Thursday, April 28, 2011

Primary Talk Handout

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My friend was just put in as the Primary Secretary. After going to her first meeting she felt a bit overwhelmed and in desperate need of organizing. Her first plan was to have something to give the kids asked to give a talk. She searched the net and found a couple of ideas she liked but she wanted to combine her favorite parts. This is what we came up with and thought I'd share it.
You can download it HERE.
Something simple but functional.
One copy will work for both Sr. and Jr Primary. She plans to tie the Jr Primary's to a string for a necklace and staple the Sr. Primary's for a wrist band. Hopefully this will help mom and dad prepare for the talk, prayer, or scripture. 
What do you think?
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Mason Jar Key Hook

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I love this. I'm not sure why, it's simple, inviting, and reminds me of home. I know EXACTLY who I wanna make this for! From Shanty2chic.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Childhood cookies

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These were THE cookies I made growing up. The first cookies I made. The cookies mom always asked "how much batter did you eat".
They always turned out yummy, soft and thick. I think I actually made them better when I was younger. I'm not sure they like cooking on my stone. They just never plump like they did as a young girl.
But the taste...ohhh, THAT hasn't changed! They are soft and yummy. With or without milk!

Chocolate Chip Cookies
4 eggs
3 cubes margarine
1 1/2 C brown sugar
1 1/2 C sugar
2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp water
mix together well then add:
4 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cup chocolate chips
Bake at 350 for 13 minutes or less. Do not overbake.
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Projects to check out

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I find that 2 am is a great time to blog surf. I am usually at work and trying to get through the quiet early morning hours. Once I have put everyone down, completed my charting I get to-hopefully- take a break.
Here is what I found tonight...
Table runner from Madigan made
Dear son #3 officailly turns 6 today. I love this idea with balloons. I think I will do it while he is at school today. Maybe I can do a bit more too, except kindergarten gets out at 11:45. Hmm, I may have to work fast!
How do you think Birthday boy would like coming home to this on his door...

On a side note, I am gonna have to try this dressing recipe! YUM!

I love Sticky Finger salad. This will have to make it onto my menu for next week...

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Monday, April 25, 2011

Ohh BOY!

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We are at the potty training stage. It's still touch and go around our house- we're just beginning and of course Mr. M. likes the toilet when not potty training or anything else...
Last week we had a rough go at it but mom was determined to stick with it. We were home all day doing housework. The perfect kinda day to wear underware.
First try...we miss.
Second refills the TP...we miss.
Now mom is watching the clock. We'll try again soon to get back on track right? So off mom goes to do some ironing. 
Fast forward 30 minutes (remember mom's watching the clock)
Mr. M, who has been playing wonderfully with Lego's in his closet is no longer interested in the Lego's. Instead, let's see how well an entire double roll of TP goes down in 1 flush!
I walk around the corner to see him and the dog watching as water seeps into the carpet from the bathroom. The toilet continues to run, the TP is preventing the drain and consequently the shut-off.
Once I pull the plug- literally- the toilet drains and turns off. Now, like a good mom, I keep my priorities straight even in times of crisis. I toss a couple of towels down on my way out for the CAMERA! Yep, gotta get the pouty picture of Mr. M. in trouble; fun spoiled.....
and of course the flooded bathroom!
Pictures are worth a thousand words but sometimes they just don't do something justice. We're not talking a little water here. Ohhh, NO! It's a puddle over the entire bathroom. I can't decide whether to use towels or get the wet/dry vac. I go for the immediate results and toss several more towels down, alternately wringing them out in the tub.
Now, pardon us but when you come to my house this is how you are likely to find the TP roll. Feel free to dig under my sink. Besides this is the boys bathroom. Not a big need for TP there. Yeah, we'll just dig when needed...
Lest mom have to go diving for soggy wads again. Uhmm, no thanks.
Hey, at least my toilet was clean. Now the floor is too.
Can you possibly get the picture of HOW MUCH WATER IS HERE?!?!
Yeah, good think I love that little rat! Now, just to turn my head as I snicker at his pouty face when mom told him this was naughty. lol! Going down in the record memory books.
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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Pantry cooking menu

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The last couple of weeks I have been trying to focus on cooking from my pantry. I don't know about you but grocery shopping just about puts me in tears now. The cost of basic foods is going up so fast! I cook from scratch, don't buy prepackaged foods. My last shopping list includes dairy, fruits and vegis, flour and a couple of odds and ends. My total $80! YIKES! That was suppose to be a low budget week. *sigh*
So today, I searched the fridge, scanned the pantry, and browsed recipes. What kind of menu could I build with minimal expense? Here you go...

Tuna Noodle Casserole and green beans
Sausage Primavera
BBQ Steak, baked potatoes, pickles beets
Egg Salad Sandwiches with green salad
Roast with sweet potatoe fries

We will be traveling to see family Friday and over the weekend so it means fewer meals to plan.
As for my shopping list.....I think I have everything. WHOO HOO! How is that for cooking from your pantry? I even have 2-3 gallons on milk left. 
If I make cookies and some muffins add that to the apples in the fridge I may be able to handle the boys non-stop snacking too. Not to mention the Easter candy.
I have to get baby wipes but can't think of anything else I will need to go to the store for!

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What a difference they make!
I didn't even think about taking a before picture. I have a hard time putting the rods up. I had been bugging hubby to get my curtain rod up for weeks. I would put it on the bed, he'd move it to the corner that night. 
Well, he finally got it up.
Then I started playing with the drape. It is basic but simple. I love how it softens and frames the window.
Pictures just don't do it justice.
Now I am searching for great window treatments fro my living room and kitchen. It is a grand room setup. I have a couple of ideas tossing around in my head but if anyone has suggestions send 'em my way.
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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Posts of note...

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I added curtains to my bedroom- finally. Now, I need something to dress up my kitchen window. With a house of boys not many of my window treatments have a soft edge, but now, my kitchen will. I saw this and had to post about it so I could find it when I am ready to sew curtains.

I love organized closets! Take the side street has it perfect! My oldests closet started out great but has gone down hill. I need to redo it with something better. This closet is just inspiring.
With our trip to California creeping closer and closer this car organizer caught my eye.
We need to make use of all the space we can. Hmmm, I think I am gonna have to get the sewing machine out.
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Monday, April 11, 2011

Scrapbooking momentos

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 I spent some time this weekend, this snowy April weekend, to clean the basement and organize my scrapbook paper. I also unpacked a couple more boxes. We are nearing our 1 yr anniversary of moving in, June 11. Most of our stuff is unpacked...let me correct that. All of our stuff is unpacked except for my crafting supplies. As I have yet to finish my craft room I have left much of it in boxes. We are making progress which allowed me to organize some supplies. It was nice to glance through my boys baby books. They grow way too fast as any mother can attest to.
When I came across the last 2 books I had in progress I was pleasantly surprised. This was prior to my switch to digital scrapping and I thought I was further behind on Mr. M's baby memories. I have some pages to journal on but they are assembled. I hope to finish the journaling and file them in the correct book this next week.
I thought I would show how I save the non-picture memories. Several years ago I bought several Creative Memories albums. I actually prefer 3 ring binders but with the 12x12 pages they became very large and hung over my book shelves. These binders are very nice, it was just easier to insert pages done out of order.
On the inside cover I tack down notes and growth stickers from Dr's visits and such.
I don't know why blogger insists on turning my photos but please just bear with the crook in my neck...;-)
I include the hospital armbands in their books. Just attach them with glue dots.
Oh, and don't forget the footprints. These items are filed right along wtih the photos to be scrapped. If I keep them all together I will be sure to include them rather than haveing to add them later.
I have always saved a copy of the hospital bill. Someone once told me that was silly and why would I do that. I think it will be interesting to look back in 20 yrs and see how much it cost for them to be delivered. Perhaps add some perspective to their own family beginnings. I am glad I've done this.
One page for baby's bill and one for moms bill.

Some pages are full sheets for Certificates etc. These are not the legal docs but the pure memories ones.
One of my favorite finds was little pouches that sealed.
I knew just how I would use them....
Baby's first hair cut.
 They are perfect for those locks of hair.
I try to journal on pictures but sometimes the picture just says it all. Those are the times I turn to some fun, inspiring word art.
These are a couple of the books I pulled from frequently.
Some long, some short but always perfect for a house of little boys.

So there you have it. My style is simple. Sometimes I do more elaborate pages but not usually. I don't have lots of time and I'm outnumbered 4:1. I figure having simple pages, yet completed books, makes it all worth it. I have numerous binders full of scrapbooked pages. I am proud to say, until the past couple of years, I have kept up pretty well. It is all worth the effort when my boys look through each others albums and reminise. It does this mommy's heart good.
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Rolling Ladder....

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My son's room has a loft like area above the closet. I am thinking of making this into a reading nook for him. I think he and his best buddy would have lots of fun (and hopefully not cause any ER visits). Of course Mr. Buddy may decide to never go home...oh wait, they have the best Wii game! So much better to beat that game than our own, you know the game that I hear about Every. Waking. Minute. of the day. Funny how I still can't remember the name of this MOST AMAZING game that dear son has made to ever increasingly high levels. Yes, the life of a 5 yr old after kindergarten is tough. You may find these two boys either climbing the wood piles across the street, digging in the dirt piles, or playing the Wii. Yep, true blue boys, through and through! But I digress...
So, since this loft is above the closet I thought of building this ladder. (Sorry, I couldn't post this picture)....
What do you think? Am I crazy? Asking for trouble? Inspiring imagination?
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More boy room decor ideas....

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Here is another idea from Polka Dot Chair. I am toying with the chalkboard paint idea. Please tell me ALL my walls won't become chalk covered!?!?!?!! Of course chalk wipes off easily....
Can you believe she painted this picture of her son? I wish I could do something like that. Anyone up to doing some artwork???
I am falling in love with the color scheme too. It is blue but breaks from the monotony of all the blue rooms in my house of boys..... Plus red is mom's favorite color. He has a wood Captains Style bed that I have been thinking of repainting. Worn red like this would be great.....

Hmm, I think the room is coming together nicely, at least in my mind.
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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Ideas for Boy #3's room....

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Now that the older 2 boys rooms are finished or nearing completion I am searching for ideas for my 5yr olds room. He wants blue, of course. I have some ideas in my head coming together. I'm always open for additional ideas. I loved the rooms shared at Moore Minutes...
I love this scrable name artwork....
I love the blue accents rather than paint...
I have plans for a wall with magnets.  This would work great!
Moore Minutes has lots of great ideas.
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A boys nightstand...

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If you haven't checked out you should. She provides great instructions and how to's on building simple furniture. My dear friend was in need of a nightstand for her little boy. Check out what we made with her patterns.

Kaylyn love it. I have to agree. It is perfect for her son's room. We are adding little touches bit by bit. Now she is off to find the perfect lamp and clock.
I made one for Ty's room but haven't finished it. I can't decide for sure on the finish. Don't worry, I will show it off too. Perhaps I can finish it this weekend.....
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Monday, April 4, 2011

Cinnabon Rolls

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One of my friends on Pinching your pennies asked for our favorite cinnamon roll recipe. She mentioned she loves Cinnabon Rolls so I shared the recipe. I have never had 'real' Cinnabon Rolls but my mom-in-law gave this to me several years ago. They are great! Just melt in your mouth!

Cinnabon Rolls
1/2 cup warm water
2 pkgs dry yeast
2 Tb sugar
3 1/2 oz pkg instant vanilla pudding mix
1/2 cup margarine- melted
2 eggs
1 tsp salt
6 cups flour

Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup margarine
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups confectioner's sugar
1 Tb milk
mix until smooth

In a bowl combine water, yeast and sugar. Stir until dissolved. Set aside.

In a large bowl, take pudding mix and prepare according to package directions. Add margarine, eggs and salt. Mix well. Then add yeast mixture. Blend

Gradually add flour; knead until smooth. Place in a greased bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled. Punch down and let rise again.

Then roll out on floured board to 34x21" size. Take 1 cup soft butter and spread over surface. In bowl, mix 2 cups brown sugar and 4 tsp cinnamon. Sprinkle over the tops. Roll up very tightly. Cut every 2".

Place on lightly greased cookies sheet 2" apart.
Take hand and lightly pres down on each roll.
Cover and let rise until double again. Bake at 350 15-20 minutes. Remove when they start to turn golden. DON'T OVER BAKE.

Frost, Enjoy them melt in your mouth!
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Sunday, April 3, 2011

Pantry cooking menu; Swedish Meatballs

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I planned more than a week of meals this time. It just kinda came together that way. I don't mind either because then I can, hopefully, make fewer trips to the store. I also tried to focus on menu items from our pantry. I noticed I had a few items running low so I took the opportunity of the current case lot sales to restock. Case lot sales usually only happen a couple times of the year, fall and spring. We also have a freezer but haven't yet restocked our beef. We are on the list for when my uncle has another cow ready. Homegrown beef is the only way to go!
So here is what we are planning the next week or so....
Oven Fried Chicken
Super fast Pasta Bake
Navajoo Tacos
Grilled Chicken Salad
Easy Cheesy Chicken Salad
Shepherd's Pie
Smothered Steak 

With each meal I generally add a vegi side and perhaps some pasta or potatoes, whichever goes well.
I am hoping to make some freezer meals this next weeks too. I need those meals to help with the nights I just don't feel like cooking. Some of them are crockpot meals others are frozen in foil pans; makes clean up a breeze!

Easy Swedish Meatballs
from Girlfriends on the Go
30 pre-cooked frozen meatballs
1 pkg country gravy mix
1 cup sour cream
egg noodles
Prepare gravy according to directions. Mix with sour cream, if freezing place with meatballs in freezer bag and freeze. Otherwise, heat until meatballs are heated through. Serve over noodles.

You can purchase premade meatballs or make your own. I like their recipe for Italian Meatballs

Italian Meatballs
Girlfriends on the Go
1 lb lean ground beef
1 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/2 cups shredded parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp fresh minced parsley or 1 tsp dried
1 minced garlic clove
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
Combine ingredients; form into meatballs and bake at 400 deg for 20 minutes.

I also want to make some dry ranch mix. I found a recipe on but does anyone have a tried and true recipe? I would like to keep some of this in the pantry.....
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Cinnamon Raisin Bread!

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This week I wanted to do some baking. I only have a kitchen aid mixer so most of the time I have to cut recipes in half. I don't mind. It does limit how long the goods last though.
It didn't take long for my 4 boys to devour one of these loaves of cinnamon raisin bread! As usual I had to remind them to save some for dad.
I guess that is the true test of how yummy a recipe is. Yep, this one passed with flying colors!
You can find the recipe from Jaimie Cooks it Up
My pictures might not be as good as hers but it's all about the bread. With only crumbs left I will let my boys be the judge. ;-)

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