12/26/2008

Tim in the Holiday Spirit!

I had to post this. I don't care how much it embarrasses him, it's funny!!!! We were decorating the Christmas tree and listening to Christmas music. Tim all of a sudden broke out a jig. Hilarious!! If you know my husband, you know that this is funny he being so quiet and shy most of the time. It's nice to catch him being dorky every now and then.

Christmas Eve and Day

On Christmas Eve, we open gifts from our family far away. Tim's dad has his birthday on Christmas Eve so his family always has a large dinner that night instead of getting together on Christmas Day. So, after we eat our dinner here in Ohio, the kids open their gifts and then we call Grama and Grampa in New York to talk to everyone and tell them Thank You and Merry Christmas. Tim excited about his over the camp fire grill!! We are a camping loving family!!

Matthew loved his new car from Uncle Chris and Aunt Melissa that climbs walls and ceilings!! It leaves no marks on the walls!!


Nathan loves airplanes and helicopters so this was the perfect gift. Of course, it probably wasn't very intelligent to set it off in the house and crash into my newly painted walls, but that's okay. It was Christmas Eve and a little blind-eye was okay. Notice the dog in the background. It was Shelby's first Christmas with us and she didn't quite know what to think. She was funny.

Kaitlyn, ever the doodle-bug. She loves to draw, paint, color, and put stickers on everything. She LOVED this gift. We think she may be allergic to the paint though. She broke out with a horrid rash on her face. She hadn't washed her hands after water painting and since she's a thumb sucker (one of these days she'll break the habit, I just know it) she of course touched her face. We were a little scared at first because no one in our home has allergies, so we don't have a ready supply of Benadryl in the cabinet. She's fine though and will just remember to wash her hands afterwards. So, these are some of the gifts the kids opened up on Christmas Eve.

I have to tell you, that Christmas Eve is the only time we can get the kids into bed by 8pm without any hassle. They run upstairs to their beds right on time every year. Kaity is 6 this year so she's at the fun and excited age of Christmas. She got up at 4am, went downstairs and screamed because Santa had come. She ran into our room yelling santa came and there's rows and rows of presents (exageration on her part). Being the mean mom that I am, I made her go back to bed and wait until a more decent hour. I was smiling the whole time of course!!!
This was a bittersweet year for us. With Nathan being 11yrs old we knew it was just a matter of time until the secret was discovered. Wouldn't you know, that instead of finding out in school from his friends, daddy had to make a slip at the dinner table. It went something like this.......Nate can just wear the Michigan stuff that we got (OOPS, Santa got) him for the trip tomorrow. Nathan looked at us and said "I heard that!" We told him that we'd talk later. Thankfully, the other 2 didn't catch it and we know that Nate won't say anything to them.
So, that was our Christmas. I hope each one of you had a blessed christmas day full of fun and happiness.


The kids just before opening their gifts from our New York family on Christmas Eve.
Now, the day after Christmas, things are beginning to get back to normal. We only have 3 exchanges to make this year...YEAH!!! The kids are enjoying playing their video games (Kaitlyn has already beaten her My Little Pony Game) and board games (Matthew loves Apples to Apples, an awesome family game) and daddy is enjoying the Guitar Hero a little too much. In the last 36 hours, I think he's played that thing for 24 of them. No wonder he has the high score.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

12/24/2008

Merry Christmas!!


I wasn't going to blog until after the holidays, but Santa and Mrs. Claus visited our home tonight and took a picture with the kids in front of their fire truck. The kids were so excited that they stopped and handed out candy canes and then to top it off, took a picture with them. So, here's a picture of our 3 very excited kids with the most popular man and woman of the hour. Merry Christmas to you all and I hope you have a Blessed Year.

12/23/2008

Sugar Cookies

Okay, so I've been looking for a really good sugar cookie recipe for years! I'd tried recipe books, getting online, and couldn't find the ones like "Grandma" used to make until..............last semester. Nurses like to eat so we have potlucks. Last Christmas, I had an instructor that brought in such good sugar cookies that we swore she had to have bought them from a local bakery. They were soft, tasty and made your taste buds go wild!! So, yesterday, the kids and made the cookies from the recipe that she gave me and OH MY GOSH they are awesome!!!! Better than any sugar cookie I've ever tasted and to top it off, I finally found a sugar cookie frosting recipe that after fiddling with it I LOVE!!! My husband came home from work and was addicted to them. So, I've decided to share the recipes with the rest of you. I apologize for not having any pictures, but I need to charge the batteries.

Sugar Cookies:

1 1/4 cup sugar
2 sticks of butter, softened
cream together
Add 2 eggs
1 cup of buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
3 3/4 cup of flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

Mix all of the ingredients together. Chill the dough for several hours. Bake at 350 for 8-10 mins. Then roll and shape. This recipe can easily be doubled, tripled and freezes very well!!! Makes 4-5 dozen cookies.

Frosting:

I always make a lot of frosting, but you can definitely half the recipe.

2/3 cup Crisco or softened butter
2lb confectioners sugar
About 1/4 cup milk (may need more depending on how moist you like your frosting)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
Food coloring

12/15/2008

I apologize!
















Sorry, I realize that many of you probably are thinking that we've disappeared, however, I assure you we have not. It's the busiest time of year for us I kid you not. Between my final exams, Tim's work, the boys' cub scout parties, Kaity's girl scout party and all three of their school parties, not to mention the Christmas shopping that I have barely started, it's busy. Finally, I have a brief moment, in between loads of laundry, to begin catching everyone up. So, I think I will begin with Tim's remodeling of the house. Since last on, he has finished the hallway and started and finished the computer room, which used to be my grandparent's TV room. I think it turned out beautiful, however, a little worried what mom might think of the color. We haven't done any decorating yet since we aren't sure what point mom and dad are on getting out here. So, here are some pictures, I hope you enjoy Tim's beautiful craftmanship. I forgot to open the curtains on the pictures and it's a very gloomy day out so I apologize for how dark it is. The hallway is a tan color, the living room is greenish, and the computer/piano room is cranberry. The colors blend perfectly with the oak trimming. Please ignore the folded laundry on the chair......at least it's clean I guess. Also, the chair with the laundry is not usually there. The Christmas tree took its place this year.

11/30/2008

We're Home!

Well, we have made it back home. We had a wonderful time visiting family in New York for the Thanksgiving Holiday. Tim shot his first buck this weekend (sorry if that offends any of you, but I promise, it's the meat that gets us through the winter). As soon as I have time and I can download pictures of our visit I will. There were 19 people surrounding Tim's mom and dad's dinner table. AND there were a couple missing who usually are there. Tim's parents have 9 grandkids from 4 kids. It was a wonderfully boisterous Thanksgiving. It was an "eatting fest" from Wednesday to Saturday. The kids loved hanging out with their cousins. We almost made it out the door without anyone crying, but needless to say, there were definitely tears last night when we left. That's it for now. I need to get the clothes clean and last minute school work done. I had every intention on studying out there, but there was too much fun going on.

11/25/2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone of you have a blessed Thanksgiving. I know it's a couple of days early , but we're leaving today to my husband's family in New York and there is no internet access there. God Bless you all and have a safe and happy holiday! Ellie -- be careful over those mountains!!!!! We love you all! The Ackleys

11/11/2008

Veteran's Day

On this day we remember those who have served and those that are serving. On this Veteran's Day I'd like to say a prayer for all those serving and protecting us right now. You are not forgotten and we are grateful. Without the military, we would not be the country that we are today. We could not put our little sleepy-heads to bed at night knowing that they are safe if you were not defending our freedom and safety. With God's guidance, you have made us a strong Nation.

God Bless those who have served and are MIA or POW. We pray for you and we thank you.
My grandfather, who passed away in January was a purple heart recipient from World War II. He proudly served this country. My dad served for 20yrs and had tours in Vietnam. My mom served for 23yrs. My father-in-law and my Uncles were in the Navy. My brothers both proudly served their country, one Air Force and the other in the National Gaurd. My husband proudly served in the Army. Now, my nephew will be leaving for the Navy in less than 2 wks to serve his country with God's guidance. Without these people and others like them, we would not be what we are today. I thank each one of you.





Please remember our soldiers who are so proudly and confidently serving us today. We owe them a thank you. If you see a soldier, past or present, shake their hand and tell them what their sacrifice means to you.

11/09/2008

Is this For Real???


I honestly don't understand!!!! How is it that just a month ago we were paying $3.989 per gallon and now we're at $1.79? Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining, I'm in utter shock and amazement! I'm not getting used to it though. I'm sure it won't last forever, but it's awesome while it lasts. What's everyone else paying?

What a Day

My kids are very attached to both sets of grandparents. We've been so blessed to have had my dad out here for awhile to visit. I think he really missed his trains though. That is his new career, I'd call it a hobby, but he's even working at the train store for free and discounted train supplies. He has a new showing coming up on the 14th. A BIG layout display that he's in charge of. Anyways, the kids were so upset that he was leaving. They followed him to the end of the driveway and watched until his truck was out of sight. Anyways, last night my daughter says "now I can't argue with him over who is the ugliest." So she pauses for a moment and says "hey, I can call him every day and tell him how ugly he is." I don't know why but she gets a big kick out of being called ugly by her grandpa. It's been going on for weeks. As soon as she walks through the door after school she says, my mom told me you're the ugliest!!! What did I ever do to get caught up in the middle of it. So, yesterday he left to head back to Colorado and the kids were upset. Kaity the most I think. She sat in the house crying and then moped around all morning. Have a safe trip home dad!

11/04/2008

Let Your Voice be Heard!!! VOTE!!!

Today is a very important day in the United States. Voting Day! Many people will not vote today because they believe their vote doesn't count. In my opinion, every vote counts! This election is going to be VERY close and it's going to take every vote. Whether you are one party or the other, your vote is needed today. In the past I have taken my kids with me to vote to show them how important it is and what the process is all about. My boys love it. Today I didn't want to take any chances and went immediately to vote after dropping my kids off at school. I grabbed stickers for them though so they will be happy. Anyways, to all of you who don't vote today, you have lost your right to complain. If you don't like the way things go with the election or what happens after the election, too bad! You didn't use your voice on a ballot, so where do you get the right to complain afterwards.
I realize that this is somewhat mean, however, it urks me every election that people don't get out and vote, but then complain afterwards because things aren't going the way they want. So, all I have to say is VOTE!!! Your ballot matters more in this election than ever before! Be proud to be an American and use your freedom of choice and VOTE!!!

11/01/2008

Halloween

A few of Tim's pumpkins. We forgot to do the mini carve out pumpkins to light up our steps. This year was just out of the ordinary for us. It seemed like we didn't have time for anything.


Matthew, the dead Jack Sparrow



Nathan, The Grim Reaper




Kaity, the Bubbly Clown


Our trick or treating was on Thursday this year (Nate's birthday). We couldn't have it on Friday because our football team made it to playoffs and the first game was on Friday, Halloween night (which they won). Anyways, here are some pictures of our Halloween. Tim once again designed some awesome pumpkins. Last years were in the local newspaper. The kids trick or treated from 6-730 and had a blast. We started off on our road and went to all of the neighbors homes, then we walked up-town where the pizza place was giving away slices of pizza, the legion was giving away hot dogs and pop, Morenos was giving out peach and apple cider, and the fire/ems were giving out regular sized candy bars, hot chocolate, punch, popcorn and cookies. Needless to say, the kids made bank. I love being in such a small community where you're related to half the town and the other half you know because your kids go to school with their kids.

I'm such a bad mom!!!

Here he is, our green-eyed monster! I feel so bad that I didn't get this posted on his birthday. The end of the week was so crazy. Between halloween treats for school, clinical at Blanchard Valley, SNA meeting, and trick or treating (we had ours on Thursday night) I lost track of time and wasn't able to get this posted.
So, here he is! This is Nathan. Our "Bill Nye the Science Guy" You can ask just about anything related to science, math, and social studies and I bet he has the answer. I think now that he's 11 and in the 5th grade, we will fill out the paper work for Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader. He wants to try out for it and I think he has a pretty good chance. Nathan picked up playing the trombone this year and absolutely LOVES IT!!! He has changed so much in just a year. Last year, he was constantly in trouble for talking and not turning in his homework on time.......he was bored, but this year, he's finally buckling down and gaining more responsiblity and maturity. His school watches a Growth and Puberty video in 5th grade (Tim and I watched it together to make sure that it wasn't anything that we don't approve of and also to prepare for any questions that might arise afterwards). Anyways, I told my husband he couldn't watch, he was too young, then, I realized that he is going to be twelve next year and some of his friends have already begun going through the change. Tell me it's not possible!!! He can't be that age. He's still supposed to be my baby! Anyways, we're very proud of him and pray for nothing but the best for his future!









10/28/2008

Happy Birthday to our Brown Eyed Girl!!

Happy Birthday to our little girl! She is 6 years old today. I can't believe she's already in kindergarten and making her own choices. We couldn't be more proud of her. She's such a blessing. Every day she greets us with a smile that lights up her eyes. She's definitely her daddy's little girl and smothered with love. Kaitlyn begins cheerleading in December and already plays soccer. She loves Hannah Montana (what little girl doesn't) and painting her fingernails. She's eager to begin reading and points out the words she knows when her dad, brothers or I read to her.









10/25/2008

Happy Birthday!

Here he is, the birthday boy today. He's grown so big and so handsome. He had his well check last week and I couldn't believe how big he's gotten. Not much longer and he'll be passing up his big brother. Poor Nathan! Happy Birthday Matthew! We love you.





Happy 9th Birthday!

Happy Birthday to Matthew. He turns 9 years old today. He's been an awesome kid to have around and such a wonderful blessing. He always has a smile on his face and a song in his heart. Since he could talk he was singing on the pot and humming while he ate. His bright blue eyes light up our everyday.
Most of the following pictures are from our still camera. The digital camera is still new to us. Anyways, enjoy! They are listed backwards and in two separate postings.














10/20/2008

Work in Progress!




Here are some updated pictures of the entryway. So far, the ceiling is in and the plaster/patching is complete. Now, we wait for the plaster to completely dry and then begin the smoothing process (a very dusty job).

Here is an answer!

I posted a question to some people about Obama and McCain. I've not been able to find a lot of bipartisan truthful information in my area and requested some info. Here's what I received from one person. I'd say he's very astute. I have a response from someone else that I will post later. Her information was from that of a Christian which I found to be very enlightening. Anyways, here is the first response.

He’s (Obama) going to play Robin Hood with our country and that’s just not right. You’ll notice his plans help those that are “struggling” and hurt the rest of us. This country was founded on principals that include fairness to all, not just the people that you van to every poll in the state and pay for their votes in cigarettes and beer. Our government owes us defense of our homeland, just laws, and a fair system of enforcing them. That’s what the three branches cover. Anything beyond that is socialism and has no place within our borders. Though I don’t agree with the tax credit that McCain is pushing, at least it’s distributed fairly. All taxpayers receive it, not just those that “can’t afford” health care. Obama is the socialist wolf in the centrist sheep’s clothing and it doesn’t take much brain power to realize that. I think people at the polls should be forced to read the constitution and a few quotes from our founding fathers before being allowed to vote. Maybe a couple of these:

“… a wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring on another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.” -- Thomas Jefferson

He’s a BIG spender, Chicago politician. But according to him and his VP it’s the patriotic thing to do.

“Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.” – Abraham Lincoln

Obama is one of the furthest left on banning guns, except for guns toted by his “civilian force.”
“He that lives upon hope will die fasting.” -- Benjamin Franklin

“But.. but.. but… that’s my whole um, campaign’s um, basis!” -- Barack Hussein Obama (not on the record J)

“I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.” -- Thomas Jefferson

Obama obviously doesn’t believe this, he’s definitely not “like the other presidents on the dollar bills.”

“To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.” -- George Washington

Obama plans to dismantle our nuclear deterrent and our ballistic missile defense at the same time. Good plan ("sarcasm").

Anyway, I don’t think abortion is the big show stopper here. The liberal justices have already decided that R v. W made abortion legal in all cases and any state that tries to restrict it gets their rights to do so trampled by the gang of 9. The president really doesn’t get a say in it unless the congress decides to actually do their job and write a bill regulating it or relegating it to the states, where it should be.


Here are two starting points for broader information on Obama:

http://www.ibdeditorials.com/IBDArticles.aspx?id=309049794517352

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122425690170244659.html

McCain for some odd reason doesn’t like to call the rat a rat. I will. I’m not completely behind McCain on every issue but he has a much greater grasp on what the federal government’s job is. Not to define marriage, not to enable abortionists, but also not to provide welfare, especially by redistributing the wealth of others. I could go on all night; there are literally hundreds of reasons NOT to vote for Barack. He’s hiding his true self behind the fa├žade of “the first black president” and the “even LESS like Bush” platform. You seriously can’t trust this person.

I apologize if any of this offends anyone, however, I believe it very important to be well educated and informed before deciding on something that will affect the rest of our lives and those of our children. In the question that I emailed to some people, I asked for information regarding both candidates in order to help me make an informed vote. Last semester, I took a Composition class and we were required to translate George Washington's Farewell Address to this country. It layed out his plans and ideals for us. You should all take a look at it. It's amazing to see that the things he warned us about are the things that have been ignored and the result has been what he dreaded it would be.

10/18/2008

My Husband the Craftsman

My husband has begun another project in on the house. He has so far completed the bathroom upstairs, the boys' room, Kaity's room and the TV room. He does such awesome work and it looks so beautiful when it's completed. Just a little historyy, the home we are living in has been in my mom's family for many years. My great grandma lived in this home and then when my mom was a first grader, her family moved here. Then, in 2006 my family moved here. It's a home full of so many memories and a home that needs work. So here are some pictures of before Tim started tearing down the ceiling and smoothing out the walls. The walls are made of solid plaster and so our plan is to try to restore it.
The following are pictures taken after Tim tore down the ceiling. He will be replacing it with 3/8" drywall. No plaster on the ceiling. It was so messy when he was done so I waited until he was cleaning. Oh, I guess I failed to mention that this is the front entryway of the home.


Stay tuned for updates as Tim turns this into a beautifully restored entryway.

10/14/2008

I Got Tagged!

Okay, I got tagged by Ellie, so here goes. You are supposed to open the sixth file of pictures and select the sixth picture in that file. This is mine. In February, I flew out to California to be with my dad's side of the family as we said good-bye to my grandpa. It was an unexpected passing. We were all sad, yet, over joyed that he would once again be with my grandma. This is a picture of their headstone. My grandpa's date of passing hadn't been added to it yet. Well, that was a bit sad so I decided to also paste the picture next to it, my fifth picture. This is a picture of 3 of the very few most important male influences in my life. My brothers and my dad. Aren't they handsome?

OH yeah, I tag the seward family and the knight family. I'd tag Mandee, but Ellie already did.

Nathan's Last!



I made sure to put a picture of all three so I wouldn't be accused of favortism! Anyways, this is Nathan's last year as a Cub Scout. He will be crossing the bridge to Boy Scouts in February. He's getting so big and we are so proud of him. He's not big on sports, but he's big on science and math. His teacher had to move him to a group of his own because he kept answering all the questions in Science Jeopardy (Okay, enough bragging, it's ugly I know). Anyways, last night his Den was invited to a Boy Scout meeting to get a feel of what it will be like next year. He LOVED it!!! He's so excited to go camping in the winter and to go to a week of camp next year. I can't believe he's going to be 11 yrs old in less than 2wks. It doesn't seem possible. He leaves us tomorrow for 3 days of Outdoor Education at Nature's Classroom. I'm sending a disposable camera with him so I can post when he gets back. He's so excited and I'm so paranoid thinking of everything that could happen to him, after all, he's broken his arm 2 times now.