Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Very Merry Christmas.

A day filled with faith and family and food and fun. A very Merry Christmas indeed.




Twas the Day Before Christmas...

And all through the house,
every fan was blowing,
every window open...because it was 80 DEGREEEs out. Seriously. So not Christmasy.

We all know I love my summer temperatures but I love them in the summer (and spring and fall!). Christmas is supposed to be cold darn it. But love where you live, embrace the moment, be content with what you have...all mantras I adamantly believe in. So...

We wore our tees and tshirt dresses and joined family at Nana's house for Christmas lunch. Some family from Texas was there and we got to see a cousin we have not seen in 7 years! And, embracing FL for all it is - not just the hot Christmas but the abundance of old people and there sports...we played...yep. Christmas Shuffleboard. You're jealous, I know.




I joke but it actually turned out to be a nice afternoon of friendly competition and many laughs. And we followed it with our usual Christmas Eve traditions - candlelit service at church, ordering pizza on the way home, opening pajamas as the one gift, leaving cookies out for Santa. Good stuff.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


A couple of weeks ago I wrote about a new kind of advent calendar we were doing, you can read more here.Photobucket

1)Mailed letters. 2)Ding Dong ditched with real Ding Dongs. 3)Sibling love. 4)Lasagna for an old lady who has no family in my grandma's neighborhood.


5)Gave out 8 bottles of root beet reminding people they are A&Wesome. Coworkers, teachers, friends parents, etc. 6)Saying nice things. 7)Treats for the postman. 8)Last day of a friends chemo deserves a treat!


9)See #5 but with chocolate bars and different people. 10)One of my favs - totally random. Tori picked a first name, Todd a last name, and Tristan a city on white pages and we mailed a Starbucks card to a total stranger. Hope it made her day! 11)oops didn't happen 12)cookies for our favorite mechanic 13)free babysitting for some friends so they could have a date night


14)Flowers, delivered to a neighbor whose husband is deployed. 15)another oops 16)quarters on a soda machine 17)donating books to the library 18)bringing hot chocolate to the Salvation army bell ringer at our local grocery store


19)helping Nana (my grandma) clean her house, its hard for her to do so due to back problems 20)left a gift card for the amount of one of the kids favorite books - Harry Potter of course - on the shelf for the next person who looks at it 21)another miss 22)quarters left at a laundromat 23) no picture but we worked hard to wish everyone we met that day a Merry Christmas! 24)a special treat delivery to the poor overnight workers on Christmas Eve at CVS

This is definitely a new Maddex tradition!!

***Real Christmas/Christmas Eve pictures coming this evening or tomorrow morning!***

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Sunday Snapshots - Foiled Again

Okay so my Sunday Snapshots was foiled again...but by Christmas so it's ok. You'll detect a theme here...


* Christmas Games * Christmas Shuffleboard * Mint Cookies * Christmas dishes * Guard Dog * All Finished * Silent Night * Christmas Snacks * Funny Girl *

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Sunday Snapshots - Delayed

I fell in love this weekend with a dirty city full of chaos and history and small town charm amongst its crazy tall building and jam packed streets. More on that soon. In the meantime my delayed version of Sunday snapshots.


* FL Christmas * 9/11 Memorial * NY Christmas * Subway Stop * Broadway Sign * Babysitting Cutie * Reading Gift * Oops Double * Waldorf Astoria * Empire View * Office Party * Leaving Tampa *

Giving Tree 2011

"We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give." - Winston Churchill

Volunteer Hours: 100+
Gifts Wrapped: 240+
Students Assisted: 120
Wishes Fulfilled: Priceless




Upon delivery we were greeted with a surprise. The school we deliver to had a newspaper reporter and photographer standing by to do a human interest piece. We are not the only school to support Blanton and the woman there running it is nothing short of amazing. The story is mainly about their situation, students and staff but I am the girl in the white shirt in the back in the photo and was quoted. Kind of fun and great publicity for a school that could use all the help they can get!

In tough year, Elf Project reaches more needy students with gifts, St.Pete Times

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sunday Snapshots


* Box Boy * Christmas Musical * Master List * Christmas Party * Show Time * Cookie Baking * Might Mu * PB Cups * Bus Duty * So Funny * UT Night * Liquid Fuel *

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


We are 7 days into December. A mere 17 days until Christmas people. How did that happen?

So the trees, yes treeS, are up. The front porch is wrapped in garland and accented with poinsettias. The snowmen are out. The advents are in full swing.

And honestly I still feel so unprepared this year. There are ZERO gifts wrapped under the tree, various gifts in various stacks around the house, some still in the process of being made. Gifts that need to be shipped are going to be cutting it VERY close this year, ones that need to be ordered even closer! No cookies have been baked. No Christmas clothes have been worn. I really need to get on it. Oh and did I mention that the kids shower is leaking...right through the wall into Tori's closet. Cue plumber!

But in an effort to make myself feel better I am going to ignore all that and make a list of reasons to smile today. My favorite elf says the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear...but I don't sing. I list.
1. Duh - its Christmas. December. Magical.

2. Giving Tree - lots of stress this week but 117 kids wishes fulfilled, totally worth it

3. Coffee with Cinnamon Maple creamer. Amazing.

4. My beautiful new coat, ready to go. NYC Baby. 9 days!!!

5. My awesome kids doing random acts of kindness all month long. And ENJOYING it. More on this later.

6. The silent night (ok so its morning) I am experiencing right now, just me and the puppy sitting in a quiet house twinkling with Christmas lights.

7. Third Day Christmas CD - my favorite!! Though Michale Buble, you now come a close second.

8. Fun stuff coming up quick on the calendar - seeing A Christmas Story live with Taylor, J & T's Christmas party, Tori competing in the Mighty Mu math competition this weekend, NYC, and only working 4 days of the kids 17 day stretch of no school. That's 10 days of cookie baking,Christmas crafting, ice skating, bike riding, gift wrapping, movie watching fun.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sunday Snapshots...

So that blog I love, the Kelle Hampton one, does this thing called Friday Phone Dump, and its ingenious because I don't always have my camera, but I always have my phone. And random pictures are a great way to represent one's time. And random pictures, even on a phone, is a great way to grow as a photographer. Angles, lighting, subject matter, etc...all good. That being said...Sundays are my lazier slow mornings. I get up crazy early because my body has no concept of sleeping in and we don't go to church until 9 so Sunday Snapshots it is...9 photos accompanied by 9 two word captions.


Family * Kayaking * Running Again * Los Mariachis * Rainy Day * Giving Tree * Sewing Again * Red Cups * Front Porch * Furry Baby *

Friday, December 2, 2011

You've been RACK'd!

We used to have this Advent Santa thing. He was made of some kind of felted material that looked worse each year we took him out of the box and had a string hanging from his beard with a mitten which never quite made sense. You tucked the mitten in the appropriate day of the month to countdown and that was it. But he was not exciting, or cute, and so he often went forgotten making him highly ineffective. Last year we had an awesome candle from England - the kids loved lighting it and it was a total success...but the problem with candles when you burn them is that they melt. So it was a one time kind of thing.

So the advent has begun, the craziness of Christmas has begun. And the cookie baking, carol singing, classic movie watching, Christmas tree decorating, Jesus birth celebrating part of me is LOVING it. But the mom who doesn't always get it right, who wants to give her kids everything they want but still not spoil them or make them materialistic...she's in over her head.

So this year advent in our house is an attempt to teach, or maybe reinforce things we've always taught, what Christmas spirit looks like, that God gave a gift of love and kindness and that we are to celebrate Him and His son by doing the same.

Enter 25 days of Random Acts of Christmas Kindness (Thank you Pinterest!)! Whether you celebrate Christmas because you are an American or because you are a Christian celebrating the birth of our Savior I encourage you to join in. Trying to think of 25 things we could do as a family and not spend hundreds of dollars stretched me in amazing ways. Sometimes its the little things that go a long way. So even if you are not counting down this season - join us in our random acts of kindness!


Um...ding dong ditched sounds terrible but its actually cute. A box of Hostess ding dongs delivered to a neighbor, we have neighbors with kids that will love it!!

Thanksgiving 2011

PhotobucketWhile the irony that I love pictures and am not photogenic in the least is not amongst the things I am thankful for this year, I am greatly blessed. I saw a fantastic quote somewhere, author unknown, that reminds me how very very blessed I am.

"Some people are so poor, they only have money."