Saturday, December 28

The inside scoop

I've had my nice camera out all week snapping pictures of events and people an the love that has been going in here. But I haven't downloaded any yet so this is my Christmas week in review via my phone. It's always peekin around corners and creeping up on people to catch a sweet moment. 
Main event and pei Wei, gingerbread houses, newby mixing up drinks for the ladies,secret Santa drop off, gift and kid wrapping, Jammie's, and loving time together. It has been so fun to have the ones we love close And think about what is important this season. 

Tuesday, December 24

Let the festivities begin

Boots had his first basketball game, which was a riot to watch. He somehow thinks that the only way to run up and down the court is by shuffling. He's got the shuffle down! They lost. But boots had fun and that's all we wanted. 
We had our Rawlins Christmas festivities... So gingerbread cookies, cousin gift exchange, and some craziness up in there! 
Then nana and grandad came to town and we've been going non stop. 

Bonnie, Tom, Brian, and Robin have all arrived and things are really crazy! 14 kids and 10 adults makes a full house. 
I love to have family all here and love being together. The more the merrier! 

I really miss my brother dan this year. I would love to see him and have him here with us. There is something that just isn't complete and right when we all aren't here together. 

Tuesday, December 10

What is Christmas about

Christmas is one of my favorite times of year, I love the smells and the sights and the feelings that go along with it. I love thinking about our Savior Jesus Christ. I love thinking about believing. I love thinking about my children. I love thinking about other people. I love baking. I love decorating. 

However, I am running into a problem this Christmas. We are on a budget and sometimes budgets are so hard to stay on. This month I have to stay within budget. Brian asked me how much I needed for the kids Christmas gifts this year. (We decided our van was our gift to each other this year) I told him the amount and he wasn't happy. I tried to explain the reasoning behind everything on my list. "They would live everything, this is from Santa, she has more than him..." He didn't care for my excuses and went on to point out what I was making Christmas about. Commercial things. I didn't think I was as I was still putting aside money for doing service and charity. I was still remembering my savior. 
So I stayed up that night band cut my list basically in half. I cut out things that would have been so loved and cherished. I cut out exciting things from Santa and extra things from us. This was extremely hard for me to do because I am a "no sayer" the rest of the year and tell them to ask for it for Christmas. Now I have to take it all away. 

I grew up in a home where Christmas was huge. There were tons if gifts and Santa was very very good to us. We had massive piles of toys an goodies. I always remember getting everything I wanted and much more. I am not sure if I am complaining or not... But it has made me believe that this is the expectation for Christmas. Why am I so sad to cut fun things out for my kids? I feel selfish and sad at the same time. I know it is good and I am giving them things that so many children won't get at all. We are blessed in so many ways. I have do much to give and I have such wonderful children. I just want to make their Christmas magic. I want them to be overjoyed that they got everything they wanted because they deserve it. But I can't. 

So what I have decides to do is show them love and Teach them love. We had a lesson on service last night and we all talked about why we give service and what we will do. We already have several things in the list of service opportunities for our family and this is the tunes that I will make count. We will craft together(like my snowflake decor below, since I can't buy anything new) we will bake, and read Christmas books, we will sing and we will talk about why Christmas is so special, and why our savior is so special. 

So here I start... I will get over it and I will enjoy every second if what we have and I know that one day my kids will thank me for giving then underwear and socks instead of a movie they wanted or a flying helicopter. They will thank me for teaching them about Jesus and why he is such a huge part of our lives. They will thank me for their service memories and our time we spent together. 

One of my favorite Christmas memories I have is from the Christmas 9 years ago. Hold on, back up... 10 years ago Christmas after all the gifts and frills my dad sat us down and asked us all to save all our money we would have spent on Christmas and give someone else a Christmas. We had all year I prepare and then the following Christmas, we would share our experience as our gift exchange. I was jangle still and this was an exciting thing for me I be able to give so much. I prepared some special things and made blankets and a huge basket of goodies. I then went out and delivered it ding ding ditch style, to 2 families that I knew who needed it. 
We were able to come together and hate these wonderful stories and cherish our time together that year. There were no wrapped gifts under the tree but it was by far the best Christmas I have ever had.  (It also helped that I was 1. Leaving on a mission in 2 weeks and 2. had met Brian 3 days prior to christmas And was all fluttery about him) it was a fantastic Christ centers Christmas and I will always remember it. 

Friday, December 6

Snow day

It started raining ice yesterday after school. It's continued all night long so when we woke up this morning the ground was covered in ice but looked like snow. The kids could not wait to go out and play in it. They were outside for almost 4 hours today and I have to beg them to come in! 
Cutting icicles off of the trucks the mailbox and crushing the ice in the roads since nobody was driving on them. School was canceled and everything was closed. Brian even got to stay home from work. This is very rare with his new job at one prop. He's usually gone from seven till seven every day. But the kids had a lots of fun today and it was very chilled out. 

Some mini powdered donuts for me and a polar express watching party at a friends house for the kids. They had a great day. But people here in Texas are crazy winter storm like this Rosen, tons of the food off of the shelves at Walmart were running low yesterday when I went as the storm was just rolling in. Brian stopped again today at Walmart and he said it was just as crazy.
I feel like a wimp been from Calgary where it is -30° today but I am just so I acclimated to the Texas weather that this was freezing at 27°. 


Natalie has done so great at doin gymnastics and Courtney has been waiting and waiting for her chance to join the fun. She finally got into a class and she had so much fun at her first class last week! It was adorable to watch her, she just seems so little... Yet so old! Love this little fire ball!

Monday, December 2

Give thanks

I have so much to be thankful for. More than I could ever write about. One thing is family. Mine an Brian's rock and I am so lucky! Here are the Rawlins sisters. We are sisters by marriage but I know we were ment to be. I love these ladies and they are amazing! We spent the morning very classy at gokden coral for lunch, oh yeah! 
Then after grandma put them to work taking up leaves and trashing them. She did pay them, pretty sure I still have it in my pocket. I worked really hard that day too- eating, watching miracle on 34th street and napping. I am grateful for opportunities to work.
The next night was spent awake and grumpy... Boots got sick and since I am the mom- I got cleaning duty. Projectile anything isn't fun and it took me forever to get it cleaned up. It was sick. Poor boots. No fun to be sick. I am thankful for Lysol. 
But we are all better in our home so I am thankful for our health. We all have bodies that work and run how they should. 
I am also thankful for my family and can't wait for Christmas when Almost everyone is here. I miss my Caribbean brother a lot but maybe one day I'll see him again! Dr lives man, not my thing! But I am thankful for a family who I love and who loves me too. They all work so hard to provide and make their families happy. 
I am going to try to give thanks daily, and not leave much out! 

My girls at

I got to g to brunch with these lovely ladies the other day. They were both in town for thanksgiving and so we drove forever and ate and laughed and caught up and I miss them like mad! 
Lisa and I have been friends since we were 14. Ok weren't friends really when we were 14, like at all- I guess you could say we were the opposite! But we became friends and then we were even college roommates. 
Leeann and I have been besties from the time we first met in college. She loved Texas, so did I, I just didn't know it yet! But we were bff's. I came down to Texas to see her in a trip and that's when I met Brian and Paxton, quite possibly the best duo ever. But the rest is history and I owe my happiness to her! 
So I love these 2 gals! 

But man did it make me miss my other ladies!