Friday, December 16, 2011

Breakfast with Santa

One of our greatest blessings from open adoption is gaining a new family. When we adopted Max, we joke and say we adopted Jordan (his birthmom) and about 26 others. They are all a terrific family and we are truly blessed!With family comes Christmas traditions. Now one of our favorite Christmas traditions is breakfast with Santa at Papa Jake's and Grandma Jeannie's house.

See, Papa Jake and Grandma Jeannie are good friends with the REAL Santa. On a Sunday morning in December they invite him to their home with breakfast with the grandkids (and all of us adoring parents get to hang out too).

The kids eagerly await the arrival of Santa.Santa reads them a story and hands out gifts.He sits with each child and listens to their Christmas wishes.Sam asked Santa for an iPhone 4S (this was news to me!) so they were having a conversation about it.I don't think it was looking good for Sam. (Thanks Santa!)

Then Grandma Jeannie leads the kids in singing Happy Birthday to Jesus.Next all the kids head over to the table to eat a delicious breakfast, complete with hot cocoa. Yum!

We are truly blessed and thankful for this family and this great Christmas tradition!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Oh dear neglected blog and its readers, if there are any... I'm sorry that I took advantage of the fact that you'd be here when I got to it... sometime during the holiday season.

I didn't think I'd forget about it this long but we've been busy. (Excuse #1) Busy making the memories, the food, and the crafts that I normally blog about. Like Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas baking, etc...Want to see? I wish I could show you. A tragic thing happened to my external hard drive and I LOST about 25,000 photos. No kidding! I have a great friend working on the recovery but, not a guarantee (Excuse #2).
I can show you the last couple of weeks though...

The tree is up with many of our decorations. Max loves to pose with his "cheese" smile every time he sees the camera. Here is Sam's preferred pose:And this is the one he gives me when I plea:Oh... and Max has discovered something sweet that he LOVES!
Our kids have been crazy busy with school, dentist appts, girl scouts, church, and now basketball and gymnastics start in January. Whew! (Excuse #3). I'm also teaching an art class in Sam's class and that takes up a lot of time, but so rewarding! (Excuse #4) You'd think I'd have time to pack to go to Minnesota for Christmas but... that may have to wait until the night before if I keep blogging. (Excuse #5).

Speaking of Minnesota... our Elf on the Shelf, Snowy, is back and Madeleine wrote him a note to ask him if he'll come with us.
(Psst...he said Yes.)

Hoping to get on again before soon, but with all these "great" excuses, there are no guarantees!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies

I made the most amazing Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies earlier this week. I thought I should share the recipe. I would have shared the dessert but... well, it didn't last long in our house!
I think they were best when cold. I used egg beaters and 1/3 fat cream cheese and I didn't have any troubles. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pumpkin Pie Body Scrub

Every year, about the same time, I become slightly obsessed with pumpkins. I start crafting them, picking them at the patch, carving them, eating them, and..... oh! Making beauty products out of them. (Bet you didn't see that coming!)

I've shared this recipe before for my homemade Pumpkin Pie Body Scrub. It is one of my all-time favorite recipes so when I made it today, I thought I should re-post it. It'll make your skin soft and won't add inches to your hips. It smells amazing and it so easy to make and use.

Pumpkin Pie Body Scrub
This is a dreamy, homemade body scrub made from common, edible ingredients from your kitchen. Go on, pamper yourself. There's enough here for you and a friend. Or double the batch and give some as gifts. Just a warning: make sure you rinse the shower when you're done. The oatmeal is a real pain to chip off when its dried.

2 cups Turbinado Raw Cane Sugar (or substitute Brown Sugar)
1/3 can of the large can of pureed pumpkin
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup Olive Oil or Grapeseed Oil
1 Cup Oatmeal - more if you prefer a grittier texture

Simply mix it all up and divide it into containers for gift giving. I try to use plastic containers since a glass jar could get broken in the shower. While you are in the shower, in case you're wondering, yes, it is edible. But I probably wouldn't eat if after its been in there more than a day. It is perishable so it should be used within 10 days or so.

I hope you'll try this. Your skin will thank you!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Heartwarming Vintage Blog

Hey crafty friends! Guess what! I was featured on the Heartwarming Vintage blog today. Click here to see the story. I made this chandelier using their products in 2009 (before our third baby was born, you know... when I had time to do crafts and scrapbook. ;) ) It still hangs in the hallway at halloween and it is one of my favorite Halloween decorations too!

I was so surprised someone remembered one of my creations!

Little joys!
Thanks for checking in,

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A little creative time

I love all the crafty inspiration that comes during the Fall and through the holidays.

I had some time in the last month to make 2 new pumpkin crafts. The pumpkin above was so simple! Here is where I found it. It is made from a 12" by 12" piece of paper that was cut into 1" strips, 2 brads (top and bottom), a flower (see it inside), some ribbon, some leaves, and a wine cork. All it took to make it was 15 minutes, my hot glue gun, and a few glasses of that scrumptious red wine. Hey- I needed the cork! wink!

This other pumpkin craft was just about as simple. You'll find the directions here.As you see, both of these ideas came from Better Homes and Gardens. They have an email list you can sign up for called "100 Days of Holidays." It is fabulous! Everyday you get new ideas for decorating, crafts, food, etc. Best of all, you only get the daily emails for 100 days. From the beginning of October to New Years. That's when I do most of my crafting and entertaining anyway so I'm so happy to get new ideas. Especially easy, chic ones like this.

This weekend I'm getting together with some old friends to scrapbook. This is the first time I'm going to a crop in over a year! Can't wait to get some pages done.
Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Max's Birthday Party

Our little man is officially 2! (And based on his behavior this morning, feels like he needs to live up to the "Terrible 2" reputation. Grr..... You'd never know it from the picture above though!)

His party had an Elmo theme and I took my first crack at making cake pops. I found the recipe here and even though they didn't turn out as cute as the professional's pops, I was quite pleased! We also had a cake that he was delighted with too. (I needed a back-up in case the cake pops didn't work! And believe me, they were work!) We had lots of friends and family there to celebrate. And to play freeze-dance with. It was so fun to see all of them dancing around to "C Is For Cookie" from his new Sesame Street CD. I don't think he could be any happier, or spoiled with toys, than he was on this birthday celebration.
Thanks for all of you near and far who are such a blessing in his life!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Max is 2 years old!

2 years ago, early in the morning, on a drizzly Fall day, our lives were changed forever. Our son Max was born! To the tunes of Bob Marley, Brentt and I, Jordan (his birthmother), and Grandma Sue all welcomed him into this world. There was so much joy in that room!It seems crazy to me how quickly 2 years flies by! Now, his personality is coming out and we are learning that is a fun, smart and loving boy. A little stubborn (no doubt those terrible two's have begun.) but he is such a gift!Happy Birthday, Max!