Thursday, December 29, 2011

Whisking everyone a merry Kissmas

I want to share with you the gift I gave both our neighbors and our church's Sunday School department teachers and aids.
I found this adorable idea on Pinterest, of course. 
(feel free to follow me on Pinterest by clicking on the button on my sidebar ----->) 
Its was created by a wonderful blog called making memories with your kids.

I LOVED the idea and quickly set to work gathering all the supplies to make SEVERAL of these....ummm I'm talking my kids and I whipped out roughly 23.  I gave them to all our Sunday School Teachers & Aids, and I made a different tag to give to all our neighbors.

I started the project by having my 6yr old help me stuff the whisks with kisses.

A word of advice this only works well with the small and medium sized whisks, but they fall out of the large whisk so you will need to take a handful, wrap them in plastic wrap, and then insert them into the large whisk.  Also be aware that not all of the kisses in the bag will make it into the whisks.  Somehow they make it into the helpers mouths, of course that's all part of the fun.

Next I took some red packaging ribbon.

And attached my tag to the loop at the top of the whisk.

This particular tag was the one made for our Neighbor gifts.  The tags made for the Sunday School teachers were different and more of a "Thank You" for all their hard work.  The tags can be made anyway you like to fit the recipient or you can use the printable I have included.

Here's a generic printable tag for you to use should you decide to do this next year

I printed mine in 3x5 inch tags, but you can configure yours to make any size you like.  
I hope you like this idea as much as I did, and as much as all the recipients did as well!

Have a great day and God Bless!

Crazy Holidays

I dont know about around your house, but around here it has been Ca-Ra-ZY!
We have shopped, wrapped, practiced, sang, read the Word of God, organized, laughed, cleaned, unwrapped, cleaned, spent time Worshiping Christ, laughed, and generally had a great time!

I have also been buring up the vinyl with my cricut machine, and having a great time making some gifts for family, friends, and neighbors.  I can't wait to share them all with you.  "Whats the hold up?!?" you ask. Well basically, since I'm pretty sure a couple of the ones who havent recieved their gift yet read my blog, I just can't bare to spoil the surprise for them before they receive their gifts. So it's going to be a few days before one is posted, and then again a little over a week for another one.

I am going to share something I just threw together (out of Necessity).  I have a sweet (but mean when crossed, or feels his toys are being poached by his older sister, and justifiably so) two year old little boy.  Who is a lovable cuddly independent prickly little man.  This little boy received the EXACT same gift as each of his big sisters this year from their grandmother.  A personal dvd player.

In theory, and yes reality, this is a great gift that will end the bickering over which dvd they are going to watch on the long road trips we take to see family and friends back in Texas. BUT, they are IDENTICAL dvd players.  Not good for this very defensive little boy who doesn't yet quite understand that everything he sees, and wants, isn't magically his (he is still very much in that "toddler" mentality and is just now slowly coming out of it).  So to prevent any hair pulling (his sisters), being pinched (his skin, their fingers), or hitting (they all do that) I came up with an ingenious idea for who's is who's.  I pulled out my Cricut that I have been having SO much fun with this year, a fun cartridge, my red vinyl, and got busy.

Now you are probably wondering the same thing my friends and family, that were watching on with great interest and amazement, asked me..." know your putting that on upside down right?!?!?"  To which I replied (rolling my eyes) "Ummmm NO. I'm. Not.  SEE?!?!?!?"

To which, after seeing it with the lid opened, they said "OOOOOhhhhhh, That's cool!!!" 

I am pretty pleased with the result, and so is my Lil' man.  Oh, and the end result was completly achieved: there has been no bickering over the dvd players!  SCORE!!  We wont mention the 3DS's or the trains and all the other new Christmas goodies they now have to bicker over.  Nope, wont mention them AT ALL!

I hope everyone had a VERY merry Christmas, and will have an AWESOME new year!

Have a great Day and God Bless!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas filler for my Apothecary/Hurricane Jars

Just wanted to pass along what I used as Christmas filler for my apothecary jars.  If your curious how I created these beauties (okay the picture really isn't all that great) You can check out the tutorial by clicking here.

Just a little of the Christmas cheer in my house.  I cant wait to show off  some of my other decorations.  Such as my tree and other vignettes.

Hope your holiday is great and God Bless.

Oh Christmas Tree Shirt, Oh Christmas Tree Shirt How Lovely Are Your Branches

Recently my Girls did a really fun craft at school.  It was a Hand Print Christmas Tree Shirt. They turned out so cute and since I was there for most of the creative process I thought I would share their beautiful results and the process so you can make one of your own.

First take a shirt or sweatshirt and insert a piece of cardboard inside of it so that the paint wont bleed through to the other side.

Next paint the children's hands completely green 
(this is Macey's wonderful Kindergarten teacher Mrs. Keeton)

(they LOVE this!!)

Next begin slowly and firmly pressing their hands to the shirt with the fingers pointing to the bottom of the shirt and splayed out wide to give a "branch" effect. Alternate hands for the "branches"  to look good on the sides of the tree.

When they are done with this wash all hands, faces, counters, clothes, and anything else they managed to get paint on, and set the shirts to the side to dry.

After the green paint has completely dried use a sponge you have cut into the shape of a star to place a star at the top of the tree.  Or just use ribbon to make a bow and add it to the top in the next step.  whatever your preference.

After they have completely dried (I would give it overnight at the very least) you will start gluing on your decorations of beads, glitter paint, and ribbon.  One suggestion is to use a really strong fabric glue or high temp hot glue simply because you really want these decorations to last through washings and accidental dryings.  Its really not a good idea to put shirts decorated with jewels in the dryer so I suggest hanging to dry, but I know it happens when you are in a rush.

Here is a picture of Macey's finished Hand Print Christmas Tree Shirt

She loves it an so do I!!

I hope you enjoyed seeing this as much as I loved helping and as much as she loves wearing it.  Let me know what kind of shirts you have made with your family this year.  

Have a great day and God Bless!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas of Giving Challenge: Dayssssss.....

I am a horrible blogger, just awful!!!  Consider me completely human, and know that I have been completely terrible at keeping my challenge to blog what we have been reading nightly about the Birth of Christ.  I do want to let you know that we have been enjoying our family Bible time so very much!  the kids are anxious to read every night, and I am really loving how nightly prayer has turned into nightly snuggle and read the Word of God time + Prayer Time. So while I haven't been blogging about it, we have been doing the challenge (no not exactly every night since some we were late getting in and one or more were conked out or they didn't come home with me at all instead chose to go to a spoiling family members home... yah they are rotten!).  But I think the "doing" is more important than the "reporting" ....right?!?  I sure hope you agree.  I don't even need to mention all the crafts and projects I have been itching to share, but back to that whole "We have been SOOOOoooooo busy" thing.  So please forgive my horrible blogging self, and I promise I will share everything, like, pronto.

Have a great day and God Bless!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Christmas of Giving Challenge: Day 3

Last night our Scripture reading came from Luke 2:8-11.  We discussed what it must have been like to be a shepherd sleepy after a long day of shepherding sitting around a warm fire, dozing slightly, only to be suddenly startled out of your musings by a bright light from the sky with a human form* floating in the midst of it.  Today we are used to seeing all kinds of things in the sky from airplanes, banners pulled by planes, blimps, jets, helicopters, and all sorts of things, but I have to say if I were sitting around a campfire in my backyard and saw a human form* hovering in the sky surrounded by a bright light I do believe I would be scared speechless (and that's saying something for me!)!!  So I can only imagine how afraid the simple men who watched sheep graze all day while protecting them from vicious animals must have thought to see such a sight!  My girls and I acted out how they must have reacted and we all dissolved into fits of giggles!

Then we discussed how my children had given of themselves through the day yesterday.  Macey gave the same answer she gave the day before "I didn't give nuthin" (I roll my eyes at her 5 year old-ness).  Madeline did give of herself for her teacher I think.  To be honest I didn't really understand what she was talking about, but she seemed proud of it and I was proud of her for being aware and trying.  My sweet hubby definitely gave yesterday.  He gave of himself for me!  I was sick in the bed for most of the day, and finally got out of bed to cook an easy dinner and to get my girls (who had been at my  mom's all day after school so I could rest) ready for bed.  He was so considerate to help me out with the dishes of the day and to be as quiet as possible so I could rest.  He was a gem of a hubby (he is often, but since he's human he does have his not so gem like moments for sure!) and i was extremely greatful!

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Christmas holiday season so far.

I hope you have a great day and God Bless!!

Disclaimer**  I am only supposing that the angels were in a human like form I can begin to tell you how an angel looks because they exists on a plane that we cant usually see, but the episodes I have seen recorded Biblically and in recent times of encounters with angelic beings have always been i the form of human therefore my assumption.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas or Giving Challenge: Day 2

Okay yes, I am missing two days...I know, I know I KNOW!!!  See, what had happened wuuuzzz, my kiddos were supposed to stay the night with their Aunt Friday night, and instead conked out in the car on the way home from our community Christmas Parade about 9pm.  ALL THREE AT THE SAME TIME!!!  WOW!!  It is so rare for any of them to fall asleep that early much less all three!  So needless to say they were put straight into bed and stayed there the whole night through.  Which meant no family bible reading...Booooo.  Then last night they got in super late from going to see the Nutcracker Ballet with their aunt (yes the one they were supposed to have stayed the night with), and since Sunday mornings are killer around here if they don't get their sleep (not to mention they were whiny tired little things from a full day of being spoiled rotten) they went straight to bed.  So tonight after we got in from church, with one already asleep from the ride home and carried to bed, I was determined to have our nightly Bible time with the remaining alert groggy half awake kids.  We read Luke chapter 2 verses 4-8 (to catch up from missing the nights before) and discussed what it might have been like to go to the place Josephs family was from just to pay money to the government.  To get there and not even have a room to sleep in, and, to top it all off, for Mary to go into labor.  How much more of a humble beginning to life could one baby have???  I think that was kind of the point though, don't you?  Macey was the half awake child, and when asked what she had done the last couple of days to give of herself I got a resounding "nuthin"... fwweeewww five year olds!  So I will tell you what she has done in spite of her conviction that she has done "nuthin"   Tonight when her sister had lost a toy at church (which I want to add she was told not to take in at all!) Macey started crying in sympathy with her, and said she wanted to go look for Madeline's toy cause she was sad she had lost it.  That melted my heart of course, but in the true spirit of honesty I have to say that she did follow that up with the comment  "I liked hers better than mine too!!!".  So maybe her giving was a little self serving, but hey she's FIVE folks, and the fact that she was willing to help her sister find a toy is HUGE!  Then there is the instance on the way home tonight where Macey was being a little magpie and yakkity yakking.  Well Kent wanted to talk,and couldn't get a word in edgewise (just like a male wanting to take up a females perfectly good talking time!!).  finally, I told Macey that Kent wanted to talk could she please let him have a turn.  So she promptly closed her mouth,and let Kent have his say without any fussing about it...AH. MAZE. ING!  She ALWAYS has something to say about not getting to do exactly what she wants to do.  I was quite impressed with her desire to let him have his time with nary a comment on her part about not being finished or something else that she always seems to come up with.  So giving is abounding in my family, and we are dearly loving this Christmas reading Challenge even if we have really only done two nights of it.  I hope we can get back on track, and do it daily...maybe if we move it to the mornings before school....hmmmm something to consider.

I hope your season of giving is going well!

Have a great day and God Bless!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

OOOOOhhhhh a Blogging oppertunity!! and DIAMONDS!!

If you are a blogger and you like sweet smelling candles and diamonds then there is a VERY interesting opportunity available to you right now through
They are offering to allow you to try out one of their candles and host a giveaway for one of your lucky readers! How cool is that?!?!?  All you have to do is go check it out here today!

This event is Free to you. Open to US only.

Have a great Day and God Bless!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Peppermint Ornaments and Wreath

Today I went to my oldest daughters school to help her class make peppermint ornaments.  They were so cute and super easy to make.  So I thought I would share them with you as well as my inspiration for a wreath after they were done making their ornaments.

Here is the finished ornament and as you can see it is very cute, but very simple.

First to gather your supplies you will need:
1.) red peppermints, green spearmints, or both
2.) Pipe cleaners
3.) ribbon cut into about 6 inch lengths
4.) red-hots
5.) LOW temp hot glue gun
6.) glue sticks
7.) spray can of clear shellac clear coating

First take five mints of either red or green and arrange into a circle.  Then put a dot of glue between each mint until are all attached together.  

You are looking at the backside of your mint. Now you will take you pipe cleaner and cut of a piece long enough to make a circle large enough to glue to the back of the mint circle with out showing on the other side. Then criss-cross the ends of one of you 6inch long ribbons making a look to hang your ornament by.  The picture below shows what it should look like after both of these steps.

Finally you will glue one red-hot to the center of each mint.

Lastly once all of the glue had dried very firmly you will spray a coat of shellac over the entire mint area. Again here is the picture of the final project.

Each student made one of each color and they are too cute.  When we were finished we had quite a bit of the supplies left over so I decided to get creative (with the teachers permission of course) to make a mint wreath for the classroom.

I started by making a large circle alternating color of mints and gluing them together.

Next I grabbed some long pipe cleaners 

and attached them together on one end.  I didn't not make a circle since I wasn't sure just two would go all the way around the back of the wreath

I started gluing it around the back of the wreath in the center of the mints. .

Then I started another circle of alternating colored mints on the inside of the first circle.  I glued them together and to the outside circle

Then I glued a pipe cleaner around the back of the inner circle of mints

Then for extra stability I took a couple more pipe cleaners and glued them in a zig-zagg pattern between the two circles of pipe cleaners. 

After that dried pretty well I flipped it over and admired my handiwork. I decided that to add red-hots to it after having the alternating colored mints made it too busy looking. It wasn't done since after the teacher sprays it with shellac I am going to wrap a wide red ribbon completely around the top/through the wreath and tie it in a bow to hang bye.  She was going to spray everything down over the weekend so a truly final picture will be posted next week, but I just couldn't wait to share this project since it would be super fun to do with your kids over the weekend if you are looking for such a project.  Until then here is how it turned out minus the shellac and ribbon to hang it by

I cant wait to finish it up on Monday.  

I do have a few pointers for you if you decide to do it yourself.  Low temp hot glue was the only glue that would stick together and dry quickly enough for a children's project without melting/liquefying the candy.  everything else made the red-hot slimy or just didn't stick the mints together.  Also you NEED something on the back for stability and pipe cleaners is just what we came up with.  You can try something else if you like but this did the trick for us.

Overall, it was a fun day spent with my daughter class and was very productive.  I hope you like this simple, quick, and cute project, and if you decide to make it or another variation I would love to see a picture and hear all about it!

Merry Christmas!

Have a great Day and God Bless!

Christmas of Giving Challenge: Day1

December 1st marks the first day of my family Christmas of Giving Challenge.

Tonight we read Luke Chapter 2 verses 1-3.  Then, as my Hubby and I explained to my children what we were going to be focusing on this Christmas holiday season (the girls were listening intently and my lil man was listening with half an ear as he tried to snag a chip without me seeing since he had already been told no two or ten times...boy does he try to sneak!!) , and how we were going to have nightly bible reading over the story of Jesus's Birth I thought it would be prudent to go back and read where Mary first learned she would be a mommy.  So we read from Luke chapter 1 verses 26-38.  There were quite a few questions fielded during that reading from my six year old Such as "Whats a virgin?" my answer "Someone that hasn't been married".  Next was "Whats Barren mean?"  my answer "Her body couldn't have a baby live inside it ever, but God healed her so she wasn't like that anymore"  Whew sometimes there are tricky waters to navigate as a mommy!!
Anyway, I went on to say, since we were focusing on giving of ourselves this holiday, that each day I wanted them to try to find a way to give to someone else, and to tell about their experience every night.  I posed a few examples like helping a friend out who drops something, or joyfully sharing their things with others, or any other way they can give of themselves without expecting anything back for doing a good thing.  I also told them about things I had seen them doing just today that were very giving. Such as sharing their toys with their friends.
Overall they seemed excited about it, and I hope this will open their eyes more to the needs of those around them, rather than just focusing on their own desires and needs.  I also told them about a few family giving events I have planned for us that will impact not just them, but some of our neighborhood and community as well.
So, as part of this challenge, I said that I would report to you the ways we are giving as a stated earlier today my kids shared their toys with their friends who were at our house today.  Also they started watching a video with them during calm down time that they really didn't want to see, but was the choice of their friends.  And Kent, who was still his rough tough-boy 2yr old self through the day, and even though he had very much been his normal assertive/defensive/on the offense self (note: don't try to make him do something he doesn't want to do...he will react with force! even if you are 9 yrs older and outweigh him by at least 30-40 lbs!! as one such youngster and several others re-learned tonight), as soon as he saw his cousin come through the door he ran up to him, and gave him a big ole hug.  He was so happy to see him!
As for my husband and I, we were pleased to be able to open our home, and barn, to all that were helping decorate our church's Christmas Parade float.  I loved being able to feed a hungry group of people my taco soup (yes, I will share the recipe later).  My hubby, who has found his favorite season for grilling (the cold season), fired up the grill to make yummy hot dogs and hamburgers as well.  We had a great time of fellowship before they all trooped back out to a COLD chilly barn to finish up their work.  I can't wait for the parade tomorrow!  I just know our float is going to do well in the judging, and even if it comes in dead last, everyone has had such a good time finding costumes and decorating, that its the Grand Champion in my book!!!

Please forgive my rambling on and on in this post, I just can seem to stop the flow tonight.  I hope you find many opportunities to give more than just gifts this season, and  I would love to hear all about it.  So please leave me comments telling me all about it!

Have a great day and God Bless!

Ooey Gooey Butter Bars/Cake

I first tasted this delectable treat while staying with my aunt in St. Louis.  I was immediately in crave for them!!  so much so that after they were gone my cousin had to go to the store and buy all the ingredients so they could be made again because the whole family wanted more.  That was about five years ago and since then I have made them every year for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  This year one of the ladies came in and her son couldn't come with her she told me the only thing he was sad about missing was my ooey gooey butter bars!!  So of course when I made them she had to text him a picture of her eating one to show him what he was missing out on hee hee.  Well after many asking for the recipe, here it is (as promised to my family) for all to enjoy this holiday season.

Gooey Butter Cake
1 (18 ¼ oz or close) package butter yellow cake mix
1 egg 
8 tbls. Butter melted                       

Mix together and put in the bottom of a 13x9 pan (after stirring I press in with clean fingers.  It will be a clay-ish consistency)

1 (8oz) package cream cheese softened
3 eggs
1 t. vanilla                       

8 Tbls. Butter melted
1 box powdered sugar or 3 c. Pwd. Sugar

Mix together    (it will be lumpy if you just stir, so feel free to use a mixer to even it all out.  It may still be lumpy even after the mixer, but I promis its okay and will turn out delish.  Check out my not so great looking bowl of filling...yah I know, but it was still sooooo good!!)

and spread over cake in the pan.  
Bake at 350 for 40 minutes 
A St. Louis tradition

Here are a couple of pictures of my final product.  Please keep in mind that my Aunt's Bunkhouse oven is gas and I'm used to electric and it doesnt cook very evenly so its a little browner around the edges than what I like.  When I make these next week for a Christmas get-t-gether I'm hosting I will put a better final product picture on here. (Just trust me that they should be an all over even gold brown color mmm-kay???)

Absolutely delish!!!  and I hope you give them a try since they are super easy and will be a huge hit at whatever function you present them at from a family night to a blow out shindig!  If you do try them please let me know!  I would love to hear all about it!!

Have a great day and God Bless!!