Tuesday, December 15, 2009

"means a little bit more"

one of our favorite christmas books {and movies} is HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS. as we were reading it this year a certain passage stood out to me:

Three thousand feet up! Up the side of Mt. Crumpit,
He rode with his load to the tiptop to dump it!
“Pooh-Pooh to the Whos!” he was grinch-ish-ly humming.
“They’re finding out now that no Christmas is coming!
“They’re just waking up! I know just what they’ll do!
“Their mouths will hang open a minute or two
“Then the Whos down in Who-ville will all cry Boo-Hoo!

“That’s a noise, “grinned the Grinch,
“That I simply MUST hear!”So he paused. And the Grinch put his hand to his ear.
And he did hear a sound rising over the snow.
It started in low. Then it started to grow …

But the sound wasn’t sad!
Why, this sound sounded merry!
It couldn’t be so!
But it WAS merry! VERY!

He stared down at Who-ville!
The Grinch popped his eyes!
Then he shook!
What he saw was a shocking surprise!

Every Who down in Who-ville, the tall and the small,
Was singing! Without any presents at all!
He HADN‘T stopped Christmas from coming!
Somehow or other, it came just the same!

And the Grinch, with his grinch-feet ice-cold in the snow,
Stood puzzling and puzzling: “How could it be so?”
“It came without ribbons! It came without tags!
“It came without packages, boxes or bags!”

And he puzzled three hours, till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before!
“Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store.
Maybe Christmas … perhaps … means a little bit more!”

this year has been fun because my parents gave us 12 presents for us to open each one counting down the 12 days of christmas. yesterday we opened our gift and in it was a golden box with a picture of the Savior on it. with that box came several cards with the words: MY GIFT TO THE SAVIOR on top. my parents then asked that we each write something that we can give Christ this year. matt and i decided to do this activity for FAMILY NIGHT last night. {family night is something that we do every monday night with our children with our focus being on teaching them how to be better people, about Jesus and other characters in the scriptures, and to sit down together as a family and have fun}. i enjoyed watching the children draw and write their "gifts" to Jesus...G put that she would obey more and J put that he would give some of his toys and "KLOS" {clothes} to people who needed them more than him. i was touched and hope that we can remember our Savior this time of year and recognize that maybe christmas doesn't come from a store...and means "a little bit more".

on my mantel this year i have 3 different nativities...this one shown is from jerusalem. i was fortunate enough to go there with my dad the summer after my senior year of high school. i love this saying:


i'm trying hard this year not to get all caught up in the gifts and shopping, to focus more on others, and to focus on our Savior.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

dinner time

reason #57 of why i love my ergo carrier:

i can get dinner done and not have to listen to super baby yelling at me!

{thanks again girls who bought this for me
& for rachael for introducing this fine product to me!
i really do use it like crazy!}

i totally look nappy...but i'm human too...we all have our days.
{yeah, it was one of those days...hence the pj's}

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

oh christmas tree

Oh Christmas Tree! Oh Christmas Tree!
We decorate your branches!
Oh Christmas Tree! Oh Christmas Tree!
We decorate your branches!
We clump together ornaments,
so now the branches all are bent!
Oh Christmas Tree! Oh Christmas Tree!
We decorate your branches!

Oh Christmas Tree! Oh Christmas Tree!
We love your piney essence!

Oh Christmas Tree! Oh Christmas Tree!
We love your piney essence!
It's so nice that you are real.
Sam really likes the way you feel! {taste}
Oh Christmas Tree! Oh Christmas Tree!
We love your piney essence!

Oh Christmas Tree! Oh Christmas Tree!
The twinkling lights are pretty!

Oh Christmas Tree! Oh Christmas Tree!
The twinkling lights are pretty!

J plugs them in, then takes them out,
And when the're off, G really pouts!

Oh Christmas Tree! Oh Christmas Tree!
The twinkling lights are pretty!

we love decorating the tree. i love watching the kids hang all the ornaments in "the most perfect spot EVER!" i'm sure this will never be admired by professional decorators and maybe by society's standards my tree isn't the prettiest...but every time i look at it it makes me smile. i was just talking to one of my sister-in-laws the other day and we were both laughing about our "clumps" of ornaments and thinking of how much we will miss this when it's over. so my perfectly decorated tree can wait {for a long time!} this tree is perfect to me.

Friday, November 13, 2009

some duds for miss G

****updated with new pattern link****
i fell in love with this skirt {pattern}
so G and i went to the store to pick out the perfect fabric. we also got her a plain brown shirt at old navy and appliqued that tree on. you just use wonder under and then top stitch around the edge. it was super fun and G loved it. she wore it to school today.

this little diddy is a copy cat. my friend and i saw one just like it in a catalog for over $50...ha! i made it for $12. i bought a shirt from old navy again, bought a yard of fabric, had 1 hour to myself and voila! {i'll post directions on how to make this later...super fun and if you know a thing or 2 about sewing it's not hard at all.}

Thursday, November 12, 2009

hands of a good life

these hands
have been touching lives for 87 years
have been a loving father to 6 children, 25 grandchildren,
57 great-grandchildren, & 3 great-great grandchildren
served this country in WWII
worked several jobs at a time to provide for his family
became the tickle monster at sleepovers
served me and my cousins "tea" at our tea parties
brushed back my hair as he told me, "you get prettier every time i see you"
fixed many things in everyone's houses
built me a wooden rocking horse for my very first christmas
and so much more...

we buried my grandpa only 2 weeks after i took this picture with him and my baby boy. i'm so happy that i was able to see him before he left this life.
i was blessed to be able to attend my grandpa's funeral and celebrate the life of a good man. we laughed and cried as we reflected on his life. i knew my grandfather was a good man when he was alive, but i learned more things about him at his funeral to help me understand just how wonderful of a man he was. there were so many stories of my grandpa, but i will share with you the one that stood out in my mind and the story that i think epitomizes my grandpa's life.

my dad's brother, bob, contracted polio when he was a only 4-years-old. he had to stay in the hospital for 3 weeks and at that time parents were not allowed to stay overnight in the hospital. bob told his dad {my grandpa} that he was very scared to stay all by himself and he wanted his daddy to stay. my grandpa told bob that he would never leave him and to just look out his hospital window and he would be right there. my uncle bob said that before he would go to sleep at night, he would look out his window and his daddy was there...if he got up through the night or no matter what time he woke in the morning, my grandpa was sleeping there on the lawn outside the hospital. he did this every night for 3 weeks.

matthew 6:21 states,
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. my grandpa's treasure was his family. i not only witnessed this indirectly, but also first hand. i love my grandpa with all my heart and hearing of his life and knowing that perhaps he's watching over me makes we want to live a little better and walk a little taller. i love you grandpa.

Monday, November 2, 2009

halloween...take three {the real thing}

a full moon to end the perfect halloween night. G says, after she saw the moon, "i'm sure glad werewolves are just pretend." me too, G, me too.

here's matt's pride and joy...our ginormous pumpkin is eating G's little pumpkin from her pumpkin hunt at preschool.

i love this picture because it perfectly depicts trick-or-treating.
as you can see, G changed her costume, yet again. {she wanted something a bit warmer} it's okay, that cupcake got 3 parties use out of it...and a few chili stains later. so tonight it was mickey mouse...her favorite character in the whole-wide-world.
J was still J the Great, and he booked it to all the different houses.

and just to let my guard down and show you all that i have little pride...i wore the mickey mouse ears for a good part of the evening!

Friday, October 30, 2009

halloween...take two

J has is on a total magician kick and has us refer to him as j the great. I love that he still likes to pretend...he's getting pretty tricky with those magic tricks too. he's even fooled matt and i a couple of times. my favorite trick though is when he had a fishie cracker in his hand and told us he would make it disappear. he turned around and we could hear crunching {as he ate it} and turned back around with an empty hand. {i'm so glad that kindergarten hasn't totally robbed him of his childhood!}
this little missy always wants things her own special way. as we were walking down the isles of target trying to get ideas for a costume, she would touch every costume and say, "nope, nope, no way, nope..." then as we were in the checkout line, she looks at me and says, "i want to be a cupcake...let's go to joann's and get some fabric. i'll cut out the sprinkles!" and cut out the sprinkles she did. we had fun making this costume together. i even taught her a thing or two on the sewing machine. she would sit on my lap and lower the presser foot and guide the fabric through while my foot handled the foot pedal. she also painted the styrofoam ball that became the cherry on top. she was upset when i crocheted her hat and didn't teach her how because i told her it was a little tricky for a 4-year-old. she finally resolved that i can teach her that when she's 10. i love making crafting memories with my girl.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

falling leaves

change is good...even if it is from fall to winter. the kids had so much fun today playing in our yard, and i had fun snapping pictures of them. today was beautiful. we hit 60 degrees...so the air was crisp {but not too chilly} and the foliage - gorgeous. i picked leaves out of G's hair for 10 minutes...totally worth it. super baby kept trying to eat the leaves and J & G would rake them into piles and then throw them all over the place...even if daddy already used the leaf blower to get them off the driveway...ooops! have fun driving over that tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

my yard

{i'm in love with my views...sigh...}

Friday, October 16, 2009

halloween...take one

tonight we had our first halloween party...i don't have their "for reals" costumes done yet, so thank goodness for our dress-up box. {and thank goodness for TARGET'S 90% sale last year on costumes}. we went to a sheep barn to a party for matt's classmates and their families. let the sugar overload begin.

Monday, October 12, 2009

a walk through the park

we like to go for walks on sundays...even when it's 48 degrees outside. oh, we love the fall...but i want to cry thinking about winter. so we are enjoying every last bit of these beautiful days with the beautiful scene all around us.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

that midwest charm

we took a little drive {this shot is out my car widow while driving} to our favorite fall festival...this was our 3rd year there. it's become a bit of a tradition. it was the epitome of a perfect fall day. the air was crisp, the leaves were gorgeous...and the company {my family} was the best.


oh how we love the fall...sigh...

the clouds were amazing

wouldn't this be the best house to live in?

busy bees makin' their honey

feedin' some goats.

pickin' some pumkins

some gourdes and squash for good measure.

and we're pooped by the end.
you want my cute bear snuggly...go {here}.
thanks nana for the outfit...it kept me so warm.
you want my super cute binki clip...go {here}.

Friday, October 9, 2009

mmm, mmm, {hawaiian-style} good

my mom got this recipe from a gal at church who's from hawaii...after i made it my hubby said, "this is amazing stuff". it totally is...and it's low calorie too {wink, wink}. it's really easy to make, just lots of ingredients.

*3 ripe bananas, smashed
*1/3 C melted butter
*2-3 Tbs milk
*1 C sugar
*1 egg, beaten
*1 tsp vanilla
*1 tsp baking soda
*pinch of salt
*1 & 1/2 C flour
*2 handfuls coconut flakes
*2 handfuls of macadamia nuts
*2 handfuls milk chocolate chips

*no need for a mixer for this recipe
*preheat oven to 350 degrees
*mix butter into the mashed bananas in large mixing bowl
*mix in milk
*mix in sugar, egg, and vanilla
*sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. add the flour last, mix.
*pour mixture into 1 buttered 4/8 loaf pan or 4 mini loaf pans.
*add the coconut, macadamia nuts, & chocolate chips to the top and "fork-whirl" it around
*for large loaf, bake 1 hour & 15 min - 1 hour & 30 min
*for mini loafs, bake 30 min -50 min
*the bread should slightly crack at the top, and coconut will be dark brown...make sure you can stick a toothpick in and pull it out with nothing on it.
*cool for 15-20 min
*remove from pan and drizzle icing on top

*1/2 C - 3/4 C powdered sugar
*3-4 cap fulls of milk
*mix two together until the consistency is bright white and runs slowly off the spoon. add more powdered sugar or milk to reach desired consistency. Make sure it's not too runny b/c it won't stick to the bread.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

soft molasses sugar cookies

{meet my new cookie jar from bath & body works.}

{and the perfect cookies to fill it}

{and some to give away}

molasses sugar cookies
3/4 C shortening
1 C sugar
1/4 C molasses
1 egg
2 C flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt

melt shortening in saucepan, remove from heat. add sugar, molasses & egg. Beat well with beaters (i beat it right in the pan). Stir in dry ingredients (i add right to pan...no need to do more dishes!) DON'T beat with beater! stir in with spoon...it makes the cookies softer. Chill for at least 1 hour. Form into 1" balls and roll in white granulated sugar. place on cookie sheet 2" apart and bake 6-8 min @ 375 degrees.

Saturday, September 26, 2009


there is a wonderful place called rosby farm here in the cleveland area. they grow my favorite fruit, and we are allowed to pick them for really cheap. we ate several right off the bat, i froze 2 gallon freezer zip bags full of them {so i can enjoy them during hibernation time here}, made 8 jars of freezer jam, and made some yummy cupcakes for a friend's baby shower.
anne's cupcake recipe {here}
picking 'em with super baby in tow

some really cute raspberries

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

it's beginning to look a lot like fall

yesterday at 5:18pm {to be exact} was the september equinox and official beginning of fall.
this is my absolute favorite time of year. i'm already thinking and feeling sad that i've only got one more of this beautiful season in ohio to go. there is something so majestic about the changing foliage. i also love the crispness in the air, the pumpkins, the apples, the soccer games, the festivals, the clambakes, and the smells in the air.
i love the smell of the wood burning as people begin to start using their fireplaces...and i love the glow and warmth of my fireplace in my home.
so to celebrate this wonderful occasion, we made changes in our own home.
change is in the air
here are the first signs of fall... the view out of my back window.
the tree in my side yard that first starts out red then goes to orange and then yellow.

pumpkins on my mantel
i made these pumpkins last year.
click {here}
for fabulous directions on how to make them.
pumpkin up close

pumpkin on my door
i made this pumpkin at a church activity with corinne (my sis-in-law) the first year we were married and living in utah.
a cozy new quilt
i started piecing together this orange & white quilt to keep us cozy and warm during the fall. i got the idea {here}.

sweet cinnamon pumpkin
i plugged these babies from bath & body works in all over my home...it smells delish!
wood curl wreath
this was my big purchase from the country living fair.