Christmas Is Coming!

Before you know it Christmas will be upon us and our bank accounts will be empty but it is worth it to see our children smile on Christmas morning.

It seems the older my children get the more expensive their gifts are and the smaller the pile under the tree becomes. We are less than two weeks away from Christmas day and I have already spent a few hundred dollars and I don’t have much to show for it. A phone, a tablet, some clothing,…that is about it. I do not even have my tree up yet. A few years ago my tree would we up and I would have a closet full of gifts.

Financially I just cannot do it anymore so I try to just get things that the kids want more than what I want them to have. Even though this year will be tight I still look forward to the one morning of the year that the kids are excited about.

We wake up a little later than usual, start a pot of coffee and take a couple packages of deer meat out to thaw. The kids open their stockings and check out their stash of candy and small un-wrappable gifts while I put away my first much needed cup of coffee.

About an hour after we all get up we sit around the tree and I play Santa,..handing a gift out to each child and James,…we all take turns watching each other open the gift. About half way through the tree we stop and while the kids open the packages I get the venison cut up and start cooking it along with eggs and toast. We sit down and eat our brunch.

After we eat we go back to the tree and finish handing out and opening the gifts. Our process takes about two hours.

Once our tree is completely bare we grab our piles; usually takes a couple trips and start to put away our gifts, then we get dressed. Once this is done the kids and James go to their other Christmas’s while I stay behind and clean up the boxes and wrapping paper and start cooking our holiday dinner.

Since I am alone once everyone leaves I prefer to stay in my pajamas and slippers, leave the television on with whatever Christmas show that is playing in the background.

Sound’s lonely to most people but I enjoy the peace and quiet. I love the smell of the food cooking whether it is the traditional Ham or MY traditional meal of lasagna, salad and garlic bread.

My family all returns about 1 PM and we sit down in front of the television to watch more Christmas shows, talk about our favorite part of the day and gorge ourselves on dinner and pie. Usually we have tired ourselves out so much that we are off to bed by no later than 8 PM.

So even though we may not be able to afford everything we want to get for the kids and each other we are very happy with the day that we have had. It isn’t about what we receive anyway, its about spending time together and taking a day to focus on our family. A day with no interruptions and no arguing. A day of peace 🙂

What does your Christmas day look like? What tradition do you have? What do you eat? What is the most important part of the day for you?

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Thought of the Day

It is almost the end of November of 2014, another year has gone by although it seems like it was just New Year’s Eve yesterday. The snow is here to stay now, we had about 3 inches the other day until it poured and wiped out every last flake of the gloriously beautiful snow and we were back to the ugly brown grass that usually symbolizes the upcoming spring.

Over the Thanksgiving holiday the North East Kingdom was dumped on and when looking out the window you see a covering of about a foot of the powdery whiteness. The snow is still falling and it causes a feeling of restlessness in some but for me it makes me feel cozy and content, like I am in a safe place wrapped in the warmth of an electric blanket. The snow acts like insulation; keeping in the warmth that seeps out from under the trailer and becomes an invisible barrier that blocks out the noise of the traffic passing by on route 14 less than 100 feet from my home, adding to the comforting feeling of safety and isolation that most others dread but that I look forward to this time of year.

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The trees are covered with the silkiness of the snow and although it is a wet heavy snow it isn’t yet weighing them down. They still stand tall, strong and proud, their branches still outstretched like they are reaching out to support others around them. They are yet to be defeated! I feel like the trees today, but I know that come mid-February I will feel like the trees will look at that time in the season; bent from the weight of the snow, the weight of the world on my shoulders, frozen in time and sparking from the sun that doesn’t warm the earth.

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But for today and the next few days I want to enjoy the feeling of strength and happiness. I want to allow myself to believe that I can feel this way in a couple months. I do not want to allow life to take me down anymore, no matter what may happen to me, my family or my friends over the winter season I want to come out on top. No,. I AM going to come out on top! I am going to stand tall, strong and proud always; like the trees surrounding my home.

Thanksgiving Of 2014

Every year when Thanksgiving rolls around I become excited to cook for my family and any friends we have invited to share our day with us. Cooking for people is my second favorite pass-time/hobby because I LOVE making people happy and full.

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This year we are doing the basics, turkey, potatoes, cranberry sauce, stuffing, squash, cheese, pickles & olives, rolls, veggies, banana bread, cherry pie, apple pie and our favorite Chocolate Banana Cream pie layered with bananas and topped with Andes Mint chips in an Oreo graham cracker crust. YUM!

Arianna is going to help me make the pies and has invited her best friend Kassidy and Kassidy’s sister Nat over to help us. This is the first year she has been interested in helping so I am taking full advantage of the chance to teach her.

I do have to say that this time of year can be super stressful, I worry about everything. Is the house clean while I am making a mess trying to cook the food? Is everyone going to be on time? Did I cook everything? Am I forgetting anything?

Do you go through this too?

I have to force myself to take a breath and relax. I want everything to be perfect.

I am telling you this because I think it is important for me and you to make a list, either mentally or on paper if need be; of what your thankful for and what the real meaning of Thanksgiving is.

Meaning of Thanksgiving – The Real Celebration
For many of us, the meaning of Thanksgiving usually includes feasting, four-day weekends, football games, floats, family reunions, or a forerunner to Christmas festivities. The “first Thanksgiving,” however, was neither a feast nor a holiday, but a simple gathering. Following the Mayflower’s arrival at Plymouth Rock on December 11, 1620, the Pilgrims suffered the lost of 46 of their original 102 colonists. With the help of 91 Indians, the remaining Pilgrims survived the bitter winter and yielded a bountiful harvest in 1621. In celebration, a traditional English harvest festival, lasting three days brought the Pilgrims and natives to unite in a “thanksgiving” observance.

This “thanksgiving” meal would not be celebrated again until June of 1676. On June 29 the community of Charlestown, Massachusetts proclaimed a day of thanksgiving for their good fortune. Ironically, this celebration excluded the Indians, as the colonists’ recognized their recent victory over the “heathen natives.” One hundred years later, in October of 1777, all 13 colonies participated in a one-time “thanksgiving” celebration which commemorated the patriotic victory over the British at Saratoga. It would take a span of over 150 more years to establish Thanksgiving as we celebrate it — George Washington proclaimed it a National holiday in 1789, Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday in November in 1863, and Congress sanctioned it as a legal holiday in 1941.

Meaning of Thanksgiving – Expressions of Gratitude
The meaning of Thanksgiving has undergone numerous transitions — an expression of gratitude for survival, a council’s recognition of its flourishing community, submission of the local natives, the defeat over the British, resulting in a collection of our nation’s traditions and values. Over the centuries, families added their customs to the Thanksgiving celebration, preserving that which they held most precious.

  • To gather in unity – It is refreshing and invigorating when people come together, in celebration of a common purpose. It is a reconciliation of differences as well as a time of healing. In sharing our victories as well as our struggles, we find strength and hope.
  • To teach the young – In stories retold, each generation brings purpose and significance to the richness of their heritage. Faded pictures, sentimental knick-knacks, even the prayer of Thanksgiving before the meal all form a Thanksgiving family legacy.
  • To prepare the heart – In gratitude, we humbly reflect upon all the gifts (family, friends, health) that saturate our lives. By “giving-thanks” we choose to extend ourselves and give to others less fortunate. Out of the abundance of our hearts, we are able to offer our resources to help others.

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Meaning of Thanksgiving – Praise to God
In the Bible, the meaning of thanksgiving reflected adoration, sacrifice, praise, or an offering. Thanksgiving was a grateful language to God as an act of worship. Rarely, if ever, was thanksgiving extended to any person or thing, except God. “These things I remember as I pour out my soul; how I used to go with the multitude, leading the procession to the house of God, with shouts of joy and thanksgiving among the festive throng” (Psalm 42:4). Long before the colonists celebrated their successes, Nehemiah assembled two great choirs to give thanks for God’s faithfulness in rebuilding the wall. “ . . . The Levites were sought out from where they lived and were brought to Jerusalem to celebrate joyfully and dedication with songs of thanksgiving and with the music of cymbals, harps, and lyres” (Nehemiah 12:27).

The true meaning of Thanksgiving focuses upon relationship. Thanksgiving is a relationship between God and man. Upon their arrival at New Plymouth, the Pilgrims composed The Mayflower Compact, which honored God. Thanksgiving begins with acknowledging God as faithful, earnestly giving Him thanks, in advance, for His abundant blessings. “. . . In everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6). Thanksgiving is an attitude of the heart that reinforces an intimate relationship with God.

ELF Delivery: Winter Clothes 4 KIDS! Winter is Upon Us Time To Pitch In Again!!

ELF Delivery: Winter Clothes 4 KIDS!

Last year on December 4th 2013, my daughter and I wanted to raise money for the school for children and families that have limited funds. Many families are barely able to heat their homes this time of year and although winter clothing isn’t as expensive as heat, having help purchasing these items can be a God send to many families. Unfortunately we started this campaign a little too late last year and we only raised $10.00,..this was only able to help one child get a hat and pair of gloves.

I spoke with Arianna, who is now 11; and she decided she wanted to give this a go again this year. So here we are updating this post, re-blogging it and sharing it in hopes that people are willing to reach out and help others. This is the time of year to give and be selfless. So we would really appreciate it if everyone could at the very least take a moment and hit share on this post. If your able to donate then please do so by following the directions below.
We were talking and if its possible to raise enough we would be willing to help children in the schools in the towns surrounding ours.
Every dollar counts! Every donation, whether actual items needed or monetary donations are appreciated and will go towards helping a child or family who otherwise could not afford these items.

**Remember hat’s, glove’s, ski pants & boots are not a luxury item,..we live in Vermont and these items are necessities.

Thank you very much for taking the time to reach out and help!

I can be contacted through this campaign and by email @ margodjohnson@gmail.com (Subject: Winter Clothes)

I really hope that we are able to raise enough money to help others, this is something that is important to me but even more important to my beautiful daughter, Arianna 🙂

Please feel free to call or email me with any questions and concerns you may have.
To read more or to make a donation please visit our page @ ELF Delivery: Winter Clothes 4 KIDS!

***Also for those that would rather donate the actual items instead of cash you can mail/ship the items to:

ELF Delivery: Winter Clothes 4 Children!
c/o Margo Johnson
42 Carey Road
Hardwick, Vt 05843
(802) 473-2521
Please if you send clothing donations make sure they are in excellent to brand new condition and all sizes are welcome!
(If this is a success I will not ever pull down this campaign and every year at this time we will be able to help children and families that need it.)
**ALSO READ ORIGINAL POST FOR OTHER PLACES TO DONATE AND RECEIVE HELP!!**

Stay at Home Mom Tells All

ELF Delivery: Winter Clothes 4 KIDS!

Living in a small town has its downfalls and resources to help those in need are limited. My ten year old daughter, Arianna, came home from her bible study last week and asked me of a way we could help others, since we have asked for help in the past I felt this would be a great way to give back.

I have been looking around me and notice some children wearing jackets that are a little to small, or ski pants with tears in the knees, boots that have obviously been handed down and it saddens me. 

My daughter and I are hoping that people with donate out of the kindness of their hearts, that they will think back to a time when they needed a helping hand, when someone gave them $5 for gas or a jacket that was collecting dust…

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Happy 13th Anniversary!

Today is 13 years since the day we became one. It was the day our journey began,..and what a crazy journey it has been.

We have been through more in 13 years together than most couples go through in two lifetimes and even though we are not perfect, nor is our life,..we still pull through the worst of times and at the end of the day we are still together.

There have been many days that I could not have made it through difficult times had I not had you in my life to support me and help me pull through.

You have given me the most beautiful gift I have ever received, our daughter;Arianna Rose and for that I will be forever thankful.

Many people would not make it through the things we have been through so I have to believe our love for each other is strong and grows stronger everyday and that no matter what is thrown our way we will always make it.

We have learned the hard way that the only real friends we have are each other and I believe that has pushed us to try harder and helped us to love each other regardless of our faults.

No matter what life hands us or what tomorrow may bring, you will always have a place in my heart.

Happy 13th Anniversary James! I love you!

Today is 13 years since the day we became one. It was the day our journey began,..and what a crazy journey it has been. 

We have been through more in 13 years together than most couples go through in two lifetimes and even though we are not perfect, nor is our life,..we still pull through the worst of times and at the end of the day we are still together.

There have been many days that I could not have made it through difficult times had  I not had you in my life to support me and help me pull through.

You have given me the most beautiful gift I have ever received, our daughter; Arianna Rose <3 and for that I will be forever thankful.

Many people would not make it through the things we have been through so I have to believe our love for each other is strong and grows stronger everyday and that no matter what is thrown our way we will always make it.

We have learned the hard way that the only real friends we have are each other and I believe that has pushed us to try harder and helped us to love each other regardless of our faults.

No matter what life hands us or what tomorrow may bring, you will always have a place in my heart.

Happy 13th Anniversary James! I love you! <3

I Am Back!

What a year I have had,…time to fill everyone in and get back to posting regularly on here.

Our summer began the way it always does and we started it by spending our days at Nichols Dam in Woodbury, Vermont; swimming, sunning and spending time with friends we haven’t seen in about 6 months. This year we became friends with a couple and their 5 boys.

We decided to go camping with them one weekend and the next thing we knew we were camping every weekend with them. They are the only people we have found that are exactly like us,..normal! Being surrounded by people that believe in laughter and fun was the best way to spend our time.

Before we knew it the summer was coming to an end and school was upon us.

My daughter is in 6th grade this year and this is so far the best year she has had. She has been bullied from the time we moved back to Hardwick, Vt in 2010 and even though there are a couple children that try to pick on her and bully her still the majority of the children are finally growing up and because of this she is making friends. She is finally spending nights away and this makes my heart swell.

Arianna :-)

My son Damion is a Sophomore and will be graduating this year. He goes to school from 8 am to 10 am and works the rest of the day as part of his graduation plan. He would be going to regular classes but last year was a difficult year for him, he got into the only two fights he has ever been in in his entire life, both fights were in defense of himself,..bullying seems to be a common problem around here and nothing gets done to remedy this issue. Due to the two fights the school decided that it would be best for Damion to get on a fast track program to graduate this year. He is excited about this and he realizes that this is an opportunity to get ahead in life.

Both Damion and my fiancee James got two deer each during bow season. Damion got a 131.1 pound 5-pointer and a 124 pound doe. James got two (2) doe; 124 pounds and 147 pounds.  The pictures of Damion’s deer are below.

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Halloween was actually fun this year, I say it like this because most years it is cold and nasty out and all of my children except Arianna are too old. Myself, James, Arianna and Damion all went trick-or-treating and we had a great time. It is times like that night, when its only our family (even though we are surrounded by a mass of people) that I love the most.

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I am finally going to start focusing my energy on my online business’s and writing again. I am excited about it and ready to go. I have missed my many friends online and the confidence I had when I was making others happy. There are so many people that work online and do it only for themselves. I personally love working at home because I am able to help others change their lives, I do this by pointing them in the right direction or by helping them with their website and articles. I take pride in placing a smile on their face, helping them hold their heads up and following their dreams.

I could write forever about everything that has happened but I want to get busy helping people achieve their dreams and realize their full potential, help them to help themselves!

I will be back soon 🙂

Break In And Bombing! What Is This World Coming Too!

Stay at Home Mom Tells All

view of Hardwick, Vermont view of Hardwick, Vermont (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Friday night, September 20th 2013, started out completely normal. My children, Damion and Arianna decided they wanted to go to Damion’s grandmothers in Hyde Park Vermont, so at about 7 pm we dropped them off there and my fiancee, James Patten, and I went to Hoagies for dinner. After dinner we went home and waited around for James brother to come and pick us up so we could go for a ride. We left our home at exactly 9:55 PM.

We arrived home at about 12:09 AM. Upon arriving at our house James went to the car to grab out food we had left over from dinner and at this time he noticed there was some kind of white powder residue all over the car and it smelled like it had caught on fire. While he was doing this I noticed the windshield was smashed…

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