Thursday, December 29, 2011

JESUS Is The Light Of The World

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When we started decorating and preparing for Christmas, we had no idea that God would have something different in mind. Three days before Christmas we were called out of town for a family emergency that landed a family member in the ICU.
Over the course of the next six days, it felt as though we'd been to war! I guess in sense, we had. Everyone that we asked stepped in and helped, beyond measure, to create a normal holiday experience for the boys while I tried to maintain some type of order and be supportive.
While things have improved greatly, we still have a long road ahead. The whole experience served as a reminder that JESUS is the reason for the season!

2011 has been a year of extremes: extreme highs and extreme lows! As the saying goes, "All that doesn't kill you, makes you stronger"! We're STRONG and looking forward to 2012!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Sweet Treats


Here's my all time favorite holiday treat: Peppermint Bark! I started making it with the boys, a few years ago, to send their great-grandmother. She'd never had it before, but she loved it. One year she even requested it in the spring. It's virtually impossible to find candy canes in March, so I learned to stock up on a few boxes after Christmas.

Well, every year we make a bigger batch and this year was no exception. With only four days 'til Christmas it dawned on me that we hadn't gotten a gift for our piano teacher or neighbors. I do not break the bank for last minute gifts (it can be so easy to do during this season)! I stopped by the store and got the ingredients: 2 bags of white chocolate chips and 1 box of candy canes. In 30 minutes I had 3 bags of goodies to share.

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Directions: Unwrap candy canes, place them all in a large plastic zip top bag and crush them into small pieces. Melt the chocolate chips in a glass microwave safe bowl for 20 seconds at a time, stirring frequently until smooth. Spread the chocolate evenly onto a sheet of foil (approx 9x13). I use a silicone spatula. Spread the crushed peppermint over chocolate. Lightly press the candy into the softened chocolate. Let set until hardened (about 15 minutes. Break into small pieces.

I packaged the bark in a sandwich sized zip top bag and used scrapbook paper along with a printed message to make a label. Three gifts for $6! You can't beat that!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

At It Again


I've said it time and time again….crafting keeps me sane! I must have an outlet for the craziness that is swirling around. So, in the middle of the holiday hubbub I volunteered to make a character cake for my little cousin's birthday. He turned four and is Spiderman's number one fan! It's been a LONG time since I did one of these, but I don't think it turned out too bad. He loved it!

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Of course I also had to come up with Christmas gifts for the teachers, so I found these cute (and very easy) Post-it holders on Pinterest.
Every time I finish one project, I come up with a dozen more. Nothing is more exhilarating for me than going into a craft store and buying supplies for crafting!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Some days are like that, even in Australia!

What a helluva week! Wowzers!

I've been on an emotional roller coaster this week. I don't like roller coasters!
I'm stuck in a place I'd rather not be. I don't like being stuck!

Let me recap:
Monday: Errand day
Tuesday: Regular day + afternoon dentist appointment+ 1 hour of Zumba
Wednesday: retail therapy +afternoon piano lessons + extra late night for the hubster
Thursday: mid-day conference at school+afternoon altercation at school
Friday: Doctor appointment+Christmas shopping
Of course there's the usual 1-2 hours of nightly homework, cooking dinner (this week's menu: burgers, braised short ribs w/rice, Chicken pot pies) and prepping for the next day.
If that's not enough, two nights this week Baby A's sleep schedule regressed to that of a two week old.

Let's all say it together now……"Some days are just like that, even in Australia!"

Saturday, December 3, 2011

House Party

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Friday night we hosted a gingerbread decorating party for a few friends. It was a blast!
A few days after Christmas I always go to the local party store and buy decorating kits for a few dollars (rather than the $12 regular price). The kits come with candy and I add to it Halloween leftovers and $1 candies like peppermint, licorice, and Smarties. This year I didn't have enough Frosted Mini Wheats (great for rooftops), so I bought a much cheaper alternative: wafer cookies. The night before the party I assembled the houses on their bases using hot glue to avoid having to worry about structural support. I sorted the candy and laid it all out in dishes, assembly line style.
The kids had such fun creating their masterpieces and tasting the building materials. We decorate houses every year and display them with our other Christmas decorations. I'm so glad we invited friends over. It looks like I may have started another tradition.


Let me start by saying that I still don't like technology, but....

I am SO glad we finally got a new PC and it's up and running. When I first logged on and did some web browsing an error message popped up. I called the hubby in and from the look on his face, let's just say I'd better overlook all future computer errors! He's had enough of my of my techno-griping. Anywho.

We He scored a great deal on an all in one desktop and I love it! Even the keyboard has a better feel. Now I'm motivated to decorate and organize our office. I've already found a desk at a local consignment shop that I'm waiting a few more days to buy (waiting for its final price reduction.

Maybe I'll even do better with my daily postings. Okay let me be realistic, that probably won't happen. For the time being I'll settle on getting my address list updated and mailing labels printed. I have a stack of Christmas cards waiting to be addressed and I'm so thankful to NOT have to hand print them in calligraphy. My calligraphy skills are a little rusty.

Better get to it!

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