Sons are a heritage from the Lord. Psalm 127:3

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Dough Handprint Ornaments

The kids and I had fun making Salt Dough Hand print Ornaments for Christmas as a special keepsake for their parents. We started them on Tuesday and I finished painting them on Wednesday. I was happy the way they turned out.......very cute!

Close up picture........look how tiny his hands are! :)

All of them are completed and painted. I can't wait to hang my boys hand prints on our Christmas tree now.
Salt Dough Hand print Ornaments:
4 cups flour
1 cup salt
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
Directions: Combine flour and salt in a bowl. Add warm water until the dough becomes elastic-y and will get to be formed into smaller balls. Then add oil. Add a little more flour or water as needed to make the dough easy to handle.
Form into balls so that when rolled out, they are large enough for your child's hand print. Roll dough about 1/8"-1/4" thick. Have your child make their hand print in the dough. Press the ends of each finger to be sure the print is impressed well into the dough. Use a drinking straw to make a small hole in the dough so that it can be used as an ornament.
Bake at 200 degrees for at least 30 minutes, until dough becomes hard. Remove from oven and cool on a cooling rack.
Once cooked, the ornament can be painted with acrylic paints, written on with a marker or covered with glitter glue. The possibilities are endless!
Note: I made my ornaments a little too thick, so I cooked them longer and the backs are still not hard enough. I know they will eventually dry out, but make sure you don't make them any thicker than noted! :)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Almond Poppyseed Bread

This Almond Poppy Seed Bread Recipe has to be the BEST I have ever eaten, so of course I would like to share it with you. You will have to excuse the half eaten loaf in the front. This bread doesn't last long in my household. This is my second batch I have made in the last couple of days. I gave some out as gifts and of course we have eaten all ours, so it was time to make some more!

3 c. all-purpose flour
2 1/2 c sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/8 c canola/vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 1/2 c milk
2 tsp poppy seeds
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp butter flavoring
1 1/2 tsp almond flavoring
3/4 c white granulated sugar
1/4 c orange juice
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp butter flavoring
1/2 tsp almond flavoring
Preheat oven to 350. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, salt, and baking powder. In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs, oil, sugar, and flavorings and beat for 2 minutes. Alternate adding in flour mixture and milk and then mix until just combined. Add poppy seeds and mix until just combined. Pour into prepared pans (5 mini pans or 2 regular loaf pans) and bake (35-40 minutes for mini pans, 1 hour for large pans; keep an eye on them). When done, place on a cooling rack for 10 minutes and then remove from pans and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack. While cooling, prepare glaze by combining all glaze ingredients. Drizzle over loaves and allow to harden.
I made 5 mini loaves, which is the perfect size to cut in slices for my kids. This is now their most favorite bread that mommy makes!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Mommy's Little Helpers

Now that the boys are getting older, they have been so excited to get our Christmas decorations out and help put ornaments on the tree this year. Nana came over yesterday to help us and we all had a great time. Thank you Nana for all your help.....We love you to pieces!!!

Nana and the boys.

Preston couldn't get the ornaments out fast enough due to his excitement!

Preston helping decorate the Christmas tree.

Noah's 1st time helping decorate the Christmas tree.

Me and my little munchkins.

The boys were happy that our tree was finally beautiful!

Baking, Baking & More Baking

I LOVE Christmas and all the baking that goes with it. I have been busy, busy, busy in my kitchen this past week working on putting together homemade gift baskets for my family & and a few close friends. I hope they will enjoy it! :) Here is a few items I have made so far I wanted to share with you.

Almond Joy candies dipped in milk chocolate drizzled with white chocolate with some coconut sprinkled on top.

Pretzel Rods dipped in white chocolate w/ sprinkles on top.

Pretzel Rods dipped in white chocolate drizzled with milk chocolate.

Every year I make Caramel Popcorn. I got these cute popcorn containers and put my Caramel Popcorn inside and wrapped it with cellophane wrap. It turned out so cute!
Homemade Hot Fudge & Caramel Sauce. Oh my..........are these delicious! Of course, I had to make one for my household. I will definitely start making ours for now on.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Gingerbread Train

The boys were super excited this whole week to make their Gingerbread Train. I told them they could make it this weekend, so we made it today. I had fun helping them and they had a blast. Nothing but smiles the whole time. of course, I had to take lots of pictures! :) What great memories these are.

Preston and Noah waiting anxiously as I tore open the box.

The excitement they had on their faces when I pulled all the pieces out. Oh yes, they had to grab all the candy right away.

Preston was concentrating very hard on putting the candy in the right spots.

The boys had to taste test the candy to make sure it was OK to use. Oh, Yes.........mommy caught them a few times!!

Preston was excited to finish his train, he wanted Sir Topham Hat to stand guard. (Preston is fascinated with trains, especially Thomas The Train)

My Cute little guys.

My sweet little Jeremiah was kicking back in his play yard watching us the whole time. He is cutting his first bottom tooth!

He was giving such huge smiles the whole time, I had to take his picture too! :)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Christmas Crafts

The kids have been so excited with Christmas being around the corner, so I thought it would be fun to do some Christmas decorating. The boys had a blast creating their very own stockings and soap dispensers yesterday. My little daycare boy was very excited to get to take his soap dispenser home. He always enjoys using the boys when he is at our house!

My sweet little Noah was being such a character with all his silly faces he was making. He keeps us entertained..........he's our little comedian! :)

Preston wanted to take a picture with his soap dispenser when he was finished. I took the picture in between him smiling so this picture turned out funny!

Here's the boys cute stockings they made all on their own. They wanted to decorate every inch of open space on the stocking. Too cute!

This is a close up picture of Preston's soap dispenser he made. They put clear snowflakes & shiny red beads inside. They used Christmas foam stickers to stick on the outside along with a cute snowman bow. He now has it sitting on his bathroom counter to use everyday.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

I can't believe that Christmas is almost here. This will be another busy week for us, so we are keeping our meals simple and easy for now.

Monday: Leftover Pizza

Tuesday: Chicken Parmesan, Garlic Mashed Potatoes & Sauteed Zucchini

Wednesday: Eating at Nana's (celebrating my Grandma's birthday)

Thursday: Tacos w/ all the fixings

Friday: Meatloaf, Garlic Mashed Potatoes & Corn

Chocolate Chip Cookies In a Jar

My best friend Laurie came over on Saturday and we had a great time shopping, chatting and staying up until wee hours of the morning making these cute Chocolate Chip Cookies in a jar for Christmas Gifts. Our hubby's were enjoying their Xbox time as well! :)

Laurie and I making the Cookie Jars.

We finished doing our last jars.

I made six jars to give out as Christmas gifts. I added cute Christmas fabric to the tops of the jars, but I still need to finish adding ribbon, recipe cards & a cute Christmas Ornament. They will look adorable when they are completed! :)


1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup white sugar
1 ½ cups semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup packed brown sugar


Combine the flour, baking soda, white sugar, and the chocolate chips. Place 1/2 of the mixture in a clean quart sized glass jar, and pack firmly. Place the brown sugar on top, again packing firmly. Place the remaining flour mixture on top. Cover with a lid.

Attach an index card with the following directions: Empty contents of jar into a large bowl. In separate bowl combine 3/4 cup of butter, 2 eggs, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat until creamy. Add to dry mixture. Drop by tablespoonful onto an ungreased cookie sheet, and bake in a preheated 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) oven for 8 to 10 minutes.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Fruity Candy Popcorn AKA: Jello Popcorn

I was searching food blogs the other day and found this scrumptious recipe for Fruity Candy Popcorn on the website and thought I would give it a try. My boys love popcorn and what a way to make a movie night with special popcorn to enjoy! It was a hit and I will definitely be making this again.

Fruity Candy Popcorn

8 cups popped popcorn
1/4 C butter (that's half a stick)
3 T light corn syrup (honey is a good substitute)
1/2 C sugar
1 3.5oz box jello, any flavor (not the sugar free kind)

Preheat oven to 300°F. Line a jelly roll pan with foil or parchment. If using foil, spray lightly with non-stick spray and set aside. Place popcorn in an extra large mixing bowl. Place butter and syrup in a sauce pan on medium heat. Stir until butter is melted. Add sugar and Jello and stir to combine

Increase heat and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat so it just simmers. Continue simmering for 5 minutes. You'll start off with a mixture that's sometimes thick (depending on the flavor, see note at end) and as it cooks the sugar will dissolve and it will become a little more liquid-ish.

After the sugar mixture simmers for 5 minutes, immediately pour over popcorn in bowl. Be careful, it's super hot!! Mix right away and keep stirring so everything gets well coated. Spread mixture onto prepared pan and spread out evenly.

Pop in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool to room temp. Then break into pieces and enjoy! You can certainly eat this un-baked as well and it's just soft and gooey, but definitely bake it if you're going to pack it up for giving, or serve it as party food so it will be light and crunchy.


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Now that Thanksgiving is over, I can finally relax a little. I took two weeks off from menu planning and I'm so ready to start back up again. During the couple weeks off, I never knew what I was going to make for dinner or what I should put on my grocery list. Would I use everything I bought or am I going to throw food away?!?! I forgot how menu planning makes my life so much easier! It's definitely time to start back up. I have a busy week ahead of us, so I will make it simple this week.

Sunday: Thanksgiving leftovers for us and mac & cheese & applesauce for the kids.

Monday: Turkey Sandwiches & fresh fruit.

Tuesday: Turkey burgers, tator tots & fresh fruit.

Wednesday: Chicken salads w/ all the fixings, homemade rolls and grilled cheese sandwiches for the kids.

Thursday: Fish Stick Sandwiches

Friday: Eating Out (My hubby's work Christmas Party)

Saturday: Chicken Parmesan, garlic mashed potatoes, corn & homemade rolls.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Fun Thanksgiving Crafts

The kids and I had fun making Thanksgiving day crafts today. We made turkey's made out of their hands & feet and we also made a Thanksgiving Tree painted with their hands and forearms. I posted pictures below for you to see. :)

After painting the tree with their hands & forearms, I had them tear small pieces of construction paper and glue them on as part of the tree. The kids had fun ripping the paper and giggling. I then asked the kids what they are Thankful for and this is what they came up with!

Preston with his finished Turkey.
My little Noah excited he got to finally finish his Turkey. He was the last one!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Fall Leaves

I love Fall! I love when the trees start changing into the beautiful colors of yellow, orange & red. It's amazing to see God's beauty all around us! I took pictures of the boys last year during this time, so I wanted to do it again this year, only this time I have a new little guy to take pictures of. The boys had so much fun playing in the leaves and Jeremiah kept trying to eat the leaves. Sheesh.........I didn't think it would be this exhausting trying to get a few good pictures, but it's all totally worth it! :)

My sweet little Jeremiah giving me his cute little look.

He was having too much fun!

Jeremiah's best little bud Spencer. They are two peas in a pod.

Preston was entertaining the boys and making them laugh.

The boys were having fun throwing the leaves in the air. I was trying to catch them in action.

This was a cool action shot. I just love Preston's smiling face!

My cute little guys.

The boys were giving the tree a hug.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Meal Plan Monday

It seems as though the past couple weeks have crept up on me and I haven't been as organized as normal. It's just going to get crazy busy with the holidays approaching. So much to do and so little time. is my meal plan for this week!

Sunday: Fish Stick Sandwiches & Mixed Vegetables

Monday: Trip-Tip, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Corn & Garlic Bread

Tuesday: BBQ Tri-Tip Sandwiches (leftover from previous night) & Salad

Wednesday: Grilled Cheese Sandwiches & Tomato Soup

Thursday: Pork Chops, Broccoli Au Gratin Rice-A-Roni & Peas

Friday: Make Your Own Pizza Night (movie & popcorn night w/ the kids)

Saturday: Eating Out (my hubby and I are celebrating our 11 year Anniversary!) :-)