Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Our Christmas Holiday in three words:



Poor Gracyn she has to take the wrap for the food section of this entry! The photographer was taking part in most of the eat-a-thons that went on over Christmas...too bad I didn't stop to photograph our delicious indulgences like, Granny Tot's Cornbread Stuffing, My Snowball Sugar Cookies (a recipe I came up with by combining 2 of my fave recipes into ONE), Chocolate and Whipped Cream Pie, Breakfast French Puffs, and Coffee Coffeecake Muffins with Streusel topping! Man oh Man did we do some eatin' blog post topic, you running laps, pushing Gracyn in her stroller to burn off all the calories!!!!

Our New Years Wish for each of you is that God will fulfill you with HIS promises and bestow on you HIS many blessings...

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Happy FOUR YEARS Buddy Bucks!

Exactly four years ago today, at 10:02 a.m. in a tiny room of Womack Army Medical Center in Fayetteville North Carolina, Cade Matthew Alaniz made his grand entrance into the world!

And today, 4 years later he continues to make a GRAND entrance wherever he goes...

Cade Matthew, you changed my life forever when you took that first breath and since that day, I have experienced many moments with you that have taken MY breath away!!! So many firsts and so many firsts yet to come. You will always be special because YOU made me a mother. Today, at 4 years you are spirited, athletic, curious, constructive, opinionated, creative, surprising, and always, always, always unpredictable! A little boy who loves his books, trains, CARS vehicles, painting, and cooking, attempting to spell words, read words, and write your name with a letter C only, you could play soccer, football, baseball, and golf all day long in the yard, you admire your daddy to no avail and love to hear your mommy's laugh, and see your sister's gummy smile. You hold a special place in our family and in our hearts. Happy Birthday sweet boy, I love you always...Mommy

Friday, December 19, 2008

Fun Fridays...My Favorite Things

This holiday season is there a special teacher in your child's life who you'd like to say thanks and Merry Christmas to? If so here's a simple, inexpensive idea that would brighten any one's holiday! I originally saw this idea on Dawn's blog entitled "Testosterone Times Three," fun right?!?

You all know how this southern girl LUVs her monograms?!? Well here's a "teacher" twist to a classic monogram! This project totaled exactly $2 and 18 cents, but it's not the money spent that counts, TRUST ME!!! When I taught kindergarten some of the sweetest and most memorable gifts were hand-spun. Why...because you know that they put thought, time and personal touches into each one! I still have many of them, ready to pull out when my season of life calls me back into teaching!
Crayon Initial Supply List
- 1 black 5X7 frame from the dollar store = 1.08
- 1 package of Crayola crayons = 1.10
- 1 piece of card stock = free, we already own a stack
- glue gun
- Sharp enough to split a hair butcher knife
If your like me and couldn't make a letter outline to save your life, just type out a LARGE letter outline (a hollow font called AMH outline, in font size 340 worked for me) on your computer and pick out a cute font to add their name on the side of the initial. Print it out on card stock and use a super sharp butcher knife to cut your crayons to size. I glued mine down with a hot glue gun, allowing the glue to cool slightly after squirting it before laying the crayons on top, as not to melt them.
Make yourself a simple little card...I came up with a card incorporating the word CRAYOLA!
Tie yourself a fun bow around the package and VOILA...instant teacher appreciation gift, under 3 bucks!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Morning Make-Over

Do your kids have an opinion about what they wear in the mornings? My son certainly does! No matter what shirt I pick on school mornings, it's DEFINATELY not the one he wants to wear and offering choices takes even more time! Sure enough before I know it, we're heading out the door without a second to lose, peeling out of the driveway only to usher little man through the door at 8:00 on the dot!

Thankfully another Mom had this same issue and created a solution FOR me!

Check out these days of the week outfit organizer tags!
I printed them out on card stock, took them up to Office Max to have them laminated with their awesome super thick/indestructible laminate paper which I happened to have a 15% off coupon for, and then cut out their holes! Seriously...this was about a 5 DOLLAR project!

I already explained them to Cade and he's excited to go into his closet and find his clothes each day himself! We are going to check the weather on Sunday afternoons and pick out outfits for the week. Just stick on our little tags and morning bickering because the TAG says that's what we're wearing and HE gets to go "pick it out" of his own closet! I love the gigantic daily letters on them too, so easy to intrepret for the pre-reader crowd. I think these little babies are going to save us TIME, ENERGY, and FRAYED NERVES in the mornings and THAT my friends is worth it's weight in gold :)

Want some super-duper outfit organizer tags for your sweet little selves? Just go HERE and they are all ready to print! Merry Closet Organizing!!!

Monday, December 15, 2008


Well...we have all survived the stomach bug of 2008! Heaven help us, it was a nasty little thing but we're still here, a few pounds lighter, but here alright!

Our saga began last Wednesday night, on our way to Luby's (Cade's pick) for dinner he was sitting in his car seat and complained of a stomachache! Then he said, Mommy I think I'm just hungry. Which seemed to me quite plausible because he HADN'T eaten a snack that afternoon so I brushed it off. We arrive at Luby's, order, eat with no issues! Head out to church and on the way there he says again, my tummy hurts! So of course, I say we'll let's go home and see how you feel. To that he replies, Mommy I think I just need to go potty and then it will be okay. Again plausible, because this DOES aleve his "stomach issues" 9 times out of 10. Oh but the story is only beginning, about half way though bible class, his teacher Ms. Melissa comes in to get me saying he's complaining of a stomachache! I rush down there to find him standing in front of the trash can, pale as a sheet, gripping is tummy like there's no tomorrow! No puke luckily but he hadn't TOUCHED his snack during class which is VERY unlike Mr. Cade. My antennae immediately went up that something wasn't right. I pick up Gracie and we head home in the van. As soon as we step in the door he throws himself on the tile floor in the kitchen and says Mommy I'm gonna be sick....
Of course I blurt out, AHHHHHH...go to the bathroom QUICK!!!!
I'm holding Gracyn in one arm, trying to lead him to the potty with the other. Meanwhile, Dad is parking his ride in the driveway. Shortly there after...about 5 seconds... began a series of "icky-sicky" episodes that lasted through the night to the early morning. I ended up sleeping in his bed to help him. We were up almost every hour. Then around 4 AM the stomach pangs hit me! Oh goodness gracious....Dad stayed home from work half the day on Thursday to "nurse" us. My Mom and Granddad came in that afternoon. Steve had scheduled my Granddad that Friday to do some dental work. Mom took care of everyone while I was down and out! Believe it or not, Mom & Gracyn NEVER got sick, but Steve and my 81 year old Granddad...not so lucky. Steve got sick on Friday evening and PaPaw followed early, early Saturday morning!!!! If you have lost count, that's FOUR people who caught this nasty, horrible bug. It was a 24 hour virus, but man when those 24 were over we felt totally sluggish, weak, tired, and beat down.

We are all 4 well now, thanks to the help of phenergan (nausea medication), Gatorade, more phenergan, dry toast, and saltine crackers!

Signing off,
Happy to be Bug Free

Friday, December 12, 2008

Fun Friday...Cade's favorite things

Christmas is truly for kids! The decorations, stockings, ornaments, lights, yard art, fake puffy snow, candy canes and nativity set thrill and amaze our little man. He is entranced with the soft white glow of our 9 1/2 foot Christmas tree. I must admit, there is just something about a Christmas tree shining in our dimly lit living room that's absolutely magical. Cade seems amused with the idea that Santa Claus can see him all the time! During the day he is ever inquiring, "Is Santa still watching me?" Yesterday he asked me, "Mommy when does Santa sleep?" I quickly replied, "Oh, he hardly EVER sleeps so he can work on making gifts and watch you at bedtime." To that Cade remarked, "Oh, well I better quit jumping off the bed onto my rocking chair then." Hmmmm...didn't know THAT was going on after we put him to bed at night! So glad we had a little heart-to-heart talk!

So as Friday has rolled around, instead of MY favorite things this week, I'm posting Cade's top 5 favorite Christmas things!

#5- HoT ChOcOlAtE, more specifically this type, is his beverage of choice this season. He's a NO marshmallow man, but begs for a dallop of spray whipped cream to top it off!!! #4- CaNdY CaNeS...this is the first year he's ever actually eaten one! Oh the bliss, he adores peppermints as it is, but candy canes are like even better, because they're "all crookedy" as he so eloquently explained to me and he gets to HOLD them while he nibbles. The sticky red goo left on his fingers makes an excellent after snack, SNACK! They're basically like 2 snacks in one :)
#3- ChRiStMaS CoUnT DoWn PlAcEmAt, I picked up this baby at Tarjay for about $2.99 and it's been one of the best additions to our Christmas decorations to date. He gets to change the number EVERY morning and knows EXACTLY how many days till Christmas! Plus, he can do it himself which any Mom of a 3 year old will tell you is an instant BONUS.

(this is an old pic of when I first pulled it out, it has the right number today)

#2- WiLLoW TrEE NaTiViTy SeT, I catch him playing with this sporadically throughout the day! He's already broken Joseph's staff once by accident, but it's nothing a little liquid nails couldn't' handle. Mostly he's very gentle with them and even makes them "talk" to each other! It's really very sweet. I'll walk by and see them rearranged at least twice a day! He even told me, he "wuvs" baby Jesus...melt my heart why don't ya!
#1- ElF oN ThE sHeLf, this is a new tradition we're starting this year here at Casita de Alaniz and can I just say I love, love, I mean L-O-V-E him already! The elf on a shelf concept is based on the book by Carol Aebersold, in which Santa sends a little "scout" elf to every home to watch and observe though out the day and then report back to Santa who is being naughty and who is being nice. Each morning the elf returns from his "reporting" at the North Pole and pops up somewhere new in the house! So the kids better be on their BEST behavior while the elf is visiting :) Steve and I are trading off perching him in hiding places around the house and it's a little competitive as to who can find the best places!
This little guy is kind of vintage looking with a big brown eyes and a mischievous grin!
Can I just tell you that Cade literally J-U-M-P-S out of bed EVERY morning to go find our new best friend. He looks forward to this little hide-and-seek game everyday! It is truly a fun tradition to add to the list! Plus, he's a fantastic behavior reinforcement!

Want your own elf on a shelf? Each set comes with a storybook and your own personal elf, whom you get name! I bought mine at our local Hallmark shop, but they're also available through Amazon. Just click on the link! Happy Hunting...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Train Table Tag Team

The kiddos are train table buddies these days! Gracyn prefers to carry around the train signals, while Cade conducts the engines. It's a perfect compromise! Sometimes Gracyn DOES like to take the track apart causing brother to get a little aggravated, but for the most part they entertain themselves and each other! We are working with Cade on giving Gracie another piece before he takes one away from her that he "needs." The majority of the time, she's agreeable to trading so it makes for a super-duper train table tag team! Say that 5 times fast :)