Monday, December 27, 2010

Home for the Holidays

We are snowed in! Yahoo!!! The East coast is getting hit with a huge snowstorm. Guess we are not heading back south today! Yahoo!  Thought I would share a bunch of pictures from Christmas! These are all from my IPod. Have a bunch on my regular camera, but I am using my Mom's computer and have not had the time to upload them yet.

My niece Lexi heading home after a long, excitable, and crazy Christmas day!
My Mom and Lexi!
My brother and I! Need to get more pictures with my family memebers! I take a lot of pictures of them, but I am not in any of them.
An interesting tree scuplture outside of an adorable bookshop in Littleton, New Hampshire

 Downloaded a cool Hipstamatic app! I love how this one came out!

Lexi and my husband wearing their matching t-shirts! Michael and I sent library t-shirts to our nieces and nephews back in September. Little Miss Lexi was excited to show us her t-shirt.

My dad clearing out the walkway infront of the house. Brrrr....looks cold out there!

So I am going to stay inside and enjoy some hot chocolate! Brrr! Have a lovely day!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Last Minute Christmas!


Right Now...

* I am glad that I am feeling better! I have felt pretty crappy for about three weeks
* I love wrapping gifts simply 
* I had a disastrous experience with Contact paper
* I am craving peppermint stick ice cream.
* I am so glad to be heading home for Christmas! I miss family a lot!
* Got a new pair of pants yesterday, but had to throw out an old pair today. 
* I think NOOKs are great! Tried one out this weekend! Amazing!

Great Kid Quote:
Little Girl: Guess what I want to be when I grow up?
Me: What do you want to be when you grow up?
Little Girl: A teacher, just like you!

New Blogs
New discoveries in the blog world

Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.
Abraham Lincoln

Thursday, December 9, 2010

An amazing mail day!

Most days my mailbox is filled with bills and other junk mail! Not yesterday! I received my January issues of Papercrafts and Real Simple magazine!  Those alone would have made it a good mail day. What made it great?

A beyond amazing card set from Good Gravy! Wow! Not only is she super talented, but she is such a sweetie and soo hilarious! Thank you! Thank you! You gotta check her shop and her blog! The post about her husband's Halloween costume might just have you rolling on the floor laughing! Literally!

Have a good night everyone!

EDIT: Did I mention the paper she used in this card set is shimmery!? Delightful!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Santa is a Sox and a Vikings fan.

I couldn't help myself! Ha! Ha! I am doing this song during Storytime this week! Just had to have a little fun while putting together the hats!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Snow Berry Beautiful!



The snow has been gently falling for the past two days! This beautiful tree is in our neighborhood! I love the contrast between the white snow and the red berries!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Schmaltzy Christmas Music

This time of year brings bouts of over sentimentality, aka Schmaltzyness! Schmaltzy is a word, but I added the ness for over dramatization! Yay! I love to make up words!(insert joyous clapping here)
Ok! Where were we? Oh yes, the general feelings of warm and happy sentimentality! I bake cookies! Crafts and cards are made. The traditional movies are watched. Its a great time of year. This week I downloaded two super sappy and tear inducing songs. If you want a good Christmas cry check out the videos! Grab a tissue first! Really!


Are you bawling? When these songs come on the radio during my drive to work, I become a weepy and snotty mess! All in good Christmas fun!!!

Rick Steves! Ahhhhh! This guy is geeky great! In all seriousness his Europe videos are amazing! As a travel and hospitality major, this guy is the go-to guy!  This morning I sat down and watched his European Christmas special. Ohhhh! Makes me want to pack my bags and head to Scandinavia!

I am off to watch all of Rick Steve's videos on his Youtube channel! Yay!

Scrap-N-Crap Gift Basket

Last night was our work Christmas party. It was very nice! The food was good. The awards were good! The raffle was good. The crowd was very overwhelming. I don't like crowds.

My favorite part of the evening were the gift baskets. I love gift baskets!  The picture above is the basket I put together. Filled with all kinds of scrappy goodness! The best part of the basket was the Cutter Bee scissors! The most amazing scissors in the world.  You can find out about my experience with the scissors at the Statue of Liberty here .  I am glad that the basket went to a good home!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Fun with Felt!

I had such a wonderful afternoon! So relaxing and productive.Couldn't wait to share what I have been working on!


Giving these little felt ornaments to the wonderful ladies that I work with! Oh I can't wait to hand them out! :D

Have a great evening!!

Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

This is what I saw outside my window on Friday!
I am so excited! Its a bit of a miracle since it was nearly 75 degrees on Monday!
Time to once again start wearing these!  My mother made them for me last Christmas! Isn't the pattern beautiful! I would love them in red, gray, and blue!
Here is the amazing homemade dessert that we had last night! Chocolate Chip Cookie Brownies. Chocolate chip cookies are good! So are brownies! Put them together, magical!
Wait, what is that box in the background?
All right, they are not exactly homemade! They are from a box, but you couldn't tell! Delicious! Delicious! 
Went to Michael's this morning. I had the 20% off coupon from the newspaper.Picked up some more felt, some card stock, clear glass, ornaments, a stamp, and a stamp pen! They had a ton of Cricut cartridges, but I was good and didn't get one
Michael is working today, so I have the whole afternoon to myself! A little crafting and some Christmas movies! I just finished watching "The Christmas Shoes".  It had me bawling. I'm such a sap! I love a good story!

Have a good afternoon everybody!


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving and Christmas Decorations

Veggie Lasagna
Michael and I spent the day vegging out! It was fabulous! We continued our tradition of having lasagna for Thanksgiving. Instead of making the whole turkey deal for just the two of us, lasagna became the tasty alternative. Plus, at that time it was one of the only meals I knew how to make. Ha! Ha! Ha! Look at all that cheesy goodness! 

 They just opened up a new grocery store near my house.  It is huge! It is beautiful! Can you find anything there? No! I looked everywhere for the Ricotta cheese. I asked at the service desk. I called the store. I asked at the cheese bar, but nobody knew. I ended up going to the old grocery store to find it. Sometimes big and new is not always the best!
This year I have been noticing how popular felt is. I never knew how easy it is to make things out of! I found the circle garland in Family Circle Magazine. You can see it here!
To make the dove, I just Googled "dove template."  Traced the template onto some freezer paper. I ironed the freezer paper onto the felt and then cut out two doves and attached them together with fabric glue! Simple! Simple! Simple! The twine is Martha Stewart bakers twine, which I am in love with!

At Michael's the other night,I bought one of these clear plastic ornaments.I love them! So many options. Here is my first one! I put in rolls up pieces of scrapbooking paper. The outside has felt letters. Of course I added a little gem sticker!

Goodnight everyone! Hope you had a fantastic Thanksgiving!


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Breakfast Trifle and Women's Ministry Brunch


On Saturday my church had their annual Women's Ministry Holiday Brunch. I brought this amazingly simple breakfast Trifle. I layered yogurt, raspberries, and granola in a trifle dish. A beautiful dish can make even simple foods look fancy! 

 Of course I made a tag to tie around the dish!

Two lovely ladies from my small group!
 Another wonderful lady from my small group. She just recently became a Grandma! She doesn't look a day over 35 to me!
Our church is very big on Small Groups! While I have only been part of the group for about five weeks, everyone has been very welcoming! I love how open and honest everyone has been!

Have a good night!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Christmas Card!

Here is a design I was playing around for our Christmas card!

Pilgrim Napkin Wrap

In my scrapbooking club this week we made these adorable Pilgrim Napkin Wraps!
I found them on Family Fun!
 Here are the directions!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Fake Pumpkin Pie and Skype!

This week in Storytime we have been making  adorable "pumpkin" pies. So simple. I cut dinner sized paper plates into four pieces. The kids painted away. The best part was having the kids add a spoonful of cinnamon!  Really funny watching them stick their noses unusually close to all the orange paint. I think a few kids ended up with an orange tipped nose.

Yesterday was my husband's birthday! On Saturday he picked up a webcam for his gift. We had a good time playing with all the cool effects like the fish eye lens. So the best part of having a webcam is Skype. I wish I would have known about Skype earlier.  My family lives in northern Vermont and I live in Northern Kentucky.Thanks to Skype I was able to video chat with them. I ate ice cream with my 4 year old niece. I even read her a story! It was fantastic! I am very homesick and the ability to see everybody had me in tears. We have set up plans to video chat again on Thanksgiving when everybody comes over for dinner! Thank you Skype! Thank you technology!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Hootin' Andies: Puff Pancake Cups

This was dinner last night! Don't be jealous! It sure was delicious! The best part is that they were so easy to make!
I found the recipe on the Make and Takes Blog
Find it here

My mother-in-law makes something similar to this, but cooked in a casserole dish.  She calls it Hootin' Annie.  My DH renamed these little cups Hootin' Andies. Whatever you call them, they are yummy!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Autumn Books for Kids

The weather here in Kentucky has finally changed!  We have the cool crisp mornings. The sunny afternoons! It is perfect!

To celebrate,here is a list of my favorite Autumn themed children's books!
By Lucille Colandro 
Great for 3 to 7 years old

This book is irresistible to Preschoolers. It has repetitive text that is easy to sing along with. This book tickles the funnybone! 

One of the repetitive phrases is " I don't know why she swallowed the leaves, perhaps she'll sneeze." The children loved to pretend sneeze every time I read that line!

by Linda Williams
Great for 4 to 7 years Old

This is an excellent read aloud book! It offers plenty of opportunity for the students to participate along with the story. A series of items such as a pair of shoes and a pair of gloves follow the little old lady home. When I read this book to the children, I suggested movements for each item that followed the old lady. 

A great book with a bit of suspense and spookiness, but without being really scary!

by Anne Rockwell
Great for 2 to 5 year olds

A great choice for the younger ones! This one will  get your child talking about their trip to the pumpkin patch!

by Jonathan Emmett
Great for Older 3s through Kindergarten

The illustrations in this book are beautiful! Very playful and colorful! The main character is adorable and you can't help but like him. His little misunderstanding about leaves is just adorable!
by Margery Cuyler
Great for 3 to 7 year olds

This is one of my favorite Halloween books of all time. The book offers a great message of friendship and acceptance! 

Dan Yaccarino
1.5 to 5 year olds

A book rendition of the classic fingerplay "Five Little Pumpkins Sitting on the Fence." The little ones enjoy pointing out the pumpkins, the ghost, and the cat. Older children enjoyed this book because many of them are already familiar with the fingerplay. 
Alison Jackson
Great for 3 years to 7 years

Another wonderful book with repetitive text! The children love to giggle at the absurdity that someone could eat so much for dinner! The ending is hilarious! A Thanksgiving classic!

Be sure to check out my Amazon Listmania of my favorite Storytime books

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Band-aid concern.

One Friday morning I was in a rush to get to work. I was planning to wear shorts that day, so I needed to shave my legs.A dreaded task. I was going quite fast I nicked myself on the leg. Ouch!

The only band-aids that I had available are the large flexible ones made out of some kind of fabric. So, I put one on my little cut not really giving much thought to it. It was just the closest band-aid that I had. 

Later that day, I was in the 3.5 year old class. It was a BIG deal that I had this huge band-aid on my leg. Just the size of it must have made them think I had suffered some kind of terrible accident. They are three remember!

During the whole storytime, there was this one little girl down in the front who kept looking at my leg.She kept staring at the band-aid. Then she would elbow the children sitting next to her.  She kept pointing at it with an expression of such concern.

I stopped in the middle of one of the books to explain that I had just a little cut on my leg, but had put a really big band-aid on it. The children wanted to know how I had received the cut. Had someone kissed it? Did I need to go to the hospital? How long would I have to keep the band-aid on?

What really struck me was the concern that children at such a young age can exhibit. As adults we can sometimes overlook those small occurrences. At three years old getting a cut is a huge event. I love their sweet spirits. Children see the small things. They see the details.

What can I learn from this?
Slow down!
Enjoy the little things!

I believe...that the children and teenagers that I have worked with over the last twelve years have taught me so much more than I have taught them.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Packing my box for Operation Christmas Child: The Sign

This time every year since 2003, I have put together a gift box for Operation Christmas Child. I always have such a good time picking out little toys, candy, and other gifts for a child somewhere else on the earth. My boxes have gone to Africa, South America, and Eastern Europe.

This morning in church they announced that we will be collecting boxes again this year! The bulletin directed us to the children's ministry entrance to pick up a brochure. After church I made a beeline to the children's minstry area. The brochures were MIA. Nobody seemed to know where they were.I was a bit disappointed.

When I got home I went to the the Operation Christmas Child website! They have such an amazing website! Very informative and just plain cool! I love the videos! This one especially inspired me!

 I printed out the How to Pack a Shoe Box Gift page and took it to the store with me. The plan was to buy a couple things each week to add to the box. Ha! Was I in for a surprise gift!!

At the grocery store my grocery bill was surprisingly $20 less than normal, even after purchasing some candy and a stuffed animal for the Box Gift. Swiped the debit card and "accidentally" hit the $20 cash back button. It wasn't part of MY plan, but saw it as a sign. 

Headed across the street to the discount store. Had tons of fun picking out things just right for a little girl.I don't know her personally. I hope she likes the pink jump rope and the adorable socks with the hearts on them, picked out especially for her. I hope she knows that she is special! I hope she knows that God loves her and that somebody across the world is thinking and praying for her!

At the check out counter I was surprised with how much I had actually purchased. Would everything fit in the box? Would $20 cover it? The answer to both questions is "yes!" Oh and I got some change too! Guess how much? My change was $7.00, the exact amount they ask you to donate to cover shipping costs. 

After all those accidents and coincidences it is hard to believe that it is anything else but the hand of God. Thank you God for giving me this gift of putting together this box of goodies for that special little girl.