Sunday, November 30, 2008

Free Shipping at Oriental Trader

Hurry quick!! Order online by 11:59 p.m. CT, December 3, 2008, to get free standard shipping on any purchase, within the contiguous U.S. Enter keycode WC97541 during checkout. To go shopping, click here! I love Oriental Trading!!

Mandees Christmas Tree

I know what you are thinking!! It is time to take the Halloween decorations down. Well, we decided to do something different this year. After 11 Christmases together, my husband came up with a new tradition this year-do a different themed tree each year. I think it sounds great-kinda crazy- but great. His birthday is Christmas day so I decided what the heck, I will let him choose this years theme.
The day after Halloween we were out on a date cruisin Target(what we call a date) and we were checking out the clearance for Halloween decorations. They were pretty much GIVING things away. My husband, Mr D., looked at me and said "Let's do our tree in the Nightmare before Christmas theme". I thought it was a wonderful idea and my oldest daughter LOVES this movie. We had so much fun shopping for the tree, we wanted to come straight home and decorate!
I made ornaments for the tree too.
*Since I originally did this post, I have entered a contest over at Tip Junkie. Go check it out!!!

These are the ornaments. I took Balsa wood,(used for rc planes-Mr D. has TONS) and printed out images from the movie. After that I used,any guesses?????? Of course, MODGE PODGE! I modge podged the images onto the wood and got this cool yarn from the Dollar Store. It was so much fun and it will look great on a garland for Halloween next year.

We found these darling little pumpkin and skeleton plaster baskets that we used as ornaments too. We also used Skeleton and spider garland instead of ribbon or rag garland. Again we will be able to use the garland for Halloween next year too.
We found the very last white illuminating pumpkin at Walmart. I dug and dug for it. It makes the perfect tree topper!

Here is the finished product! We used orange and purple lights and minature pumpkin lights. I know that this isn't "traditional" but we are really enjoying it. It is fun doing something different. I told my husband it has to stop at the tree so Christmas will be felt in our home! I wonder what the theme will be next year?............

Saturday, November 29, 2008

A Fun Twist on Peanut Butter Cookies

Just a little something to share. You'd think we had turned into a cooking blog!!! Promise to be back next week with crafts and more fun. If you haven't entered the giveaway, go above and do so. What fun little lounge pants. They'd make a great stocking stuffer!!!

This is not a new idea, but sometimes we forget the easy stuff!! I also love to do this with Reese's Peanut butter cups!! I got a great deal on Kisses earlier this week. I had a coupon save $1.50 when you buy 3. They had a clearance cart full of Kisses, from the olympics, for $1.50 a bag. I paid $1.00 a bag!! I bought them for our gingerbread houses, but I've got a baptism to go to today and I needed some cookies. If you need a great peanut butter cookie recipe, go here! Just remember not to squish the cookies and make sure you put the kisses in right away!! See you guy's on Monday!

Friday, November 28, 2008

This was too good not to pass on! A wonderful basket that you could share with your favorite teacher! For a chance to win, click here!! You have until the 10th of December to enter. I'm undecided who I would share it with. To many great teachers in my life, but I would probably pick a certain preschool teacher I know!!!!

Deck Your Halls Swap Package!

I GOT MY SWAP PACKAGE TODAY! I am so excited. Alisha sent me the funnest and cutest stuff. Look at the darling nesting boxes! She also made me beautiful rag garland! I know how much work goes into that, I made some 4-years ago and it is something I will never get rid of. It took me forever, but I made enough for my tree. The garland Alisha sent is perfect! I don't have a mantle, but I do have the perfect spot for it, infact I already have it up and it's beautiful. THANK YOU ALISHA!!

This fun little nativity came home with Alisha from her vacation in Mexico!! Isn't it cute!! I think I may use this as my nativity tradition this year. Every year we buy a new nativity and I think this so darling. My boy's loved it. The little house top fits right over the top of the the family. It


What a crafty girl. I have a feeling everything is homemade and I LOVE it!! Inside the nesting boxes was the shoe, the nativity and a bag full of Blessing Mix.
Thank you again, Alisha! And for those of you who haven't gotten your packages out, you need to hurry because Santa's watching. And watch for more swaps in the near future. This was a lot of fun and we will definitely be doing it again!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Egg Drop Soup for a Cold Day

My hubby LOVES to cook. He was home sick today and made egg drop soup. It didn't last long once the kids got home from school. The poor guy had to make his own soup while he was sick. It is so easy and VERY tasty.

Egg Drop Soup
3 C chicken broth
½ t salt
2 T cold water
1 T cornstarch
1 egg (slightly beaten)
1 scallion, finely chopped
Bring chicken broth to a boil in soup pot. Add salt and mix. Combine water and cornstarch and stir into boiling broth. Stir a small amount of hot broth into slightly beaten egg. Add egg mixture into hot broth slowly, stirring all the time. Cook until clear and slightly thickened, stirring constantly. Garnish with scallion.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

1 & 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
5 Tbsp. butter, melted
1 Tbsp. sugar

3 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. canned pumpkin
3 eggs
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. allspice

Mix crust ingredinet together just until coated and crumbly. Press onto the bottom and 2/3 up the side of an 8 inch spring pan. Bake for 5 minutes at 350. Set aside
Combine cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl. Mix with an electric mixer until smooth. Add pumpkin, eggs, and spices. Mix until creamy and smooth. Pour into pie crust. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes or until top turns a bit darker. Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature, and then refrigerated. After chilled, remove the pan sides and cut. Serve with whipped cream.
I made this without a crust today. Long reasoning, but I did. I put mine in a 9x13 pan. SMELLS SO GOOD!! Can't wait for tomorrow, when I get to eat it. I have been eating cookies all day. Not all the kids will eat pie. I'll post them next week. To die for Chocolate chip cookies!!

Cafe Rio Ranch

Café Rio Ranch

1 pkg. Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Mix
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup mayo
2 tomatillos, peeled
1 clove garlic, minced
1/3 of a bunch of cilantro, chopped
½ tsp. lime juice
1 small jalapeno (seeds removed)

Blend all ingredients in the blender. Refrigerate.

Mine turned out a little thinner than normal, but I think it was because I used buttemilk powder in place of actual buttermilk. It still tastes really good though!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Dipping Caramel in a Crockpot

This is the easiest thing in the world. All you need is a crock pot and a can of sweetened condensed milk.

Take 1 can sweetened condensed milk and place in crock pot on it’s side. No need to take off the paper. Cover with water so that water level is 1 inch above can. Let cook on low for 8 hours. Remove from crock pot . Can serve warm with apples or on ice cream. For a thicker caramel for dipping apples, let set in the fridge to cool overnight or for several hours.

Here is my caramel!! So tasty! I put mine in the fridge over night and it worked really well for dipping apples. It is very similar to the expensive caramel dip you can buy in the fruit section of the grocery store.
Happy Dipping!

Friday, November 21, 2008

I did The Macarena With A Smurf Because The Voices Told Me To.

A little laughter and fun for your Friday. Make funny sentences for everyone in your family, just follow the instructions.

Make sure to leave a comment telling us what your sentence for the day is!

Pick the month you were born:
January-------I kicked
February------I loved
March--------I karate chopped
April----------I licked
May----------I jumped on
June----------I smelled
July-----------I did the Macarena With
August--------I had lunch with
September----I danced with
October-------I sang to
November-----I yelled at
December-----I ran over

Pick the day (number) you were born on:
1-------a birdbath
2----- --a monster
3-------a phone
4-------a fork
5-------a snowman
6-------a gangster
7---- ---m y mobile phone
8-------my dog
9-------my best friends' boyfriend
10-------my neighbor
11-------my science teacher
12-------a banana
13-------a fireman
14-------a stuffed animal
15-------a goat
16-------a pickle
17-------your mom
18-------a spoon
19------ - a smurf
20-------a baseball bat
21-------a ninja
22-------Chuck Norris
23-------a noodle
24-------a squirrel
25-------a football player
26-------my sister
27-------my brother
28-------an iPod
29-------a surfer
30-------a homeless guy
31-------a llama

Pick the color of shirt you are wearing:
White----because I'm cool like that
Black-----because that's how I roll.
Pink-----because I'm NOT crazy.
Red------because the voices told me to.
Blue-----because I'm sexy and I do what I want
Green----because I think I need some serious help.
Purple----because I'm AWESOME!
Gray-----because Big Bird said to and he's my leader.
Yellow---because someone offered me 1,000,000 dollars
Orange---because my family thinks I'm stupid anyway.
Brown----because I can.
Other-----because I'm a Ninja!
None------because I can't control myself!

I saw this over at Chocolate On My Cranium!! Fun sight if you have time to go browse.

I'm A Super Hero

This is a story about one of the greatest people I have ever known. This little boy, Daxton Wilde, is a second cousin of mine but he was like a nephew. He was diagnosed about 8 years ago,when he was only FOUR YEARS OLD, with brain cancer and passed away only a few months after being diagnosed. He had a very rare form of the disease. When the tumor was found it was the size of a pear at the base of his brain. Eventually it wrapped itself around his spinal cord. They think he was probably born with it. But while he was going through the ordeal him and his mom (who is the greatest cousin ever) wrote this wonderful book to help children that are affected by this awful disease.

This book portrays cancer as a "bad guy" and the Good guy is "Captain Chemo", and the SuperHero is Daxton. It tells of his experience through his eyes to help other children through their fear. He illustrated it himself and his mother helped him write it.
He was such a sweet little boy and I still think about him often. He had such a special spirit about him his whole life and it is still felt.

If you are interested in this book I know it is on Amazon. It is a great book and I woke up in the middle of the night a couple of nights ago for no reason and thought I needed to post about this book. I don't know why but maybe someone needed to hear about it. Here is the link for this book.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Christmas Trees

*This is a Repost but I put it on almost three months ago so I figured they were so cute and we have TONS of new blogging friends.
I made these darling trees for super saturday and they were a big hit. They are very time consuming but the end result is well worth it.

These cute trees were so much fun to make. I had a friend in my ward find these cool trees in the Oriental Trading Scrapbooking catalog and wanted to make them for super saturday. I called Brandy right up and asked her if she by chance had seen anything on any blogs she had been too ,about how to make them. She quickly reminded me that they were on Abbys page at A Feathered Nest. They were so easy to make but quite time consuming. With all the interruptions I have (love the children) it took three nights. I just did a tree a night, way fun and theraputic. The supplies are just scrapbooking paper, pins, and styrofoam cones. Go check out the tutorial at A Feathered Nest, she explained it wonderfully. The ladies at church were pretty excited about them-YIPPEE!!!

Another Food Storage Post ~ Sorta

I have been racking my brain to try and come up with another food storage post. There is so much information available if you want to research food storage. Since we are not really gearing this to be a food storage blog, I don't want to get to crazy, so I am just going to ramble and see if you can follow my ramblings.

Right now, my biggest goal with food storage is stocking up on the things we use a lot. And right now, there are some really good sales going on. This is the time of year when I stock up on stuffing, canned gravy, sugars, cake mixes, seasonings, cream cheese, cool whip, and all the fun baking items that go on sale around the holiday's. Most items, if left unopened will be good long past the expiration's date. I'm about a 6 month girl, if it is more than 6 months past, I chuck it. It probably is still good, but I'm just not feeling it after 6 months.

I love stocking up on cream cheese, because the stuff lasts FOREVER! I just save myself a little spot in my fridge and I buy quite a bit when it's on sale. Same goes for Cool Whip. My freezer still has 3 pkgs. of Cool Whip from last year. I also have pumpkin left over from last year. My pumpkin pie will be from last years pumpkin, and then I will restock my shelves. Corn syrup is also another great item to buy on sale, because it is fairly cheap right now and it will last a long time.

What items will you be stocking up on?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Call Me The Doughnut Lady

You'd of thought my kids had died and gone to Heaven, tonight!! It is a little known fact that when I was a little girl, my mom and dad operated a doughnut shop! I have memories of being in the shop pretending to be a waitress and of warm and yummy smells!!! Then my dad had a midlife crisis and wanted to become a farmer!! Still trying to figure that one out, but anyway, I lvoe doughnuts and have been wanting to try this recipe for awhile now, so we did it. And it was GOOD!!!

Brigham’s Buttermilk Doughnuts

2 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs beaten
5 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
¼ cup melted butter

Combine buttermilk, eggs, and sugar and mix well. Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and nutmeg together into a large mixing bowl. Stir in buttermilk mixture, then melted butter. Roll dough out about ¼ inch thick on floured board; cut with doughnut cutter. Fry in hot oil till golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle or roll in sugar. Makes 2 dozen doughnuts.

Okay, so a few adjustments. I didn't have nutmeg so we used cinnamon. I used buttermilk powder in place of actual buttermilk. 6 tsp. buttermilk powder and 2 cups water. I used ALOT more flour than what it called for. I kept adding and adding, because the dough was so STICKY! Anyway, don't believe the 2 dozen part, because it made oodles of doughnuts. and doughnut holes. I lost track of how many because I, I mean we were too absorbed in eating them as they came out all nice and warm!! We rolled ours in Cinnamon/Vanilla Sugar from Alison's Pantry.

I have 2 huge ziploc baggies full of doughnuts to go to work with my hubby tomorrow. He was in watching the Biggest Loser and calling for me to come watch, "just a minute, babe," I'd say as I covertly placed another doughnut hole in my mouth. Yeah right, like I want to watch the Biggest Loser while I eat my deep fried and oh so satisfying treat!!!! Anyway, they really are yummy and I have to send them away or I might just eat 2 bags of doughnuts.

Enough, tell me to stop typing. I know your busy and you have things to do! So go and do and have a GREAT day. And remember to make these because they are YUMMY!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

No Bake Cookies

These are seriously the easiest cookies to make. They are what I make when my kids want homemade cookies and time is short. They love them and they are great cookies to let them help with. Although, the mixture is hot when you put it on the wax paper, so make sure they are supervised. I like to eat them while they are still warm. Perfect cookies to cure chocolate cravings and great with a glass of milk.

1 cube margarine
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/3 c cocoa
1/2 c peanut butter
3 1/2 c oatmeal

Melt butter in pan. Mix in sugar, milk and cocoa. Bring to boil and boil for one minute. take off burner and stir in peanut butter and oatmeal. Drop by spoonfuls onto waxed paper and let cool.

Monday, November 17, 2008

I Am Back and New Kids Still Have "IT"

I MISSED YOU ALL! But I must say I had the time of my life. I could seriously die tomorrow and everything would be ok now! The New Kids on The Block concert was wonderful. They put on a wonderful show and I was very crazy at the concert. There were people of all ages there but I must say the teenagers that were there weren't even born when they were first popular so that made me laugh. I told my brother that NKOTB are the Beatles of our era, he about died of laughter, but it is kinda true. There were THOUSANDS of girls -okay mostly married ladies- screaming their heads off at them.
It was great to see my Bestfriend from highschool too. It was awesome to just talk, laugh, and have a great time like the olden days. I found out I was mean to her when she first moved to Italy where we went to highschool. I never knew that and it really made me sad, I want to be remembered as being nice ALL the time. But we laughed about it and it was WONDERFUL. I challenge all of you to look up someone you haven't seen or heard of for years and drop them a line. It was amazing to hang out with a great friend, thank heavens for friends and NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK (had to put that of course).
I am back and ready to post. Sorry, I know NOTHING about food storage or coupons. :) That is why Brandy is the smart one of the bunch. She is amazing too and I am forever grateful for her friendship to. FEEL THE LOVE!!!!!

Christmas Traditions

One of the great things about traditions, is they make the best memories. I have carried some of these traditions over into my own family and I have added some of my own. We alway's got to open one present the night before Christmas. I started that tradition with my chilren, but it's alway's pj's, so they look fabulous on Chritmas morning!! We make gingerbread houses, and cinnamon ornaments for our tree every year.

We go to Tuachan and watch the live Nativity. We go to look at lights and go for a walk around the Temple. They have a beautiful Nativity and the Christmas Story from the bible is read over a sound system every 15 minutes. Our family has a traditions of obtaining 1 new Nativity a year. I have a fun plush Nativity that the kids can play with.

We make cookies for Santa and Reindeer food for the Reindeer. The adults have a tradition of going to The Forgotten Carols, and it's something that both Mandee and I look forward to every year. We have some great memories from that night we spend with our extended family. We bake, we make candy, we do the twelve-day's of Christmas! We do all the normal fun stuff. I have more, but this is working out to be the longest post ever so here are a few NEW traditions that might be fun to add to your Holiday season.

Christmas Elf ~ We have a Christmas Elf. He appears on the first day of Christmas and leaves on Christmas Eve. He watched the children to see if they are being good. He doesn't talk, he just listens and then on Christmas Eve he leaves to go tell Santa how good the children have been. He is in a different place every morning. The kids are so excited to find him every morning to see where he sitting for the day..

Dollar Gift ~ If you have a lot of children you'll love this idea. We draw names, even mom and dad do. Then everyone is given one dollar to spend on that person. We usually visit the dollar stores. It's fun to see what everyone can get for a dollar.

Christmas Eve Ornaments ~ On Christmas eve my children get to open their Christmas Eve Ornaments. This is something inexpensive and they love to see their ornaments on the tree every year. I try to put their names/dates on them. when my children grow up they will have a special collection of ornaments to start decorating their own tree with their new family.

I have tons more and will continue to share them as the Holiday's approach! I love this time of year. I can't wait!!! What are some of your favorite Hoilday traditions?

Homemade Pizza Dough

Use biscuit dough!! It will be much easier and less messy, but the kids LOVED it!! It's worth it for the memories! Pizza Crust

1 & 1/2 cups warm water
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. yeast
1 tsp. salt
Splash of oil

Mix water, salt, yeast, oil, and sugar.Add enough flour to make a stiff dough. Let raise 1/2 hour. Bake crust until golden brown.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Christmas Look

I know, we haven't even had Thanksgiving yet, and here we are putting up a Christmas background, but you see something was wrong with the old one. So I was browsing for something new, and thought why not?? The Holiday's are upon us folks! Just in case you didn't know....

Saturday, November 15, 2008

More Coupon Talk

Okay, let me know if your sick of hearing about my adventures in using coupons. For those of you in Utah, Smith's is having an awesome sale. It goes through next Tuesday. It's a mix and match mega event. What you have to do is buy 1o select items and you instantly receive $5.00 off at the check-out. Now what's cool is that you can mix and match. You can buy evaporated milk, which is $1.00 a can and you can match that up with Crisco, which was $2.50 a bottle. So you could get a great deal on a lot of items.

So, you know how I am coupon crazy and I get 4 Sunday papers every week? Well, I went to Smith's with my coupons in tow, planning only to buy 12 bottles of Herbal Essence Hair products. It was on sale 2/$5.00 and I had 6 buy 2 save $3.00 coupons. It makes it a $1.00 a piece. Hey don't judge me. I need a years supply of gel and conditioner, okay!! Anyway, they also had Aussie on sale 2/$5 and I had coupons for $1.00 off each Aussie item, so I bought 4 Sprunch Spray's too.

So I start to look at some of these items they have on special and I realize, I have a lot of coupons for these items. Crisco Vegetable oil was $2.50 after they took the $5.00 off and I had $1.00 off coupons. I got my oil for $1.50 a bottle. And these were not the little bottles, but the big ones. I got Evaporated milk for free. It was .50 cents after the reward and I had coupons for $1.00 off of 2. I got Colgate toothpaste for .25 cents. It was $1.00 after the reward and I had .75 cents off coupons. I got 6-packs of chips (for lunches for my 1st grader) for $1.50 a bag after the rewards. When they rang up my total it was $90.00 +. I hand her her my coupons and my total paper coupons, I had in my hand equaled up to $40.20. Is that Amazing or what?? I earned $10.00 in the megaevent rewards and I also go $47.54 on my fresh values savings. In short I got $130.00 worth of groceries for $47.32.

I'm telling you that if you want to build your food storage up fast, coupons are the way to go!! The rule of thumb is one paper per member of your family. My neighbor, Nicole and I are obsessed with this whole process. It was $80.00 for 10 weeks worth of papers. We were reimbursed $40.00 by getting our coupons through Grocery Smarts, and I am not sure if they do that everywhere or if it was the girl who came and got us started. I paid for my paper in my savings from this one trip alone. Nicole said that she figured she is saving at least $15.00 a week in coupons on a regular trip. Right now with all of the sales, it's going to be much better. I will probably keep getting 4 papers for at least another 10 week cycle, maybe two and see how far it gets me.

Next week, we'll talk about the holiday sales and some of the great items that you can stock up on now that are great for food storage. Everyone have a great weekend and we'll be back Monday!!!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Please Excuse Mandee

Please excuse my friend Mandee! She's been a little busy and hasn't been posting. She's been a little too excited, because you see she is currently on her way to Salt Lake City to relive her teenage years!!! If you can believe it, she is going to the New Kids On The Block concert with her best-friend from high school!!

To read more about Mandee's obsession, click here!! She'll be back next week to share all the details!!! HE, HE, HE, HA, HA, HA look at the suspenders on Donnie!!! Good memories and good times!!

A Fun Thanksgiving Craft

I got this darling little turkey from My Little Gems!! Sharla has so many good idea's. She has the picture of the turkey that you can print. You could do so many diffrent things with this picture. We used stickers and so did Sharla, and we also used feathers, foam shapes and pom-poms. What an easy idea to do this weekend!! My kids went all crazy,a but Sharla's show a better picture, so go check out her fun blog!

Homemade Butter-Didn't Get to Try It Though-read to find out why.

I remember making this in elementary school and had so much fun doing it. I thought my kids would think this is really cool. I don't want Thanksgiving to get lost in the Christmas shuffle. At church a couple of weeks ago the lesson was about Thanksgiving and turning it back into what it use to be. I found the recipe here and had to try it out.

This got me to thinking about what I do to make Thanksgiving a good time for my kids to learn about gratitude. It is really hard for some kids to grasp this concept. I want my kids to SMELL thanksgiving, to FEEL thanksgiving, to SEE thanksgiving, and to TASTE thanksgiving, and HEAR thanksgiving. The smells of the great food cooking. The feel of the nippy air and some times some snow, the touch of the crunchy leaves under your feet as you walk to familys doorsteps. To be able to see all of the many blessings that we have. We really have so much more than we think we do. I want my kids to be aware of all that. To taste the wonderful food that has been prepared, the taste of hot apple cider to warm you up after playing football outside. And to hear the laughter, talking, the blessing of the food that is always so wonderful.
So many wonderful memories of Thanksgiving are held close to my heart. And I want my kids to know of the Pilgrims and the gratitude I have for them. So what better way to teach about pilgrims than Homemade Butter.....

In Logans hands.........right before.........

So much for trying to be a good mom! So glad I wasn't a pilgrim, I definatley need a store to buy my butter. :) Bay was heart broken, maybe we will try it again some day.

Meatballs and Mushroom Gravy

Please forgive the blurry picture. This is one of my easiest recipes. It's what you do when need a quick dinner and you forgot to pull anything out. I adapted this from a recipe that my friend, Jayma gave me.

1 pkg. of frozen meatballs
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 can evaporated milk
salt and pepper to taste, and I usually throw in some garlic

Mix everything together and throw it in the crock-pot. Cook on low heat for 4 hours or until meatballs are warm.

Serve warm over noodles or mashed potatoes.

Now, I threw this together tonight at about 4 p.m. I defrosted my meatballs by throwing them in the microwave for about 4 minutes. It speeds up the process considerably if they are defrosted a little bit. You can make homemade meatballs and occassionally I do that, but it's so easy to use the pre-packaged ones. My friend makes her meatballs homemade and she uses 2 cans of milk, but I like the thicker consistency for gravy.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Gotta Share This Giveaway

Skip To My Lou is an amazing sight! She has lot's of great ideas to share with all of us and as a bonus she is having a fun giveaway that will help you design your holidays cards! FIVE lucky winners will receive a digital card file so you can print your own personalized photo cards and 2 sheets of Picture it Postage!I would LOVE to win this giveaway and am headed on over to enter with Mister Linky. Good luck, the chances are good on this one!!!

Addendum to the Post Below

I am so EXCITED!! I wish I had taken pictures to give you guy's a visual. I went to Albertson's last night and I got $76.63 in Groceries for $11.42!! I had a $15.00 off coupon from Albertson's sale last week. I went in and spent$20.00 on this week's sale and earned another $10.00 off coupon. I turned around and put up a 2nd order and payed for it with my $10.00 coupon and used several coupons and ended up paying only $11.42 out of my pocket. Here is what I bought:

16 cans of Hunts Spaghetti Sauce
3 pkgs of 4 pk. Hunts pudding
1 Readi Whip ~ These 3 items were on the sale for buy $20 before coupons and earn $10.00 off
8 boxes of Nestle Hot Chocolate ~ On sale for $1.00 a box, I had a .50 cent off of 2 coupon! .50 each
Box of popcorn
1 dz. eggs
1 Gal milk
2lbs. of graper
2 Arm & Hammer Toothpaste~ On sale for Buy 1 get 1 Free and I had 2 $1.00 off coupons. $1.00 each

I'm telling you guy's it's possible. That's a lot of Spaghettie Sacue.!! Go check out Grocery Smarts , this link should take you directly to the store page. This is the store page for Utah, but you can still access the online coupons. And they are AWESOME. I also get 4 newspapers on top of them and there are times I am able to really stock up. Today I am going to get Herbal Essence hair products at Smiths. They have them on sale for 2 for $5.00. I have $3.00 off of 2 coupons. Each bottle will cost me $1.00. Same with Aussie products. On sale for 2 for $5.00 and I have
$1.50 and $1.00 off coupons on one.

It's my new hobby! I am loving it, but it does take a lot of time, but it's worth the savings!

Let's Talk Food Storage

Food storage!! What a daunting set of words. Who has the time or the money to have a food storage? I didn't think I did, but little did I know that I already had started my food storage. If you have one extra can of corn in your cupboard or extra rolls of toilet paper in your closet, you have the beginning of food storage. I had always shopped sales and stocked up at case lot's but I had never associated those habits with food storage. When I stopped to think about it, I got really excited! Maybe, this wouldn't be as hard as I had thought. I also wanted to take a different approach to food storage.

When I heard the word food storage, I always thought of wheat. Tons and tons of wheat, rice and beans. Stuff that my family does not eat. You've heard the advice, eat what you store and store what you eat. Well I took that heart. To begin with I worked on just coming up with a 3 month supply of food that I knew my family would eat. As I have gathered "MY" staple foods, I have started to add the wheat, the rice, the beans, the margarine powder and egg powder and much more to our supply. And I use it! I figured that if I was going to store it, then we had to learn how to use it and surprisingly the food is GOOD! I'll post some recipes for you in another post. These are just a few way's that I worked on my 3 month supply.

1. Buy in bulk!! I started to scrimp away money for the case lot sales. I bought cases of things like green beans, corn, fruit cocktail, creamed soup, spaghetti sauce, sugar, flour, and canola oil, just to name a few. I bought things that I knew I could use to make meals. I bought staples. I bought comfort foods in bulk and things that were easy to make such as Top Ramen and Macaroni and cheese. Quite quickly my 3 month supply grew.

2. Clip coupons!! I cannot emphasize enough how much money you can save, it your diligent in clipping coupons. Watch the sale ads. I love buy one get one Free sales and I love clearance sales. A great way to stock your freezer is to buy quick sale meat. It's still good, it's just close to it's expiration's date. Take it home and freeze it when you find meat on a good sale.

3. I learned to juggle the food that I had. I loved having extra because it meant that if a good sale did come up, rather than spending $10.00 on say, cereal, I could spend that $10.00 extra dollars on hamburger, because I had enough cereal at home in storage.

I love the saying, where there's a will there's a way! My neighbor once shared an idea with me. When they were first married, she put a box in her kitchen as a reminder to work on food storage. Every day she would trip over that box and so every time she went to the store she would buy 1 thing to put in that box. When it was full she would close it up and put it away for food storage.

In these economic times, aren't we glad that we have been counseled to set aside food in our homes! I know that I have had times where I have been very grateful for my little food storage that I have. It's possible, I promise. Here is a link to a great article, it's well worth the time it takes to read it.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Taco Soup

I am so excited that it is the time of year we can start eating soup soup soup! I love to make all different types of soups, and thank heavens my kids love to eat it. I kicked off the season with YUMMY taco soup. It is the easiest soup I make, just open cans, taco seasonings, dump them, shred cheese, open a bag of Fritos and WALA you have dinner.
Bay and I made Baking Powder Biscuits to go with it. MMM Good.

2 cans chicken broth
2 cans corn
2 cans beans (pinto,red or kidney)
2 cans tomato sauce
1 lb. hamburger
1 onion chopped
2 pkg taco flavoring
Shredded Cheese

Cook hamburger with chopped onion until brown. Drain, add 3 T four and taco flavoring. Mix well. Combine all ingredients in large pan or crockpot. Stir well. Heat until slightly bubbly. Serve hot sprinkled with grated cheese and fritos.

Wonderful Thought on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is not a time of the year but rather an attitude of the heart.

We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in number, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand, which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us. It has seemed to me fit and proper that God should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November as a day of Thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens."

-Abraham Lincoln -

October 3, 1863

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thanksgiving Day Traditions

Family traditions are like the spiritual and emotional cement in the foundation of a happy home. They create fond memories, and these memories bond us together as nothing else can.
I heard of a couple of great idea's the other day at Enrichment, that I just had to share with you. First of all it was about Holiday traditions. Mostly we talked about Christmas and I am so EXCITED to share some of the idea's with you, but I realize that Thanksgiving is a holiday that kind of gets skipped over. So first a few things about Thanksgiving.

This has nothing to do with giving thanks, but one of our traditions is that we go out shooting after Thanksgiving dinner. This started the year we were dating and it just kind of stuck. We get together with our group of friends and all of their kids and we go shooting clay pigeons. The kids love it and so do the adults. It's just a fun time to relax and have fun. We do give thanks around the table and we do FHE on gratitude and giving thanks, but here are some great idea's for some new traditions!

One tradition that was mentioned was a Thanksgiving quilt. They have one set up so that after dinner everyone in the family can put in a few ties. When the quilt is finished it's donated to a local shelter or the humanitarian aid center.

Another tradition would be to start 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.

A fun idea would also be to create a Thanksgiving table cloth or runner. Buy a white cotton table cloth and set out fabric markers. Let everyone write down what they are thankful for and then on Thanksgiving day have fun looking at what everyone wrote. Make sure everyone writes down what year it is. The next year, pull out the same table cloth and let them write down new sentiments. Every year you can add to your Thanksgiving table cloth.

Hopefully this will give you a few idea's to think about and possibly add to your Thanksgiving Holiday! What is your favorite Thanksgiving Day tradition?

Monday, November 10, 2008

My Own Definition of Being Prepared

Ok, I will be the first to admit that I am the LAST person you would want to be with in the event of famine or disaster! I am the least prepared person around. I promise, if you think you are bad, I am worse. Brandy and I use to make fun of people that were really paranoid and had 72 hour kits, RME meals (Not even sure if I used the right letters!), food storage under beds, etc. But now she has joined "that" bandwagon and I have been left alone to laugh. But I really think in the end I will be the one that is laughed at. So, I decided to be a little prepared when I walked into KMART this afternoon.
Halloween is on clearance for 90% off! I got my son a costume for next year for 2.49 and my six year old daughter a costume for 1.99!!!! I am so excited to have that behind me. For Christmas my husband and I have decided to do a Nightmare Before Christmas, Christmas tree so we have been shopping Halloween clearance for things to put on our tree. I have gotten candy off clearance for stocking stuffers.
So, I may not be prepared for the end of the earth, but I am prepared for Halloween next year and for Christmas.
But all kidding aside, I think being prepared in these days are a great thing. But I am a lot like some of you......unsure of where to begin and overwhelmed by the thought. So, we will lean on Brandy for her intelligence. :) If you are in the St. George area and have heard of Alisons Pantry, Brandy is a distributor and it is a great way to stock your cupboard without ever leaving home.

The Cutest Turkey's Ever

This was the easiest project ever. I made up some sugar cookies, and I halfed the recipe, so we got 2 dz. I let the kids frost them with chocolate frosting, put on some candy corn for the feathers, we used M&M's for the eye's and yellow frosting for the rest!! Next time I will use black frosting for the eye's but I was to LAZY today to make it. I am so doing these for Tyson's Thanksgiving day party at school.

The Strangest, Most Wonderful, Yummiest And My Favorite Holiday Cookie

Have I piqued your interest with the world's longest post title? These are my favorite Holiday cookie. If you get these on your goodie plate from me, you better know you are loved, because I don't part with these babies easily! I got this recipe from my friend, Tina, several years ago and it has become a Holiday tradition. THEY ARE SO MESSY! And I think that's why the kids like to help make them. I usually only make them once a year, but we had an Enrichment activity cookie exchange and I thought I would share these.

There is no good way to take a picture of these cookies. I tried individually and in groups. I tried a close-up and that was the worst one yet. They don't look like much but boy are they YUMMY!

Candy Cane Cookies

1 tub Cool Whip
1 package mini marshmallows
1 cup crushed candy cane (grind into powder in blender)
1 package deluxe graham cookies, crushed with rolling pin

Mix first three ingredients together, drop by spoonful into graham cookies, roll in crumbs until covered. Place on waxed paper and allow to set for 24 - 48 hours.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

How Prepared Are You?

Let's talk about Preparedness. For those of you who don't know me, I am a food storage junkie, but only for about the last 1 and 1/2 years. I've been fortunate to acquire quite a bit of food storage in that time, but nowhere close to what I need.

My sister recently shared an experience with me that she said I could share on this blog. I was laughing so hard I almost peed my pants when she was telling it to me. Hysterical!! I love my sweet brother-in-law, and here in a moment, you'll understand why!

For family home evening they decided to do an emergency drill. My sister told them that they had just found out they had 3 minutes to grab everything they could and get out of the house. My sister has her 72-hour kits ready to go. She's also a preparedness junkie. So she's thinking this will be easy.

So she grabs her stopwatch and yells go. She takes off running for the 72-hour kits, but only after a moments hesitation. She said she wasn't sure if she should grab the scrapbooks first or come back for them is she had time. So she's getting the 72-hour kits and she comes flying back into the living room where my brother-in-law is still sitting on the couch. "That means you to," she yells. So he jumps up and runs for his GUNS. Just like a man, but my nephew is in his room shoving toys in his backpack and my 4-year-old niece is crying hysterically clutching at my sisters leg. And the baby is just sitting in the middle of the floor wondering, "What the heck is going on?"

So 3 minutes go by and they stop to see what they have managed to get out of the house. My sister grabbed the most. She had to have been flying all over the place. She had the 72-hour kits, 2 of the 4 sleeping bags, the kids blessing outfits, their temple bags, their small fireproof box, and the diaper bag. The diaper bag had no formula and no diapers. My brother-in-law who is in his pajama pants, grabbed all his guns and ammunition, his coveralls and two left boots. My nephew has his toys and a sweatshirt. He also grabbed his mom's scripture case, which was empty because they were on the table. They also discovered that they had no car seats in the car. No one had grabbed coats or shoes, and it turned out that the car battery was dead. What a night to do a preparedness drill!! My sister said it was really a bit unfair, because she had planned the activity and had had a chance to really think about it or they might not of even had what they did.

So the moral of this post is BE PREPARED!

And it leaves me asking you, my friends, how interested would you be in emergency preparedness and food storage posts? Is that something that you would like to see us do here on the blog, amidst all the other things we post about?

Friday, November 7, 2008

We Have A Winner

Thanks to everyone who entered our giveaway for the Scrabble Tile Pendant and a big THANK YOU to Misty for hosting! Well we have our winner and it is Jenette who said "Wow those are cute! I like #025! Thanks so much! have a great day!" Jenette please shoot us your mailing info to, so that we can get this prize out to you.

Remember to go look at Misty's blog if you entered for a chance to win over there!

Look for more giveaway's soon! We are going to take a break for a few weeks, but we do have some fun ones lined up!!

For those of you who were in the DECK YOUR HALLS SWAP remember to try and get your package out soon. Mines going in the mail today!!! Hope she likes it! Have a great weekend everyone!!

Impossible Cheeseburger Pie

Another Easy weekend meal!

1 lb. ground beef

1/2 t salt

1 C milk

1 C shredded cheese

1 C chopped onion

1/2 C bisquick

2 eggs

Heat oven 400. Grease 9" pie plate; cook ground beef and onion. Stir in salt. Spread in pie plate; sprinkle with cheese. Stir remaining ingredients until blended. Pour into pie plate. Bake about 25 min. or until knife comes out clean. 6 servings.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Holiday Idea

I am sooo excited to share this idea with you. As I was coming up with ideas for Super Saturday, I looked over and saw a pile of leftover tiles, and my modge podge (which I love) and just slapped a photo onto the tile . These were a big hit and they were easy and affordable (a whole 1.30).
I just took a 6x6 tile and put a 4x6 photo on it adhering it with modge podge. This is what Brandy and I are doing for the grandparents (hope they don't peek) for Christmas. Some will stand with easels and others we will have hung with a ribbon.
Then I decided to take it a step farther: (second photo)

My mom has antique furniture from the 1800s and before so she doesn't like full glasses to sit directly on her furniture. She has coasters all over so I thought I would make her a set of coasters with her grandchildren on them. I put four coats of modgepodge and finished it with a gloss to give it more protection. I will also put felt rounds on the corners to protect the furniture from scratches. Great idea and I hope they will like it.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Quick and Easy Alfredo Sauce

Mandee is the expert on Italian food. The spent her teenage years in Italy, and oh, she's also lived in Greece and was an exchange student in Egypt! Girl can cook some yummy food!! This is nothing compared to Mandee's but it's much easier to make. This would have looked better, but I didn't have pepper and I didn't have time to wait for my hubby to get home with it. I had to eat and run before young women's so imagine, if you will little specks of pepper on top!

1/2 cup butter
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 cups milk
6 oz. grated Parmesan Cheese
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper

Melt butter in a medium, non-stick saucepan over medium heat. Add cream cheese and garlic powder, stirring with wire whisk until smooth. Add milk, a little at a time, whisking to smooth out lumps. Stir in Parmesan and pepper. Remove from heat when sauce reaches desired consistency. Sauce will thicken rapidly, thin with milk if cooked too long. Toss with hot pasta to serve. (I also add 2 cups cooked chicken to mine)

The Mom Song

Everybody has probably seen this, but it's hysterical and it makes me laugh!! Mandee and I love this! We just had to share. It's worth 3 minutes of your time for a good laugh!

I'm In a Posting Funk

I stared at the computer screen last night, trying to come up with a post for today. I thought and thought and racked my brain, going back through my family archives for something that we could post. I'VE GOT NOTHING! Do you ever have day's where your creativity seems to have gone on vacation?

So my question to you is; What do you do to rejuvenate? What little things do you do to get the creative juices flowing? Curious minds want to know!

Don't worry. It won't last. Hopefully tomorrow I will have my mind back, but today I am going to play with my kids and not worry about it. Have a great day!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Talking to Children About Emotions

Erin and Deneal over at Laugh Learn Love has a theme every month on which they try to share ideas on how to teach our children. This month their theme is emotions! I just wanted to share a couple of my favorite books that I have, that we like to read when we are talking about emotions.I love this book. It's illustrations do a wonderful job on portraying the diffrent emotions. They are bright and fun to look at. This book covers silly, scared, happy, sad, angry, excited, and proud. The author, Janan Cain offers several suggestions in the back of the book, that you can do with your children.

1. Ask your children what circumstances make him or her feel happy, sad, jealous, etc.
2. Discuss how to deal with emotions.
3. Talk about what you can do to change the circumstances leading to a feeling your child doesn't like.
4. Practice noticing and naming feelings throughout the day.

My favorite part of the book is the last page, where it says; Feelings come and feelings go. I never know what they'll be. Silly or angry, happy or sad-They're all a part of me.

I think it's important to teach children that it's okay to be angry or sad. It's okay to get excited and to be happy, but how to portray these feelings in an appropriate way.

We also love this book. What Are You So Grumpy About? It makes me giggle. Sometimes we just have a rotten day, and we have to let kids know that sometimes that is going to happen. Another book we love is Alexander and The Horrible, No Good, Bad Day! Life happens, but kids need to know how to get over their grumpiness and how to be happy. KIDS ARE MEANT TO BE HAPPY!! Nothing beats the sound of a giggling child!

Happy 100 years Grandma!

My Grandma is turning 100 years old today!!! Think about it.....1908 is when she was born. This was when:
*only 14 percent of the homes had bathtubs
*average life expectancy was 47
*Henry Ford developed the first Model T automobile and it sold for 850 dollars
*The speed limit was 10 mph in most places
*The average wage was 22 cents an hour
*sugar was 4 cents a pound
*Most women only washed their hair once a month,and used Borax or egg yolks for shampoo. *The population of Las Vegas, Nevada, was only 30
*There was no Mother's Day or Father's Day
*Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at the local corner drugstores.
*There were about 230 reported murders in the entire U.S.A.
*Federal spending: $0.66 billion
*Theodore Roosevelt was the President

My grandma is one of the greatest people I know. She is always so positive and has a great way of looking at the world. She has seen so much evolve and can't figure out how a cell phone can work the same way as a "rotary phone". I love to hear her stories, my kids do too.

What a legacy she holds. She has five children, 17 grandchildren, 45 great grandchildren, and one great great grandchild. I am so proud to call her my grandma. We have always had a special bond and I know it will lead to the eternities.

It is kind of crazy to me that today is election day-the most important one-and she was born 100 years ago today. The things she must be thinking..........WE LOVE YOU GRANDMA!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

I Am A Frazzled Mom

Ok, first of all I have been trying to figure out a way to approach this subject but I think I just need help. That is what it comes down to.
I have a wonderful son that I love so very much. He is the sunlight in my life. I have always called him my "sunshine". He is now 10 and it is getting very hard. He has ADHD and I just don't know what to do anymore. He is on medication, and it works most of the time but his mood swings are terrible. It is to the point I just don't even know him very well anymore. I am losing who I am too. A couple of years ago he started having seizures too that have affected his behavior. He has been seizure free for two years though so we think we may be out of those woods.
I just need advice and I think I am at a point where I consider all of you my friends. I know that ADHD is very common and sometimes over diagnosed but without a doubt he has it. There are some other traits that go along with ADHD that are very frustrating. I just don't know where the line between -Oh that is just his "condition" and You know better than that- is. Impulsive behavior is something I just don't understand. Some of the things he does I just stand there and think "What have I raised? I have totally failed as a mother". Tears are always there, I just can't hold them back anymore. I love him so much and want him to know that but it is SOOO hard to reach out to someone that is so mean and nasty to me.
I got a phone call from his teacher about a month ago and it keeps running through my mind "Mrs. Dover, do you allow him to treat you with disrespect at home?". What kind of question is that???? What kind of mother LOOKS for disrespect? Maybe it IS my fault and I DO mess up.....
Sorry to be mopie, that is not who I am, I just hope someone out there that comes to our blog will be able to help me better understand.For an "disorder" that is so common, I feel so very alone and confused. It has been a very hard road and he isn't even a teenager!!!!!!!
Thank you so much. We love all of you and have such a fun time with this blog.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

4 Things To Do With Halloween Candy

Whew, are we glad it's over? I know that I am. I love the Holiday, but am always glad to see it on it's way. Now, the question is, what to do with the mounds of Halloween Candy? We weighed ours, and it was 5 lbs worth of candy!!!!! And we didn't even get all that much compared to some kids that I know. I have a couple of ideas of things that you can do with all that candy.

1. Call me cheap, but I go through my kid's candy on Halloween night and I pull out candy for Christmas stockings. They don't miss it and it saves me time and money. I pulled out the M&M's, smarties, suckers, the big candy bars anything that doesn't have a Halloween picture or wrapping on it can be used. Why not????

2. Cut up your chocolate candy and and freeze it in freezer bags. Use your candy instead of chocolate chip when making cookies. Kids love it. I call them Surprise Cookies, because they never know what kind of candy they will be getting.

3. I am way big into food storage. This idea actually came from my sister, Sherry. She gives her kids 3 day's to eat candy to their hearts content. Then she takes it and separates it into chocolate and non-chocolate candy. She has 2 big buckets in her food storage that she calls her junk buckets. She has filled these by using left over Halloween candy. In an emergency, how good is it to know that you have a supply of Mars and Snickers bars in the food storage room???

4. I also stock up on the after Halloween sales on Sweet tarts, Nerds, Suckers, and anything really, that I can get on a good deal. I have a December birthday boy, so I buy candy for his treat bags when it goes on clearance. I also save Nerds, Dum-Dum's and Nestley Mini Kisses and use them for Valentine's day treats.

You have to save wherever you can these day's. Just a few idea's, hopefully they will help you get rid of some of the sweets!!