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Family blog about homeschooling, autism, saving money, mom blog, travel, vacation, budgeting.

A Very Merry Christmas

As our family celebrates the 12 days of Christmas, I don't feel it is too late to wish you a very, merry Christmas!  After all, it is only the 4th day of Christmas. 

Today was Nick's first day back to work in two weeks and we sure do miss having our guy around :(  It's hard to get back to real life. 

Celebrating Christmas with Super Busy at Home's Family!

But this is what we are doing today...just chillin'.  It is so nice to have these days of no where to be and nothing to do.  To stay in our pjs or sweats all day and have some really deep relaxation.  I am trying to soak all of this in since we start school Monday and will be on the run again before we know it!

This Christmas was so magical!  My cousin, Andy, stayed with us and it was so nice having him around and having lots of family pop over to just hang out.  That is what Christmas is made for!

Celebrating Christmas with Super Busy at Home's Family!

This photo is from our ugly sweater party!  It was a small group this year but we had so much fun laughing, snacking, and watching our traditional movie of Christmas Vacation.  Memories!

Christmas morning I woke up before the children to make some coffee and get myself prepared for the mental anguish of the wrapping paper blizzard that would ensue. 

I know you know what I am talking about here ;)

Celebrating Christmas with Super Busy at Home's Family!

Check out our Christmas tree!  Santa came!!!

The kids were so gracious about their gifts and it was so fun to watch them open everything they got from us and then from Santa.  They loved all of their toys and since have been having a blast playing with everything!

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Here's Calvin with his lego bible.  It is so fun!

Celebrating Christmas with Super Busy at Home's Family!

Here's Emma with her weaving loom!  She asked Santa for it and has played with it every single day!

After the kids opened their gifts I insisted we take some family photos.  This year the kids had REALLY wanted us to all have matching pjs.  Let me tell you, that is easier said than done.  Has anyone else endured this nightmare? After 3 pairs of pjs we landed on matching pjs from Burt Bee's Organic Cotton collection and we LOVE them! 

Celebrating Christmas in matching pjs with Super Busy at Home's Family!

Of course we had to take some silly photos after we FINALLY got a good one!

Celebrating Christmas in matching pjs with Super Busy at Home's Family!

I think this one is adequately silly, don't you? 

Nick and I got one another some pretty great gifts too!  Nick got me an Erin Condren planner (I've wanted one FOREVER!!!), he also got me some le creuset kitchen items, a ton of wool socks, and spent way, WAY too much Shearling slippers for me.  When I scolded him he said "you're always here doing so much for all of us.  You deserve warm feet."  He is just the sweetest man!

I got Nick a big tv for our bedroom...he's wanted one FOREVER and I was so excited to actually surprise him with it...I've had it hidden in my dressing room for months!  I thought for sure he had discovered it but he hadn't and I was so tickled to surprise him.  I also got him some cubs memorabilia from their big win!!!  this year.  And I got him the book The Secret Garage, about praying for your family. 

We've had the best holiday, not to mention all of the wonderful gifts our families gave us!  We received some amazing gifts...my camel for my nativity, awesome travel mugs, and more! 

We hope you and yours are having a very merry Christmas season and that your days are merry and bright! 

Merry Christmas!

This Year's Christmas For Real

So this is a behind the scenes I'm going to be honest post. 

This holiday season is not going as planned.

Picture me, early November, all curled up on the couch dreaming of how the holiday would be after Thanksgiving:

I'd get my decorations out before Thanksgiving to have time to mull over what I wanted to use, what I didn't want to, yada, yada.

Everything would be decorated and the bins would be put away by the end of the Thanksgiving weekend.

From there, every day we would make a magical recipe and would store them away to give for gifts or in anticipation of the big day.

I would tidily wrap 5 gifts a day and would be done by the week before Christmas so I didn't have to bother with last minute things.

All of this was just a big, fat wrong.

Wrong.

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

Wrong. Wrong.

And wait for it...

wrong.

So here has been the reality.  The week before Thanksgiving my grandmother passed away, which I wrote about here. She had been sick, she's in a better place, but somehow there has just been this fog.  I know you can't rush grief or getting over someone being gone but it just feels hard.  And foggy.  Some days I just want to stay home. And what should seemily have taken me no time (in my mind) and been done by now is still languishing around.

Further more from a working/website perspective this has made it so I have nothing to say. No fun Christmas tutorials over here. No house tours ready from this gal.  Unless you want "today I put on jeans and not leggings, and you can too" then yesterday I totally nailed that.

But the sad truth is that as I was wallowing.  Because that's what it's been, wallowing, I realized that maybe I'm not the only one wallowing.  And maybe that's the beauty from ashes that God pulls out of all of this and wants to use. 

This isn't our first Christmas that things haven't gone as planned.  It's not always happiness and sunshine over here folks.  There have been Christmas' where the tree fell over. Where we had no money when it certainly seemed we should. When there was no work and we had no money and it made sense we had no money.

But somehow God works through those tough times.

And I know He will work through this.

Everything will come together in His time.  I just have to give myself the grief and time.  To cry over the Christmas card I got from Grandma last year I found that sent me to grief all over again.  And the crying when I unwrapped the Christmas ornaments from her. It's all there.  All under the surface.  And I just need the time.

So I apologize to you readers.  I had a really great "Christmas countdown" series planned with games and strippers and rides and fun.  Well only one of those things was included but I digress...

Instead I am here with real life, living real, feeling real, hurting real, healing real.  And it's going to be okay. 

I hope that whatever you are going through this Christmas, your hurts, your pains, your money issues, the betrayals that you've been hurt with, the shocking news you just can't bounce back from; that that is the message of hope that I can share with you:

"It's going to be okay."

Forgive me for being absent.  Love you all.

Christmas Tree 2015

Last year we had a great time getting our Christmas tree.  You can read all about it here

Our old c7 bulbs died and we had to buy new LED bulbs.  Don't get me wrong, I love them and they're pretty but they just aren't the same.  Here's our picture of the tree last year. 

I had the hardest time trying to explain this to people but while the lights were almost annoyingly bright the tree was dark. Do ya know what I mean?

 So this year this is our tree.  

It pretty much looks the same except this year it's a little glowier.  What's my trick?  Those cheap white twinkle lights.  We took 2 strands of white twinkly lights (100 bulbs per strand) and wrapped them around the trunk of the tree.  Our tree is 9 feet tall and the 2 strands worked great.  So we kept those strictly on the inside of the tree and then on the outside we put our fancy dancy LED lights. 

And this is the result.  I'm loving it!  

Our tree decorating and chopping has been a bit weird this year.  We always go the day after Thanksgiving.  But this year it was rainy and gross so we didn't go until Sunday. So we shopped Friday, decorated the house Saturday, and Sunday we were ready to get the tree.  

Most of us were ready.  This guy was just sleepy or sick or off or something.  He just was not feeling it.  

Here he's standing next to our fire pit.  My in-laws rent us a fire pit every year and we have a tailgating type party with food and drinks and good times. This year friends stopped by and we saw lots of people we know, it was so much fun! 

These kiddos have my whole big heart. Here we are on the tractor tram ride thing. Off to get our tree! 

After searching and searching an searching we found our tree!  It took lots of looking and walking and hunting and backtracking and grumbling but we found it!  And this was the best picture we found because Nick's parents were off looking for their tree, Emma wanted to be with them, so it was the three of us hunting for the perfect tree.  I've gotta tell you though, it was super weird and cray having a picture of just the three of us.  

This adorable guy has the biggest heart and decided that this year it was his year to cut down the tree!  He was so careful with the saw and was all business about it.  

He was trying so hard but it wasn't long before he asked for his Daddy to help.  These guys are so cute together!  

This is a picture of Cal getting to push the tree over.  He yelled "Timber!".  There are some days when I forget that he has Autism.  These days remind me that Autism is something like being left handed. It doesn't define him, it is just part of who he is.  We're not dragging it behind us like some type of cumbersome burden but rather it's just him, pushing a tree over and laughing.  

And just as easy as that we are ready to go!  

These cute guys are all throughout the forest and the kids love spotting them as we ride through on the tractor ride to the trees and then back to the firepit.  

And then it was time to eat and warm up by the fire!  By the way Cal here is eating a gluten free cupcake from the King Arthur Flour brand.  They are so super yummy and moist!  

There's my PSA, go buy this cake mix if you are gluten free.  Yum! 

After lots of snacking we came home and got to decorating!  Who doesn't love to decorate the tree? It was so much fun!  We got all of the decorations down before so the kids weren't sitting around waiting for us to find the decorations. 

So there was our Christmas tree experience this year!  

And our 25 day countdown to Christmas started yesterday!  Did y'all get started on a countdown or an advent calendar?  Let me know in the comments, I love all of your ideas!!!