Monday, December 31, 2012

Recipe for a Happy New Year

Recipe for a Happy New Year

Take twelve whole months.
Clean them thoroughly of all bitterness,
hate, and jealousy.
Make them just as fresh and clean as possible.

Now cut each month into twenty-eight, thirty, or thirty-one different parts,
but don't make up the whole batch at once.
Prepare it one day at a time out of these ingredients.

Mix well into each day one part of faith,
one part of patience, one part of courage,
and one part of work.

Add to each day one part of hope,
faithfulness, generosity, and kindness.
Blend with one part prayer, one part meditation,
and one good deed.

Season the whole with a dash of good spirits,
a sprinkle of fun, a pinch of play,
and a cupful of good humor,
Pour all of this into a vessel of love.

Cook thouroughly over radiant joy,
garnish with a smile,
and serve with quietness, unselfishness,
and cheerfulness -
You're bound to have a happy new year.
-- Author Unknown

But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:13-14

God has blessed us with this new year.  Let's use this new year to serve Him, to glorify Him, and become more like His Son.  Happy New Year!
Pin It Now!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!
From my family to yours!

Pin It Now!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Snowman Snacks

You can't resist cute snowman snacks!  White bread peanut butter and jelly sandwiches cut in rounds and topped with raisin eyes and mouth plus a carrot nose.
Little white donuts make cute snowmen!  Little Debbie works, but Hostess would have probably been rounder and less likely to fall apart.  Oh, yeah!  No more Hostess :(.  Little Debbie worked with mini chocolate chip eyes and an orange slice piece of candy (cut) for the nose.
And a friend also made these cute snowmen cupcakes!  They had mini chocolate chip eyes and I think orange Skittles or M&M's eyes.
Pin It Now!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Veggie Christmas Tree

For our elementary youth group party, I looked up photos of Christmas themed food.  I saw a vegetable Christmas tree and decided to make one to serve.  I wasn't sure the young children (Kindergarten - 5th grade) would be too excited about eating veggies, but they were!  They did have an option of Ranch dip to go along with the veggies, so some probably liked that part, too.

Almost too pretty to eat, huh?  I used broccoli, carrots, cherry tomatoes, and yellow bell peppers.
Pin It Now!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Peanut Butter Balls

If you like chocolate and peanut butter together, you'll want to make these delicious candies.  I remember making "gobs" of them for gifts and parties for several years.

1 pound (4 sticks) butter (real butter)
3 pounds powdered sugar
4 cups peanut butter
2 - 12 ounce packages chocolate chips
1/4 pound parrafin or 2 tablespoons shortening

Melt butter.  Stir in peanut butter and powdered sugar.  Mix well.  Roll into 1-inch balls.  Melt chocolate chips and parrafin or shortening in microwave safe bowl. Be careful not to burn the chocolate.  Cook at quick intervals, stirring well between cooking times.  Dip balls in the melted chocolate using toothpicks.  Allow to harden on waxed paper.  Store in airtight container.  May be refrigerated, if desired.
Pin It Now!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Elf on the Shelf Ideas

It's as much fun for parents and older children to see what their "Elf on the Shelf" has been doing as it is for the younger kids who he is specifically visiting during the month of December.  If you don't have an elf in your family, consider getting one.  They're lots of fun to have around!
Our elf, Buddy, has been up to some pretty mischievous things during the night.  This time he toilet papered the candle chandelier over the dining room table.
Buddy read "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" to some little friends.
 He stuffed himself inside Jacob's stocking!
 He helped himself to some hot chocolate and marshmallows.
He went for a ride in a little toy collectible car and rode around on the play-town rug.
And apparently he decided he wanted a red nose like Rudolf!  He took the "Let it Snow" block letters I have and spelled out NOSE....made himself a red duct tape nose, and hung out with the stuffed Rudolf all night long!

Wonder what he'll be doing tonight?
Pin It Now!

Monday, December 10, 2012

2-Sided Hanging Party Decorations - Simple, Easy, and Cute!

Paper plates and tulle.  That's all you need!  Oh, and duct tape :).  Don't forget the duct tape! The idea for this decoration came to me in Hobby Lobby.  I stood there thinking that the paper plates would be simple, easy, and CHEAP, but didn't appeal to me on their own.  The tulle made it just perfect!
I don't know how to say it, but it's just inside out duct tape, I guess.....around the inside edge of the bottom back of a paper plate.  If you need extra stability, use hot glue....but it will take a LOT longer!
Make loops of tulle all around the plate, attaching the inside loop to the duct tape.  IMPORTANT STEP:  I didn't show this step, but duct tape all over the bottom part of the tulle and over the other duct tape, taping it to the inner part of the plate.  Tape another plate to the back of the first plate, and you're done with the two-sided decoration!
Attach a longer piece of tulle to one of the top loops and hang your decoration.  Think of the possibilities!  One of my sister-in-laws mentioned that a sunflower or ladybug would be cute!  
 The party plates can be your inspiration, just as they were for me!  Tulle and plates can be found in all sorts of colors and at very reasonable prices.
To finish off the decorations, I asked for empty boxes from Facebook friends.  I got a lot of them!  I wrapped the empty boxes with matching/coordinating wrapping paper, and they presents served as centerpieces on top of the colored tablecloths.
Pin It Now!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Bacon - Date Appetizer

I wanted to share a recipe with you for a bacon-date appetizer my sister-in-law made for Thanksgiving. Instead of writing it all out, I'm taking the easy way out and just posting the link to her blog post about it.


Have a great weekend!  We're having a basketball tournament, a birthday party, and a church Christmas gathering this weekend.  Fun times!

What are you doing?  Christmas shopping?  Christmas baking?

P.S. A Facebook friend asked if other cheeses could be used.  Here's my sister-in-law's reply:
Yes, Feta is fine.  I would try it with any crumbly type cheese.  Has to be small bits to put inside the dates.
Pin It Now!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Buddy the Elf - First Few Days

Buddy the Elf came back a few days ago.  I forgot to take a picture the first day, but here are a few things Buddy has been up to so far.
Buddy was getting in the Christmas spirit.  He was helping decorate the garland in the kitchen with wooden candy canes.
Buddy helped our youngest child celebrate his 10th birthday.  He spelled out  "Happy Birthday Tyler" in Cherrios and blew up blue and orange balloons.

Buddy is a fun part of Christmas, even though my kids are older.  It's never too late to start a new tradition or to have fun - even with big kids.  After all, we're all kids at heart, right? :)

Pin It Now!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Initial Wreaths for Kid's Doors

My mom told me about this idea a year or two ago:  wreaths for children's bedroom doors.  Since my children aren't little any more, I decided to do the wreaths pretty plain and simple.  That way I wouldn't hear any, "Oh, moooooommmmm!", statements, either :).  I'm not sure they like the wreaths, but they'll tolerate them for Christmas.....and because they don't want to hurt my feelings (ha ha!).
I didn't take a picture of the tracing step, but trace your wooden letters onto cute Christmas scrapbooking paper. Use Modge Podge to glue the paper on the front of the letter.  Smooth it out to prevent bubbles.
(Sorry this picture posted upside down.)
After paper is mostly dried, Modge Podge the front side.  Allow to dry and repeat.
Glue a ribbon loop to the back of the decorated letter.  Attach to the mini wreath or to the wreath hook. Add a bow, and you are done!

My kids don't know it, but I plan on keeping these wreaths for them and using them every year - even when they are grown, married, and parents.  I'm not sure what I'll do about adding their spouses names and kids' names, but I'll come up with something.  Then they'll think back to the first time that wreath hung on their door!  Memories and traditions!  Special times!

Pin It Now!

Monday, December 3, 2012

If I Were Starting Over

So far, in child raising, I don't have many regrets.  The biggest regret I have is that I didn't quit part-time work sooner to become a stay-at-home mom, but am thankful that I only worked three days a week during those first five years of mommy-hood.  And my children stayed at my mother-in-law's house, for the most part, and enjoyed that tremendously.

Our children are 18, 16, 14, and the youngest is two days away from 10.  The time goes by very, very quickly.  Everyone tells you that, but until you've lived it, you don't really understand it.  The diaper days and car seat days and sleepless nights kind of seem to drag on and on and on.....but then it's gone.....and they're all grown up!

It's amazing the things that are available in childcare now that were not available when we were just starting out.  Amazing baby swings and high chairs!  Useful gadgets of all kinds!  But to me, the greatest and most special change for children and families now is photography.  There is an abundance of photography-inspired products and ideas to make your photographs special memories that will last a lifetime.  So sweet and so special.  We have some cute ones, too, but the ones today are just different....more personal and less "studio-ish".
So, if I were starting all over, I would make a book for every year of each child's life.  Shutterfly would be my choice.  I use them for photo prints, for vacation books, calendars, Christmas cards, and will be doing a Senior book for my daughter soon.  Very, very soon :(  (sad face).

I have written my children a letter for each birthday, and that will be special for them.  And after I began blogging (my devotional "Shine Like Stars" blog), I would write their birthday letter as a post and include pictures, so that is neat, but a book all bound together would have been extra-special.  Maybe I'll do that for my grand kids some day....unless their mom wants to do one.

If you were starting over, what would you do differently?  Anything?  Nothing?

Pin It Now!
Pin It button on image hover