Sunday, December 18, 2011

Wise Men Still Seek Him

Stocking Stuffer

Here is a cute idea for a SMALL gift (key word being small :)
They are made using a large black clip,
decorated with ribbon, a button, and jewel stickers.
They can hold photos, recipe cards, other small cards or notes.
(they would also be a cute name card holder for a dinner table,
decorated to match a particular theme)
Now, if I only had some stockings to put them in :) hehe

Friday, December 16, 2011

2 More Birthdays...

for 2 of my favorite boys!

Happy December 16.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Decor

This post is just for me since my blog is my journal/scrapbook. (I am going to get it printed into books soon.) Here are pics. of my "(way too much) cute Christmas stuff". GG always tries to discourage me from getting decorations out- but I can't enjoy them if they stay in the attic :) I showed some self restraint- I didn't get the big tree out this year, but I do have 4 smaller ones. You will be able to see that my "taste" in decor. is somewhat country, somewhat mod, somewhat "whatever"- kind of a strange mixture :)hehe I am trying to include more items that are teal colored and figure out how to display some of my cute ornaments with out being on a large tree. My new tree for this year is shown in the last collage- it is my Noah's ark tree. Of course it goes in the front room with all of my other Noah's ark stuff.
My two other projects for today are some lights on the bushes outside and making rolled sugar cookies. We will see how much I get done- it's already almost 11 am. (I will probably be doing the cookies on another day. It will be a challenge just to find the lights in the garage :)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Somebody has a BDay...

and it's not the baby :)

Now, they know how to look so happy, it makes everyone happy :-)
Happy Birthday.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Be Happy

(this is a reminder to me- I am happy, but I don't always show it)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

More of our ladies Christmas

I decided to post a few more pics. from our ladies Christmas activity. (mostly for Al :)

The Wiseman table.
                              The Lamb table- with a "Tender Mercies tree".

The Shepherd table with cute candy cane gift.

                                                    The Joseph table.

                                                      The Angel table.

Mary, Joseph, and the baby. (this baby was born in August- he was awake while Jen was singing Mary's Lullaby, but then later he actually fell asleep and she layed him in the "manger" :)

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Innkeeper's Key

I am spending today, decorating my house for Christmas. I would have started that sooner, but I have had another "project" that I have been working on. Last Thursday evening was our ladies Christmas program at church.
I had several responsibilities for that program. My husband, was kind enough to dress up as the "Innkeeper" for me.
Our program was based on a book called "A Christ-Centered Christmas". There was a part for Mary, Joseph, a Shepherd, a Lamb, a Wiseman, the Christ Child, and an Angel. In addition to our program, we had a potluck dessert table and then 7 other tables that represented each character and had cute little handouts and gifts for all of the ladies. I didn't post pictures of everything- but these will give you an idea of our activity. (I didn't want to post pictures of all of the people- but Ron was fair game :) It was a fun Christmas evening. 

My Innkeeper

Our Bethlehem background.

The Christ child table. 

The Mary table. (with gift bags for the ladies to collect other items in) 

The Nativity table. 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tragic Events of the World...

can make us fearful but our faith in Jesus Christ can give us peace.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Happy Birthday...

to our favorite daughter in law. Hope it was a great day. We miss you and we love you.
(Your mom sent a Bday gift to our house for you :)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Day

A couple of pies are made. The green bean casserole is ready. The sweet potato casserole is ready. The turkey is in the oven. The table is set. Ron is at football. GG is at church.
What to do now???
Get out the Christmas decorations?
Box of the Halloween stuff? hehe
Clean out the garage?
Clean and organize my desk?
Clean out my food storage closet?
Finish my handouts and display for RS?
Work on my scrapbooks?
Organize my "house ideas" books?
Shop online?
Write our Christmas letter?

I think I will go take a shower then pick something from my list :) haha. It's not that often that I have a day to do "whatever". I am missing the rest of our family, but yet it's good to have a "sweat pants and slippers" day :) and I'll be back to work tomorrow and Saturday. (no rest for the retailers) I hope all of the kids have a great day. We are truly grateful for all of our blessings!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Pie Recipe

Here are the details on my PERFECT cherry pie- (that was originally an apple pie recipe). The thing I was most amazed at on the apple pie recipe was the crust- so I decided to try it with a cherry filling. The crust is just 2 cups of flour, 1 tsp.salt, 1 cup of shortening, and 1/4 cup ice water. Just stir the flour and salt together, cut in the shortening (using a pastry cutter), then sprinkle with the water and use your hands to form dough into a ball. Divide the dough in half- one half for the bottom crust and one half for the top crust. This dough is rather sticky and somewhat hard to manage to roll and get into the pie plate- but that is why it is so flaky and melts in your mouth. You will need extra flour to roll it out in. (And you can also use 2 sheets of wax paper and roll the dough between them- but you will still need the extra flour- it will stick to the wax paper) I have also heard that using 1/2 cup shortening and 1/2 cup butter ( instead of 1 cup shortening) is good- but I haven't tried that yet. Here is the website for the apple pie- (there was a video there to see complete instructions- I can't seem to find it now. But the complete apple pie recipe is there):

For the cherry filling- I used the recipe that was on the can of tart cherries, with a minor change:
2- 14.5 oz. cans Red Tart Pitted Cherries
3 Tbsp. corn starch
1 cup sugar (I used 1/2 c. sugar)
1/8 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. almond extract

(I actually used 3 cans and did one and a half times this recipe- except that made alittle too much filling. I usually think that the 2 cans is not quite enough filling, so we have some extra cherry sauce for pancakes or waffles. For your first time, just do the 2 cans and follow the recipe, then you can decide if you would like more filling the next time.)

Drain juice from the cherries into a medium saucepan. Whisk in corn starch, sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat; stir in almond extract and cherries. Pour into prepared crust and bake at 425 for 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 and cook until pie is golden (maybe about 30 minutes). I like cooking the filling first because then you only have to bake the pie until the crust is brown- you don't need to worry about the fruit filling needing to cook longer than the crust, and having the crust get over cooked. (the directions for 425 for 20 minutes and then 350 for 30-40 minutes is the cooking time for the apple pie, with fresh apples- the cherry pie takes slightly less time). I am going to try to calculate the calories per serving- and I am going to try using part sugar substitute next time.

Let me know how yours turns out.
I am going to try strawberry/raspberry/rhubarb for Thanksgiving :)


Okay for all of you scrapbookers out there ANYONE can scrap book like this!!
(I might have to add one more item to my girls Christmas, no gifts, list :)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Two Kinds of Pie

Ron will tell you that there are only two kinds of pie that he likes....

Hot and Cold!

But his all time favorite is (sour) cherry. He has managed to stay married to me long enough, for me to make a few (sour) cherry pies. I told him last night that "I might have done it!!" Here is what the PERFECT (sour) cherry pie looks like.

I found a recipe, a couple of weeks ago for an award winning apple pie. It was great. The crust was very flaky and just melted in your mouth. I decided then, that I needed to try that same crust only with a different filling. The cherry filling worked great, also. For Thanksgiving, I may need to try rhubarb :) Now that I have a perfect pie, maybe my purpose in this life has been fulfilled. hehe

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Repair, Replace, Remove

We have been in "repair, replace, remove" mode for a couple of months at our house. And I'm not talking about batteries, I'm talking about body parts :)
Mostly minor things, except Ron's appendix removal was probably considered major. Anyway... we are both "on the mend" and hoping to be completely back to normal by next week. At the beginning of November, I was thinking, "something must have happened this year, I think November is a week shorter than normal". Then yesterday, I realized that Thanksgiving is next week!! I just bearly got the Halloween stuff put away. Then I realized that Christmas is right around the corner. Needless to say I am skipping the Fall Thanksgiving decor- moving on to Christmas. (Soon? We'll see how that goes :) I can't sit around and take it easy- I've got stuff to do!! Time flies when you are in RRR mode :)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Hero

 There was a young man, that we knew from Bartlesville, that was killed in Afghanistan, on Nov.1. He was 26 years old. His funeral service was yesterday. The streets of Bartlesville were lined with hundreds of people and American flags. Some standing as protection from the Westboro Baptist Church protesters. Others, who did not even know Chris, were there "just because". Just because, he gave he life for us and for his country. Thank you.

Here are three of the quotes from this story, that I particularly like:
(from a lady, standing by the street, holding a flag, who did not even personally know Chris)
"I would hold my flag all day for this young man".

"We love them (those who serve) and we support their families that are left behind".

"Thank you Bartlesville and the patriot guard riders. Let freedom ring in honor of our fallen soldier, Chris Gailey, you have become a hero to us all".

Friday, November 11, 2011


Thank you, thank you. We will remember!!
We are grateful.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Money Advice

I did not write the following information, I got it from Yahoo. It has some good money advice in it. Along these same lines of thinking, I had Ron show me how to create a simple spreadsheet, for me to use to compare grocery prices. I use a few coupons, but my problem with coupons is when they are used to buy items that you would not normally buy- just because you have a coupon. It is a better plan, for me, to buy my "regular stuff" from whatever store has the best price on those items. And to take advantage of "sales" on those items. I am still in the process of collecting my information, but I have been surprised at how much the prices can vary from one store to another. I now have all of these prices on a piece of paper rather than in my head :)

First Person: How the Recession Made Me Smarter Financially

tweet6EmailPrintMimi Bullock, On Tuesday November 8, 2011, 2:20 pm EST

*Note: This was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Do you have a personal finance story that you'd like to share? Sign up with the Yahoo! Contributor Network to start publishing your own finance articles.

As a small-business owner and the parent of two children who like to shop, I'm not ignorant about the economy. From gas prices to grocery bills, I've seen everything increase except my income. Instead of bemoaning my situation and falling apart, I've decided to focus on the positive aspects. One good thing that has come from these hard economic lessons is that I'm financially smarter. I manage my household and business affairs more smoothly and tightly than anytime before.

That's not to say I won't welcome economic relief, but I have learned a thing or two. Today, many things I've experienced have made me a better businessperson and household manager.

I make saving a priority. Strangely enough, getting loans isn't easy today. Lesson one, always save. Every paycheck, every contract paid, squirrel away something. Some weeks I could save only a few dollars, others times I saved a few hundred. Before the recession, I lived with minimal savings and threw sudden expenses like car repairs on my credit card. No more! (On a side note, I've noticed my kids save more now, too. Not only am I smarter, but they are too.)

I pay debts on time or early. When every dollar counts, high interest rates aren't an option. I pay my debts on time, and I pay them down as quickly as possible. I know a healthy amount of debt is good for your credit, but I feel better knowing my debt is small. That's good for me mentally.

I know how to price-match. Before the recession, my husband and I saw what we wanted and then purchased it. Today, we don't make snap decisions about high-priced items. We've adopted a two-day price-match rule for big-ticket items. We search the Web and call or visit stores for the best deal. Never, ever rely on one store to give you an honest "best" price. I do my own homework.

I question my purchases. Before 2008, I was an impulse buyer. I loved walking into stores shopping for "sales" even when I didn't need the items. I don't do that anymore. I don't buy things unless I need them, and I stay away from sales and discount stores.

I know more. Until a few years ago, I couldn't care less about the stock market. I know that's crazy because I'm a business owner, but it all seemed so far away from me. Today, I watch business shows at least once a week and I know the basic business terms. Learning how the financial markets work makes me feel empowered and less helpless--even when I'm pumping $4 a gallon gas.

I plan ahead. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I'm a freewheeling, spontaneous kind of gal. Today, I'm much more careful. I don't just hope and expect a good future, I plan for it. I've even met with a financial planner. I think about what the next five, 10, and 20 years will bring, and I have a plan. That lesson has kept me sane.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Got Em All

"By hook or by crook", I got pics. of all the grandkids for Halloween.
Here is Owen, Westin, Jared, and Nathan,
standing in front of their spider web van. (I might have to use that idea for next year- I skipped out on the "Trunk or Treat" this year :(


Pretty Cute!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Eli Hotdog

No other comment needed here...

except, that is the happiest hotdog, I've ever seen.

Hailey and Jaden

I know that these two characters are from Toy Story-
but since, I'm "old and out of the loop"- I can't tell you their names :)
But, "good job" on the costumes, Ashley.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Nicholas, Ryan, and Carrie

Here is what I swiped from Facebook, this week.
A cute bird and monkey, named Nicholas and Ryan.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Al, Dal, and Micah

I swiped these from FB too,
especially for my Dad and stepmom,
who look here but don't look at Facebook :)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Posting Quicker...

than you can keep up. hehe
(Scroll down, you may have missed something, this week.)

I just couldn't pass these up- swiped em from FB.
They don't even go together, but I "LIKE" both.
(Remember, you can click on a pic. and it will enlarge)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Halloween Treats

"Finger Food"-
"Golden Oreo Funstix" dipped in white candy coating and "nails" with slivered almonds.

Mini size "Finger Food" made with "Wheat Thins Stix".
(also candy coating and slivered almonds)

"Sweet Spiders"-
Homemade or store bought chocolate cookies- chocolate frosting in the middle, colored licorice string legs, edible candy eyes (attached with a small dab of frosting).

"Meringue Google Eyeballs"-
baked meringue with candy coated choc. pieces or candy coated Reese's pieces.
Anyone want the meringue recipe?

"Meringue Ghosts"

"Google Meringue Eyeballs" on a stick.
(As a fun decoration in a smoothie or hot chocolate) I have two smoothie recipes and one, green hot choc. recipe. Anyone want those?

Creme Filled Cookie "Google Eyes". Open a creme filled cookie use the half with creme to make these eyes. (Use the cookie half with out creme to make the "cookie spiders".)  

Use the cookie "Google Eyes" to make Owl cupcakes. Two of these are regular cupcake size- two are made with a wider, shorter, cupcake paper. (Eyes made with Reese's pieces as well as the beak.)

For our ladies "Super Saturday" I did a display table of Halloween ideas. Some food ideas and some cute bags, jars, and buckets. And a couple of center piece ideas.
See anything else you might want more details on? I haven't had a chance to get pictures of everything- "my stuff" went to another ladie's house and I haven't retrieved it yet :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

JFK on Mormons

I realize that this is "old", but it still rings true. By the way... we are Christian, even though many people think otherwise.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

(One of those) Laugh AND Cry

For all of us struggling with that midlife crisis weight gain :)