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Showing posts from November, 2009

A Bloggy Progressive Dinner: Holiday Drinks

This week I am participating in the Second Annual Bloggy Progressive Dinner . Last year's party was so much fun, I couldn't resist. Today JessieLeigh at Parenting the Tiniest of Miracles is hosting holiday drinks . The two she has shared--cranberry sparkler and homemade latte--look delicious! Head over and check out all of the other yummy drinks that others have shared, too. Now for my contribution today. One of my good friends always makes this at the holidays and it is SO delicious! I'm planning to make it this season. Banana Jubulant Punch (from my friend Ashley) 1/2 cup sugar 2 sm. pkgs. lemon jello 2 cups hot water 1 lg. can (46 oz.) orange juice 1 lg. can (46 oz.) pineapple juice 1 sm. bottle real lemon juice 6 cups cold water 4 mashed bananas 1 qt. ginger ale (well chilled) ***** Mix all ingredients together except bananas and ginger ale. Freeze for about 2 hours before serving, then set out to thaw. Mix bananas into ginger ale, then stir into the frozen mi

Menu Plan Monday~Nov 30th

You would think after all the food I've eaten this past weekend that I couldn't possibly talk about food today, but here I am, planning those dinner menus again. I hope you had a great Thanksgiving. Ours was really nice: good family time and two ridiculously huge dinners. I have some yummy recipes to share with you this week. I think I've finally found my favorite cranberry sauce, after trying many recipes over the years. It was amazing with the turkey! I'm planning to keep the dinners simple this week. I've still got just a bit of Christmas decorating to wrap up and I'd like to get ahead a bit with homeschool , too, so maybe we can start our Christmas break earlier than I had scheduled. That's always fun, isn't it?! Monday: Pasta with fresh tomato-garlic sauce *(something new I'm creating) Tuesday: Baked salmon, baked potatoes & a veggie Wednesday: Steak Fajitas with rice Thursday: Cajun Dirty Rice with smoked sausage Friday: (visit

Thanksgiving Menu #2

While I should probably be in a turkey-induced coma right now, I am actually preparing to do it all again today. We are having dinner with Vince's side of the family. It's my sister-in-law's first time to host the family and she is so excited. So excited, in fact, that she's preparing two turkeys! I'll most definitely be in a turkey coma by the end of the day:) Everyone is contributing and it sounds like there's going to be a lot of delicious food. Here is today's menu: Mandarin Orange Salad *** Pea and Corn Relish *** Roasted Turkey *** Deep Fried Turkey *** Dressing *** Cranberry Relish *** Mashed Potatoes with Gravy *** Sweet Potato Casserole *** Green Bean Casserole *** Corn Casserole *** Baked Beans *** Broccoli and Rice Casserole *** Hashbrown Casserole *** Rolls *** Pumpkin Pie *** Texas Sheet Cake *** Peanut Brittle *** Homemade Applesauce

Wishing You and Yours a Happy Thanksgiving

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before His presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generation. Psalm 100 May you have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving Menu #1

On Thursday we will be having dinner with my side of the family, then on Friday it will be feasting with Vince's side of the family. Yeah, that's a lot of food. Here's the menu plan for our dinner on Thursday: Seven~Layer Salad *** Copper Pennies (marinated carrots) *** Roasted Turkey *** Fresh Cranberry Sauce *** Cornbread Dressing *** Mashed Potatoes *** Giblet Gravy *** Green Bean Casserole *** Corn Casserole *** Broccoli Casserole *** Sweet Potato Casserole *** Homemade Rolls *** Pumpkin Pie *** Italian Cream Cake *** Sweet Tea

My Search for the Holy Grail....I Mean, the Perfect Cranberry Sauce

I don't know what it is with me and my sister , but it seems like every year at Thanksgiving we are always searching for that *perfect* cranberry sauce recipe. I really don't know why that is, because in all of our growing-up-years we never had any other kind except the jellied kind from the can. You know, the one that still has the grooves from the side of the can impressed on it. And that never bothered us before. But somehow, somewhere, we must've discovered real cranberry sauce and now we are compelled to find that perfect sauce for our Thanksgiving feast. One of our family's favorite recipes is one that I got from my husband's step-grandma, Mama Jane, not long after I was married. It's the one we revert back to when a new one has bombed royally. It involves canned whole cranberry sauce, raspberry jello, celery, etc. Mucho yum-o!! I should definitely share that one with you! Another we have tried is this one with jalapenos from Martha Stewart . I lov

Menu Plan Monday: Thanksgiving Week!

Well, this is it. It's the week that officially kicks off the big holiday season here in America. I'm not sure that I'm ready. But it's here anyway:) I love our American Thanksgiving! I love reading about and teaching my children about the Pilgrims and Indians at that first Thanksgiving feast. Even though we are *officially* on our Thanksgiving break this week, we will still be having a little history lesson each morning talking about the history of our Thanksgiving Day {shh..don't tell the kiddos:)}. So what are your plans for Thanksgiving? We will be having dinner at my parents' house with my family on Thursday, then on Friday we will be having dinner with Vince's family in Oklahoma. So I'll probably gain 5 pounds this weekend- ha! Let's hope not! While I'm not the one responsible for the turkey this year, I do have lots of cooking to do. This weekend I was busy making my grocery list for all those holiday dishes and really didn't

A Vintage Thanksgiving

Today I'm sharing the vintage Thanksgiving postcards in my collection. Feel free to click, save and use them for your Thanksgiving projects! If you're looking for some great ideas for the Thanksgiving holiday, please click here . This post is linked to Show & Tell Friday at My Romantic Home .

Preparing for Thanksgiving

postcard image from Susan Branch It's just one week until Thanksgiving ! I can't believe how quickly November has gone by. I just love this time of year though~I'm definitely feeling the spirit of the holidays;) I've been making lists and purchasing non-perishable foods for over a month now in preparation of the big meal next week. I thought I would pass along some other fun {and helpful} holiday links for you, too. Enjoy! A fabulous printable Thanksgiving planner Printable placecards from vintage Thanksgiving postcards A great holiday preparation schedule from the FlyLady The Graphics Fairy~for great {and free} vintage graphics A great Thankgiving napkin ring idea A fun and creative Thanksgiving countdown at Econobusters Make a welcoming banner for your guests A fun Thanksgiving trivia placecard to make Martha Stewart, of course, has tons of great ideas and recipes Happy Planning!

We Got *Leaf-ed*!!

This morning I woke up to a most surprising sight. As I was opening the blinds on the windows facing our backyard, I was shocked to see the ground covered in leaves. Now I'm sure you're thinking, "well, it's Fall, isn't it?! Doesn't everyone's yard have leaves?" Nope , not ours and not our neighbors' yards either. We live in a new subdivision that has NO trees in sight. I mean, you might see a sapling here or there, but nothing that's even taller than the front door of a house. But I was so amazed by the sight of leaves that I actually looked at the other yards to make sure there wasn't a tree that they could've blown from. Nope, not one in sight. I ran to tell Vince : "Someone has played a practical joke on us, but it's a good one!" He took one look out the window and said "This is good?!" I guess he hasn't been missing our previous yard as much as I have. LOL I was actually happy to s

Menu Plan Monday: Nov 16th

Hey, Y'all! I'm back! Did you have a good weekend? I did, although a very busy one. We left Friday morning and drove to Pickwick Landing State Park, TN, where my husband spoke at a youth retreat there Friday and Saturday. Then on Sunday he spoke at a church in Waynesboro, TN. It was a very good weekend! And this part of Tennesee is not very far at all from the area in Alabama where we formerly lived, so we were able to pop by there on our way out of town today to see some of our very dearest friends ever who just had their fourth baby Saturday night. She was so sweet and I'm so glad we got to meet her~she had great timing for us:) I also drove over there--just me & the kiddos--on Saturday so that they could hang out with some of their best friends whom they have really missed since our move. However, that was an adventure in itself and will have to wait for another time... So, we just drove back home today and I am SO glad to be here! It dropped 30 degrees as we drov

What To Do With All Those Shoeboxes In Your Closet

If you are looking for a great way to teach your children that Christmas is about giving and not {just} receiving, filling a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child is just the thing. We participated in this program last year and our kiddos had so much fun picking out gifts to put in their shoeboxes. We chose to fill two boxes, one for a girl about the age of The Princess and one for a boy about the age of Mr. B. They were so excited to know that we are doing it again this year~they are full of ideas for things to include! And a cool new feature this year: when you make your donation online~$7 per box to cover shipping costs~you can actually track your box and see where it goes and who gets it. I'm looking forward to that, it will be great for the kids to be able to follow the process. The national shoebox collection week is November 16-23. Go here to find all the details about how to fill your shoebox and where to drop it off .

The Real Queen of the Frugalistas

How is it that I have only just recently heard of Clara Cannucciari ?! I was flipping through a book catalog that came in the mail last week when I noticed a new cookbook by this lady. Apparently she's been quite the YouTube sensation for a while now. You would think with all the time my husband spends on YouTube that I would know about these things. Unfortuately, I don't think he's searching for cooking videos. LOL Clara is a lady of 94 years of age and is sharing favorite recipes that her family survived on during the Great Depression. She is absolutely charming! She shares memories, funny moments from growing up and her recipes are simple and delicious-looking. I plan to try some soon! Enjoy this video~then click over to her YouTube page and watch some more! I know you'll love her!

Getting in the Holiday Spirit...or Spirits

Yesterday was my Dad's birthday. He wanted to celebrate by taking us all out for lunch and then to see the new version of A Christmas Carol . We said "YES", of course. Now we did glance at the review for the movie, although we were already looking forward to seeing it. When the review we read said it was maybe "the scariest version" he'd ever seen and gave a few examples, we thought "oh, okay, we'll just cover the kiddos' eyes for that scene". And cover we did, bless their hearts. It is really a great movie, just about the best ever done probably. Although my personal live action favorite is definitely the George C. Scott version . But this one was great! And it was scary! I mean, it is a ghost story, right? And Disney definitely made the most of Charles Dickens' story. The kiddos did get a little scared, but all was well in the end (lots of eye-covering:) And of course, there's the happy ending which makes it all better. Now I

*Blessings*

A few weeks ago I saw this beautiful idea over at Inspiring Ideas . So on a day of playing in the leaves at my parents' house, I picked up some dogwood leaves (because they were so pretty this year) and pressed them under a stack of books. Then they stayed there for something like a couple of weeks:) I finally got around to making this last Friday. It was just a matter of drawing the letters on with school glue, sprinkling glitter over the glue, waiting for it to dry, then punching holes in the leaves to hang them. I started to use ribbon, but the leaves were too delicate, so I used embroidery floss. I love the way it turned out! So simple and pretty.

Menu Plan Monday: Nov 9th

I'm know I've been quiet all weekend here, but it has been so busy I've just been trying to keep up:) The last four days have been full of things like a lunch date with a friend and her son, library visits, grocery shopping, house cleaning, family movie & pizza night, a little bit of Christmas shopping, a homeschool group harvest party, picking up my hubby at the airport, taking care of him since he came home from Guatemala sick, going to church, having a Tastefully Simple event, going to church again and finally collapsing at home tonight. Whew , I'm tired! I'd like to say I'll be back to my routine this week, but I doubt it. It's going to be another busy one! So I'm helping keep my sanity by making my weekly menu plan. It just makes me feel better. Monday: Turkey Burgers Diane , mashed potatoes, roasted carrots Tuesday: Stir Fry with egg rolls Wednesday: Stuffed Peppers (for Vince & me), pasta w/marinara (for kiddos) Thursday: st

A Fall Visit to the Nature Center

sculpture outside the nature center entrance This week we went with our homeschool group to our local nature center . This place is truly a local treasure. We've been there several times and we just love it! This was our first visit in the fall though, and what a great time to go! The weather couldn't have been more perfect. If you live in the Fort Smith, Arkansas area and you've never been here before, GO NOW! You'll love it! I must warn you, I have a lot of *favorite* pics to share today ( I know, you're shocked :). So let's get started: Heading off on our chosen nature trail Crunching through fall leaves is so satisfying. The pine grove was beautiful! I love pine trees! Taking a break:) The best kind of spider web! The kids had a blast on this! Watching the ducks and geese after our picnic. They are always so peaceful to watch. Following our outdoor adventures was some fun and learning insided the Nature Center's main building. Their

Christmas Planning

This is my Christmas planner. I {heart} it, it keeps me on track. I started keeping it (simply using a blank journal that I already had, nothing fancy) in 2003. Ironically that was the year we had our first child...maybe I was becoming aware of how much more organized I needed to be:) It's really a very simple process for me. Basically it's all about lists : a list for those we're buying gifts (and what we bought) a list for stocking stuffers (these are easy to forget about if you don't list them) a list for the ornaments we exchange with family members (prevents duplicates) a list of any gift items I've bought through the year that may not already be designated a list of all the Christmas parties (family or otherwise) that we'll be attending and what, if any, gifts we'll be exchanging at those and what food to take a list of community people to give to (postman, neighbors, teachers, etc.) a list for thoughts and plans for things our family might lik

Space Rangers & Cowgirls

While we don't celebrate the *spooky* part of Halloween, we enjoy the *dressing up and getting candy* part:) My two little trick-or-treaters had so much fun, and so did I, walking around our neighborhood. *Jessie* of Toy Story 2 fame *Buzz Lightyear*, also of Toy Story 1 & 2 fame As it turns out, we live in a great neighborhood for trick-or-treating, except for our particular street. Our house and one neighbor's house were the only ones with lights on. My mom came over to see the kiddos and then stay at our house to hand out candy--while we were out collecting more. Finally she called me on my cell phone and said, "I've given out all of your candy, all of your Twinkies, all of your fruit snacks and all of your apples! I can't find anything else to hand out!" I told her to turn the lights out :) LOL Here *Jessie* (aka, The Princess) is holding our neighbor's dog, whom she plays with all the time. The dog was dressed as a ladybug. So cute! And even

Menu Plan Monday: Nov 2nd~7th

I hope you all had a great weekend! Ours was crazy-busy!! Thursday night was our pumpkin-carving night , Friday was a homeschool co-op event and Saturday was trick-or-treating. Not to mention that my husband had just gotten in from a trip on Thursday and we had to get him repacked for a trip on Saturday. Thank goodness for that extra hour of sleep on Saturday night! I needed it! So many of your commented on my bread pot fondue from our pumpkin party , that I'm sharing it today. It's so yummy! We love it and it's always a hit, wherever you serve it. Bread Pot Fondue 1 round loaf of bread (unsliced), Hawaiian or Sourdough work great 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese 1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened 1 1/2 cups sour cream 1 cup cooked ham, diced* 1/2 cup green onion, chopped 1 sm. can chopped green chilies 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce ***** Preheat oven to 350F. Slice off top of bread & reserve. Hollow out inside of loaf, leaving a 1/2" shell. Combine Cheddar chees