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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

I hope you’re spending today surrounded by love. I hope you’re relaxing and enjoying your day. Have a wonderful holiday weekend.

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas blessings

DSCF5458I’ve mentioned before how the last four years have been really tough and it’s all been coming to a head at the end of this year. I’ve been preparing myself for a lot of changes and considering my New Year’s commitment of organizing and minimizing. In the midst of everything going on there are the events and tests surrounding my health, and within my head I’ve been dealing with the fact that there may not be many gifts for my children. Although I know it’s not about the gifts, my three young children haven’t quite got that and they’re all pumped up about Christmas.

I’m going to make a long story short and tell you that God definitely opened a lot of doors this year. My family was chosen to receive a food basket from the church affiliated with my youngest daughter’s school. The ladies in the office at the school got together and gave all of the young children gifts, and when I was putting the gifts in the closet I saw a gift in there for me as well.

And that’s not all.

Amber’s, my oldest daughter’s, college roommate who is one of her best friends was talking to someone (I’m still not clear as to who) and was telling them about my medical issues as well as financial difficulties, etc. To my amazement, a company along with a group of individuals, raised a large sum of money for us and also bought gifts for the children.

There are gifts hidden around the house…

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To hear the news and see the roommate and her family show up at my home to deliver everything has not only renewed my faith in the love and care people have, but has also reaffirmed that my mother’s prayers have been answered. It has taught me a lesson that God is still and always there for me; that my karma, good deeds or whatever you want to call it have been returned to me; and, above all else, that the true meaning, spirit and love of Christmas is alive.

My hope and wish is that everyone feels this measure of love. I realize it doesn’t come from the material goods, but it has come from a place of love that resides within individuals. If we can do just one thing to help someone else this year – whether it is a gift, a kind word, a gesture, etc. – it makes all the difference in the world.

I share this with you not to brag, but to let those who care for us (my blogging buddies, virtual friends and faraway family) know that we are doing just fine. And to relate to others that there is always someone out there that cares. 

God bless you all during this holiday season. … Have a wonderful weekend.

Smooches, hugs & love,

Petula

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Purging toys to prepare for holiday gifts

Every year I’ve cleaned out my children’s toys in preparation for the gifts they’re going to receive. As my daughter Amber, who is now 19, got older she started purging the toys for the children, which involves a giveaway pile and a donate pile. I would prefer they giveaway and donate all of it, but you know that’s not going to happen so I settle for what I can get… or give.

This year I had the children – ages 7, almost 6 and 3 – do it themselves. I explained to them that since they would get new things that it would be best to give some away to children who may not  have  any and throw away the things that are broken,  missing parts, etc. I was pleased at their positive reaction to this and even more pleased that my son was the most generous about what he gave away and thoughtful about what he should keep.

I didn’t think to get before pictures, but here’s a glimpse of where they were before we paused for lunch:

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This is the girls’ toy box after they cleaned it out. It’s still a little too full for my taste.

DSCF5448This is the toy chest in Andre’s room after it was cleaned out. Notice how he still has room, which will be somewhat filled with the toys leftover in the living room. (See below.)

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These are the toys that belong to the girls, which were found in Andre’s room. Think they’ll fit in the box above? I’m gonna make sure they do.

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See that round, blue bin at the top of the picture? That’s the toy bin that is kept in the living room closet. It’s usually reserved for larger toys, but there were all kinds of things in there. To the left are the toys that belong to Andre, to the right are the toys that belong to the girls. And the bags in the middle: blue for giveaway and white for trash.

As we put the last of the toys away, I’m going to see if I can’t get some more into the two bags by having them think about their choices again. Overall, I think they did a good job for their first time and I’m happy to get rid of more clutter. They definitely don’t need anymore toys for Christmas, but… well, you know.

DSCF5450They’re looking pretty tired as they wait for lunch, huh? :-)

Do you have your children throw or give anything away before they receive something else? Leave a comment and tell me how you handle that.

Enjoy your week.

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Fashionable scrubs

I don’t know if you’ve noticed how medical professionals are rocking some fancy and in-style scrubs. The scrubs nowadays come in a variety of styles and made by with comfort and individuality in mind. There are Medcouture Scrubs and Izzy Scrubs that make getting dressed for work something to look forward to.

It’s interesting how things have changed over the years in fashion and those changes have hit every type of clothing. Remember when nurses only wore dresses and scrubs only came in green? Remember the little hats and the stocking with the wedge-heeled nurses shoes? I can’t say that I recall seeing all of that in person, but I have seen old pictures and other media that shows how things were “back in the day.” I’ve seen some that don’t even look like scrubs.

Do you work in the medical field? If so, what is your daily attire like? Do you enjoy getting dressed for work in the morning or dread putting on the same old thing? Spice your wardrobe up some with stylist, up-to-date looks (yup, they have that in scrubs too) and spread a little sunshine to brighten up your day as well as those you take care of.

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Toy Story 3 Action Links get an A+ {product review}

I was supposed to host an in-home party sponsored by Toy Story 3 Action Links™ stunt sets from Mattel about a month or so ago. Unfortunately, I became sick and had to put off some of the things I’d committed to. I must say that putting it off was a little difficult because my children were itching to have their “play date” and bust open the packages of Action Links stunt sets and buddy packs.

DSCF5433 The day before the party, I set up the stunt sets on the table while my children watched. They have seen the movie and I haven’t so they were telling me about it as I worked. Putting together the sets was a piece of cake: simply remove from packaging, follow illustrated instructions by popping the pieces together and play. After each stunt set was ready we had to test it out. With a push of a button (Yup, no batteries! Hooray!) the action began. I was as amazed and as amused as the children.DSCF5434

When the guests arrived the next day we did a little demonstration and showed them how things worked then the play began. The children played with the Action Links for about three hours straight without stopping. Sometimes one or the other paused to get a snack, but for the most part it was excitement, jumping, laughing and re-arranging that kept the party going.

 

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After the friends left (with their own buddy pack – similar to the one at left), my children and their best friend, Aries, played with the links and buddy packs for two straight days. And they haven’t stopped since. The one thing that is true about these Mattel products is that they keep the children occupied by challenging their imagination. They can reenact the movie or come up with their own scenarios. The adults who were present during the play date were in awe as well. … I know I had fun pushing buttons.

 

I think this is an ideal Christmas gift for children ages 5 and up; it’s easy to put together and doesn’t require batteries. The sets are available at major retailers and online at Shop.Mattel.com.

Disclosure: I received Toy Story 3 Action Links™ stunt sets and Buddy Packs from Mattel for the purpose of review and sharing with friends as a member of MomSelect. No other compensation was received and any opinions expressed here are my own. For more information review my complete policy.

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