Friday, November 30, 2012

Countin' On Down

 We are Countin' on Down to the FIRST OF DECEMBER!!!!

One more day, y'all!  And this year . . . is the first year that we have jumped on the Elf bandwagon!
I'm so excited! {Please remind me of that when it's 1:30 in the morning, and I wake up realizing Elfie hasn't moved!}

We are decorating the house today, and the girls cannot wait!

More fun activities to count down the days until Christmas:
{You can find the first installment here}

Make their meals special . . .

My girls {Kam, especially} LOVES a cookie cutter sandwich. 
Last week we made our own PB&Js ~ which is especially helpful if you have kiddos like mine.  Sierra doesn't like jam, Kam doesn't like peanut butter, and Kenners pretty much goes with the flow.

Or if you'd like to make it *super* special . . . Add sprinkles.  We really like sprinkles.

More Ideas:

 * Decorate a Gingerbread House.  We usually buy a kit, but I've seen ADORABLE little "cottages" made from Graham Crackers.  We may just have to try that this year.

* Have a Wrapping Party with your littles.  My girly girls LOVE wrapping paper.  And tape.  Ohhh don't get me started on their love of tape.  Turn on a special movie, gather together gifts for the Grandmas and Grandpas, and let them go to town!

* Christmas Movie Marathon.  Stay in jammies all day, pop popcorn, and watch your holiday favorites!  Ours include: Charlie Brown Christmas, Garfield Christmas {seriously hilarious}, Elf {LOVE!}, and Frosty!

Don't forget to share your favorite activities in the comments!!
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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Countdown to Christmas 2012

I can't believe we are just days away from December!
I think . . . YES, I'm quite positive . . . December is our favorite, favoritest month of the year.

Several years ago I made an Advent Calendar.  Each day in December, the girls find a slip of paper in a pocket ~ a surprise outing, activity, or craft for the day.  We keep it very simple {and mostly free!}, and the girls love it. 
If you are looking for something fun to do with your kiddos, look no further. 
I'm going to start a list of some ideas, and please feel free to add some of your own ideas in the comments.  We're always looking for new ideas :)
Here we go:
3.  Bake a Birthday Cake for Jesus
4. Make Sparkly Snowflakes to hang from the ceiling

Now, I know I haven't been the world's greatest blogger lately.  But, I am going to attempt a weekly link up for Countdown to Christmas.  Let me know if you're interseted!!

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thanksgiving & Whatnot

Y'all, we had a fantabulous Thanksgiving. 
I did miss out on the actual dinner {Miss Tay was in need of a nap}, but  I fixed myself a plate later.

And dessert.  I pretty much live for dessert.

So.  The girls with *their* AG girls ;)

Are they the cutest?

And this girl:

Ahhhh, my mischief maker.  And I thought Kam was full of it.  Never, folks.  Never have I known a child to be so full of . . . . mischief.


What have you all been up to?  We are gearing up for a busy, busy month!  Countdown to Christmas starts in just 4 days!!  This is our fourth year.  My, how time flies!!  If you're new here, we plan an outing, activity, craft, etc. every day in December for the girls.  We keep it pretty simple, but the girls LOVE it!  Stay tuned for some ideas for your own littles!  And if you're looking for a little inspiration now:

Countdown to Christmas 2011

Countdown to Christmas 2010

Countdown to Christmas 2010

Countdown to Christmas 2009

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Thursday, November 22, 2012


Never before have I had so much to be thankful for.
Actually, no. Let me start again.
Never before have I fully realized all that I have to be thankful for.
Earlier this year we went through the worst day of our entire lives, as a family, when we lost Justin.  I didn't know that any of us would ever smile again.  Or find joy in anything again.
But that day . . . or those months, rather, that have led to this day, have taught me about the fragility of life.  And I am reminded every single day how blessed I am.  How blessed we all are to have each other.  I think it can be easy, when you're thinking about what you don't have, to not fully realize what you do.
This Thanksgiving, and every other day for the rest of my life, I am especially reminded how thankful I am for my husband.  I cannot imagine one day without him.  I am so blessed by our time together.
Wishing you all a blessed, blessed Thanksgiving!  I'm thankful for y'all too  :)
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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Christmas Bazaar

 My big girls and I have been busily crafting for their first ever Christmas Bazaar!

It was held last weekend, and it was such fun!

We made gift tags . . .

 Hot Cocoa Packets, Snowmen Candy Bars, Jewelry, Hair Clips,

Little Post-It Note Holders . . . {I found this idea on my friend, Heidi's blog, and she got the tutorial HERE ~ Seriously CUTE and easy!!}
Baby Blankets, Scarves, Bath Salts, and lots o' other goodies!

Sierra and I did a mock set up at home before the big day :)

And then . . . the BIG DAY!
I was chasing the littles while the big girls held down the table ;)

And then . . . the unthinkable . . . we found out that someone was selling BUNNIES!
 We begged the Daddy for one, but it is not to be.  Which is okay {we're kind of holding out for a kitten, anyway!}

Y'all, Thanksgiving is in TWO days.  Then Countdown to Christmas is just around the corner! 
Holy smokes, time's a flyin'!  Whatcha been up to? 
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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

More Baking

 I swear, I could bake every day.

Before I got married and had lotsa babies, my older sister and I {half} joked that we'd open our own bakery one day.  I'll be honest, I still dream about it from time to time.

My favorites are hand-held desserts ;)

Cookies, Bars, Brownies . . .
and a new favorite:

Hand Pies.

Seriously delish, y'all.

I looked all over for a recipe that didn't seem too time consuming {I don't have a lot of extra time, don'tcha know}, and every crust recipe I found seemed so overly fussy.  I don't like fussy.

So I kinda just made my own.

I took:

2 sticks of butter {I used sweet cream, everyone else uses unsalted, apparently}
2 1/2 cups of flour
2 Tbsps. Sugar
1 tsp. Salt
2 tsps. Cinnamon
1/2 cup Buttermilk


I cut the butter into a million pieces and combined with the remaining ingredients, leaving the buttermilk for last.  It took awhile to combine to my liking.
Then I sprinkled flour on my counter, rolled out the dough, and cut a bunch of circles with a biscuit cutter.  Then I rolled those circles a little thinner {'cuz they were teeny tiny}.  I set those aside, preheated my oven to 375 degrees, and got to work on the fruit filling.

We had about 425 million apples lying around after making cider, so I peeled, cored, and diced some of those, mixed in a few Tablespoons of sugar, sprinkled on some cinnamon, and even drizzled a little sweetened condensed milk on top.

I wanted a variety of pies, and had some blackberries left over from summer blackberry picking, so I tossed some of those in a bowl with a sprinkling of sugar as well.

Next, I spread some filling on the dough . . .


And then I folded them over, sealed with a fork, and sprinkled with decorative sugar crystals.
 Would you believe I didn't get a picture of them when they were finished?  You would if you'd tasted them. They were so delicious, we ate 'em all up!

Don't judge, but the last time I went grocery shopping, I picked up some pre-made pie dough, and I thought I'd try them using that.  How quick and simple would that be?!

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Monday, November 5, 2012

Medford Trip

For, literally, years I've been wanting to plan a trip to Medford.  Though I didn't grow up there, I did spend several significant years there as a teenager; and I've been longing to show my girls all of the places I loved in Southern Oregon.

Since we still have so much family there, our limited trips are always short, and spent at a specific function {reception, party, birth, etc.}  We never seem to have time to just mosey around, visiting.

I was so happy that we finally made it happen a couple of weeks ago!

My mom and I took the girls down a couple days early, and Jeremy and my dad met up with us later.

On Friday we drove to Jacksonville, an ADORABLE little town I used to love to visit.

The weather was wonderful, and the scenery gorgeous.  Beautiful Fall colors everywhere.

We met up with one of my favorite people for lunch at one of my favorite places ~ The Bella.

We're just going to pretend that we had a wonderfully quiet lunch full of sweet conversation and delicious food ~ Instead of the full-on screaming from a certain one year old who shall remain nameless.  Sigh.

The day didn't exactly unfold the way it had in my mind.  There wasn't much window shopping for me since my little ones were coming down with a virus, and Tay was cutting three molars.  But I'm happy we made the trip anyway.

I have no desire to go on another trip any time soon.  But I am glad we made it happen ;)
 We even had a few moments of silence out of Tay.  Especially when she got to meet up with her little cousin again.  She LOVES the bay-bays :)
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Saturday, November 3, 2012


 We had a nice, quiet Halloween.  How 'bout y'all?

Jerm was out of town right before Halloween, so this mama was left on pumpkin duty. 
All I'm going to say is this: There is no reason for a family of 6 to carve SIX pumpkins. 
Four?  Okay.  One for each kiddo is totally reasonable.  But six pumpkins to cut open.  Six pumpkins to reach into, pulling out the slimy, sticky guts.  That's a few too many for this Mama ;)  Next year the older ones are at least going to help clean them out, lol!

Now, on to the fun part.  The dressing up:
 Kam changed her mind about her costume about 1.2 million times.
First she wanted to be a fairy.  Then a princess.  Then Tiana.  Then Fairy Princess Tiana. 
Then maybe a kitty.  No, possibly a ballerina.  And then finally, she settled on Princess Aurora.  Perfect!  She looked just like a little Sleeping Beauty.
Sierra had  her heart set on Cinderella.
She used one of my old pageant gowns, and we found some white gloves. 
Kenners wanted to be Ariel.  I am no seamstress, but I did manage a little skirt set in aqua blue.
And Tay wound up being the little ballerina.
We'd thought about a fairy for her, but didn't figure she'd keep the wings on anyway, so a ballerina costume was the easiest, most comfy idea for a 1 year old ;)

We trick-or-treated at a whopping four houses, and then snuggled up at home for Halloween specials.  It was perfection!  And now . . .

The holidays are officially upon us!

I LOVE this time of year!!!
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