Tuesday, December 30

Who knew?!? I was a VERY good girl...

Lucky for me, word got back to Santa, that I was a good girl in 2008.
I got everything I wanted!
Starting with the large WillowTree Nativity.
It looks incredible on my mantel, therefore I am forced to leave my decorations up even longer to enjoy it, tee-hee, don't confuse this with ANY form of procrastination at all!

And I was in need of a casual watch, you know... a good jeans and tshirt kinda watch.

The ever present item on ANY of my wishlists is chocolate! These are some of my faves, including the best raspberry truffles ever... you don't believe me?? Go see for yourself, and while your there pick yourself up some turtles and english toffee... www.kristischocolatecafe.com
(just a shameless little plug for my sil's sister, giggle)

Oh how I love a good mug of hot cocoa, and now I can do it RIGHT... we gave this a try on Christmas morning and we were all humming a happy tune.

Over six months ago, I was ranting that I hate when a pillar candle burns weird and doesn't use up all the wax and is wasted. My incredible oldest son took note and bought this candle maker/wax recycler thingamajig. Christian bought this 6 months ago and hid it, waiting to give it to me for Christmas. I'm sure all the mommies out there know EXACTLY how my heart melted as Shawn told me all the background info to this gift. So now I can remelt old candles, make new candles, and my son will be thrilled at his little bit of genius.

I will now pause for a moment of silence, so I can contain MY OWN oooohs and aaaaahs for this gift! Ty started this little diddy as a school project on Early Settlers. This was a novelty for about the first DAY... then he wanted to quit. I was really bummed because I loved how detailed he did this. Then one day, Savannah mentioned to Ty that he could go ahead and finish this little cabin as a gift for me for Christmas. I held my breath and hoped he would. And he did!! Please note the little details like a little rock as the door knob, and all the different sizes and directions of the sticks. I love, love my little cabin.

I decorate a little differently each year and here are a few of my NEW favorites. I got this handblown glass ball and I just love it. Its name is 'the coconut'. That makes me laugh. And then I also got these little crystals... totally in their natural state with dirt and broken edges.

I always have these linen corkboards in my family room for Ty's artwork, etc. But for the holidays, this is where I put all my Christmas Cards. I love to get these! And if there is a photo included then I really hug myself. And goodness if there is a gift card tucked inside, I about faint!
And so this brings me to my own personal request of a need for an INTERVENTION.
My OWN intervention.
We have come to the point of weaning our baby goat.
I'm not ready to have Madi out in the cold, cruel, Barn.
Savannah is tougher than me on this topic, I need to just butt out and let her do what needs to be done. But I must ask... what if Madi cries in the middle of the night and noone hears her... this is what I think about at night. I must seek help, the first step is recognizing the problem, RIGHT?!

Monday, December 29

Unwavering firmness of character, actions, and/or will....

WHEW!!! aka, Resolution!
I've always made New Year's Resolutions, and for the past several years I've organized them into 4
categories, and they all start with 'F'
I want to focus on my two teenagers for FHEs. Savannah is turning 14 and will be going to dances and youth conferences, Christian will be turning 13. Our 2009 FHE topic will be Obedience, and I am going to use For the Strength of Youth pamplet and Conference addresses as resources. Also, we will be doing one FHE a month on Food Storage/Emergency Preparedness.
We have been wanting to have a family service project for a while now. I have been researching different ideas and we have finally chosen a path! Background... Shawn had the opportunity while we were in Dental School, to serve 2 Service Missions to Honduras. He went each time and gave free dental care to the people there, under extremely harsh conditions I might add. He fell in love with the country and the people he served. He saw such poverty there and has never forgotten them.
So I was able to find a Christian organization that serves Honduras, and specifically helps children get medical care, schooling, and daily necessities. They also arrange frequent visits with the child/children you sponsor. That means in the future, we could take a family trip to see the child we sponsor. So we have 'adopted' a little 6 yr old girl named Heidy. We will help her family to see that she gets what she needs to grow healthy and recieve the schooling needed to go on to college or vocation school. We are so stinking excited about this as a family, we have already written her and sent photos and will hear back from her soon.
This probably doesn't sound frivolous to most, but this is something I have wanted to do for a long time. Since I am quite dedicated to my resolutions, I figured this was my best bet to get this wish DONE. I want to participate in a 5k in 2009, hopefully with my whole family. It may be the Rudolph Run next December, sense I have a long way to go to get in shape, but I am gonna do it nonetheless!!!
Surprisingly this category is usually the one that makes the biggest difference in my life. I am supposed to edit something from my life or my way of 'doing things', something that is causing unnecessary stress or worry.
Well, I can be an 'idealist'. NOT a perfectionist mind you... if I want to something, I tend to not even attempt it unless I can do it to my standard of 'ideal'! Since we have moved into our home, I have been resistant to have parties, visitors, friends, etc, over because quite simply...this place is a tad bit of a mess!
But the fact is that it will be years before all my dreams are realized and I just can't stall LIVING HERE any longer. I want to have lots of get togethers!!! Ward Campouts! 24th of July Parties! Etc, etc, etc.
And I have promised Shawn I won't apologize obsessively about the mud, and vines, and weeds, and potholes, and puddles, and, and, and!
This land and house are amazing AS IS, and will only continue to improve... and I am going to try and focus on the gradual changes that will now be noticed by my friends and family... because they will be over here often enough to NOTICE them, grin.
So there they are!!
I'm very optimistic and bazaarly that 'frivolous' one has me the most daunted... but I am just stubborn enough, this should work!

Saturday, December 27

Party Animals??

I think us Callahans qualify as party animals this week. We had lots to celebrate!!!
And I had to make special note that we managed to get my Dad out for each and every shindig, I'm sure he's glad to kick back and finally relax!!
Our week of partying started with a Barn Tree Trimmin' (sorry no photos... camera on the fritz)

Then on Monday... Noah became a big brother!

My baby sister had a baby girl, Eden Price.
We then had the whole family over for Christmas Dinner....
And finished the week out with a 30th Birthday Party for Cari... yep, the same sister that just had a baby on Monday!!! Amazing!!
So, today, we were a bunch of lazies. More accurately, I was lazy... the kids played hard and Shawn painted the mudroom. I slept in, took a nap, and went to bed early! snoooooore!!

Thursday, December 25


I am now cuddled up, totally happy after a day of presents, laughter, family, and too much good food!!!
This December has been full of new traditions and fun memories.
And hilariously... this will be the Christmas that we will never forget because of a sweet, little, goat!
But I must admit, Madi, has been a handful.
She is ONE guilty goat!
Case in point...

Who would dare make such a mess?!

I only had to follow the trail of straw... aka raffia...
Yep! Don't be fooled by her cuteness, she is a naughty little gal!!

We tried to be ever so studious at school... we want to take off extra time from our homeschool to spend with Shawn.... just when I think Ty is hard at schoolwork...
Look who he was hiding behind his binder, grrrrr
Savannah deep into her studies...
and a sleepy goat snoring beside her... it takes a lot out of a little goat to stir up so much trouble!
And I must say that I am shocked that this little reindeer's ears are still attached. Madi has dragged this poor thing all over this house.
And last but not least, on Madi's 'rap sheet', is her never ending need to nuzzle into hair. Ty likes to say that she is giving him a goat lick! But in the end, we have loved having her around and our family and friends have enjoyed her antics also.
Our Ward Elders had to take photos of our goat to send home and prove that us Alabamians are truly backwards.
We are sad to see 2008 go, we have had such a wonderful year!

Merry Christmas... and we are so looking forward to 2009!

Sunday, December 21

Ty and I

Oh how I love Sundays, and then when it is a Sunday in December with tons of carols being sung... ohhhhh my... I'm a happy girl!! Later, after church, Shawn and Christian went hometeaching. Savannah is working on Personal Progress with Grani so she headed to their house. What, oh what, were Ty and I ever gonna do? I suggested a nap, Ty didn't totally revolt as he has always been my cuddler and loves to 'chat' before we drift off. So we were discussing the wonderful night we had with family and friends last night and his favorite things about the evening.

I asked him what his favorite 5 things in the whole wide world were, his answers were so random I had to make a note of them:
1. His big family
2. Jared's surfboard (so out of the blue, I laughed and laughed, and I think he means boogieboard)
3. dirtbikes (that was a sligh hint at the ONE and ONLY thing he asked for, for Christmas)
4. movies
5. and , building a snowman (which I think he has done ONCE in his whole life, giggle!)

I love the way a 6yr olds' mind works, brilliant!

Wednesday, December 17

Grani and Papa's Tree

Several years back, my mom passed our childhood ornaments to us to share with our families and put on our trees.
Which left her 'stash' of ornaments quite low... she even contemplated NOT putting up a tree that year.... GASP!?!
So as us siblings are known to do... we bulldozed the situation and took matters into our own hands, actually I did run this idea by my mom first, we do have some manners, sometimes.
So the 'Grani and Papa tree decorating' became a tradition in our family.
Each year, a different sibling orchestrates the decorating.
One year, Alisha got handprints of each of the grandchildren, made them into ornaments, and whala... the perfect 'grandparents' tree.
Kim made little gingerbread folks representing each family member their year.
And brilliantly, each time that years ornaments are redistributed back out to the family and my mom and dad still don't have to store excess ornaments... Brilliant, I must say.
Last year, with my parents moving, unpacking, settling... the tree tradition hit a glitch... so we made sure to start it right back up again.
Now we have tons more individual families that have joined our ranks, so future rotations will get better and better.
2008 was done by us Callahans. Our children get to choose 5 ornaments to put on OUR family tree. We always have lots of ornaments that normally go unused. The kids wanted to decorate Grani and Papa's tree with all these precious extras.
You know... all the classics, like popsicle reindeer, and macaroni ornaments, etc.
So on December 6th we gathered to decorate the tree. Savannah and Christian tackled lights installation, whew, that is always a toughy. I put on the garland. Then the kids took over placing all their favorites.
Cari, Chris, Conchi (Chris' mom), and Noah came for a visit and to watch the First Presidency Message.

And what would Christmas 2008 be without the goat?! Noah quickly learned that carrying Madi by the throat made her eyes pop out... so he started lugging her around by the body after this.

To a baby goat, everything is a nipple, scandalous! Noah found this funny. Notice in the above picture his other point finger, extended and ready to be nibbled too.

By the end of the evening, Madi was getting tired, but Noah still wanted her to run, and jump, and head butt... so he would give her litte nudges to motivate the sleepy goat.
More wonderful memories of decorating Grani and Papa's tree
2009 - Barry and Kim's crew
2010 - Alisha and Nate's gang
and I will give reminders to following families, in age order, each year from there.

Saturday, December 13

Inquiring Minds like to know...

I loved reading others' 25 Christmas Questions/Answers. So here mine go...

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
I always prefer paper and ribbons galore. But I do use gift bags occasionally and they can be gorgeous too, especially because I use tons and tons of tissue paper in them so I still get the wonderful 'ripping through the paper' experience I love with wrapping paper.
2. Real tree or artificial?
This year is our first year with BOTH. I love the smell and look of real, but I can't put some of my favorite ornaments on a real tree because they are way too heavy. So we use an artificial tree for our actual family tree with all our wonderful 'eclectic' ornaments with memories attached to them galore!!
3. When do you put up the tree?
As soon as I can get Shawn to help me!! Usually ends up being the weekend after Thanksgiving or at the latest the FHE after Thanksgiving.
4. When do you take the tree down?
Not til well after the New Year.
5. Do you like eggnog?
6. Favorite gift received as a child?
I always loved my 'loot', but I do remember receiving hot rollers one year and was so excited to be able to do my hair by myself. I got them just in time for the 80's BIG HAIR... ahhhh good times!!
7. Do you have a nativity scene?
I have the first WillowTree set, just the basic figurines. I can't see myself ever growing tired of it.
8. Hardest person to buy for?
Shawn, he never gives me a wish list. In the past I have bought him some real 'flops' as gifts. Soooo, we are rebels... Several years ago, we gave each other the GIFT of not having to get each other gifts. We do each others stockings, which are always fun to stuff FULL. And then we promise to 'run away' together on a vacation in the next year!
9. Easiest person to buy for?
My Sisters! I always have several things I have to choose between for them. They will tell you that I usually try to give them their presents early, like way early IN THE YEAR... because I am so excited.
10. Mail or email Christmas Cards?
Snail Mail... although I am getting awful at getting them out early in December... I've got to get better at this.
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
Honestly, I can't think of one...
12. Favorite Christmas movie?
I love the old cartoon, actually they are more like animated cartoons... do you know the ones? And my favorite of those is the Little Drummer Boy.
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
I can't control myself much past October.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas gift?
No, but I wouldn't fault anyone that did.
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
During December I am drawn to warm soups and hot chocolate!
16. Clear lights or colored on the tree?
I prefer clear, but I always loved my moms' trees growing up and they were blinking colored lights... really no wrong choice there!
17. Favorite Christmas song?
Little Drummer Boy, O Holy Night is a very close second.
18. Travel @ Christmas or stay home?
The sign on my mantel probably answers this one, laughter.
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer?
I just realized I totally CAN'T!
20. Angel on the tree top or a star?
I've always had a star, usually a big rusty star, but this year I have a 'starfish' on my real tree.
21. Most annoying thing about this time of year?
Bahhhhummmbugggs. I think everyone should have to work Christmas time retail before being allowed to shop for Christmas. But in a way, when I see someone being 'ugly', it just gives me more incentive to be kind, especially to poor cashiers!!
22. Favorite ornament theme or color?
I always lean towards neutrals, cremes, chocolates, greens. But anything goes on our family tree, the eclectic nature of that tree I find most appealing, I always prefer it over my 'prissy' tree.
23. Favorite thing for Christmas Dinner?
I invite my whole family over for Christmas Dinner, it is my little gift to all of them. I always love to have Ham or Roast and all the naughty sides!!
24. What do you want for Christmas this year?
I want the new Large Willow Tree Nativity, and Raspberry Truffles that my sil's sister makes. The best Present I have already gotten is from my neighbors. They have been taking pictures all year of our kids together doing wonderful daily things: 4 wheeling, slip and slides, climbing trees, cuddling baby animals, etc, and put them all in an album for us!!! I cried!! Since it says '1st annual', I pray I get THIS present every year.
25. A favorite Christmas tradition.
Christmas Eve PJs, the kids picking their favorite 5 ornaments for the family tree, and this year we are starting a new tradition of decorating a little baby spruce by the old barn. It is so very tiny, but year after year it will grow big and fat and the kids will remember this tradition starting when it was just a twig.
Merry Christmas!!!

Thursday, December 11

Does this diaper make my bum look fat?

Do you think Madi will ever forgive us for the diaper thing? Nope, I don't think so either!
But we will try to explain to her that it was the only way I could fathom a goat running amuck in my house. In all my hopes and dreams... a baby goat taking up residence with us was not filed away in there anywhere.
But truth be told, she is extremely low maintenance, for now!!

Photographing a goat is near impossible!!! They never hold still, and they want to eat the camera, plain and simple!

Anything with an ounce of texture has her tongue all over it! Once she starts teething, her free reign will come to an abrupt halt... I've got tons of items with fabulous texture that I don't want little goat teeth prints in, grin.
And when we loose track of Madi, er, umm, did I just say we occasionally lose the baby?????!!! Well, yep, we have, but it took us only one day to realize her favorite hiding place is under my bed. I guess cause there is a nice and cozy heat vent there, and a fabulous shag carpet!

I can't figure out how to get my video off my camera onto my computer, but when I do... you'll get to hear the squeak of protest she makes when she is discovered under the bed.
To her defense, she doesn't get many moments of peace and quiet... we're a tad fond of her, quite the novelty.
I think we shall forever remember Christmas 2008 with a baby goat running around our Christmas trees and licking the presents!

Wednesday, December 10

WilliamsSonoma, PotteryBarn, and goat?

Mama goat did reject the baby goat, Madi. I can be quite flexible, but I refuse to have an inside animal, refuse, absolutely stand my ground on this point, absolutely... until a little, bity, cutey patootie, goat is born and now we have an inside animal, one that has to be bottlefed every 2 hours!! I am so consistent and firm, or at least i USED to be. Madi has a crooked ear, squeaks like a duck, wags her tail like a puppy, and hops like a rabbit... we may have a severe case of identity crisis. And you won't believe what I bought at Target this week for the first time in 5 years! Diapers, wetones, bottles, nipples, and ingredients for 'simulated' goats milk... well that last item I've NEVER bought before. I have misplaced my camera, but I promise to overwhelm you with lots of pics as soon as I find it, and if I can figure out how to post video, then you can hear her squeak, too funny!!

Saturday, December 6

HiHo... HiHo...

Off to the tree farm we goooooooo!
We've never had a real tree before... so no time like the present to make a new tradition.

Donner and Blitzen were there to welcome us!
Did you know reindeer love bananas?
Ty just giggled the whole time. Donner was quick to flirt to get that 'nanner.

So here are the tree hunters. Walking among these trees smelt wonderful!
I love firs but this farm did not have them... second choice... a Virginia pine.
So we turned the kiddos loose to find us a perfect one.

And who but my perfect daughter to find one for us. We didn't want to chop the very first one we saw... but sure enough, we looked more and more and Savannah had indeed found the best fit.

And an action shot of my gorgeous hubby sawing the tree down for us.
Notice that it started to rain at the exact moment we made a decision.


The Real reason we brought along the kids, hee-hee... free labor!
Actually they didn't have to tote if far because cutey patooty fellas working there scooped it up for us, and loaded it into the truck.
After hot chocolate was purchased to defrost our bones, we were off!
Great day, and OHHHH how wonderful our house smells now.

Friday, December 5

We have a new baby...

I have and never will claim to be a photographer, especially when I am so excited that I don't even notice the hot pink letters plastered across my forehead that read, Clueless!
So, Savannah went out to feed the barn animals this morning and she heard a different cry.
And look who that cry belonged to...

Meet our new bebe goat! We think she is a girl... again, we are new at this, but as Ty would say, 'it don't seem to have man parts'
She is standing well, has great lungs (aka a good screamer), and is about the size of a football.
Seems a tad small for my liking, but her mom is tiny too.
So far, mommy Emme is not showing great mothering skills... showing aggressive behavior, grrrr. We sure would like her to nurse at least for this first little bit.
May be going to plan B and bottle feeding her.
I am already rereading my goat book to get some pointers and our neighbors have had several goats so we are optimistic.

She is all black except for spotted ears, a dot of white on her left side, and an upside down horseshoe shape on her right side. We have a tentative name for her but we need to double check with 'namer' because I think she wanted a donkey named after her, not a goat.
So any name suggestion in case we need to save our tentative name for a baby donkey?

And for inquiring minds... what does a calm, collected, seasoned farmgirl wear out to the barn after receiving the wonderful birth news????
Pajamas, of course, allllllll the farmgirls are wearing their PJs in public nowadays.
And of course, the NO sock look is always logical on freezing mornings like today, and to round out the fashion forward ensemble... my son's crocs!
I'll keep you updated on our new bebe, and hopefully get some better photos for ya now that I've stopped giggling like a 2yr old!