Thursday, January 31, 2013

Spirit Week-2013

Day 1:
Basically, wear all the clothes and accessories that you can! 
{And I didn't plan it, but Graham's p.j.'s didn't match that morning either!}

Day 2:
Showing her Notre Dame pride!

Day 3:
This could be a current Superhero, or one you create on your own.
We decided to be creative and went with.....
(Knitter by Day, Super Granny by Night)

 {I love that she left her hose that way all day!!!!}

Day 4:
Wear a mask, so no one knows who it is!
It's Veterinarian Reese (and her faithful side kick)!

Day 5:
Navy, Maroon and Gray are the colors....

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Are You Ready For Some Football?

If you're like me and hosting a Super Bowl Party this weekend, you have probably already been thinking football food!

I think 'Football Food' with this question...

"What food can I make look like footballs?"

Here are a few....

Football Deviled Eggs

Football Sloppy Joes

And for dessert, Football Covered Strawberries

I covered juice boxes for the kids with brown and white paper to resemble, well..... 
you know !  :)

And don't forget a good half time show of "Pin the Football in the Goal Posts!"

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Guest Post: 39th Birthday Surprises

There are several BIG birthdays that require extra planning and big ideas.
Some of these are...
Turning 1
Turning 10
Sweet 16
30 (I'm much too close to this one!)
(and every decade after that)

Sometimes celebrating the 'not so big' birthdays can be just as fun. Who says you need to throw a big party? Or have an extravagant trip planned?
A little thought, planning and love behind simple birthday gifts can mean more than you would think!

My Aunt Ruth recently celebrated my Uncle Mike's 39th birthday in a fun, meaningful way.
Here are the birthday surprises she planned with the help of her daughter, Carrington and son, Tres (and don't let all the number talk scare you, she teaches math!) ....

So it’s your birthday and I love you more than anything, but you are really hard to buy for. Between your mom and I, you got everything you wanted for Christmas and that was only two weeks ago. Giving you a card with money is easy, but it’s weird. I know I would withdrawal cash and give it you only to have you deposit it again.  It is equivalent to “Happy Birthday babe, I paid the water bill for your birthday.”

The previous thoughts are actual thoughts I had about two weeks ago because my husband was turning 39. I kept churning ideas, talking to friends, and searching Pinterest. Finally, I got a revelation.  I started to think about the number 39. It was 2013. My husband’s birthday was the 13th of January and 39 is equal to three thirteens!  I quickly talked to my kids and got them on board too. Carrington was as excited as I was and Tres, well, he is always a good sport.

I  had read on Pinterest about a wife that gave her husband a present every hour on his birthday. That was now my plan: one present for each hour to be opened at 13 minutes past the hour for 13 hours.  He awoke Sunday morning to this on the dresser.....

I reached over and handed him this card to let him know the plan:

He was blessed and he knew it.  His 13 presents included a new toy for him to use to play with the dogs, a pair of jeans, some gift baskets from the clearance rack at SAMs, some running clothes, and homemade (by me) stuffits for his running shoes. He also got a gift certificate for a couples massage at a local spa.

My favorite presents to give were ones that the kids and I had made.  Each of them  found a scripture that used a three and a thirteen. We took a picture and reworded the scripture in Mike translation. He had used the words in italics within the last month when giving them some advice they needed.  

 I also made this with some pictures of us that Tres had taken this summer.

 The other pretty cool gift he got was from his mom.  She gave him the Jackson Five.

There is definitely some truth in the saying… “tis better to give than to receive”. 
I think I had as much or more fun on his birthday than he did.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

It's Christmas! 2012

We made the decision to stay home for Christmas Day this year- something we haven't done in our 8 years of marriage! I was so excited to wake up on Christmas in our own house!

I imagined every gift under the tree to be for the kids. I imagined them running down the stairs at 6 am busting at the seems with excitement that it was FINALLY Christmas. I imagined a yummy, relaxing breakfast and then opening presents for hours.

My 2:30 am wake-up call with a sick little buddy changed all of that.
Graham and I slept in because were up so often that night. And apparently, the whole family needed extra sleep because no one woke up before 10 am!
Our breakfast turned into lunch and presents were opened that afternoon. Graham didn't act like himself but he managed to suffer through present time! :)

We started with our Tree Hunt before lunch.
I made a list of 'hints' for presents that were hiding IN the Christmas tree.
(I started doing this last year because their stockings were always over stuffed! And it keeps the kids busy while Mommy gets breakfast -or lunch- ready!)

The Elves made their annual exit Christmas morning, but not without leaving a special note and treat behind for the kids!

ALL of the presents under the tree were for the kids! And Mommy didn't put any names on them!!!
Reese was concerned until I told her the gifts with red bows were for her and the gifts with green bows were for Graham.

My sweet Christmas angels.....

I hope you had a very Merry Christmas! Even though our plans changed, and things didn't happen as I 'imagined', it was still such a fun and memorable day! You can't go wrong with spending time with the ones you love the most!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Elf Shenanigans 2012 (Part 2)

{If you missed our Elf Shenanigans 2012 (Part 1), view it HERE.}

-All Wrapped Up-
Cutie Bell sure does think something is funny....

Could it be Tree Stump wrapped up under the tree???

-Your Friendly Neighborhood Spiderman-
Tree Stump retaliates on Cutie Bell with the help of a Web-Slinging friend!

-Connect Four-
We love playing games!!! Apparently, so do our elves!

-Sharing Is Caring-
Even siblings share sometimes!!!!

-Read Me That Story Again-
Cutie Bell and Tree Stump love reading the 'Elf on the Shelf' book to all their stuffed friends!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Under Our Christmas Tree {2012}

Some nifty-gifty ideas that were found under our tree this Christmas:

In addition to Reese's school classroom gift exchange, each student was asked to bring a small stocking stuffer gift. 
Reese made these CUTE snowman candy bars for her friends at school.
(This was, of course, a Pinterest find! See my inspiration HERE.)

We bought packs of Hershey's Chocolate Candy bars. 
I cut and taped white card stock around each candy bar. 
Reese then added her artistic touches by drawing the faces before I hot glued on the ear muffs and buttons. We finished them with a Christmas ribbon scarf.


This was the first year that I have ever given our mail person and the garbage company Christmas gifts.
I thought a plate of homemade cookies sounded just right!
I wrapped each plate in red cellophane and tied it with ribbon. I also found a free "Merry Christmas" printable. (There are MILLIONS of free printable tags out there!)

The mail truck and the garbage truck come around the same time every Friday. It just happened to be VERY windy and snowy that particular Friday. My plan to set a plate of cookies in a box for the garbage company was a no-go. It also didn't occur to me that my plate of cookies for the mail carrier was too big for our mailbox.
So, you can imagine the time I spent that day waiting and watching! As soon as I saw them drive up, I had to throw on my snow boots and coat and run out to catch them!
All in the name of homemade cookies!!!!!
(I'll think smaller next year!)


I love including my kids in gift giving.
Everything from picking out the gift, to wrapping the gift. I love how excited they get!
These print and color gift tags were the PERFECT way to add the child's touch to gifts this year!

All I had to do was print the tags onto card stock and cut them out. The kids colored them how they wanted and then they were gift-ready!
So cute and easy!
{Print yours HERE!}

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Pumpkin Egg Nog French Toast

It's that sad time of year...
when we must de-Christmas-tize.

Good-bye gigantic tree that takes us 3 days to put up.
(Funny how it can come down much faster!)

But say HELLO to our now favorite French Toast!

It started a few days ago when my hubby asked me to buy Egg Nog, "Just one more time before they stop selling it. They do still have it right?"
I replied with, "Oh, I'm sure it'll be around a few more weeks."

Well, the next grocery store trip proved me wrong. Thankfully, they had a few 1/2 gallons on clearance. (If you call $1.99 clearance for something that expires the next day!)

I had to come up with a way to use up that 1/2 gallon in two days.

Enter, a yummy (post) Holiday breakfast...

Pumpkin Egg Nog French Toast

What You'll Need:
4 Eggs
1 cup Pumpkin Egg Nog (or plain Egg Nog)
Cinnamon and Nutmeg to flavor
8 Pieces of bread

Here's How:
Whisk the egg, Egg Nog, cinnamon and nutmeg in a bowl.

Dip your pieces of bread in, one by one and cook them in a hot skillet with butter.
Cook both sides. But really, this is JUST like regular french toast, just cook it how you normally would.
I serve mine with butter and syrup.

And I'm tellin' you! The pumpkin Egg Nog puts this French toast OVER-the-top delicious!

Did you notice that the picture is just 1/2 of the french toast? 
Yeah, this hungry Mama couldn't stop myself before I remembered to take a picture!!!

This week I'll be sharing our Christmas memories, what was under our tree, what was found in our tree and what gift Jesus really wanted this year!