Saturday, November 13, 2010

Christmas Cards

Well, it's that time of year again when I start getting ready to make our Christmas cards. Today I took the kids out to The Old Guilford Mill where I took some BEAUTIFUL pictures of the kids.

Once again, I will be going through for our holiday cards as I absolutely LOVE their selection this year! They have so many options not only for Christmas cards, but also for gifts too.

Today I went onto the Shutterfly website with my pictures that I have chosen, and the options seemed endless! I have narrowed down my choices to a few, but still need to decide whether I want to do our traditional flat card or switch things up a bit this year and do a folded card OH THE POSSIBILITIES! Whichever one I finally decide on, I know I will not be disappointed! I may even throw a Christmas gift in my order too!
...but I won't tell you who will be getting it.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

I'm Baaaa-aaaack!

Due to circumstances that I could not control, I have been out of blog-world for a little while. Our Internet modem had decided to just quit. Thankfully it was still under warranty, and we were able to have a new one shipped to us. In the Internet! What a strange time. Honestly, I can say in ways I liked it, and in other ways I HATED it! Now we are back though, and it feels great!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

It's quiet

It's quiet here now. Everyone is asleep, and I finally get a little time to myself...but I am TIRED! Yesterday and today all seem to be a blur. I fell on Saturday night and sprained my ankle and I must say Don jumped right in and is taking real good care of me. The kids have been helping me too. Mackenzie has been following me around the house and helping me with my chores. Olivia has been constantly checking up on me and worrying about my leg. Jaidyn has taken it upon herself to make sure the baby is entertained. I am, really proud of those girls! I will be posting tomorrow a little bit that we have been doing over the past couple days, but for now...sleep calls me!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Christmas Parade

This is our second year at our town's parade! What is great about it is that we don't even have to leave our front yard to go to it! After the parade we came inside and warmed up with coffee, hot chocolate, and homemade coffee cake. YUM!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

You Better Watch Out!

OK, so yes, I am one of those apparently horrible parents that actually let their children believe in Santa. When my kids were real little, we would go through extremes to make Santa a "real" part of their Christmas.

Every Christmas Eve, my dad would get dressed up as Santa Claus, and come to our house. He would never come in, but we would see him outside walking by the living room window where he would "accidentally" drop a gift for the kids.

Well, needless to say, I guess I still go through extremes with it. Now some people may like to bash my parenting skills, and tell me I am a horrible person for lying to my kids, and how Jesus is the true meaning of Christmas (which they know), and that I am ruining their lives by letting them believe. Yadda-Yadda-Yadda. But I will still let them believe in Santa if they want to. ANYWAY, with that rant done, a funny thing happened to us in the grocery store today...

We were just checking out, and one of my kids decided to throw an attitude because I would not buy them a toy. YES my kids do that sometimes! Well, lo and behold, a sweet elegant elderly lady with gray hair and glasses came up to us. She was wearing dress pants and a pretty Christmas sweater. She asked me (which we still get all the time) if the girls were triplets. I said yes, and then she proceeded to talk to all 5 kids about how beautiful they are, and how well behaved. Then she asked if they were excited about Christmas and if they were being good. Well at that point, the proverbial light bulb went off in my head. Boy was I going to take this one and run with it.

After she left, I was walking to the car, and I said to the kids, "Do you realize who you just spoke to?" After they answered, "No", I went on to tell them how I think that may have been Mrs. Claus. Every once in awhile she will go out with the elves to check on whether the children were being good or not. Not every child gets to meet Mrs. Claus. We were one of the lucky ones. WELL, that did it from there. Ever since this morning, I have never seen such courteous and helpful little children in my life! I don't know who the nice lady was (maybe it REALLY was Mrs. C.), but if not I still want to thank her for making my kids' day!

My Poor, Poor Baby

Today was Maddie's 4 month checkup, and I for one was NOT looking forward to it. I hate bringing my generally happy baby somewhere knowing FULL WELL that she is going to go through some excruciating pain at some point. Oh well, we went, and we survived!

Maddie's "stats" as of today are:
Weight: 12 lbs. 12oz.
Length: 23 inches long

The Dr. (again) gave me the go ahead to start her on solids now, but I am going to wait until she hits the 6 month mark. I think that generally that will be healthier for her. So January 14 will be her big day!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Today is such a cold and rainy day! It's one of those days that I can justify having the Christmas lights on all day as well as the candles in the windows. What would make this day perfect would be dinner cooking in the crock pot and bread baking in the bread machine. But alas, I do not have those two going. Oh well, I think I am going to start my Christmas cookie list today. Yes, that's what I'll do!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Christmas Decorating

The Christmas decorations were put up over the weekend, and the final part to be done was to put the ornaments on the tree. So, last night we snacked on fresh baked cranberry bread and eggnog, watched "How the Grinch Stole Christmas", and decorated the Christmas tree. Of course the kids thought it was "the best day EVER!". We had a good time, and Don played photographer so we even got some pictures.

Monday, November 30, 2009


Today has been a little bit of a stressful day so far. Right now I am sitting at the dining room table while Tru is here with me working on his Social Studies. The girls are in the family room. ALL of them, and I have yet to even start school with them today. We may just have to take the day off for them. I'm not sure what's going on, but it's just been one of those OFF days for me.

Oh well, I still have plenty to be thankful for. Even though he's giving me a hard time with his schoolwork, at least he's healthy. Even though they seem to have been fighting a little more than the norm, at least they're healthy. Even though I think she's miserable because she's teething, at least she's healthy. I am grateful for that, and will focus on that as I continue this challenge called TODAY.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Maddie's Dedication

Well today was a VERY full day. This morning we dedicated Maddie at church. It was a special time for us since we were able to do it as a whole family. Don's sister Cathy and her husband Bruce were there, as well as our sister-in-law Brenda and two of her sons Bob and Billy. I was a little sad that my family was not able to be there to be a part of her special day, but all in all it was a good time.

This evening we went to Bill and Brenda's church for the "Hanging of the Greens". There, we were able to celebrate the first lighting of the advent wreath, and celebrate our first week of "HOPE". It was a beautiful service, and we learned quite a bit!

Now that the day is done, I can finally relax for the first time, and reflect on our wonderful day. Goodnight All!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Ending Our Week Big!

Here are just a few pictures from the rest of this week. As you can see, right after Thanksgiving we started right in on the Christmas decorating. We're not finished decorating yet, but once we are, I'll post those pictures as well.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Wow! What a day! I must say, I am BEAT! I got up this morning at 7:30, and have been going non-stop ever since. I will say this - today was a success! My goal was to try and make today a nice memory for my children, and I think they really enjoyed the day. Another success was that my turkey I made...AMAZING! I was a little worried about it since it was only the second turkey I have ever made. My first one was when I hosted Thanksgiving 12 years ago for my in-laws the month Don and I got married. It was a disaster, and every year after that I MADE SURE I was not responsible for the bird. Well...this year I ended up with said responsibility. So, I did my homework, and passed the test! It was so juicy and YUMMY!

Well I wasn't planning on this being a long post, I really just wanted to hop on here and add to my list of things I was thankful for. Today, on Thanksgiving I am thankful for my salvation. I often find myself wondering how God could love us in spite of our (my) sinful nature, and just the fact that he does blows my mind! For a long time in my life I thought God was an unapproachable, easily angered kind of God that I could only go to if I was good and needed something. But I have come to realize that He is the opposite! HE LOVES ME! He thinks I'm awesome! I may never completely comprehend the depth of His love for me, but that's OK. Just the fact that He is ALWAYS there for me to run to and that I can go to Him anytime for anything is amazing to me.

...and so the short post has become a semi long post! Oh well, that's OK. I will be signing off for now, but will return again tomorrow with some pictures from our holiday. Until then...sleep well. I know I will!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Holiday Baking - PIES!

Well today, Thanksgiving Eve, was a full day! Jaidyn, Mackenzie, and I made pies with mom's homemade piecrust.

We set the table for tomorrow's dinner, and we even managed to get our daily and weekly chores done! I AM BEAT! Don was kind enough to bring home pizza and a movie so that I didn't have to cook tonight, and now that I have finished getting the brined turkey going, I am finally able to relax.

It was a good day. Baking, Christmas music in the background, happy children. What More can I really ask for?

Like I said earlier it was pie day today, and our first order of business was to get the pie crusts made.

Once the crusts were made, we were good to go on our pies!

Apple Pie:

The Helper: Maddie (she kept me company)

The Ingredients:

two of Mom's unbaked piecrusts
9 Macintosh apples

The Directions:

Mix together flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.

Peel, core, and slice apples. Place in bowl.

Mix apples with flour mixture until apples are coated.

Turn into pastry lined pie plate, and dot with butter.

Cover pie with second pie crust, and poke holes to allow steam to escape.

Wrap edges with foil to prevent excessive browning.


Pumpkin Pie:

The Chef: Mackenzie

The Ingredients:

1 (9 inch) unbaked deep dish pie crust
3/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
(OR 1 3/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice-thank goodness I had this on hand because I used all of my cinnamon in the apple pie)
2 eggs
1 (15 ounce) can 100% Pure Pumpkin
1 (12 fluid ounce) can Evaporated Milk

The Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Combine sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves in small bowl.

Beat eggs lightly in large bowl.

Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture.

Gradually stir in evaporated milk.

Pour into pie shell.

3.Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees F.; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate. (Do not freeze as this will cause the crust to separate from the filling.)

Pecan Pie

The Chef: Jaidyn

The Ingredients:

1 (9 inch) unbaked deep dish pie crust
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 cup corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 cup pecan halves or broken pecans

In a medium bowl, beat all filling ingredients except pecans with wire whisk or hand beater until well blended.

Stir in pecans.

Pour into pastry-lined pie plate.

Cover edge of pastry with 2- to 3-inch-wide strip of foil to prevent excessive browning.

Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until center is set, removing foil for last 15 minutes of baking.

Thanksgiving Week - Day 3

Day Three:

My girls have been playing Christmas Music non-stop since they discovered the "Holly" station on XM radio. Today, it was on...again, and a song that I have heard DOZENS of times really stuck out to me. I never took too much notice to the words, but today I did.

The one line from that song that is stuck in my head is,
Have a very Merry Christmas,
And a Happy New Year,
Let's Hope it's a good one,
Without any fear.

This brings me to what I am thankful for today. Today I am thankful for God's protection on my family. There are so many people these days living in fear for one reason or another, whether it is far away in another country or close to us here at home.

My children are healthy and happy, as am I and Don. My parents and brother and sisters are all healthy and happy, as is all my in laws, nieces, and nephews. God has kept us all safe this year, and my heart has has been filled with gratitude for that today.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving Week - Day 2

Day Two:
Today I am thankful for my children. I have THE BEST children in the world! They are kind and polite to others, they love to laugh and have fun, and I am having the time of my life seeing the world through their eyes.

Truman- My Truman is the kindest loving little boy in the whole world. He is ALWAYS sensitive to the needs of those around him. This is a trait that will take him far as he gets older. He loves his family and is protective of his sisters. Truman is going to make a wonderful husband to a very lucky girl one day.

Olivia - The oldest of the triplets is my "brainiac". She is one smart little girl! I love to watch her think things through, and come to her own conclusions. She is very quiet natured and loves to just hang out with momma.

Jaidyn- This girl is a force to be reckoned with. My Jitter-Bug is the smallest of the triplets, but you do NOT want to mess with her! There will be NO walking all over this girl when she grows up...we always say she is all New York! Not only is Jai tough, but she is also funny! My little comedian really knows how to work a crowd!

Mackenzie- For so long Sissy has been the "baby" of the family. The youngest of the triplets is my sweet sensitive girl. She is going to be an AWESOME mom one day. She is always there when you need a hug and her family is the most important thing to her. "Peace on Earth" was actually on her Christmas list this year!

Madelyn- My little mommas girl! What can I say? She can light up a room just by smiling. I love how my baby loves to cuddle with her momma, and is content to just sit on my lap. She was the perfect addition to our family this year, and I thank God for blessing us with her.

Holiday Baking: Cranberry Day

Today has officially been dubbed "Cranberry Day". We kicked off our Thanksgiving Dinner baking with Homemade Cranberry Sauce, and Homemade Cranberry Bread. Our house is smelling SO GOOD!

The Cranberry Sauce:
I for one really do not like cranberry sauce, but it really wouldn't be Thanksgiving without it on the table, so this year I decided to make it. Well...actually Truman got to make it, and it was all done in the bread machine! AMAZING!

The Chef: Truman

The Ingredients:

3 cups of cranberries
1 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of cranberry juice
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. orange rind

The Directions:
Mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl.

Transfer to loaf pan fitted with kneading paddle.

Place in bread machine, and select Jams/Jellies setting. And VOILA! Cranberry Sauce!!

We ended up with a couple of jars of this so we may be having it with Christmas Dinner too (since it can be refrigerated up to 6 weeks).

The Cranberry Bread:
Cranberry Bread is another staple that is always on our Thanksgiving Dinner Table. We eat it with our dinner, but it is just as good to have it with dessert too. Now this is a cranberry dish that I DO like!

The chef: Olivia

The Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/2 cup orange juice
Grated peel of 1 orange
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons hot water
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

The Directions:

In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients.

In another bowl, beat egg.

Add orange juice, peel, butter and hot water.

Add to flour mixture, stirring just until moistened.

Gently fold in cranberries and walnuts.

Spoon into greased 9-in. x 5-in. loaf pan.

Bake at 325° for 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack.

Tune in tomorrow for PIES with Jaidyn and Mackenzie!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Let the Baking Commence!

I LOVE to cook. Anyone who knows me knows how true that statement REALLY is! And what better time to go nuts in the kitchen than Thanksgiving week, right?

This year we are hosting Thanksgiving Dinner here at our house, so I will be making the turkey. I will also be making homemade cranberry sauce, cranberry-orange bread, stuffing, rolls, and 3 (THREE) pies. My SIL Cathy will be doing SMASHED potatoes, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, corn, and cheesecake.

So with all that needs to be done, I like to spread out my baking throughout the week. Tomorrow is "cranberry day". I will be making the cranberry orange bread with Olivia, and cranberry sauce with Truman. I will attempting the sauce in my new bread machine that Don got me for my birthday!