Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Slow Days

The company Chuck works for gives several days off around Christmas and the New Year. Chuck usually saves vacation to add to those days and ends up with a week or more off. I love this time! After a sometimes busy Christmas season it is nice to have some down time. We have been enjoying slow days puttering around the house.

I saved the pan drippings and two turkey breast carcass from dinner at my parent's. Today I tried my hand at making my own stock.

I used the new stock pot I received as a gift.

Oh my did my home smell good! The stock is now in refrigerator. I am letting it sit so that I can skim off the fat tomorrow and then I will be canning it. Yum! Yum!

I am not sure if I mentioned that Abe the little guy I watch has a little brother. Eli joined the fun here last week.

Eli is an easy baby and has fit right in around here. When Chuck returns to work I am sure we will easily find our new routine. It is such a joy to have this little baby to snuggle!

With some of the new things received for Christmas it feels like I have been doing laundry non stop. I am almost done and was so happy to get the new bedding for Megan's bed washed.

All of the washing from potty training had taken its toll on her old comforter. It was wearing thin and had been mended several times. Her new bedding is bright and sunny. I really like it and so does she.

It seems that I always get the urge to purge and organize as a new year approaches. My kitchen is going to be the first one on the list. I have a pile here and there on the counters of things that need to find a home.

It is going to get a deep cleaning and some tweaking. I am looking forward to finding the time to tackle this project.

I am not sure how much posting I will be doing the rest of the week. It will depend on how much time I have. Besides cleaning,organizing and a trip to the grocery store I have some important things to do this week. Like playing new board games with my family, baking cookies with Megan and having a family dinner at my parent's home.

Have a great week. I hope you are taking time to enjoy the simple moments!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Fun!

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas. Although we were extremely busy Christmas Eve and Day it was a joyous time! My dad has a Christmas Eve birthday and it is a family tradition to have dinner that evening at Olive Garden. We then gather for cake, which was hosted at my home this year. There is always lots of excitement in the air that evening.

Santa is a thrifty shopper and with clearance and thrift store finds the giving was plentiful this year.

Climbing under the tree to retrieve a couple of packages.

The more practical gifts such as much needed socks for Megan, jeans for Daddy and slippers for me were wrapped.

Besides Christmas morning we had three other gathers. We spent Christmas Eve afternoon at my mother-in-law's.

She couldn't wait to try these out!

After we opened our gifts Christmas morning we then went to my father-in-law's.

This is the first time that all of Chuck's step siblings have been there in several years. It was crazy, but fun.

Late afternoon we headed to my parents for dinner and presents. I didn't take one picture while there! I can't believe it.

My family has been abundantly blessed. Although receiving gifts is fun we keep our focus on the true gift!

I hope you are taking time to enjoy the simple moments!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Wish

There is an excitement in the air around here. The paper chain that Megan cuts each night is getting very, very short. Some last minute homemade gifts and wrapping has taken place. In the mist of all of the hustle and bustle we are keeping the reason for the season in our heart. Megan keeps reminding us that on Christmas morning we are all going to yell "Happy Birthday, Jesus!" Yes, sweet girl, we will.

My Christmas wish is that everyone would feel the love of Jesus Christ not only at Christmas but every day of the year.

Merry Christmas from my home to yours!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Family Handprint Quilt

I have been frantically trying to complete a last minute gift for my step MIL. I thought that it would have to be pushed back to a birthday gift. Thankfully my mom helped me (and I mean helped a lot!) and it is complete!

During a summer cookout I asked that everyone provide me with a handprint. I think they thought I was crazy. We live a very different life then Chuck's step siblings so they always think we are crazy, but that is a different post!

I then cut out squares of fabric and attached to some heat and bond and then cut out the handprints and attached them to my fabric. I then stitched name and year of birth under each handprint and added the year of marriage between the handprints.

The little prints where added under their parents.

A border was then added. I found that it was less expensive to finish off the quilt with a fleece blanket on the inside and then use a sheet to back it. I love giving homemade gifts!

I hope you are taking time to enjoy the simple moments!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Cookies, Lights and Some Sunhine

After dinner on Friday we headed out to drive around and look at lights. Megan was snug in some warm pajamas then popcorn was popped. A few M&M's were added to the bag for fun!

I didn't have any brown lunch bags and I had a moment of panic. Then I remembered some bags that I used as treat bags at a past birthday party. Whew!

This is our favorite home to visit. It is decorated in memory of their late grandson. There is Christmas music playing and Santa's sleigh flies across the roof every few minutes. Megan loves that and I must admit that I enjoy it too!

Saturday Megan and I headed to my parents for our annual cookie baking day.

Megan with cousins Lauren (middle) and Kayla. This was the sprinkle happy table!!

Nieces Katie and Alison creating some master pieces.

Mexican wedding cakes are my favorite cookie. I only have them at Christmas and it is a treat I look forward to each year. Do you have a favorite cookie?

My honey ran to the store to pick up a few things for baking day (some forgotten items, oops!)and came home with these.

I told him that it feels like there is a little bit of sunshine in the kitchen!

I hope you are taking time to enjoy the simple moments!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Visiting Santa

I hope you are taking time to enjoy the simple moments!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Snow Day!

The school Megan attends called a 2 hour delay. Since she only goes for a few hours in the morning that meant it was a snow day for her! We only received about four inches but with the wind it was hard to keep the roads clear.

What is a snow day if you can't go out and enjoy the snow!

We weren't able to stay out long with the wind, but still managed to have fun.

Fresh baked cookies to go with hot chocolate.

Some play time with "friends."

Roast cooking the day away and making my home smell delicious! Add a side of mashed potatoes, corn frozen fresh this past summer and we enjoyed a stick to your ribs kind of meal.

I am off to start laundry. I hope you are taking time to enjoy the simple moments!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas Movies

We woke up yesterday to light, fluffy, big snowflakes.

It was so beautiful! We lucked out and the snow storm stayed to our north and we were able to enjoy this snowfall.

As we were getting ready Sunday morning Megan was complaining of her tummy hurting. I think a lot of it had to do with our busy schedule the last few days. She is like her Mama and doesn't do well when things are hectic. We changed gears and ended up with a slow, lazy day.

The Christmas movies were pulled out.

There was plenty of rest and time to snuggle.

Sometimes that is just what one needs!

I hope you are taking time to enjoy the simple moments!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Real Reason for the Season

Last night we attended Megan's Christmas program. All the children were dressed as Shepards and did a fantastic job. Hearing a group of 3 & 4 year olds singing praise to Jesus is a beautiful thing!

I hope you are taking time to enjoy the simple moments!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Tags and Wrapping

Each Christmas I make my own gift tags. This is what I came up with this year.

Simple and easy. Just what my life calls for at this time.

My shopping is done and I finished my wrapping last night. I do use traditional wrapping paper, but brown paper is my favorite thing to use.

It is simple, homey and feels old fashioned to me. Everything that Christmas should be.

You can check out previous gift tags here, here and here.

I hope you are taking time to enjoy the simple moments!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Christmas Comes Early

I have had the thought of new dishes in the back of my mind for awhile. If I liked a set it wasn't in my budget or if it was in my budget I wasn't in love with them. While looking through the Black Friday ads I spotted the perfect set and the price was $40 down from over $100. I showed my mom and sister and mom bought them as a Christmas gift for me. Thanks Mom!

I took some time yesterday morning to get them situated in their new home.

I would have like for them to look prettier in the cabinet, but I am living real life! Space is an issue in my cozy little home and I have to make the most of my space.

I can see lots of potential with these and love how crisp the white looks.

I hope you are taking time to enjoy the simple moments!

Monday, December 06, 2010

Gingerbread, Gingerbread

As big, beautiful snowflakes were falling we were cozy and warm inside enjoying our gingerbread themed weekend. A gingerbread man was sent home from school as a family decorating project. They will be used as part of a show and tell of sorts and then used to decorate the classroom.

It was a fun project and it fit right in with the fun I had planned for the weekend. I picked up this kit at W*l-Mart for $9.00.

This is the first year we have done this and it will certainly become a tradition.

As if we didn't have enough junk while decorating we had these little cuties for snack. Due to time restraints they were purchased at the store. The cute cupcake toppers are rings. I always see the cute themed cupcakes at the store and now I know their decorating secret. The gingerbread rings will be tucked away for another time and I will be keeping my eyes open for other cute rings.

I hope you are taking time to enjoy the simple moments!