Monday, November 30, 2009

These faces........



Just one look and I melt

Just one smile and my heart wants to explode with love



I love my children with such a fiery passion that I am unable to ever put into words, unless you're a parent yourself I don't think you'll ever truly know what an all encompassing, unconditional love really is.

I love them......... and I love their new glasses......and I love this new stage of their life on which we're embarking.

They are so happy with the glasses, even more so because they got to pick their own. The looks on their faces when they first put them on and turned to say "Wow everything looks so much clearer". I'm grateful that I got them to the doctor and their eye sight taken care of, makes me wonder how long they have been making do and thinking fuzzy and blurry is normal.


Ever seen a Dust Storm approaching? I hadn't either until we moved to Arizona and now every few months we get a big one in the area.

This one above formed pretty fast, within 5 minutes of the first clouds coming into sight, we had high winds and couldn't see the houses across the street.

It's truly beautiful to watch Mother Nature at work.


My beautiful Lemon Tree is once again brimming with gorgeous big yellow lemons.


Life is simple here in our home. We don't do complicated, busy schedules, we're easy going and home bodies, so we're happiest when we're at home, just relaxing and enjoying each others company.

This past four day weekend was full of traditions, good food and family time. We sat down in front of the TV and watched Home Alone together.

We filled up on Turkey and pies and we decorated and when the weather got cooler, we sat around the dinner table just before bed with big cups of cocoa and a slice of pie and we laughed, and we told jokes and we talked about school and work and plans for the future.


In between all of this, I got time to watch Pride and Prejudice and Little House on the Prairie while crocheting.

The start of a Granny Square blanket because just like my life, I like simple uncomplicated crafting and nothing is easier than Granny Squares.


I will post more pictures as the blanket progresses.

For now, I'm grabbing myself a cup of hot tea and my crochet hook and I'm sitting down in front of the tv for a few minutes before bed time routines kick in.

Happy Homemaker Monday!


The weather in my neck of the woods:
It's 48 degrees outside.....yes 48 degrees. LOL It's cold but I'm happy, just like a pig in yuckiness.

One of my simple pleasures:
Surrounding myself with balls of yarn and crocheting, whether it's doilies or ripple blankets or little cupcakes. I love the simple pleasure.

On my bedside table:
The Confession of Fitzwilliam Darcy

On my TV:
Stargate SG1 Season 4
Legend of the Seeker Season 2
Mansfield park

On the menu for tonight:
Chicken in Cream Sauce

On my To Do List:
Mop and sweep

New Recipe I tried last week:
Not new, but one of our favorites.....Leftovers Turkey Pot Pie.


In the craft basket:
Granny Square blanket

Looking forward to: favorite time of year.

Homemaking Tip for this week:
To remove mildew on white fabrics - soak several hours in a wash tub with 1/2 vinegar and 1/4 cup bleach. You can also put lemon juice on a stain and set in sun to remove light stains on white clothing.

Favorite Blog Post of the week (mine or other):
This Sunday Drive by Marmaladerose

Favorite photo from last week:


Lesson learned the past few days:
That you can enjoy the holidays just as much as if you were still a child. I think the older we get the more surrounded by responsibility and material things we become, and we tend to let that cloud our personalities. Suddenly we get the "I'm too old for that" attitude and it's such a bummer.
I've realized the past few week, with Thanksgiving and as we prepare for Christmas, that age is just a number, you can still completely immerse yourself into the celebrations and allow yourself to take in all the joys and fun of the Season. Try it, you'll see what a difference it makes.

On my Prayer List:
Family and Friends

Devotionals, Scripture Reading, Key Verses:

We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:28

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Let it Snow!


Oh the weather outside is frightful,
But the fire is so delightful,
And since we've no place to go,
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!

One of the things we most miss about Idaho, is the snow, especially during the holidays.

To me Christmas isn't Christmas without a blanket of white snow outside, but when that isn't possible, you make do.

My kids and I have started making our own snowstorm and though we're nowhere near completed yet, I wanted to share it with you, maybe inspire you to sit down with your little ones and make yourself some........just imagine the possibilities throughout the year......I'm thinking fall leaves in the Autumn, pink and red hearts for Valentine's Day, colorful eggs for Easter, flowers and bugs for Spring. Ooohhh I can't wait.

Anyway, all you need is either Dental Floss or Fishing Line which is what I used, reinforcement labels or circular dot white labels.


All you do is attach the fishing line or dental floss to one side of the adhesive label


Then place a second label over the top of the first one, creating a sandwich with the fishing line between the two labels.


Then just randomly place the other labels along the fishing line. Ta-Da!


Once it's completed hang them in front of your windows using tape affixed to the tops of the window frames.

Like I said above, ours is nowhere near done, there's only 5 strands so far, once they're all up, I'll take another picture and come back and show you, and in the meantime, if you decide to make yourself a snowstorm, don't forget to come back and let me know so I can see it.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Advent Wreath!


Do you have an Advent Wreath? Do you even know what it is?

This is our first year using an Advent Wreath, it's something I've had my eye on for quite a long time and kept saying "next year, next year", just never got around to it.

But I've always been inspired by the tradition and symbolism.

The Advent wreath is a circular garland of evergreen branches representing eternity. On that wreath, five candles are typically arranged. During the season of Advent one candle on the wreath is lit each Sunday as a part of the Advent services. Each candle represents an aspect of the spiritual preparation for the coming of the Lord, Jesus Christ.

On the first Sunday of Advent, the first purple candle is lit. This candle is typically called the prophecy candle in remembrance of the prophets, primarily Isaiah, who foretold the birth of Christ. This candle represents hope or expectation in anticipation of the coming Messiah.

Each week on Sunday, an additional candle is lit. On the second Sunday of Advent, the second purple candle is lit. This candle typically represents love. Some traditions call this the Bethlehem candle, symbolizing Christ's manger.

On the third Sunday of Advent the pink, or rose-colored candle is lit. This pink candle is customarily called the Shepherds' candle and it represents joy.

The fourth and last purple candle, oftentimes called the Angel's candle, represents peace and is lit on the fourth Sunday of Advent.

On Christmas Eve, the white center candle is traditionally lit. This candle is called the Christ candle and represents the life of Christ that has come into the world. The color of white represents purity.

Now if you want to make your own wreath, you can buy pre-made ones, OR, you can use what you have around the house which is what I did. Let me show you how easy it is and you'll be surprised at how beautiful it turns out.

I had a plain wreath laying around, with pink flowers and ribbons, all I did was take green and white garland and wound it around, starting with the green garland and leaving some space between, then I went in with the white and filled in the empty spaces.


The base I'm using for my Advent Wreath is a black pizza pan that I turned upside down. Again, like I said, using whatever I already have on hand instead of going out and spending money.


I think we all have these little red bows laying around for Christmas, I just used four, I didn't want to overcrowd it.


For my candles, I used 4 white tapers (tomorrow I'm going to dig into my ribbons and use purple one to wrap around the candles), set them inside little glass votive holders that I had in my bedroom.


Obviously I need the candles to stay in place and these votive holders are too wide, so I used another candle to drip some wax into the votives and then set the candles in. They were still a little wobbly, so I used some white river rock pebbles and filled them in.


For the middle candle, I used a red votive and set it on top of the other 4.


And here is my finished Advent Wreath. It cost me nothing, zero, zilch, nada because I used a little of this and little of that of whatever I already had on hand.


If you have your own wreath I would love to see it and if you don't, I'm hoping maybe you will be inspired to make yourself one and begin a new tradition with your family.

Remember this Sunday, the 29th, is the first Sunday of Advent and would be the first day to light one candle.

Another tradition we're going to incorporate is to read a little bit of the Birth of Christ to the children every Sunday as we light the candles.

First Candle
Color: Purple
Theme: Hope
First Sunday in Advent

Second Candle
Color: Purple
Theme: Love
Second Sunday in Advent

Third Candle
Color: Purple or pink
Theme: Joy
Third Sunday in Advent

Fourth Candle
Color: Purple
Theme: Peace
Fourth Sunday in Advent

Optional Center Candle
Color: White
Theme: Christmas
Christmas Day

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

"Let us thank God for it all," they said. "It is He who has made the sun shine and the rain fall and the corn grow." So they thanked God in their homes and in their little church; the fathers and the mothers and the children thanked Him."Then," said the Pilgrim mothers, "let us have a great Thanksgiving party, and invite the friendly Indians, and all rejoice together."


I am so grateful that you take the time to drop by now and then to say hello and leave such warm thoughtful comments. Thank you!I hope you all get to spend Thanksgiving with those you love.

Monday, November 23, 2009


I don't know what it is about them that make me smile, that make me think of my childhood and bring me visions of a warm and cozy home.

If I told you that I have them all over my home and in every room, would you believe me?

In the Kitchen:



In the hallway:



In the bedrooms:



In the Bathrooms:


I have collected doilies since before I got married, and most of them were made by my grandmothers which make them even more special to me.


In the living room:



In the dining area:



And while I was taking these pictures the mailman came by and dropped off this goody.

I LOVE Gooseberry Patch cookbooks and collect them, so you won't imagine how excited I was to see this huge cookbook. I haven't had a chance to look through it much but you can bet that I'll be using it to write up my menu for next week.


I think a crocheted doily gives your home that little extra special touch, makes it more inviting to others. What do you think?

Do you have doilies yourself or is that something that you are not particularly into, which is fine, not everyone has the same taste and some may not be interested in doilies and quilts and crafty stuff around the house.

I think I need more though, time to pull out my crochet patterns and take a peek. I may just find another great one to make.

Another place you can usually find them for really cheap is Goodwill and other Thrift Stores.

Happy Homemaker Monday!


The weather in my neck of the woods:
It's only about 40 degrees right now, so kinda chilly. I think this is my favorite time of year in Arizona.

One of my simple pleasures:
Watching the sunrise

On my bedside table:
Lots of Jane Austen Books

On my TV:
Stargate SG1 Season 3
Legend of the Seeker Season 2
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Eyre

On the menu for tonight:
Beef and Bacon Pinwheels

On my To Do List:
Mop and sweep

New Recipe I tried last week:
The Best Enchiladas Verdes. No I mean, the BEST.ENCHILADAS.VERDES. You have to try them, they are delish.

In the craft basket:
Wrist warmers and crochet birds
Granny's Twinkle Stars

Looking forward to:
Thanksgiving - I'm watching what I eat this week otherwise I won't be able to pig out for Thanksgiving LOL

Homemaking Tip for this week:
Pour a tablespoon of salt or baking soda down the drain. Followup by pouring a kettle of boiling water. The boiling water would solve the clogging part of your problem while the salt or baking soda would remedy the foul odor coming from the drain pipes.

There you have it. Simple and no-cost way to remedy a smelly and clogged kitchen sink drain.

Favorite Blog Post of the week (mine or other):
I got no blog reading done last week, shame on me.

Favorite photo from last week:

My Christmas Village

Lesson learned the past few days:
A huge one.....that your kids are just that......KIDS. They're not always going to tell you if something is wrong or if they don't feel right. Follow your instincts and if you feel that something is off, go with it, chances are, something IS.
Nicholas never complained about not seeing well and it turns out he is Farsighted, I had no idea but on a hunch I decided to take him in to the eye doctor and get him checked out, I'm glad I did.

On my Prayer List:
Family and Friends

Devotionals, Scripture Reading, Key Verses:
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."
Hebrews 13:5

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Still here!

You may think that I disappeared again but I really didn't, I'm here, just haven't had much of a chance to hop on my laptop and blog.

We had quite the busy week mostly revolving around my children going for eye exams and both needing glasses, which took this mama by surprise......well maybe not with Jasmine, the past few weeks she had been complaining that she was having a hard time seeing the board in the classroom and sometimes things up close were a little blurry too.

Since I was taking her, I decided that it was now or never for Nicholas as well.

Turns out she is Nearsighted and needs glasses, no surprise there, I was expecting that, but what I wasn't expecting was that when I took Nicholas in, who has never complained about anything and mind you just a month or two ago they checked their eyes at school and everything was fine......I was told by the doctor that he is Farsighted and needs reading glasses.

Well I'll be darned, I had no clue.

So yes, we've had a busy week with eye appointments and school activities.

I've spent my days running from place to place, feeling quite discombobulated and in desperate need of rest and relaxation, though the thought of Thanksgiving in just a few days is enough to keep me positive.

With that thought in mind, I have started religiously exercising on my Wii fit, because you know....Turkey day is coming and I don't want to feel bad about the ginormous amounts of food that I will be ingesting for days. I'm sure I'm not the only one either. *tee hee*

Have you started Christmas decorating yet?

Would you think me crazy if I told you that I have everything but the outside decorations up?

It just makes me smile to see the Christmas tree and my Christmas village all lit up at night, brings me visions of hot cocoa and candy canes, the birth of Jesus and white snow.

Tell me that doesn't make you smile???

Today is the first day that I've had a chance to sit down and spend some time online, browsing and getting ideas for the holidays. Like these adorable little pies in jars, which I'm thinking would be a great gift for the school teachers, and look at the cutest tags to include from Lollichops.

I've also been eyeing these adorable Grandma Twinkle Stars....yep, I think there are some coming up for Christmas. If you want to check out the tutorial, head on over to The Royal Sisters, such a neat blog.

Starting the next few days, I'm going to be posting alot about Handmade Christmas ideas, baking and sewing and crochet and knitting, ways to save money, sales, decorating etc etc.

If you have anything to contribute, I would love to hear it. With the economy the way it is, everyone is cutting back and trying to find a more inexpensive way of celebrating the holidays, I say we put our heads together and help each other out.

Right now though, I have to leave you because believe it or not......I have a Pumpkin Pie in the oven. *hahaha*
I'm trying a new recipe and what better way than to actually *try it* before you fix it for Thanksgiving? I am not complaining and neither are the little munchkins around here who've I've caught with their fingers in the Pie Mixture. Tsk Tsk Tsk.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Slow Cooking Thursday!


Don't forget to add your name to Mr Linky and a link back to your SCT post so others can come by and see your recipe too.

creamy garlic broccoli soup Pictures, Images and Photos
Image Credit: Monsoon Spice

Creamy Garlic Broccoli Soup
This full of flavor and aroma, crockpot recipe, is also full of veggies. Onions and potatoes have been added, and the blended potatoes, are what gives this hearty soup, it’s supreme creaminess. Started stove top, and finished in th slow cooker, this simple recipe is simply divine.

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 90 mins

1 1/2 pounds broccoli flowerets
1 clove garlic, minced
1 large Onion, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
1 to 2 large potatoes
1 quart chicken broth, or beef broth
salt and pepper, to taste
dash red pepper, crushed
1 cup half and half
dash ground nutmeg
bacon bits

Step 1:

Saute onion and garlic in butter until the onions become transparent. Add chopped potatoes, broccoli, broth, salt, pepper and red pepper. Heat to boiling and simmer for about a half hour.
Step 2:

Pour the mixture (about 1/3rd at a time) into the blender and pulse six or seven times for each batch. Place blended soup in crockpot and add half and half and nutmeg. Heat on low for another half hour and then let sit until dinner. Taste for seasoning; garnish and serve warm, not hot.