Its That Time of Year AGAIN!!!

Hello Friends,

Well we are well on our way to mid December and I don’t know about you but it came far to quick for me!  I am a person that has all my decorations inside and out up by the Monday after Thanksgiving; yes even with our yearly trip to Georgia!  This year has been all around off!  To be honest we are so ready for 2015 to be over and we welcome 2016 with open arms and hopes of changes we have made within our business to show as the best decision we will make!  Which Joe and I are confident will be…with that being said all change when owning a business doesn’t sometimes mean you don’t hit rough patches to get there.  More on that in a bit!  As far as S and K go; things are moving along and the countdown till the big guy arrives is on.  With daily comments by S of how it is going to be “FOREVER” before Christmas arrives!  K on the other hand just continues to hold up five fingers and say “this many days!” each day we remove a link from our countdown chain!  This time of year I know many families have traditions they do with their families and friends which I love!  Weather its cookie making with a group of 20 or having a special elf visit your kids daily.  All of these things are what makes life so great!  Even when it seems like life outside of these things is too stressful and complicated.  At the end of the day December reminds us all what life is about.  Family and Friends!

Let’s start with these little elves that came out in 2005 I believe…before my days of having kids but has clearly become a tradition in many homes each holiday season!  S had her elf arrive three years ago.  She really didn’t understand the idea but it was when we were just about to start treacherous three’s and I was willing to start anything to help keep the energy positive especially having K just thirteen months behind her and beginning to take on any activity positive or negative she was doing.  Driving me looney!!  So anyway too young she likely was but we gave it a whirl and she named her elf Francesca which Joe and I had NO idea where this name came from, she had no dolls or no characters on TV that had this name but this was it! Funny thing about this was I called my mom to tell her about the elf and telling her the name, she got a little confused about the conversation and replies “Is this your new nanny’s name?!”  I laughed and we still laugh over this comment as one I was a stay at home mom doing just that and not needing a nanny and two I had never mentioned the need for a nanny.  Ok well I’m sure from time to time I have made the comment I would be a better stay at home mom if I had one but totally joking!!  Anyway that was year one and I was on it.  Doing my daily routine of hiding Francesca ,doing all the silly things people do with this little elf.  Heck I was moving the thing around my house multiple times a day!  Ya I was good; LOL!  Then last year came and we decided K needed to become part of the fun.  We had the elves arrive the day after Thanksgiving when we were in Georgia.  K named his elf Frankie!  They arrived by balloons to the front door of our sister and brother in laws.  The kids freaked that they found them there.  Of course the rest of our visit was elf shenanigans for each morning.  We continued the daily hunts each morning when we returned home.  There was no multiple moves throughout the day though.  This year both arrived and have been stirring up naughtiness but at the same time reminding the kids of positive behaviors and also telling them what they noticed they did great the day before.  I will say what has worked best for these two has been having a daily note from their elves to them personally.  S each day wonders what Francesca has to say.  She has even made sure to let Francesca know what she was going to do that day to make her proud.  This is the first year for her it has truly worked!  K thinks its just plain funny!  Frankie took one of K’s numerous toilet paper roll binoculars and cut them down to his size and was stuck in the tree or he toilet papered their bathroom and Francesca wrote a note to both of them with toothpaste on the mirror.  My only gripe about these little friends is remembering to move them and be creative.  I mean I know people like my sister goes all out each day and I’m sure once your kids are to the ages of 6+ that is necessary but again just a personal note to mine as been working best.  Whatever fun tradition you start with your kids I just suggest you do it each year as these are the things they are going to remember as adults!

2015-12-12 10.35.04

Continuing with fun holiday activities S has had now two holiday shows with school!  Yes this is true and yes she is only 4!  As I’m sure you have caught on S is a actress.  This is just one thing that has been a positive experience for her.  Her first show was the tree lighting ceremony at the library.  Her class sang under the tree before lighting it and having Santa come by on the fire truck!  Bringing us then inside for a few more holiday songs.  Yesterday she had her big show at school.  S has sang her classes songs as well as the kindergarten classes songs daily since learning.  She told me “mom when the big kids are singing I just sing along with them quietly!”  Before we left yesterday she said “Mrs. Breen tells us to sing loud so the people all the way in the back can hear our voices.”  Well, S did just that!  I wish I was a better videographer as I would love to share the show but I had K bumping and falling on me while I was doing so; resulting in a jumpy video:(  But S did not disappoint!  After Santa was there for pictures the kindergarten teacher stopped me and said “I have to tell you S did amazing!  I told Mrs. Breen we should just mic her.  She knew all the words and was so enthusiastic about singing.  You really have a singer on your hands!”  I had to laugh as at one point in the show I looked at my mom and we both started laughing as the only person you could hear singing was S!  She loves to perform and I truly do hope to get her in to something as she on numerous occasions let’s me know she wants to act like her cousin does.  Next Tuesday is K’s holiday show which I CAN NOT wait to see as he has not sang a peep this holiday season at home!  I asked him what songs they are singing at his show and he said “none” so this will be fun!  Look forward to sharing; hopefully I can get a good video to share!

So on to other news at the Lisenby’s!  I may or may not have mentioned we have taken our business a bit of a different direction.  Starting to make changes over the past couple months to prepare for the upcoming year.  Well as mentioned change can bring bumps in the road.  After 9 years of Joe dedicating himself to be the mason for a single contractor in our town and still doing side jobs in the evenings and weekends.  We have decided to part ways and focus on growing our business on more direct relations with homeowners.  Yes we have always done this but on the evenings and weekends.  Holding Joe to focus on very large homes that in the end were very stressful and to be honest not always having a huge return.  Not at any fault of the homeowners but that of add ons and extras that added up but truly didn’t turn a profit.  Sitting down we realized that we needed to take the reigns back over on our business.  Joe is a very talented individual and after doing a few larger side jobs he had realized he truly could be doing homes, outdoor sceneries, pools, etc. on his own.  He was designing, providing contacts and making money!  Joe has jobs booked until spring of 2016 without a contractor or any contact information on any of our vehicles.  It was time to lower the stress and get back to having evenings and at least Sundays with family.  Again I’m not saying doing these things is necessarily “NEW” to Joe or our business but now they will be our Monday-Saturday daytime focuses.  These changes have required much patients on my end.  This is where Joe and I are a good balance as I don’t have much patients and he has enough patients for the both of us!  Working through these months has taught me to BUDGET, BUDGET, BUDGET!  I know this is standard for many families but I have never truly been a budget kind of girl!  I like to do what I want and when I want.  I have even went as far as to cut K’s hair on my own! YIKES!  He thought it was so fun as at first he said “No Mommy I go see Ms. Robin (our hairdresser), she cuts my hair” But then I made my office a barber and he was game.  Let’s just say I don’t plan to make this a regular activity!  K is not a kid with a look that says hey I can do a buzz cut so that wasn’t an option it was new scissors and try to tame the madness he had on top of his head!  Thankfully S has beautiful hair and doesn’t need a cut as she has decided when she does cut it she wants to donate it to someone who doesn’t have hair.  Which I encourage as I think it’s important to understand not everyone is as fortunate weather it be due to sickness or come up against tough times.  I’m a firm believer in carma and things happening for a reason.  At this moment I know this tough time is only to prepare us for possibly bumps in the future but also to remind us that as Joe keeps saying we have each other.  We are fortunate that the two of us continually remind each other that we can do this and it truly has made our relationship that much stronger.  Success doesn’t come overnight and without a lot of work.  So we will continue to bust our butts to see a different success in 2016!  One that we own 100%!  Here are a few projects Joe has been doing!  Please do check out our website at as well as follow on linkedin at

A few other happenings!  I have been back to running as when stress comes running seems to provide me that time alone that I need to clear my head and remind me this to shall pass.  While I begging myself to walk! LOL!  Since we stayed in town for the holiday I was able to join my uncle for a quick 5K the morning of Thanksgiving!  I have also been working on my painting chair project…this is a doozy!  Not sure when this is all said and done I will be rushing to start another upholstery re-do!  I just hope to have this done so I have another seat in the living room at Christmas!!

Well I have said an awful lot…as my family will agree I have never been short of words!  Until next time be well!

Amanda 10

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