Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Christmas Story House

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Here are some photos from our trip to Cleveland to visit the Christmas Story House. We had a nice family day and the guys even got to have wings on the way home at their favorite place...Quaker Steak and Lube.

~peace and blessings~


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas 2011

I hope that everyone had a lovely Christmas! I hope Santa was good to everyone too!

We had a nice holiday.

Here's our annual Christmas Eve family photo...this was the best of the bunch. My fat is hidden, my teeth aren't too awful and my double chin isn't taking up the whole picture ...yep, love holiday pictures of myself. I had hoped to get a closer shot, but my brother was struggling with the

The elves brought the kids new jammies on Christmas Eve.

Here's Miss M modeling her new Christmas jammies! She is such a hambone!

H with his gift of the iPod touch.

Miss M with her Barbie camper from Santa. It is by far the hit of Christmas 2011!

Thanks for stopping by!

~peace and blessings~


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Snowman Face Cookies

Miss M's Dance Christmas Party is Tuesday. I agreed to bring in some cookies for the party. Of course, I couldn't just do regular cookies. I found these cuties at and made them today. Here's the recipe:

1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® sugar cookie mix
1/2cup butter or margarine, softened
1 egg
1 container (12 oz) Betty Crocker® Whipped fluffy white frosting
Red string licorice
Assorted candies

1. Heat oven to 375°F. In medium bowl, stir cookie mix, butter and egg until soft dough forms. On ungreased cookie sheets, drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart.

2. Bake 11 to 14 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 15 minutes.

3. Frost and decorate 1 cookie at a time. After spreading frosting on cookie, add licorice for band of earmuffs and candies for ear "covers" and snowman face.


~peace and blessings~


Cute Teacher Gift Idea

I saw these on Pinterest from the blog My Sister's Suitcase. I just had to make a few for my colleagues at school. I filled each cup with assorted chocolates (kisses, butterfinger bells and peanut butter cups), and will deliver them on Monday morning with a can of soda. It's going to be an action-packed week in middle school. I hope this helps the week feel a bit less crazy!

~peace and blessings~


Holiday Lights on the Lake 2011

On Friday evening, we visited Blue Spruce Park's Festival of Lights. The Festival is in it's 20th year. We've been attending annually for about 8 years now. This year's theme is Santa's Tropical Holiday.

Here are Rudolph and his friend in the hot tub.

Our kids on the dock with Santa peeking at them.
I'm still learning how to use this camera!

A view of the lake and light display.

Merry Christmas!

~peace and blessings~


Christmas Tree 2011

Hunter decorating the tree.

Miss M adding her Precious Moments Little Mermaid to the tree.

Christmas Tree 2011

~peace and blessings~


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Handmade Christmas Cards

These are a few of the cards I made for the Christmas Card Exchange that I participate in each year. I used the K & Company Die Cut Cardmaking Pad and Elizabeth Brownd Layered Accents for these cards. I think they are coming together nicely...only 15 to go!

~blessings and peace~


Monday, November 28, 2011

Visit with Santa and the Festival of Trees

We went to our township light up night. They had a tree decorating contest. The one above was done in pink and silver. It was beautiful.

This one was done by the Cub Scouts. It was called "All Tied Up" and was decorated with ropes tied in a variety of knots. I love the red, white and blue lights.

Miss M with Santa Claus

Miss M putting her letter to Santa in his mailbox. We will hear back from him by Christmas!



Menu Plan Monday 11.28.11

It's been quite awhile since I've participated in MPM. I'm still menu planning weekly, just haven't had the time to post my menu to the blog. Life is crazy busy, so I don't get as much computer time as I had in the past. Here's the plan:

Sunday~Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

Monday~Chicken and Dumplings, Salad

Tuesday~Slow Cooked Beef Tips in Gravy over Egg Noodles, Green Beans

Wednesday~BBQ Pork Stuffed Baked Potatoes (new recipe), Salad

Thursday~Turkey Clubs with Oven Fries

Friday~Dinner Out

Saturday~Ham Pot Pie

Have a great week!

~peace and blessings~


Sunday, November 27, 2011

First Sunday of Advent

We lit the first candle on our Advent Wreath today. We will light it each night during dinner. I used dollar flameless candles and wrapped them with purple and rose ribbon. It makes it safer for the little ones.

Miss M with our Advent Wreath

We also made an Advent Chain to countdown the days until Christmas. Each link has something special written on it to do each day of Advent. Today's link says: "Light the first candle on the Advent wreath." Here's a printable version of my activities that are written on the links:

Advent Chain

On the sheet with the star it says:

Each evening after prayers are said
Take off one loop and hop in bed.
When only the star is left to shine
Then you will know it's CHRISTMAS time!

I found the printable at Catholic Parenting.

~blessings and peace~


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Pumpkin Gobs

Pumpkin Gobs

1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) sugar cookie mix
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 egg
2/3 cup marshmallow creme (from 7-oz jar)
1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
2/3 cup powdered sugar

1. Heat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, stir together cookie mix and flour. Add remaining cookie ingredients; stir until stiff dough forms.
2. Onto ungreased cookie sheets, drop dough by 36 rounded teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart. Lightly press tops with floured fingertips to flatten slightly.
3. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until set. Cool 2 minutes; remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 15 minutes.
4. In medium bowl, beat filling ingredients with electric mixer until light and fluffy. For each whoopie pie, spread about 2 teaspoons of the filling on bottom of 1 cooled cookie. Top with second cookie, bottom side down; gently press together. Store tightly covered in refrigerator. Sprinkle with additional powdered sugar just before serving.


My little Gob Monster!

~peace and blessings~


Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Landscaping continues....

We now have shrubs and trees planted in the front of the house. These are pics before more dirt was spread and mulch is put in. That will happen this week. You can see before pics here. We were worried that we would not be able to plant, since it is November, but the nursery said it would be fine and we are trusting that they are correct.

Here's a view from the steps...and with my shadow. The tree is a red maple that won't get much larger than it is right now. I think it looks more like a home with the plants...

Another shot, a bit closer. I can't believe this area was covered in snow last Saturday! DH added in the dirt and put in a few landscape lights later today, but it was too dark to take photos.

Thanks for stopping by!
~blessings and peace~


Hunter's 13th Birthday

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Happy 13th Birthday to our sweet, intelligent, thoughtful son! We are so very proud of you! You are a blessing to our family and we look forward to the teenage years now upon us!

We celebrated with a small family party for him last night. We had a Peanut Butter Cup Blizzard Ice Cream Cake, Pizza Dip and Chips, and Nachos with Cheese. A good time was had by all...especially the birthday boy who got everything he asked for and more!

~blessings and peace~


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Give Thanks Calendar

The idea for this Give Thanks Calendar was posted at Comfy in the Kitchen. I followed the instructions in the post. I used a yard of burlap, 10 pieces of felt in 5 colors, and 3 packs of presto felt. To create my numbers, I made tracers using my cricut. Each night at dinner we'll each take a turn sharing what we are thankful for that day. Then we'll write them on the slip of paper inside each day. I'm planning on keeping the slips so we can look back at them in the coming years. Thank you for stopping by!

~peace and blessings~


Halloween 2011

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We had a spook-tacular Halloween, despite my fight with a stomach bug. We visited the grandparents' houses for trick or treat, ate Mummy Face Pizzas for dinner and then ate Monster Foot cookies for dessert! I had hoped to make some Halloween S'mores using some huge pumpkin marshmallows, but the family filled up on treats instead!

Thank you for stopping by!

~peace and blessings~


Saturday, October 29, 2011

October 29th Nor'easter

We were hit with a snow storm today... was wet and very heavy. I had tried to take a picture this morning when the trees were heavy with snow, but my camera battery was dead. SIGH!

Winter is arriving early this year. So much for grass and landscaping!

~peace and blessings~

Saturday, October 22, 2011

On the hunt...

...for a chair for my den. I want to have a place to sit and read, watch tv and correct papers. I am torn between the style I'd like for the room. This chair has been on my radar for months now....

...well this isn't the exact chair. This is the new version of the chair. It's actually much lighter in color with a paisley imprint in the fabric and the legs are a bit chunkier, but you get the idea. The price is reasonable, too. It appeals to my traditional style. The den is traditional too.

I am considering this style chair as well, with an ottoman and NOT in this awful plaid. It was comfy and cozy when I sat in it today (and dd and I both fit!).

Then, there is the EKTORP chair from IKEA. I love te way it looks, especially with the ottoman, but IKEA is about 2 1/2 hours away. I could just have it shipped, but I am worried that it won't be comfortable. I would also purchase the ottoman and get it in a color.

Decisions, Decisions!

~peace and blessings~


Sunday, October 16, 2011


My guys were filling in the beds today for our landscaping. It's starting to look like a yard!

The dirt pile is it!

Here's the sidewalk with the dirt filled in on the other side. We're planning on planting some StoryBook Roses in this area.

Just some flowers I bought sunflowers and the bouquet smells so great!

Thanks for stopping by!

~peace and blessings~


Homemade Apple Sauce Recipe

Homemade Apple Sauce
4 med. cooking apples, pared, quartered & cored
1 c. water
1/2 c. brown sugar, packed
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. nutmeg

Heat apples and water over medium heat to boiling. Reduce heat; simmer, stirring occasionally, 5 to 10 minutes or until tender. Stir in brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg; heat to boiling. Let cool to room temperature and serve or refrigerate.


~peace and blessings~


My Halloween Door Decor

Welcome ghosts and goblins!

~peace and blessings~


Fall...Before and After

Some fall photos from the forest behind our house on a sunny, fall day...

...with plenty of leaves still on the trees.


...the rain and high winds came and the leaves came falling down.

~peace and blessings~