Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmas Family Tradition

One of our family traditions that bring smiles and excitement to our kids year after year is the night we read, The Legend of the Candy Cane. We open up our "matching" pajamas, run to the tree and select a candy cane off a branch. Then to the table we go for home made hot coco, topped with whip cream and marshmallows. With candy canes in hand, we stir our hot coco creating a yummy peppermint coco. As we stir and sip we listen as daddy reads to us the meaning of the candy cane. "J" for Jesus, the red stripe the blood shed for us and the white stripe symbolizing the  washing away our sins leaving us white as snow.
I cherish our tradition as I think back over Christmases past, remembering the joy and love we share as a family. Family traditions help create long lasting memories. Memories that bring up feelings of joy, love, meaning and belonging. 
I  hope that in this busy season of Christmas you too are stopping and taking time with your loved ones and creating memories of peace, joy and love.
Merry Christmas

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Turkey {Shaped} Cake Pops

Gobble! Gobble! Is exactly what will happen to these cute, full of personality and delicious Turkey cake pops!

Here is what you will need:
Cake Mix
Mini Marshmallows cut in 1/3 for the eyes
Candy Corn for feathers and beak
Red Starburst Candy softened in the microwave
Round sprinkles for the eyeballs
Lollipop sticks
Bark Coating Chocolate or Candy Melts
Wax Paper

Google Cake Pops and you will find many great tutorials already exist on the "how to" of making Cake Pops. I used the method from Instructables which I believe is a Bakerella original.

Turkeys take shape...
After making cake balls, I pulled and formed the head from the cake ball. Once covered in chocolate I placed all the Turkey "parts" where they belonged. If the chocolate dries before you are able to place things on, use a dab of chocolate like glue. For the beak, cut the candy corn length wise. Break off the yellow end and white tip leaving you with an orange beak. The red Starburst candy needs to be softened in the microwave, flattened and cut into strips. I then twisted it.  The whites of the eyes are Marshmallows divided in 1/3. I then stuck a single sprinkle in the middle. I used both blue and green, to add to the different personalities my Turkeys were taking on.

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Monday, November 7, 2011

Maintenance Monday

Maintenance Monday is something new we are trying out around our Created Home. So far I am loving this simple addition to my kids regular daily chores. With a family of seven my daily upkeep of our home just keeps increasing. It dawned on me, along with the work increase so is the age increase of my kids. Translation... they are capable of doing more to help out. Oh happy day!
I am using my classroom chalkboard to write the job for each child. Each Monday may have different maintenance needs, so a chalkboard works out great.
Even my three year old gets in on the fun. She often comes to me during the week and asks me if she can feather dust. Oh and another fun dusting tip for little hands. Use an old sock. They simply place it on their hand and wipe away. You can let them decorate the top of the sock to make it even more fun.

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

How to Make A Blog Button With A Grab Box

When I set out to figure out how to make a grab button, I had a pretty good idea it was not going to be simple. After some searching I found this adorable blog The Little Hen House who I feel had the easiest "how to" tutorial out there. There is just one thing I will add. This will make more sense once you read the tutorial.
If you copy and paste the HTML code provided in the tutorial (she gives both codes for Wordpress and Blogger) then you need to, very carefully delete and then retype all the light colored " quotation marks. If you miss even one quotation mark it keeps the process from working. (Not that I know from experience ;>)
For me the trouble I ran into was everything looked like it worked on my page. Meaning the picture showed up as well as the HTML code box, but when I tested it, the process was incomplete. For anyone else to grab my button it would not show up on their page. Yet the button was on my page looking like it would work. Through much trial and error I figured out about the " quotation marks. My only experience is in Blogger so I do not know if the same is true for Wordpress. Also make sure for your Gadget you add the Text box and not the HTML/ Java Script option.
You could just type out the whole code and not copy and paste if you please. You just have to make sure everything is exact or else you have to start again.
So thank you very, very much to The Little Hen House for putting together such a wonderful, easy to follow tutorial! Much appreciated!

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Mod Podge Peg Hook

 Mod Podge + ribbon = a little something extra!
This peg hook couldn't be easier. Paint the hook the color of your choosing and then Mod Podge on the ribbon you choose. First paint the Mod Podge onto the wood, stick the ribbon on and paint the Mod Podge over the whole peg hook in nice even strokes.
I suggest spraying or painting the peg hook with a sealant if used for wet towels. 

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Okay are you ready for something delicious? A fast and super easy dinner that will have you going back for seconds. A recipe that you will keep in your rotation of, "what's for dinner?" It is that good. Do I have your taste buds watering with curiosity?
Blue Cheese and Honey Crisp Apple Salad:
Blue Cheese Crumbles
Iceberg Lettuce
Honey Crisp Apples
Chopped Nuts (almonds, peanuts and or pecans)
Blue Cheese Dressing

Bread Crumb Topped Sausage Two Cheese Pasta:
Tube Pasta
Block Cream Cheese (softened)
1 Can of Campbell's Cheddar Cheese Soup
1/2 Yellow Onion Chopped
Jimmy Dean Sausage Regular
1/2 Stick of Butter
1 Cup Bread Crumbs 

Brown the sausage, half way through add the onion. In a mixing bowl, mix the milk, cream cheese, cheddar cheese soup and pepper to taste. Add the pasta and meat to the cheese mixture. In a small mixing bowl add the bread crumbs and melted butter, mix. Put the pasta in a baking dish and top with the bread crumbs. Bake at 350degrees for about 20 minuets.


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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup is a wonderful comfort on a cold fall day. Here is a version I came up with and it is mmm mmm good! You can get as creative as you want. Switch up the noodles or veggies. Add garlic, the options are up to you.

Chicken skinless boneless breasts or tenderloins
Carrots chopped
Celery chopped
Onion chopped
Cauliflower chopped
Parsley (dried)
Thyme (dried)
Basil (dried)
Chicken Stock/ Broth (amount depends on the serving size you desire. For a whole package of pasta you will need at least 12 cups for soup pot and 2c. for baking the chicken) Canned or bullion cubes.
McCormick Grill Mates Seasoning- Onion & Garlic

 What to do:
Lay chicken breasts on a foil lined cookie sheet. Pour 2 cups of broth over the chicken. Season chicken with McCormick seasoning, salt and pepper.  Cover tray with foil and bake 375degrees for about 40 minuets (for tenderloins if frozen). While the chicken is baking it is the perfect time to get your veggies chopped and cooking in a big soup pot of  broth. Add the herbs, salt and pepper (amount you prefer) to the soup pot of veggies and stock. Once the veggies are tender add your pasta. Chop your chicken into cubes. Add the chicken, simmer (careful not to overcook your noodles) and serve.

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Sharing is Caring

 Remember my Mason Jar Memories Post? Well it has been so fun to see how many have pinned the idea, shared it on Facebook or have put it into use. Over at  Fishtail Cottage a Mason Jar Memory pops up in a little girls new bedroom. It turned out amazing!
Thank you Fishtail Cottage for featuring me.

Something I would love to share with you is my darling nine year old daughter's blog. Creative Colorings and Crafts. My daughter is not excited when she is asked by her teacher aka me to write a story. Okay she is not excited to even write one sentence. I had her start this blog in hopes that doing something fun and creative would inspire at least a like, if not a desire for writing. If you have children in your life this would be a fun blog to follow. Everything has been created by my nine year old. She is in most instances the photographer as well. I am her proof reader and at times her editor or adviser. But this blog is hers and she loves doing it.
May I also add as her teacher, having her do a blog covers many areas of education. Computer skills, art, writing, language, photography and design in several forms. She really has to be thinking. When she creates a project she now takes her blog into consideration. I love seeing a child's imagination in motion. Hope you are inspired in some way!

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Saturday, October 15, 2011

Heart to Heart

 Hello blogland! I have been away for quite some time! I have missed you all! My absence is explained in what is to follow.

I awoke to the phone ringing and my mom telling me, " your dad is in the ICU, he has had a heart attack." After my tears cleared I began rushing around throwing things in bags. Getting ready for our 18 hour trip from Colorado back home to California to be at my dad's side. Amazing how quickly I packed for six! When we flew to Florida a few months back, I prepped for days. Not this time!
Our drive was smooth and undoubtedly blessed by God. At one point just a head of us a Big Rig caught fire. A fireman stopped us rather close to the Semi truck. As smoke was still billowing out, the fire they thought was out, flared up again. A policeman approached our window and said, "you are kind of close here. Go ahead because we are closing the road." Thank you Lord! We (the only car allowed through) were on our way!
We drove through the night and arrived in time for me to see my dad before going into surgery. Another praise in my heart! My dad was smiling and making all around him laugh. As the nurses began to roll him away to the operating room he was giving high fives to all he passed. That's my dad!
We waited during his six hour surgery, praying with out ceasing. What was originally thought to be a double, possible triple bypass turned into  a quintuple bypass. Surgery went well, praise the Lord. The surgeon said he has a healthy heart. That his six years of dedication to his elliptical machine is what saved his life.
My days were spent at the Hospital. Thanking God for the blessing of being at my dad's side. Seeing my strong, larger than life daddy lying in a hospital bed weak and dependent caused my own heart to be humbled. What a fragile, helpless dependent creature we are. We are nothing apart from our great Creator, always dependent upon Him, even if we think we are not. Our days do not belong to us. Our loved ones are  gifts and time with them precious. I am appreciating life in a deeper way than ever before.
The Bible verses in my previous post have been a constant comfort. God is good and in control!
My dad is home and recovering. After a nine day trip, we too are back home and settling back into our routine of things. What a whirlwind and now the calm.

Here is my mom holding her only grandson, in the ICU waiting room. What a needed blessing for Grandma in a time of trial.

My four girls and my sister's two... breakfast at Grandma and Papa's.
My sweet boy in Papa's chair
The sad goodbye but so happy to have Papa back home!

Here are some pictures from our slower paced trip back home.
Driving through Las Vegas
The location of Pawn Stars a TV show on History channel
 Many hours on the road can leave one a little silly. My husband said to the cows, "what are you guys doing out here?" To which I replied, "just moo-ving along." He thinks I am a nut and I "crack" myself up! One of my daughters asked if the cows were wild? My husbands reply, "yes they are a rowdy bunch of cows."
 Later on we came across a lot of tires in the road and my husband said, "there is a lot of rubber in the road." To which I replied, "this is where the rubber meets the road."
Laughter was a good contrast to tears. :)
I call my girls gooseberry all the time. 

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Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Plans of the Heart...

"Mommy I peed (long pause)... on the floor!" My eyes were forced open, my focus not kicking in. "Mommy... I peed on your floor!" Oh yes reality, well good morning to you! So my day may not have started out the way I had hoped or even planed. Cleaning up pee off my bathroom floor and re bathing a child that was just bathed hours before at bedtime. Was not how I saw my day play out when my weary head hit the pillow. I just may have heard that same little voice mid afternoon informing me that once again she drenched the floor. Other mishaps surprised me. A kitchen was cleaned only to have dinner time hit. A kitchen re cleaned. A little voice calling from the bathroom for yet a third time. "Mommy, I  peed... in the toilette."  Well at long last something went as planned! 
Do you ever just feel...

Here are some Bible verses that encourage me when things just don't go as I had planned. Hope you find encouragement too.

Proverbs 16:1 The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the LORD.

Philippians 4:6-7  do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

1 Peter 5:6-7  Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,  casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

Matthew 11:28-30 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Proverbs 16:9  In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.


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Saturday, September 24, 2011

{Cookie} Cutters

I bought a big box of cookie cutters and it is shaping up to be a fun purchase! Turning our sandwiches into different shapes has been so exciting for the girls. Today I decided to surprise them with pancakes dusted with powdered sugar!
 A football surprise for daddy form his girls!

Now all we need to do is make cookies with our {cookie} cutters!

Note: Because these cookie cutters are plastic, I cut the shapes after I make the pancakes. Just covering my bases. Lol!

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Little Something Painted

I confess I love painting! I love taking an object and seeing what I come up with. Here are a few things I have painted for my girls' rooms.  (The frames can be found at Jo Ann Fabric. They are scrapbook size.)

 These book ends were in the clearance section at Hobby Lobby. They were a black, white and pink zebra pattern. I really liked the $1.36 clearance price, but they were not the color or theme I wanted. Paint! Lovely, wonderful paint... oh how I love thee!

Okay I know... I really NEED to get pictures in them! I am not even going to tell you just how long they have sat empty.

 This was also in the clearance section and formerly matched the book ends.
From this... to these...

So keep your eye out!  Something inexpensive slathered with a bit of paint, can turn  into exactly what you desire!

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