Wednesday, November 30, 2011


I has so much FUN volunteering in my youngest daughters class today (I usually volunteer 1 hour every Monday morning).  I sat down with 7 students and together we read 4 stories.  I had each child take turns reading one page each as we went around the circle.  You know kids LOVE to read and they LOVE IT EVEN MORE to read with an adult!  You can see the PRIDE on their face when an adult makes time to listen to them read!  I was with them for 1 hour then I had to leave :(  But, I will see them on Monday!

Next, I went to the library where the Santa Workshop was held.  I had a great time wrapping gifts and helping the younger ones pick out gifts for their families.  It is so CUTE to see what the younger ones pick out for their families!  I helped my daughter pick out her gifts too!  She is always beaming when she sees her MOMMY in her school!  It makes her feel extra special.

I LOVE to volunteer!  I hope this encourages others to do the same.  Even if you do not have children you can still volunteer.  We have some Grandmother's that volunteer at our school.  Adults really need to spend some time helping the students.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


WOW!  I can't believe how cheap and easy it is to make my OWN laundry detergent!  All you need is 20 Mule Team Borax, Arm & Hammer super washing soda, and Fels-Naptha soap.  I found all of these items in the laundry detergent isle at Walmart.  The Fels-Naptha soap cost $0.97, Borax cost $3.25, and the washing soda cost $2.97.  Next time I need to make a batch I will ONLY need to purchase the soap for 97 cents!!!  You will also need a 5 gallon bucket.  YES, I said 5 gallon bucket is how much detergent you will make!!
First put your grated soap in a large saucepan and cover with 8-12 cups of water. 

Heat on med to high heat and stir until the soap is dissolved.

That's my oldest daughter stirring for me.  Next add 1 cup Borax and 1 cup washing soda to the pan and stir until everything is dissolved.
Once everything is dissolved pour 2 gallons of HOT water into your bucket.  Then pour the mixture from your saucepan into your bucket.  Stir very well.  Then add 2 1/2 gallons more HOT water.  Let sit over night to thicken.  If it thickens to much add more HOT water.  You will use 1/2 to 1 cup of detergent per load.  ENJOY!

Monday, November 28, 2011


1. Cook at home rather than eating out
2. Take snacks with us to avoid a costly stop at a convenience store
3. Change our own oil
4. Keep heat 68 degrees or below
5. Make our own laundry detergent (lasts for 3 months)
6. Hang clothes on line weather permitting
7. Wash clothes with cold water
8. Pack our lunch
9. Only use our ATM
10. Round up in check book (leaves a little extra)
11. Avoid using a credit card unless there is an emergency then pay in full
12. Pay a little more than minimum toward our mortgage each month
13. My husband does repairs on our house
14. If the service engine light comes on in my car, take it to Auto Zone and get the trouble code read for  free before taking it to a mechanic
15. Shop clearance racks
16. Shop yard sales, thrift stores, and auctions
17. Hand down clothes from oldest to youngest child
18. Cut our hair at home
19. Raise our own garden
20. Can our own food
21. Buy used vehicles and keep for 10 yrs
22. Sell items no longer needed on FB online yard sale or craigslist
23. When purchasing appliances look at clearance items that were a store model.  Always ask for a store manager to get an even better discount.
24. Pay bills online
25. Freeze leftovers

Sunday, November 27, 2011


We worked a good bit of the day on our Christmas tree while we watched Christmas movies.  Nothing to do outside since it is cold and raining today.  First we got our tree in the tree stand and my oldest Bethany put the star on the tree this year.
Next we put the lights on the tree.

After we had all the lights on our tree we painted our homemade clay ornaments we made yesterday.

We painted our ornaments with acrylic paint then I sprayed them with a sealer.  While the ornaments were drying we strung our popcorn with thread and a needle.

We put the popcorn garland on the tree.  Then we put our homemade clay ornaments on the tree along with some others from last year.

Here is the finished Christmas tree!

Many memories were made this year........any many more to come!

Saturday, November 26, 2011


I have been taking down all of my fall decorations.  I had a small pumpkin and I decided to make pumpkin puree instead of just throwing away the pumpkin.  This is not a large pumpkin used to make a jack-o-lantern.  This is a small "pie" pumpkin.  All I did was wash the pumpkin and cut it in half with a sharp knife.  I then used an ice cream scoop to scoop out the seeds and strings.  Then I put the pumpkin in a glass pan with 1/4 inches of water.  I baked at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
Once the pumpkin was soft I scooped out the insides of the pumpkin and discarded the skin.  I put the pumpkin in my blender for about 2 minutes.  I poured the pumpkin puree in a freezer bag.
I will freeze the pumpkin puree until I need it.  This is just like a can of pure pumpkin that I use to make pumpkin rolls or pies.  I kept the seeds I rinsed them and laid them out to dry.  I will plant the seeds in my garden and I will have alot more pumpkin puree next year and it will be free!


Today the girls and I made homemade Christmas tree ornaments.  We mixed 4 cups flour, 1 cup salt, and 1 1/2 cup water.  We then kneaded the dough for 15-20 minutes.  I cheated by using my kitchen aid mixer!  Then we rolled it out like cookie dough.  The girls used the Christmas cookie cutters to cut out the shapes.

Then we baked them on a cookie sheet for 20-25 minutes on 300 degrees or until they turn golden brown.

 We used a straw to poke a hole toward the top of each ornament BEFORE we baked them.  This will allow us to tie a string to each one to hang on the tree.  After they cool we will paint them and hang them on our tree.


We went to a local man's house that grows Christmas trees in his yard. So, we picked out the perfect tree and my husband cut it down.  We paid $25 for our tree!!!  The house smells like pine!  We are getting ready to put the tree in the tree stand this morning.  Here is a picture of the tree.
The tree is slender and fits perfect in the corner.  It is a little over 6 feet tall.  I think we are going to do an old fashioned tree this year.  We will decorate the tree using supplies that we already have.  We will not be purchasing anything.  The girls and I will make homemade clay ornaments and string popcorn for garland.  I may add some bulbs that I already have to the tree.  I will post pictures when it is all done.  HAPPY DECORATING! 

Friday, November 25, 2011


Well, my husband and I decided to join the crowd at Walmart this year.  What was we thinking?  This year the toy sale started at 10pm and the electronic sale started at midnight.  I found it easier to just stay awake rather then wake up at 3 am on BLACK FRIDAY.  We arrived around 9:30 pm and our Walmart is in a VERY small town.  I have never seen that place so packed with so many people!!  I have shopped on BLACK FRIDAY before but I have NEVER seen it this bad before!!  We joined the line for the 32 inch flat screen TV (Christmas present for the girls) around 10 pm.  They had 122 TV's and there was about 20 people in front of us.  Walmart was smart they hid the TV's in the pet isle.  At 10pm when the toy sale started we could not see from where we was standing but we could hear people screaming, plastic tearing off the items, and carts banging together.  It was CRAZY I was just glad we did not need any of those sale items this year :)..........Well, we stood in line for 1 hour 15 minutes and the store manager gave us a ticket.  We new then we could relax because we WERE getting our TV's.  Even though they passed out all 122 tickets we still had to wait till midnight.  So, after standing in one spot for 2 hours (at least we was inside) we checked out our items and left.  I was never so glad to get out of Walmart!!!

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Dear God, You give us everything we need, but we often forget to say, "THANK YOU!" We thank You now and ask You to help us to remember to give thanks every day for all that You give us...Salvation...Family...Pets...Health...Food...Water...In the all-powerful name of Jesus we pray, Amen! Please share this prayer to encourage others today :)


 The girls and I make a snowman every year together.  We us white construction paper for the body of the snowman and the hat.  We glue cotton balls to the entire snowman.  We used pom poms for the buttons on the body and the nose.  We used black buttons for the mouth and the eyes.  Then we cut a piece of red felt for the scarf.  Once they dry (I let them dry over night) we will hang them on the door in our kitchen.  The girls are proud to display their Christmas craft they made!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


I always like to find ways to save money!  I came accross how to make your own modge podge.  It's super cheap and easy!  All you need is some Elmer's glue (or any brand), water, and an empty container.  I used 8 oz of glue and 8oz of water.  Put it in the empty container and shake it up.  It leaves a matte finish but you can add 1 tbs of clear varnish.  Shake again.  The total cost was $1 compared to about $8 to purchase modge podge in the store. 
I put mine in an empty lemonade mix container that I had. Nothing fancy!!  Try it and see what you think.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Christmas Cookies!

My mother took me and my 2 girls to my sisters house yesterday to make Christmas cookies.  I mixed 2 batches of m&m cookie dough and 2 batches of peanut butter cookie dough.  My mother brought with her chocolate chip and sugar cookie dough.  Here are some pictures of the fun we had!
 My youngest, Kylee, rolling out the cookie dough.
 My oldest, Bethany, with Kylee cutting out cookies.
 Grandma Rosie rolling out cookie dough.
 They put flour on their face to make it look like they was working hard!  The other girl is my niece Morgan.
Bethany and my nephew Jordan.


I LOVE to use this SIMPLE peanut butter cookie recipe!  All you need is 1 cup of peanut butter, 1 cup of sugar, and 1 egg.  Yes, it's that simple!  Mix all ingredients together with your mixer.  Then roll into balls and push down with a fork it each direction.  Bake at 350 degrees.  Here is what they look like.
It's cold and rainy here think I will enjoy one with a hot cup of coffee!

Monday, November 21, 2011


I took orders for pumpkin rolls and my wonderful husband helped me complete 45 orders!!!  I had an additional 8 orders so I will be making more tomorrow.  Here is the recipe that I use.......
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder, baking soda, and ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup pure pumpkin
1 package (8oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
6 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease a 15x10 inch jelly roll pan and line with parchment paper.  Spray the parchment paper with cooking spray so the cake will not stick to the paper.  Sprinkle a towel with powdered sugar.  Like this....
Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in small bowl.  Beat eggs and sugar in large mixer bowl until thick.  Beat in pumpkin.  Stir in flour mixture.  It will look like this.....

Spread evenly into prepared pan.  Sprinkle with walnuts if desired.  Bake for 13 to 15 minutes or until top of the cake springs back when touched.  Immediately loosen and turn cake onto prepared towel.  Like this....

Carefully peel off paper.  Roll up cake and towel together, starting with narrow end.  Cool on wire rack.

Beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla extract in mixer bowl until smooth.

Carefully unroll cake; remove towel.  Spread cream cheese mixture over cake.

Reroll cake.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving it.  Makes 10 servings. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Well, it's that time of year again!  My girls and I LoVe to make holiday crafts together!!  Christmas is our favorite!

 Today we did a simple project. 
First we started with a coffee can.  I removed the paper and glued a piece of white (or peach) construction paper for Santa's face.  The girls glued cotton balls all they way around the can with Elmer's glue.  They carefully used my hot glue gun to glue eyes and a pink pom pom for his nose.  They used pink paint to paint his cheeks.  My oldest cut out a hat from red felt and hot glued the pieces together.  She then trimmed the hat with white felt and hot glued it to the red hat.  I think Santa turned out pretty well.  What do you think?