday, December 19, 2008
We would all gather at my Grandparent's house for Christmas Eve dinner every year. We didn't have a long commute because my Grandparent's lived downstairs! All day we would smell the wonderful pernil that had to be cooked all day. It would drive us nuts and we waited with anticipation for my Grandpa to call us downstairs for dinner.
My Grandma cooked the whole meal by herself. No one was allowed in her kitchen to help! The only thing we helped her prepare was the pasteles, which had to be assembled, wrapped and frozen days ahead of the big day. She would also make arroz con gandules and for dessert she always made flan and rice pudding.
Once dinner was ready, we would all take turns at the table eating. All my aunts, uncles and cousins were there and we could never all fit at the table to eat together. The ones that had to wait would gather in my Grandparents small living room and talk and laugh. The apartment would be so loud but I know my Grandpa loved it because he was so happy that everyone was there. My poor Grandma was always stressed because she never thought the food tasted good (but it was always delicious!) and she always ate last. No matter how many of us told her to sit and eat, she would insist on eating after everyone was finished.
After dinner and dessert, we would all head to my aunt's house down the block (again we did not have a long commute!). The party would continue and the adults would really get loose. The volume of the party turned up with lots of salsa music, coquito and silliness. We would wait until midnight and we were all allowed to open one present. That usually turned into us opening whatever our relatives bought for us! I have so many funny stories of those after dinner parties but I will save those for another post!
Christmas Eve has not been the same since my Grandma passed away. We don't all get together like we used to. My Grandpa stopped spending Christmas in NY because it was too painful for him. He would go to Puerto Rico for Christmas. Now he is in heaven spending Christmas with Grandma and I know they are happy!
We are making our own Christmas traditions now. Like I said before, my Mom does the cooking and now she doesn't want any help! My aunts, uncles and cousins do their own thing on Christmas Eve. But I'm hoping that they all take the time to remember all the Christmas Eves we spent together taking turns to eat at Grandma's table!
Thursday, December 18, 2008
A little nugget of wisdom from my little Diva: "Mommy good things come in small packages. Jesus was a small package and He came and He is a good thing!"
She said this to me this morning and it was so sweet! So take this thought with you today and throughout the holiday season as a reminder of the true meaning of Christmas :)
some thoughts... by Jessie at 9:50 AM
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
I am always searching for work at home opportunities. I love exploring the options that are out there so that I can continue to stay home with the kids but bring home some income too! I also love sharing what I've found and I came across this great company as part of the Mommy Go Green Blog Tour.
The company is called Green Irene and they offer an opportunity to become an eco-consultant through their company. This concept appeals to me because the work you would be doing benefits the environment and also helps people save money by helping them reduce their energy consumption.
The Green Irene Eco-Consultants are independent business people working from home. It is a direct sales opportunity where the consultant offers eco-consulting services and dozens of recommended green home products. Their main product is the Green Home Makeover. For $99 the consultant conducts a 60-90 minute consultation.
Here are some more FAQ's from the company:
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Christmas Countdown & MySpace Layouts
I love Christmas time and all the fun ways we get to celebrate and prepare before the big day! Today we had our Christmas show at church today and the production was great! The music was wonderful and the play they put on was inspiring. I love Christmas Carols and can't wait for Julia's Christmas show at school tomorrow. She is also going to be in the kid's Christmas production at our Church on Sunday!
I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season and remembering that Jesus is the Reason for the Season!!!
I found this on youtube. It's one of the songs that Julia's class is going to sing tomorrow... Enjoy!!!
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Tuesday was our 8th Wedding anniversary. Hubby had to work the night shift that night so we didn't get to do anything special but he did have my Mom make me a special dish for dinner! I wish we could have had the meal together!
Here is a tribute to us!
Thursday, December 04, 2008
I have a little rock star in the house!!! Jr. picked up his toy guitar and did a whole rock concert for us! He was strumming the toy guitar as if it was real. He was headbanging, twirling his guitar and putting on the classic guitar solo performance! He even ended his solo by flinging the toy across the room.... I think he is watching his Daddy play Guitar Hero a little too much!
some thoughts... by Jessie at 8:12 AM
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
I just had one of those camera worthy moments with Jr. but my camera is broken!! So frustrating!!!
But my little guy was so cute. He found a piece of cotton and put it on his upper lip to pretend he had a mustache! He was very proud of his "new" look! I guess he wanted to look like Daddy!
I love how he is becoming inventive. He loves to play dress up with all the superhero costumes and sports stuff we have lying around the house. He is also developing a funny little strut he does whenever he is happy. He did his happy strut on Saturday after eating some yummy chocolate cake (yes, he is a chocoholic like me!)
So here is to hoping that "Santa" leaves me a new camera under the tree this year so I can take pictures of all the cute moments again!
some thoughts... by Jessie at 6:10 PM
Grab the book closest to you and turn to page 56 and go to the fifth line and type it and the following couple of lines
So the book that is closet to me is "Puerto Rico: A Political and Cultural History"
Pg 56 , fifth line and on: "The episode foreshadowed a new day in Puerto Rico. The new sense of social cohesion revealed by the war led in the favorable circumstances of the years ahead to the development of new institutions to serve a renovated socioeconomic structure."
So now I need to tag 5 people:
Stephanie @ http://baseballsandtutus.blogspot.com/
Keli @ http://dreamimaginelive.blogspot.com/
Chris @ http://inspirationtoday-chris.blogspot.com/
Clara @ http://quiltscatsandotherthings.blogspot.com/
The girls @ http://shesgottahaveitnyc.blogspot.com/
some thoughts... by Jessie at 3:14 PM
Thursday, November 27, 2008
MySpace Comments at GlitterBell.com
MySpace Comments at GlitterBell.com
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Today is my parent's 36 wedding anniversary! I want to wish them a wonderful day and share pictures from their wedding and their vow renewal ceremony that they had to mark their 30th wedding anniversary!
Monday, November 24, 2008
I have never been ice skating but every year I vow to take Julia and give it a try. This year the American Museum of Natural History is opening it's first ever ice skating rink. They are calling it a Polar Rink and it looks so cool! This is going to be the year that I finally try to ice skate because I have to go and check out the Polar Rink.
Check out below for more information:
Photo Credit and Caption: A 17-foot high polar bear greets a young skater and her dad practicing for the opening of the new Polar Rink at the American Museum of Natural History, which opens to the public on Saturday, November 22. © AMNH\D. Finnin
VISITORS CAN SOON SKATE IN SPECTACULAR SETTING ON NEW “POLAR RINK”
AT AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY
First Rink in Museum’s 140-Year History
Featuring 17-Foot-Tall Model of Polar Bear in the Center
Tomorrow is Julia's Thanksgiving celebration at school. I am not the best cook in the world but we have to contribute a dish. So I am going to make some macaroni salad and some cookies in the shape of turkeys!
I found two really simple recipes for these cute cookies and wanted to share them. A non-culinary person like me could not possibly mess these up!
Oreo Cookie TurkeysThese edible Oreo cookie turkeys make a fun Thanksgiving craft idea for kids. You can even use them as place cards at the table for Thanksgiving dinner. Just write each guest's name in gel icing on the plate under his or her Oreo turkey.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
- 4 Oreo cookies (Double Stuff works best)
- 2 miniature peanut butter cups
- 8-10 pieces candy corn
- white gel icing
Preparation:Note: This recipe is for two Oreo cookie turkeys. But you can make as many as you like just by doubling or tripling the recipe. This recipe also makes an excellent classroom Thanksgiving craft.
- Take two Oreos apart. Place on a plate. These will be the foundation.
- Stick the other two Oreos into the icing of the Oreos on the plate, standing up on their sides. Make sure to leave room for the turkey's head.
- Place a mini peanut butter cup on its side in front of the standing Oreo for the turkey's head.
- Insert candy corn pieces, pointy side down, into the filling of the standing Oreo for the feathers.
- Use gel icing to make eyes. Break a piece of candy corn in half and use gel icing to glue the pointy part on under the eyes for the turkey's beak/mouth.
It wasn't me who wanted to cry her eyes out when her little men decided that the floor was a better place to go potty this week. It wasn't me who wanted to scream at the top of my lungs with all the poop on the floor incidents this week and should I mention the puddles that were left behind every time one of my little men decided that they would whip off their pamper to pee on the floor!!! I also did not laugh when my little diva had the misfortune to slip on a puddle that we didn't notice.... she didn't laugh at herself either!
It was not me who decided to order a movie on pay per view for my little diva so I wouldn't have to play another game of fashion model.
It was not me who wanted to pour a bucket of cold water over a sleeping hubby because he hung out all night the night before... nope those kind of thoughts never enter my mind!!!
Thursday, November 20, 2008
I got this from Facebook and thought it was cool...
* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence along with these instructions in a note to your blog.
"Good," Hochschild said in approval. "Breed 'em fast. Beef is worth more than vegetables." Pg. 56 sentence # 5 in "Redeeming Love" by Francine Rivers
I have been MIA and miss coming by and posting regularly!
I'm officially on the job hunt now. I really wanted to be a stay at home mom for another year but with the economy the way it is, me staying home is not possible anymore. Hubby's hours got cut and our bills are starting to pile up so I have been sending out my resume and going on interviews. That first interview after two years of being out of the workforce was scary but I did well. Unfortunately the job was commission based and I really want a steady paycheck.
The kids have been keeping a smile on my face through these tough times. Jr. is talking more and more everyday. Today he said "come in" when someone knocked on the door! Julia did great on her report card last week. We just have to work on her memorizing her States! As for my littlest one, he is turning into Mr. Helpful. He puts things in the garbage, takes the dishes to the sink and tries to wash them and he even sweeps the floor. He even tried cooking the other day. I had some pork chops defrosting in the sink and he actually took them out of the package and placed each pork chop in an individual bowl and he was stabbing them with a spoon! I immediatlely washed his hands but also marveled at how observant he is. He really watches everything I do!
Hopefully I'll have good new to report on the job front soon and I will try to post as much as I can!
some thoughts... by Jessie at 6:46 PM
Thursday, November 13, 2008
I was tagged by Denise!!!
So here it goes... 15 things I'm not afraid to admit:
1. I am not afraid to admit that Jesus Christ is my Savior
2. I am not afraid to admit that I am a chocoholic!
3. I am not afraid to admit that I like reading romance novels! (shout out to all the girl's I used to work with at Harlequin!)
4. I'm not afraid to admint that I hate snakes!
5. I'm not afraid to admit I was a nerd in high school
6. I'm not afraid to admit I am domestically challenged
7. I am also not afraid to admit I didn't learn to cook until after I was married..
8. I am not afraid to admit that I like cheesy power ballads from the 80's
9. I am not afraid to admit that I am a huge General Hospital fan since I was a teenager
10. I am not afraid to admit that I am a coffee addict and love Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts lattes (especially their pumpkin ones!)
11. I am not afraid to admit that I love the NY Mets even when they are losing :(
12. I am not afraid to admit that I am a jeans and tshirt girl
13. I am not afraid to admit I have a tattoo
14. I am not afraid to admit that I can't dance salsa :(
15. I am not afraid to admit that I met my husband at a parade!
ok now I am tagging...
mammadawg and Keli
This is a description of the program from the website:
Operation Christmas Child brings joy and hope to children in desperate situations around the world through gift-filled shoe boxes and the Good News of God’s love. Since 1993, more than 61 million shoe boxes have been packed, shipped, and delivered across the globe. People of all ages can be involved in this simple, hands-on missions project while focusing on the true meaning of Christmas—Jesus Christ.
How to Pack a Shoe Box
1. SHOE BOX
Use an empty shoe box (standard size, please) or a small plastic container. You can wrap the box (lid separately), but wrapping is not required. Most importantly, pray for the child who will receive your gift.
2. BOY OR GIRL?
Determine whether your gift will be for a boy or a girl, and the child’s age category: 2-4, 5-9, or 10-14. Print out the appropriate boy/girl label by downloading the artwork to the right. Mark the correct age category on the label, and tape the label to the top of your box.
3. FILL WITH GIFTS
Fill the box with a variety of gifts that will bring delight to a child. Use the gift ideas provided on the bottom of this page.
4. INCLUDE YOUR DONATION
Please donate $7 or more for each shoe box you prepare to help cover shipping and other project costs. You can give online by using our EZGIVE option, or you can write a check to Samaritan’s Purse (note “OCC” on memo line) and place it in an envelope on top of the gift items inside your box. If you or your family are preparing more than one shoe box, please make one combined donation.
5. DROP OFF
Place a rubber band around each closed shoe box and drop off at the Collection Center nearest you during our collection week November 17 - 24.
For locations and hours of collection visit our Drop-Off Locations page where you can find the nearest place to take your shoe box by entering your ZIP Code or you can call 1-800-353-5949.
You can also send your shoe box gift to:
Operation Christmas Child
801 Bamboo Road
Boone, NC 28607
small cars, balls, dolls, stuffed animals, kazoos, harmonicas, yo-yos, jump ropes, small Etch A Sketch®, toys that light up or make noise (with extra batteries), Slinky®, etc.
pens, pencils and sharpener, crayons or markers, stamps and ink pad sets, writing pads or paper, solar calculators, coloring and picture books, etc.
toothbrush, toothpaste, mild bar soap (in a plastic bag), comb, washcloth, etc.
Hard candy and lollipops (please double bag all candy), mints, gum, T-shirts, socks, ball caps; sunglasses, hair clips, toy jewelry, watches, flashlights (with extra batteries)
A PERSONAL NOTE
In a separate envelope, you may enclose a note to the child and a photo of yourself or your family. (If you include your name and address, the child may write back.)
DO NOT INCLUDE:
Used or damaged items; war-related items such as toy guns, knives or military figures; chocolate or food; out-of-date candy; liquids or lotions; medications or vitamins; breakable items such as snowglobes or glass containers; aerosol cans
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Friday, November 07, 2008
When we cleaned out our closets last week we found a whole bunch of old stuff. Among those things was my junior high school diploma and class picture! I went to a Christian school for my three years in Junior High and have so many good memories from those days. One was discovering a contemporary christian rock group called Degarmo and Key. I was a HUGE fan of them in those years so as a tribute here is an old video from those days: "Every Moment"
Thursday, November 06, 2008
I know election day is over but I thought this was a pretty cool video...
This is an update for 2008 of the wassup guys that appeared in those budweiser commercials that were so popular a few years ago.
check out the whole story here
This week I am thankful for my Mom's wisdom. She always knows the right words to say to me to keep me focused. She gave me some great advice today and opened my eyes. It was one of those "aha" moments and I am just thankful that God can use my Mom in such a way when it comes to giving me the words I need to encourage me.
I feel like my relationship with my Mom, which was strong to begin with, has strengthened even more now that we are sisters in Christ. I am so thankful that in this season of my life I can have my Mom walking in faith with me. Our bond is so much more spiritual and just knowing that we are both keeping each other in prayer is amazing.
In two weeks she becomes an official member of the church we have been attending. I am so proud of her and can't wait to see her grow even more in her relationship with Christ. It is going to be so cool to be at the prayer service when they announce her membership!!!!
Here we are a few pictures of me and my Mom! The first one is at her surprise 50th birthday party a few years ago, the second picture was at her vow renewal ceremony to mark her and my Dad's 30th wedding anniversary and the last picture is at my wedding (December 2000). Her and my dad will be married 36 years on November 25th! This is the same day she is going to be officially named as a member of our church :)
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Happy Birthday to my little brother Marc Anthony, who turns 14 today!!!!
Here are some pictures of my little guy who is not so little anymore!!!
celebrating his bday in my old apartment.
More of my dapper little guy