Wednesday, December 17, 2014

12 Days of Christmas Countdown

Christmas is WITHOUT A DOUBT my favorite time of year.
(The 7 decorated trees in my house prove that I think it is the most wonderful time of the year!)

One of my favorite things about Christmas are traditions.
Most everyone I know has a tradition they do or have done in the past.
The technical definition of tradition- a way of thinking, behaving, or doing something that has been used by the people in a particular group, family, society, etc., for a long time.

I think having traditions in itself is a tradition. Our family doesn't exactly do the same 'tradition' every year, but we do special traditions every year and that is our tradition!
Two years ago, I surprised my husband with a Countdown to Christmas. He opened one gift a day for the 12 days leading up to Christmas. I had so much fun doing that for him and that inspired the 12 Days of Christmas for the kids this year. Instead of a calendar to count down to Christmas, I wrapped little gifts for my kids. (Think stocking stuffer type gifts!)

Some days, there is a gift for each of them and some days, there is only one to open. It maybe be a gift to share or it may have two of the same thing.

Each package has a number and they are opening one a day until we get to Christmas.

The other night, I heard, "Mommy, I cannot wait to open #8." That made it all worth it!

What are some traditions you and your family enjoy?
We are just 8 days away from Christmas!!!  Merry Traditions!!!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Weekly Menu October 6

Have you ever wondered what other people's dinner menus look like?
I search Pinterest for new recipes every week and I love to hear what my friends are cooking. 
Here is what we will be eating this week (and the links to the recipes in case you want to try them too)!

Meatloaf and Twice Baked Potatoes
This pepper jack meatloaf is our family's favorite meatloaf recipe. No need to be wary of the spicy cheese for the little (or big) kids. We are not spicy-food-type-people and it's not spicy at all when baked in this meatloaf.

Twice Baked Potatoes:
Bake 8 potatoes until cooked through. Slice each potato in half and scoop out the inside to make a 'bowl'. Mash the removed potatoes with 4 oz. cream cheese, 4 Tb butter, 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese, 1/4 cup real bacon bits and salt and pepper to taste. Refill potato skin 'bowls' and return to oven until heated through. 

Beef Stew and (bought) Hawaiian Rolls
This is the first time I bought a spice packet to make this Beef Stew. 

Hawaiian rolls are one of our favorite rolls. Buttered and served with stews, used as slider buns or they make great cold cut sandwiches. 

I have made this meal multiple times. Knowing how easy it is to make, you will think twice next time you pick up the phone to call your local Chinese take-out. And it's delicious!

Dr. Pepper Chicken with Rice
This is a new (Facebook found) recipe for us. My kids were skeptical of the name. 
And I just realized they probably are picturing a glass of Dr. Pepper with a piece of chicken sticking out. 

(We have two nights this week that my husband will not be home for dinner. I like to go low key on nights without him. Dinners without Daddy are usually meatless to save a little on the grocery budget. )

 This is a great meatless lunch or dinner. You could add Italian meatballs to this pasta dish if the idea of 'Meatless Monday' dishes are not your families cup of tea.

I will let the kids decide what breakfast they want. 
Pancakes, waffles, hash-browns, muffins, fruit, cinnamon rolls or maybe all of the above. 
Their favorite thing about breakfast for dinner is eating dinner in our pajamas!

I'd love if you leave me a comment and tell me what's on your menu!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

First Day of School Pictures (Re-do)

My last post on this little blog 'o mine was filled with several fun teacher gifts, school clothes organization, first day of school pictures, annnnnnddddd the wrong year

The night before the first day of school (for the 2014-2015 school year), I was totally prepared. Lunches were ready in the fridge, clothes were ready, backpacks lined up next to the door, teacher gifts ready to go, and 'first day of school' signs printed, cut out, and sitting by my camera.
Then I spent the afternoon blogging away about the organization and pictures to prove it.
Then my mom asked if I knew I used the wrong year.
"What?!?! Ummm, nooooo! Oh man!" (followed by a rant of how could I have been so dumb, can photoshop fix this, can you believe I didn't just print the year, I WROTE the year…. wrong!)

So, I'm glad my kids are flexible and love me. 'First' day of school pictures, TAKE 2.

I'm glad I'm not perfect. If I was, I think I'd be totally boring. And my family wouldn't have gotten a nice little laugh out of 'Mommy not knowing the year'.

Reese's 3rd Grade sign can be found at Skip To My Lou
Graham's write-on sign can be found at Carrie Elle

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Beginning of School 2014

We start our 'school prep' every year with the same feeling….
Is summer really over?!?!?!
Then the first morning of school hits and you're glad you listened to yourself about getting things organized and ready. 
(Yes. I talk to myself. Sometimes out loud and my children answer me.)

So organizing…..
My kids are the kind that like to know what is coming. 

What are we doing tomorrow?
Where are we going after lunch?
What am I wearing?

This is something small we do that makes a BIG impact in the smooth department on those early school mornings: 

Clothes pins with the days of the week. Who knew?
You could easily make your own but I came across these at Hobby Lobby. $3 was well worth the absence of the morning question, What am I wearing? 

My kids have uniforms so picking out clothes really isn't that big of a deal. There's just something about seeing all the hangers lined up with the day clipped on that makes me happy.

For the 5-year-old, I hang his pants and belt too. We like to accessorize around here.
Girls and boys.
(My son might have a bigger shoe issue than his mother, just sayin'.)

 And if hangers aren't your thing, or you are low on closet space, or you hate clothes pins or something….
Wall hooks might be for you.
 (Did I mention there is a love of ties also? What can I say…  the boy likes to look good!)

Chances are, your kids' teacher is already organized. So, why not give a little gift to start the year?

I loved this idea…
Let me know when you need me to "chip" in to help.
Fill a cute basket, bucket, bag, etc. with something involving chips.
Preferably, the chocolate kind.
Print out the cuuuuute tag at The Same Difference and attach it to your gift!

And to start the year on the right foot, why not a mini pedicure set? Teachers spend their days on their feet!
Foot cream, nail polish and a foot shaped file wrapped in a clear bag is sure to be a gift that any teacher will love!
There are three printable 'foot' sayings to choose from over at Reading Confetti.

The first morning of school, we head outside to take the 'pictures'.
You know the ones…. where Mom scrounges around Pinterest for that perfect First Day Printable… prints it, cuts it, frames it…..
I doubt there are many kids that don't hold a sign stating their new grade.

My kids are troopers and never complain because they know this make Mommy happy!

 (Don't forget to include the too-young-for-school siblings!)

Off to school….
This is the first year I can say Most of my kids are in school!
And that kinda sounds like I have 10 or so.
So, I'll just exclaim how I can't believe I have one in k-4 and a 3rd grader!

Fun Fact:
Graham's teacher also taught Joel when he was in k-4 and kindergarten (in the same classroom!).
Joel's cousin was also in that class (20 some years ago).
His cousins son is also in Graham's class this year.
I'm thinking their teacher is going to have a few flash backs of boys from 25 years ago….
It's funny she didn't seat our 5 year olds next to each other. It's like she remembered how their dads acted. (wink wink)
She must have been really young when she taught them because she certainly doesn't look old enough to have 2nd generation students!

Happy School Year!

Friday, July 4, 2014

July 4th

Happy Birthday America!

My printable of choice this July 4th
(Compliments of Hostess With The Mostess!)

{These kids crack me up.}
Sometimes it takes quite a few photos to get a good one!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Tagg is ONE!

May 10th marked Tagg's FIRST BIRTHDAY.
{I. Just. Can't. Believe. It.}

Here's a look month by month:













Happy Birthday to my sweet baby!
He has added joy to our lives that we didn't know we needed.

Here's a sneak peek where I used his month to month pictures at his birthday party....
(More on the Mustache Bash and the Little Mister's Bow Tie Party next week!)

Friday, May 30, 2014


Today marked the LAST of several things for our family......

Reese is done with SECOND GRADE!
~Last day of school~

Graham is done with PRESCHOOL!
~Last day of school~

And Tagg is ready to move to a 'big boy seat'!
~Last time in his infant carseat~

When I started having kids, one of my aunts told me to remember to write down the 'lasts'. We always capture the 'firsts' in baby books and in photos, but don't forget that the 'lasts' can be just as special!

Thank you Yellow Bliss Road for those super cute 'last day of school' papers. Print yours free here.