Thursday, November 27

Most Thankful For...

Yesterday, I listed all the things I'm most grateful for. Today, I just want to focus on one.


We've had a rough year. And I wasn't sure if we could turn it around. But we have. And we've done it together. I'm thankful for a husband who understands, listens and loves unconditionally. When I'm being a "not very nice person", he still manages to show me love and compassion.

This past week, I was having considerable back pain and practically ignoring his needs. He was able to step outside of himself and see what I needed. He is a role model for me and I look to him for guidance lately in how I should be more compassionate.

I'm grateful for all he's been doing around the house while I'm spending hours at P's school each day. He does it without complaining because he knows the school is important to me.

He's supporting me in my decision to go back to school. I'm anxious to get started and he's anxious to help in any way possible.

Matt. Thank you. Thank you for loving me. Through the bad and the worst...and the good. You amaze me daily in your strength and love you show. I've been blessed by God to have you as my husband. I love you. More everyday.

Wednesday, November 26


All month long at Payton's school, I've been writing articles about gratitude. It's the moral focus of the month there. Gratitude is being grateful for what is done for you, given to you or what you have, be it opportunities or material possessions.

I'm sure it's the post lots of people will do on Thanksgiving, and it's cliche, but I can't help but do it this year. I need to. I have a LOT to be grateful for.

This year, I am thankful for...
* my husband.
* a change of heart.
* God guiding my marriage.
* my two wonderful children.
* having a home that is warm and stocked with food.
* my husband having a job.
* the ability to spend time at Payton's school and all the people who make it run.
* friends who listen, advise and are honest, even when it hurts.
* my life.
* family (blood and marital) who support me through anything.
* the freedom of religion and speech.

As I've gotten older, the things like "my tv" and "my car" have been pushed to the back of my list. It's interesting how priorities change as we get older. I never would have thought I'd look at my list and see so many privileges and people and so few things. God has truely blessed me and my family and I promise to not forget the things that he has given me.

Tuesday, November 25


We made it. It was actually a fairly calm least the boys were calm. Drivers were crazy and the weather was nuts, but all in all, it was a good trip. My best yet with the boys by myself.

We're here for the holidays. My three brothers will all be joining me and the boys, along with my sister in law, my parents, possibly my uncle and one brother's girlfriend. AND MATT!!! Matt hasn't been to a Thanksgiving meal in YEARS. It sucks having family out of state and not having a Thanksgiving meal close by. He always has to work around or on the holiday and can't make the 4 hour drive.

This year, he will be joining the Galt Family Thanksgiving...which occurs in great Galt style...a day late. Figures. Nothing in this family happens on the day it's supposed to. Even Christmas is celebrated on the 26th!

The boys are all settled into bed after an hour of cuddles for Gmaw and Papa Bear. I can tell they've been missed.

I think tomorrow we'll set up my parents' Christmas Tree for them. And then my oldest brother, Loren, is coming over to do some cooking for the big meal. I'll be working on an apple cake and maybe a pumpkin pie....we'll see.

Have fun in all your preparations and travels! And be safe!!!

Monday, November 24

So Behind!!!

Thanksgiving is FAST approaching and I'm behind! This weekend, the boys and I ran errands and did fun things on Saturday. Then Saturday night, I started feeling not so good. Just achy and tired really. It was gone by Sunday morning however, so I went on with our plans; church and then visit my inlaws. It was a fun, but busy, weekend.

BUT, that busy weekend was not filled with the things I needed to be doing!! My laundry is piling up and over flowing in all the baskets. I have cookie making supplies out and no cookies to show for it. I have a mess on my counters. I have to pack all the boys clothes and supplies plus my own to travel to Ohio tomorrow. CRAP!! TOMORROW!!!!!

I better get a move on! Someone kick my butt into gear!!

Saturday, November 22


The dreaded Christmas Photos are done!!!

Yesterday, a very brave friend of mine, Jess, took a photo shoot of me and the family. We got a great whole family and even a couple cute ones of the boys by themselves! I'm so happy. AND a few weeks ago, she took pictures of the boys at the park and I got those back too. I think I just spend $50 at ordering prints and Christmas and Birthday presents for family.

So, now I just have to make the Christmas card and get the dang things printed. Ah's the joy of the holidays, right?

Here are the outtakes: glad it's done!!

Thursday, November 20

A few of my Favorite Things

It's about time for Oprah's Favorite Things. I love that show. I get to look at all the wonderful things everyone else is getting that I'll probably never even get to touch or look at because most everything Oprah likes it out of my price range. But whatever.

So I'm doing my Ellisa's Favorite Things instead.

Aveeno Lotion- My kids have eczema. We have tried several products that have little effect. And while they still have the eczema "flare ups" even while using the Aveeno products, the relief seems greater. The most immediate relief is from the Oatmeal Soothing Bath Treatments. Followed up with some great Daily Moisturizing Lotion, and we have it under control for the most part. Last week, the boys had flare ups that results in painful marks for both boys, including cracked and bleeding skin. With the help of some hydracortizone lotion, the Aveeno is helping soothe the pain.

Say Yes to Carrots - I'm a chapstick addict. I think right now I have about 6 tubes in various locations; my purse, the car, my make-up bag, the diaper bag, by my bed, etc. I have several brands because whenever I see a new one, I pick it up. I have recently fallen in love with "Yes to Carrots". The scent choices are awesome and unique. And they work! And I like that it's organic and I can identify the ingredients!!

Smart Water - Usually, I drink water from my Klean Kanteen, right from my filtered tab. But the other day, I forgot and grabbed a bottle of Smart Water when I ran into the drug store for some other things. Normally, I'd say water is water. But this taste good! Really good. It tastes "clean". It's "electrolyte enhanced" and "vapor distilled". But whatever, it's good water.

Senseo Coffee - I've never been much of an everyday coffee drinker. But getting up so early with Payton (6:45am...too early for me!) has made me a coffee drinker. I brought out my Senseo Coffee Maker that I keep on hand for when my parents or my inlaws are in town. I really like that I can just make one cup/mug worth and not waste a whole pot. I pay about $4 for a bag of 16 pods. That gets me 8-10 cups of coffee. WAY cheaper than Starbucks!!!

Cranberry Sipper drink - I love this stuff. I made it a few weeks ago for a party I had. It was so yummy. SO SO yummy and warm! Mmmmm... I got tons of great compliments on the drink and everyone said they're going to make it themselves for holiday get togethers. So here is the recipe!! I made a double batch and it was enough for about 30-40 glasses.

  • 6 inches stick cinnamon, broken
  • 12 whole cloves
  • 1/2 of a 12-ounce can frozen cranberry juice concentrate (3/4 cup)
  • 1/2 of a 12-ounce can frozen raspberry juice blend concentrate (3/4 cup)
  • 1 6-ounce can frozen apple juice concentrate (3/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup brandy or rum or 6 regular tea bags (optional)
  • Orange slices (optional)
  • 4- to 6-inch cinnamon sticks (optional)


1. To make spice bag, cut a double thickness of 100-percent-cotton cheesecloth into a 6-inch square. Place cinnamon and cloves in center of square. Bring up corners of cloth and tie with clean string.

2. Combine the thawed cranberry juice concentrate, raspberry juice blend concentrate, apple juice concentrate, sugar, lemon juice, and 8 cups water in a 3-1/2-, 4-, or 5-quart crockery cooker. Add the spice bag to the juice mixture.

3. Cover; cook on low-heat setting for 5 to 6 hours or on high-heat setting for 2-1/2 to 3 hours. Remove the spice bag and discard. If desired, about 5 minutes before serving, add brandy or rum or the tea bags to the crockery cooker. Let stand for 5 minutes. Discard the tea bags, if using.

4. To serve, ladle beverage into mugs or cups. If desired, add an orange slice and cinnamon stick to each serving. Makes fourteen 6-ounce servings.

Wednesday, November 19

My lil' man

Since I've been venting about all the "unique" things Maxwell has been doing lately, I decided I better talk about his good side.

He's 22 months now (two in January). He's talking in 3-4 word phrases. He says things like "help please, momma.", "Where did it go?" and "There it is!". He knows a lot of people's names and he's making his own friends finally. His favorites are Tyler ("Tyter"), Bella ("Baahhhha"), Traftyn ("RaRin") and Mia ("my Mia").

He's OBSESSED with his belly button. He has to be able to reach it at all times. That means in the car if his coat is over it, we have to listen to him scream until we get somewhere or pull over and adjust it. Then he says "All Better!". He has to be able to reach it to fall asleep. So no one piece PJs. Ugh. My boys and their weird quirks.

He tells me when he needs a diaper change. He likes to pick out his own clothes, something Payton still doesn't care about. He is sleeping in his own room, but still in a crib. I don't think I'll move him until he's four. I just can't trust him by himself.

Oh. Yeah. The good points. Umm...He loves people. He says "hi" to strangers we pass in the parking lot and out shopping. He uses his manners, a lot of the time without being asked. He loves to laugh!! Especially with Payton. They make funny sounds and rhythms in the backseat all the time.

He loves to do everything his brother does; play the Wii, color, read and watch movies. He does his "homework" when Payton does by sitting at the table with a pen and paper and "writing". He also LOVES puppies/doggies and to play ball. Kick it, hit it, throw it. Does matter as long as it's physical!

He really is a great kid. He's mischievous, hilarious and a trouble maker. But he makes people laugh and has a great personality. He definitely is a lot like his momma.

Tuesday, November 18

Not what I want to write about...

but it's on my heart and mind. I had planned to write today about what a great weekend Matt and I had together. My inlaws took the kids (yes, again) and we spent a great amount of time together. Then I thought maybe I'd write about PostSecret since I went to see the "showing" last night at EMU.

But then about 45 minutes ago, Matt called from work. He started the conversation with "Remember how this weekend we were talking about how we may not have everything, but we have a good, solid family?" He then proceeded to tell me that this moment was on his mind as soon as he entered work today.

He then told me about a mom who had come into the hospital. She felt she didn't want to live anymore and so she had taken an overdose of pills. But apparently just ending her own life wasn't enough. She also put klonopin, an anti-panic or anti-seizure medication, into her 10 year old and 13 year old's hot cocoa after school. And then at some point, she set the house on fire. The children and their mother are all going to be fine, physically anyway.

I am just torn up over this. I know times are hard. I know that situations can be rough, miserable and even depressing. I just could never see this situation seeming like the only answer to me. That mother must not have family like I have. Or friends like the ones I have. She must not have a church family who she feels accept and love her like I have.

My heart breaks for those children. They will always remember the day that Mommy tried to kill them. And my heart aches for that mother. Because I believe that someday she will realize the pain she's caused to her children. And she will never be able to explain or soothe that pain away.

Please take a moment now to pray for these two kids. And their mother. And all the others like them that are out there.

Friday, November 14

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!!!

At least here at our house it is!!
Payton had Thursday and Friday off school for "Professional Development Days". I assume they mean the teachers, not the students.

I couldn't take the asking "How much longer?" and "Now?!?" anymore. Finally, Matt said I could put up the tree. Oh yeah. Payton wanted to help too.

So yesterday, we busted out the tree. Usually I do a Americana themed tree, but I'm trying a new "rustic" theme, but I don't have quite enough ornaments to do the whole tree yet, so this year we put up our heritage tree. All the ornaments from when Matt and I were kids that our parents got us, along with all the boys' ornaments they've received thus far. It's a lot of nice memories.

In addition to all the tree decorations, Payton also helped me put up my "houses". Back in 1984, when I was just 5 years old, my grandmother, Bam, got me the first in a Hallmark series called "Nostalgic Houses & Shops". I have all of the main ornaments and a few of the special ones, like this years 25th anniversary Town Hall. Most were purchased by my parents or grandparents. Payton loves to help me each year put them up. He loves to see our city grow and look in the backs and see all the rooms decorated for Christmas.

Finally, we put up the snow globes. The boys have 3 thus far. I leave that to my mother-in-law to purchase. It started a few years ago when Payton became obsessed with a snow globe they have at their home. Payton thought it was funny this morning to take the motion & sound activated one and put it in bed with Matt to wake him. Teehee. That kid has my sense of...well, not humor. Jokester I guess.

Anyway, while Payton and I were decorating inside...with Maxwell's "help", Matt decided to clean out the gutters. And since he was up there, he also put up our Christmas lights. YEA!!! I'm so excited.

So if you need a dose of Christmas, just come on by. If you call in advance, I'll even bust out the hot cocoa, candy canes and Christmas music!!

Wednesday, November 12

Maxwell, Maxwell, Maxwell...

Today, while I was volunteering at Payton's school, I got a call from Matt. He was calling to tell me that Maxwell had gotten himself into some mischief. He'd "found" some superglue. question was "Where was the super glue?" Matt had been doing some work with his miniatures that he makes. He stepped out of the room, didn't put the glue up and Maxwell found it.

Maxwell tracked Matt down and was whining and showing him his hands. They were glued together. Matt tried to get some off, but my only nail polish remover was non-acetone (still hadn't gotten the right stuff since the permanent marker incident).

We're still working on removing the glue from his fingers and palms. Just another great story about our kid who goes to the max with everything...

Tuesday, November 11

They really DO love each other!!

Tonight, while at McDonald's for $1.99 happy meal night, Payton did something I thought he would pass up in a heartbeat. Something that moved me to swell with enormous amounts of pride and love.

After the boys ate, they took off to play with some friends we had met there. Payton and Kyler were running up and through all the germ-infested, never-cleaned tunnels, while Moriah and Maxwell were playing on the germ-infested, never-cleaned landing to the play area. Maxwell was happy to go up and down, but I could tell he wanted to go with his brother.

At the end of the night, I asked Payton to follow his brother up the tunnels and "push his tush" to help him through. I thought FOR SURE that Payton would say No. I would have put $5 on it I was so sure.

But just when you think you know your kids, they surprise you. Payton said "sure. Come on, Maxwell." and off they went. I watched them with climb up and through every tunnel. I could hear Payton telling other kids "That's my baby. He's only one." "No, just wait. He's moving." and "I have to stay behind my brother. You go."

I was so proud of him for making the right decisions and for being so loving and protective of his lil' brother. It's not often that I get to see that side of him since they're always fighting over the TV remote (yes...already) and over who has the crayons and paper that the other one wanted while sitting in the "wrong" chair.

But tonight, I got to see that loving relationship shine through. Right up until the slide to bring them back down. Then I got to see how loud Maxwell's screams sound in a tube slide. He wouldn't come down. Payton couldn't make him and was afraid to pull him down the slide with him. Maxwell started to retreat and Payton went down the slide.

In the end, I climbed up the tunnels and got Maxwell down. Those things weren't as dirty as I thought. And it actually was fun up there. Maxwell was happy to see me. But I don't think he'll be doing the tunnels with him brother again. Or anyone for that matter. But at least he had a great loving moment with his big brother.

Friday, November 7

So excited!!!

Tonight, Matt will be taking the boys to Ohio to spend time with my in-laws. I will be hosting a Tastefully Simple party. It started off just being 4-5 friends from my moms group. But now, I'm wondering if I went too far and invited too many people!

I invited a lot of my new friends from Payton's school. About 8-10 of them. I was thinking they wouldn't come, or only a couple would. But really, there's quite a few who will be making it! Right now my count is 10 "yes" and 7 "maybe". If only 2 of those maybes come, I'll still have a full house!!

I'm not excited because of the product I'll get off the party or because it means anything for me. I'm excited because I'm having my friends over. To hang out. And just be silly. and to just be a girl.

The rest of the weekend, Matt was supposed to be off work. Then he was on the schedule. Then off. Finally, he's back on. No way around it. It's a disappointment because I was really looking forward to spending time with him. :( But, I'll get a lot done this weekend. And I really need some me time I think.

So have a great weekend everyone! And if you're in the area tonight around 7pm and you want to come hang out, just give me a call on my cell phone!! ;)

Wednesday, November 5

Anyone know how... **updated**

I'm just wondering if anyone can help me out.

I'm looking to get permanent marker out of some things.

Say, a dishwasher for instance? Any ideas how to get the marker off that shiny surface?

Or my stool?

Or my kitchen cabinets???

Or maybe my floor?????

Any help would be great! Or if anyone wants a almost 2 yr old budding artist...the problem is that he things the whole HOUSE is his canvas. And permanent marker is his medium of choice.

The only nail polish remover I had in the house was non-acetone. Surprisingly, it worked!! My stool is completely clean, the dishwasher "artwork" is barely noticeable, but it didn't work too great on the linoleum floor. I'm repainting the cabinets. I put one coat on, but the marker came through. I think I'll have to put Kilz on and then the paint and then the finishing strokes.


Zoo Day

Yesterday, after Matt and I voted, Maxwell and I joined some friends at the zoo. It was odd being there without Payton, but it was great to see friends and Maxwell really enjoyed himself. He was able to see some of the animals and really view. His favorite exhibit is still the polar bears and seals. I think because he likes water so much and because the animals are so easy to find. Here are the "best of" the pics I took.

Monday, November 3

Parent Time

I don't get to see my parents often enough. This weekend, with just a few days notice, they decided to make the drive up to see their grandsons. Oh, yeah. And me.

Saturday morning, we had Payton's last soccer game. He did great, was given a medal and was glad it was over. I'm not sure he'll want to play again next year. We'll see. My parents were just happy they got to see one game.

The rest of Saturday, we hung around the house most of the day. Everyone took a nap at some point other than me and Payton. We decided to hit the "new" mall, Partridge Creek, and have dinner. We decided on Max & Erma's even though they had a 1 hour wait. It was fun though to be "forced" to walk around the outdoor areas of the mall. The boys had a great time and my mom really liked it. I think we'll go back when she comes to town next.

After dinner, despite the fact that it was already 8:30pm, we went to my parents' hotel for a swim. The boys had a great time and Payton is doing really well in the water. Around 10pm, we finally got the boys home and in bed.

Sunday, it was just more hanging out. But there's something to be said for not having a plan. The boys get to see more of their grandparents when we aren't out doing something. Or going somewhere. I feel like my parents really got to see how each of the boys are growing. And what a great blessing that is for them and my boys.

On a personal note, my father's health isn't well. He's had a series of heart issues since I was young, including a pacemaker placement. On Wednesday he will be going for the results of his most recent stress test. I can tell he's very concerned about what will be said and done. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers.