The amazing bookshelf transformation

We’ve had these 2 huge bookshelves in our living room for 2 years now and they have been a mess for almost the entire time, I had such a vision of what they were supposed to look like and they turned into a collection pile and stuff we didn’t know what to do with.  One day I just had enough of all the clutter in the house (this happens frequently) and I called my dear friend Wendy and told her I was overwhelmed and that I thought if I could just have the pretty bookshelves that I wanted, life would be less stressful, I don’t know how to explain that, some of you may understand.  She loves that sort of thing and eagerly agreed to help, after a few sick kids cancellations we were finally able to do it.  And, I LOVE it, it just makes me happy every time I look at it:)

Before . . .

It was actually a lot worse than what it appears, all that stuff on the tables & boxes was on the shelves!

and, after . . .

Thank you Wendy-for giving me a “pretty” bookshelf and restoring some of my sanity:)

It took a full week to clean up the rest of the living room, just in time to put the Christmas decor up!

Christmas decorating

I confess that in the past I’ve been a bit of a scrooge when it comes to decorating at Christmas.  I’m a pretty minimalist when it comes to decorating anyway so the past couple years I haven’t done much.  Well, last year at our MOPS meeting, we had a speaker who totally showed me an opportunity I was missing, we were missing as a family.  She shared how every year the day after Thanksgiving, her whole family stays in their pajamas, blairs Christmas music and decorates together.  Her teenage boys still want to do this and forego their day to sleep in to participate.  So, I was inspired, and that day (in 2009) put in my calendar (a year ahead of time) for this year’s day after Thanksgiving and we decorated together, it was really fun.

The kids started out with their tradition of decorating the tree with coats, hats, mittens & scarves . . .

we put lights around the windows this year and around my lovely bookcase (oh, I don’t think I’ve blogged about that yet!)

I also (inspired by speaker Tiffany) put away all our Christmas books last so I could display them at Christmas and they don’t get lost with our other 500 books!

Next year we’ll add stories at the end and some hot chocolate.


We had a great Thanksgiving Day with Kelly’s family.

I’m guessing we had more desserts per person than any Thanksgiving celebration out there!  Aunt Faye brought dessert and brought cookies, cream puffs (these are homemade not from Costco!), mint layer cake, and her famous cardomom bread.  Sandy brought more cookies and pie!

After dinner we played a scavanger hunt game, the kids were just going to play and somehow it worked out that Marian was with Jess, Ez with Shelby, & Tobin with Evan (oldest with oldest, middle with middle, youngest with youngest), so when the adults decided to play we put they in their appropriate birth order group.

Our group (the oldest) set out and spotted a few of the items quickly, it started to snow/drizzle pretty quickly and there wasn’t anyone outside except these nice men, since we needed someone playing football, we asked them if they happened to have a football, “sure, right in the garage”, they were happy to help and threw the ball around a bit so we could check “people outside playing football”-we figured NO other team would get that one (I took the picture bc I knew no one would believe us).  It drizzled a bit more but we were pretty determined at this point.  It was then that we realized, as the oldest and clearly most competitive that we were probably the only ones still outside at this point.  We actually found everything on the list-even a dog barking to be let in (thanks to Kim).  We headed back pretty proud of ourselves and a bit wet.  We, as predicted were the last ones in and no one else had found everything.  The “under achieving” youngest group gave up quickly and didn’t show much concern:)  The “life’s not fair” middle group tried to find loop holes in our win:)  And the “overly competitive and we won’t quit until we succeed” oldest group won the prize (which was nothing but bragging rights).  We all had a chuckle over how typical we all were.

here’s our winning list

Being able to hang out with Jess, Shelby & Aunt Kim was extra special, the kids really miss the girls at college!

and we had a Wii tennis tourney

It came down to Ez (he’s really good-I can’t beat him) and Evan, Evan just barely pulled it out after multiple tie-break points

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Ezra Kids Mari Tobin