Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year Everyone

I don't usually make New Year's resolutions, instead I like to think of them more as goals. My first goal this year is to have a healthy, safe delivery for Mom and baby very soon. After that I'm not really sure. Our church participates in a 21 day fast to start off the new year. Since I'm pregnant and will be nursing a full fast is out of the question for me so instead I'll be fasting sweets and our family is doing a TV fast, no tv, no movies for 21 days. During this fast I'll be praying for direction and guidance and asking God what He wants of me this next year. At that point I know what goals to set for 2011 and what direction I'm going. So my goals will come later (after the fast).

How about you? Do you set New Year's resolutions or not?

I pray that everyone of you have a wonderful New Year's celebration with friends and loved one's and that 2011 will be your best year yet. Blessings to you all and Happy New Year's.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Preparing for Baby

Today I'm working on getting our bedroom ready for the new little guy that will be here soon. We bought some storage drawers for clothing and now I'm rearranging our room to accommodate them. Of course in order to do that I had to remove everything in that area to start with which made quite a mess in my room. I'm now getting everything under control again and I'm almost done.

Next, taking down the Christmas tree...

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Baby Update

So, I'm at 38 1/2 weeks today. Had an appointment and ultrasound today and everything looks great. Baby's size and weight are exactly where they are suppose to be and I found out I'm already 3 cm. dilated. I've never been 3 cm. this early before. Will I actually have a chance of going early this time or, like all the others, go over a little? Only time will tell...

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tuesday's Tip - Start Early

My tip for this week is pretty much common sense, yet it is something that I have yet to accomplish. You see, I make my family Christmas stockings. I have made all my sister's families, my Mom and her family, my Dad and his wife and all of my children. Over the years I have made about 30 of these stockings and each is an original in which no two patterns are exactly the same.

Every year it seems that I am rushing to beat the clock to get the new ones done before Christmas. Every year I have succeeded, until this year. I needed to make two stockings this year, one for my niece and one for my son. I got my niece's done on time and mailed it off only to find out that it didn't arrive until after Christmas and Joshua's didn't get finished on time and he had to use a different stocking.

I always tell myself that I need to start earlier and yet never seem to. So this year I have learned my lesson. After being so disappointed at not getting the stockings done and delivered on time, I want to make sure that doesn't happen again. This next Christmas I need to finish Joshua's and start on our new guys. So my tip this week is, START EARLY. Don't be like me and wait too long.

In the meantime, and for those of you who requested it, here are some pictures of our family's stockings.

All the stocking stuffed and on the couch.


Monday, December 27, 2010

Getting Back to Normal

Today we are working on getting our house back in order. After Christmas it always takes a few days to put our house back in order, but I must say that we have gotten lots accomplished today and I'm feeling better already (I don't function well in a very messy house). But we are getting there and the house is looking more like normal. So, short blog today due to cleaning up.

To see a picture of what our house looks like on Christmas morning before we do any clean-up, check out my Christmas Day blog,

Just curious, how long does it take for you to get your house back in order?

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Morning

For those of you wondering what the Merli house looks like on Christmas morning after all the gifts have been opened, here you go...

Not a creature was stirring...


After (taken from the staircase)

A close-up of Jim hidden under wrapping paper

Another shot from above

So there you go. Every year we just throw all the trash in one corner then clean it all up later. These pictures were before we did any cleaning up. Our house is like a mad-house on Christmas, but that's ok, they are allowed one day a year. Now to figure out where to put all these gifts... :)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas from Our Home to Yours

Yesterday we had a full day of singing and blessing others as well as being blessed ourselves. First we headed to a local Assisted Living Facility to drop of a few plates of goodies for all the employees and then to sing to some of the residents. What a blessing it was to see all their smiling faces. They were quite surprised that we were all one family and loved seeing all the children. After that, we headed to the local Police Station to drop off goodies, where they were pleasantly surprised, and in return the kids all received police badge stickers. Then off to the Fire Dept. where they let the kids climb in the fire trucks and each child received a fire badge sticker. We noticed as we left (through the garage doors) that they were already enjoying the treats we brought them, the kids enjoyed seeing that. By the time we got to the Sheriff's station they were closed as well as the local Army Reserve (we will try to get to these two places today). Then we headed home for supper, and with Jim home from work, we all went out to carol for our neighbors and my brother-in-law and sister-in-law's. It was a long, but fun day. I wish I had taken more pictures, especially from last night when everyone had on their hats, but I get so busy enjoying the moment I forget to take pictures.

The kids and I with some of the
residents of the Assisted Living Facility.

Us with the rest of them.

We hope and pray that this Christmas wish finds you all happy and healthy. May you remember that Jesus was the greatest gift given and that He is the reason we celebrate this time of year. May you remember to bless others as you are being blessed and to thank those out there who are working to keep us safe. May your homes be warm and inviting and may peace fill your hearts. Merry Christmas from our house to yours.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Getting Ready for Christmas

To start off our busy day, this morning I decided to make pancakes for breakfast and as an added Christmas touch I added a few sprinkles.

Today we are cleaning up around the house, taking a trip to the dumpster to get rid of all the trash before Christmas (because I'm sure there will be plenty after Christmas), making sure the inside of the house is straight and in order and then later we will take our goodies out to neighbors as we carol.

What kind of plans do you have for the day? Are you completely prepared or are you still baking and cleaning?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Bake Day #2

Bake day #2 consist of Spritz Cookies, Snack Mix Squares, Merry Berry Bars and since we didn't get to make the Coconut Bars yesterday, we'll be making those today as well.

Since I love to see pictures others post with their blogs, I post lots of pictures when I can. Enjoy!

Matthew, Micah and Josiah adding
sprinkles to Spritz Cookies.

Jonathan and Kaitlyn sprinkling cookies.

Lots of busy hands.
Joshua waiting anxiously

Joshua gets a little help from his big
brother and gets to decorate some too.

He's so proud of his cookies

Josiah, Kaitlyn and Joshua
decorating a larger tray.


Christiana pressed all these cookies.

All hands on deck to break pretzels
for Snack Mix Squares.

Snack Mix Squares

Finished Spritz Cookies

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Bake Day #1

Today we are starting our first bake day, it actually takes us more than one day to fix all the goodies we make for caroling. The first thing we are making are Peanut Butter Balls. I let Christiana head up this recipe and she did a great job. The other tings we will make today are Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies, Chocolate Coconut Bars (these taste a lot like an Almond Joy candy bar), Oreo Truffles and Turtle Bars (to die for and my favorite). Tomorrow we will work on Spritz Cookies, Snack Mix Squares, and Merry Berry Bars. If any of you are interested I can post some recipes, just let me know which ones you may be interested in.

Here are some pictures from this morning. I'll post more tomorrow.

Micah creaming the peanut butter
mixture with Matthew looking on.

Joshua again eating more than helping.

Christiana helping Joshua use the mixer.

Matthew, Kaitlyn, Jonathan and Micah
rolling peanut butter balls.

Christiana doing a great job dipping the
PB balls in chocolate.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas Lights and Hot Chocolate

Every year we try to find some really cool Christmas lights to go see. This year we traveled to Kodak to visit Shadracks for their light show, then inside to warm up and have hot chocolate. Afterwards, we drove on into Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg to see their lights as well. It was fun to see all the kids eyes light up as they watched the lights and listened to the music that coincided with them. We always enjoy doing stuff like this together as a family and making memories as we go.

Of course this is only one of the few things we do each year, there are many more. What are some things you like to do this time of year with your family?


Lights reflecting off our hood


Matthew warming his hands.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Having Fun on the Ladder

The weekend after Thanksgiving we started decorating our home for Christmas. There was a large wreath that the girls made out of a Hula Hoop that they wanted to hang up on the wall in which they needed a ladder. So my husband, Jim, brought the ladder in and afterwards the boys had fun climbing all over it. Some found they were a little scared, one not at all, can you guess which one wasn't nervous?

Jonathan, a little nervous about
being up so high.

Micah quite nervous as well.

Josiah a little nervous.

Jim thought he'd have fun with the kids and decided to put the rocking horse up there for the little guys.

Matthew very nervous about
being up on the horse.

And of course, our little brave man who
had NO FEAR at all.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wordless Wednesday- Where's the Slide?

Wordless Wednesday - Where's the Slide?

Monday, December 13, 2010


So we finally got some snow. It was only about an inch and a half to two inches but at least the kids were able to sled and make snow angels. Here are some of our pictures.

Snowboard covered with snow on front porch

View from our front porch

Daddy's truck warming up for work

Another view from our front porch

Another view


Kids happy it snowed

Jonathan making a snow angel

Kaitlyn sledding

Josiah snowboarding


Christiana sledding



Kaitlyn sledding with Joshua