Ahh… The Christmas Letter

Seasons Greetings! We hope this letter finds you happy and healthy!

I am going to be honest, I have really been putting this annual Christmas letter writing off this year. For one thing, so many things going on with the kids seemed to be constantly up in the air and while waiting for a resolution to report on, it occurred to me that I might be waiting forever! For another thing, most everyone has a good idea of The Idaho McCarthy Family Happenings because I blog about them 3 times per week! 
In memory of my late Grandma Renken, who actually thought the world was ending the one year I decided to skip sending a card, well… here goes…
I will start with me, my life is a whirlwind of consumption. Consumed with kids, consumed with life, but trying so hard to let go of the grammar errors,because, quite frankly, they don’t really matter and that makes me happy!
Shane is working a lot. He is looking forward to taking a week off over the holiday and spending some good quality time with the family!
Josh and Allison made a go at their retail store, “Bonnie’s Boutique”. There was a series of events that made them shut the doors a couple of months ago. I wasn’t as sad as they were, because I missed them living so far away! They moved into the tiny house in our backyard. Josh is working full time and Allison is a full time college student once again. 
Kylie was married in October to Juan Jose Lopez, Jr. (Most call him “Junior”, but we call him “Lopez” because we already have one of those!) They live in the “apartment” above our garage, which I love because they are always so close! Lopez has a baby from a previous relationship that they are fighting for custody of, and he and Kylie are expecting a baby early May. For the record, I think it’s a girl!
Isaac is going to be 15 next month. Hard to believe my little 4 pound preemie is taller than me now… I am really not that short! We are running out of excuses why he can’t get his license until he is 30, but we will see what the future holds in that regard.
Sage just turned 13. She is in the depths of the “tween stage” for sure. A near fatal accident involving one of her besties last year allowed her some very rare “tween insight” when she was able to realize what is important in life. We all did! 
Edward (Junior) is 7 years old, missing some teeth up front, but instead of asking Santa for his 2 front teeth, he told me last night that he really wants a scooter. 
Aliyah just turned 6. She is in full day Kindergarten this year. It was bitter sweet. She asked me the other day when  she could go to the gym with me again. I do miss her while she is at school. For so long, it was just me and Aliyah!
Ahh, the gift of the Christmas letter… It’s definitely hard to appreciate all of the growth in the family, simply because we see them every single day. This letter has allowed me to do just that! 
Merry Christmas to all!
I will print my Christmas letter and tuck it inside these vintage Christmas cards which I bought on EBay and mail them out to all of my friends and family. They will not only receive the gift of a blast from the past, but stay on top of all the current events going on in the family too! 


Thank You For All Your Thoughts & Prayers

The day before yesterday, we had a court hearing. I watched my son in law epically fail at his attempt to fight for his son. What also came to my attention was everything he ever said to us regarding his baby’s mother was, absolutely true. It completely broke my heart.

YES! it’s been exactly 62 days since he has been allowed to see his son. It’s established that she is officially on a mission.YES! She pulled the paternity card,”no he’s not my son’s father, but give me child support anyway” YES! She pulled the “I got a crappy attorney at the very last second card, don’t bother over her hour lateness” or her unprofessional conduct and don’t forget her very own smug smile as she gallantly trotted out of the court room. She apparently doesn’t read my blog and understand what happens to people on high pedestals! Finally, YES! Lopez is a man now, taking admirable steps to make a life for his family.We are so very proud of him.Lopez should not be underestimated,he has his whole family officially behind him as of today, to be exact! oh & Hallmark Channel, how did you know that I needed something a little more? The many stockings are now hanging by the chimney with care!
Did I mention we have another grand baby on the way? Kylie has been feeling movement often, “distracting” her even!, which is cute when Lopez gets annoyed that she isn’t paying any attention to what’s going on around her because she is so focused on baby in the belly! She had her PICC line thankfully removed today after no need for any treatment for a couple of weeks!

We are very hopeful for the next hearing on Dec. 23, Lopez has retained the best family court attorney in the valley, thanks to my parents and their generosity and loving hearts! I also wanted to thank all of the donors on our Gofundme page!  His attorney will be on record in Lopez’s custody suit by Tuesday.

Also, for the record, happiness comes from people that love you, not smug courtroom ugliness. Oh, and speaking from first hand experience, watch out for compromises in the integrity of the pedestal that is so obviously and currently under construction. It really can be a bitch sometimes!

Creating Memories

Thanksgiving is fast approaching and with the anticipation of having the whole family together again, I wanted to make it special without a lot of work or money.

All this week, I will set up a little “ornament station” where, while my family and friends are patiently waiting for Turkey, or they just drop in to say, Happy Holidays, they can create their very own clay ornament! We can bake them when finished, date them with a permanent marker and for years to come, we will always remember the memories of this very special family holiday! 
Project Details:
This is not average kid’s clay, we used Sculpey oven-bake clay. I bought a large variety of colors at a local craft store for about $15. I will have finished ornaments placed on a cookie sheet and will bake them all at once when the cookie sheet is full. (Instructions for baking and working with clay is detailed on the back of the box of clay) After they are baked to perfection and completely cooled, we applied Modge Podge, but really, any clear-drying sealant will work. Make sure you remember to stick a little hook or some cord in it before baking in order to be able to hang it on the tree later! 
*It’s probably been awhile for many of you to recall the basics of Play-Doh use, but just in case, please remember to store the opened, unused clay in a sealed plastic storage bag to prevent it from drying out!
*Another tip: thinner is better for weight is never a good thing on a tree!
I will post pics of our finished ornaments after the Holiday, but we found a whole bunch of inspiration for ideas on Pinterest!
Happy Thanksgiving, readers! I am thankful for you everyday!

A Blood Sucking Vampire For Halloween

Oh my gosh this has been a busy week so far. Between parties and costume needs for all my kids… honestly,I don’t even like Halloween that much!

Kylie had her PICC line placed today. The home health nurse declared her veins officially “drained” after four attempts to place a PIV yesterday. Maybe she should be a vampire for Halloween. The procedure to place it wasn’t that invasive. The only risk was radiation exposure which is low as today marks the milestone of being officially out of the first trimester! 
On top of all that, my oldest 19 year old daughter, Allison is moving back home today. I am so excited to have her home for the holidays and here for the birth of her first  niece or nephew! After a decent year running a retail space for her store, Bonnie’s Boutique, Allison has found it more cost effective to return to online & farmer’s market sales only. Leaving us a bit sad as well as hopeful for the future.
The nursery is coming together as I  finally finished my rehab project!
Dresser to Changing Station:

I upholstered the inside walls with black minky fabric.