Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Big Bear Ski Trip!!

Hi everyone! Here are a few photos
from the ski trip last week!
It was a memorable trip right
from the start... flying into a
huge storm that left 3 feet of
snow in the mountains. Scary!!
Once we arrived after a rocky
flight, we drove up the mountains
from Palm Springs, CA. We
arrived at the Northwoods Resort
at Big Bear Mountain after
about a two hour drive.
What a fun time had by all!
Spencer, Gannon and Nick
went to ski school, and Andrew
was already a "pro"... so he
and Dad headed up the double
black diamond runs! YIKES!
I on the other hand, knowing
I had an upcoming surgery...
opted to stay at the bottom
of the hill and watch the ski school!
Have a warm and toasty Holiday
everyone! We are expecting a
huge Christmas blizzard! The
boys are thrilled with that news!!
Winter Blessings to you all!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Doing Well! Thanks for asking!!

The surgery went well! Thank you soooo much for all your calls, e-mails and gifts of love, meals and flowers!! I am so very blessed to have such a wonderful family and friends!

I am still on a ton of meds, so not quite up to par, but I know it will be a great Christmas despite this set-back and that I will be healthier because of the surgery!

I wish you all a Very Merry Christmas and will post again soon with pics from our ski trip just as soon as I'm feelin a little better.


Saturday, December 5, 2009

Check This Out!!

Hi everyone! I just had to show you my little project today. I found this idea on a link from Today's Creative Blog for ribbon trees. It turned out really cute I think! I added an antique tea cup base to make it more like a little sweet topiary! Now.... who to give it to for Christmas?? I think I may have to make a couple more!

Have a great weekend!! Wish me luck on the ski hill! I am a serious klutz!!


Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Elves Have Been Busy Around Here...wink,wink!

T.G.I.F !!

How are you all doing today? I am, uh, I mean
the Elves have been busy decorating,
wrapping and making gifts at
my house!! I posted more photos
of the holly jolly-ness around
our home due to lots of requests
to do so! Thanks for caring

AND It's Recipe Swap Day!!!
I have a great Cinnamon Latte
mix in a jar recipe posted after the photos
for you guys to make for all your
teachers, neighbors and anyone
else who likes warm rich coffee!
Who wouldn't right? Simply
Scroll down past the pics and it's there!
I put the mix in a cute vintage jar
and tied some sparkle ribbon on it.
They really take all of about
five minutes to make, so it's
a great snappy little gift to whip
up for someone!

Enjoy the photos and have a wonderful
weekend! My family and I are heading
off for a much needed vacation with our
family in California! We are going skiing
at Big Bear Lake. The boys are sure
excited!!! Can't wait to see my sis and my
two adorable nephews!

I'll be back next week! Take care


2 small jars cinnamon flavor coffee mate powder
1 small jar french vanilla coffee mate powder
3/4 powdered coffee creamer
1 c. powdered sugar
1 c.powdered dry milk
1/2 C. dry instant coffee granules
* simple: just dump all into a huge bowl and give it a good mix. This makes a lot. About 6 cups worth. I then used a kitchen funnel to put into my jars.
Note: Don't forget to add a little tag to your gift jar telling them how to make their yummy
coffee: * Add 3 heaping tsp. to a mug of steaming hot water and stir!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Merry December!

Merry December everyone!! I bet everyone is starting to get their jingle on and their homes ready for the holidays... aren't you? Well, I've been gradually adding Christmas decor daily. I keep finding little "spots" that need to be decorated. Here is my mantle (for now anyways) I have a new garland that I made this year. I followed Colleens Rag Tied Garland Tutorial on her blog "And Baby Makes Five".....here is the result... Ta Da!!!! What do ya think? I made one for my BFF too and she really loves it. She has tons of great ideas on there!! Thanks Colleen!! I just whipped these up in no time for gifts too! My youngest son Nicholas wants one with Spiderman fabric for above his window in his room. :)

Here's a closer look.
Do you still believe?? My oldest is fourteen and I told him that if he even so much as "breathes" that Santa isn't real, the consequences are grand!!!

More Christmas decor from around the house. Have you all finished your "be-decking" yet? As my friend Colleen put it... "It's hard to get anything decorated with kids and the hubs underfoot!!" I soooo agree Colleen!

Here is my "sheep" which I have out year round. The "joy" swag is always a favorite of mine. Given to me by a great friend.:)

Well, today is going to be short and sweet, but I hope to get a good recipe up on here for the Homemade Holiday Swap on Friday and some more photos. I have THE CUTEST set of winter blocks that my friend Kindra made for me. They are in my dining room. That's next to be photographed. I'm just waiting to get the tree trimmed in there before I show ya! If you haven't checked out Kindra's Blog.. you must!!!! Visit her at "3 guys, a girl and a prim place.blogspot" You will leave inspired!!!I have a fun wine tasting party to go to on Saturday, and I really need a good recipe for dip to bring. Any suggestions ladies??? I'm tired of making hot artichoke dip! I need something creative!!!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Is Everybody Stuffed??

Happy Black Friday Everyone!!

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We sure did!

Here are some photos of our special day. I wish I had snapped a few of the boys, but they were so busy running around and playing that they were all doing their own thing and really didn't want me stopping them for photos! It's Homemade Holiday Recipe day! Boy do I have a sinful one for you today! See below for my "FA, LA, LA FUDGE PUDDING CAKE" ! It is scrumptious and easy too!

Above is the "kids" table. I made this turkey
out of fruit and cheese and few wood
skewers. It turned out cute don't ya think?

This is our dog Lily and our friend's dog
Jersey. They had fun racing around
the house and having a little "taste"
of turkey. :)

This is me and my dear friend Jennifer. She
made an awesome stuffing and pumpkin
pies. Oh, let's not forget her Chutney!

This is the "grown ups" table. I made the
apple cone centerpiece using a cone
shaped form with nails sticking out of
it. You just stick all the fruit on and
fill in with pine, bittersweet and walnuts!
I love the Colonial look of this!

Fa, La, La Fudge Pudding Cake

(Courtesy of Gooseberry Patch Holidays)
1 Box Chocolate Cake Mix
3.9 oz. pkg instant Choc. Pudding Mix
2 C. Sour Cream (I know, sinful!!)
4 Eggs
1 C. Water
3/4 C. Oil
1/4 t. Salt
2. C. Semi Sweet Choc. Chips (whole bag!)
non-stick spray
whipped cream or ice cream (we had ice cream and it was super!)
* Combine all ingredients except the choc. chips in a large mixing bowl.
Beat for 2 minutes until well combined. Stir in Chocolate Chips. Spray a Slow Cooker with your non-stick spray and pour batter in. Cook on low for 5 hours. Serve right out of the crock pot by the scoopful with a dollop of whipping cream or scoop of ice cream. Heavenly!!!

Well, I am off to tuck kids in now, I will be back later in the week with a couple holiday decor photos and some pictures of the boys! Have a great weekend!!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

A Prayer, A Craft, A Recipe and a Laugh

Good Day Everyone!
I have lots to share with you all today. First of all I was recently informed that a sweet friend of Spencer and Gannon's was diagnosed with Leukemia. The boys took it hard and have been asking a lot of questions. Mostly "why"? I wonder that myself!! After reassuring them quite a bit that God is watching over Abby and that she is getting great care at Children's Hospital, we came up with a little prayer just for Abby. It goes like this... "God bless her laugh, God bless her smile. Watch over her now, and for a long while!" So Abby, if you read this.. we are all hoping you feel better soon!!

Now, on a lighter note, I have a FUN Thanksgiving "Kids Table" craft project for you all! These cute, cute Pilgrim Photo Napkin Rings. Are they not hilarious!! They are a surprise for my boys and the wonderful Woolfolk boys who will be joining us this year. (Seven kids in all!) They are a snap to make, and really inexpensive. Both things I look for in a craft project!!

You will need:
Black card stock or construction paper
White paper
Photo of your child
Glue Stick

First cut a 2" X 7" strip of the black paper.
Then cut a 1/2" X 7" strip of the white paper.
Notch a "V" in the white paper and glue it to the
top portion of the black strip.

Next, cut out the head part of your child's photo.
glue the head to the top of the strip just above
the "V" notch. (the collar) Then, make a pilgrimish type hat out of the black. Cut a small
white strip for the hat and a small square piece of black to make the hat's "buckle". Glue the hat
in place on the head portion of the photo.

Allow the glue to dry a bit and then come back
and "curl" the strip to form a ring and staple
in place. Slide a napkin through the ring and ta-da!!
You are done! I added some pine and bittersweet sprigs
to make it festive. Now that is easy peasy!!!

Since Thanksgiving is coming up so soon, I decided on a cranberry chutney that
is a cinch to whip up! This is great on pork or turkey and even better spread on
a block of cream cheese and served with crackers! Great for hostess gifts in a
pretty jar!!!


1 C. Fresh Orange Sections

1/4 C. Orange Juice

4 C. Fresh

2 1/4 C. Sugar

1 C. Chopped unpeeled apple

1/2 C. Golden Raisins

1/4 C. Chopped Walnuts

1 Tbsp. Vinegar

1/2 Tsp. Ground Ginger

1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon


Throw everything in a large sauce pan and
bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer
5 minutes or until berried begin to "pop"
Chill until serving time.

This colorful sweet chutney stores great in the
refrigerator for up to 2 weeks! Makes 5 Cups.

Now, for the laugh!! Today I went to my youngest son Nick's
first grade "Feast" at Twin Lakes Elementary. They
had a long "Table" made out of brown paper running the
whole length of the hallway outside the classrooms. They
feasted on carrots, corn (puff corn), craisins, pumpkin pie
and cucumbers! They made costumes too! (this is the funny part)
Nick got to make a Native American Costume. Some kids were Pilgrim
boys and girls too. Well, Nick decided that he didn't want to be a
Native American, because he thought that the Pilgrim costumes were
"cooler." So... he decided to run back in the classroom and make a "new"
costume. He came back out with a Pilgrim Hat, a Native American "Smock" and
an apron. He said "look at me, I'm a Native Pilgrim American!" No one laughed but me of course. It was a fun time, and all the kids enjoyed sitting all together in the hall. Thanks Mrs.

In keeping with the "Gratitude Attitude Challenge" my thoughts are simple.
I am thankful for funny moments like the ones today, messy pumpkin pie faces,
and for the gift of being a Mom!

Thank you for all your recipes, crafts, fun stories and photos! I am
truly inspired by you all everyday! Enjoy the weekend, and I will be back
on Wednesday with another recipe and a fun centerpiece for your Thanksgiving
table! Take Care!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Silhouette Tutorial

Hi everyone! Today I have a great little tutorial and Slow cooker sloppy joes! Mmmmmmm!

See below for the recipe. They are easy, hot, and yummy!!

With the holidays inching closer, I have been busy doing projects while I have a little bit of extra time. AND I thought, gee... I have to catch up to Colleen , Kindra and Grammy Linda with all their SUPER tutorials! Thanks ladies for the inspiration!!! I made these neat silhouettes of the boys over the weekend. They are very inexpensive and relatively easy to make!! Follow along for some simple instructions.

You will need:

Side view photo (I used a 5X7)
Sharp smaller scissors
Heavy black cardstock
White or ivory cardstock
Frame of your choosing
#2 pencil
Double face tape or scrapbooking Paper adhesive

step 1: Cut out the side view photo CAREFULLY with your sharp scissors.

step 2: Trace the cutout photo outline onto the black cardstock with your #2 pencil. Don't worry, it WILL show up on the black!

step 3: CAREFULLY cut the traced outline out.

step 4: Put several strips of double faced tape or scrapbooking paper adhesive to the back of your silhouette and center it onto a piece of the white or ivory cardstock.

step 5: Put your finished silhouette into your frame. I added an ivory ribbon hanger too!

See how easy that was? They turn out very old fashioned looking and cute!

Here is my Friday Recipe for the Holiday Swap, ENJOY!!

Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes

1-1/2 lbs. ground beef
1 onion, chopped finely
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 c. catsup
1/2 c water
1 T. brown sugar
2 T. mustard
2 T. vinegar
2 T. Worcestershire
1-1/2 T chili powder
1can kidney beans
6-8 toasted buns
1cup shredded cheese for topping

* Brown ground beef with onion and garlic, drain and set aside. Combine all remaining ingredients except for cheese in a slow cooker, stir in beef mixture and cook on low setting for 6 hours or on high setting for 3-4 hours. Spoon onto toasted buns. Top with shredded cheese if desired.

Gratitude Attitude abounds me today! I am thankful for these four beautiful boys in the silhouettes above, the inspiration I have found in others as of lately and for the bounty of friends who will share our Thanksgiving feast this season. May you find your blessings plentiful, and your tummies full this Thanksgiving!! Until next time, thanks for stopping by my friends!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Holiday Recipe Swap Starts Today!!!

Happy Friday Peeps!!

I am joining my new friend Colleen from "and baby makes five" in doing a fun Holiday Recipe Swap! It starts today, so be sure to click on the link at the right of this post to visit her blog! She has wonderful craft tutorials and a lovely home as well as more great recipes for you to check out! Each Friday, there will be new ones posted! Thanks Colleen for starting the fun! I am always on the lookout for new simple recipes to try especially this time of year!

I have a great cheese ball recipe for you to try today. I am sorry that I don't have a picture of it. In the future, I will try to have photos along with the recipe. :) This is a great one to bring to an ornament exchange, or to make when those wonderful friends stop by over the holiday season. I hope you like it!

Today I am thankful for making new friends through my blog, the fresh autumn air coming in through a crack in my kitchen window, and for the ability to laugh at myself. If not for that, life would just be tougher!!

Mint Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball

You will need:
12 oz Package mini semi sweet choc. chips
12 oz Package peppermint candies crushed
(great way to take out your stress, simply place in a tightly sealed freezer bag and pound away - ha!)
8 oz Package cream cheese, softened
1 C. Chopped pecans
Chocolate sugar wafers

*Blend chocolate chips, peppermint candies and cream cheese together: roll in pecans and serve with chocolate sugar wafers
makes 2-1/2 cups

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Trick-R-Treat From Our Home To Yours

The night air was calm and crisp and our house was all aglow with Halloween excitement!! Lily the Westie was at the ready! She loves to greet the trick-r-treaters every year. You can't see it, but she has a "jingle-jangle" collar with ghosts and pumpkins on it! She was sooo cute! Each year we get over 200 kids at our home for tricks and treats! Andrew was Ozzy Osbourne this year, as you can tell by the hair, Nick and Gannon were army men and Spencer was a ghastly ghoul!! They all had loads of fun carving pumpkins too!

Today I am thankful for my family's good health, my wonderful good friends who are with me through thick and thin and the fact that we are able to pay our bills and have a little bit extra each month for a night out with my wonderful husband!

Oops! Someone got caught with their "paw" in the candy bowl!! Here is Lily with a Milk Duds box stuck on her foot! She wanted a treat too, but NO chocolate for doggies Lily!! HILARIOUS!
OK, here is a FABULOUS recipe to try during these chilly days!! (courtesy of Gooseberry Patch Harvest Kitchen Cookbook!) They are simply d-licious!

Prairie Praline Muffins
3 T brown sugar, packed
1 T butter, softened
1/3 C. chopped pecans
3 ripe bananas
1 egg, beaten
1/2 C. sugar
1/4 C. oil
1-1/2 C. pancake mix
* Stir together brown sugar and butter in a small bowl; add pecans and set aside. In a separate bowl, mash bananas and stir in egg, sugar and oil until well blended. Add pancake mix; stir just until moistened. Fill greased muffin cups 2/3 full. Drop one teaspoon of the pecan mixture on top of each muffin. Bake at 350 degrees for 11-13 minutes, until lightly golden. Makes one dozen. Mmmmmm!

Monday, October 19, 2009

All I want for Christmas is my Two Front Teeth!!

Happy Monday everyone! We are awaiting the infamous Tooth Fairy at our house! Nick lost both of his front teeth over the weekend! He was so brave when Daddy pulled them out! They were literally "hanging by a thread" and it was so hard for him to eat! It was definitely time for them to come out! He is getting soooo grown up!

I hosted book club at my house on Thursday night! We chose the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Have any of you read that?? It looks really neat. It's written all in letter format. Very Different! My sweet friend Jennifer brought me this pumpkin when she came. It's very "Martha Stewart" she painted the stem and added lots of really fine silver glitter. I just love the way it shimmers!! Thanks Jen!
I finally finished decking the house for the season. Here are a few photos of "autumn around our home." I have really loved seeing all of your homes on your blogs too! Before we know it, this lovely time of year will be all but a memory... covered in snow! I plan to enjoy every minute of it!

This cool pumpkin hooked rug is from Christine at Buttermilk Junction! If you have time, check out her shop! She is a sweetie!! I just love the colors in it. http://www.buttermilkjunction.com/.

I got this idea from an old Country Living Magazine from a couple of years back. I had this large glass jar and wanted to do something with it. It was inexpensive and I think I can change it our for Christmas by adding some "snow" or holiday rose hips and a Christmas candle. Or, maybe some pine boughs and berries... What do you think?

This is an old sap bucket with a pumpkin face cut out. I got it a few years ago at a local shop called the "Vintage Cupboard" they are no longer in business, and I miss shopping there! Girls, you need to re-open again! Hint, Hint!! I love this and put it out every year.

More autumn photos.....


My Halloween tree! The boys love this!!

Well, that's all I have to share today. Thanks for stopping in for a visit! Oh, by the way... I am having trouble leaving comments on some of your blogs. I want you to know that I have really tried to visit you all, but can't leave you a note! Darn Blogger! I have decided to take part in the Gratitude Attitude Challenge from Mercy's Blog. Today I am thankful for warm little hands to hold on a cold autumn day, a fuzzy little dog by my feet and the great joy blogging has brought me! Have a good week peeps!