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Page 8 – Discovering Moments of Happily Ever After

Christmas Traditions

Well I am alive here! lol! I have been working like crazy on Christmas gifts and fighting a wee bit of depression. With all of that, I really have had no time to pop by and say hi to all of you! I hope you are still there! So instead of trying to “catch up” on missed blog posts, I am just going to share what has been going on here! Today we finally got our tree up! The girls were so excited…..I mean REALLY excited! You see we don’t just put up the standard tree with matching ornamnets. Over the years, we have ornaments that have been collected and many of them tell a story and all of them have a memory! My grandma always bought us a new one each year, and my mom kept the tradtion going after she died. My girls and I have also made and bought ornaments each year together. This means that putting up the tree is quite a production.  Each ornament that is pulled out is met with squeals of delight like finding a long lost friend! I love picking out the ones I have been putting out each Christmas for 20 years or more! There is something so special about those moments of predicted seasonal fun! Don’t you think? Here are some pictures of the fun today!

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DSCN8534Pup’s First Ornamnet

DSCN8535This is one Bunny made for the dog last year!

DSCN8537This is just one of my favs I bought when the girls were little. It is all soft and fun!

DSCN8540This little mouse writing with lipstick is one my grandma bought me! It has always been a favorite!

DSCN8542This is an ornament my grandma bought me before my wedding. It was one of the last ones she got me.

DSCN8549I loved horses so much as a kid. So my grandma got me this one!

DSCN8551This one is new this year! Each year my mom and sisters and I buy an ornament on our annual shopping trip! This was this years!

DSCN8553This one is also from this year! My sis and I each got one! Bunny and Pup think it is them though!

DSCN8555Another shopping trip one!

DSCN8559My mom has taken to making ornaments each year! This is last years!

DSCN8561This is one of my very first ornaments.

DSCN8564This one is Pup and our dog. Seriously I think it is more her dog then anyone elses!

DSCN8568This is Bunny with her favorite elephant!

So there you have it! Some of our favorite holiday memories and fun! So now it is your turn! What is your favorite Christmas tradition that you share with your family?

Advent Plans

Well it is advent and in the mist of all the Christmas fun that is flooding the world right now, it is time to prepare. Prepare for the real celebration of Christmas. So what are we doing this year? We are doing the tried and true Jesse Tree. For those of you who don’t know what that is, let me explain. Starting with the story of creation, we follow the plan of God right up to the birth of Jesus. Kinda like a great lesson of salvation history! It is called a Jesse tree because Jesse was the father of King David, the family the savior came from. It is a beautiful way to prepare for the season of Christmas and the girls are really excited about it. Traditionally there is a symbol for each story to hang on a tree. I didn’t do a tree, but I made a board with tags that had the number of days. The I used a free printable for the ornaments. Instead of printing them and cutting them into circles, I cut out the pictures and mod podged them onto some natural wooden circles that I had. They turned out really pretty and it is a simple daily plan! All we do is read the story and hang the ornament! Want to see what it looks like? Here is it is:






What do you think? I think it looks pretty good. To make the board I glued tow pieces of foam core board together and then covered it with burlap (using hot glue). Hot glued ribbon on it to make it pretty and tacked on the tags with the numbers using tacks and it was all done! See easy! There are lots of ideas for making a Jesse Tree on my advent board over at pintrest! Be sure to stop by there! So now it is your turn. What are your favorite traditions and ways to get ready for the holidays? I would love to hear them! Leave a comment! Happy Advent!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I know that this is a day late, but I wanted to wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving! Our holiday was really great. Lots of Family, Lots of Food, and Lots of Fun! I am so thankful this year for my amazing, beautiful girls, my awesome, supportive, sexy hubbie, great family, and the best friends a girl can wish for! I am also thankful for you my dear readers! It always makes my day when I get to read comments and thoughts from you. All in all, it has been an amazing year full of challenges and blessing and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. God really does bless us, even in the hard times! Now I wish I could say that I took a bunch of pictures yesterday, but I didn’t. Somehow I never remember to take them on thanksgiving! But here are some of the kids decorating turkey cookies!









 Today, instead of shopping with the crowds, I cleaned my house and shopped online. I dont know about you but that makes things a wee bit more simple! However this is not all we did! My hubbie decided to blow up some leftover pumpkins up and then surprised us with some fireworks! Yes,,,,I am serious! My whole family came and brought hot chocolate (it is really cold here), and I found some Chinese lanterns in our basement!  I have to say that it was alot of fun and I think it may be a new thing! So here are some pictures of the first annual Bright Friday! Who doesnt love fireworks!




















So there you have it! Traditions new and old! Now we are on to Christmas! It is  looking like there will be lots of handmade wonderfulness here! So I will do my best to show off what we make! Plus I have a party to plan for the 6th of Dec. So there is LOTS going on here! I hope you had a great day today and yesterday! Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving Project

Since thanksgiving is just around the corner, my mom and I thought it called for a fun Thanksgiving craft! This one was simple, pretty, and easy! What’s not to love about that? The kids cut a cornucopia, fruit, and veggies our of different colors of tissue paper. Then, after wetting the paper down with starch, they laied the pieces of the paper where they wanted them, Then the picture was covered with another layer of starch. After letting it dry, we outlined the pieces with crayon! Perfectly simple and fun! Here is what we did!

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So there you have it! The girls LOVED this project and they are now proudly hanging in the frames on the school room walls! Pup made the blue cornucopia (Andy Warhol style), and Bunny stuck to the traditional colors! Both are super fun and super easy! Try it sometime! What is your favorite Thanksgiving craft? Happy Crafting!

Thankfulness and Generosity

Thankfulness and generosity seem like they should go hand in hand. What do you think? The more you realize what gifts you have, the more likely you are to share with the world around you. I for one am really thankful here! Sunday we had a tornado go through the area. I know people who were hit, and while no one was hurt and it wasn’t as bad as the ones in other states, this is still the closest I would ever want to get! I really feel blessed that my home and my family is safe and sound. That being said, sometimes at this time of year it is really easy to forget how much we have while we are making lists and checking them twice! I mean, I don’t know about you, but my pintrest boards are starting to fill up with amazing things to make, good things to eat, and pretty gift to give. While I look and plan I can already feel the stress building and it isn’t even thanksgiving yet. So last week, we spent the whole week purging the house of things that we don’t need. It took a lot of work, and a few tears, but the house feels lighter, I feel lighter, and I cant think of a single thing that I need! We are just so blessed! Another thing that we got to do last week was our annual Stone Soup Party with our homeschool group! The concept is simple, we all bring something for the soup pot, read the story together and make soup as we go! The story helps us to see that when we all bring a little bit, we can really make something amazing!











Another tradition is that each family makes some shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. Some of us make them up some bring stuff to make them there, but we always seem to share items and make the boxes the best we can. For those of you who don’t know what Operation Christmas Child is, it is a ministry that collect shoe boxes filled with gifts for the less fortunate children around the world. My girls LOVE trying to see what they can fit into the box and what they think that the child is going to need! This year I asked them what they though a child would want if they had nothing at all. They told me a toothbrush, a hairbrush, and the Good Shepherd! So their boxes were packed with all of those things plus crayons, coloring books, ponytail holders, balls, tops, an handmade dolls! Plus Bunny was able to share some stuffed animals that we purged out of her closet (they were brand new still). The kids drew pictures and wrote notes to add to boxes for the kids that receive them! It was a lot of fun for everyone! After that it was time to eat our yummy soup!







I love this get together because it is a great way to kick off the holiday season with a real look at where our focus should be, on others! So we start it off by working together, giving to others, and spending time with great friends! Do you have any good tradtions with family or friends that allow you focus on the bigger picture?

Leftover Pumpkin Learning

So do any of you wonder what to do with those pumpkins that are leftover from Halloween? I don’t know about you, but we have one or two still decorating the yard that we didn’t carve in t Jack-o-lanterns. They will look just fine for a couple more weeks, but I thought that using them for some fun learning would be another way to get a wee bit more use out of them before we compost them. Some of these ideas are from a long time ago, so enjoy seeing my much younger “babies”!

 Bunny was interested in pounding nails and asked if she could pound them into the pumpkin. I said sure and away she went to get her stuff. What we learned is that pounding nails into a pumpkin is easy and fun! It is an awesome way to learn how to use a hammer and nail without the difficulty that comes with trying to get the nail started in wood. It was an activity that everyone wanted to get in on!!!!






Another fun thing to do is pumpkin washing. Its an oldie, but a goodie! my girls have loved this activity a lot over the years. I would simple get a scrub brush, a bucket of water and a towel. If you want you can add soup too. The child dips the brush in the water, and scrubs the dirt off the pumpkin! Here are some pictures of Bug and Pup doing this a few years ago.


Another one that we did a while ago, was cut a pumpkin apart sideways and explored the parts of a pumpkin. It was different then when we carve it because Bunny was able to play in it and really see all the parts! There is really something so exciting about being able to play in something that you don’t normally get to!



So there you go! A few ideas of what to do with those pumpkins that are laying around still! I would love to add a few more ideas so share one below! How do you use those pumpkins?

First Snow!!!!!

Today it SNOWED! Ok…last night it snowed, but it was still around this morning so we had to go and play in it! The girls were just too excited to! It was pretty, it was cold, and it was so special!  Here are the pictures!







Isn’t the first snow magical? I think so! There is something very exciting about playing in the same old backyard when it is covered in a wee bit of snow! It just makes everything better! 🙂 Happy Snow Day Everyone!

Cooking With Books~

Today was our cooking with books day! Our book today was Pino and Signora’s Pasta. This is a sweet book all about a cat who discovers that the best meal is one that is made with love! In the story, Signora makes pasta! So today we made pasta with the kids. They made a simple egg noodle dough, rolled it out, cut it, and boiled it! Presto! Lunch! 😉 They ate them all up despite the fact that they were a little thick and chewy. I think that they had fun with it and it was something really different that none of them had ever made. Want to see what they looked like? Well….here are the pictures!






















So there you have it! 🙂 Noodle making 101 today and it was an experience! 🙂 I love that our monthly cooking days allow us to try new recipes that we otherwise wouldn’t have. One more left for the year though!!!! Now what will we do next year? Science, field trips…..hmmmm who knows! Happy Baking Everyone!


Frolicky Fall Fun!

Frolicking…..what a fun word! Perfect for the random trip to the park we took today! We had a funeral to attend things morning and some errands to run this afternoon. In between these things, we had some time. We were driving past a park and thought that we would stop and play for a bit! I happened to have my camera with me and the lighting was amazing for some simple happy fall pictures of the girls! Even Daddy played with us!  As you notice, fall has really set in here and the leaves are almost off the trees. We also have some winter chill starting to set it for the season! The northern winds are starting to hit us and it is time for warm coats and probably mittens! Now if only I can convince Pup that she needs to wear that stuff! 😉

















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So there you have it! I hope that you plan on having an amazing weekend! We’re going to be busy here! Happy Fall Y’all! 😉

Random Questions

So here is a random question for all of you out there…..what do you like to see here? Do you like to see Montessori posts? Family Posts? Creative projects? Let me know! I am just curious what you like to read here! Another question I had for you is, how hard is leaving a comment on the blog? I haven’t been able to figure out if all the spam guards are making it really tedious for you! I wanted to make sure it wasn’t too hard! So if you have a moment, I would love to hear some thoughts! I am so thankful to have great readers and would love to hear from you!