Friday, November 30, 2012

Thanksgiving & Christmas Decorations

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day with family. You know, our family might be loud and we all talk at the same time that some outsiders might be intimidated, but it's my family and I LOVE THEM ALL VERY MUCH. 

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All above photos on this post are property of M2 Photography

Tomorrow is the first day of December and this little elf has been busy. Our artificial tree is much bigger than I thought and we don't have as many homemade ornaments as I first thought. What does any momma do when her tree is bare? She gets out the glue gun and Modge Podge. HAHA! So far, we've made three types of ornaments and paper garland. I finished a few decorations tonight like the paper garland and our fuzzy snowmen.
  Yarn Snowman 

I think she turned out so cute. I got the idea from Pinterest. Basically, I wrapped white yarn around three of my fingers approximately 30x, you decide the thickness. Cut off a piece of string or yarn. Easily pull the yarn off of your fingers.  Dividing the yarn in half,  take the cut piece, wrap around and tie a very tight knot. With scissors, begin cutting the loops. To make it frizzy: carefully pull apart the yarn threads. When you make two pom-poms: with a thread and needle, attach the two pom-poms together. Have enough thread in order to make a loop at the top. With your scissors, give your snowman a hair cut, just to make sure all strands are even. Begin creating your snowman. I glued small black pom-poms for eyes and mouth. Cut and glue a small piece of orange chenille stem for the carrot nose. Go through your scrap button jar. Glue two small cute multi-colored buttons on the body. Cut and glue a thin strip of felt material around the neck of your snowman. It adds a cute touch. You could also add a top hat or knit cap. So simple and fun to make. I made one for each one of us in our family. I plan to make more for the tree and to give away.

I'm still working on the ric-rac candy canes.  I'm having to lay books on top of the candy canes that is coated with fabric stiffener.  This material is determined to want to have a mind of it's own.  NO, NO, NO.  It simply won't do.  I'm working on my second layer of fabric stiffener with my shaped candy canes.  

My sister gave me a bunch of scrapbook paper (black and gold colors) a few years ago.  She didn't need them anymore and thought I might have use for it.  It took that long for me to actually use a lot of the paper.  I ended up punching scalloped circles and making paper garlands with gold thread.  Turned out pretty good.  It's slowly filling up the tree.  

Of course, I made the felt ornaments several weeks ago.  Remember THIS POST?  I hope to still make clay shaped ornaments as well with the kids.  

I've been promising to make mom a wreath since they moved into their new house.  One day while going through Pinterest, I fell in love with the wreath below.  It's so simple and elegant.  

I've got the wreath part finished.  Now, I have to embellish it.  I've never tried to make rolled felt roses, but my niece Leslie tells me that it's very easy.  A little nervous, but wish me luck.  I found the berries on sale at Hobby Lobby (50% off).  I hope mom will like it as much as I do.

Tomorrow is going to be another busy day for me.  I signed Katie up for a day with the high school cheerleaders.  I think she'll have fun.  Little girls always like hanging out with older girls and high school girls at that.  Our high school cheerleaders will be teaching the little girls all kinds of cheers and showing them all sorts of dance moves.  Doug and Colt will have daddy/son day.  I'm taking this opportunity to get several things done for Christmas and up-coming family gatherings.


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Jack's Holiday Jingle Heads

Jack's Holiday Jingle Heads

Click on the link above to view your holiday jingle from me. Mirya

Giving Thanks and Recipes

Thanksgiving is 5 days away. Are you ready? What is your favorite dish that you make for this special day? I braved the crowds at the grocery store to gather all of my ingredients today. I'm responsible for taking Deviled Eggs, Sweet Potato Casserole and Pumpkin Pie. I've never made the Sweet Potato Casserole before, but I'm using my mother-in-laws recipe. It won't be as good as she makes it, but I'll try.

My Pumpkin Pie 
1 (8oz.) package 1/3 fat cream cheese, softened
2 cups canned pumpkin, mashed
1 cup sugar 1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup skim or 1% milk
1/4 cup melted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger, optional
2 pre-made deep dish pie crust
Fat Free Whipped Topping

 Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese with a hand mixer. Add the pumping and beat until combined. Add the sugar and salt and beat until combined. Add the eggs, milk and melted butter and beat until combined. Finally, add the vanilla, cinnamon and ginger, if using, and beat until incorporated. Set aside.

Pour filling into the pre-made pie crust and bake for 80 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.  Place the pie on a wire rack and cool to room temperature.

Top each slice of pie with a dollop of whipped topping.

Peggy's Sweet Potato Casserole
Potato mixture:
3 cups mashed sweet potato
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
1 cup pecans (ground)
1/3 cup melted butter (for topping)

Mix well, mashed sweet potatoes, sugar, salt, eggs, butter, milk and vanilla.  Pour in a baking dish.

Mix brown sugar, flour, pecans and butter.  Sprinkle on top of potato mixture and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.

It is SOOOO Good!

Of course, we will have to go back on a diet come Friday after Thanksgiving.  LOL!  Our family prefers to have the traditional Thanksgiving meal, which includes but not limited to the following: Deep Fried Turkey (yes, we are professionals), Spiral Honey Ham, Chicken 'n Dressing, Pies of all kinds, and casseroles galore!  Doug and I will just have to remember "pace yourself."  LOL!

I just haven't had the time to list my 25 Gratitudes for the month, so I will list them all right here.
I'm grateful for . . . 

1. God's love and grace.
2. My Salvation.
3. My health.
4. My loving husband and partner.
5. My beautiful children.
6. Katie asked Jesus to come into her heart.
7. Love of my Parents.
8. Love of my Family.
9. Love of my Friends.
10. Freedom of my country.
11. My conservative state.
12. Being raised in the South.
13. Freedoms being upheld by the service of others. Thank You!
14. Having the opportunity to know those that have passed away.
15. Both of my parents still living.
16. My husband's parents still living.
17. Being included my children's lives.
18. Trying new recipes and fun craft ideas because of Pinterest. ;)
19. Staying in contact with family and friends through Google/Blogger.
20. My husband's job.
22. Mommy-Daughter Dates.
23. Mommy-Son Dates.
24. Mommy-Daddy Dates.
25. Thanksgiving Meal with Family.


I would like to wish you a special Thanksgiving this year and many more years to come.

Psalm 100
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the lands! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into God's presence with singing! Know that the Lord is God! It is he that made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! 

Give thanks to him, bless his name! For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures for ever, 
and his faithfulness to all generations. 


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Light 'Em Up Y'all!

As I was going back over my many Pins from Pinterest that I bookmarked, I came across a community Christmas project that excited me. I adore community projects! It's called "Light 'Em Up".

I absolutely love this idea.  I've done "I've Been Elfed", but these ideas are smaller and seem to be able to spread further.  This little elf is set on go.  It would be a lot more fun if I had some help, to share the experience and blessings.  If anything, I want to teach my children that it not only feels good to do something nice for someone else, but it's the right thing to do.  I hope you check this blog out.  She's made it so easy.  All you have to do is print out the printables all ready made for you.  If you would like a "Light 'em Up" buddy, I'd love to help.  Meanwhile, let's "Light 'Em Up" America and spread the love and lifestyle of Jesus Christ.

God Bless You!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Christmas Time's A-Coming!


For all that you have done for my family, friends and country, I want to thank you for your serve. I can not express my gratitude enough. Living in our country did not come free, nor does it stay free. So Thank You from the bottom of my heart!
  Christmas Open House 2012
Children going through the "Merry Christmas" maze 

Our little town had their annual Christmas Open House. It's an opportunity for consumers to discover local small retail businesses, restaurants and other mom and pop stores. Businesses that participate, decorate their stores for Christmas, put out an appetizer table, some might have door prizes and some discount their merchandise as much as 50% off the original price. Children will have plenty of opportunities to see Santa or his elves roaming the streets. This year, they added a skating rink and a huge wooden sleigh with Santa at the seat for photos. Saturday night was the official Christmas lighting ceremony at one of the smaller parks. I had no idea that Santa and Mrs. Claus would be there to visit with the children. After walking around and looking at all the lights, I asked the kids if they wanted to see Santa. Katie loved the idea. Colton wasn't too sure about the whole sitting in Santa's lap. The fingers went straight to the mouth. He was determined to make sure that Santa knew what he wanted for Christmas. He has been aggravating me for weeks about what he wants for Christmas. Doug assures me that it's a boy thing. My child wants a game called "Pop the Pig." I'd never heard of it until just a few weeks ago, thanks to Colton. If you don't know, the object of this game is you feed a pig sandwiches until he is so full that his stomach POPS. The other game he wants is called Doggie Doo. The object of the game is you feed your dog this green play doh looking food. You roll the dice and what ever number you land on, you press the dog's leash until the dog finally poops out the green play doh food. Can you say yuck? Colton is absolutely attracted to gross things.  He thinks it is so hilarious.  

Sunday after church, we knew exactly where to go during the Christmas Open House to have the kids' picture taken with the most handsome Santa. It's one of our favorite Italian food joints. This Santa look-alike goes to our church and is the sweetest old man. He was Katie's Sunday School teacher last year and is so good with the children. He gave all the time in the world for our kids. Katie and Colton both told him what they want for Christmas, which really isn't all that much this year. A photographer was ready to take $5 photos on the spot. I love it! I'll have to post the picture at another time. We all enjoyed our day yesterday, roaming around and the children didn't want it to end. 

Katie had the day off because of Veteran's Day.  I think we really enjoyed the day together.  The only work I did was pick up the house, wash clothes and dishes.  Everything else was FUN!  The kids played for a little while together.  Katie and I played Boggle, while Colton took his nap.  We made a few ornaments.  They were so easy and cute, if I do say so myself.  I actually got the idea from my latest volume of Martha Stewart's Living Magazine.  She had some felt styled homemade ornaments with cut out silhouettes.  Perfect for one of our semi-Charlie Brown Christmas ornaments.  
Homemade Felt Ornaments
Katie and Colton's Christmas Ornaments
-Ballerina, fawn, Christmas Nativity and bear-
How Did I Do It? 
I purchased some small square glitter felt, for the background, in the craft section of Hobby Lobby and 4 different colors of plain felt for $1.  I wanted the background to have a pretty border, so I turned on my computer and went looking for border clipart.  {Wha-lah!} Next, I go looking for silhouette characters.  Colton wanted a deer and bear.  Katie absolutely had to have her ballerina.  I may have cut everything out, but the kids helped me glue the silhouettes to the backgrounds.  I used fabric glue for a secure contact.  The next thing I did was the fun part, putting a little character to the silhouettes. At first, I tried sewing eyes on the deer and bear with brown thread.  No matter how many knots I sewed on the felt, it still wasn't thick enough to see.  I needed a thicker thread count or use yarn.  I didn't have either one of these items on hand.  So, I pulled out the paint.  I always have paint on hand.  The bear and deer's eyes and nose are painted with Maple Stain brown.  I also added the Maple Stain to the deer's hoofs.  For the deer's white spots and other white accent, I glued a little white cotton from a cotton ball. Easy!  Martha Stewart's magazine showed pulling a gold thread at the top and creating the loop to hang on the tree.  Not me.  I wanted ribbon.  I took my scissors and cut a small X at the top, where I want the ribbon to string through.  Once the loop was tied off.  I tied another bow along the bottom portion of the loop.  I think it just makes it look pretty.  
Homemade Felt Ornaments
Looks so darn cute!
Katie and I feel in love with the fawn, so much that we will definitely be making more of these.  I have other silhouettes printed that I will make into ornaments as well.  I've got so much felt that I've got to use it up.  LOL!

I've gotten so many homemade ornament ideas from Pinterest.  I've had a lot of fun bookmarking all my favorites and can't wait to go back to them and look at the craft more closely.  If you have a craft idea for our semi-Charlie Brown Christmas tree, please comment and let me know or add a link to the website.  I do appreciate it.  Please remember I have two small children, no sewing machine and I can't knit.  Yeah, I'm one of those.  Sorry!

Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy the Christmas craft idea and I will be bringing more as the season goes into full swing.  It will be easy to get into the Christmas spirit because we are suppose to have some COLD weather all week.  The highs are only going to make it to the upper 60s.  BRRRR!  I LOVE IT!  Katie and I love it so much that we brought out the mint hot chocolate today.  How do I make my hot chocolate?  I fill up our favorite coffee mug with skim milk (not to the top), heat it up in the microwave.  Katie's mug, I only heated for 45 seconds.  My mug, I went for a minute and 15 seconds.  Just right!  Not too hot that it burns your tongue.  Take your tablespoon and scope three and a half heaping spoon full of cocoa and place in the hot mug.  Stir until all the powder is gone.  Nothing!  Now, add the marshmallows.  This time, I found Jet-Puff had the tiny mini marshmallows in a container for sell.  Yeah, the tiny marshmallows that you get from the packets of hot chocolate.  Now, you can just buy the marshmallows because I don't think they put enough marshmallows in the packets.  Katie LOVED the extra marshmallows.  Ahhhh!  Our stomaches were warmed up on this cold rainy day.  She told me that she couldn't wait to have another cup.  LOL!  


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

For God's Glory

The 2012 Election is over and the people have spoken. You may see a lot of red in the South, except for Florida, and most of the mid-west. When it comes to the electoral votes it is all about LOCATION, LOCATION. If you were satisfied with the past 4 years of unemployment rising, economy in the muck, increase in taxes, then you know exactly what you'll get the next 4 years. If you are middle class or the poor, don't think for a second you are going to avoid the tax increases.  NOPE!  We will be the first to be hit hard.  Look at how much we are paying at the pumps, groceries, electric and water bills.  These small companies and large corporations might be having to pay more taxes, regulations and meet restrictions, but they are not loosing anything because those spendings will be charged to us to make up the difference.  It's the way it's always been.  Who can blame these businesses and corporations?  If they didn't make up the monies by increasing the prices, they would all go out of business; thus, they would be forced to close their doors.  I'm no economy major, but I do have common sense and clear understanding of meeting the profit margin.  I just don't believe that Obama is the right candidate to put our country back on the map as a God fearing nation with a prosperous future.  I hope within 4 years, he will make an attempt to prove me wrong.

I didn't want to admit it until last night that our country has turned from what is best for our country and future generations to self-centeredness.  I fear that we as a nation are being seduced by the president's promises.  Who knows the president might be deceived himself by the power of leadership.  It happens!    This is based off of the three presidential debates that I witnessed on television.  This is all I'm saying about it.  Satan takes every opportunity to seduce anyone or sell any deceptive idea to you.  If it sounds good than more than likely it's not worth it.  Unfortunately people don't realize this until it's too late.  Be careful!  . . . "But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in fierce anger, because he knows that he has [only] a short time [left]!" Rev. 12:12.

Don't Be Seduced By Satan
I had the opportunity to read Beth Moore's book "Why Godly People Do Ungodly Things".  Like all of her books, it is AWESOME and I recommend everyone read it!  It answered a lot of my questions, confusions and opened my eyes even further.  Have you ever wondered when you meet up with your close friend and they won't give you the time of day?  You're buzz about getting to see the person you love like a sister has dropped to the floor.  Your automatic thought is "she is having a bad day."  She might even be a little sarcastic to you when she would normally not ever talk mean to you.  You are thinking, what is going on?  Is there something I've said to make her upset?  You start going into overtime thinking back, what did I do or say?  Your afraid to make an issue about it or make it worse.  You don't say anything.  It happens again at another time.  This could go on and on for months to where you don't like to be around your best friend no longer.  You can't identify the same person any more.  Does this sound familiar?  Well, you're not alone.  This has happened to me so many times, I can't count.  Every time, I've blamed myself.  You just don't understand.  I am progressing away from insecurity.  I use to be one of these people that wants to be friends with everyone and I want to make everyone happy.  Yeah, exhausting.  Right?  With God's help and as little self control as I might have, I'm getting better.  I've turned from loosing sleep going over in my head about "why someone doesn't like me?" or "how did I make her mad?  I don't understand what I did."  I now know that I will never always be liked and I'm not going to make everyone happy.  I ask myself if I did all I could do within reason and then I give it over to the Lord.  Life is too short to worry over these things.  Back to my point, don't end your relationship with your close friend just because she has changed and you don't know why.  It could be that she has been deceived by Satan and not even know it.  Have you ever said something and after awhile, you just realized what you said and how it could be misinterpreted?  Do you ever wonder, where did that come from or why you said that?  Have you ever said "The devil made me do it."?  You just may be right.  Satan deceives at every chance he has.  There are times when the devil takes complete opportunity of a situation and his deceptive words go over and over in your head.  Before you know it, you think the person that avoided you during lunch doesn't want you to be apart of her life.  [Satan deceives] She thinks she's too good to be around someone like me.  She'd rather be around the more classy women.  This goes on and on.  See how the devil will make a mountain out of a mole hill.  To me, my mind is my worst enemy.  That's when you need to say aloud or to yourself.  "Devil depart from me in the name of Jesus Christ."  This sounds crazy, but I've done it.  I had so many thoughts [bad] running through my head that I couldn't rest all night.  The second night, it did it again.  I realized what was going on.  I knew all of the thoughts, I couldn't control and I knew were lies.  It's the devil feeding you all these deceiving lies to either lure you away from protecting  someone who might be struggling with their faith or to lure you away from God himself.  It's not you, it's the devil.  Don't be seduced by his lies.  I believe this president is being deceived at the same time, he is deceiving the American people.  So what do we do about it?  PRAY!  Keep your hope and faith alive in Jesus Christ.  He is coming back you know.  

If anything this election has woke me up.  {ALARM CLOCK RINGING!!}  Yes, I'm awake and seeing clearing this morning.  I've known that our time on earth is drawing near, but after so many years (decades) you tend to fall asleep from time to time.  Well, it's time to wake up from our slumber, dust off the cobwebs and sharpen up God's word because we need our shield for protection from Satan's seductions.  You may think I sound childish and so yester year.   God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.  We have pushed him out of our schools, government buildings, trying very hard to push him out of our nation.  What's next our homes?  Lord help when that happens because darkness will soon over come every square inch of our nation.  Be careful!  I have to tell the devil today, you may take my way of living, my livelihood, my nation, my town, but you will never take my soul.  AMEN!  Please remember the devil can not touch God's children unless we welcome him in.  He can't touch me!  Isn't that AWESOME?  To God be the glory.

Do not be disheartened because I have good news! We may be suffering these past 8 years from high gas prices, job loss, survived natural disasters or death.  God says because of our positive attitudes, He is glorified.  Charles Swindle says, "10% is what happens to you.  The rest is how you handle it." This is so true.  A lot of times, I tend to lose it before I get ahold of myself.  I'm still learning control.  The Holy Bible says, "Beloved, I implore you as aliens and strangers and exiles [in this world] to abstain from the sensual urges (the evil desires, the passions of the flesh, your lower nature) that wage war against the soul." I Peter 2:11.  We may not like it, but we need to obey Pres. Obama and his administration.  God has instructed us to do so because it will honor him with our obedience.  "Be submissive to every human institution and authority for the sake of the Lord, whether it be to the emperor [Obama] as supreme,  Or to governors as sent by him to bring vengeance (punishment, justice) to those who do wrong and to encourage those who do good service.  For it is God's will and intention that by doing right [your good and honest lives] should silence (muzzle, gag) the ignorant charges and ill-informed criticisms of foolish persons.  [Live] as free people, [yet] without employing your freedom as pretext for wickedness; but [live at all times] as servants of God.  Show respect for all men [treat them honorably]. Love the brotherhood (the Christian fraternity of which Christ is the Head).  Reverence God.  Honor the emperor (president).  I Peter 12:13-17.  Have hope in the Lord Jesus Christ and he will deliver you from your suffering.  "For one is regarded favorably (is approved, acceptable, and thank worthy) if, as in the sight of God, he endures the pain of unjust suffering.  [After all] what kind of glory [is there in it] if, when you do wrong and are punished for it, you take it patiently?  But if you bear patiently with suffering [which results] when you do right and that is undeserved, it is acceptable and pleasing to God.  For even to this were you called [it is inseparable from your vocation].  For Christ also suffered for you, leaving you [His personal] example, so that you should follow in His footsteps." I Peter 12:19-21.  "He personally bore our sins in His [own] body on the tree [as on an altar and offered Himself on it], that we might die (cease to exist) to sin and live to righteousness.  By His wounds you have been healed. " I Peter 12:24 - AMEN!

I don't expect everyone that reads this post to fully understand what I've wrote.  For those who do understand where I'm coming from, I hope it will help you to understand.

I will continue to pray for my country and it's leadership!  God Bless You!


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Spirit Week & Halloween 2012

Spirit Week
It was Spirit Week at school a couple of weeks ago.  Each day the students were encouraged to dress up by a theme for the day.  In the mornings, the students were judged by the faculty and voted the best at the end of the day.  
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Above: (Left) Celebrity Day- she dressed up like Ce-Ce off of the show, "Shake It Up" (Right) Crazy Day.
All Over The World Day - she represented Texas proudly
Drawing by Katie from Art Class - "Scarecrow"

Art by Katie - "Seasons"

Halloween 2012

Time to Carve the Halloween pumpkin

Katie wanted a witch this year

Colton wanted to use his "Frankenstein" this year and not carve.  I found this at The Christmas Shoppe for $1.99.  It's made of wood and metal stakes that stick in the pumpkin.  So worth the money!  I bought Katie the witch, but she didn't want to use it.

Kids with their pumpkins (check out Colton's Angry Birds & Pigs in front of the pumpkins.  LOL!) He's into Angry Birds now as well as Avengers - 110% boy.

Kids painting their little pumpkins

They had a great time painting.  Colton wanted a little help.  He told me that he wanted it all green.

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"Happy Halloween!"
Kids ready for a wonderful Halloween day.

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Colton wanted to dress up as Superman with black hair.  He was so proud of his black hair.
Oh, he wanted me to add the curl on his head just like Superman.  LOL!  He got so mad at me last night, when I washed his hair.  "Where's my black hair?  I want it back." I tried to explain to him that it was just for Halloween and that he would have to go back to his color.   I thought he was going to cry.

Yesterday at school, all the children received baby pumpkins.  It was the cutest thing.  A couple of dads  that are doctors, dressed up and presented each child their very own baby pumpkin.  It was a big thing. Katie got to bring home twin pumpkins - Scooby and Lucy.  She was the only one in her class that was given twins.  Each student is to take care of their babies.  Take them home for the night and bring them back to school the next day.  She'll bring them back home tonight for good.  She is so excited that she gets to keep them.  A really cute idea!

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Our Superman and Rock Star

Colton told me this morning that he really liked going Trick-or-Treat last night.  He wants to do it again.  We did have a good time.  This year, we went to a different neighborhood.  A neighborhood I haven't been since I was about Katie's age.  I'm telling you what, it was like Halloween Grand Center.  You couldn't drive on the streets for all the people.  I was scared to death that I was going to hit someone.  Katie found out where one of her new friends live.  She thinks we can have sleepovers now that I know where her friend lives.  I've only met the mother of this child one time.  She seemed real sweet, but I've got to get to them a little better.  Katie just doesn't understand this.  

Katie was a little disappointed the fun of Halloween is over.  All the dressing up, carving pumpkins, lights, movies and music.  I told her but the best is yet to come.  CHRISTMAS!  My most favorite holiday is just less than two months away.  Of course, it perked Katie up and now she is ready to take down the Halloween and prepare for Thanksgiving.  

This morning, I bustled around the house cleaning and putting up.  What a mess we made getting ready to go Trick-or-Treating last night.  Ugh!  The color hair spray gets EVERYWHERE.  Thank goodness my bathroom needed scrubbing anyway.  HAHA!  Clothes here and candy there.  It took a couple of hours, but I got it done.  I found time to post these pictures and a short description about our night.  I love the Halloween fun, but it just gets me prepped for the REAL HOLIDAY.  We are planning on having a Semi-Charlie Brown Christmas.  I was tempted to have the Charlie Brown Christmas, which includes a real tree with homemade ornaments.  The more I thought about it, the more I still want my artificial tree.  To me it's not a fire hazard, I can keep it up longer and it doesn't make such a horrible mess with the needles all over the floor.  I need all the help I can get when it comes to cleaning up messes.  Nough said! 

Can't wait to see everyones Halloween pictures and stories.  God Bless!