1. I have a new niece, Killian Patricia Harvey. Born almost 2 weeks late to my brother and sister-in-law. She has red hair and is completely adorable. She was taken c-section because mom and baby were getting exhausted.
2. Thanksgiving was delicious and calm. We went Phil and Haanah's, snacked on veggies and cheese/meat trays until dinner was served. Food was all fabulous as were deserts. I made my first pumpkin pie. That was great too. WooHoo
3. Kids are getting OK grades - Carly's are great but it is a struggle for her to maintain it. She is determined to do so though.
4. Jason went to a hockey tournament over Thanksgiving. We missed him, but he did well. He played hard and strong and scored some goals. Jay went down to hang out with him after he'd been there semi-on his own for 2 days.
5. We finally got snow and really cold temperatures. We also had freezing rain. That was NOT fun, but school was cancelled the week of Thanksgiving so the kids had a LONG vacation. I however had one week less on my paycheck though.
6. Super behind on Christmas shopping. We have dubbed this a "Charlie Brown" Christmas. Our tree is small and artificial. The ornaments are bright and colorful as always though. That part I Love. Carly says it is like an I Spy tree. So, we play I Spy. For example, I Spy 12 Santa Clause's on my tree. I have barely bought Caden's Birthday gifts either - and we didn't get what we've been promising him for an entire year, an iPod touch. We just don't have the extra cash and we aren't using credit cards. He will be horribly disappointed, but we do have an extra iphone laying around that we will let him have for his applications. I hope it suffices until we can get him what he wants. I will also remind him that he has enough money on his own to buy it himself if he can't wait. Knowing Caden though, he won't want to spend all of that money on just one thing. I have made coupons on the computer for many gifts. It is easier than sending something someone may not want. I will do the same for the kids. Instead of itunes gift cards, I will make my own coupons that say "This coupon is good for 1 song download" or "This coupon is good for 1 $2.99 application". The money comes out of my bank account anyway and this makes it more personal. And I am hoping that this ends the kids constant pleading to download or buy something. Now I can say, "do you have a coupon for it?"
Other things we did for little cost are making gifts. I have made many heating pads and trivets from fabric that my mom had "hoarded" when she was alive. I use feed corn that is like 50lbs for $25.00. I also have flack seed ones. Those do not and should not get as hot though. They are more for trivets and sinus/headache pads. You can stuff a lot of heating pads in a one-rate shipping box. Its awesome! And, we created a cookbook for everyone for Christmas. Haanah and I gathered recipes and I designed a book, printed, and semi-bound it. It has some great treats in there along with some practical recipes.
I don't have really any idea of what to get my older children this year. I want it to be special, but can't afford to go all out and expensive. It is torture on my soul.