How many is too many presents?

Christmas. The holiday of many emotions. Joy, happy, cheerful, excited, stress, sad… Let’s discuss PRESENTS! Why has it become such a stressful thought? Yes, many families can’t financially afford it but remember a tree full of presents Christmas morning is not what Christmas is about. Yes, many families can afford it and are stressed picking ALL those “perfect” gifts, how many of those families put at least one less gift under the tree and into a home that doesn’t have much. Why do we have to have so many gifts under the tree?!! It’s not a competition. Remember quality over quantity.

5 reasons we are having less under our tree this christmas

  1. We get new things all year long. That includes toys. Mason is constantly getting new toys, books, things. In past years I would start to get envious looking at all the presents people would have under their trees Christmas morning, then I realized they may have a full tree but is it stuff they save all year long or would they rather spend money on presents then vacations. I love buying myself and giving Mason new stuff year round and not just at the holidays. It makes me happy year round!
  2. We have donated this year to foster kids. We may not be able to see them open the gifts and their smile but it is an awesome feeling just knowing and also teaching Mason the spirit of giving. What Christmas is truly about!
  3. Christmas isn’t just about opening presents. It’s about giving, family, joy, happiness, fellowship, Jesus, to be Merry! All those are way more important than materials.
  4. Earlier in the year I had read an article and really stuck with me. It talked about children talking to each other about what Santa brought them and not understanding why Santa only brought them socks and underwear and their friend a new bike. Just something us parents need to keep in mind. “Santa” isn’t able to stop at every little boy and girls house 🙁 And your children should be appreciative that you give them any presents, let’s not raise ungrateful little terds. I know some families do the 4 gifts; want, need, wear, and read – that’s awesome, and maybe some year we can take that challenge.
  5. Last reason. Every year so far, Mason has had plenty of wrapped presents under the tree. There is always too much stuff, he eventually plays with it all but only about half of the stuff becomes his usual. Not to mention all the other gifts from family he receives.

 

I will not be going overboard with Christmas presents this year! Would love to hear about what you do for presents, or if you don’t? The comment button is down below 😉 I’m a little sad Christmas is so close, I love everything about the holiday, the presents is actually my least favorite thing.

Twenty Fourteen

Another wonderful year has come and gone, can’t wait to see what the new year has in store for us! We saw new parts of the world(okay, just from our corner of the world), we gained a new family member(Bertha our dog), we saw plenty of nature, went to Idaho with my husbands side of the family, my husband and I both sad goodbye to our 20s and hello to our 30s, Mason is growing up too quickly 1st grade already, joined the cub scouts, Mason was accepted into a talent agency.

My favorite part of the whole year is how much time we spent as a family. I don’t tell them enough how much I love and appreciate them, all of them!!

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2015…

Keeping it together

I’m usually so on top of things and fairly organized with our day to day but lately I’m fighting the urge of becoming a stress ball. (But for most the holidays come with stress, right.) Although I feel horrible because it’s not from your typical holiday stress; I’ve been 100% done with Christmas shopping for a while now, we are not having any financial issues, no major health issues. It’s all because we get so busy around the holidays and start to get overwhelmed, I just need a day or a week to catch up. For Christmas, I would like a clone or just a robot that cleans the house, cooks dinner, deal with Mason’s attitude, the rest I can handle 😉

Christmas is about a week away. So, I’m going to stop trying to stress myself out and enjoy (because I can) my family and self. And you should to! Christmas is now 4 days away, this post has been sitting in my drafts for a while now. We are now on winter break with not much planned for the next two weeks, so I’m hoping to catch up on everything and hopefully by the end be sick of being at home 🙂

So, I’m going to do a random “writing dump” to catch you all up, and clear my head.

 

November was a “different” month for the blog. Although it was full of posts, I don’t feel like I’ve really written anything in over a month. It was my first time doing a holiday gift guide and I will say it was fun but very overwhelming! And I’ve learned quiet a few things I’m going to do differently next year. Hopefully I haven’t lost too many readers 🙂 Maybe I’ll even write a post on tips for doing a holiday gift guide – maybe! I’m going to try and take a break from the internet for the two weeks, so you probably won’t see much of me on here until the new year!! Just for my sanity.

Mason has sure been testing us lately. Attitude at home. But it was when we got calls from the school (which is VERY unusual behavior for him) he wasn’t wanting to participate in subjects he loves because he couldn’t sit by a certain girl he likes. I’m assuming this behavior is normal and he’s just trying to gain independence and strong preferences in his friends. But there was a week that I dreaded the phone ringing during school hours, in hope it wasn’t the school calling. Didn’t help with the stress.

Mason has definitely begun the stage of “girlfriend” this “girlfriend” that. Hoping the cootie stage begins soon 😉

We’ve been busy with school activities, work, cub scouts, Thanksgiving, colds and coughs that don’t seem to go away, holiday festivities, NEVER ENDING to-do list(s) and cleaning!! We are definitely feeling the winter blues this year.

2014 IS ALMOST OVER, WHEN DID THAT HAPPEN?!! I’ve thinking of a couple resolutions/changes/new-adventures I’d like to make in the new year. The whole resolution making is a bit odd if you ask me, why must we fill the urge to make a change a certain time of the year and it’s right after the holidays of stuffing our faces so of course you want to loose weight, but really did you gain that much weight over a month?! 🙂 Shouldn’t watching what we eat, exercising be a yearly thing! Along with all the other top resolutions(volunteer more, manage stress, save money, quit smoking, ect)! I’ve never really felt the urge to make a resolution up until I had been a parent for a couple years but I wonder why, was it because the older I got, the less I felt exciting so I’d make a resolution for “more fun” and believe me we have a lot of fun but maybe I need more adult without a kid tagging around kind of fun.

We all desperately need a vacation, a vacation where we fly someplace. And I’m really hoping we would have booked something for winter break. But I guess I can wait for spring break lol. Shh it’s a surprise for Mason but we are going to Disneyland for his birthday, which is a week before spring break. We plan on staying in Anaheim for 3 days and Los Angeles area for 3 days, do you have a favorite hotel in those areas?

SANTA IS COMING! (we’ve watched Elf more than a couple times this month;)

Why you should foster animals?

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Have you ever thought about fostering animals? If you have I highly suggest it and if you haven’t thought about it, do it 😉

We started fostering dogs last April(can’t believe its almost been a year!), and it’s been everything we hoped it would be. It’s very rewarding! I thought i’d give you insight and maybe answer some question you may have. Please email or comment below with any other questions you may have.

Is it hard when they get adopted? You know I thought we would all have a very hard time when the dog gets adopted and honestly I seem to be the only one that gets attached to the dogs and I keep the mentality “we are saving this dog, we will save the next one” and that seems to really help. But honestly it’s not so bad just keep busy and you won’t think about it so much, and sometimes the rescue will have a new dog for you right away. While you have that “down time” do stuff you wouldn’t be able to if you had a dog at home, like have a day out exploring the town or go on that “no dogs” allowed hike.

Will you have a say in the dog you get? Yes, whether you have other dogs, cats, children, chickens when you fill out the foster application there will be a spot to write that. The rescue we foster for are awesome about finding us the kid friendly dogs and I can only assume all dog rescue’s are the same. But keep in mind sometimes they don’t know the dogs behavorior.

Can you adopt your foster dog? Of course, if you are in the market of looking to expand your family, fostering is a great opportunity to give the animal a “trial run” to see if the animal is the perfect fit for your family before you sign papers. And that would be awesome if you continue to foster after you’ve adopted!

Do you have to have a fenced in yard? You would need to talk with the rescue about that, they might be able to work around it. They just want to save as many lives as they can, and in order to do that they need fosters.

What does Mason think about the whole thing? That is the number one thing I was worried about when we first started this; what was a 5 year old going to think? The two things I repeat to him is “we are saving these dogs life, they have no place to go” and “we get to see which dog is a perfect fit for our family”. And he has been so understanding right from the beginning, he doesn’t get upset when they get adopted, he understands they go to a good home. It’s a great learning experience for children.

What do you as a foster have to pay for? What if I can’t take the dog to outreach events? The rescue pays for all the Dr, health expenses, if the animal needs a special diet, or just simply can’t afford dog food, most rescues will have crates, collars and leashes for you to use for the dog.
If you aren’t able to transport the dog to outreach(adoption) events talk to your lead or someone with the rescue they will most likely find someone to pick up the dog. Or if your like me and have to take a child to the event who won’t sit still for that long, they have volunteers who will hang on to the dogs leash while you go run and do something with your kid.

So, if you have room in your homes and hearts please consider fostering! 🙂

Photo Dump

One of my goals this summer was to get out more with friends, plan things instead of our usual spur of the moment fun. And so far it is going pretty good! Awesome summer so far, can’t believe it’s almost half over though.

Birthday party for a friend, we’ve been to quite a few this summer so far.
Best pic I got of all three of them lol, makes me laugh.

Lots of water play and park playdates(if your in the Tacoma area, go check out the free summer lunches at some of the parks, can’t go wrong with a Subway sandwich and Smith Brothers milk). Niece spent the night for the first time with us.

  

We spent 4th of July in Eastern Washington at my parent-in-laws.

We take him to the park just about every day, lucky kid. The other weekend we went to the Richard Sherman celebrity baseball charity event, it was a lot of fun but to be honest I had no idea who any of the celebrities were, when football season comes I think I better watch a Seahawks game 🙂

My cousins son was visiting from Arizona so we decided to take a family road trip to Oceans Shores for the day, it was VERY windy and cold though!

Last Friday I picked up our second foster dog, no that’s not Dottie his name is Max. Even have the same personality, he’s a little older and a little calmer though.

The free blueberry park in Tacoma wasn’t quite ready, we’ll come back in a couple weeks to pick.

We got haircuts!! I did it, I cut a few inches off and got bangs. Mason got his typical faux hawk 🙂

Judging

Don’t be so quick to pass judgement. There is a whole lot of judgement going on everyday in everyone’s life, whether you witness it or you are the one doing it. Whether you admit it or not. I’m not proud to admit it but I pass hurtful judgement, not all the time but I still do it.

It can be as little as;
The mom getting after her kid for something so little. You don’t know maybe this lady has a lot of patience and has been dealing with misbehavior all day. Pat her on the back and say hang in there!
Someone using food stamps. You don’t know their story maybe they took in their brothers children 6 months ago and just recently lost their job and doesn’t want the kids to go into foster care.
A family eating dinner at 9pm. I’m sad to admit when Mason was a baby a friend of mine said they were eating dinner that late and I thought “wow that is too late for dinner, bad parenting”. Can’t believe I even thought that we occasionally eat that late and I read in Greece they eat dinner like at 10pm.
I’m going to tell you, please don’t hate me after reading it because believe me I still feel HORRIBLE I could even do such a thing. My parents always taught me to treat everyone equally and to not judge, so that’s all you can do is teach your kids and hopefully it will stick. I probably shouldn’t even write it because it makes me sounds so awful and you know what sometimes kids can be awful. Me and my girl friends when we were young like 2-5th graders, there was 2 families that didn’t have very much money and I remember passing judgement on how the kids dressed and now looking back how awful we were because it wasn’t the children’s fault they couldn’t afford nice clothing. I think about this way too often 🙁

What I’m trying to get at with all this rambling is; really try for the next week or even month to not pass any hurtful judgement, look at everyone equally!