Dec 28, 2007

Christmas apron

I just finished my christmas apron. It is the first time I used this pattern, and I LOVE the pattern even though I do not care for my choice of fabric. But it is just for the holidays, right? And, yes, I realize that I finished a little behind schedule, or maybe I am just way ahead of schedule for next year. I can't wait to make one for everyday use.
By the way, the pattern is Sunday Dinner Apron by Vanilla House Designs featured on Sew, Mama, Sew Blog- see link in sidebar.

Dec 25, 2007

Happy Birthday Jesus

Our annual Happy Birthday Jesus Party was a rip-roaring good time. We made wooden block nativity sets, decorated our own ornament cupcakes, and sang Happy Birthday to Jesus.
We were the hottest party on the block, and word got out. Even Spiderman (Drake), Mr. Incredible (Grant), and a friendly pirate (Jonah) showed up for the festivities.
Here is Jonah's version of the sacred family...

Maddie, I do think that you have something on your face.
We were the party of brotherly love. Doesn't Daniel look comfy in this photo?
What Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus are "suppossed" to look like. My Mary looks surprisingly like she has elephant ears though.
Kristina, Grant, and Grant's cousin Drake. I'm sorry. Mr. Incredible and Buzz Lightyear.
Daniel's nativity. He got tired of it before he completed baby Jesus. Maybe this is what Mary and Joseph looked like before they found the stable. They do look a little worn out and tired.

The craft table...
Jenn "helps" Jason make his nativity. Great work Jason...
Good job Grant. Don't let your mom micromanage your craft.
The Harveys at the cupcake table. What a great looking crew.
Here is a photo of Jonah after the party. Marmie brought Jonah a small shark (you can almost see him on the counter- I never claimed to be a photographer- I'm just proud that the picture is in focus. Aren't you proud, Babe?), and Daniel two frogs- separate cages. Jonah named his shark, Cannon. I helped Daniel choose the names Mary and Joseph for his frogs to help us remember that Marmie gave them to us for Jesus' Birthday.

Dec 24, 2007

Daniel decides to dress himself

This is what might happen when your three year old decides to start dressing himself. It might be difficult to tell, but he has his four year old brother's shorts on over his jeans and a dirty t-shirt.

He is very proud of himself.

As well he should be, I might add.

Dec 23, 2007

The Grinch

One of my all time favorite Christmas movies has always been Dr. Suess' How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and the boys have added it to their list this year. Daniel calls it "Happy, Smile" because he gets so excited when the Grinch smiles. They both ask to watch it repeatedly. And, Jonah has started acting it out. Here are the many faces of the Grinch...Not quite...
Almost there...
His heart grew three sizes that day.
Merry Christmas!!!

Jonah's Preschool Christmas

Jonah was not a little Christmas Tree. :) He actually particpated in the program really well, I just happen to be a talented enough photographer to catch him at the moment that he was the only child not participating (far left).
After the program, the children exchanged books. This is Trace, and he gave Jonah a book about puppies and how they grow. Good Times!!!

Dec 22, 2007

Daniel's Preschool Christmas

Daniel's classroom Christmas party was a great success. We decorated cookies and painted feet (to make snowmen of course), and the kids had a great time. Here is Daniel with his "book buddy," and below with "Miss EA" (as Daniel refers to his teacher, Miss Lindsay).

Dec 20, 2007


Last weekend, Chris and I attended my Premier Designs family Christmas party. It was at the Georgia Club, and it was a lot of fun. We played Dirty Santa- where you open gifts and people can steal your gift or open a new one. It can get a little crazy. The "perceived value" of our gifts was to be $20. You could end up with a pretty decent gift. I LOVED what I opened. It was a green snowman serving plate and a cute BIG Christmas mug that said, "Eat, drink, and be merry." I loved it. It got stolen. I stole a $20 Starbucks giftcard- another great gift. It got stolen. I stole the plate and mug back. It got stolen. Once a gift had been stolen three times, it was considered "dead," and couldn't be stolen any more. Of course by this point in the game, everything good was dead, so I opened the last gift that everyone had been avoiding. You could see some sort of stuffed animal peeking out of the top of the gift bag. Come on people this was not white elephant or re-gift time. $20. Seriously. THIS is what I ended up with...
A stuffed monkey massager with a hot/ cold therapy pack. Major re-gift in my book. I think that I might take it back to next year's Christmas party. :)

Big kudos to my precious husband though who found out where the snowman plate and mug came from and went out to get it for me while I was at another Christmas party. He felt sorry for me. So he got me two plates plus the mug. So take that Dirty Santa. Aren't they cute?

Dec 18, 2007

Handcrafters' Holidays: a blog meme

One of my new favorite blogs is, and she is running a blog meme all month, and here is my two cents worth- even though most of my ideas came from her website this month in the first place. :)

Do you have a favorite gift that you love to give?

Not in particular, but this year two of my favorite gifts are handmade. I am making a football run through sign with a big Georgia "G" on it for Jonah to practice running out of the "locker room," and I made crayon caddy aprons for several young artists on my list...

If you’re making gifts this year, what are you making? (Post photos if you have some!) See above. I have also made some coffee cozies.

This one was fought over during a cut throat game of dirty Santa (more info to come in a later post).

And this one won awards

And some matching bags...

Do you have any good stories about handcrafted gifts you’ve given or received? Not really.
Do you have any great gift compilation ideas (a grouping of gifts just perfect for certain recipients?) Coffee Cozies with matching bags and/ or book/Bible covers. A starbucks giftcard is another great addition with the coffee cozy.
Name one thing on your personal wish list. Since I already got my embroidery machine- and am obviously putting it to good use- the only thing on my wish list is the Magic Box Plus Embroidery card software. And, it looks like that one might stay on my list for a while. :)
Do you make and sell things that would make fantastic gifts? I don't really sell anything although if someone would like to pay me for anything, I will be happy to sell to the highest bidder. :)
What is your favorite family holiday tradition? The boys and I have a birthday party for Jesus each Christmas. Keep your eyes peeled for a posting with photos from that next week. And, Santa brings three gifts to each child in our household to remind us of the three gifts that the wise men brought to Jesus.
Have you started any new traditions with your family that you didn’t practice growing up? Too many to list here.
What do you love most about the holiday season? Time spent with family and friends. Food!!!
What do you like least about the holiday season? Harried schedules and negative attitudes.
Anyone close to your heart that you’ll be missing this year? Thankfully, no.
What is your favorite holiday food? Hmmmm. That one is difficult. Anything with cranberries, pumpkin, apples. Seriously, how am I suppossed to narrow that one down. I give up.
Do you have a great recipe to share?

Great easy recipe for those cooler evenings when you don't have time to cook because of the approaching holidays.

Sundried Tomato Pasta

Place three to four frozen chicken breasts in a crock pot in the morning. Pour a can of rotel (you choose the heat) on top, and then dump half of a jar of Classico brand Sundried Tomato Alfredo Sauce on top. Cook on low all day. When ready to serve, shred chicken between two forks. This will seriously only take a couple of minutes because the meat is so tender. Stir in the other half jar of alfredo, and serve over hearty pasta.

Dec 17, 2007

Cookies with Santa

Our neighborhood hosts Santa and Mrs. Claus each year, and he brings one "preview" gift for the children. Due to their ages, we did not take the boys last year, but we decided that Jonah would really enjoy it this year, so we went to hang out with Santa. It is a really cute idea. The parents take a wrapped gift to a determined drop off location earlier in the week, and Santa pulls each child's gift out of his bag.
It was a madhouse. Of course today was cool and windy- in contrast with the balmy 75 degree weather we have beenexperiending for the last two weeks, so everyone was crammed into the little clubhouse. As we got inside, Jonah said, "Mama, is this the North Pole?" Then it was our turn to see Santa. Daniel was fascinated (and loud, imagine that?), but only wanted to observe Santa from afar. Jonah sat on his lap, and I couldn't hear what he told Santa, but he looks a little shocked in this photo...
And here, you can see that we finally got Daniel into a photo with Santa. Can you see by my hair what a great time I was having?
And finally, we got our gifts home to open. Jonah thought that he got a box of microwave popcorn. I guess Santa runs out of boxes too...
And, Daniel was very excited about his Mickey Mouse shaped plate and bowl...
Merry Christmas to all!!!!!!!

Dec 15, 2007

Credit Cards are evil!!!

The other day, Jonah was pointing his train tracks like a gun at baby Jaxon. Since I have caved on the whole gun thing, because the child makes EVERYTHING into a gun, I at least decided to be firm (as my tongue is planted firmly in my cheek) and not allow him to point guns at people. That is what any good mom would do, right? Anywho, I told him not to point the gun at Jaxon, and that he needed to find something pretend to shoot. His quick reply was, "I KNOW; I CAN GO FIGHT THE CREDIT CARDS !!!!!!!

We apparantly have a little Dave Ramsey training camp going on in our house.

Dec 11, 2007


Daniel loves these movies ala Baby Einstein but set to praise and worship music. And, I don't mind him watching them over and over because they are very uplifting AND he is learning praise and worship songs along the way. They are giving away free bibs and a coupon for $5 for their latest edition, so click on the link above and send a bib to someone you love.

Dec 9, 2007

Easy recipe

This recipe is so easy, and it is kid-friendly (if you don't ask Daniel- I know it is amazing that Daniel turned his nose up at anything). It was adapted from a recipe found in Rachel Ray's cooking magazine.
BBQ Biscuit Cups
1 large can of refrigerated biscuits
1 lb. ground turkey
2 tbsp brown sugar
3/4 cups BBQ sauce
Lots of sharp grated cheddar
Brown the meat, drain and remove from heat. Add bbq sauce and sugar *I used a sweet flavored bbq sauce, so I didn't add the sugar* Flatten and form biscuits along bottom and sides of a jumbo muffin pan. *I only have a jumbo pan for 6, so I halved the other two biscuits and made four smaller ones in a regular sized muffin tin* Fill the inside of the biscuits with meat mixture and top with cheese. Bake at 400 for 10-12 minutes.

Climb Every mountain

We climed Stone Mountain yesterday. The boys did it by themselves and they did a fantastic job. It is a 1.3 mile trail, and the last portion is quite steep. They made it though!!!
Here they are at the bottom of the mountain. Jonah's "hug" looks a little more like a choker hold. Daniel seems to be enjoying it though. :)Midway break... Jonah carried his football most of the way up the mountain. Daniel kept taking picutre breaks. Since Andrea told us that saying "strawberry" before a picture makes a better photo, he kept stopping on rocks periodically, sitting down and declaring, "STRAWBERRY!"
Running at the beginning of the trail...
Afterwards we drove around to see the carving, and the boys REALLY enjoyed climbing around on the rocks at the base of the mountain. They also played a little football on the lawn. They were exhausted, but no one was ready to leave. At this point they had probably walked about four miles. Still going strong.
On the way back to the parking lot, Daniel sat down in the middle of the sidewalk. He didn't fuss or say anything, he just stopped walking. He was not going to take another step. :) So, here is Chris carrying him. When we got within sight of the van, Chris put him down to walk to last few steps, and Daniel screamed and sat down in the middle of the parking lot almost as if to say, "I wasn't joking about not walking anymore." Then he realized that he was right next to the van, and he took off running for his carseat. :) Good times!!!!

Dec 5, 2007

Hugs and Kisses

Because my list of things to do yesterday was longer than Jonah's Christmas wishlist (which is growing daily by the way, and I am pretty sure from talking to Santa that he is DONE shopping for my children), I decided to let the boys help me make candy. Swell use of time. :) Echo (aka Grant and now Geiko) and Jonah made what we would like to call "Pretzel Button Candies." Here's how it went- they were super easy and are a very fun preschool helper activity... Here are your ingredients:

Waffle Shaped Pretzels

Plain Holiday Colored M&Ms

Hershey Kisses and Hugs

You start by heating your oven to 170 degrees.

Then you place a Kiss or a Hug in the center of each pretzel.

Then you stuff a handful of M&Ms in your mouth.Next you make a mountain out of your Hershey Kiss wrappers. Do not even try to skip this step. Your candy will not turn out well. Take my word for it.Take Grant's (I mean Mr. Incredible's) word for it.The next crucial step is to go find Buzz Lightyear and make him King of the Hershey Kiss Mountain.

Now this is absolutely vital or your candy will come out hard and unapreciative. You must go get another Buzz Lightyear (Which one is "the real" Buzz Lightyear? I won't tell) and Zurg and act out every scene from Toy Story Two. I know that you will be tempted to cut corners here, but I am not lying to you. The Incredibles costume is pretty vital as well. So mommy if you are making these while the children are in school, you might want to set the tripod up. Once Buzz defeats Zurg, you put the pretzel kisses in the oven for about 4-6 minutes. It is better to do separate trays of the hugs and the kisses because the white chocolate will melt more quickly than the milk chocolate.

Once the chocolate is soft, remove from the oven and press an M&M into the center of each Kiss (or Hug) and then slide into the fridge for 10-20 minutes to set.

Serve... Mmmmmmmmmmmmm.