December 30, 2009

Christmas Morning

Discovering their Christmas morning surprises

make each day count!

December 29, 2009

Isn't it funny

Isn't it funny how once you become an adult, particularly an adult with very little money, it's gifts like this that make you the most happy?

Our new toilet seat

I hope you all had a happy Christmas as well! More to come from Christmas in our home soon.

December 23, 2009

Christmas Eve

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve. I have baking on the brain. Here is what I plan to make (and share) tomorrow. Images are linked to their respective recipes.

Cinnamon Rolls (Been waiting ALL year for this!)

Snowball Cookies

Peppermint Bark

Chocolate Dipped Peanut Butter Ritz Sandwiches

Chocolate Sheet Cake (for our Happy Birthday Jesus celebration)

Baking, a few more crafts thrown in for good measure, watching The Nativity Story, reading THE Christmas story from Luke, reading T'was the Night Before Christmas, opening Christmas pajamas, lots of pictures, and (hopefully) LOTS of fun and memories and giggles and excitement.

What are your Christmas Eve plans?

~Make each day count!~

December 21, 2009

Oh, Christmas Week!

Wow! I cannot believe it's already Christmas week. We have been so busy the past few weeks! It has been great to be able to relax and enjoy this time of year. Last year we had a new baby in the house and so I was really too tired to do a whole lot with the older kids and the year before that I was working full-time plus overtime at which left me with very little time to do much of anything with the girls.

Somethings we've done recently include a Christmas movie marathon in our pajamas, lots of crafting, taking hot chocolate out with us as we looked at Christmas lights, our church's Christmas program, gift shopping at the Target Dollar Spot with the kids money, had a tea party, sledding, and a trip to Santa's Village. I am actually starting to get tired of Christmas music and I know that this year, when Christmas is over, we will be ready to move on to the next season of life. It feels good to be able to say that. I feel like we are spending enough time enjoying things this year so that we won't feel as if we missed out on anything once it's over.

A snuggly day at my sister-in-law's house with a Christmas movie marathon in our jammies.

Alex loved "playing" with the animals. They put up with a lot from him!

Tera and the girls and the pets getting cozy on the sofa

Me and my honey

The boys I love

Our tea party (the girls did not like the tea)

All the kids made Christmas cards

Marah's cards were just too cute!

Making Santa's

We printed and colored a Nativity scene

The whole she-bang

Jenna's new Christmas ornament for 2009

Marah's ornament

Alex's ornament

At Santa's Village. The kiddos with Santa and Mrs. Claus

Oh, these boys make my heart melt

I could snuggle this one all day long if he'd let me

The pretty girls with Miss North Dakota International (also Miss Grand Forks)

If money were no object I would have paid $1,000 to bring home the sock monkey tree!

While the girls were crafting, we three sandwiched in for a photo op.

Loved the light this tree gave off

Marah wanted me to take her picture while she acted amazed by the tree

If you've been a longtime reader you already know that Jenna is not only really into drawing, but is really talented as well. Suddenly Marah's drawings have transformed from blobs to real, recognizable figures! The artwork of my children is something that truly brings me great joy!

Marah's Spongebob drawing

Jenna's Squidward

Jenna's Spongebob and Patrick

And that's about it for now. We have a lot going on this week! I'm hoping to find time to blog in there somewhere! Things should settle down soon and I'll be back to blogging more regularly again.

Make each day count!

December 7, 2009


My days have been full! I am keeping myself and my family busy this Christmas season and we are loving it even if we are completely exhausted by days end. I have to summon every bit of determination in my being in order to get any clean up done at the end of the day. I was too busy today to really put together my pictures for blogging so instead I'm just going to share a little about my latest crafting obsessions.

I have been wanting to get into handmade crafting for awhile now and I have done a few projects here and there but it's difficult when budget and time is extremely limited and you want to do every project under the sun that you run into online! My goodness the internet is just full of inspiration! I can hardly stand it.

So here are the things I've been craving lately-


Felt Food


One day, my friends, one day!

I'll be back tomorrow with photos of our latest adventures!

~Make each day count!~

December 1, 2009

We're Leaving on a Jet Plane

Inspired by this blog, I've decided to take my kids on a journey to a different country each month. Each trip will come complete with a stamp in their passports and a plane ticket to their destination country. I've been wanting to do a unit study on a different country every month since I started homeschooling, I just never found anything inspiring enough to make me actually start on it until I read Janet's blog. I'm going to have the kids make little scrapbooks about their travels with the stuff that appeals to them most from each country's visit.

The girls fill out their passports

Scrapbooks, plane tickets, and passports.

So for the month of December we'll be traveling to Japan. It's a country that has interested me since I was in middle school and got to know some Japanese exchange students. My brother is living over there now and my girls are fascinated by that and want to know more about the country.

On day one we learned where Japan is, what their flag looks like, counting to five, how to greet someone, and a bit about the culture. I got really into the airplane tickets and had them sit down and turned on a sound bit of a plane taking off and they thought it was so fun! It's the simple things, I tell ya.

In history we are learning about ancient Egypt! I am really excited to delve into this part of history with the kids. History has become so much more interesting to me now that I am homeschooling. I get to read about this stuff without the aid of textbooks which are just so dry and boring! We get to just explore things on our own terms and at our own pace. We get to dig deeper if we want to or just get the basics if something doesn't really appeal to us. Anyway, I have all kinds of fun things planned to enhance our learning experience. Today we just kicked back with some books and explored the pages. The kids were really interested in the artifacts and the mummies so I'm anxious to start digging deeper and getting into the activities.

It was a fairly relaxed school day. The weather is turning today and every time this happens it takes me a little time to recover mentally. Cloudy, yucky, wet days are not my most productive times, but rather than hole up in bed, as I'd love to do, I just make it an easy day. We look at books, we read stories, sing a little (this month we're learning Christmas carols), do a quiet art project, play board games, and watch a movie. So that's what we did today. Just had a peaceful learning day.

The other night the girls and I made a list of things we want to do over the next 24 days to celebrate Christmas. We came up with 24 ideas, one for each day, some are very simple things that we will do at home and some are outings that we'd like to fit in. Here is our list:

*Bake sugar cookies to decorate
* Bake gingerbread man cookies
*Create gingerbread houses
*Write a letter to Santa
*Drive around to look at Christmas light displays
*Make a Christmas tree craft
*Watch A Christmas Carol in the theater
*Have a Christmas movie marathon in our pajamas
*Make a Christmas countdown paper chain
*Make a paper plate Santa craft
*Make Christmas cards
*Family game night
*Fancy dinner at home
*Go to Santa's Village
*Go to Christmas program at church
*Make Christmas ornaments
*Go to a restaurant
*Birthday party for Jesus
*Snow day with hot chocolate
*Gift wrapping party
*Act out the Christmas Story of Jesus birth
*Make first snow fall fudge

For day one, we clearly needed to do the countdown chain. I used this craft and created our own with the girls. It didn't turn out as cute as this one for whatever reason, but still, it works.

Yesterday we crossed "First Snow Fall Fudge" off our list. Yep. The ground is officially white now and probably will be for the next five months. I'm not a fan of it but I try to make the best of it. The kids enjoy it anyway. Me, I'll be cooped up indoors for most of the winter!

The return of the white stuff.

My own personal snow angel.

My kitchen helper.

Lots and lots of stirring involved in making fudge!

Her favorite part was unwrapping the chocolates (and then eating one).
I think the best thing to do after an afternoon of snow fun is to snuggle up under the electric blanket and watch a little TV.

~ Make each day count! ~

flag printouts
airline ticket