Tuesday, November 30, 2010

{Count Your Blessings} Binder

As promised I am sharing the idea I am doing with the paper squares from this post.

When we really look at what we are thankful for, the blessings are more apparent in our lives.

I opened the Blessing Box- it was loaded with blessings. (I love to see all the different handwritings & colors of paper)

Tape all the paper squares randomly on a plain piece of cardstock. (I used the front & back of each sheet to save space).

Front sheet- a space for our family photo & title.

Put all finished pages in sheet protectors & place in a binder.

After looking at all the 12 pages of hand written love, I'm going to keep this in our living room all year long. I want to have a reminder of how blessed we are (with the hard times I've had lately I will make use of this).

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Monday, November 29, 2010

Do You Have Room for the Savior?

My sister sent me the link to this beautiful Christmas video by Shawna Edwards. She also sent me the link to Shawna's website where she shares her beautiful music. What a treat!! You can enjoy this video and the rest Shawna's wonderful music and videos on her site. Thank you Shawna, for sharing your amazing talents with us!!

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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Sticker TIP

I'm so glad I figured this Sticker TIP out before more frustration came. . . I know companies have to put bar code stickers where is it convenient for them but it is so inconvenient for the customer.

Usually I have to run it under hot water and then use Goo Gone to get it off. And even then it still leaves a somewhat sticky residue.
So this time I tried my blowdryer (craft heat gun would work as well) while I slowly pulled the barcode sticker off-

WOW it worked.

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Friday, November 26, 2010

Turkey & Pie

I know this comes after Thanksgiving but I just had to share these Fabulous recipes. {Sorry the pics aren't that great- I had to hurry and take them before they got eaten!}

This years Turkey was the best one I've ever had. It was tender & juicy. I usually like eating the dark meat because it is more tender & moist than the white meat. This year is the changing point. I was inspired by Martha Stewart & Alton Brown but I found one here. I will not cook another turkey any other way but this one. You put it in a BRINE for 24 hours before cooking it.

Brine Recipe I did:
1 gallon chicken broth + 1 jug beef broth
1 1/2 cup Kosher salt
1 Tablesppon dried Rosemary
1 Tablespoon dried thyme
2 Tablespoons peppersorns
Put all this in a pot to boil then let cool.
Put turkey in a large bucket [sprig of basil -in cavity]. Then pour the brine over the Turkey. Fill the rest of the bucket up with ice water until the turkey is totally covered. Put it in the frig for 24 hours before cooking. Discard brine after use. My turkey was a 24 lb. & I cooked it for 3 1/2 hours at 350.
FYI: There will be a little discolorization because of the Brine.
{I think the next time I try it, I might add a few more seasonings for extra flavor}

Chiffon Pumkin Pie Recipe ( handed down from my Grandma):
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup water
3 egg yolks (keep whites)
3/4 cup canned/cooked pumpkin

Put all ingredients in a double boiler on med-high heat. Stir often for about 10 mins. Let cool. In a seperate bowl beat the egg whites until stiff then mix in 1/4 cup sugar. Fold in the egg whites to pumpkin mixture. Pour into a baked pie crust. Put in frig to set. Best tasting if made the day before needing it.

Because I've grown up on this on yummy pie, I can't eat other baked pumpkin pies. This is one tradition I love!

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

{Thankful Thinking} Questions

For my husbands' side of the family I am in charge of Thanksgiving. Each year I like to add to our Thanksgiving traditions. It is always fun to go around the table & ask "What are you thankful for?" I know everyone has many blessings to be thankful for so this will be a fun twist to that question.

We usually do this after we have eaten so we can spend that time with each other. What a great use of time.

Give each place setting a few different beans. Those are the beans to which they will answer certain questions. They will look at their "Key Card"(below).

"Key" cards with the questions.

Glue the beans/wheat on the key cards next to each question.

What a Great new Thanksgiving tradition.

On behalf of Angela & I, we want to say a big THANK YOU for following our blog. We so appreciate you & your comments. HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

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Saturday, November 20, 2010


I love how banners are so festive. This Thanksgiving Day Banner was last years project so I'm thankful to get it done(even if its a week before the big day).

Our Familys'

Pottery Barns' (sorry for the picture-couldn't find it on their website).

My friend Hilarys'

How to:

1-Cut your fabric & backing (7"x9 1/2"). Sew around edge. Leave a small opening at the top on each side for the ribbon/rope to go thru to hang.

2-Cut freezer paper to 8 1/2"x11" so that it will fit in your printer. Pick one of your fonts & print it on the freezer paper(normal plain paper setting). TIP: I had to roll the freezer paper the other way so it would lay semi flat in the printer tray.

3-Iron the letter onto your fabric. Then cut out. Peal off the freezer paper.

4-Pin the letter to fabric flag & stitch around. [I guess my brain decided to not think correctly- I had to glue it. I would do the stitching of your letter to the top fabric then stitch it to the backing] Attach all banner flags to a ribbon or rope(I only had fabric so I sewed some together to form a long "ribbon"). Hang up.

I love that all month long you can display the words "giving thanks" but on turkey day you could display the word "thanksgiving".
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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Teaching My Children Work, Gratitude and SERVICE- Part III

We did a Family Home Evening on SERVICE the other night. I started it off by showing and talking about what's happening in this picture (John 13:4-15)...

...and how the Savior was our perfect example of service. He came to this earth to serve, not to be served. (He has asked us to follow His example in verses 14-15.)

We discussed together WHY we serve others, how we FEEL when we do, and why it is important to think outward. We then went to the scriptures to read and discuss Matthew 25:40 and Mosiah 2:17.

Then we watched THIS awesome, short video clip...

We decided as a family that to serve others with true Christ-like love, we need not seek for the praise of "man". We know that our Heavenly Father is always watching.

So with that, we have a challenge this week to practice being the "Lord's Hands"...

We are to do secret acts of service for one another (when no one is looking) then leave a hand. If we tell or get caught, then it doesn't count. (I cut the hands out with the school's die-cut machine with my own paper.)

We also decided on a family service project that we will carry out for Christmas. Here is a list of links to ideas of family-friendly service projects...

One of these days I hope my children are going to really "get it". That they will grow up to be hard working, grateful people who want to serve the Lord. I'm trying to create experiences along the way for them to learn these things, and I hope it will all pay off!

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Teaching My Children Work, GRATITUDE and Service- Part II

I haven't done a lesson on GRATITUDE yet this year. But I found 2 different lessons on Lara's blog... Gratitude/Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving and Service and will do one of them for FHE next week. We do have a family tradition that we started a few years ago that we enjoy during the month of November...

And my 8 yr/old daughter came up with this idea all on her own the other day... (a paper chain counting down the days until Thanksgiving, havning written something she is thankful for on each link)

Sometimes I like to show my children pictures from the web of children/families in 3rd-world countries, and pictures of our soldiers that are over seas right now protecting our freedom.
Here are some great links that I've found...

Gratitude Tree (MyHeartandHome)
Thankful Jar (Little Birdie Secrets)

And some great video clips...
THIS one, and the one below...

And don't forget to check out all of our past THANKSGIVING inspirations as well. Check back tomorrow for what we did the other night for our FHE lesson on SERVICE!

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Monday, November 15, 2010

Teaching My Children WORK, Gratitude and Service- Part I

I LOVE this time of year! It's such a perfect opportunity to teach our children some very important values. I like to take full advantage of our Family Home Evenings in this regard, and it's so exciting to me!

I take a parenting class (that I've been taking on/off for the last 9 years or so cuz I just can't get enough of Carleen Tanner). And something she said recently in class is that some of the most important things we need teach our children is WORK, GRATITUDE and SERVICE; (and of course out of the 20+ class topics each year, 3 of them are on one of the above).

Anyway, so I figured I would start off this holiday season with a FHE lesson on WORK. I found a great lesson that was really effective on an awesome blog (that I recently found) called FAMILY HOME EVENINGS TO GO. Lara is so talented!

I have done and plan to do more lessons on WORK, and encorporate new things whenever we are ready for them, including allowance, money management, etc.
I also found some great articles on the web to read on the topic of WORK. Are you ready? There are lots!

Be sure to check back tomorrow for part II... Teaching GRATITUDE!
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Saturday, November 13, 2010

{Kitchen Cleanup} Job Chart

I've had "ah ha" moments (thanks Cami!) the last couple of weeks about Cleaning up the Kitchen(or maybe I've just reached my "limit" of having to do it all). The kitchen stays pretty clean during the day but as soon as the kids come home from school until bedtime it looks like a tornado hit. I'm usually too tired by the end of the day so most of the time it stays messy until morning. Not a good way to start each day.

So I'm hoping this "Cleanup Chart" will be the solution.

1-Cut & paint a board to your desire(mine is 9"x12") The magnetic metal piece was 6"x10.5"(found at Craft Warehouse).

2-I found this adorable paper(at Paper Cottage by Little Yellow Bicycle/Savor-"kitchenware") to use.

3-Glue the paper onto the magnetic metal with spray adhesive & then glue it to the board.

4-Roll the clay(Sculpty) out. Use the cardstock shape (1 1/2"x2") as your guide, cut the clay with the exacto knife. Stamp the letter onto the clay shape. "Age" the edges with the stamp pad. Bake as directed. Brush on a protective coat(I use clear fingernail polish because that is what I have-it works). Then glue the letter shape onto the magnetic board.

FYI-I decided to use the alphabet letters instead of pictures because I don't have time to change them often.

5-Cut the magnet sheet for the "job descriptions". I taped some scrapbook paper to the magnet. And wrote on it with a sharpie. I love how this can easily be changed.

The kids thought it would be nice to change it every week-I agree.

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Friday, November 12, 2010

My Favorite Place to Go for Photo Products!

I love taking pictures of my kids! I wish I was a skilled photographer, but I'm not, so I have to do the best I can with my simple digital camera. I was pretty pleased with the photos I took of my 8 year old daughter last week in her beautiful, white baptism dress! (These pics here are 2 of my faves.)

For the past week I have been "neck-deep" in pictures. I've been trying to get all my old pictures gathered and organized, and the zillions of pics I have on my computer are backed up and just sitting in folders in there! But what good are they inside the computer, not being enjoyed by my family?

My sister found the BEST website for making memory photo books and calendars!! It's called ARTSCOW. When you register with them, they start regularly sending you tons of coupon codes for FREE and DISCOUNTED photo products. It's AMAZING! I have been working on my photo books any chance I get, and can't wait to have them available for my family and friends to enjoy! Also, since Christmas is about here it's a FABULOUS GIFT IDEA, especially for parents and grandparents!! So I'm sending you over to ARTSCOW right now to REGISTER yourself an account (for free) and claim a bunch of FREE stuff right off the bat!! Consider this knowledge a "Thanks/Giving" gift from me to you!! XOXO

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