Sunday, November 27, 2011

A little Thanksgiving and Christmas Decorations

First off, I must share these brownie surprises (a pintrest recipe) I made for our Thanksgiving supper at church. Sometimes you should follow the directions completely. When the recipe calls for baking cups, use them.

 I was TRYING to save money and not buy baking cups I thought I'd just spray my muffin tin really well with PAM, but that did not work. While looking through my cabinets trying to decide what I could make for a dessert guess what I found?

I had some cups all along. So the second batch I did turned out beautifully. Although, I was only left with 22 to take to church.

Olivia's cousins spent the night and we made cinnamon roll cupcakes for breakfast, they were very good. (A pintrest recipe)

Olivia prays daily for her cousin Kelsy to come back.

 I made my first turkey. I wish I would have taken more pictures of this beauty, but this is all I have. I brined it. I have the recipe I used posted on pintrest. AMAZING!!! Trying to get the turkey parts out, was kind of funny since the turkey was still slightly frozen and they were tucked into the other side of the turkey. Then my pot was too small when I put the turkey into the brine. A note for next time: Make brine in a large stock pot, enough room to bring 2 gallons of water to a boil. Then get a new bucket or Styrofoam cooler to put the turkey in and pour the brine over the turkey.
 This weekend we decorated for Christmas.
The girls helped Daddy with the outdoor lights until they got cold. Then they helped me fluff the branches to our Christmas tree while watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade.
 Our Advent Calendar. I posted the directions to this on an earlier post. Can't wait to start it on Thursday.
 Our Stockings.
 I got these stocking holders last year after Christmas at Hobby Lobby. I am a little disappointed because you can't see our stockings behind the TV. I had great hopes into making our shelf look like a mantel and get a fireplace DVD to turn our TV into a fireplace. I haven't found a DVD yet.
 I got this Christmas ball idea from Daydream Believer blog. I got two packages of balls from Walmart for $2.50 each.
 My Christmas Card wreath hung just waiting for cards. I got the idea for this from a friend. The wreath part is a wire wreath from Michael's wrapped with ribbon, the wide stuff. Then clothes pins glued around it.
 Our nativity scene. I have a different one, but my children will not leave it alone. So last year I bought this one from the Family Christian Book Store. It was on sale and then I had a coupon. Love how they give coupons so freely. The only thing  I don't like about it is the magi look like girls. I think they were all male.
 Our tree!

My candles got a little melted in storage this year. So I am going have to find some new ones.
 My hubby made me this candy dish a few years ago on a Wells Fargo team activity. They went to one of those pottery places. Candy dishes and small children don't really go together, so it is empty.
 No tree is complete without a Veggie Tale train.
 Black Friday bargain. $40 for this 3-1 printer. I didn't get much Christmas shopping accomplished on Black Friday. I got the printer for myself. And then some stuff we needed like socks. I did get Olivia a pea coat at Old Navy for $15 so I was pretty excited about that.  This was our first year going at midnight. My sister-in-law and I decided we like going around 4 better. We don't usually have to wait in much of a line anywhere. Plus, we don't usually go after the BIG stuff.

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoy decorating for Christmas!

"It's the Happ Happiest Season of all"

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Advent Activities

I was working on our activities for our Advent Calendar and this is what I came up with. I'd love to hear any ideas you might have. If you look through my list I have three crafts. Although, Olivia LOVES crafts. Give her scissors, paper, and glue and she is in heaven.

Jolly Holiday Lights
Unwrap a book to read
Make and decorate Cookies
Make a craft with Mom
Go to Christmas Cantata
Church Christmas Program
Happy Meals at McDonald's
Play a game
Movie and Popcorn
Ice Cream
Shop for Cubbies Christmas Gift
Play date
Train Ride at the mall
Pizza Night
Open 1 Christmas Present (Christmas Eve)
Make Christmas Candy with Grandma
Read the story about the birth of Jesus
Make bread to give to friends/neighbors
Craft with Mom
Spaghetti Night
Game Night
Eat chocolate
Red Box (Movie Night)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


I haven't really gotten in on the 24 days of Thanksgiving. So here is half my list and I'll do the other half next week.

1. My God. Without Him I'd have nothing on my list, since ALL things come from Him.
2. My husband. He works very hard to provide for us, and allows me to stay home with our daughters.
3. My two amazing daughters. I love those two like crazy.
4. My parents. I have the best most amazing parents in the world. They would do anything for us.
5. My brother. I love his friendship we have now that we are adults.
6. My sister-in-laws. They are like the sisters I never had. Love crafting, shopping, or just hanging out with them.
7. I better not leave out my brother-in-laws. They keep life interesting.
8. My amazing friends.  I have so many truely amazing friends. I love them all, and treasure their friendship.
9. Our church. I have grown so much in my walk with Christ over the last few years.
10. Our Small group. They go along with friends and church. But I value each of their friendships. I love Sunday nights.
11. God has given us a beautiful home to live in. With a warm bed to sleep in on cold nights.
12.  Playdates. They help keep my sanity.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Photo canvas

I am so excited to show you my latest project. Mod-podge and I are becoming best friends. I created a photo canvas.

I got some 12X12 canvases at Micheal's last weekend on sale (thought I better add that in case my husband reads this). Plus a piece of scrapbook paper, a 12X12 photo printed at Costco and some Mod Podge.

I found this project, of course on my new addiction, pintrest. As one of my friends wrote this week, I need a pintrest budget.

I measured around the rim of the canvas and cut 4 strips of scrapbook paper and then got out my handy dandy Mod Podge and applied them around the edges and Mod Podged my photo onto the canvas


(Please don't pay attention to the potatoes in the background. I didn't really know where to put the 20 pounds of potatoes I bought for Thanksgiving dinner Friday night.)

The next step in directions is to lightly sponge black paint around the edges. I haven't decided if I am going to do that. I am a little nervous about screwing that part up. Also, I don't know if it is the Mod Podge I used, but when the light shines on it just right you can see the Mod Podge lines. Oh well, I am still in love with it. After Christmas I am going to do 3 smaller square canvases attached with ribbon. Besides not being able to do all the projects I want to do at once, the place I am going to hang it is where my advent calendar is going to go.

Here is another project I did a couple of weeks ago.

T-shirt scarf. I love it and it is so comfortable. Sorry, my head is chopped off. I had my 4 year old take the picture.
I also made a little rosette pin

This was fun and easy too. I think our Small Group is going to make t-shirt scarves when we host our Homes of Light get together. Then we can give them as Christmas gifts.

I am going to leave you with this adorable picture:

We went to a craft show and got owl hats. I forgot I bought them hats last year though. So now we have a hippo, sock monkey, and owl hats. Can't pass up cute hats. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Advent Calendar AKA: Christmas Count Down

Last year a couple of my friends made advent calendars out of mini muffin tins. They were so cute. I have no clue how to link to their blogs or else I would. By the time I got around to making one last year, it was half way through December. So I thought I would get a head start on it this year.

I will apologize in advance, I forgot to rotate my pictures so they are sideways, Oops.
I found a mini muffin tin at Walmart for $4.95. I had to go to two Walmarts to find it.
Using the small circle, on the Creative Memories Large Circle punch, I punched out circles and glued them on the bottom of each hole.

Sean drilled me two holes in the top to hang it up with ribbon.

I made pictures on my Creative Memories Story Book Plus program and printed them on card stock. I used clip art from the Christmas Jewel paper pack. To get 24 pictures though, I had to get a few images off the Internet. My friend Abby used old Christmas ornaments instead of pictures.

Then I mod-podged them to card stock.

Then put magnets on the back and voila! Now I need to come up with 24 different activities for the girls to do each day to hide inside each cup. A special craft, a lunch date, game, etc. If you have any good ideas. Let me know. I am sure I am going to struggle with 24 different things to do.

Thought I'd share this fun picture. My friend Rachel and I went on the Wine Walk with her grandma and mom. It was a fun night walking around the square and wine tasting. Hopefully if we go again next year our friend Angela will be able to join us.