Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Things I Know for Sure: Christmas Edition!

Awhile back I did a post titled "Things I Know For Sure."
And in the spirit of Christmas I wanted to take a moment and document the things, right now, at this stage of life or at this time of year that I am thankful for.
Mainly... the things I know for sure!

So, here is a small list of the things I know...

I know...

1. That this time of year, specifically the month of December, is my favorite time of year!

2. That just like life, this time of year goes by way too fast.

3. That baking has always calmed my soul... but Christmas baking... takes it to a whole 'nother level.

4. That I would love a radio station to play Christmas music all year long... just for those July summer days when I need a little smile and a pick me up!

5. That every year I go over board on the present buying or budget.

6. That seeing a birthday cake at Christmas and singing "Happy Birthday" to Jesus always makes me smile and helps put this holiday into perspective.

7. That watching my babes open presents gets me just as excited as opening my own!

8. That when just the tree is lit and the rest of the house is dark... that is when I feel most in the Christmas spirit.

9. That "Four Christmas's" is my favorite Christmas movie this year! - Last year it was Elf.

10. That singing "O Holy Night" in a crowd of people at church always gives me goosebumps.

But most importantly, I know that presents, Santa, Christmas carols and cookies are just the mere extra's as to why this holiday is so very important!

This holiday, Christmas, is truly all about Jesus.

And if it wasn't for his birth... these wonderful moments in life would mean nothing.

So here's to this wonderful time of year!
I can't wait for Christmas!!!

Chat later,


Monday, December 19, 2011

Our Newest Addition...

... we are proud to introduce...

~ Gus Dunphy Appleberry ~

He is the newest member to the Appleberry family!
A silver dapple haired dachshund born on August 28th, 2011.

This little guy is just about 4 months old and was in need of a home.

It all started yesterday when we went to see Santa at Northtown Mall!
... and you'd never guess who saw him and fell in love right away...
Yep! It was this guy...

From pretty much first glance... Loren was in love.
He wanted me to come look at him and fall in love with him too!
One of the second or third things out of his mouth was.... "I want him!"
After we left the puppy store to go have lunch before we saw Santa (Santa was on a lunch break so we had to take one too)... Loren kept talking about him.
After we saw Santa, Loren went in for one last look and to his surprise the puppy was gone!
The puppy was over in the corner being looked at by a young girl.
This however did not stop Loren... he walked right over and started watching over the puppy.
He asked "Are guys going to get this puppy?!"
This Dad and his daughter, Heather then went in to their story.

Heather has been watching this puppy since summer... since one of the first days he got there.
She had seen all of the other 4 puppies in his litter get adopted to new homes with in the first couple of weeks.
But for some reason, this puppy... Gus... was still there.
She told her Dad she would for go all of her Christmas presents and even pay for half if she could just have this dog.
Her Dad, said no.

But every time she came back to the mall (she is a 15 year old girl so it sounds like she was there quite a bit over the last couple of months! lol) she would check on this puppy to see if he had been adopted into a good home.
And every time she came back... he was still there.
Moved around from cage to cage... but still there.

After a couple minutes of chatting, her Dad said it was time to go. She started to tear up and said to Loren "You should adopt this puppy!"
"It looks like you have a nice family, with kids for him to play with, and could probably take better care of him than I could anyway."

Loren, probably getting choked up at this point said... "We'll see."
After she left Loren picked up the puppy and held him.
He wanted me to hold him as well but I tried to stay strong and keep my distance. I know how easy it is to fall in love with a puppy and then how hard it is to walk away.
Loren finally put him down and we walked out.
As we were leaving the mall Heather came running back in!
She said if you get this puppy here is my cell number. Please call me, it would make my Christmas!

After we got home the discussion began!
Loren tried talking me into it and I tried rationalizing him out of it.
We talked about finances, our family, our space, Walter, the babes.
Tons of things went into consideration.
We... and by we I mean me... tried to say maybe this isn't the best time.
Heck, we even flipped a quarter! lol
But after every pause in the conversation Loren was still dead set on getting this puppy!
It didn't even matter what I said... Loren had made up his mind... this puppy was ours!

So, at 6:30 last night Loren went back to the puppy store to bring home the newest member of our family...
Mr. Gus Dunphy Appleberry
- His middle name is Dunphy because that is what the ladies at the pet store had been calling him!
He was there for so long he had to have a name they said.
And all though we liked the name Dunphy (the ladies there were big Modern Family lovers and his name comes from the last name of Phil... Phil Dunphy! lol)
we wanted something a little different.

Although we kept Dunphy as his middle we finally landed on Gus.

And here is... finally home...

The babes are loving him and Walter, well Walter is just tolerating him as of now.
I am hoping they will become the best of friends.
As of now though... Walter is doing a great job of training him and letting him know that this was Walter's home first! lol

When Loren went back last night to pick him up...
he asked the lady... "Why do you think he was the only puppy out of his litter that was left for so long?"
And she said...
"Well, that's because his new owner wasn't ready for him till now."

Call it corny, call it a sales ploy...
I have given in to the idea of a new puppy at our house to love and I think that lady was dead on!
We just weren't ready till now.

Leave it to Loren to push me where I don't want to be pushed and have me tackle something I think I am not ready for.
Instead of being the Dad that said "No"...
he was the Dad that said "YES!"

And for that... I love him. :)

*Now please wish us the best of luck as potty training, house training, and just any kind of puppy training is not the easiest thing to do!

And if I don't chat with you soon...
Merry Christmas!
Chat later,


Monday, December 12, 2011

My Favorite Time of The Year!

December is upon us!
Actually we are well into December... I've just been so busy with the business side of Appleberry's Attic and enjoying this time of year that I have forgot to post!

I am pleased to say we had a wonderful time in Butler, Missouri with the Appleberry's for Thanksgiving!
And as usual... the babes LOVED their time with their cousins...

But since we've been back we've been enjoying the Christmas season!
Decorating the house, setting up the tree, wrapping presents...

 Christmas just isn't Christmas with out a big, full, gorgeous tree!
Side note: All four years that I have been setting up a tree with children not one ornament or bulb has ever been broken... till this year!
Yeah you guessed it, my curious, terrible two's, Tuck, broke 2 of them already!
We'll see if we lose anymore before the tree comes down!
*fingers crossed*

And we've even done a little baking....

 Well... I did the baking and Loren did the decorating!
If it was up to me I would just slap some frosting on these gingerbread men and call them good!
I don't have the patience or the time to go into great decorating detail... but my Loren wouldn't have it any other way!
He is a great little artist!

Here we are... Lorn and I... in gingerbread form!
Check out my hair?! lol
And Mr. Appleberry in a bow tie?!
I love it!
 Ohh, and this chubby little guy who's bustin' out of his tight, striped sweater! Haha.
I think he might be my favorite!
The nervous look on his face makes me laugh!

These are definitely all things that make this time of year my absolute favorite!
I am so looking forward to Christmas!

I better get my wrap on... I've got about a million more presents to go!

Hope you all are enjoying this time of year and soaking up all the wonderful things that come with it!
Chat soon,


Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Here I am, putting in a couple of hours at work before we make the big annual drive to Missouri for Thanksgiving!
We do this every year and every year I dread the packing, the long drive, the countless potty stops we will have to make, and the inevitable melt downs that will happen during our 9+ hour drive!
But there is no denying that going home to small town Butler really makes Thanksgiving feel like Thanksgiving!
It is the holiday that we go down to Butler for every year, no exception... unless I'm 8 months pregnant!

And with Thanksgiving being tomorrow you can't help but be reminded of the things you are most thankful for!

... like the worlds best husband...
that loves me, and respects me, and would do anything for me...
... or the cutest kids...
that remind me every day that although being a Mommy is the hardest thing I've ever had to do... it is also THE BEST!
... or a wondeful and big family...
that love you and have your back no matter what!
... inlaws that are so dedicated to my children...
and that make going to Missouri a ton of fun!
...a dog that is beyond sweet...
and gets so excited to see me even when I leave the room for just 5 minutes.
... friends that are loyal and fantastic...
and make hanging out some of the best and most fun times!

 ... and a little dream that became a last name, then became a business...
and is now booming!

There are so many people, places, things, and reasons to be thankful I could do a post every day on something I am thankful for and it would still not be enough!

Most importanly I am thankful and grateful for a loving God who always takes care of me and family, has my future and best interest at heart, who's grace, and blessings, and name is powerful!!!

To Him... I owe all thanks for everything I have.

So, with Thanksgiving tomorrow, what are you most thankful for this holiday season?!

Here's wishing you and your family a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving!

Chat later,


Friday, November 18, 2011

Monster Booby Trap

Our Tuck likes to stay up late!

He is never one to go to bed right away.
There is the usual formalities of rocking, praying, singing "You are my Sunshine" and "Folsom Prison Blues" by Johnny Cash, then a hug and a kiss, and usually some excuse about how he is thirsty or wants to try and go potty or we forgot to give him a hug and a kiss... you know, the usual stall tactics of a two year old!

Well, the other night as Loren and I sat in the living room on the couch... we saw Tuck peek his head out of his room.
He turned his head to the left, then to the right, taking a quick peek around... then he set a toy down outside of his door.
Seconds later he did the same thing....
Peeked his head out of his room... took a quick look around... then placed another toy down right outside of his bedroom door.

At first Loren and I didn't pay too much attention to it, just smiling and laughing to ourselves at how silly he is.
But this setting up of toys continued on several more times.
Then it was followed by more ruckus in his bedroom.
We could here him playing and talking, playing and talking.

After about 15 minutes of these shenanigans we decided it was time to go into his room and let him know it was time for bed.... or at least see what the heck kind of mess he had just made!

After crossing over the line of toys at his door....

.... we were immediately greeted with another obstacle to step over.
His truck was set up with blocks lining the whole front walk way of his room...

When we finally reached Tucker's bed, we asked him... "Bubba, what are all these toys set up for?!"
To which he then replied and started telling us a whole story about monsters and the naughty Halloween guys!
In a nutshell he pretty much said, "If the bad monster guys try to come in my room my dinosaurs will bite them!

The poor boy must have been a little scared or nervous about something he had seen while trick or treating and wanted to make sure his room was protected!
He asked me if he had to take his toys down and put them away and I said no.
I told him even though there are no monsters and Jesus is in his room all night watching over him and protecting him... his toys could stay up all night long and stand guard with Jesus... just in case! 

We tucked him in, gave him one last kiss, and walked out.

About 2 hours later when Loren and I went to bed, we walked into his room to check on him and tuck him in...
We climbed over the ferocious dinosaurs and puppy, and penguins with guns...

.... past the huge semi truck and tons of road blocks....

.... and finally found him all huddled to one side of his bed opposite a tractor, fire truck, car, and barking dog...

All just in case!

We kissed him, covered him up and made our way back through the Monster Booby Trap....
to which all stayed up till morning just to make sure Tuck felt safe and sound.

These are the memories and stories I will love to remember most.
Days when my little boy needed a dinosaur and barking dog to protect him!

Hope you all have had a great week!
Happy Friday!

Chat later, 


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

What We've Been Up To!

Why is it that we neglect the things we love?!
I find myself straying away from this blog whenever I get too busy.
Funny thing is... I love this blog, it's kinda like my baby.
Blogging for me is one of my favorite hobbies.
I love that it helps me document our lives and keep the ones we love in touch.

Well, as I mentioned in an earlier post... we have taken Appleberry's Attic -the store- to Facebook!
You all know the story... I've always had a passion for crafting, we became vendors at not one but two stores, and now we are following the path the Lord has laid out for us and we are taken Appleberry's Attic to the next level - a real, local, home based business!!!

We have already filled 7 orders and have 8 more orders stacked up and waiting to be finished!
I am absolutely tickled at how well this little page is doing since we launched it!
I feel excited, thankful, and blessed!

So, if you haven't checked it out... what the heck are you waitin' for?!

Besides being knee deep in orders and paint we actually still manage to function as a family and enjoy this wonderful Fall season!
This really is some of the best times of year!

A few weeks backs we had a great Halloween.....

Spiderman and Rapunzel got to Trick or Treat with not just one set of Grandparents but all THREE were there to walk the long, cold, tricker treatin' walk!

Grandma Janel & Papa Wayne...
 Grandpa Terry...
 ... and Grandpa Loren and Grandma Debby!
The babes had the best time and got a ton of candy!
It was a great night!

Since that we've just been enjoying November!

Loren went hunting...

... and got a deer!

He was pretty excited!
If you know me, you know I am indifferent and would definitely never post a picture of a dead deer on the blog!
But regardless, Loren was happy and that is all that truly matters.

And here in just about a week we will make our annual drive down to Butler, Missouri for Thanksgiving!

The weather is getting nice and cold and they are talkin' about snow soon... and you know what that means...

I've already been gearing up by listening to Christmas music!
If you want to join me in the Christmas spirit...
I changed the play list on the blog so you could listen to all of my favorite, classic Christmas songs!

Hope you all are having a great November and an even better week!

Chat later,


P.S. You want goosebumps, listen to #17 on the play list... Josh Groban's The First Noel.

Monday, October 31, 2011

The Best Anniversary Weekend... EVER!

Let me just start off by saying... I am in LOVE with the
Gunflint Lodge in Grand Marias, MN!

I feel like I have just come home from a dream... from heaven.

To keep things in perspective... this was mine and Loren's first big trip.
And by big trip I mean, we never went on a honeymoon and have never left our kids for more than one night... kind of big trip!
As parents, most of you know that any extended amount of time away from your children is truly appreciated and in my opinion... truly needed.
So... after being married for five years we thought now was the time to reconnect.
To spend every waking second with each other, laughing, loving, living, and enjoying one another and our surroundings!

But when Loren and I left Thursday afternoon for our Anniversary Weekend, we had no idea just how wonderful our weekend would turn out!

With lots of warm clothes packed and our babes left with family... we hit the road and ventured North... way far North!

...To a wonderful little place called, The Gunflint Lodge...

The Gunflint lodge is a little cabin style resort at the tip top of Minnesota.
It is literally in the middle of no where.
And it is literally... perfect!!!

 Even though we were completely secluded from the world... no TV, no cell phone service... our cabin was so romantic and cozy you didn't even miss those things!
 ... it had just the right amount of "extras" to make you feel like you were living in a dream.
 But besides the gorgeous cabin... the view from our front window is what was truly breath taking!
Oh, and do you see that land mass across the water? ... That's CANADA! - I told you we were at the tip top of Minnesota!
 Right outside our front door was the most gorgeous and relaxing spot to sit and have coffee!
Of course you had to have on a coat, and some mittens, and maybe even a blanket! But the cold didn't bother us a bit, it was sooo worth it!
We spent most of our days relaxed, bundled up, and completely unaware of time.
When you're on a vacation where there is no kids, no work, and no schedule... you find yourself just floating through the day with out a care in the world.
Oh, and a permanent smile stuck to your face!

One of our vacation days went something like this...
We slept in till 10:00, ate breakfast in our cabin, took a quick shower, then hit the outdoors!
Every morning we would take the short walk to the lodge and grab a cup of coffee and a bag of corn to feed the ducks.
From there we would head out to the dock and spend a good chunk of our morning out there, just enjoying the scenery, enjoying life...
 The wildlife up at the Gunflint is just amazing!
Not only did we see dozens and dozens of deer on our way up, but the resort was full of chipmunks, squirrels, birds of all sorts, a couple bald eagles, and my favorite... the ducks!
 These little babies would walk right up to you and eat the corn right out of your hand!
They actually came to know me so well that when we would walk out of our cabin and head towards the lodge... they'd start coming out of the water and walking up shore into the parking lot just to see if I had a snack for them!

Needless to say... I fell in love with these little guys and had a hard time saying good bye.

 But, besides the amazing scenery and wildlife, The Gunflint Lodge offered daily activities for all the guests to join in on!
Like Craft Hour!
One of the days we got to make Birch and Pine cone Magnets!
Loren and I made one for the babes.
We thought they would serve as the cutest little souvenirs!
 We also went on a late night Wolf Howling Hike!
No flash lights, just the pitch black night sky!
Our guide, Jon, took us through the forest and taught us how to howl like the wolves!
It was a little scary, but quite the experience to say the least!

That next day we went back on that very same trail to see what it looked like during the day... and boy was it beautiful!!!
 Being surrounded by nature reminds you just how small you truly are.
Everywhere we looked we were engulfed with God's beautiful creations...
 After three hours of hiking we finally made it to Look Out Point!
Lots of walking and some steep, steep, hills lead us way up to the top of this cliff!
Look at that view!

I think I speak for Loren and I both when I say... we had thee best time!
I can't remember feeling this alive and this refreshed!

Nothing will ever beat starting our mornings together on the dock with a cup of coffee, enjoying the view...
 ... and each other...
Then ending that same day in the same spot....
 ... watching the sun set, together...

From lazy mornings, long soaks in the hot tub, beyond delicious food at the lodge, and the most breath taking and brightest stars...
I can honestly say that was one of the best weekends of my life!

Not only was I away from work and kids and responsibilities... but I was away with the most perfect man!

I am pretty confident that Loren and I will be making many a trips back to our little slice of heaven...
The Gunflint Lodge.

Chat later,


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