Monday, November 30, 2009

Almost Homemade Soap

For Christmas gifts, I'm making my co-workers, secretaries and aides Almost Homemade Soap to go with the knitted faceclothes I'm making each of them. I followed Carrie's directions on her blog, Farming On Faith. I used Ivory Soap instead of Dove, but will probably use Dove if I make the soap again. I used a muffin tin to shape the soap, but think it would be neat to use mini muffin tins or even tree shaped molds to make them.

I wrapped each soap in cellophane, then wrapped strips of scrapbook paper around each soap, added a circle and the dot letters to spell soap. The circles on the red paper remind me of bubbles. :0)

Thanks for stopping by today!


Simple Woman's Daybook, November 30th

FOR TODAY...November 30th
Outside my window... the skies are gray and it is raining today. Hunters are out looking for "the" deer of the season.

I am thankful for...our ability to pay for Christmas this year with cash. What a blessing!

I am wearing... my robe and slippers. It's so nice being off of school today!

I am remembering... the wonderful day we had Saturday with our best girl Karin.

I am going... to decorate the kitchen for Christmas today.

I am reading... One Simple Act: Discovering the Power of Generosity by Debbie Macomber

I am hoping...for a peaceful Advent.

On my mind...details about our new home.

From the learning rooms... at school, Gingerbread Men and Houses.

I am noticing that... it's taking much longer than I thought to knit a throw.

Pondering these words...Do not forget to do good and to share with other, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.~Hebrews 13:16

From the kitchen... Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Around the house... doing laundry, cleaning and some decorating.

One of my favorite things~ Cinnamon Roll Oatmeal on a cold morning.

A Picture from my photo journal~

Trees lit up in Pittsburgh



Menu Plan Monday, November 30, 2009

Welcome to another Menu Plan Monday, hosted by Laura at I'm An Organizing Junkie. This week will be busy with hockey practices, religious ed classes, hockey games, hunting and dance. Here's our plan for this week:

Sunday~ Lasagna Toss, Salad and Garlic Toast

Monday~ Chicken Cordon Bleu, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, and Green Beans with Bacon and Onion

Tuesday~ Take Out Tuesday (hockey game...GO TROJANS!!)

Wednesday~BBQ Pork Sandwiches, Macaroni and Cheese, Baked Beans

Thursday~Cheese Stuffed Meatloaf, Oven Roasted Potatoes and Corn

Friday~Pizza, Salad and Wings

Saturday~Slow Cooker Beef Tips in Gravy over Noodles, Steamed Carrots

I have a cute story to share with you today. I ran into a lovely older lady named Judy from our parish at the grocery store. I had my menu in hand, along with the list of groceries we needed for the next two weeks. She mentioned how hard it was to come up with ideas for dinner after watching her grandchildren all day and also how hard it was for her dil, since she worked all day. I agreed that it is hard, but that I do a menu for my family every week and that makes it much easier. She said she could tell that I had it by how I was shopping AND she could tell that I am a teacher, too. (Her husband was a teacher for 23 years before retiring.)
I thought that was cute and funny, too! I hope that I inspired her to take that step into menu planning! Also, can you keep Ed and Judy in your prayers? They are having some health concerns and could use prayers.

Have a week full of blessings and love,

Sunday, November 29, 2009

First Sunday of Advent

Today is the first Sunday of Advent. We wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Savior Jesus Christ. Advent is a joyful time of preparation for the celebration of the birth of Jesus. As part of our celebration of Advent, we have an advent wreath on our dining room table. Each week, we will light the candles and pray together using the prayers from Catholic Culture. org. The kids will be following this Advent Calendar each day until Christmas.

I hope your Advent is filled with peace and inspiration of the true meaning of this glorious season.


Radio City Christmas Spectacular

On Friday, we went to see the Radio City Christmas Spectacular at the Benedum in Pittsburgh. The show was spectacular! DD loved it! Her favorite part was the Rockettes of course! She kicked her legs up all night long! It was a great show and we hope to see it some day in NYC.

DD in her Christmas dress in the hall at the Benedum.
Anxiously awaiting the start of the show...we had great seats!

Maddie and me

Karin and Maddie

We had a great girls day out in the city!



Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Pumpkin Rolls

Pumpkin Rolls are my contribution to Thanksgiving Dinner this year. I made one for each of our families' dinners. I used the recipe from Libby's Pumpkin:

1/4 cup powdered sugar (to sprinkle on towel)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
6 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Powdered sugar (optional for decoration)
conversion calculator Directions
PREHEAT oven to 375° F. Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan; line with wax paper. Grease and flour paper. Sprinkle a thin, cotton kitchen towel with powdered sugar.

COMBINE flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt in small bowl. Beat eggs and granulated sugar in large mixer bowl until thick. Beat in pumpkin. Stir in flour mixture. Spread evenly into prepared pan. Sprinkle with nuts.

BAKE for 13 to 15 minutes or until top of cake springs back when touched. (If using a dark-colored pan, begin checking for doneness at 11 minutes.) Immediately loosen and turn cake onto prepared towel. Carefully peel off paper. Roll up cake and towel together, starting with narrow end. Cool on wire rack.

BEAT cream cheese, 1 cup powdered sugar, butter and vanilla extract in small mixer bowl until smooth. Carefully unroll cake. Spread cream cheese mixture over cake. Reroll cake. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving, if desired.

First, I gathered my ingredients.
Next, I combined the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ground cloves and cinnamon.

In another bowl, combine the sugar and three eggs.

Mix until thick. Did I mention that I love my Kitchen Aid mixer?

Beat the pumpkin into the egg/sugar mixture.

Stir in the flour mixture and combine.

Then pour into a baking sheet that has been greased, and lined with parchment paper (it seemed to work better than the waxed paper...) that has been greased and floured. Bake for 12-15 minutes in a 375 degree oven. Turn out onto a cotton dishtowel that has been sprinkled with powdered sugar, after loosening the cake from the pan. Roll up cake and towel together and let cool on a wire rack. Then prepare filling following the recipe directions.



Knitting: A Red Scarf

This is a pic of the scarf I knitted for my mil for Christmas. She loves red. I used Lion Brand Homespun Yarn. It is so soft. The pattern is online here.

Happy Knitting!


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Menu Plan Monday, November 23, 2009

Welcome to another Menu Plan Monday, hosted by Laura at I'm An Organizing Junkie. Here's our plan for this week:

Sunday~ Tortellini with Meat Sauce, Veal Parmesan and Rolls

Monday~ Cheese Kielbassi, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, and Corn

Tuesday~Sloppy Joes, Macaroni and Cheese, Baked Beans

Wednesday~Grilled Steak, Twice Baked Potatoes, Tossed Salad

Thursday~ Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday~DD and I are going to see the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular! We'll stop to eat on the way home.

Saturday~Pizza Party for nephew's birthday

Have a week full of blessings,

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Perfect Christmas by Debbie Macomber

Today I picked up The Perfect Christmas and couldn't put it down. I finished it in one day. It was an easy read with lots of laughs. It's a great Christmas read, filled with the true meaning of

Here's a description from the author's site:

What would make your Christmas perfect?

For Cassie Beaumont, it’s meeting her perfect match. Cassie, at thirty-three, wants a husband and kids, and so far, nothing’s worked. Not blind dates, not the Internet and certainly not leaving love to chance. What’s left? A professional matchmaker. He’s Simon Dodson, and he’s very choosy about the clients he takes on. Cassie finds Simon a difficult, acerbic know-it-all, and she’s astonished when he accepts her as a client.

Claiming he has her perfect mate in mind, Simon assigns her three tasks to complete before she meets him. Three tasks that are all about Christmas: being a charity bell ringer, dressing up as Santa’s elf at a children’s party and preparing a traditional turkey dinner for her neighbors (whom she happens to dislike). Despite a number of comical mishaps, Cassie does it all—and she’s finally ready to meet her match. But just like the perfect Christmas gift, he turns out to be a wonderful surprise!


Cookies for Santa Kits

Jadi at Homemaking Fun shared this cute idea for Cookies for Santa Kit on her blog. I thought they would be a great gift for my niece and nephews this holiday season.

I purchased the clear "paint cans" from Michael's with a 40% off coupon. I filled each container with red paper shreds, snack size packages of sugar and chocolate chip cookie mixes, a container of holiday frosting, two jars of sprinkles wrapped with coordinating scrapbook paper, and two cookie cutters. I created the label using Microsoft word and clip art from 's Christmas Bears Art Collection.


Monday, November 16, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook, November 16, 2009

FOR TODAY...November 16th

Outside my window... the sun is shining in the blue skies. It's very warm for mid-November

I am thankful husband and his never-ending love for me and our children.

I am wearing... a pink top with sparkly snowflakes, black slacks and shoes.

I am remembering... last Christmas.

I am going... to take ds to the plastic surgeon today about some mole removal.

I am reading...

I am hoping...that everything works out for us with our new home.

On my mind...Annie from MHH. Praying for her health.

From the learning rooms... at school, Native Americans and Pilgrims.

I am noticing that... sometimes God may not answer our prayers as we want them to be answered, but in the way that he sees as best for us.

Pondering these words...If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, "thank you," that would suffice. ~Meister Eckhart

From the kitchen... apple dumplings for dessert, Quick Chicken Soup and Grilled Cheese for dinner.

Around the house... doing laundry and hoping to make it outside to rake some leaves.

One of my favorite things~ knitting gifts for others.

From my picture journal:

Thank you for stopping by today!

Menu Plan Monday, November 16, 2009

Welcome to another Menu Plan Monday, hosted by Laura at I'm An Organizing Junkie. Here's our plan for this week:

Sunday~Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce over Spaghetti, Hot Italian Sausage, Salad and Italian Bread

Monday~Quick Chicken Soup and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Tuesday~Meatball Hoagies and Homemade Fries

Wednesday~Chicken Soft Tacos, Mexican Rice and Corn

Thursday~Ham Steaks, Mashed Potatoes, Country Gravy and Green Beans

Friday~Pizza and Wing Night

Saturday~Pork Chops and Scalloped Potatoes, Carrots

Thanks for stopping by today!

Be sure to check out 100's of other menus at



Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Crockpot Wednesday~Cheesy Hashbrown Potatoes

Welcome to Crock Pot Wednesday hosted by Debbie at Dining with Debbie.

Today I'm sharing a recipe for Cheesy Hashbrown Potatoes. These are great for brunch and as a side dish with dinner.
Cheesy Hashbrown Potatoes

6 cups frozen hash browns
2 cups cheddar cheese
1 cup milk
1/2 cup half-and-half
1/4 cup onion, Chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1. Put hashbrowns and onion in crock.

2. Then put in seasonings next and cheese and milk.

3. Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours, or high 3-4 hours.

Veteran's Day Program 2009

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In honor of Veteran's Day our school district hosts a Veteran's Day Breakfast for local veterans. Yesterday, we had over 300 veterans attend the breakfast and program. DS was part of the program, representing the Army. The kids did a fantastic job. The Veterans had a great time, too. In the evening, ds and the other students who participated in the program were presented with certificates of appreciation by the school board. We're very proud of our son!

Thanks for stopping by!



Veteran's Day 2009

"We often take for granted the things that most need our gratitude."
~Cynthia Ozick
Thank you to our Veterans!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Menu Plan Monday, November 9, 2009

Welcome to another Menu Plan Monday, hosted by Laura at I'm An Organizing Junkie.

Here's our plan for the week:

Sunday~Dinner at In-Laws for dh and the kids.

Monday~Spaghetti with Meat Sauce and Veal Parmesan, Salad

Tuesday~ Marinated Pork Roast in the Slow Cooker, Penne with Olive Oil and Garlic (finally!), Green Beans

Wednesday~BBQ Pepper Jack Chicken, Rice Pilaf and Corn

Thursday~ Meatball Hoagies and Homemade French Fries, Salad

Friday~Barn Dance Fundraiser~BBQ Dinner

Saturday~ Pizza and Wings

Have a week full of blessings,


Friday, November 6, 2009

Happy Birthday to our Son!

Our sweet boy turned 11 years old today. I remember when he was just a baby with his chubby little legs and cheeks. Then a kindergartener learning to tie his shoes. Now he is an avid reader, hockey player, trumpet player and straight A student. Where has the time gone? One thing hasn't changed...he is sweet, thoughtful, loving and kind. We're so very proud of him.
Happy Birthday Hunter!
We Love YOU!
Mom and Dad

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Menu Plan Monday, November 2, 2009

Welcome to another Menu Plan Monday, hosted by Laura at I'm An Organizing Junkie.

Here's our plan for this week:

Sunday~ Spaghetti Dinner at Mom and Dad's

Monday~Tacos, Tater Tots and Corn

Tuesday~Bisquick Oven Baked Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Country Gravy and Green Beans

Wednesday~Slow Cooker Cube Steaks, Parsleyed Potatoes and Carrots

Thursday~Pork Roast, Penne with Olive Oil and Garlic, Salad

Friday~ Hunter's Birthday~his choice with Red Velvet Cake for dessert

Saturday~ Dinner Out at the Japanese Steak House

Have a week full of blessings,

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Pumpkin Carving 2009

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Thursday night was pumpkin carving night at our house. DS is growing up so fast! He designed and carved his own pumpkin this year. DD chose the shapes for her jack-0-lantern and I cut them out for her. DH used a template to create the BOO! pumpkin.
Hope your Halloween was Spooktacular!

SCREAM! Cheese Swirl Brownies

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I made these brownies for family and friends this week. The recipe was from Betty Crocker. I used a different brand of brownie mix, but they were still delicious and well received. I think they would be great for Valentine's Day, using red food coloring instead of orange.



Halloween 2009

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We had a nice Halloween. DD and I made a dinner of Mummy Face Pizzas and Ghoulish (Chicken) Fingers with Blood (ketchup) for dipping. After dinner, we went Trick-or-Treating for about an hour. Then, we came home and passed out treats to our treaters. The kids had a great day!