Monday, November 30, 2009

October 2009 Family Pics - Part 1

I am later than usual in getting family pictures posted so I figured I would do it in two parts. That way at least one of them will get posted today!

Last month we celebrated Katelynn and my Birthday's late with the family. Lots of activities to plan around so it just didn't happen in September like we usually do. It is always fun to get together with family though! We ate Taco's and played games. The girls giggled and laughed and had lots of fun together. If you are looking for an inexpensive, fun game for the family, check out Go Nuts! It is a nutty game that will leave everyone howling!

Then, we got to go to one of Madison's friends' house for a 50's Sock Hop Birthday Party. We all had so much fun getting dressed up and attending this party. Jack went as Al (Happy Days diner owner) which was perfect since he was put to work helping in the kitchen. The rest of us girls donned poodle skirts, pony tails & scarves. The girls had a bubble gum blowing contest, limbo contest, hoola hoops, drag racing (hot wheels cars blown with a straw!), dancing and lots of fun 50's food. Lots of fun!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Fabulous Freebies & Finds - free manufacturer coupons

Last spring, we subscribed to our local paper that was running a special for a couple of months. I'm a coupon clipping girl and a bargain shopper so this was an excellent way to save money for my family. When the "special" ran out, we just cancelled our subscription but I was really missing those manufacturer coupons that I got each week!

So, when my husband got a call recently from the paper asking if we would be interested in subscribing again, he told them it was too much. They did the usual salesman pitch of, "Well, what if we did this for you?", to which he said we could not afford as well.

Being a one income family, we do not have some of those perks and luxuries that two income families have but I love being a stay-at-home mom and beautifying and maintaining our home. It is a priviledge and a sacrifice we are willing to take for our family.

Then the salesman surprise Jack with, "would be interested in just receiving some of the ads and coupons?" Hmmm...That may be something to talk about. How much?? FREE!!!!! Really? Yes, FREE!!!!! AWESOME!! Sign us up.

I just got my first one on Sunday. Now, it is only a few of the ads, mainly grocery store ads which I already receive. Those poor trees! However, hidden amongst the store ads were those manufacturer coupons that I love! Yahoo!!

For those of you local, call 1-800-289-8711 or log on at to sign up. If you are not from this area, give your newspaper a call and see if they are doing this as well. The paper is called YES! and maybe they offer in your area. Good luck!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Laughter, Giggles & Smiles

They say laughter is good medicine so let's put it to practice and laugh a little. Aren't these pictures precious! I'm going to use them for a while for our Laughter, Giggles & Smiles that I post. This is when the cousins were 4 years old and who knows what they were cracking up about. Savanah had taken a spill earlier in the day and has a nice scrape on her nose but they are still too cute. My, how they've grown!

So, in honor of Turkey Day coming up, I've got some funnies for you as well as a few others about being a mom.

A second grader came home from school and said to her grandmother, "Grandma, guess what? We learned how to make babies today."

The grandmother, more than a little surprised, tried to keep her cool. "That's interesting," she said, "how do you make babies?"

"It's simple," replied the girl. "You just change 'y' to 'i' and add 'es'."

Real Mothers don't eat quiche;
They don't have time to make it.

Real Mothers know that their kitchen utensils
Are probably in the sandbox.

Real Mothers often have sticky floors,
Filthy ovens and happy kids.

Real Mothers know that dried play dough
Doesn't come out of carpets.

Real Mothers don't want to know what
The vacuum just sucked up....

Real Mothers sometimes ask "Why me?"
And get their answer when a little
Voice says, "Because I love you best."

Real Mothers know that a child's growth
Is not measured by height or years or grade...
It is marked by the progression of Mommy, to Mom, to Mother....

What happened when the turkey got into a fight?????

He got the stuffing knocked out of him!

The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure she carries, or the way she combs her hair.
The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes,
Because that is the doorway to her heart,
The place where love resides.
The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mole,
But true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul.
It is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she
Shows, and the beauty of a woman with passing years only grows!

Why did the man invest in feathers??
He heard the stock market was going down!


Every time I am asked to pray, I think of the old fellow who always prayed, "Lord, prop us up on our leanin' side." After hearing him pray that prayer many times, someone asked him why he prayed that prayer so fervently.

He answered, "Well sir, you see, it's like this...I got an old barn out back. It's been there a long time; it's withstood a lot of weather; it's gone through a lot of storms, and it's stood for many years. It's still standing. But one day I noticed it was leaning to one side a bit. So I went and got some pine poles and propped it up on its leaning side so it wouldn't fall. Then I got to thinking about that and how much I was like that old barn. I've been around a long time. I've withstood a lot of life's storms. I've withstood a lot of bad weather in life, I've withstood a lot of hard times, and I'm still standing too. But I find myself leaning to one side from time to time, so I like to ask the Lord to prop us up on our leaning side, 'cause I figure a lot of us get to leaning at times. Sometimes we get to leaning toward anger, leaning toward bitterness, leaning toward hatred, leaning toward cussing, leaning toward a lot of things that we shouldn't. So we need to pray, 'Lord, prop us up on our leaning side, so we will stand straight and tall again, to glorify the Lord.'"

Have a memorable Thanksgiving with your family or friends on Thursday and be sure to count your blessings! There is so much to be thankful for...your home, family, friends, jobs, church, freedom, food, clothes, vehicle, health...and the list goes on. God Bless!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanksgiving Pretties - Day 7

Day 7 - Home Decor

Day 7 of Thanksgiving Inspiration focuses on Home Decor and fall crafts. Too bad we don’t have another week before Thanksgiving!

Joys of Home made this little sign of the season as a visual reminder of what we need to be thinking and hooked you up with a tutorial. Love the header in her blog too!

Melanie gives us her Thankful Banner tutorial. It’s a fabric and paper holiday banner pennant to hang from the fireplace. Love all the banner ideas that are popping up every where! It’s a fun and inexpensive craft.
Jennifer gives us her paper Turkey hand print wreath tutorial, turkey spoon craft, Indian dolls, and lots of other fun Thanksgiving crafts. My favorite is the Pilgrim & Indian dolls that you can use as place cards since there are pictures of everyone. Go to the Thanksgiving crafts link above and scroll down about 1/3 of the page.
Robin did a Give Thanks Banner. It looks like it's a Thanksgiving Advent Calendar that has pockets for notes of what you're grateful for. Lots of cutting involved with this one and I doubt any of us could get it done between now and Thanksgiving but there’s always next year!

These pretties are over at The Memory Zone. They made a few table decorations from their scrap stash. Did you know that you can go to your local Ben Franklin, purchase cardstock and use their die cutting machine!?! They have just about everything you can imagine.

You can decorate for the season by using your kiddos school projects, like Holly's Haven. What a great way to display their work! This gal also has some vintage music framed and she has a link for you to get it for free. Lots of vintage graphics to choose from! Love that!!

Heather shows us her decorated Thanksgiving table setting using her late Grandmother's china and napkins folded into lotus flowers. Love the hollowed out pumpkin vase for a centerpiece! This gal has a lot of fun stuff on her blog. I'm off to do some grocery shopping for the big day...

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Thanksgiving - Day 6

Day 6 - Traditions & Gratitude

Day 6 of Thanksgiving Inspiration focuses on gratitude and family traditions. I hope you'll be inspired to do one of these activities with your family this year.

World of Homemaking does the Turkey Day Awards! Ask each family member for their nominations and be sure everyone gets an award. For example, "best haircut of the year" or "toughest survivor of a home renovation." You make awards in these cute pine cone scrolls tutorial.

A tradition that would be fun to start is a Thanksgiving Book. Every year each member of the family is given a sheet of paper to write down the things for which they are thankful. You then put the sheets into a binder and save them so that next year you can look back and see what everyone wrote the year before and then compare it to the current year.

High Heeled Mama made a gratitude garland. You gotta love that black mantle with the pretty leaves.

Jennifer submitted her picture grateful album with a mini tutorial so you can do it too! This is so pretty! I love the idea of using pumpkin patch photo’s and the quotes she used are awesome.

Debbie submitted her Thanksgiving blessing book to help focus on what we're grateful for. She does one of these books each year. How special is that!

Jo-Ann submitted her family tradition; every year the children make their thankful lists on the chalkboard in their kitchen. Jo-Ann takes a picture of it to capture these special blessings. Her story she tells about how that list changes as children grow up is touching.

Rebecca submitted her family's tradition; She makes a thankful turkey and throughout the month everyone writes something they're are thankful for and adds it to the turkey. He gets nice and fluffy by Thanksgiving. With just a few days until Thanksgiving though, you can cut out your feathers and have your company write on it when they arrive. Then you, your older children, or another adult can assembly it and show everyone after dinner.

So this one’s not really a tradition but rather a fun game that you can do with the kiddo’s after dinner. I tore it out of a magazine last month and I’m not sure which one. It is called Name That Turkey Tune. It’s a bit of musical amusement! Have everyone take turns crooning familiar songs, replacing all the lyrics with the word gobble. Choose a category for each round (Christmas carols for example) and see who among the nonwarbling guests can be the first to make out each melody. I’m sure there will be a lot of laughter with this game and who knows…maybe it will become one of your traditions! I just had to include this photo from Friends too. It was either that or Mr. Bean.

Thanksgiving - Day 5

Day 5 - Thanksgiving for the Kids
Day 5 of our Thanksgiving Inspiration focuses on the kids and some fun activities you can do with them to help make the day a little more memorable. Enjoy!

No Fuss Fabulous has such a fun kids table theme, nuts! They can play "How many acorns?", printable acorn maze, name card, and much more. I’m going to get out those hazelnuts I have & do this for my girlies and have a prize involved and I’m printing out the acorn maze as well!

Stacy submitted her marshmallow Pilgrim Hats, a Thanksgiving craft/treat for kids. So here’s my thoughts…you could put a blob of peanut butter on the top of the hat before dipping it in the chocolate. Now doesn’t that sound yummy!!

What's Cookin? hooked us up with this yummy turkey cupcake.

The Fruit Gobbler makes a fun editable centerpiece or hors d'oeuvre for the kids while dinner is in the oven.

No Fuss Fabulous has some fun ideas for your kiddos Thanksgiving table. Simply tie your napkins with raffia or spare ribbon and insert one to three crayons. This will go well with the next one too!

You can download these fun coloring projects for the kids right here - The kids can decorate their own table with this. I love the fun turkey centerpiece for them!

There are many crafts to choose from like the Thanksgiving Paper Plate Turkey Craft. Have fun making and printing some of these treats!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Thanksgiving - Day 4

Day 4 - Thanksgiving Organization

Day 4 of our Thanksgiving inspiration features several women who have figured out how to organize the day to make it run smoothly. I'm all about good organizing ahead of time. Get reading quickly because the clocks ticking and Thanksgiving is right around the corner!

This one’s my favorite. Look at LW Designs Thanksgiving organizer! It's a beauty. A place to put your place cards, coupons, guest list and menu. My Tip: This organizer could be modified or a second one made for all your recipes, magazine clippings, blog print outs, decorating ideas, invitations, and traditions, etc. So cute!

A Well Organized Space also has a detailed list of to do's to make your Thanksgiving Day a success.

Organized A to Z has a couple good tips on getting organized for Thanksgiving. I especially like the tip on setting your table the night before. I do this for everything I host and it saves tons of time. That helps make the morning less stressful and more fun.

These are a few great way to help us all stay organized to keep the stress low and stay focused on our families.

Thanksgiving Pretties - Day 3

Day 3 - Table Settings

Day 3 of our Thanksgiving inspiration features table settings. I hope you find a couple fun ideas you'll love!

A Stirring Life has featured several fun ideas for your Thanksgiving table. I love the idea of altering the candles with "Giving Thanks". Love this one!

Canyon Wren Cottage has several table settings to draw inspiration from.

My Design Secrets has several table decor ideas that you can incorporate.

Here's Ever After Scrapbooks.

What a great idea that Kendra's has of posting a menu. Her paper pumpkin with matching napkin ring and place cards are darling! May have to make me one of those pumpkins.

Unity Stamp also coordinated her menu, napkin holders, place cards, and favor.

Pine Is Here did this amazing pine cone table setting. Be sure to check out the fun pine cone turkey she made.

Here is the fabulous Kari & Kjsa's table from last year. They also have some fun Thanksgiving ideas such as attaching a quote to the pumpkin that doubles as a place card and glittering a pumpkin for decor or ice your bubbly.

This hanging place card from Style Me Pretty was a fun way to dress up the dinner. This one probably should have been included with place cards. This wouldn’t be very hard to create though. Print out the names on some pretty green cardstock with a romantic and wispy font and embellish with other pretty papers & ribbon. Ta da! So many pretty tables!

Thanksgiving Pretties - Day 2

Day 2 - Thanksgiving Centerpieces

Today you get to see some fabulous and unique centerpieces for your Thanksgiving Day table. I hope you'll be inspired with something you see for your Thanksgiving Day table. Enjoy!
This beautiful creation is found over at It's A Wonderful Life. She didn't link to where she found it but thinks it can be done with 3 plates, some clear glasses, Jelly Beans or Fruit, and leaves, pine cones, etc. It's such a beautiful and unique centerpiece! You could even put some fresh cranberries in the glasses.

I really like this idea from WindyCorner. It is in my top two and you could put anything in this darling centerpiece. Adding the garland really finished it off.

This centerpiece was found over at Buckets of Holiday Ideas. Turning wine glasses upside down and putting pumpkins inside them is such a darling idea.

Lemon Annie has several fun Thanksgiving centerpiece ideas. The candles and nut combo is a unique and simple centerpiece idea. I’ve got a bunch of hazelnuts that I could use. This is my other favorite!

Poppy Paperie made a tutorial on how to make this altered tin tea light holder.

This is for all you scrap-crafters! JustRite Stampers made a tutorial on transforming the treat box into a centerpiece.

This pear centerpiece was found over at The Solomon Spot. You could use lemons or apples as well.

This is a cute idea for the kids. This is featured from Pilgrim hat centerpiece.

Check out these pretty roses that are made from maple leaves! Here is a tutorial on how to make them. Gorgeous!

Personally, my dining room table is full of food and family which leaves little room for a centerpiece. How about you? There certainly are some nice ones here though!