Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Mama's Holiday Wish List

Today's Mama and Game Stop are teaming up to host a great holiday giveaway! This post is my entry for the giveaway. To check it out and enter yourself, check the links above.

1. What is your holiday wish for your family?

My wish is to spend time making memories with my family. I want to slow down (ha) and spend some extra time with my kids too. My ultimate wish for my family is that we spend time focusing on the birth of Christ and that we do something to help those who are less fortunate.

2. What is your Christmas morning / Hanukkah Nightly tradition?

We don't really have a set tradition. My step son is with us every other year on Christmas morning, and the other years he's with us on Christmas afternoon. One thing that happens each year is, my husband goes shopping and stuffs everyone's stockings. It's a fun way for him to be involved, and the kids love to see what is stuffed inside.

3. If you could ask Santa for one, completely decadent wish for yourself, what would it be?

A tropical vacation, or a new (paid off) car.

4. How do you make the holidays special without spending any money?

Each year the kids and I make ornaments. The kids love giving these ornaments to family members.

5. What games did you play with your family growing up?

We used to have a big family get-together with the extended family each year. We played lots of fun games, but my two favorites were the White Elephant gift exchange and Spoons!! I actually saw my grandma jump ON the table to get a spoon once, and my great uncle flipped over backwards in his chair!

6. What holiday tradition have you carried on from your own childhood?

A focus on time spent with family.

7. Where would you go for a Christmas/Hanukkah-away-from-home trip?

Anywhere to see my faimly.

8. Check out GameStop (link to: and tell us, what are the three top items on your GameStop Wish List this year?

Wii Zumba
Brain Age 2
Rechargable Wii controlers

Friday, October 29, 2010

Fall Recipe more time!

This is the final week of Fabulous Fall Food's over at This time I'm posting a recipe that fits the bill for the perfect, warm, comfort food. My grandma Barnes frequently made this when we at Sunday lunch at her house. I promise it will be a hit with your family too!

Pork Chop 'n Potato Bake

6-8 pork chops
drukee seasoned salt
1 can cream of celery soup
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 pkg (32 oz) hash brown potatoes, thawed
1 cup cheddar cheese
1 can french fried onions

Brown pork chops in vegetable oil. When browned, remove and sprinkle with seasoned salt, set aside. Combine soup, milk, sour cream, pepper, and 1/2 tsp seasoned salt. Stir in potatoes, 1/2 cup cheese and 1/2 can french fried onions. Spoon misture into large baking dish. Arrange pork chops over potatoes. Bake uncovered at 350 for 40 minutes. Top with remaining cheese and onions. Bake uncovered for 5 minutes longer.


Monday, October 25, 2010

A few pictures to share

So I wanted to add a picture of my "chicken huts" that I made the other night. Thanks to my boys for lending me the Pirate Mickey plate. These were so delicious!!

I also wanted to share a couple of pictures from the Halloween apron swap. I sent a French Flea Market style apron. I received a teriffic scarecrow and pumpkin apron. I love it and all of the goodies that accompanied it!!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Busy, busy, busy...

I finally took the plunge and signed up for a vendor fair. It's 2 weeks away and I'm trying to find the motivation to get my list of projects accomplished! I can't wait to see how the fair goes. This week I have worked on a few holiday aprons (Thanksgiving and Christmas), burp cloths, and I've cut fabric for kleenex holders...oh yes, and I attempted my first pillowcase dress! What a week! Must keep working.

Fall Recipes...take 4!!

Here's another recipe for Fabulous Fall Foods hosted by Paula at This recipe isn't necessarily a fall recipe, but I tried it for the first tim this the fall:) It is delicious and EASY!! I have pictures, but will have to add them later.

Chicken in a Hut

2 cups cooked chicken, cubed
4 oz cream cheese, softened
2 T milk
salt (to taste)
pepper (to taste)
garlic (to taste)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 package crescent roll dough

Combine chicken (by the way, I was in a hurry, so I used canned and it turned out great!), cream cheese, milk, spices and cheese. Set aside. Roll out crescent roll dough. Separate into 4, two triangle pieces. Pinch the seams to creat 4 pieces of dough. Spoon 1/4 of the mixture into the middle. Bring the corners together to for the huts and pinch seams. Bake seam-side down on a foil covered baking sheet. Bake according to the directions on the can of rolls. I added chopped broccoli to mine and it was a great way to sneak the veggies in on the kiddos.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Bring Back the Manners!!

Manners... That word sounds so old fashioned, yet why should manners ever go out of style. I realize that I work with teenagers--this is not exactly known as the most polite age group. Maybe I expect too much. For example:
Please should follow a request.
Thank you--say it!
Make eye contact when talking to someone.
Hold doors!
When making a request, phrase it as a question, not a statement. (Don't tell me you need to go to the bathroom, ask if you may go to the restroom.)
When borrowing from someone, take care of the borrowed items.
I don't need to know exactly what bodily function you are performing in the bathroom.
Girls, sit with your legs together!
It is possible to burp politely--close and cover your mouth.
For heaven's sake, please don't make out for 5 minutes 2 feet from my classroom door!

I could go on, but you get the point. For some reason, adults in my generation seem to have the attitude that they don't want to be so uptight about manners. Next thing you know, I have boys pushing me out of the way to go through the door first, and girls yelling across the classroom they need a tampon. Yikes. I'm thinking uptight is a good thing!

Eventually we will get disgusted with our animal-like behavior and realize that manners aren't such a bad thing.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Fall Recipe Time...take 3!

Time for another easy fall recipe. Paula over at is hosting Fabulous Fall Foods...she's posting lost of yummy fall recipes and her readers have posted lots of recipes as well. She's also having a cookbook giveaway, and you can get in on it by posting fall recipes to your blog. Hence...the recipes I've been posting.

So, back to the recipes. This week I'm posting a recipe that my Grandma Barnes makes throughout the year, but always makes me think of Thanksgiving (thanks to the cranberries). This is a very fresh alternative to the shape-of-the-can cranberries:) Give it a try!

Cranberry Salad
20 oz can crushed pineapple
2 C seedless grapes
1 lg box cherry jello
1 1/2 C boiling water
1 can WHOLE cranberries

Mix jello and water. Let the mixture sit for just a few minutes, until it starts to thicken. Then add pineapple, cranberries, and grapes. Chill and serve!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Fall Recipe Time...take 2!

This week I am sharing a very simple recipe for a delicious, fall side dish. Well, it's delicious any time of year, but I associate it with fall since it is part of our family's Thanksgiving tradition. Give it a try!

Corn Casserole
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1 can cream style corn
8 oz sour cream
1 stick margarine
1 box Jiffy cornbreak mix

Dump all ingredients together and mix well. Place in a baking dish. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Yum!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Fall Recipe Time!

Fall is here! It's my favorite time of year for several reasons (one of which is my birthday!), and fall foods are something I always look forward to! Over the next few weeks I plan to share a few of my favorite fall-themed recipes. I will only be sharing things I've tried, and love. The first is a pumpkin dish, and I assure you that there NONE of this will go to waste!! You must try it!

Pumpkin Pie Dessert
4 eggs
1 1/2 C sugar
1 can evaporated milk
1 tsp cinnamon
1 can (16 oz) pumpkin
1 yellow cake mix
1 C melted butter

Preheat oven to 350. Mix eggs, sugar, milk cinnamon and pumpkin in that order. Pour into an ungreased 9x13 baking dish. Sprinkle dry cake mix on top. Drizzle with melted butter. Bake for 45 minutes or until a knife blade comes out clean. This is amazing when served with cool whip or ice cream!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Teens and Technology

As a high school teacher who is surrounded by teen agers all day, I am aware of the impact that technology has had on this age group. I want to preface this post by saying that technology is a wonderful thing. I am, obviously, not bashing technology all together because without it...well...I couln't have this blog. What I am about to address has been weighing heavily on my mind since school started, and the sermon this morning made me think about it even more. So here goes...

Over-exposure to technology is stressing our kids out. They are constantly connected to one another. When I was a kid, we got a break from the drama at school when we were home in the evenings. When we wanted to talk to our friends, we had to call them on their home phone. We wouldn't DARE call after 9 pm, and we tried not to call during dinner. Our kids now days have no concept of when is appropriate to call/text one another. They never have a break from each other. Gossip spreads like wildfire thanks to facebook and texting. We all know it's easier to say things when we're not face to face. Well, these kids can be so toxic with the things they are texting to one another. What I'm trying to say is, our kids need a break every once in a while from this continuous connection. The funny thing is, I will have kids receive texts during class...FROM THEIR PARENTS!!! What? There is no reason to have immediate contact with your kids when they are at school. If there is an emergency, or you need to get a message to your kids, call the office! They'll gladly get the message to your child!

We are allowing our kids to think that having a cell phone--fully equipped with pics, text and internet--is as important as breathing, eating, and sleeping. It's so important that they try to text while driving. They think they must sleep with their phones. Nonsense. There is no reason for our kids to sleep with cell phones in their rooms. Parents...take the phone at night...there, I said it. Take the phone from them!!! Tell them to leave their phones off during the school day!!

Let your kids know that you are going to keep an eye on the things they are doing. It is your right and your JOB as a parent. Everything that our kids are doing online and on their phones is there forever! They are making decisions that will affect them forever! Stick your nose in their business. Friend them on facebook (if they don't accept, they lose their internet priveleges). Check the texts on their phone from time to time (let them know that deleting messages will lead you to assume they have something to hide), put the computer in a public room of the house. Who cares if they don't like it. Who cares if they throw a fit. Put your foot down! Privacy?? If your kids are getting bent out of shape because you are invading their pricacy, they are probably hiding something. Besides, they have no privacy at school--we can search their lockers, backpacks, purses and cars--you, the parent have those rights and more!

But here's the hard part...we have to lead them by example. We have to show them that it is ok to put the phone down and give each other face to face contact. Don't text and drive! Don't talk on the phone loudly in a public place! Don't talk on the phone when you are in a meeting (would you believe that I had parents on their cell phones at open house??!!). Don't call them while they are at school. Don't answer the phone while you are eating dinner. Set aside some technology-free time each day. We would all benefit from some unplugged time each day. Even if it's just an hour...turn off the phone, tv, computer, and video games. Read a book! Talk to your kids! Play a board game! Teach your kids to enjoy down time and quiet time.

Take the time during the technology-break to have conversations with your kids. It is much easier to have meaningful conversation when one or both parties is not texting or answering their phones. This would be a great time to talk about what's going on in your kids' lives, and to talk about really important stuff--smoking, drugs, sex...we have to talk about that stuff to our kids. It's more important than ever. They are being so strongly influenced by technology and media. If we don't have these conversations, they'll just be influenced by the people they are seeing on tv and things they see don't want that! AND if you have these times on a regular basis where you and your kids can communicate, your relationship will be so positive that they'll see and understand why you are being so nosey when it comes to their technology use.

So, since we all know that technology isn't going to go away, we have to learn how to keep it under control. It is no longer good enough to say "technology isn't my thing". Be proactive and PARENT your kids when it comes to technology use.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Go check out this giveaway!

Check out Kelly's giveaway of the month. Go to her blog:

She has so many cute things in the giveaway, you won't want to miss out. So, go sign up! Well, on second thought, you'll decrease my chances of don't:)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Busy Week

After cutting out 25 apron patterns and 6 purse patterns, I was able to complete 6 aprons this week. I worked a little each day after the kids were in bed. I was very excited to receive my Swap-Bot, Forest Friends Apron Swap package!! The package had so many wonderful tuck-ins including gnome cupcake toppers, a crochet owl and lizard, bookmarks, fabric, and a beautiful apron! My husband took the picture and made me do a "happy pose".

Monday, August 16, 2010

Cupcake Apron Swap

I was very excited to come home from my first day back to work to find a fun package in the mail! My partner made a really cute apron with an adjustable neck strap. I had this very fabric in my cart at Joann this weekend and changed my mind at the last minute. Isaac wanted to take the picture of me in the apron. My partner also included some really fun cupcakey extras.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

97 cent patterns?!

Hancocks had 97 cent Butterick patterns today! I cannot pass those sales up. So, since my pattern box was lacking in apron patterns (HA!) I found 4 more to add to the mix, as well as 2 handbag patterns, and 1 reusable shopping bag patterns. Now which one will I try first?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

New Project!

Well, here's my latest project. I hit the 5 patterns for $5 sale at Hancocks and found the pattern for this handbag. It turned out pretty well! The inside is lined with a pocket! It wasn't until AFTER I had the fabric cut that I realized it probably wasn't the right fabric for me, so it looks like someone's getting this one for Christmas!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Swap madness!

I just returned from the post office where I mailed off 2 swap packages. One was for the Cupcake swap. I made a cupcake apron for my swap partner and a matching one for her daughter. I also made matching kerchiefs for each of them. I also included cupcake toppers and sprinkles, a red velvet cupcake recipe, cupcake brads, and a really cute plate. The second swap I mailed off today was the Cupcake Apron swap. For this one I made a 1/2 apron (my partner had a great explanation of the aprons she prefers). I also made a bookmark from the apron fabric. Also included was cupcake papers, cupcake toppers and matching sprinkles, cupcake brads, a cute little owl tin with m&m's inside, a little quick craft kit (cupcake tree ornament), and a recipe card with the red velvet cupcake recipe.

I sent and received a postcard with a "C" recipe already, and will be doing a "D" recipe postcard swap soon. I'm also wrapping up the Alice in Wonderland apron swap package. I love these swaps...feeling quite addicted:)

Friday, July 30, 2010

Toy Drop

Today is our last day of vacation. We decided to do our toy drop at the Castillo de san Marco in St. Augustine. We left the stuffed polka dotted elephant next to a cannon in one of the rooms at the fort. The kids and I walked to the other side of the fort and watched casually to see if anyone would pick it up. When the rest of our group was leaving, the toy was still there:( I explained to the boys that it would just add to the mystery if we didn't actually SEE the elephant being picked up. We will be sad to say goodbye to St. Augustine tomorrow morning, but have lots of great memories to take back home with us.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


So I really need to be packing for vacation. It's not easy packing for 5. And we're going to be gone for a week, so it's not like I can just throw stuff in a bag and go. At lease I've been productive in my procrastination. I made a Christmas apron (trying to plan ahead) and a really cute cupcake apron.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Recent Craft Projects

Since I'm participating in the Hot Mama's in Wonderland apron swap, I thought maybe it would be a good idea to post a few of the aprons and other projects I've made recently. I'm kinda new to this blogging thing, so the layout of the pictures is a little messy...

Monday, July 19, 2010

Ready For My First Toy Drop!

We will be participating in our first toy drop for the Toy Society while on vacation. Here's Mr. Elephant.

Flash Flood of Creativity...

So I signed up to participate in an apron swap with an Alice in Wonderland theme. This is my first swap, and I am so excited to get in on the fun. Today I received my secret swap info and now I am DYING to get started. My brain is on overdrive thinking of things I'd like to do. I have been anxiously awaiting this information, but realize that at some point I must focus on packing for our vacation. Our departure is a few short days away, and I have NOTHING packed (and those who know me find this completely shocking). So now I must decide...start packing/preparing for vacation...or make a trip to the fabric store...

Friday, July 16, 2010


Our vacation is getting so close I can taste it! I'm completely overwhelmed at the thought of my massive to-do list... The kids are counting down. Blue is ready for a break.

I guess I'll just have to pass the time by sewing more aprons:)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Tomorrow's a big day!

Gavin has decided to be baptized at church tomorrow. I have had those butterflies of anticipation all day. Those who know Gavin know that he's very literal. He acts based on reasoning most of the time. His journey to the decision to be baptized has been very exciting. It all started with a study he did during AWANA this year. He studied the story of Phillip and the Eunuch. That story opened a great dialog between Gavin and I about what baptizm is and what it's all about. The verses that he's learned at AWANA have sparked many questions. He also went to church camp which allowed him to have a week of fun (and a break from parents) while being surrounded by opportunities to learn about God's Word. The biggest moment, though, was around the table at my mom's house. A conversation we were having prompted Gavin to ask more questions. My sister, Amanda, teaches 5th grade, so she did a great job of talking with Gavin. Yesterday we met with the children's minister at church. Just listening to Gavin explain what was on his heart was moving. Despite his special needs, he has an understanding of things that is amazing. I am so blessed to be his mom (we don't like the word "step" around here). I'm one proud momma.

And now I must get to work. My house is still messy and company is on the way in the morning!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Asher's first visit to the zoo

Well, welcome to my first blog. I'm not sure who would want to read about the goings-on of a typical family, but I've decided it's time to join the blogging world.

We finally took Asher to the zoo for the first time! It seems crazy that he had to wait until he was 14 months old when we live so close to a great zoo. Trips to the zoo just weren't high on my list of things to do last summer, since he was so little and I was adjusting to life with 3 kiddos. Ok, back to today... We had a great time despite the heat. Although the focus of this trip was Asher's first zoo visit, Isaac was so entertaining (surprise). It has been a long time since he has been to the STL zoo and I guess now he's old enough to really appreciate the animals. Every time we saw another animal he had a great reaction...HEY! Look at those tigers! WOW! I see lions! It was so much fun to watch. Gavin, with his vast animal knowledge, was a terriffic zoo guide. He always had extra facts to add to the facts next to each animal cage.

After we got home from our exciting day, I spent the afternoon working on a new apron pattern. I am looking forward to getting my sewing maching back so I can return my mom's.