Friday, November 30, 2007

BH&G List

I was reading my newest arrival of Better Homes & Gardens last night and thought I'd share some of things I liked on their Countdown to Christmas list.

Start A Tradition.
Traditions provide a sense of belonging, which is essential in families today....the 'sense of belonging' part. Some of their suggestions are: create a holiday dish or paint a new ornament each year. I have a friend who purchases an ornament for her children each year and when they are on their own, they will already have a collection of ornaments. I think this is a wonderful idea, but my kids are 12 and seems kind of late for that, doesn't it? I'll have to ask them if that is something they would like to do.

Wrap Happily.
Wrapping presents can be a pain the the neck, literally. BH&G suggests wrapping gifts on a countertop. What a brilliant idea! However, I don't have much counter space in my kitchen...maybe I'll wrap on my flattop stove!

Let Lips Linger.
A survey showed that couples who smooch often are 8 times less likely to feel stressed or depressed. Hang some mistletoe....I have never hung mistletoe, but think I will this year. Heck, if it will curb stress and depression and make my hubby feel loved...I'll try it.

Drink In Merriment.
No, not booze....something even better, chocolate! Dark chocolate helps reduce blood pressure. BH&G's recipe is: Heat 3/4 cup milk until just before boiling. Remove from heat, transfer to mug and add 1 ounce chopped bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate and stir. Sounds delish!

Tie One On.
Wear a pretty holiday apron while baking this season. If for no other reason, you'll look really cute while baking!

Wander, Wonder.
I love driving through neighborhoods to look at Christmas decorations. But this year, I'm going to take BH&G's idea and walk instead. I have the perfect neighborhood for walking...well, except for the crazy Chihuahua that lives down the road. He actually attacked a friend while she was walking. I'll just skip that street.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Fall leaves and Christmas Decorations

How can we get our Christmas decorations out and put Christmas lights on the house when I have a yard FULL of leaves? It seems wrong, right?

Last year I took pictures of how we decorated inside...which was a great idea! We have soooo many decorations...too many for my small house. Actually, I got rid of a lot of our decorations last year when we were pulling the things out of the Christmas totes.

How do you decorate for Christmas? Do you have a real tree or a fake tree? I'm afraid our tree will be a "faux paw tree" this year with the kitty. He bats anything that even remotely moves...actually, he bats at things that don't move, too. Whose idea was it to get the kitty?

I've pretty much completed all my Christmas shopping. I will have to get a few stocking stuffers and I have a few things I want to make...but other than that, I'm done. Now, to wrap the gifts.....

Sunday, November 25, 2007


We had a lovely Thanksgiving Day and dinner at my Mom and Jason's. Michael's family drove up to spend the day with us. My mother cooked for 13 people and it seemed effortless. She had the tables set, with name cards, before we arrived. There were appetizers waiting in the family room. The guys watched the Packer football game before dinner. Jason deep fried two turkeys that were delicious. Hannah, Jacob, Nina and Denver went for a hike before dinner and then afterwards watch a marathon on the Disney channel.

Since Melissa listed her menu, I thought I'd list what my mom and I made...mostly my mom.

Crackers and Cheese
Veggies and Dip
Baked Brie with Walnut Sauce and Crackers

Fried Turkey
Cranberry & Sausage Dressing
Green Bean Casserole
Sweet Potato Casserole (in the was yummy and didn't take up room in the oven)
Mashed Potatoes
Cranberry Sauce Salad
5 cup Fruit Salad
Crustless Pumpkin Pie
Pecan Pie

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Christmas Traditions

Hannah probably won't be happy about this post because she gets upset when she sees Christmas lights or decorations out before Thanksgiving. She wants one holiday to end before another begins. However, I thought it would be fun to list some of our Christmastime traditions.

Annual photo Christmas card
I love receiving photos at Christmas time and so I love sending photos. However, I do not like taking Christmas card photos. Inevitably, someone gets yelled at, someone gets teary eyed, someone gets frustrated and someone gets irritated. Yet, when we get our final product, we look like a happy family.

Christmas Parade
Every year, since Hannah was a baby in a stroller, we have gone to the Christmas parade. We've been so many years now that we know exactly where to park and where to sit. We always see friends, neighbors and acquaintances downtown at the parade. The kids love getting candy and bead necklaces.

Christmas PJs
Every year Hannah and Jacob get Christmas PJs. They always ask to open a present early and we ‘finally give in’ on Christmas Eve. Of course, the early gift is always the same thing….Christmas PJs.

Want, Need, Wear, Read
We started this tradition a few years ago. Since it is easy to overdo it at Christmas, we decided to get the kids 4 gifts for Christmas. We get them something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read. It really makes it super easy to shop. I do buy some small items to put in their stocking. It has worked out wonderfully for our family….and the kids never feel like they didn’t get enough.

Christmas Goodies
I love food….big surprise, huh? Anyway, every year since we have been married I have made fudge for the holidays. I remember going to visit my grandparents and my grandma always had a container of fudge on the cabinet. My fudge recipe is super easy and super yummy! We also make cookies and breads, but since I love new recipes I don’t usually make the same things year after year…except for the fudge.

Christmas Lights
Each year we bundle up and climb in the car to tour Christmas lights around town. There is a neighborhood that goes all out…they even have horse drawn carriages that take people around the neighborhood. It is fun to see how people decorate, but dare I say….it is more fun to laugh at some of the things people do to decorate their houses. There is one house that is a must-see each year. There are over 100 plywood cartoon cut outs all over this family’s yard. It is interesting…to say the least.

What are some of your Christmas traditions?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Growing Up

Things I do now that I never used to.....does that mean I'm growing up? This is a completely random post, but was thinking about this the other day and thought it would be fun to share.

  • Wear a housecoat.
  • Wear a shower cap because I don't wash my hair everyday.
  • Make plans.
  • Pay bills on time.
  • Clean the kitchen every day.
  • Shop at Wal-Mart and K-Mart and think it's cool to do so.
  • Wear jeans more than once before washing...okay, actually a lot more than once.
  • Think about saving for the future.
  • Listen to news radio.
  • Think hand embroidery is really cool.
  • Get up early because I can't sleep in.
  • Go to bed early, because I get up early.

I know, most of you are thinking, "I've always done that." Well, not me....What do you do now that you never used to do?

Monday, November 12, 2007


We went camping this weekend at Paynes Prairie Preserve. We saw wild horses, bison and deer. It was a bit chilly, but we managed. Michael's brother, Jamie, and his wife and son came to our campfire Friday evening. On Saturday, we went on a hike on the wide open prairie and saw lots of animal evidence, but only saw bison from afar and behind a fence. In the afternoon, Jacob's Cub Scout Pack had a Chili Cook-Off and my chili won 3rd place. It helped that two of Michael's other brothers, Mark and Tad, came for the afternoon and evening and voted for my least they told me they voted for mine. They stayed for a great campfire built by Michael. Sunday morning we packed up camp, hiked to the top of the observation deck at the park and saw wild horses on the prairie. We will definitely have to camp at this park again....we didn't even get to hike the best trail.

On Sunday, we went to Melissa and Eric's for a quick visit and to pick up our new addition. For years we have said....well, I've said, no pets. However, Hannah and Jacob have been wanting a pet FOREVER. When the Botley's cat had a kitten, she offered it to us and I guess we just couldn't resist. We are still trying to agree on a name....we think the kitten is a female. We won't make it to the vet until the end of this week or, we are trying to pick out a name that could go either way. Mine and Hannah's favorite was Sofie, but the boys didn't like it, plus if we are mistaken and the kitten is a boy, it would be a bit weird to call it Sofie. Jacob likes Kit, short for Kit Kat and Hannah likes Cookie. Michael still is undecided. If we don't decide soon, we'll be calling our cat the same name my mom named her cat....Kitten.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Meal Plan Monday...on Tuesday

  • Monday – On Your Own
  • Tuesday – Tacos & Yellow Rice
  • Wednesday – Oriental Chicken w/Rice & Carrots
  • Thursday – Moist Chicken, Veggies, Couscous
  • Friday – Fast Food
  • Saturday – Award Winning Chili & Fixings @ Camp
  • Sunday – Melissa, what are you fixing?

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Week in Review

  • Michael got his truck back....we are a 2 car family again!!!!
  • I stuck to my meal plan this week, except for one day, and we had some really yummy, home cooked meals. Check out the quick and easy recipe on the side bar....

  • I made an apron, but forgot to wear it when I cooked my home cooked meals...oops!

  • In our search for a new box of checks, Michael and I emptied a box from our me ladies, this is a huge accomplishment!

  • I added up all our, school loans, car loans and misc. I wish I hadn't!

  • Jason came over and fixed my storm I can leave my front door open and lots of light floods my living room.

  • This morning I forgot about the time change, so I woke up 'early' and we were still late for Sunday School.....urg!!!!!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Compromise = Vintage Style Apron

I have had my eye on some vintage apron patterns for a while. This week, after a small compromise, I made one! However, it (the compromise) was work related and I read once that you should never blog about if you really want to know, or don't already can email me. If you don't really care, which is fine because it really is not significant, then don't bother. (Of course, I've now made a big deal about it....which I should have just said: "I made an apron"....maybe I'll delete this whole post and start over.....but then what would be the point of me typing right now? Ummmmm....I'll leave it, why not?)

Anyway, APRON......

I found some really cute fabric, that looked vintage to me. I added some rick-rack to the bottom to add some character. I'm planning on adding a pocket with my name embroidered on it. (Question: Why do you need a pocket on an apron?) I also bought some stablizer for the band that idea from Emily and her notebook cover.

I made it on Tuesday night (which is a hint to the above paragraph). I intended on making the pocket today, but didn't have a chance yet. Since I've been a procrastinating blogger this week...or should I say this past month, I decided to just go ahead and blog about it anyway.

It was fun, easy and super quick.....might have to make another.....I should have borrowed Emily's title - Done, but just getting started!

2008 is going to be great....
It's the year I'm going to lose weight!