picking out a tree, a Santa photo op and other Christmas things

December 15, 2012 § Leave a comment

This is the first Christmas in the U.S. for O, so the husband wanted to make it extra special by picking and cutting our own tree.

It was such a fun time. We go to ride on the back of the truck while on the farm. That was O’s favorite part. He was terribly scared by the sound of the chainsaw, but loved picking out our tree.

I was so happy to have a natural tree, after three years of using our sad, little, Charlie Brown tree we got on our first Christmas in Turkey. I do miss all my handmade ornaments though. This year we went with the husband’s childhood ornaments and a few cinnamon ones.

In the beginning of December we went to see some lights and they had a Santa there. O would not even come close to him. He came about a foot of the jolly old fella, close enough to reach and get a candy cane. That night he told me he didn’t like Santa. It’s okay, baby. I said. Treading carefully, I explained: Christmas is about Jesus and not Santa. Santa is just a man, so you don’t have to be afraid. He replied: So I don’t have to sit on his lap for candy? No baby, you don’t.

A few days later, this couple (who have dressed up as Santa and Mrs. Claus since the husband was a child) at our church came to our Christmas dinner. They do a great job of telling the real story of Christmas and keeping the main thing, the main thing. Plus they are the most beautiful Santa and Mrs. Claus I have ever seen. Their clothes are made with a rich, dark red velvet. Their hair and makeup are done tastefully right. If O was going to have a picture with Santa, they would have to be it! Terrified, O would not sit on Santa’s lap. We didn’t force him, but asked if he would sit with Mrs. Claus. Okay, he said. But just for a minute.
Here are the results. Isn’t it just precious?




Merry Christmas everyone!


mom-mode post # 227- on making cinnamon ornaments

December 4, 2012 § Leave a comment


If you have read this blog long enough (and know me). You know I’m a maker. Always been. I always have some sort of project going on. When I don’t have a project going it could only be indicative of two things: 1. something is wrong with me or 2. something is really wrong with me.

For the past few years, I have come up with all kinds of overly involved Christmas Craft projects. This year I wanted to keep things simple, while involving O in the process.

So we made these cinnamon ornaments I found on Pinterest.

It was simple enough, that he was able to help me and not get bored with it. It only takes about 10 minutes to get the ornaments done, then the rest of the process is done in the oven.

I didn’t find baker’s twine at my local Walmart ( we have no craft stores… It’s a small town), so I settled for this red sparkly yarn.

All in all it was a fun little project that can be done in one day and be used the next. I love the idea on the website to use it as gift wrapping decorations. It would be a nice touch to add to a teacher gift, or sweet memento to give to friends. We put them up on our tree and they smell terrific!!!

Of course this is not the only project I have going on… I’ll share my other makings sometime soon!

mom-mode post #226 – on our 7th anniversary

December 4, 2012 § 7 Comments


The husband and I celebrated our 7th anniversary yesterday. Time continues to fly around here.
We started off the morning with breakfast in bed. I made some heart-shaped pancakes with a number seven made out of chocolate chips.
We then spent the morning decorating our tree with O. Well, O watched and ate treats while we decorated it! 😉
The husband planned a fun outing for us in a town nearby. We did a little shopping and then ate at this great place called “The River Company”. It was the perfect blend of cozy but not too casual. They had a fire going and the food was excellent. I wish I had taken some pictures but I forgot! I had the filet mignon with fries. You know me, gotta have my meat. But then I tasted of the husband’s organic mashed potatoes and I begged him to switch sides with me. He kindly gave me the rest of his mashed potatoes. See now why he’s a keeper? He’s a kind, kind man. 😉 We have a set of about ten questions we ask each other at every anniversary. Things like where do you see our family in five years, what is making you happy right now, etc. It’s fun. We also always play a round of our game of choice, Scrabble. But my iphone wasn’t working properly last night and I had left my ipad in the car. Maybe tonight we’ll get to play. But no need to wait and see who the winner will be, for the husband ALWAYS wins. I’m a sad and pathetic loser.
After gorging ourselves, I was in the mood for cupcakes! The husband, go figure, wanted some Cinnabon. He’s addicted, I tell you. So every time we are in America, he indulges at every chance he gets. I was laughing because he got such a tall glass of milk. I could never drink that much milk in one sitting!
We couldn’t find a bakery that was open, so I resorted to Walmart and found me a delightful little vanilla cupcake with a Scooby-Doo ring on it. It was a classy little thing.
The husband had planned for us to go to the movies, but they were only showing guy stuff. The only one I said ok to was “Skyfall”. And what do you know? I actually enjoyed it! I had never watched a Daniel Craig 007 movie and this was fun to watch! Especially since the opening scene was shot in Turkey. We love watching movies set there so we can see if the filmmakers are depicting our beloved country of residence correctly!

Overall it was a great way to celebrate a great year in our marriage! We have come a long way this year, having grown tremendously over the past three years in Turkey. Parenthood also made us more mature and made us realize that to keep our marriage strong, we must work at it and stay proactive.

As we were checking out at Walmart, laughing because we were being stared at by the cashiers for being dressed up a little more than their usual crowd, I looked at the husband and thought: Life sure turned out pretty nice for us.


Happy Anniversary, husband! You are my most favorite person. Ever.

Check out details of what I wore to our dinner at my simple cute style

mom-mode post #225 – on Christmas Traditions

December 3, 2012 § 2 Comments


Today I’m participating on a little Sunday Social:

1. What is your favorite Holiday season tradition?

I guess our annual viewing of Elf, Christmas Vacation and Home Alone are some of my cherished memories. I also love our ‘Trim the tree’ party! We sip hot cocoa, play Christmas music and have some fun. Also, baking is probably my most favorite tradition of them all. I also love drinking my Starbucks beverages out of the seasonal red cups!

2. Do you have a certain Holiday movie you watch more than others? If so what is it?

The ones listed above are probably it. Oh and The Holiday, I can watch that anytime it is playing.

3. Show us your favorite decoration or pinterest decoration you wish you could have

Next year I’m determined to make my tree like this one, I love the color ombre effect!

4. Favorite Holiday song?

I am a sucker for Faith Hill’s version of ‘Where are you Christmas?’. I can listen to it even when it’s not Christmas time.

5. Favorite Holiday dessert?

It’s this Brazilian recipe my mom made every year, and I make sure I make it every year now too. I just love it and it is especially scrumptious the day after. I’ll post an English version when I make it this Christmas.

6. What is on your wish list this year?

This baby:

And hopefully a set of these:

Happy Sunday!

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