Friday, December 28, 2012

Merry Christmas!

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas!

Ours was filled with family, food and celebrating the 
Reason for the Season!

Merry Christmas and a
Happy New Year!

Joel, Lindsey Reese and Graham

Friday, December 21, 2012

Teen Christmas Banquet

Joel and I have had the privilege of helping out with the teens in our Church for years now. We love all of them and we love spending time with them!
Especially during special nights like the 

Teen Christmas Banquet

We reserved a room at a nice restaurant and each teen got to pick what meal they wanted ahead of time from a menu specifically made for us.
(I made name tags to help the servers....)

And, I was in charge of the games! (My favorite part!)

The first game was "Can You Guess The Christmas Song?"
I printed off the sheet shown on the left and gave the teens 2 minutes to guess as many of the songs as they could.

(Found HERE.)

These next pictures capture the teens doing game #2- drawing a Christmas scene on their plates... on their heads!

Here are the rules:

1. Draw a line for a floor.
2. Draw a Christmas Tree.  Add decorations if you feel so inclined.
3. Draw a star on top of your tree.
4. Draw a fireplace with a mantel next to the tree.
5. Draw a stocking hanging from the mantel of your fireplace.
6. Draw a present below the tree.
Players then count up how many points they received by following this:
1. 2 points if the tree touches the floor.
2. 2 points if your stocking is touching your mantel.
3. 1 point if your star touches your tree.
4. 1 point if your star is above your tree.
5. 1 point for every Christmas ornament ball that is ON your tree, etc.
6. 1 point if your fireplace doesn’t touch the tree (it’s a fire hazard!).
7. 1 point if you actually drew something decorative on your stocking (or something cute, like a tiny kitten peeking out).
8. 2 points if your present is under your tree.

(This plate game was found HERE.)

And finally, we always do a 'White Elephant Gift Exchange' at the end of the night.
I spiced it up a little by passing out numbers (1-20) and saying this poem...

1.  Lucky you, you're # 1
You get to start all the fun.
So grab a gift and grab it quick.
Cause you're the one who gets first pick.

2. Number 2 you're on the way.
It's time for you to have your say.
Get your gift and when you're done,
Swap it off with number 1.

3. Number 3 its plain to see.
It's your turn to pick which gift `twill be.
And when your choosing job is through,
Swap with 1 and then with 2.

4. Number 4 must use your head.
So grab a gift that has some red.
If it doesn't suit you to a `T',
You may swap with 2 or 3.

5. Jump to it 5, don't drag your feet.
Take your gift back to your seat.
Wonder of wonders, it's yours for a spell.
But what comes next, you can never tell.

6. Number 6 it's your time to go.
Grab a gift and don't be slow.
Now put on a smile so they won't be sore,
Cause you must swap with #4.

7.  7 is a lucky number it seems,
You choose a gift that has some green.
Poke it, and shake it until you get back.
Now trade with someone wearing black.
8. Number 8 its up to you.
To get a gift that has some blue.
Now go quietly to your place.
Or trade with someone with a smiling face.

9. Nine, we haven't forgotten you.
So choose your gift and don't be blue.
Consider well and when all is said.
Trade with someone wearing red.

10. Number 10 come to the front.
For yours you shouldn't have to hunt.
Now hurry back and look alive.
For you get to swap with #5.

11. Your turn 11 is finally here.
Pick a gift and hold it near.
Back at your seat look both ways.
If your choice was right then it may stay.

12. Number 12 jump to it sir/girl.
Make your choice, and with a whirl
Glance around to see who's where.
Swap with whomever's got the darkest hair.

13. Well, now, what do you know.
It's finally 13's turn to go.
There you go, you're doing fine.
Now swap with 3 or 6 or 9.

14. Number 14 it's your turn to shine.
So find a gift and don't you pine.
Somewhere you really have a friend.
You get to trade with number 10.
15. Number 15 how do you do?
There should be a fit up there for you.
So pick one out without delay.
Now trade with someone wearing gray.

16. Number 16 your patience is great.
Go get a gift and don't be late.
When your return, spin around.
And switch with someone wearing brown.

17. 17 your choice is here.
Find a box and hold it near.
When you return and look behind.
Swap with 11 if you don't mind.

18. Number 18 boogie to the tree.
Choose the largest gift you see.
Admire it well, then turn with a wink.
And swap with someone wearing pink.

19. Now #19, do as you're told.
Find a gift which has some gold.
When you've chosen we must be fair,
Trade with whoever has the blondest hair.

20. Number 20 how patiently you've waited.
Go get a gift before it's outdated.
However, one last swap is due.
With the gal who's sitting left of you.

The originally poem goes up to 50 people. We only had 20 so I changed # 20's last two lines to end the game.
I found this neat idea HERE

(My gift)

And there's always a hilarious one.....

The whole group!
(So glad we get to spend time with these teens!)

And you have to be a little crazy to work with the crazies, right?!?!!?!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

On the 12 Days of Christmas....

You know how the song goes...

On the 12 days of Christmas, my true LOVE gave to me...

These 12 Gifts are for my True Love. He gets to open one a day, for the 12 Days leading up to Christmas.

Each numbered bag has a gift that has significance for us according to the number or has that number of an item in the gift.

(Joel, if you're reading this, stop here or your gifts won't be a surprise!)

Here is what these gifts contain:
1- One bottle of cologne.
2- A 'pair' of jeans.
3- A set of socks. They come in sets of 3 HERE. This is one gift Reese picked!
4- A 4 pack of razors.
5- A short sleeve shirt, representing warm weather in 5 months.
6- A 6-pack of bottled Coke.
7- A calendar to represent the 7 days that are in each week.
8-  A box of 8 o'clock coffee cups for his Keurig.
9- A jacket to remind him of the (almost) 9 cozy years we have spent married!
10- 10 Kisses from Mommy, 10 Reese's Peanut Butter Cups from Reese and 10 Graham Cracker Cookies from Graham.
11- A new travel toiletry case to represent the 11 hour trip we will take for the Holidays.
12- A Notre Dame sweatshirt. (My husband's favorite College football team that went 12-0 this year!)

I'm not sure who is having more fun with this...
I got to plan all the gifts, but the kids have so much fun reminding Joel to open a gift everyday!
(And Graham has been singing 'Happy Birthday to Daddy'!)

What a special way to show the Man in your life how much he means to you!

If you like the cute number tags, you can print yours HERE!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Elf Shenanigans 2012

- Bath Time -

(At some point during the day, Graham filled the sink with water- turning the marshmallows into mush and soaking Cutie Bell..... time to dry her off!)

- Super Elf - 
While Cutie Bell was pampering, Tree Stump was flying high in the Living Room.

- Sleep Tight! -

- Christmas Tree T.P. - 

- Snow Ball Fight -

- Hanging High - 
Sometimes, they like to just hang around.

- 12 Days of Christmas -
Reese and Graham get to take turns opening a book each day leading up to Christmas.
(Cutie Bell had me buy a bunch of Christmas books and DVD'a last year on clearance!)

- Missing Home -
Our freezer is the closest temperature to what these elves are used to!

 - Movie Night - 
The t.v. was on playing a Christmas movie when Reese and Graham woke one morning.

- Hot Chocolate Breakfast - 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

North Pole Breakfast 2012

Cutie Bell made her entrance last year with a 
North Pole Breakfast!

When she came this year, she made breakfast and brought a HUGE surprise!

'Brother Elf' came to our home with Cutie Bell. Graham didn't take much time to decide the the name of his Elf on the Shelf...
Tree Stump!
(The boy has some creativity!)

The Sister and Brother combo, set the table.....

And brought yummy treats.....

"Was it good?" You ask. I think the answer is YES!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Crock Pot Baked Potato Soup

I've made this delicious, belly-warming soup a lot. 
And each time, I am so excited at how much it ACTUALLY tastes like 
Baked Potatoes!
Crock Pot Baked Potato Soup

What You'll Need:
12 slices of bacon
1 onion, diced
1/2 cup flour
5 1/2 cups chicken broth
5 medium baking potatoes
1 teaspoon parsley flakes
2 cups half & half
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup sour cream
Garnish- extra cheese and extra sour cream

Here's How:
1. Scrub and pierce your potatoes. Place the potatoes on a baking sheet and bake at 400* for 30-60 minutes. Cool (enough to be handled) and then peel the potatoes with your fingers. Dice the cooked and peeled potatoes and set aside.

2. In a dutch oven, cook bacon.

3. Remove the bacon to a paper towel lined plate and cook the onion in the bacon grease. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Slowly add the chicken broth and cook until thickened. (Be sure to scrape all of those yummy bacon bits off the bottom of the pan!)
5. Add this hot broth and onions to your crock pot. Add potatoes, parsley, half & half, and most of the bacon. (Reserve some bacon to use as garnish.)
6. Cook on low for 3 to 4 hours. Stir in the cheese and sour cream and cook for a 1/2 hour more on high.

Ladle into bowls and garnish with cheese, sour cream and bacon. Serve and enjoy!

I adapted this recipe from Paula Deen's Baked Potato Soup recipe found here.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

DIY Headband Holder

Here's the headband nightmare that was in existence in my daughter's bathroom just a few short days ago....

(You'd think the girl has 10 heads to wear all of these!)

I started this project with 
1. a hate for the disorganized headbands,
2. a large oatmeal canister,
3. mod podge,
4. cute scrapbook paper.

Read closely, because it doesn't get much simpler than this...
1. Cut your paper to the size of the canister you are using. (I took the lid off first)
2. Brush a thin layer of Mod Podge onto your canister. Attach paper on top, using the Mod Podge as the glue.
3. Brush several layers of Mod Podge over the paper, allowing each layer to dry.

Accessorize and store!
(I did purge many headbands and the inside of the canister holds flexible, fabric headbands.)

I didn't put ALL of her headbands back on for this picture. I wanted you to get the idea without it looking 'over loaded' with hair pieces. She still has too many but they are so cute and she really does wear a lot! :)

Saturday, December 8, 2012

DIY Coaster Project

As usual, about the time every Pinner on Pinterest has tried a project, that's when I get around to doing it too!

See my beautiful coasters (sarcasm)? They match NOTHING in my house. In fact, they were wedding/shower gifts over 8 years ago!
But, we still use them all the time, they just need a little updating.

Enter some scrapbook paper I already had. Cut into squares a little smaller than the coasters I was covering.

Such a fun thing to have on hand- Mod Podge!

A thin layer of Mod Podge on the old coasters and then scrapbook paper on top. Another layer of Mod Podge and I let them dry before doing a few more layers.

When they are completely dry, I sprayed them all with a clear sealer to protect the paper.

Ready to use for hot or cold!!!!