"Once our eyes are opened, we cannot pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act." Proverbs 24:12

“There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven’t yet met.”- William Butler Yeats

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A "Let's Celebrate Family" GIVEAWAY!

There is so much we have to be thankful for and the more I think back on 2008 as we close off the year, the more I think it's time that families continue to unite. Family values are so very important, especially to our children and it's something that our society is losing quickly.

In the crazy and frazzled world we live in, where time is crunched and parents are struggling with finances and the economy, kids many times get lost in the shuffle.

My heart believes we need to spend more. Not more money, but more quality time with our kids. It's as easy as doing little things such as eating dinner around the table as a family, having a "family fun night" once a week where you choose a family movie, make popcorn and sit in PJs on the family room floor, maybe camping-out in the backyard, or having a half-hour of reading time as a family where everyone chooses their favorite books and sits and reads to themselves or to each other as a family. You can have a game night playing board games anything from Trivial Pursuit to Candyland or creating yummy and simple snacks that are fun and silly.

I'm sure many of you already do these type of activities. But to make it a bit easier, I thought I would GIVE AWAY something that would help come up with ideas.

So, in celebration of my site hitting 100,000 visits (since I opened it June 10, 2007), of us ringing in a New Year and most importantly, in celebration of families, I am giving away ::drum roll::


In order to enter, all you have to do is leave me a comment sharing an idea of a fun activity you do with your kiddos! Easy as that. You're still waiting for a little one? No problem! Leave a comment about what fun activity you have planned for him or her. Kids grown? Don't worry. You can pass along the magazine as a gift to someone with young 'uns or you can keep it for ideas to do with the grandkids! And of course, this is a great time for my loyal lurkers to come out and say, "Hi!" When the drawing is over, I will then make a future post with all those great ideas to share with everyone else. Sound good?

The drawing will be held on Saturday morning, January 10 and no more comments will be received after midnight on the 9th! So don't put off entering!

I know you'll love the magazine and you have a double the chances of winning since there will be TWO winners!!! (Remember to leave me an email address if you don't have a blog so that I can reach you if you win.)



Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I See What You're Saying!

Before you watch the video below, I think it needs a bit of an explanation. You see, I've had the little button above on my sidebar for weeks now. I came across it when a few of my bloggy friends participated in this carnival a while back. I loved the idea that Linda at A 2nd Cup of Coffee had created. I thought, "Hey! That was so much fun watching! I wanna do it!" But, as always the weeks dwindled down to days and as Christmas approached and the craziness engulfed me, time ran out. Just a couple of days ago I decided I wasn't going to participate because I had nothing clever to do and certainly wasn't in the frame of mind to come up with something.

Fast forward to Christmas evening. Sweet husband said to me after the night was almost over, "I have one more gift for you but I need to assemble it. So I'll do it tomorrow." Again, craziness ensued and I forgot about the gift.

Last night, he came home from work, we had dinner and he said, "Don't come out of the room until I tell you. I'm getting your gift together." I had totally forgotten. Finally, about an hour later, he appears. He takes me by the hand and says, "Stand here." as I positioned myself on the marker (a shoe) he had placed in our living room for me to stand at. I also noticed there were two video cameras in the room. One to record him directly as he was speaking to me, the other to record the entire scene. I felt a bit strange, but then again, living with my husband I should know that nothing is strange. The man amazes me.

To fully understand why he had done this I need to explain just a bit more. Shortly after Thanksgiving, I had seen on a friend's blog how she and her hubby had a tradition of exchanging love letters for Christmas (Thank you, Sara!) Sweet husband and I have been trying to save money so I had brought up to him about only exchanging love letters for Christmas instead of gifts. He agreed. Well, as I was shopping, I realized that I couldn't do that. It didn't feel right. Although I loved the idea of exchanging letters. So, we agreed on giving gifts and the love letter issue was dropped.

Going back to tonight, sweet husband's gift was just that, my Love Letter....on video! I had no idea he was putting this together and of course, he had no idea of the blog carnival since he's really not into the blogging world unless I drag him there. So, after having decided not to participate in I See What You're Saying, my mind was quickly changed and I thought I would share with the world what an amazingly, creative and loving husband I have! Here's my love letter from him. It may be a bit cheesy for some, but to me it reminds me of the millions of reasons why I love this man so! Have fun!

By the way, two things you may not know. My favorite all-time movie is When Harry Met Sally and I always seem to burn Texas Toast. Ugh!


I hope you enjoyed that! I sure did! Thank you, baby!


Monday, December 29, 2008

Makin' Christmas Memories

This was so much fun!

Of course, the traditional Christmas Eve pig roast!

Santa likes "Black & White" cookies with his milk!

There's nothing like having all my babies home together!!!
Seeing this picture makes my heart swell.

All of my treasures, including my beautiful, soon to be daughter-in-law, Gloria.

Definitely A Bouquet of Blessings.

My sister, better known by our little ones as Ayi, started a new tradition, reading Happy Birthday Jesus to them before bedtime on Christmas Eve.

The little ones all listening intently.

Their giggles filled the house!

My big boy and big girl!

Amanda with her buddy and 2nd big brother, Adam.

My stunning older baby girl! Oh, how I love this girl!
(NOTE: Disregard the squooshed nose. I love her smile in this picture!)

Christmas would not be complete without my man, the one who keeps it all together!

Santa has arrived! Now we just wait for the little footsteps to discover the goodies.

"Look, Mama! Santa ate the cookies and drank the milk!"

A wonderful morning filled with love.

Definitely a big hit!

Of course, after all that excitement, Batman had to take a milk break!

I really have to say that this is one of the best Christmas' I've had in a while. I absolutely loved having all my kids home. Everyone got along great, we laughed lots and the air was just filled with everything that Christmas brings, love and joy. Sweet hubby made a delicious breakfast for everyone and the rest of the day was spent just hanging out in pj's just having fun. Sadly, Tito and Gloria had to head back to Miami early since he worked that evening, but I am very happy that he made the trip up, even if it was just for a day.

I have to admit that as I watched the joy and heard the laughter coming from my husband and my six beautiful children, I'd frequently stop myself and quietly whisper, "Thank you, Lord!"

Friday, December 26, 2008

This is it....

Foolin' around with a new little GADGET I got for Christmas!

This is what life is all about. Last year as I was drumming up my New Year's resolutions, I so badly wanted to win the lottery in 2008. As a matter of fact, I truly believed I would. There was no doubt in my mind .

Tonight, December 26, 2008, as I sit here pondering about where I am in my life, it occured to me, I did win! No, I didn't win millions. For that matter, I didn't even win $20. But what I have, no money in the world could ever give me. I have a life that I love, a husband that I cherish and feel at times that God has gone way overboard in blessing me with. I have six children who make my heart beat and I would give the world for. I have a very close family who I could always count on. And of course, I have a Savior who died for me so that I could have eternal life. I HAVE INDEED EVERYTHING I NEED!

P.S. We had an AMAZING Christmas! Check back soon because I'll be posting details with pictures.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Here, finally, is our Christmas card. (You can click on it to enlarge it.)

We had a great weekend seeing my family in Miami. It's been pretty much non-stop and with the exception of one more gift, I'm done with the shopping! Thank you, Lord!!!!! I am often stopping and taking deep breaths when I begin to get overwhelmed with all that is left to do.

I was told today that Scott has to work a full day tomorrow, which stinks because our Cuban celebration is on the 24th, so we'll be late. But, I keep reminding myself of the real reason for the season, and that's helping me get through the craziness of it all. Of course, the tradition continues that our "Noche Buena" celebration will be at my Mom's filled with family and friends and of course, the traditional pig roast, with black beans, rice and yucca! YUMMERS! (HERE are some pics from last year's celebration).

The little ones are beyond excited and so am I. For the first time in 5 years, I will have ALL of my babies together on Christmas morning. No waiting for anyone to come home this year. All of the sweeties that were born in my heart, are right there, in my heart and by my side. My oldest will be coming into town tomorrow with his fiancee. God is good!

I'm off to buy that last gift and will be scurrying back home to start the wrapping and making sure that no one is peeking. Amanda noticed that none of the gifts under the tree have her name on them. ::gasp::

Wishing you all a very merry Christmas. From the depths of my heart my desire is that your Christmas is filled with all the joy and hope that was brought into the world that first Christmas night.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Happy Birthday "Big" Baby Boy!

This is a typical "Adam" moment with his little sister, Amanda.

Today my sweet boy, Adam, turned 24 years old. It's hard to believe that the little guy who was a totally and complete Mama's boy hiding behind me when people approached is 24. Where has time gone?


I am so very proud of the young man that you've become. You are such a hard worker, a man who loves his family, God and his siblings. You make me laugh often with your silly sense of humor, but what I love most about you is your heart.

I thank God everyday for allowing me the honor to raise you and I thank you for being such an amazing son. Happy Birthday, sweetheart!

With all my love (as much as the whole wide world and back again!)....


I'll post pictures of tonight's dinner on Sunday since we are leaving for the weekend to have our early Christmas get together with my Dad and family in Miami. I can't wait!

Everyone have a great weekend!

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Do you remember Steve Martin in the movie The Jerk? Remember when he was running around like a maniac screaming "The new phone book's here! The new phone book's here!"
Well folks, that was me this morning.

I am giddy with excitement! But it isn't phone books that arrived. Our Christmas cards are here! Can you feel the excitement? I'm off to start writing addresses down and joyfully go make that long line at the post office as I kiss each one goodbye. To my dear online bloggy friends, I will post our card on here next week wishing each of you and yours a very Merry Christmas!

With love,

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

About A Star...or two!

Early this morning, Anna Grace, AJ and I headed up north again to take Anna Grace to her last post-op appointment at Shriners Hospital. She got a clean bill of health and was told to return in one year to begin the proceedings for her final (hopefully) surgery on her hand.

She really is a star. Her recovery continues to amaze me. I took her to the park last week and was in awe at how she was scaling the monkey bars using both hands. She still had a couple of stitches that hadn't dissolved completely on the hand where she had surgery. It didn't phase her. We are now beginning massages 2 times a day in the areas where the skin was grafted to help provide elasticity and we're good to go. Truly amazing! Thank you, Jesus!

After a long day at the hospital, we arrived home at about 5 o'clock and after we had some down time we went to do some shopping. On the way home, we decided to drive through the neighborhood so that the kids could see all of the decorated houses. There was street after street lined with house after house glowing with beautiful lights. There were Santa Clauses on their sleighs, reindeer, Frosty The Snowman figures and everything that you could possibly imagine having to do with Christmas.

Sadly, everything but what Christmas really is about. The birth of our Savior. As we listened to the little ones scream out "Look at that one!" with each passing house, my heart felt heavier and heavier. We went up and down rows of streets and not one single house had a nativity set outside. Not one house reflected the real meaning of Christmas. Don't get me wrong. I love everything that comes with Christmas, the carols, the lights, the tree, and of course, jolly old St. Nick, but by driving down the streets you'd never know that it was the birth of the King of Kings that was being celebrated.

For years, I've been wanting a nativity outside our home. Every year as Christmas approaches, we've never been able to have one because we've been too tight financially to splurge on a big nativity set, which ranges in the hundreds. So, this year knowing how important it is to us to teach the kids the real meaning of Christmas, I bought myself a gift. I got this:

Yes, it inflatable. And YES, I LOVE it! It's not elaborate, it's certainly not a Fontanini Nativity Set but it says exactly what I wanted it to say, "Jesus is the reason for the season!" There's rarely a day that goes by that we don't go outside with the little ones and talk about Mary and Joseph not finding a place to stay and how Jesus was born in a manger. Their little minds are filled with questions that sometimes move me to the core. Kai asked me one night, "Mama, Mary sad cause baby Jesus cold. He outside sleep?" My heart wanted to delve into what I could only imagine Mary's feelings must've been when she gave birth to the Christ child, but I simply responded with, "Mary and Joseph made sure that baby Jesus was warm and was all wrapped up." I could see a small sigh of relief coming from him.

We've also taken the opportunity to talk about the star shining brightly and how the the wise men followed the star to find the light of the world, Jesus. They soak up each word I say and impress me at how much they retain when I ask them to tell Daddy about what they learned. Even at their young ages; two, three and four years old, I could see their blossoming love for our Lord and I am forever thankful to God for allowing me the honor and privilege of teaching them about the most important gift they will ever receive. The gift of salvation coming from the baby that was born on that first Christmas Day.

I often think of our Blessed Mother and how she must've cradled that newborn baby in her arms on that first Christmas. I wonder if she knew at that time, that a short 33 years later, she'd be cradling Him again, only this time, after he had willingly suffered and been cruxified for all of humanity. Can you imagine how sad it must make Mary to think that her son is being slowly pushed out of Christmas in today's world?

The majority of my neighbors are not "church-going" people and that's OK, it's never stopped me from telling them about my Lord when the need arises. But God is using that inexpensive, inflatable nativity in my yard in a big way. Last week, a little 5 year old that lives down the street was walking around the block with his Mom. I was outside with the kids. As they are turning the corner in front of our house, the little boy stops and says, "Mom, look that's Mary and Jesus." I stop and said, "Wow! You're right. That is Mary and Jesus." I know through a few conversations with them that they don't go to church and God really isn't a big priority in their lives. The Mom looks at me and smiles. I smile back and she says, "We were riding bike here the other day and D. asked me who those people were. I had to stop and tell them that it was Jesus and his mother and father. He wanted to know more so I may go out and get him a little story about the nativity for Christmas." I smiled and said aloud, "That's great!" My heart was yelling out, "Thank you, Jesus."


Monday, December 15, 2008

It Definitely Was Not Me!

It's been a couple of weeks since I've ridden myself of any guilt, had I done anything wrong, so I figured with Christmas coming soon I'd better get back to it.

It is without a doubt not me that has been running to the mailbox every day to see where the heck my Christmas cards are! It is not me that for the first time ordered her cards early and they have not been delivered after it says they were shipped over a week ago! I refuse to admit that it is I that is obsessed with checking the mailbox several times a day, even after the mailman has gone by, in the hopes that he might have forgotten my prized package. And I know there isn't any way that it could have been me that called the inept company whom I ordered the pictures from all weekend after not having received them in Saturday's mail, only to find out that they are only open Monday-Friday. I would never have tried that same number 4 times Saturday and 3 times Sunday also with the hopes that maybe some lone worker would have decided to go in for some overtime, or even to check to see if he left his coat there and by some chance pick up the phone if he heard it ringing over and over. That would not have been me because I clearly heard the recording saying "I'm sorry. You have reached us when we are closed. Our office hours are Monday through Friday from 8 to 6 eastern standard time." Nope, that would have been ridiculous and a complete waste of time to attempt to call knowing that they were not open.

Update from a very UNHAPPY camper: I spoke to the company who printed our Christmas cards. They were shipped on the 8th. Therefore, we should receive our cards by the 29th? HUH??????!!!!!!!!! So, to my family and friends that have graciously mailed out their cards to us, we are thoroughly enjoying them to the fullest as they slowly begin to fill out the shape of a Christmas tree on our wall.

As for our cards, please be patient, you will no doubt receive them before New Years eve! Maybe you can pretend they say "Hoping You Had a Merry Christmas" instead of just plain 'ol over-used Merry Christmas! GRRRR!!!! (Next year I'm heading to Walgre*ns, for half the price!)

It was not me who went with the family to a Christmas show at a nearby church and gazed at my 3 little ones in awe of how darn cute they were! It certainly was not me that thought over and over how blessed I was to have the cutest kids in the auditorium. And lastly, it was absolutely not me who glowed with pride (although I take no credit) every time we were stopped by someone to tell us how beautiful our children were! I figured as long as I was thinking it and not saying it out loud it wouldn't be bragging, right?

Then we left said Christmas party and went to dinner. As we sat waiting for our food to arrive, it wasn't me who jumped, completely startled, as I was hit in the eye by someone who had blown the wrapping of their straw at me, all while I was singing Happy Birthday, Jesus with Anna Grace. It was not me who completely turned around to see that the culprit of said action was not the children, but indeed sweet husband, who was laughing hysterically as I rubbed my poked eye. Furthermore, to my absolute horror, it was not me that sat pretending I wasn't watching sweet husband show our 4 year old, Kai, how to blow the wrapping from the straw followed by teaching him how to perfect his aim. I did not object knowing that my sweet boy would probably not be able to blow the wrapping only to find out that those cute little lips perfectly blew the wrapping not only across the table, but hit me in the other eye! Needless to say, I was not amused although I admit that I did not unsuccessfully break out in laughter with the two of them as they high-five'd each other.

Speaking of blowing straw wrappings. There is no way that it was me that was at Starbucks, again with the family, having our coffees and smoothies last week when I suddenly bunched up the wrapper of a biscotti into a tight little ball and flicked it across the table at sweet husband. Nope, it wasn't me that totally missed sweet husband and gasped as I saw the tightly-formed little ball fly right into a man's face that was seated at the table before us. Again, it was certainly not me that slid down in my seat and said a quick prayer hoping he wouldn't realize that it was I that had been the cause of the little red spot on his forehead, but to no avail. It was not me who sheepishly looked up and said, "I am so sorry! I was playing around with my husband. I meant to flick it at him. I am so sorry." The man smiled and said, "I thought something hit me." About that time, Amanda and sweet husband had realized what I had done and were laughing so loud, along with the man, that I buried my face into my coffee and slid down in my chair until I was about Kai's height. I would never have done anything like that because that would be totally immature and I teach my children good table manners, always.

And finally, it was not me that totally and completely forgot to change A.J.'s diaper, that he had on since morning, and put him in the car as we went about town Christmas shopping for about 5 hours, only to realize it when I went to put him in his car seat and he was completely soaked. Poor baby! It was not me that then decided that he could not wait until we got home to be changed and decided to strip him in the parking lot, change his diaper and his clothes while laying in the front seat of the Mama mobile with his cute "nakey" bum being shown to all passersby.

For more Not Me Mondays, head over to MckMama's site!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

'Tis the season to be jolly...falalalala...lalalala!"

What's On My Tree Wednesdays

This is a neat, little carnival that was begun by Katie over at This Crazy Life. Since I love Christmas decorations and decorating the tree is a big ordeal at the Bombardier house, I thought I'd join in the fun.

My tree is not a "themed" tree (although I love them!) but it's more of a mix and match of everything I love, which means a lot of "family" ornaments.

You may ask "What is that?" Well, it's not the most attractive ornament, but it holds loads of love. It's actually a hand painted Santa on a cinnamon stick. This ornament was given to me back in 1985 by my son's (Tito who is now 26) preschool teacher. This lady was in her 70's and just amazed me. She was a remarkable teacher, an amazing cook, and was just a total inspiration. She moved from Florida to Arkansas many years ago and I'm sure by now has gone home to the Lord, but she will forever live fondly in my memories.

Since I'm writing about our tree, I thought I'd take the time to give a little tour of the decorations in our living room.

This is our tree (sorry for the lousy picture!). It really is a beautiful tree. I'm thrilled to say that we have gone back to putting up a real tree after 2 years with the fake stuff. I hated it, the kids hated it and Scott finally admitted that there's nothing like that new tree smell! Mmmm.....

This is a unique little gift box that sits under our tree every year. I think I've had it for close to 10 years now. It was a very special gift from my sister and I love it. Click on the picture and you can read the message. When you open the box, there is a mirror glued to the bottom of it, for you to see your reflection in. I love this gift.

This is probably one of my most favorite items I display. It was originally sent to me as
a Christmas card, again by my sister. I loved it so much I framed it and now it always sits on our mantle at Christmas time.

This is a very old nativity set (my first one) that my Mom gave me many years ago. It holds a lot of sentimental value.

My nutcracker collection! I purchase a new one at the end of each holiday season. I now have 13!

My Old Santa collection. The very first one of these that I received was from my precious grandmother many years ago. Since then, I've tried to buy one each year. I love taking them out of the boxes every year. It fills my heart with many wonderful memories I shared with my sweet grandmother, who is now with Jesus.

Of course, Christmas decor would not be complete without Mr. and Mrs. Santa.

The mantle with 9 stockings; six for the kids, one for Mama, one for Daddy, and one for Kiefer (his wasn't hung yet when I took the picture, sorry).

The angel, surrounded by poinsettias, that guards our nativity scene.

This is brand new and I LOVE LOVE LOVE it! My sweet friend, Keisha, shared this idea and I just knew I had to make one. Yes, folks. I made this sign and I'm really proud of myself. Isn't it beautiful? Thank you, Keisha!!!

Words cannot emphasize how much I love this nativity scene. It was (again) a gift from my sister and from the moment I saw it, I knew it would always be in the foyer of our home during Christmas season. I love the detail. Pictures truly don't do it justice.

The nativity with the sign hanging above it.

This is another gift given to us by our Godchild. I love the angels laying hands on the little girl. Whenever I look at it, it reminds me of how God sends his angels down to protect us and how we are His children.

This is at the entrance of the foyer when you walk into the house. The "new sign" hangs above it all.

This gingerbread house was given to me a few years ago also filled with cookies. Now we bake our own cookies with the kids and fill it for guests to enjoy during the holidays.

So, that's it. A peek inside our living room, our Christmas decorations and the very special meaning behind a lot of our goodies. Thanks for letting me share!

Blog Widget by LinkWithin