Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thanksgiving Day

All the leftover turkey and dressing is gone. The Christmas tree is up, the lighted deer is outside to greet thoses that pass by. The Christmas cards are addressed and ready to mail out. Get this, we had our first pre-Christmas snow the past couple of days. It started snowing at 4PM on Monday and continued to snow until around 11AM yesterday. The kids loved it! It's too bad the snow didn't stick, it would have been beautiful.
The kids catching snowflakes with their hands and tongues


Our Thanksgiving get together was enjoyable and fun. The ladies took home a container of my lip gloss that I made and everyone went home with their Blessings Mix. My goodness the food that was prepared and no one went away hungry.  I know I had a good time, catching up on everyone's lives. I hated that not everyone could make it and of course our family out West, but I understand. Below are a few pictures of the day:
Dash kept running off, so I had to hold him down for pictures
Five Generations

I still can't get over our Jon-Boy is a Senior






The new homeowners at their new house
The kids love Zayden
I can't believe I forgot to get a picture of the cook, while I was outside taking photos

Katie's class is partaking in the "Read for Food" campaign for a region in South America.  Katie is so excited about participating in this campaign.  She has set her goal at 90 books, which includes chapters, within the next three weeks.  She was telling a lady at the grocery store about it and how many books she wants to read for the cause.  I thought it was so sweet that this woman took out some money out of her pocket and gave it to Katie for a donation towards the cause.  How selfless was that?  Katie didn't know what to do with it.  We walked out the store and she asked me, "momma, why did that lady just give me this money?"  I explained to her that it was a donation towards the "Read for Food".  "What am I suppose to do with it?" she asked.  The campaign began yesterday and she read 3 books.  She wanted to read more, but she had a headache and I didn't want her to push it.  I'm glad Mrs. G said that a chapter will count as a book.  I hope Katie reaches her goal.  Now, Doug and I need to decide how much cash donation per book to give her.  

Katie's problem with solving math questions are improving and Mrs. G seems to think she is ready to read level H books.  Of course, Katie reminds me that she normally reads level G, but Mrs. G wanted her to try level H.  She did pretty good reading it last night. 

Colton is still enjoying watching videos from Kids 123.  They do have some really good and educational videos for preschoolers.  Colton's favorite would be "Animal Sounds", "Five Little Monkeys", and "10 In The Bed".  It's just too bad each video doesn't last more than 15 seconds because I'm constantly having to stop what I'm doing just to start another one.  It's funny, when he wants to watch his videos on the computer, he'll get up in my face and spray the word "com-PU-ter".  I usually have to wipe off my face everytime he says the word.  I also have to hold back the laughter. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanks-Giving Day 21 & Cute Craft Ideas - RTR!

Today's note of gratitude may sound a little weird, but then I am a little weird. LOL! Anywho. I'm thankful for the day, my dad suggested that I take a photography course at school. He had this 1970 something Minolta camera and never really knew how to use it (all these years). There are SEVERAL family photos that are over exposed, under exposed or that funky orange color. I needed an elective for school and he wanted me to teach him how to use his camera. I enjoyed taking the class a lot more than I thought I would and it actually sparked my on going interest in photography. I did learn how to use my dad's camera and had some pretty good photos developed from it. To this day, you'll see some of my photo posts. I am still learning new tips and effects. Not too long ago, my dad gave me his old Minolta camera. The film camera that started my photo taking hobby. Thanks Dad! I love you!

Hanging Paper Maple Leaves from Craft Ideas

What You'll Need:
- scrapbook paper in the colors of the season
- Spellbinders Set of maple leaves
- Wizard or Double-Do XL cutting and embossing machines
- stick glue
- sewing machine and matching thread


1. For each leaf you need to cut out 10 shapes (5 reversed). Because one side of the paper is white, glue 2 leaves back to back so that both sides are printed. When finished, you will have 5 sets of “doubled leaves”.
2. Line the leaves up in a stack and paper clip the sides together to hold in place.
3. Sew a straight line down the center of the stack to sew the leaves together and remove from the machine.
4. Cut away the excess bottom thread. Use the top thread to hang the leaves up.

Salt Dough Leaf Prints from The Artist Woman

What You'll Need:
salt dough, recipe to follow
artificial silk leaves
round container to use as cutter
acrylic paint
mod podge for sealer

Salt Dough Recipe
4 cups flour
1 cup salt
1 1/2 - 2 cups water
extra flour for kneading

Mix first 3 ingredients together to form a nice soft dough. Knead smooth with extra flour. The more you knead this dough the easier it is to work with.

Keep leftover dough in the fridge.

Make up your salt dough. This recipe will make enough for 8 rounds.

Roll out dough and the using circular container or bowl, (coffee can) cut your rounds.

Pick a leaf for your design. I initially tried this with fresh leaves but they did not leave a good imprint. I think it would have worked with clay.

The silk leaves leave a better impression in the salt dough.

Place where you want it and press the leaf into the dough.

When you lift it off you should have a nice impression.

Place on a parchment or foil covered cookie sheet and bake at 250 degrees for about 2 - 3 hours or until hard.

Let cool.

Take some acrylic paint in Autumn colors.

After trial and error I found the best way to paint these is to paint the leaves in different colors first.
Let dry.

Then using dark brown paint that you have watered down apply a wash, like an antiquing glaze to the entire surface. The dark color picks up the veining in the leaf and still lets the Autumn color show thru.

Let dry and then apply a coat of glossy Mod Podge as a sealer.

Chocolate Acorn Cookies from The Celebration Shoppe

You’ll need:
mini Keebler Stripe cookies
Hershey’s Kisses
small piece of black licorice for your stem.

I attached them with a small dot of icing and done.


It's that time of year again!


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thanks-Giving Day 20 & A Little Crafty (of course)

This afternoon, I had the joyful opportunity to sit down and have a lovely pre-Thanksgiving dinner with my parents, Doug's parents and Katie at church. Our church does this every year, where we try to get together at our facility with our friends and loved ones. We are all served a traditional supper by our wonderful deacons by candlelight and serenaded by a few choir members. After dinner, Bro. Steve says a few words, followed by communion. Then, we are dismissed by prayer. I really enjoyed tonight with my family.

So tonight, I'm thankful for still having the ability to get together with my family and give thanks until the Lord for all He has done in my life.

Katie's Thankful Tree centerpiece
I thought this was touching.  She is thankful for "Jeasiss" aka Jesus

Checking in on my blogs that I like to follow, I caught a glimpse of this precious Snowman.  I have a weak spot when it comes to snowmen.  I just think they are so sweet.  This guy (below) is chilling as a great centerpiece from Shindig Parties.  I fell in LOVE!  I breezed through the instructions on how to make this little guy and it sounds pretty simple.  I don't know if I'll be able to make him this year, but I had to share him with you.  CLICK HERE for instructions and further information. 



Saturday, November 19, 2011

Thanks-Giving Day 19 & Blessing Mix

I'm thankful for Adobe Photoshop and having the ability to do so many different, fun things. YAY!

I've been a little busy making some tasty hostess gifts for our guests this Thanksgiving. It took me a few days, but I put together the final touch last night. I made enough Blessing Mix for an army. I ended up making 43 gifts. Shew! I got this idea from Caramel Potatoes.   I wanted to put my own spin on this treat.  I thought it would be nice to stick the bag full of mix inside a paper cornucopia.  I didn't like the idea of putting Hershey's Kisses inside the bag with the rest of my mix, so I place a little double sided tape on the bottom and stuck it on top the bag.  I think it turned out nice.  After Halloween, I couldn't find any candy corn.  It's the only thing that's missing from this mix, so if you are planning on making this next year - BUY the CANDY CORN ahead of time. 
Blessing Mix Tag

I got the cornucopia template from Make and Takes CLICK HERE for free template and instructions.


Friday, November 18, 2011

Thanks-Giving Day 17 & 18 and Thanksgiving Decorating Ideas

I'm thankful for . . .
  • having the chance to be involved in so many wonderful opportunities in my life, whether it was on the job or volunteer work. It was and is truly a blessing! 
  • having the opportunity to visit so many places all over the country.  I was one of the blessed children with parents that loved to travel.  My grandparents lived up North, so we would drive 12+ hours to visit them.  The older I got, the more I appreciated seeing the sights.  I still remember the two week trip in the late 80s.  We drove to North Dakota and all down South, to New Mexico and across the big state of Texas.  We visited beautiful landmarks and family.  It was great!  I'll never forget. 

Thanksgiving Decorating Ideas
Thankful Tree
Thankful Tree from Family Fun
The kids and I just finished our Thankful tree this past week.  Katie and Nia traced the leaf templates for me on construction paper.  They wanted to help cut them out, but I felt that I should do this job.  Katie wrote on the leaves of all the people and things that she is grateful for.  It was sweet, she even wrote her P.E. coach's name.  She really does like Coach B.

Just a couple decorations that I thought would look great this Thanksgiving.

Autumn Decor

Pinecone Wreath
from Better Homes and Gardens
for other creative ideas, recipes and crafts, just check out my Pin.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Thanks-Giving Day 15 & 16 and more Thanksgiving Ideas

I'm thankful for . . .
  • the simple things of life. Out of the blue, my son will reach over and grab my hand to hold in his. My daughter will come up and give me the biggest hug just for the heck of it. They are such sweet kids and I love them so much. My husband will make arrangements for us to have a date night, without children, just to enjoy each other's company.
  • I think I must have the largest sweet tooth everah and I've got CHOCOLATE right at the top of that list.  I just LOVE chocolate, no matter how bitterly dark or sweet milk chocolaty.  It's an addiction I know, but one I almost can not live without. 

Pilgrim Candy Wrapper from Laurie Furnell
Laurie's blog offers this free printable candy wrapper for this Thanksgiving holiday, so go on over and take advantage of this great gift.
Tom Turkey Cookie from Seventh House On The Left
Is this not precious?  I love it, I just wish I have the time and patience to make these cuties.  Hopefully, you'll have that chance.

Nutter Butter Cookies
M&Ms Minis (brown only)
White Cookie Icing
Red Jelly Bellys
Orange Jelly Bellys
Yellow Jelly Bellys
Candy Corn
Reese Cups (full sized)
Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafer Cookies

The assembly process is pretty much self explanatory. Just use the photo above as your guideline. Simple as that! However, we do have a few tips and tricks to pass along:
  • The secret is in the icing. Over the years, we have tried several icings. Not only does it have to taste good, but it also needs to serve as “glue” to keep the Little Gobblers in one piece. Without good stiff icing, let’s just say they won’t ride in the car very well. In our opinion, Betty Crocker Cookie Icing works best. One tube will make about 6 Little Gobblers.
  • Hunt them down. The Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafer Cookies are used for the base and the back of the turkey. Sometimes, they can be a little hard to find. But if your grocery store carries them, you will find them in the ice cream topping section (you would think they would be in the cookie section, right?). But if you have trouble finding them, thanks to the World Wide Web, you can purchase them online. Or you can visit the Nabisco website and search for them by zip code. Also, make sure you buy an extra box because they tend to break very easily.
  • From Point A to Point B. First of all, you need to make sure your Little Gobblers have enough time to sit and hang out before you show them off to your friends and family. When transporting these little guys, we line the bottom of deep Rubbermaid containers with paper towels. Then place the turkeys on the paper towels diagonally side by side (so the feathers don’t hit each other). The paper towels help the turkeys stay in one place. If we are making a whole flock of Little Gobblers, we like to use the disposable roasting pans.
Parents Magazine  posted these sweet gobblers

Make It: Glue google eyes onto small pom-poms and let them dry. Help your kids fold chenille stems into legs and feet and glue them onto the pinecone. Cut out a triangular beak from orange or yellow foam. Glue on the eyes and the beak; let the creature dry completely before beginning a fun game of make-believe with your kids.


Monday, November 14, 2011

Thanks-Giving Day 14 & Corny Cookies and Corn Cupcake Recipes

I'm thankful for having the opportunity to stay at home with my children.  It's been a struggle at times, but we have been able to manage.  My husband and I knew it was the right thing for our family and we have absolutely no regrets.  Sure, like any mother, I do get frustrated and hold my breath when money gets tight.  We couldn't have made it without God bringing us through our good and bad times.   

from Disney Family Fun

Corny Cookies

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Vanilla frosting
Green fruit leather
M&M's or Reese's Pieces candies

Using an electric beater, cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl. Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix well. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix in the flour a little at a time until the ingredients are well combined. Chill the dough for several hours or overnight.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Divide the dough into 3 parts. Working on a floured surface with one part at a time, roll out the dough to a 1/4-inch thickness. Using a knife, cut out corncob shapes about 4 inches long. Place the cookies on ungreased baking sheets and bake for 9 minutes or just until the edges brown. Let the cookies set on the sheets for about 2 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Frost the cooled cookies. Next, use kitchen shears to cut husks from the fruit leather to fit the sides of each cookie. Press the husks in place atop the frosting, with the tips down a bit. Now fill in the middle with candy kernels gently pressed into place. Makes about 1 1/2 dozen cookies.

from By Stephanielynn


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Thanks-Giving Day 13

I won't write much tonight, I've hurt my wrist somehow and it's giving me fits. I just wanted to go ahead and post what I'm thankful for this the 13th Day of November.

I'm thankful for living in the South! I was born and raised here in the good old South and I LOVE IT! The weather never stays the same everyday, so you never get bored. The hillsides this autumn has been absolutely gorgeous, just like a Thomas Kincaid painting with all the colors. So beautiful! You just can't get that any where. The smiling faces, I see every single day of my life. We all have our ways of greeting each other, whether we know each other or not. Men usually smile and nod, while ladies smile and mouth "hey." The small talk at the checkout line, whether it be from the clerk or the person waiting in line with you. It's automatic mommy talk in line, when you see there is another mommy right behind you. We may swap recipes or advice within the next couple of minutes you maybe in line. It's a wonderful place to live. You never drive a few miles without seeing a church or some sort of Christian run organization. Our favorite saying if you say or did something stupid is "Bless your heart." If you are having a hard time in life, we respond with "bless your heart." If you are generous and giving, we respond with "well, bless your heart" or "God bless ya darlin'." It's amazing how many ways a simple sentence could mean sooo many different things like "God bless you" or "Bless your heart." I love it! I love the fact people that are not from around here, think us Southerns are stupid because of our accent. When they see some of the few idiots on television interviews, acting crazy, automatically think there are nothing but a bunch of rednecks livin' down here. We'll just keep givin' you a big ol' smile and say "Bless Your Heart!" We love our God, men, family, football and guns. We are not afraid to LOVE our friends and family. Support our boys out on the field.  Most of us believe in conservation and self defense, when needed. If you wear Bama apparel, be expected to be greeted with a "ROLL TIDE."

Yes, I LOVE the South! So, I would like to send you a big "ROLL TIDE" and a heart felt "well, bless your heart."


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Thanks-Giving Day 12 & Pumpkin Spice Cookies

I'm thankful for friends, new and old, close-by and far away.  God has blessed me by allowing me to marry my best friend; having the opportunity to always make new friends and still keep in touch with friends that I've known pretty much all my life.  I just appreciate every one of my friends, buddies, and girlies.  Love you guys!!!!

Like I wrote yesterday, I've been hoping to make this day possible for a while. I had a few more poses in mind, but the kids were not having a great day. It's amazing. At the end of the day of a photo shoot with the kids, I have the strongest urge to start smoking and I don't smoke. So instead, I made a tall glass of Coke Zero Cherry and ate a few M&Ms.

Now after a very tough day, this is what I have. They would have been awesome, if they were having a good day.

I read the recipe below from My Computer is My Canvas and had to post it, in order to keep this recipe in my file. I'm really hoping to make it. I sounds so good and the picture of the finished cookies, looks mouth watering. But of course, I LOVE pumpkin.
Pumpkin Spice Cookies
Betty Crocker Spice Cake Mix
Can of Pumpkin

Mix the two ingredients together, do not beat. Do not add egg or oil! Once the batter forms drop by spoonfuls on to a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 15-18 minutes. Spread a little cream cheese icing and sprinkles on top. Sounds so good!