Monday, November 29, 2010

A New Stocking

I am so excited about this month's Create With Me Project! I was so thrilled when Kari announced that we would be making a stocking or tree skirt (or both!). I had come across the girls' stockings at Strausburg while I was pregnant with each of them. I went in search last year for Haden and found out that they no longer made them. I didn't want to have to replace their stockings but wanted them to all "go" together. I decided to make one and Kari was just the motivation I needed!

Haden's stocking is a dark red corduroy with a flour sack cuff and lining. I traced Aubrey's stocking onto newspaper (easier than printing out the template provided) and then cut out my pieces.

The little gingerbread boy is made from felt with ric rac icing and french knot eyes, nose, mouth and buttons.

Brown jingle bells adorn the cuff

I was really surprised at how well the stocking turned out and how easy it was! It fits in nicely with the other stockings!


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Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday Decorating

I didn't shop this year for any Black Friday deals. I'm not anti-Black Friday shopping. I've done it in the past but just didn't have it in me this year and I've already finished my Christmas shopping so there was no point in going out and getting a deal just because its a deal. I tend to do that.

Since I didn't stay up all night, or get up in the middle of night, to shop I have more energy to get the best part about Black Friday done - decorating for Christmas! I hung our wreath on the front door last night.

This was my first Christmas project. I am supposed to be making a stocking for Create With Me. It what I asked for! I had so much fun doing Thanksgiving stuff though that I haven't gotten to it yet. Hopefully today. Gotta hang the stockings!

I was going to do a step-by-step tutorial on this but thought it might be a bit degrading considering it was so easy. I wanted to make one of those ornament wreaths with a wire hanger but it just wasn't working out for me. I went to Target and bought the $4  pine wreath, used the shatterproof ornaments from the dollar stop that I had bought for the other wreath, some floral wire, fishing line and a star ornament from TJ Maxx.

I threaded 3 inch pieces of floral wire through the loops on the ornaments and wrapped it around the back of the wreath, spacing the 12 ornaments out evenly. Hung the star from the top with fishing line and then tied ribbon to the wreath hanger and hung it on the front door. Super easy, except for tying the fishing line. That was hard.

How fun is this?!

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!!

This Thanksgiving we are thankful for the pilgrims who came to America in 1620 and set up this great nation!

We are thankful for these two precious girls ...

Who are thankful for gooey, chocolate-covered marshmallows and fudge-striped cookies

And for Chronicals of Narnia ..

We are thankful for this little guy, too!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Plymouth Rocks

I finally got around to making Plymouth Rock cookies with the girls today using the recipe found at Almost Unschoolers.

They were really easy and fun to make. The recipe said that it would yield 8 cookies but we had 13. One for each of the original 13 colonies ~ we did that on purpose  it just worked out that way. Kennedy helped me form the rocks, I carved the date 1620 (Aubrey kept wanting me to put a 4 for her year), and then they baked at 375 for 8 minutes. Easy peasy. I then mixed up the glaze. The recipe said to use a drop of black food coloring and a drop of green. Well, apparently my green is pretty potent stuff because it looked way more green than gray. I added more black then more sugar/milk to lighten before coming up with a rock color.

The girls painted the glaze onto the rocks using my silicon basting brush. We let them dry and then everyone got to eat a rock!

The verdict ~ it was split 50/50. Kennedy and I didn't care for them. Adam and Aubrey loved them. They were very soft and cookie like, but really sweet. I might not add the almond extract next time. Taste aside, it was a really fun project! And for that reason alone we give it 2 thumbs up!

Tomorrow we're making pilgrim hats! And cranberry bread! Yay for Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 22, 2010

If We Went on the Mayflower ...

I saw this over at Happy Home Fairy and thought it was a splendid idea! It took a while to come up with this list. Kennedy was the most practical saying she would take things she knew the pilgrims needed like a screw, Aubrey was planning to take a Christmas tree, and Adam wanted to take a car and a spacesuit. After reiterating that we are going on the (very small) Mayflower and that these are things we possibly couldn't live without we narrowed down our list. The Bible is a given.

Kennedy would take ~
A map, money, an extra skirt, a book, and teddy.

Aubrey would take ~
A Barbie, a scooter, an umbrella, a princess crown and a Dr Seuss book.

Adam would take ~
A guitar, a hymnal, a photo album of family, portable dvd player (for the ride, y'all), and a journal.

Haden would take ~
A paci, a blanket, a ball, a rattle and something with a tag on it.

I would take ~
Diet Coke, chocolate, Stepping Heavenward, a phone, and an mp3 player.

The Day Sharpie Came to Town

The day Sharpie came to visit our dining room table started off friendly enough. His brilliant green color was used ever so purposefully to make that pilgrim have the ripest corn ever. Then when Ma is brought in to see the bountiful harvest her eyes quickly see not only a masterpiece, they also see ugly marks on her dining room table.

Ma being ever so graceful and forgiving, said "Oh dear whatever shall we do? There are permanent marker scribbles all over my lovely dining room table. No need to fret, for love is all we need and who cares that you disobeyed and used the markers you have been specifically told not to use. Let us make haste and see if we can resolve the trouble, darling." The sweet little child runs off to clean her room without another word.

Wait ... that doesn't sound believable? Would you believe this instead?

Ma being pretty ticked that for the second time in a week someone has climbed to get the permanent markers and left not only purple streaks but now green has had it. "Why don't you listen? Why did you do this? I do love your picture but you know you aren't allowed to use those markers and I don't think its going to come off the table. I understand accidents but this is a product of disobedience. Not only do you have green marker all over my table but you also have it on your forehead and all over your hands and you have pictures this afternoon. No, you may not have Polly Pockets now. Go to your room until I can figure out what to do." The broken child sits in the floor and cries. The mother cries (because she realizes she is a jerk for being upset about marker on the table) as she searches Swagbucks for an answer to 'how to remove permanent marker from finished wood.'

Sadly, the second version of this story is much more accurate. Maybe a little louder.

The moral of this story? Toothpaste and baby wipes. It really works. Not only did the fresh(er) green permanent marker come right off the table but so did the week old purple permanent marker.

Oh, and the bigger picture? I asked for her forgiveness. I should be more careful with my words and with my tone. She forgave me as we cleaned the permanent marker off her forehead (again with a baby wipe, no toothpaste). Oh, and I forgave her, too.

Cookies that say Thanks!

Forgive me for not posting! I get really sad when I click on a blog that I follow and they've not posted in a while. Now I understand. Life gets busy!

Last week was an insanely busy week. We attended our first homeschool Thanksgiving Feast on Friday. It was amazing fun! Both girls were chatting nonstop for hours following the feast. Kennedy's favorite activity was Thanksgiving Bingo and her favorite food was macaroni and cheese. Aubrey's favorite activity was making butter (that was my favorite by the way) and her favorite food was jello. They also made  turkey fingerprint place cards, cornucopia collages, & Indian headbands and vests. For my part I made homemade mac-n-cheese using the recipe found in Kit's Friendship Book (a family favorite!) and seriously delicious sugar cookies.

I made my royal icing starting with 5 tbsps of meringue powder, a scant 1/2 cup of water and what was supposed to be 1 lb of powdered sugar, based on directions found at Only it was late, I was tired and not feeling well, and when I dumped in the last of the powdered sugar I realized why it was overflowing from my mixer and getting awfully, awfully clumpy -- I used an entire 2 lb bag. I added more water, I can't even tell you how much, until I had a mixture more closely resembling royal icing. I was terrified that I had ruined it! Much to my surprise the icing did harden overnight and the cookies looked amazing! And now to giveaway my secret cookie dough recipe .... I use this one from Good Housekeeping

Best rollout cookie recipe I've ever used.

Happy Thanksgiving Week!!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

My New Favorite Homeschool Blog

Almost Unschoolers has my heart! You will be seeing some projects from her on my blog soon. I love teaching learning about the first Thanksgiving and she has plenty to share! On the list of things to do this week:

Mayflower Hand Print Craft

Plymouth Rock Cookies

Turkey Sandwiches

and more!! I'm still waiting on Cranberry Thanksgiving to come in at the library and then we'll do some of the cranberry crafts that she shares.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Blooming Words Giveaway!!!!


The winner is #5, Winnie, who said ...

I agree with Mindy! The Names of God ones that I am about to do are going to be my FAVORITES for years to come! I do love the cheesy ones people gave us for our wedding! Since we got married in December many of our gifts included an ornament! Lots of brides and grooms wiht the date on them!

I am so excited to be hosting my first giveaway with Tiffany from Blooming Words!

I had the absolute best experience working with her. She was super quick to respond, she helped me pick the right height and width of the letters for my ornaments (make sure you see them HERE), and she had my order ready the next day -- and in my mailbox clear across the country in 2 days!

OK, now for the fun stuff! One of you can win this Snowman Snow globe Christmas ornament!

This 4" ornament features foam snow inside!  The front has a frosty snowman and the back says, "May all your days be happy and bright.  May all your Christmases be white."  You can personalize the center with your family name or if you're giving as a gift, customize with their family name.  You could also say "Love, The Shiver's Family" or "From a bunch of flakes...The Shiver's Family".  Be Creative! 

Since this is my first giveaway I'll make it easy for you to win! Just leave a comment telling me what your favorite Christmas ornament is and you'll be entered! I'll draw a winner on Friday!

Ready for more good news!? Everyone can get a 10% discount through December 15th by entering BECKY10 at checkout! Be sure to become a fan of Blooming Words on Facebook. When they reach 500 fans they will have a 2 day special where everything will be 50% off!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

My New Pretties

**GIVEAWAY!! Blooming Words giveaway can be found HERE!**

I mentioned previously that I am doing a Bible study on the names of God using Kay Arthur's book Lord, I Want to Know You. To say that it has been a blessing in my life does not even scratch the surface! I have so enjoyed being a part of MEMs (Moms Encouraging Moms) these last few months and getting to know my Lord better with these women. And on top of it my daughters are learning the names of God right along with me!

For the Christmas party this year the group is going to be making Christmas ornaments with the names of God on them. I missed the deadline for ordering the vinyl letters from the company they were using. Right after that Kari  at UCreate featured a new sponsor on her blog with a giveaway. Enter Blooming Words!

I emailed Tiffany at Blooming Words right away about doing a custom order. Her response time was so quick! It took Adam and I several days to narrow down the names of God of that we wanted to use for our ornaments. After we made our  final decision Tiffany and I ironed out all the details and I placed my order with her on Monday night. As in this last Monday night, Nov 1. My order was in my mailbox Thursday! I ran right out to Hobby Lobby and bought my ornaments!

Was it easy? Absolutely! I was really nervous about breaking the ornaments as I applied the names at first. I was nervous for nothing! I followed the directions on the Blooming Words website and applied the names to my first 6 ornaments! I love, love, love the way they turned out! I'm so excited for Christmas to come around so I can hang them on the tree!

Oh, did I mention something about a giveaway? Tiffany has kindly agreed to do a giveaway here! I am soooo excited! Y'all are going to love it! Stay tuned!

My First Accessory (For Me!)

This afternoon I am going out with a friend to a Therapon Face 2 Face event. I cannot wait!
One of the emails said that dress should be comfy casual ... jeans and nice shirt would be fine, too. One of my biggest down falls ... fashion. Fashionista I am not. Especially since birthing my 4th baby via c-section. Its all different now. My metabolism. My will power. My jean size. My ....
Anyways, I want to fully embrace this opportunity. I'll be 30 in 10 days. I've never had a facial. I've never had a massage. The last manicure I had was 8 1/2 years ago before my wedding. I'm going to enjoy this afternoon! So I went shopping last night looking for a nice shirt that kinda of somewhat fits. I bought 5 different shirts and tried them on, compared, tried them on again. The combo I've decided to go with is also the cheapest which makes me (and my husband) happier than having new clothes.
I've decided I'm wearing jewelry, too. I don't do that often because I always feel like I'm trying too hard. I took two of the girls; necklaces and wrapped them around my wrists as a bracelet. I liked it. But then, then I had a thought. And that always gets me in trouble. Somewhere I have seen a cute bracelet with a fabric flower attached. I can't find it now. I looked and looked. So, I went the idea in my head. And now I have my first accessory, for me. Its not for my girls' hair firstly, (though I think it would be super cute in their hair) its for me!

I'm working on something else but you'll have to wait until early next week to find out what ....

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Countdown Your Blessings

*Ahem!* I should not be making posts at near midnight while thinking I might could grab one of those coveted $18 mixers from Lowe's Black Friday event. Please forgive any typos, misspellings, and otherwise nonsensical writing!*

I've been working on this project since Monday night!

It might be my favorite project so far.
I love the Thanksgiving season! Now we can count down the days while counting our blessings with this cute little turkey advent calendar!

Thanksgiving always falls on a different date so I picked  to have 27 days on my calendar.  I appliqued the turkey & his feathers to the green fabric using wonder-under and just a regular ol stitch around the outside. The material used was remnants of fabric in my ever shrinking stash. The orange and paisley print were used to make my fall table runner, you can see it HERE.  I sew velcro to the green fabric and to the back of a strip of felt. Next,  I cut little squares of brown felt and back stitched the numbers. I cut the velcro strip to match each square and then whip stitched both squares together. I didn't want to leave the velcro as we counted down the days so I stitched up 27 more squares with the verse "In everything give thanks" and some leaves, one letter or leaf per square.

As we take down a number we'll but up a letter and will end up with a verse to remind us to be thankful in all things!

I used to pieces of green fabric to make the calendar. After I had the turkey appliqued and the velcro sewn on I sewed the two pieces right sides together. At the top I put felt loops to run my dowel rod through to help the calendar hang straight. I left about 6 inches open at the bottom and then turned the whole thing right side out and top stitched along the bottom to close up that hole. I cut my dowel rod to size and then drilled a hole on each end to run my cording through to hang. I stapled the cord to the underside of the dowel rod which you can't see because it hides nicely inside the felt loops.

Please forgive the sub par (not even that good!) pictures. I'll try to get better ones soon!

How do you count your blessings this Thanksgiving season?


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