Dec 27, 2009

One More Christmas Project.....

As I look back at 2009, I think of how incredibly blessed our family was. With those blessings, however, come sadness with losing both of my Grandmothers within a few months of each other. I was very close with both of them, and feel so lucky to have so many wonderful memories of them both. This Christmas Mom was able to convince Grandpa to come up and spend it with all of us. We had them over Christmas Eve for dinner. I made our traditional chili, and also made two of Grandma's cookie recipes, Molasses Crinkles and Date Filled Cookies. When my Grandmother's passed, I requested that anything the siblings didn't want, to be given to me. And in honor of having Grandpa at our home for Christmas, decided to see what I could make for the table. This is what I came up with:)

I used two of her old pie plates, and glued them onto a wooden candle stick I had spray painted black. The ribbon was actually part of a box of chocolates I was given, so I hot glued it around the rims.
While going through my recipes, I found one recipe card that was a "recipe for life" card, so I attached it to some scrapbook paper I had, and added some red balls and some glittery sprigs I had on hand

I'm still not sold on this Gorilla Glue stuff, I used the regular glue, and didn't realize it expands, oops!

Here is a closeup of what the pie plates look like, aren't they amazing??!! I set on the table as part of my tablescape, and added the cookies to the top plate. When Grandpa saw it and read the card, he cried:) Very special moment for all of us.
Linking up to:

Dec 22, 2009

We Wish You a Merry Christmas

I have been so busy, that I haven't had a chance to write a post, so I want to say MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!! It has truly been an amazing year, and I look forward to what the New Year brings. I have also been blessed with meeting some truly amazing women on here. I have learned soooo many things from you ladies, and I can't wait to keep learning! Thank you!

Things are finally winding down here, yay! My gifts that I made are done, all are wrapped, house is clean and laundry is done. Now, remember this is all just for today, lol. Tomorrow will be more cleaning, laundry and wrapping, I'm sure:) We are supposed to get quite the snow storm here Christmas Eve and Day, up to 14 inches! What a wonderful Christmas present!!!

Have a very blessed Christmas, and I pray that God blesses you as much as you have blessed me!

Dec 14, 2009

Baking Day!

Saturday we decided to do some of our Christmas baking. I mixed up some cookie dough in the morning, and the afternoon we got busy! I am pretty sure I had more dough on the floor than in cookie form, but hey, isn't that what it's all about??!! Of course it is, it's not about making a huuuuge mess of the kitchen, and spending hours cleaning it up.

It's all about the smiles you get as you make the mess:) And by the way, we used the cookie cutters that I got in my giveaway box from the all-wonderful Rachelle!!! We had so much fun using all the cookie cutters:) The first batch we rolled too thin, which made them crispy. The second batch I made today with the daycare kids (can you say CRAZY?? Honestly, WHO would choose to bake cookies with 9 children?? Hmmm???) was much better, I didn't roll it out so thin, therefore a much softer cookie. Yumm!
Soft Sugar Cookies
3 3/4 C all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C butter
1 1/2 C. sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Cream together the softened butter and sugar, add eggs one at a time, then vanilla. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, gradually add to the butter mixture. Shape into a large ball, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours. Roll out dough to 1/4 inch thickness, cut out with cookie cutters, bake at 400 degrees for 6-8 minutes.
Today I also managed to make some toffee, and peppermint biscotti! I will be posting both recipes this week. I cannot wait for tomorrow morning to enjoy the biscotti with my steamy mug of coffee:)
Linking up to:

Menu Plan Monday

We had a fantastic weekend of nothing planned! I needed desperately to get my office/craft room organized, so I got that accomplished which felt wonderful! We made some Christmas cookies with the girls, went out to eat, and drove around looking at Christmas lights. So fun! Sunday we went to church, and came home and watched the mighty Vikings play (they won!). For supper we went over to my sister/brother in law's and ate some fabulous chicken and spinach lasagna (must get the recipe!). I needed a weekend like that, as this week will be nuts, I am gone for meetings Monday and Wednesday, hubby is gone Tuesday, the girls have their activities night on Thursday, and Friday we head up to my Dad's (Yesssss! As Rachel said...).

Here is what's on our menu for the week:

Monday- Breakfast- Cereal, toast and fruit
Lunch- Crockpot Mac-n-cheese I have never made this one before, but it looks yummy!
Supper- Venison sausage, potatoes, steamed veggies

Tuesday- Breakfast- Pumpkin/ginger pancakes (I add just a bit of freshly grated ginger to the batter)
Lunch- Homemade chicken fingers (will post about these), baked potato wedges, veggies
Supper- Beef Stroganoff (recipe to come), homemade bread

Wednesday- Breakfast- Baked oatmeal, fruit
Lunch- Calico beans ( in the crockpot), grilled cheese, veggies
Supper- Creamy Chicken and Pasta

Thursday- Breakfast- Pumpkin muffins, fruit
Lunch- Homemade pizza, green beans
Supper- Leftovers

Friday- Breakfast- Homemade granola, fruit
Lunch- Eggs, toast, hashbrowns, fruit
Supper- We are gone!

I am also hoping in the midst of this week's madness, to make some Christmas candies, and a couple other cookies, we shall see....

Posting to Menu Plan Monday at Organizing Junkie!

Dec 10, 2009

Home For the Holidays

Welcome to our little slice of heaven! Christmas is my absolute favorite time of the year, and I love nothing more than making my home cozy and warm while it's windy and cold outside! Speaking of outside, the ridiculous wind decided to make a mess of my things on the front porch, so once those are back to where they are supposed to be, I'll post a pic or two:) Walking in the front door is a Christmas tree that stays up year round. We love to decorate it for all the holidays, and the kids have a blast with it! For Christmas it is our "homemade" tree, all homemade ornaments. The only thing missing is the popcorn strings, guess we'll have to do that this weekend...
Walking into the living room, you'll see the focal point of the room, the fireplace. I sewed (and glued some) everyone's names and the decorations on the store bought stockings. The garland I found on clearance and added some clearanced glitter pomegranates.

On the coffee table is just a bough of frosted greenery and berry picks (pay no attention the the thousand or so fingerprints....), very simple

On one of the end tables is a wooden tray ($6 find) with an old looking clock and and a new greenery piece I just got. It's called yucca grass, and it came in the urn it's in. I added some of the glittery pomegranates and red balls as an accent.
Here is our Christmas tree (lots of light!), that we fondly call our "Griswold Family Christmas Tree". We had to buy a new tree last year (lets just say water in the basement and boxes don't get along well) and hubby found a deal at Sam's Club. It is beautiful, but that sucker has about a bazillion lights on it, you can see the electrical box spinning. The ornaments are all ones we've accumulated over the years. I also add red and gold balls, bows and beads.

From there you walk into the dining room, where my latest beauty sits:) Loved decorating that one up for the holidays!

This is on top of our cabinets, just more greenery and berry picks.

This is also in the dining room, a scrapbook page I did, and our advent calender tree. The lantern is my Grandpa's lantern that he used ti milk cows with when he was a boy. Very cool.

And that completes part of the tour! I hope you enjoyed seeing a little bit of our Home for the Holidays! Linking up to Rhoda's Home For the Holidays party, and Cheri's at It's So Very Cheri
and The Inspired Room's house tour!

Dec 9, 2009

Advent Calender

I decided to make an advent calender this year, after seeing Hattie's idea over at Little Red Roost. I wanted something for the kids to look forward to, and to be reading scripture everyday during advent. First, I used the link that Hattie gave to print out the scriptures for the tags. Then I used my handy-dandy (and ohhhhh so fun!) Cricut machine to cut out the tags.

I had some pretty Christmas scapbooking paper that I used to cover up the verse, and numbered the tags on the back, so we knew which day was which:)
I had an old red bucket that I had bought at an antique store, and went outside and picked some branches for the tree part. I keep the tags in a lovely little green oblong dish (another thrift store find!), and the girls take turns picking the tag to read. I also wrote out 24 fun things to do, and they each get to pick one/day. Some of them were just, spending time with Mom/Dad, coloring a Nativity picture, have a pedicure night with Mom, and other fun things.

Now, my great idea was that the girls would really start to understand Christmas more. Yes, they know it's Jesus' birth, and that Mary and Joseph were his parents, they know the whole story. But I wanted this to be more of a learning experience. However, as funny as kids are, what do you think they look more forward to, reading the scripture, or getting to pick the "fun thing" to do for the day. *sigh*. So, next year it will be more simple things, like, send a letter to a relative, do something random for someone else. Those kinds of things.
Hope you enjoy our Advent Calender!!

Dec 2, 2009

My Favorite Thing

Since we built our home 4 years ago, I have been looking for something to put on my large red wall in our dining room. We have vaulted ceilings, which means I have a lot of space to fill up! I refuse to go spend a thousand dollars on a hutch/buffet, so I've been looking at antique/thrift stores for quite some time. I know you've heard me talking about Anne's Sale it's a thrift store in town, and she opens one weekend a month. The girls and I like to go on Sunday's after church, as it's always "make a deal" Sunday:) So, lo and behold we go in last Sunday and as I walked in and saw this beauty, the heavens opened up and I heard the angels singing! Ok, not really, but pretty darn close! This is EXACTLY what I've been looking for, depth wise it isn't too deep, so it doesn't take up the whole dining room, and yet it's tall enough to really fill up that wall. Hubby was less than thrilled when I called to tell him about it, but once we got it home, he could see why I was so excited! It is painted black, so hubby distressed the edges, which now matches everything else in the house!!

I love the "Highboy" look of the bottom, gives it some character, I think.
I had bought these pictures awhile ago and had them hanging on this wall, looks great on top!

And here she is!!!!!!!! Isn't it GORGEOUS!!!!!!

I can't tell you how happy I am to have found this, and for the price I paid, it was a steal!!! So, Merry Christmas, Happy Valentines Day, and Happy Birthday to me!!

Dec 1, 2009

Crockpot Creamy Chicken with Noodles

I have been in a comfort food mode lately (great, and I have a trip coming up in March...) and yesterday was the WORST!! I made buttermilk biscuits for lunch (with broccoli chicken and rice), and for supper I wanted something easy (ie: crockpot!). Sooooo, I came up with this easy and delicious chicken dish for the crockpot. The girls even loved it, and paired with homemade Honey Wheat Bread, it was a heavenly supper:)

Creamy Chicken with Noodles

Chicken breasts (I used three, for our family)
Chopped fresh mushrooms
1 can Cream of Mushroom soup (I had some left over from Thanksgiving, I don't normally use canned soups:)

Cook these on low 5-7 hours. Take chicken out and shred, make a cream sauce (melt 3 Tbl butter, add more chopped mushrooms, and minced garlic. Add 3 Tbl flour, and enough milk to make it thickened). Add chicken and sauce back into the crockpot, until heated through. Serve on a bed of spaghetti noodles or egg noodles and freshly grated Parmesan cheese!

Linking to:
Tasty Tuesday
Tempt My Tummy Tuesday
Crockpot Wednesdays