Monday, December 31, 2012

Christmas In Pictures....

We had a great Christmas.  Even though it seemed like sickness was all around us, we seemed avoid it and was able to really enjoy Christmas.  Rylee questioned every aspect of Santa this year and we kept shutting her down by telling her she doesn't get any presents if she ask questions.  I wanted to give in and tell her but my husband was so sad about it and said to just let it ride until next year:(

I didn't get to post my Christmas card before Christmas on here so here it is.  I took the pictures and created the card.
This is the front....
  Here is the back....
We had a total of four family gatherings to go to over Christmas that started on Sunday and ended on Tuesday night.  We hosted two of those gatherings here at our house this year.
Everything was peaceful and everyone seemed to really enjoy getting together this year!
I didn't have my camera in my hand much so I only got a couple of the kids at the gatherings:(
Tegan was so excited to open presents!
 Rylee with two of her cousins at my mom's house.
 Cally and Konner....My older brother's kiddos.
 Ready.  Set.  Go!!!!!!
 One happy girl!

Christmas Eve night!  The kids call this tree our "Cohen tree".
 A little blurry but here is the big tree....
 Sleepy, tired, excited and mad b/c I made them sit on the couch and wait for daddy before they could really check out their stuff!
 A really funny story about Tegan.  He only had three things setting out from Santa.  Rylee had lots more out including a Kindle Fire. When I asked Tegan why he thought Santa left more stuff out for Rylee than him, he responded with "I don't care.  I love what I got from him".
 So just a few minutes later, this was his face when he looked out the front door and found that Santa had left him a pretty big gift out on the front porch.
 Opening their presents from Mommy and Daddy.
He couldn't wait to try out his big gift from Santa!!!
 Look at his face!

She has pretty much been this way since Christmas morning.  She loves her Kindle Fire and so does her mom:)  We fight over who gets to play on it all the time.  I don't understand why Santa didn't bring me one:(
 Again, this is all I could get out of her!
 The destroyed living room!
 I love Christmas so much!  It is my favorite time of the year.  I am always so ready to decorate the tree but I tell you, this year I was glad to get my house back to normal and for all the "stresses and running around" to be over with.  I am so burnt out from running from place to place that I have just decided to cook us our very own New Year's day lunch at home instead of going to anyone's house for lunch.  That is saying a lot since I don't really like to cook.

Hope everyone had a great Christmas and has a wonderful New Year.
Looking forward to continued blessings in 2013!!!!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Lacking Motivation

I am pretty sure that the last three days of my life have been the most unproductive days ever.  In fact, this is the second day that I have stayed in my pajamas all day.  No worries, I did take a shower late last night and put on clean pajamas:)

I had visions of cleaning this house from top to bottom to prepare for Christmas but I'm just not that in to doing it.  I work better under pressure anyway so I am sure I will be scrambling Christmas Eve morning when our first of two family gatherings is just hours away from taking place at our house.

It is so super windy in the great state of Georgia today.  So much so that I am using that as my excuse for staying in my pajamas (yesterdays excuse was rain).  Seriously though, in our old house we didn't have any trees around us so I never had to have a fear of the wind.  Well that is totally different in the new but really old house.  The things that are falling from the trees and hitting this new tin roof have me ready to pee my pants.  I laid awake last night until I couldn't fight it anymore envisioning one of those huge trees falling right through the roof on my bed.  Just when I would go to doze off, a huge tree limb would hit the roof and I would jump out of my skin.  At one point I thought about sleeping under the bed but then I was sure that not only the tree would crush me but the bed would too!
That sweet husband of mine called me while working hard (or whatever it is they do all day) and asked me to go outside and make sure the watering thingy on this side of the pasture had water in it.  I gave him this huge speech about the wind and pajamas and falling tree limbs on my head but he didn't care at all and told me it would be good for me.  Seriously, for all he knows I have been slaving away in this house but then again, I think he knows me better than that:)  Tip number one, Old Navy pajama pants are no match for hurricane like winds! That air cuts right through my pants.  I can't actually see the water holder thingy from where I turn it on but usually the other end of the hose is in the water holder (whatever you call that thing) so I just stand up there and wait a while and then turn it off.  While I was out there waiting very impatiently, I was looking around and noticed that the blue redneck kiddie pool that my mom let us borrow for Teg's summer party (and we never gave it back) had blown all the way up our long driveway and was heading for the road.  So I do what any stupid girl in her pajamas outside in cold weather would do, I came and got in the car and went to go get it.  Well since it doesn't fit in the car, I am holding it through the window of my car.  Just driving down the road with a blue baby pool hanging on the side of my car b/c I'm cool like that!  Well I totally forgot how hard the wind was blowing and suddenly it jerks the pool right out of my hand and almost pulled me out the window. There she blows....back up the driveway.  I had to look like an idiot chasing that darn $5 pool all over the place with pajamas on and a camo stocking hat that fits my five year old's head...not mine! Caught it!  Victory was mine!  I put the pool back in the pole barn and wedged it in there so it can't get away again.  I turn the water off that is filling up the cows water thingy and come back to the house.  From the porch, I can see the water thingy and noticed that I didn't see the hose hanging inside of it which means that all that water just ran all over the ground.  I call my husband, tell him I love him but I'm not going back out there.  He gives me a pep talk and I tell him I will go back out there just for him but instead I took a nap:)  I mean, will the darn cows die if they don't have water for one day???  Oh hush, I will go back out there but don't judge me for trying to get out of it!!!! 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas Overload!

I have shopped, wrapped and then shopped and wrapped some more around here.  Christmas is my favorite time of the year but this year it has seemed way more stressful than normal.  I have went above and beyond to get my kiddos just what they wanted....or I shall say Rylee just what she wanted b/c Tegan said just to get him whatever I wanted him to have.  He actually told Santa to bring him anything he wanted to.  I had Rylee's list checked off quickly.  It is so much easier to shop for a girl.  But Tegan was a different story.  So by the time I went shopping 14 times looking for him some stuff that he would like, I had picked up to much stuff and had to get Rylee more stuff.  It is never ending!!!
We don't buy our kids much stuff that isn't a need throughout the year.  They basically get clothes and shoes and rarely get any kind of toy or non essential unless it is a birthday or Christmas.  I think that b/c of that, we seem to go a little more over the top the older that they get.  But that's OK, b/c they are far from being spoiled and the looks on their faces on Christmas morning makes it worth it. But I would be telling a big old story if I didn't say how happy I will be when our bank account gets to stop bleeding money!  We are very blessed to be able to give our kids a great Christmas and even more blessed that we do it without running up credit cards:)

We made an attempt at taking some time to take our kids to do something fun during this season but it kind of back fired b/c our almost 10 year old is getting to old for little old Christmas stuff and our 5 year old wasn't a fan of the really long lines that we had to wait in to ride a train and then see Santa.  He kept saying it wasn't worth it:(  But we finally got to Santa and Rylee was not excited that I made her go up to to take a picture too but she played it off well.....

Rylee told me the other day that there are kids in her class that talk about how Santa isn't real.  I have a bad feeling that this will be the last year that both of our kids believe in Santa....or atleast let us believe that they believe in Santa.  Makes me very sad.

The best part about this year is that my husband and I decided to exchange gifts for the first time in years.  Well we keep trying to one up each other and in doing so, somehow we each have as many presents under the tree as the kiddos!  I have to say that it has been fun and has turned in to a sort of game for us and it has also made both of us act like excited kids waiting to see what we will get on Christmas morning.  I highly recommend it!

If you get a chance, swing by the Cohen Lane website or facebook page and pick up a free page of printable Christmas tags....
The countdown to Christmas is on!!!!

Saturday, December 15, 2012


I'm not the best Bible reader.  In fact, I'm not a huge reader at all.  I can read a few lines and five seconds later, I have no idea what I just read.  I wish I had the discipline to read in the bible on a daily basis.  I truly (meaning with all my heart) love nothing more than to run across a great bible verse that speaks to me and can honestly change my life.

I don't think God is mad at me b/c I'm not a reader.  In fact, I think that he finds different ways to hit me with his word.  I am a huge real life reader.  I love to read real life stories about other people's lives.  Hints why I like to write and blog:)  In particular, I love to read real life stories that show me how God holds us, loves us, changes us, hurts us and picks us up.  I have my very own story that most of you know.  Just a little over six years ago, I didn't really have a story but I believe with everything that is in me that God gives us these stories as part of the a much bigger plan.  

When I am worried, at my weakest or maybe even not appreciating life like I should, God sends his word to me in a way that I will listen.  In a way that strikes me to the core.  In a way that I can learn from it.

Tonight I clicked on a blog that I read often.  In her most recent post, there was a link to another blog and for whatever reason, I clicked on it.  What I read there has sucked me in and is already teaching me things.  It is a horrific story about a mom losing her son that was playing in the rain with friends one second and then swept down a flooded creek the next. the blink of an eye! After reading her post where she gives the play by play of what is for sure the most horrible day of her life, for some reason I clicked to read another post of her's that was in the sidebar.  She talks about how on the very night that her son passed, her husband went to plug her cell phone in to charge and instead of her app screen coming up like normal, this was on her screen:

Romans 8:38-39

 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 God spoke to her with this verse just like he spoke to me tonight at a time when I needed it most.  I am almost embarrassed to say that I have never even heard this verse before but I sure have felt every word of it as I read it over and over again.

I'm not perfect.  My God knows that.  He is OK with my imperfection but he doesn't leave me.  He finds a way to get to me even when I didn't even realize I was looking!

Blessings to all of you!

Friday, December 14, 2012

There Are No Words.....

Unless you have had your head in the sand today, you know about the horrible tragedy that has happened at an elementary school.  Oh how my heart breaks.  I have cried for those kids, those teachers and their families.  Nothing that has ever happened in my life can ever compare to what these people have had happen to them or how they feel and I hope it never does.  I couldn't stop watching the news as it was unfolding but at the same time I wanted to block it out and pretend that the world is perfect and that this would never ever happen!  I was sitting there wrapping my own kids Christmas presents while the news was on until it just got the better of me and I stopped what I was doing and left my house 30 minutes earlier than normal to go sit in the car rider line to get my kids.  Even though I couldn't see them, just being where I could get to them made me feel better.

Tonight I took time to lay with my precious 5 year old (also in kindergarten) until he was sound asleep.  That is something I haven't done in a very long time!  After leaving my son's bed, I then went and sat down for a long talk with my 10 year old.  She had saw some of the news and was wanting to know details.  I told her a little about it and then did something I never thought I would do, I tried to tell her how if something like this happened at her school she needs to stay quiet.  Don't draw attention to herself but listen to everything her teacher tells her.  Who does this???  Who in the world has to have this conversation with your elementary aged child?  My 5 year old would never understand what I was trying to explain to my 10 year old so how do I feel like I am preparing him too??  

My instinct has always been to keep my children as close to me as possible but I have to let them live.  I can't let my fear put us on lock down.  I have to say that I have never felt more content in my life than I do tonight knowing that both of my children are in their beds safe and sound.  My kids have two more days of school before being out for a few weeks for Christmas break, I just want those two days to fly by so that I know they are home with me for the next three weeks.  Yes, I know that horrible things can happen to them while they are with me but my greatest fear has always been to not be able to get to them if something bad happens.  That has to be the most helpless feeling ever!!!

When I got on facebook after watching the news for a while, there were so many amazing updates showing that prayers were just flowing for anyone affected by this.  But there were also those that took a political stance and blaming the gun for the killings or the school for not having enough security.  The fact is that 27 people are dead.  No one cares about your political views or your pointing of the finger.  If a crazy person wants to harm others, he will not only find a way to get a gun but he will also find a way to get in to the most secure of places.  Instead of pointing blame, you should pray.  Instead of pointing blame, you should be praising God for those teachers.  We don't know what it was like in that building but these adults that could hear shots going off all around them, had to think of these kids first and put themselves last.  I promise that if we heard a story from every one of those teachers, they would have an amazing story of how they kept the kids calm, hid the kids and protected them.  I watched an interview on 20/20 tonight with one of the teachers and I cried the entire time.  You can tell that she will never be the same.  She packed all of her students in a tiny bathroom, she kept them quiet and clam but the best part of her story was how she made sure to tell them all that she loved them b/c she wanted that to be the last thing that they heard.  She thought that they were all going to die but yet she stayed calm and protected those children.  She may have saved every one of those kids lives as I am sure many other teachers in that school did too!  I don't know a single teacher that wouldn't do this for their kids! 

I just pray that those that lived through this and survived can one day be OK.  I pray even harder for all of those families whose lives will forever be changed and will forever have a missing link.
God definitely has my attention tonight!!!
No better verse to end this post with than this...."Be still and know that I am God."  Psalm 46:10