Tis’ The Season

Good Morning Friends!  Well the season of happiness is upon us.  Happiness as this time of year brings joy to so many in different ways.  In our home it is the wide eyes seen from two kids from just the thought of decorating the house.

S is in love with the decorating of the season as much as I am.  Each day since we have come back from the Thanksgiving holiday she has decorated a different space.  Her bedroom tree went up first with her snow babies set up on her dresser from her grandma and great grandma. The white garland hangs over her vanity mirror and she’s looking for more to detail her space with.  Next up was her decorating our entrance tree!  Last year I let her decorate our big tree and honestly her placement was perfect and she hasn’t let me down on this years entrance tree; it looks perfect!  K loves to get involved as well but with S managing him he slowly eases himself back to building lego’s!  That is one area of this house he has complete control of his creations.  We decided for his room tree this year we are making it a Lego tree.  Making our own ornaments with his thousands of Lego’s!  For others it’s the memory of the joy the holidays brought to them when they were celebrated with those now watching them from above.

I was at the grocery store this week and an older lady stopped and asked if I had seen the rolled cookie dough.  Being it was Aldi I told her it was probably seasonal and either they wouldn’t have this year or they hadn’t gotten in yet.  She then began talking to me about the cookies she was making.  Leading to her handing them out to all her neighbors as this was her second holiday without her husband as he passed last December and her son was killed in a terrible car accident last July.  My heart cramped as I couldn’t imagine she told me she has their pictures on her mantle and each day let’s them know that it’s crap that they left together and didn’t take her.  I asked what other family she had she said a daughter and she has two granddaughters.  I said this is why you are here they need you and I’m sure your neighbors adore you too.  She smiled and said her granddaughter was to go out of town for Thanksgiving but when she knew grandma would be alone she cancelled her plans and told her grandma she wouldn’t let her be alone and the two of them enjoyed the holiday together.  Your probably reading this and thinking this is all great but why are you sharing a story about a complete stranger.  The reason for me sharing this is because what I didn’t say at the start was that I was in a terrible rush I had only an hour to get my shopping done and make it back to get K from school.  But there was a reason why we crossed paths and a reason she stopped me.  During this holiday season remember take a minute to be kind to others.  You never know what has filled another’s day and what their going through.  So take a minute even when you don’t have it to listen to others and be kind.

Before I let you go and enjoy your Sunday and as the first snow falls and we head to cut down our tree!  I have many projects to share as I mentioned before Dad has began assisting in the furniture business.  I look forward to sharing the couch tables, end tables and headboard he has recently completed.  I’ve also purchased Annie Sloan’s recently released black wax.  I will tell you it’s fantastic and am working to finish a second piece with it.  More on all this very soon!  Until then enjoy this holiday season!  Remember all those that cross your path weather a bright eyed little one or an elderly stranger smiles are free and can change the day of someone.  You know how good it makes you feel when a stranger or a loved one smiles at you…


Happy Holidays!

Hello Friends!

So happy to be checking in with you!  As three times in the past two weeks I have sat down to write and have gotten half way and then I have little helpers either wanting to assist in typing or I have the always loved “MOMMMMMMM!” being screamed…usually to tell me they have to go to the bathroom (which they do completely alone but like to let me know), or someone isn’t being a good sharer!  Story of my life and if your a mom YOURS!!!

Anyway, the holiday season is here!  I will admit so many factors played in to my struggle with really getting in to the season this year.  Including the weather being gorgeous (I’m NOT complaining).  When you live where come Thanksgiving it snows until usually or at least end of February. Then this year we have had 45-60 degree weather the entire week of Christmas and the weeks leading up to it.  Which I’m sure to some is FREEZING!  But to us midwestern peeps this is warm.  I’m not saying I live here for the seasons because I don’t, I actually have a very hard time with winter.  I do however love the way it looks especially on Christmas morning!  But then happy to see it leave!  Another factor which I mentioned in my previous post 2015 has been a challenge for our company.  Joe did some really beautiful work and has been booked out until end of Spring 2016 but when we decided to make business changes we realized some things that needed to be addressed and it got rough.  Which I’m happy to say I think we are over that hump but my goodness that was a stressful few end of year months there. We also know it had to happen the one specific contractor has been un-professional over the past few weeks.  Or maybe I should say kept us fighting!  I’m just going to say you can’t run a company from a tree stand… Ok wait maybe some companies you can but not in the construction company.  Appreciate those that are with and have been with you giving 110%.  The few things that have happened have reminded both Joe and I that we never will treat those that work for us this way.  Ok I’m done…had to just vent for a second!  My quote for all of this is “No one changes the world who isn’t obsessed” not sure where I grabbed this but when I read a few things jumped out.  Mainly change and obsessed.  Joe is the most obsessed person I know about stone and with obsessed comes passion.  These things are needed to make change happen.  So I look forward to many positive changes and success to Moonlight in 2016!  So here is why I struggled to decorate.  Then I did decorate and…this is where I started another blog with “It wouldn’t be the Lisenby’s if…

It wouldn’t be the Lisenby’s if…

Duke (our just one year old shepherd) didn’t decide while I ran errands to tip over the half gallon of red and not any red SHOCKING red paint in my craft room.  Walking through it and creating beautiful paw prints outside of the GINORMOUS pool of paint throughout my house including all over my couch!  Thank heaven I wasn’t gone too long and was able to get just about all of it off my floors.  The couches on the other hand are done!

It wouldn’t be the Lisenby’s if…

When arriving home Duke hadn’t knocked down the Christmas tree and stepped on a glass ornament.  Leaving water everywhere and pine needles scattered like confetti throughout the house!  The Christmas tree went to the front porch and all the ornaments were hung off our metal railing going up stairs.  Duke was fine thank goodness!

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There are many more which I will continue to share but these are just a reminder that it doesn’t only happen in your house we all feel your pain!  Yes, I do still recommend buying a puppy if you were thinking and this post made you question.  As we all including my siblings say “if he wasn’t so cute!”

Christmas arrived and we had a great eve and day!  Christmas eve we spend with our grandparents.  First stop was Joe’s Grandma who is seriously one of the sweetest ladies you will meet.   We were an HOUR late!  Which is standard for us-boo!  Over the past two years grandma has shown many signs of aging.  She felt terrible that she forgot we were coming.  The kids were ecstatic to see her.  There is something warm about her that especially Kole just loves.  He kept going by her snuggling and giving her sweet eyes.  Grandma told us a few times how much trouble we were going to be in down the road with him and the ladies!  Letting Joe know his children were beautiful; which was so sweet.  As parents we all think our kids are the cutest but when grandma says it, it makes you feel really good.  Joe set up a tea party and the kids invited her to join them having orange juice and cookies.  She shared a few stories about Grandpa and their Apple Orchard and how it came to be.  Which I can say I never really heard.  We brought their gifts from New Grandma and New Papa (Joe’s mom and dad) with us so the kids could open there.  They did so and loved their special gifts.  They had books made that included the kids and their friends!  These added to the magic that as a toddler Christmas brings.  The visit was wonderful and reminded us that we need to make it happen more often.  The moments Grandma would loose track of what was going on were hard but I also know she has truly enjoyed her life the life that Grandpa and her made together.  I can honestly say they shared an incredible love.  One that all should experience.

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Next was to my grandma’s house.  Which for as long as I can remember is called the “Mad House on Midland!”  Which it always hold true to.  My grandmother has went through five rounds of chemo.  She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at the age of 79 and given one year to live. That was in 2008 and here we are 7 years later!  After the last round being so hard on her body and truly not doing anything she decided it was time to stop.  Letting her body and this terrible disease take its course.  Her stomach very bloated as it is filled with cancerous tumors and her unable to leave the house as her leg strength is not there as it used to be.  She got out of the hospital the weekend before eve.  She was very weak at our visit and barely spoke.  If you ever met my grandmother you wouldn’t believe this.  My grandmother is a very strong in every sense of the word women.  She has always been a no messing around, crack the whip lady.  But at the same time loves you with all she has.  The mad house part of this is that at all events at her and my grandpa’s home are crazy!  A lot of talking over one another and a lot of laughing until you cry moments!  Even with grandma sick this still was the case.  With only two of her kids and their kids and their grandkids there it’s LOUD!  I know she didn’t say much but I truly think this makes her the most comfortable.  Never knowing her house to be quiet this was how home is and should be at the “Mad House on Midland.”  Overall, the visit was nice it reminded me of how much I enjoyed going to their home growing up but also made me sad to know that life has a window and we never know but in this case I’m sure it’s not much longer.  Over the years family dynamic has changed which changed my relationship to my grandmother.  Once very close seeing pretty much daily if not then weekly is now at a few times a year.  As S asks every time this grandma is spoke about as she only remembers her meetings with her when she had no hair so she refers to her that way.  “Will she get better?”, or the day after our visit “I hope she is feeling better today.”  We all know its a journey and when it ends we don’t always know but what we do with it is up to us.  I can’t change the past but I can make sure I stay close to my grandma now.  The kids elves Francesca and Frankie delivered their departure gifts and a letter to the kids at my grandma’s house.  The box contained reindeer food, magic pajama’s that would help them sleep, socks, mini lego/littlest pet shop surprise pack and ornament.  The kids loved this.  We spread our reindeer food when we got home and the kids were in their magic jammies before we left my grandma’s!

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We celebrated Christmas the week before with my other Grandma!  This visit is always nice.  Grandma always brings the best homemade cookies and looks amazing.  I swear she hasn’t aged she is 87 or 88 (can’t remember) and looks amazing!  Our visit is always nice I honestly don’t know exactly what we often talk about but I do know she let my dad know he is EXACTLY like his father was!  She also shared with us that her doctor has called her twice to discuss her weight and she let them know both times she wasn’t interested in discussing it or having them assist her in how to loose it!  I almost fell of the chair as my grandmother is sweet and in no way needs to loose any weight.  Plus as I said to her “Grandma at what point do you just get to enjoy your life?”  I mean when you are 100 are they going to be calling you with this?  Have the extra cookie you deserve it!  She always puts thought in to the kids at Christmas going out buying them gifts that are always perfect.  She is a wonderful women and hope when she did go in for her appointment last week she let the doctor know what I said!

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Christmas day started at 650am with Sid saying “Mom I must have been on the really good list, there is like 51 presents down there for me! Come on lets go take a peak!”  Me sooo tired as I didn’t wrap any gifts until Eve said “Go tell Daddy.”  So she climbed over “Daddy let’s go take a peak!”  Joe said “Kole’s still sleeping we need to wait.”  She said “I won’t open his just mine! Come on let’s go take a peak!”  Joe said “If she says lets go take a peak one more time!!! LOL I said ok let’s go the big day is here!  I will get coffee you get Kole!  Sid woke him he wasn’t having it “I WANT DADDY!” Joe went in there and after S brought up the ton of presents and he saw them with his own eyes he said “Hurry daddy get down there!”I will mention there was not 51 presents for each child!  But at four I know it probably seemed like it! Sid decided to try and guess each gift before opening which she did a pretty darn good job at! HMMMM!  K just opened and enjoyed each one.  Many of the gifts were for both and those they have played with exactly so.  S received and is loving her mechanical cat which has been named Scarlet.  K received a John Deere service station which is the only gift he actually showed me to tell Santa.  So glad I found as he LOVES!

My family arrives in the afternoon for gift exchanging from Grandma and Papa to the kids.  Cousins pick names so they exchange and Santa shows up for stories and gifts!  Then we eat!  Its an eventful afternoon/evening!  Everyone SHOCKINGLY was a bit late this year-my family is ALWAYS early!  So Santa arrived and the kids loved his visit as his books include each of them in the story.  For dinner we had broccoli and cheese soup, ham, beef tenderloin on the grill, creamed corn, sweet potato casserole, and pistachio marshmallow salad.  We enjoyed basil, tomato and mozzarella skewers and brie, pecans, and jalapeno jelly on crackers while we waited!  Grandma and Papa then gave their gifts out!  This always gets a bit crazy!  S and K as well as their cousin Samuel are the littlest and still get a bunch of FUN stuff as I noticed the older boys were like WHAT!  As my sister said this was the year she had to explain to her oldest that once you hit a certain age your gifts cost a lot more so you get less. My parents made each of the kids gifts this year.  As I told my dad they are very lucky to have such talented grandparents.  My dad built S an American Girl Doll one room module as well as a bed to go inside.  My mom got a wicker chair and made curtains and clothes for her dolls!  My dad made K a fire station as he is obsessed with fire and rescue vehicles.  Mom gave each of us kids a journal with a letter asking that we each begin January 1st with each day writing one positive thought/sentence/paragraph/book.  As we can easily consume ourselves with negative but need to find positive in each day.  She started this when she retired and was having a hard time.  This coming year she plans to take a positive picture each day.  Something great to do and I encourage others to take on this challenge for 2016! Thanks Mom!  Well I think that wraps up our holiday season so far!  I hope all of you are having an amazing December as well.  Looking forward to New Years Celebrating! Hoping to do a balloon drop for the kids!  Keep you posted!

Have a great Sunday! Cheers!

The Holidays are Coming to an End!

How is it that we wait all year for one day and the excitement of that day goes so quick! I found myself sad about the day ending at 9am. Then again at 830pm. The initial thought or realization that Christmas Day is filled with so many great things. Yes at 715am S was up saying “I don’t think Santa came.” As she didn’t see any presents from the top of the stairs. She suggested we go down and feel around to see if there was any! K was still asleep so she assisted Joe on waking him which as to his normal grouchy wake up when not on his terms he was ecstatic as Santa might have come! We all went down the stairs and their eyes lit up as there WAS presents but first we had to go see if he ate the cookies and if Francesca and Frankie went back to the north pole with him! If I hadn’t mentioned previously Francesca and Frankie were the elves that arrived when we were in Georgia for Thanksgiving! Santa didn’t let them down crumbs and an empty cup of milk and notes from all three! Now back to the gifts!
Each of the kids received one big gift that wasn’t wrapped just covered with blankets but I told S they were furniture when we initially went downstairs so she told K to go sit on the little chair and she would hand out the gifts! Each did very well finding a spot on the couch and took turns opening gifts and sharing them with each other and excited with each others presents! The big gifts were an imaginarium train/car table and a Barbie house which I posted about a bit ago. S loved the house little does she know “Santa” aka Dad was up at 1230am putting the finishing touches on the stone fireplace and finishing up grouting two of the rooms! The things we do for our kids!

The house still has a lot of details to be added.  This will be an ongoing project as now that I see in her room and how she is using certain spaces I’m glad I didn’t finish it completely as the second bedroom for example is actually a really cute pet room so we will accessorize with this theme.  All lighting in the house works but I think we will add additional lights.  Everything except the lights, bed, toilet, and stove I made of old boxes/containers I had around the house!  The bath is made of an ice cream container and a bag of stones bought at the dollar store.  The bed side table is simply a tiny ball jar with fabric.  The kitchen table is a candle holder and painted piece of scrap wood.   Both kids had a great morning and immediately and since have played non stop with all their new gifts.  All stone/tile/carpet flooring I bought at Lowe’s on their clearance cart.  The wood floor is contact paper that looks like wood from the dollar store.  The Christmas tree and decorations I found at Goodwill.  The bed side lamp and christmas tree lights are also dollar store finds!  The fireplace Joe took stones from around our pond out back!


After all the excitement of two toddlers opening gifts it was coffee time and that’s when I initially thought WOW that seemed to fly by and in a few hours we would have fifteen guests arriving to celebrate this wonderful day with us! My sister, her husband and two boys are in the country from India which they weren’t last Christmas so I was excited to have them here to spend time together and of course my two other siblings with their families our parents and my aunt and uncle with their family! Just a day with loved ones which is what it is all about. But knowing it would be done so quick and then back to our normal routines made me feel a little bummed. Again, all that anticipation for this day and within fourteen hours it’s all over. Gifts were exchanged and Santa arrived to hand out more gifts and do some stories and singing with the kids! We served broccoli cheese soup, ham, vegetable casserole, sweet potato soufflé, and pumpkin and apple pie for dessert! Ugly sweaters are a fun tradition we have started and the adults do a white elephant gift exchange after dinner which is always a good laugh! We ended up with a shotgun toilet plunger.  After this is usually time for everyone to start packing up.  The kids are all pretty exhausted K actually passed out on the couch before dinner with his coat and hat on!  We read a bit in their beds with them and then it’s off to dreaming of all the wonderful things they did and received throughout the day!  After they are tucked in and fast asleep we plop on the couch and take a minute to appreciate all the wonderful moments we had with our loved ones.  Then I think “why can’t this day last just a bit longer?” Well it is what it is and appreciating the time we have with them and making that day a great one is all we can do and we definitely accomplished this so off to bed we went feeling lucky to have all we do.

I hope each of you had a wonderful holiday however you may have celebrated it!