Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Ladies' Craft Night

I have so much fun getting together with the ladies and having a good ol' fashioned craft night!  So last night a group of us got together in a local party room and spent 6 hours working on projects ranging from wrapping Christmas presents to sewing!  It was a lot of fun and something that I'm going to schedule on a monthly basis!  Thanks to my addiction to Pinterest, I have quite the list of crafts/projects that I want to work on so I started with the glittery ornaments and pom pom pens!

Aren't they cute?!  I think they all turned out better than I expected considering I had never done either one of these projects before!

I've seen the ornament project on a few different blogs but I definitely want to give credit for the pom pom pens to Sara at SewSara (click on the blog name to go to the posting).  I'm so totally making some of those headbands for my daughter!

I can't wait to work on other craft projects!!  :)

Counting down to Jesus' birthday!

YAY, I love December!!  I love counting down to Jesus' birthday with my kiddos!  Everyday we do a different special activity!  My kiddos love picking out the tag from the stocking and seeing what the plan is for the day!

This is a list of our countdown activities:
1. Get a Christmas tree from the Scouts and decorate it while we listen to Christmas music.
2. Make a nativity
3. Read the story of Jesus' birth in the bible
4. Family Movie Night (we get a new Christmas movie to watch while we eat popcorn and snacks)
5. Make a popcorn garland
6. Cocoa bath night (thank you Vicki for this idea last year!)
7. Make a Christmas card for a friend
8. Decorate the windows w/ window markers and lights
9. Friend playdate
10. Open and read a new Christmas book
11. Go see Santa
12. Christmas craft
13. Family Game Night (we get a new game to add to our collection)
14. Gingerbread House Making party with friends
15. Donut breakfast @ the bakery
16. Ice Cream Night
17. Bake & decorate goodies
18. Deliver goodies to friends & family
19. Pick out a new ornament & go to Shore Acres
20. Christmas Caroling
21. Minivan Express
22. Snow Day
23. Make & decorate a birthday cake for Jesus
24. Open one Christmas present (pj's)

Here's some fun pics of our activities so far:
Picking out a Christmas tree!
Our cardboard nativity

Our Elf on the Shelf, Jack!  Hangin with baby Jesus and the posse!

Jack colored a picture for Tatym...awww...

Hanging on the Christmas decorations!

Visiting with Santa

Baking some Chex party mix to give out to friends and family!

Family game night!

Our 2nd nativity craft...a little fancier!  :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Random Acts of Christmas Kindness aka RACK

I'm totally a pinterest addict and as I was browsing and pinning away the other day, I was led to this blog about a family that counts down to Christmas by doing random acts of kindness each day and I knew I wanted in!  You can read about it HERE! 
Each year I get more and more frustrated with Christmas as it pertains to the commercial aspect of it!  Our society is beyond spoiled and the last thing we need is a holiday for us to go into debt just to spoil the kids even more! 

I've been praying for a way to give the holiday more meaning than being just about presents!  Don't get me wrong, I try to focus on Jesus but as much as my kids love Jesus, they're pretty darn excited about the idea of getting showered with a bunch of gifts that they'll play with for a month and then end up tossing in the back of their closets and forgetting about!  Hubby & I had already agreed that we were taming down their presents this year but I still wanted more.  RACK is exactly what I've been wanting! 

We already bought our kids' presents for this year but I've forewarned them that next year, they are getting 1 big present (nothing too outrageous) and a few little things in their stockings and our focus for Christmas is going to be on what we can do for others and not about what we can get for ourselves! 

Money is tight for us this time of year, my husband is an RV salesman and not many people go out buying trailers around the holidays!  Praise the Lord, my Scentsy business is doing amazingly well this month but my commission is going to make up for my husband's smaller paycheck with hardly anything to spare.  There are still so many things that our family can do even on a super tight budget, to spread Jesus' love this Christmas season!  So, I started a Facebook event to get more people on board and started compiling a list of different things we could do.  I borrowed some ideas from the original blog that I got the idea from and have daily added new things to the list!  I'm so excited about it and I am overjoyed to see the excitement from the others that have joined the event and said they want to do their own RACK!

Here is the list as it is right now:
•Taping candy canes to ATM machines around town
•Bringing hot cocoa and a muffin to a coach, assistant, Salvation Army bell ringer or someone else.
•Taping quarters to vending and toy machines around town
•Grocery shopping for the sole purpose of putting it in the “Food for Families” box in the entryway of the store
•Donating stockings with treats, candy and a craft for one of the grades at a local school in need
•Ringing Salvation Army bells
•Handing out Starbucks gift cards {$5.00 value each}
•Pay past due library fees for 5 people
•Donate a poinsettia to a school
•Donate toys for “Toys 4 Tots”
•Bring your child(ren)'s teachers their favorite Starbucks drinks
•Bring treats to the employees of your local Post Office branch
•Purge from your personal “library” and donate to a school library in need
*Fill a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child
*Help out in a local mission/homeless shelter
*Do yard work or some other helpful thing for a neighbor
*At a drive-thru, pay for the food of the person that ordered behind you
*Give a treat to your mail person or newspaper delivery person
*Write a thank you note for your pastor
*Pick up trash in a park or your neighborhood
*Take goodies to your local police station and thank them for their hard word during these wet & cold months
*Adopt a family and buy fixings for a Christmas dinner and/or gifts
*Visit people in a nursing home
*Take cards to people stuck in the hospital on Christmas day
*Donate coloring books/crayons to the pediatric dept of the hospital
*Offer to babysit for a single parent
*Invite a military family over for dinner that doesn't have family in the area
*Go Christmas caroling
*Rake leaves up for someone that can't
*Pick a name off the Tree of Joy and buy gifts for that person
*Bake some goodies and take them to your local military station
*Take goodies to the fire department
*Invite a widow(er) to join in on some Christmas fun or for dinner or bring them goodies
*Collect pop cans and donate the money to a charity near and dear to you
*Volunteer at your local womens' shelter or bring them treats or donate clothes or toys for the kids
*Donate blankets to a local shelter
*Knit prayer shawls/scarves for the homeless or people recovering in the hospital
*Start a canned food drive and donate to your local food cupboard
*Don't forget to thank the staff at your local ambulance place
*Leave a bigger tip than you normally would
*Donate your time or food/supplies to your local animal shelter
*Thank your Dr. for working so hard, missing out on time with their family/friends to make sure we're all taken care of when we need it!
*Take hot chocolate or treats to gas station attendants on a chilly day
*Do something nice for someone that you don't get along with
*Offer to babysit for a couple you know in desperate need of a date night!

*clean graffiti
*Give carepacks to the homeless
*Help someone you see brokedown on the road
*Let someone go in line in front of you
*Return shopping carts that are scattered around a parking lot
*Write a letter to someone that has impacted your life in some way
*Talk with a homeless person
*Smile at a stranger
*Bring a treat for your co-workers

Now I just need to sit down and plan out our countdown to Christmas and what thing we'll be doing each day!  I can't wait!!

2012 is fast approaching!

As I pulled out our Christmas decorations tonight, it hit me that 2012 is just around the corner!  It made me think about the goals I had set for myself this year and how I did with them and what things I hope for in the upcoming year!  There are so many things that I want to work on and thought it was a good idea for me to write them (or type them) out to look back on throughout the year!

Here is what I've got so far:
Share Jesus with more people
Pray daily for my husband's salvation
Help grow a women's ministry in our church
Become friends with Marly (my stepson's mom) or at least keep trying
Get more visitations with Taylor (stepson)
Better handle our finances--get out of debt asap
Do more projects with the kids
Spend more time crafting
Invite more people into our home
Cook more meals at home
Lose at least 50 lbs
Keep growing our home-based business fair
Spend more time in God's Word
Spend less time on the computer
Continue to grow my Scentsy business--become a Super Star Consultant
Do more for others
Start walking a few days a week
Be more patient with my family
Stick with a cleaning schedule
Love on my husband more
Don't let the kids watch as much tv
Bible study with my kids
Slow down

So these are what have come to mind so far and knowing me, this list is just going to continue to grow and grow!  :)  I find it exciting to aim to be better, just have to remind myself that I'm not going to be perfect and I won't do all of these perfectly but at least I can try!


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Mission kick-off!

In the spirit of my mission to do more projects (and blog about them) with my kids, here are some pictures of our day today!  Let me apologize ahead of time for the louzy quality of pictures!  My camera has pretty much bit the dust *sniffle* so for now, I'm stuck with cellphone pictures!  Sadly I'm thinking I have to wait until we get our tax return in February, before I can get a new one!  BUT, on the bright side...thinking I'll finally get the big ol' fancy camera that I've been drooling over for the past couple of years!  So for now, I'll suck it up and take pictures with my phone! 

Back to the fun!!  I bougth the kids some glow sticks for our Halloween night in (we're choosing not to celebrate the holiday anymore) but totally forgot to let them play with them last night.  We busted em' out this evening and I remembered a pin on pinterest where they put glowsticks in the bathtub and my kids thought it was the coolest thing ever!  So as I'm typing this up, my 3 year old daughter is soaking away in her glow-in-the-dark bath!  :)

Earlier today, Tatym (isn't she the cutest 3 year old, EVER???) and I made a batch of grape koolaid playdoh!  She was so excited about it and could hardly wait for the dough to cool down long enough before she dug her hands right in!  To see our recipe, you can look at November of 2009 postings!

Last night we carved out our pumpkins while we handed out candy (our halloween compromise with my hubby) and my son, Keegan, thought it would be so cool to have an Angry Bird pumpkin!  Turned out pretty darn good, thanks to some help from my amazingly fabulous husband!

I'm still alive!! :)

Wow, it has been a VERY VERY VERY long time since I've blogged!  Sheesh!
I spent some time looking over my old posts and projects and it's totally got me all pumped up to get back on the blogging train!  Thanks to my newest addiction to Pinterest (if you haven't checked it out, run, don't walk there and check it out!  AWE-SOME!!  Anyways, thanks to my new addiction, I'm all jazzed about doing more crafting and fun projects with my kiddos!  We have so much fun and I definitely need to do more of it!  So, I'm recommitting myself to this blog and need to come up with a game plan about our upcoming projects and my posts!  Stay tuned....

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Our favorite BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich recipe

I got this recipe from the Rival Crock Pot Slow Cooker Recipes for All Occasions cookbook and our family loves it!

1 Pork shoulder roast (about 2 1/2 lbs--we use a bigger one, about 3-4 lbs so we can freeze for later)
1 bottle (14 oz.) BBQ sauce
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp brown sugar
1 medium onion, chopped
8 hamburger buns or rolls (we use hoagie rolls)

1. Put roast in crock pot, cover and cook on low 10-12 hours or high for 5-6 hours.

2. Remove pork; shred meat with 2 forks.  Discard any liquid in slow cooker.  Return pork to cooker, add BBQ sauce, lemon juice, brown sugar and onion.  Cover; cook on Low for 2 hours or high for 1 hour.

3. Serve on buns/rolls