Just wanted to wish everybody a Happy Thanksgiving and hope everybody is safe in their travels this week. I am so thankful this year for so many things and the one thing that comes to mind first and foremost is the health of my kids. I am watching so many of my care page kids and their families struggle this holiday and some that are mourning the loss of their children. It just makes me take a step back and look at my life and realize that struggles I am having at the moment are nothing in comparison. And to remember that on any given day my world can be rocked to the core without any warning. So I am vowing to not stress, get cranky and have to be perfect this upcoming holiday season. I am going to enjoy the days from Thanksgiving to New Years with my family and have some fun creating memories....ummmmm just like having my two girls today creating paper christmas chains to decorate the house. They haven't done that since they were in elementary school yet today they got the idea and ran with it. So cute to see teenage girls like that.

Speaking of Maddie....she is home safe and sound for break. I went to bed last night with such peace and it was just because I knew that all of my babies were home and under my roof sleeping. It just doesn't get any better than that I think.

And on the weather front...We are looking a bit more like Christmas today then Thanksgiving because yet again we are getting socked with some lake effect snow. I am fretting just a little bit because our satellite has been out all day and there is a Sabres game in a couple of hours. The Drew's are outside at the moment trying to clean it off but if not then I guess we will throw in some Christmas movies and go with that.

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!!
P.S. This layout is one that I made for a layout tag game and I couldn't share it before until everybody finished....this is one of the things that I am very thankful this year....that when Max was hit with the foul ball at the baseball game in the spring that he came away with nothing more than a bruise, a tad bit of a headache and the ball that hit him. Oh my, it could have been so much worse....he had his guardian angel grandma looking over him that day!!

Snow and snow and more snow!! It just keeps coming and it isn't even Thanksgiving yet. The forecast for today and tomorrow is 2 feet for when it is all said and done. This is on top of the foot and a half already on the ground. The Farmer's Almanac did say that this was going to be a snowy winter and we have really been lucky the last few but goodness....does it have to be so much so early? This picture was taken earlier this morning and I have to say right at the moment it is NOT snowing and the sun is actually out. It could be deceiving but one look at the radar tells me plenty more is on its way. Oh the joys of Lake Effect!!
So being in the Christmas spirit...how could you not with all that snow? I created this countdown calendar for Max this christmas season. I have had this for awhile but didn't know what papers I wanted to use until I found the My Mind's Eye Be Merry collection. Oh my these are the cutest papers ever and they just make me smile!! I mean really, look at the snowmen....who could resist a snowman this cute!! I am not sure what I am going to fill the boxes with yet....it reminds me of an advent calendar my mom had for us when we were little. One year she filled it with little candies and I can remember being so excited when it would be my turn to open the surprise. I might fill Max's with little ornaments and then get a small tree for him to hang them on so the closer we get to christmas the more decorated his little tree will become. But if I know Max he would probably love hershey kisses inside more than anything!! Maybe I can fit both in. We will have to see.
Back to work for me....now I have to finish up some more of my deadlines before I get fired!! LOL!

I am so proud of this kid...I can't even begin to tell you!! Yesterday he was inducted into the National Honor Society....the official ceremony will be on December 3rd. With everything that he does he still maintains high grades and it just amazes me how he does it all! Then last night at the Football Banquet he received the Joe Annarella Sportsmanship award which is a big big thing in our school. Joe Annarella was a previous football coach for CVCS when he was tragically killed in an automobile accidentmany years ago. This award is voted on by the team so it is really special to Andrew that his team mates chose him for this honor. He also joined the ranks of the 1000 pound club.... a newly formed club which was established for whomever can lift 1000 pounds doing 3 types of lifts. He is actually at about 1200 now but I don't know the exact weights for each lift. I will have to figure that out later. Andrew is such a hard worker in everything that he does. He doesn't give up even when things are pretty tough. I truly believe that this attitude is going to take him so far in this world. I do have one beef with him at the moment and that is because he is completely stressing me out. He wants to wrestle this year...he feels that since he is not having surgery and that he wrestled all last season with the same injury that he should be able to wrestle again this year with a few precautions. I have not decided on this issue yet....I know what his dad wants him to do and I know what the coaches all want him to do but there is a big difference from last year. Last year I knew that his shoulder hurt.....this year I know WHY! And knowing that makes this decision very, very hard to make. Please pray. By the way he is practicing for wrestling and he did get certified in his weight class yesterday but officially nothing has been decided.

Now onto scrapping....since I was talking all about Andrew in this post I thought it would be kind of neat to show the layout that I did this week when he was born and Maddie met him for the first time. He has grown kind a bit don't ya think?? Maddie's face always kills me in this picture because I knew that she loved this new baby but I think that she was trying to grasp just how much her little life was going to change from that moment on.

I am still working on Christmas cards and gifts. Will share more of them later. I have deadlines upon deadlines that need to be met this month and I am running out of time. I think that I need another me!! So cutting this short so I can get off this computer and get myself back to work!!

Andrew Thomas went to see the specialist yesterday and he was very pleased with how Drew handled the football season with his shoulder. He was surprised that the pain was still manageable and that he didn't hurt it during the season which would have required immediate surgery. Now with that being said he has recommended that we hold off on the surgery. It is a surgery that he does most often in older patients that cannot stand the pain anymore. He feels that since Drew is doing so well that the risks of surgery at this time, coupled with the 5 month rehab that we should postpone it. We are so very pleased to hear this and to know that he will be able to play baseball come March. He will however not be able to wrestle this year and most likely next year. The risks involved in injuring it more are too high in wrestling and in doing so he would most likely jeapordize baseball. It is his call and I know it was hard for him to make it but I am happy that he has chosen not to wrestle at this time. Dad is sad but there is not much that can be done about it. So woohoo....NO SURGERY at this time!!

In my crafty world I have been busy creating more cards and gift items for the upcoming holidays. I am so enjoying the process at the moment. Nice and relaxed and pleased with what I have accomplished so far. I of course am sharing another new card with you all so I hope you enjoy it. I also finished up a scraplift contest from Scrap Whispers today and I can't wait to see the final run of that. It is where you get sent a layout and scrap lift it, then it gets sent on to another person and they scrap lift that...it goes on several times and in the end you get to see the original layout and then how everybody interpreted it from there. It is so much fun to see what happens along the way....kind of like that telephone game we used to play long, long ago.

Our snow has melted for the time being....thank goodness....but more is expected this weekend. Right now it is just a muddy mess outside....reminds me of why I dislike spring so much. The kids all enjoyed playing outside in it while it was here and poor Max was quite dismayed this morning on our way to the bus because it was all gone. Lucky for him we live in Western, NY and it will be back and stick around for quite a long time pretty soon!!

So this is what we woke up to this morning! I have to admit that it was really, really pretty but....I am just not ready for dealing with this stuff yet. Max was so excited this morning...had to wear his snow pants and boots to the bus stop. I took them a bit early so that they would have a chance to play in the snow before school. I have to say that the three kids were in heaven. That of course puts a smile on my face and makes me forget about what a pain in the butt it is to get everybody dressed and out the door in their winter gear!!

So with all the white stuff on the ground I spent most of my day creating more christmas cards. There is something about the snow that makes you feel all christmasy inside. How could it not? Also been working on some layouts for my dec. DT requirements, and starting some christmas gifts. I am happy to be starting as early as I am this year because I usually wait too long and drive myself into major panic attacks come mid december!! (smile) Nope, I am enjoying the season this year no matter what.

Last night we went into Buffalo for Andrew's concert at Saint Brigids...it was a beautiful concert and there was tons to eat afterwards. The only downside was the nasty weather we had to drive home in. But with $400 worth of brand new snow tires (that we got on in the nick of time I might add) it wasn't as bad as it could have been.

Abby had her first JAVA practice last night and she enjoyed herself so much. It is good to see a smile on her face again where volleyball is concerned. Max and Drew stayed home and had a nice evening together just being brothers. And get this...the dishes were done and Max even had a shower before bed. Can't ask for a better big brother than that can you?
And on another happy note....my nephew Colby called me today to let me know that he is getting married!! I am so happy for him...he snagged a good one and I can't wait until the big day!!

Not sure why really cause it is 70 degrees and sunny outside but I have been none the less in the Christmas spirit. So today I have started making my Christmas cards. I have a new way of thinking this year....they are all going to be different!! I usually make up a card that I like then mass produce it. But at about the 6th or 7th one I hate it!! It becomes a chore and I no longer enjoy the process. So this year I am going to spend a little time each day (or as often as I can) just creating cards...all different...all unique. And maybe as I make each little piece of art I will continue to enjoy the process this year and keep Christmas in my heart. So that is the plan for now...I am hoping I can stick with it. I made my first card today....I will show it here but if you are on my Christmas card list...don't peek cause you never know this may just end up in your mail box. (Smile)

Exciting news too....Abby made the JAVA Travel Volleyball team...First Team too!! That is for the best of the best....we are so proud of her. She so totally deserves it after what she has been through with the supposed coach of her highschool team. Yeah Abby and big hugs to you...love ya girlie!!

I hope that everybody had a chance to get out and vote yesterday. I know that we did bright and early. It was so cute because as soon as Max woke up at 6:30 am we hustled him into the car so we could go and vote before Drew had to work. Max had a card from school that said he went with us to vote and the inspector had to sign it so he could bring it back to his teacher. He was so proud to do that. As far as the outcome...well, I am not going to say whether I am disappointed or not. All that I will say on the subject is that this country wanted change and I pray that they will all be able to handle the changes that are coming. Enough said.

I created this layout today of Max in his halloween costume. He was so stinking cute that I couldn't wait to get one done of his elephant costume. The reason for the title was because where ever we went he was always asked if he was suppose to be Horton from Horton Hears a Who...well Max had no idea what a Horton was...he was just a Max dressed as an elephant. Too funny!! I guess that I am a bad mommy because I didn't take him to see that movie. Anyways....

Life goes on here in Cassadaga, pretty low key these days without any sporting events to go to. I am thinking that we are going to have to figure out some other things to do so we aren't just sitting at home every evening. I thought that I would enjoy not having to go anywhere but ya know what? I think that I will get pretty bored with that soon enough.

I am off to get some ironing done this afternoon....my most dreaded household chore. I so wish I could be like my mom and enjoy this task but it ain't happening!!

I am just now starting to catch my breath again. First of course Friday was Halloween and I spent the afternoon in Max's classroom. Oh my gosh...it was so much fun! They had a little party, everybody was in their costumes. There were games all through the school and then a little parade with all of the classes showing off their costumes. Max had so much fun and he was just as cute as can be. Then we came home and quickly ordered pizza and wings for dinner. Everybody was coming and going so we really didn't have a sit down dinner...just eat when you could. Drew and I took Max trick or treating at about 5pm and the night was absolutely gorgeous! It was almost 70 degrees and beautiful. You can see just how pretty it was in the pictures. Abby and Andrew Thomas went around town with their friends but had a pretty early night of it because Abby had tryouts in the morning and Andrew had his football game in the afternoon on Saturday. We took Max for a quick trip to his grandparent's house but by then he was just totally pooped! He looked in his pumpkin and told us he has enough candy and he just wanted to go home.

Saturday was the last football game of the season. It was a little tear jerking but the boys won and it was a fitting end to a bit of a disappointing season. Here is to next year and a trip to states!! We cleaned out the concession stand, fed the boys some pizza and wings after the game, cleaned up the cafeteria and then headed out to Angola to help Drew's grandparents with an electronic issue...they couldn't get their new tv to work. Came home from that and went to bed after watching the Sabres game. Then....... we got up bright and early Sunday morning, drove out to Rochester to see Maddie play rugby (oh my goodness that is a rough sport!) then had to turn right around and head back to get Abby to her second round of tryouts sunday night. I am just pooped and have spent the day today trying to find my house....it was quite the pigsty when we got home!!

Hope that you all enjoy the pictures of Halloween. I think that we live in the prettiest place around and there is nothing like an Autumn evening in Cassadaga, NY!!