Saturday, November 27, 2010

Countdown to Christmas!

This year advent begins on the 28th of November, I recieved an awesome little booklet with daily devotionals to read as we enjoy this holiday season! There are 26 days until Christmas in the advent calendar however we are doing a 24 day countdown (this is so we can use this craft every year), I will do our daily bible verse and countdown as a supplement to the fun we'll have with my new and first craft for the Christmas season!

To make your own countdown to Christmas you will need the following:

  -24 mini stockings, these were on special this week at Walgreens (2/$1) it was a limit of four each purchase so Kaitlyn and I had a great time buying four going to the car and putting them away then going back into the store to get four more six times!

-white ribbon
-hot glue gun
-candy (I bought 2 bags of hershey's kisses (2/$5 at walmart plus a $1 off coupon from the Sunday paper...I only used one bag!
-needle and white thread

-Avent calendar and devational booklet
-Green construction paper

Type up bible versus in two columns and print on green construction paper

Cut into seperate cards for each day

String mini stockings onto the ribbon

On the end that is not attached to the ribbon spool measure about 2 inches down and fold the ribbon over to create a loop, this is how you will attach the string of stockings to the wall.

Sew the loop (if you hate to sew you could use your hot glue gun for this part)

Once you have strung all your stockings on the ribbon and sewen or glued the first loop space out the stockings about 2 inches apart so they hang together. I layed my row off stockings out on the table and then took my hot glue gun and went down the line.
Make sure you start at the end with the loop, leave about 5 inches from the loop to the first stocking.

Once all your stockings have been glued on it's time to stuff them with the bible verse and goodies!

In each mini stocking (with one bag of hershey's kisses) I put 3 kisses and the day's bible verse. 

Each day we will enjoy a goodie as we read our bible verse and supplement with a reading from the devotional booklet.

Christmas is my favorite holiday, I cannot wait to begin the Christmas season! 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Turkey Day...warning it's kind of long and mushy!

In the past at Thanksgiving tables I've always been so nervous about the question of what I'm thankful for, to be honest I don't really know why, guess I didn't want to sound silly and to be honest there have been years where it's been a struggle for me to come up with something. However I cannot wait for this year and the question because I have a new attitude towards life and am thankful for oh so so much...

Let me start with this amazing man...approximately 9 years ago I met this crazy kid on the girls floor of my freshman dorm, he wanted me to go out to the bars with him, I looked at him in his pink condom hat like he'd lost his mind and said I had to go to bed and be up at 5am for swim practice. During that year I saw him a few more times, for some crazy reason he'd stolen my heart and neither of us knew it or why!
We hung out more the following year, few movies in group settings (he was dating someone else and we were strictly friends).
Junior year we became inseperable friends.
July 6th, 2004 we started dating...
February 14th, 2007 we got engaged...
March 22nd, 2008 we got married...
What a ride it's been but he is my rock, my soul mate and my best friend. He drives me to the brink of insanity and keeps me grounded.
This past 5 months have been the best of our marriage, I think we've both grown and figured out who were are and what an amazing choice it is to love each other daily. I am very thankful for him.

 My two little monsters, the big one on the left challenges me daily, makes me laugh like nothing else and is a mini-me. She is my first born and lives up to that every moment, she is strong willed, stubborn, loving, loves to be in charge, loves to cuddle, she made me a mama and has my heart! The little guy up front is just the best, he has a smile that melts my heart, but he is a determined little booger with a temper when it doesn't go his way, he's a mama's boy already, sitting up on his own and today decided to crawl and get into big sis's stuff, trouble maker in the making!
These kids are my world and I am so thankful for them, each and every moment

I am thankful for my family, both immediate and extended. My parents and il's are top notch and I am beyond blessed to have them as my family.

My friends are amazing, both new and old. I have been taught a lot this year about trust and loyalty and friendship, true friendship runs deep. I've lost a few friends this year, but gained a wonderful one back as we are working to mend the broken ties we had.

This year I am thankful, thankful for the lessons I've learned, the hard times and the good, the tears and the laughter, the true friendship I have been shown, the love I have experienced, the heartache I've felt, the changes, the sames, the differences, the skills I've learned, the strength I've gained, the failures I've felt, I'm so thankful each and everyday for the life I have been given.

Happy Thanksgiving my American friends! May you all find something to be thankful for this season!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

mmm mmm pie

I made three pies today for tomorrows festivities! It's the first time in a long time I was embarrased about my check out stuff at the grocery store...chocolate syrup, whipped topping, chocolate pudding mix (which I ended up not needing), ice cream and hershey kisses (which are for our advent to come). Oh and three cans of pumpkin puree, I was really really bummed that I couldn't find pie pumpkins this year...I may have been able too at Publix but with two grumpy kids in the car I cut my losses and bought the canned stuff.

I NEVER buy junk food!

Pumpkin pie ala Lisa

*4 cups vanilla ice cream
*2 cans pumpkin puree
*5 eggs
*3/4 cup of sugar
*2 DEEP dish pie crusts
*cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger

*Pre-heat oven to 450degrees and set ice cream container ontop of the oven to soften
*In a large mixing bowl combine eggs, pumpkin and sugar and mix until all combined
*Add in about 1/4 a teaspoon of each spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger) and mix well
*Combine with 4 cups of ice cream and mix until smooth.
*Pour evenly into each pie dish
*Bake at 450* for 18 mins, then reduce oven temp to 350 and bake for an additional 45-50mins until knife comes out clean.

Peanut Butter Pie (from the Sunday paper about 2 weeks ago)

*1 cup of smooth peanut butter
*extra tablespoon of pb
*8ozs of cream cheese
*1/2 cup of sugar
*chocolate sauce (the ice cream topping kind that will set)
*tub of cool whip
*graham cracker crust

*In a large mixing bowl combine 1 cup of pb, 8 ozs of cream cheese and 1/2 cup of sugar, mix with an electric mixer until smooth.
*Add in 3 cups of cool whip and mix until smooth.
*Spoon mixture into graham cracker crust and smooth out.
*Cover with chocolate sauce and put in the freezer for about an this time set the cool whip out so it defrosts.
*Once chocolate sauce has set cover with rest of the cool whip
*In a plastic ziploc bag put the extra tbsp of peanut butter, microwave for about 40sec. then cut a small hole in the bottom of the bag and drizzle over the cool whip.
*Put chocolate sauce in another ziploc bag, cut a small hole in the bottom and drizzle in the opposite direction across cool whip. Add semi-sweet chocolates if you desire!
*Put back in the freezer to set!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Menu Monday

Lunch-Sub sandwiches out-visiting a friend and her newborn today
Dinner- Cornflake crusted chicken, green beans and sweet potato fries

Lunch-Sandwiches out again-visiting a friend for lunch
Dinner- Tilapia with seasoning, sweet corn and fresh homemade bread

Lunch-Grilled Cheese and tomoto soup
Dinner- Eggplant parmesan

Breakfast- French toast casserole, grapes

Lunch- leftover turkey sandwiches with mayo and cranberry sauce
Dinner- Breakfast for dinner (scrambled eggs, beef bacon, biscuts)

Lunch- Homemade pizza
Dinner- Ground Chicken Enchiladas, black beans, spanish rice

Lunch- Sandwiches, apple
Dinner- Spagehtti casserole, peas and cornbread

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Crafts, Crafts and more Crafts!

I LOVE crafts, it's possible I could spend an entire day and more than our monthly income in the craft store. At present I am working on a new long sleeved dress for K, some overalls for B, crocheting a blanket for B and K (just started B' goal was to finish one for each of them for Christmas but not sure if it will happen or not), and some photo blocks for Christmas gifts for grandparents!

 The photo blocks are easy to make and so fun to do! What you'll need is wooden blocks in various sizes (found at both Michaels and Hobby Lobby), a container of Mod Podge, paint brush, exacto knife, cutting board and a bunch of pictures (preferably matte finish but glossy works too, and 4*6 with room to cut) OR you can use a book...I will have pictures of this soon!
Paint a nice smear of Mod Podge on one side of the block
 Place your favorite picture ontop and press down, let it sit for a couple of minutes to adhere/dry.
Flip it over on the cutting board and trim off the edges with the exacto knife.
Flip the box back over and apply a few coats of Mod Podge to the picture, I like to brush down all across and then take the paintbrush and ever so lightly go back over vertically to give the look of a canvas.
Let dry for a good 15 mins and about a week before touching/stacking!

To use the other size of wood blocks do the same steps but place the picture on all four blocks together, (Place all the blocks together, then glue one side and put the picture on them to cover all blocks...I hope this makes sense I'm such a visual person and did not think to snap a picture when I made my first set...I will have full pictures of the book project I'm doing ((see below)) to show you on Tuesday if this is confusing) then use the exacto knife to separate the blocks and thus cutting though the picture. You will end up with four blocks each holding one part of a picture to make up 6 full pictures in total!                                                                     

What I am working on now for K's Christmas gift this year is using 6 blocks and a Dr. Sesus book that we have a duplicate of, I am cutting up words from our favorite for one side, another side will be colours, another side will be matching, yet another will have counting, and then two sides for pictures. I cannot wait and will post pictures as soon as I have it all done...which hopefully will be Tuesday as our activities have all been cancelled for the week due to the Thanksgiving holiday!

I recently finished some frames for a couple of friends. Old book, frame, scrapbook paper, paint, letter stencil and a hot glue gun...I have too much fun making these!

and an awesome Fall wreath for a small wall in the dining room....made from a newspaper, rope, hot glue and leaves/pine cones in the garden!

I love to craft and as often as I can when B is napping, K and I will pull out the glue and paint and whatever other fun things we can find and go to town, her on one end of the table me on the other, working together in our own little crafting world putting together our masterpieces.

Every payday I gather up my craft store coupons, Hobby Lobby puts 40% off in the paper every Sunday, Michaels hands out 40% in email a couple of times a month and JoAnn is hit or miss in the clearance aisle and search out as many fun crafts as I can get my hands on! I have a big ole bag of Christmas goodies I can't wait to start making.

My big plans this year are for K and I to make Christmas balls for the tree, an advent calendar and gingerbread houses! More artsy fartsy posts to come :)