Saturday, December 25, 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Homemade Marshmallows

This is something everyone should least once!  I saw the recipe a few weeks ago and knew I had to make them!!  The recipe was so easy, but you must have an electric mixer.  I used my beaters since I don't have a whisk attachment and they worked just fine. 
These are so, so yummy!!!  

 The ones on top are chocolate swirl...I popped one in my cup of hot cocoa earlier :)

Go HERE to get the recipe.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Cutting the Tree!

For the past 7 or so years (except one) we've been going to the same tree farm to cut down our Christmas tree.  It's a gorgeous spot on the side of the mountain and we always look forward to this tradition!

 Natalie was saving up her energy so she took a ride out to the trees!
 The big kids took turns sawing!

 Natalie worked so hard and insisted she could pull the tree by herself...and she did!

 Wyatt and Natalie worked really hard pulling the tree up the hill!  We always stop in the little shop area and have hot cocoa and cookies, so that may have been the motivation for such hard work!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Fall Fun!

We didn't get a lot of time to play in the leaves this year, and even though it doesn't look like it--Mason WAS having fun.  He just didn't want his picture taken!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Homemade Hazelnut Hot Cocoa

*This one IS my picture--my favorite cocoa mug!
When our oldest was born my mom was staying with us and really spoiled us with her cooking--one of the things she made was a big batch of this hot cocoa and served it to us in bed with lots of whipped cream!  
This recipe originally came to us from my cousin Lynn.  It makes a great teacher gift at Christmas time!

Hazelnut Hot Cocoa
9 oz Powdered Milk          16 oz Sugar 
            16 oz Chocolate Milk Mix         11 oz Powdered Creamer
(2) 8oz Powdered Hazelnut Creamer (I sometimes use peppermint)
          1/2 c. Cocoa Powder            1/2 c. Instant Coffee

Mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl.   It is a good idea to sift this, but I never do. 
Mix 3-4 tablespoons with hot water and enjoy!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Homeschool Time4Learning

I've been invited to try Time4Learning for one month in exchange for a candid review. My opinion will be entirely my own, so be sure to come back and read about my experience. Time4Learning can be used as a homeschool curriculum, for afterschool enrichment and for summer skill sharpening. Find out how to write your own curriculum review for Time4Learning.

Adventures In Odyssey Review

 Our family was thrilled to have the opportunity to review the newest CD set featuring the crew from Odyssey in "Cause and Effect"!
It’s all-new Adventures in Odyssey episodes in volume 52, Cause & Effect. Join Eugene and Matthew as they investigate why the clock tower at City Hall seems to be counting down to a mysterious deadline. Could it have something to do with the anniversary of a lost love from twenty years ago? Barrett couldn’t be more excited about getting the lead role in the school play. But when his first practice is interrupted by a mysterious booming voice, Emily Jones must investigate the “phantom of the school play.” Also, perfect for the holiday season, are stories on Thanksgiving (“A Thankstaking Story”) and Christmas (“Grandma’s Christmas Visit”).
Adventures in Odyssey is fun and exciting audio entertainment that teaches quality character traits and ignites the imagination of all who listen. Imagine, Discover, and Grow with Adventures in Odyssey.

I was first introduced to the gang from Adventures In Odyssey right after my husband and I were married.  He was flipping through the radio stations one day and got excited when he heard the episode that was airing.  I had no idea why he was so excited over a "kid's show" (or so I thought it was for kids!).
Ever since that day I have loved listening to Odyssey and have loved even more that my kids enjoy it, too.  We listen in the car, at bedtime, and when we're just hanging out at home.

This 4 disc set has some great new adventures that the whole family will love.  My favorite is the very first on the set--The Mystery of the Clock Tower.  This one had us all on the edge of our seat and we sat in the parking lot of an outlet mall until it was over!  My husband and I were both shocked at the conclusion!!  We haven't listened to the Thanksgiving or Christmas selections but plan to closer to the holiday.

I love that Adventures In Odyssey keeps my kids attention with the fun stories and that they are learning valuable life lessons at the same time.  Adventures In Odyssey is a wonderful tool to help you instill Biblical values in your children, and any of the Odyssey CD sets would be a great Christmas or Birthday gift!!  Cause and Effect retails for $24.99 and you can find it here or here.

Thank you to Tyndale House for giving us this great new set to review--we all enjoyed it tremendously!

*This is a compensated review for Mama Buzz.  I was given the CD set in exchange for my review.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

White Chicken Chili

*not my picture
This quickly became a favorite in our house!  I hope you like it, too!

2 boxes Chicken "shortcuts" (recipe calls for 1lb chicken but these precooked ones work best)
1 Onion
1 1/2 tsp or 1 clove garlic
2 cans Great Northern Beans
1 can chicken broth
1 tsp salt
1 tsp oregano
1-2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp pepper
1 cup sour cream
1/2 c. whipping cream or half and half (I use a little of each)
shredded mozzarella cheese

In a large pot, saute onion in oil until tender.  Add in the rest of ingredients except for sour cream and cheese.  Once everything is mixed and warm, add in sour cream.  Heat and let simmer for about half hour, then serve with shredded cheese on top!  
This is soooo good warmed over the next day, too!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Shutterfly---we LOVE this site!!

Go to the Shutterfly home page.
Have you ever checked out the site Shutterfly?  If not you are missing out on some serious fun!  
Shutterfly is not only a site that will allow you to store your pictures online, but they also offer an enormous selection of photo creations and gifts!  I have ordered from Shutterfly many times and I can honestly say that the quality is awesome and shipping is fast!!
Cards & Stationery   
What type of holiday cards do you send out?  Every year I have big plans for really cute cards but it just doesn't happen.  Last year Shutterfly made that so easy--we had some really cute cards to send out!
There are so many fun designs to choose from, like this folded card--put a sweet picture on the outside and write a personal message on the inside!

You customize your photobook-page by page    One of my favorite products from Shutterfly is the Photo Book.  There are so many types to choose from and you can get really creative!  These are easy to make and would be great Christmas gifts for grandparents!  My kids also love to look at their photo books--so think about one for your kids of the year in review!!

I have never made a photo calendar of my kids but this year I will do this instead of buying a generic one.  Wouldn't you love to have one of your kids?  It looks so easy to make!!  Shutterfly has 20 designs of wall calendars to choose from starting at just $17.59!!  Great price!!

Holiday card photo tipsHow about trying out Shutterfly for your Christmas Cards this year?  Just snag a cute picture of your kids, upload it to the site, and you are on your way to having some of the cutest cards you've ever had!  The price is great, too--starting as low as .32 cents each!

Gift Certificates

Shutterfly also offers Gift Certificates!  I would love to receive one of these for Christmas (hint, hint). 

Send Invitations That Celebrate Your Baby
Shutterfly isn't just for Holiday items--you can find some really cute baby announcements, shower invitations, and so much more!!!

One of the great things about Shutterfly is that you can always find discount codes and awesome offers!  I would suggest creating an account if you don't already have one and you can start to receive updates and offers right in your email inbox.  
You can also use the code below to snag a free 5X7 stationary or greeting card!!
Try One Free 5x7 Greeting Or Stationery Card - Enter Code: CARD4U

*This is a compensated post from Shutterfly--If I'm lucky enough I will receive free photo cards in return for my post!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Our Very First Blessing--my Niece Grace!

Grace--4 or 5?
Ten years ago today our family was blessed with a beautiful little girl!  Sweet Gracie Lou made everyone around her smile from the very beginning.  Before she came I had no idea it was possible to love another person so much.  She quickly became "Papa's Girl" and I think she pretty much hung the moon in his sky!

Grace is one of the happiest little girls I have ever known.  She is such a good kid and has manners that will blow you away.  I love hearing her say "yes ma'am"!   When Wyatt and Natalie spend time with her I catch them saying things like she does and it's so funny---her sweet Southern accent is the best!

Ben and I left MS when Grace was 8 months old.  That was one of the hardest things I ever had to do, and don't tell the rest of my family but I'm pretty sure that most of the crying I did was because I missed Grace! 

I can't believe that our Gracie Lou is already a decade old and I can't even imagine where she'll be in another 10 years, but I do know that I can't wait to watch her get there!  We are so proud of her and everything that she has already become.  I think it's awesome that she's going to be baptized soon--a wonderful way to mark 10 years!
Happy Birthday Grace!   We love you and miss you!!! 

 And FYI--her name is really Alivia Grace, but if you ask her it's Gracie Lou!

Trick Or Treat!

This year we had an American Girl (Felicity), a Jawa, and Yoda!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Still No Sleep

I had to post this cute picture since lately I've had to put Mason on my back in the Ergo when we grocery shop.  That kid is out of control in the grocery stores!!
My CPAP still isn't helping me.  I take it off not long after falling asleep.  I can usually remember doing it but can't figure out what to do about it.

I have 2 different masks and I don't like either one better than the other.  I go back in 2 weeks for a follow-up with my doctor and I'm praying he has some ideas or suggestions on what to do.  
I find myself so disappointed--I was really excited to finally sleep and feel refreshed during the day.  

So I'll just keep feeling (and often looking) like this:

With dreams of looking like this: 

Friday, October 15, 2010

A Special Time in Our House!

Almost 5 years to the day after having her top teeth taken, Natalie has her grown up teeth (or as she calls them, her Mommy Teeth) popping through!  We have waited for this day for 5 years!!!!
It's funny...she never talked funny without them, but now that they are coming in she has a little lisp!  We love it!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Apple Picking!!

 The kids and I went apple picking on Tuesday!  It was the perfect weather--sunny and warm but with a cool breeze!
We got a quite a few apples and hope to make sauce to can this week!