Thursday, December 31, 2009

All Things Loved in December

1. Christmas excitement:

2. Jamison's first chorus performance:

3. Making my Christmas cards for the first time:

4. My mom surprising me with my new sewing machine:
5. The zoo's Christmas lights. I still can't get over how amazing they looked:

6. Lyndsey and Roberta's 3rd annual Cookie Exchange:

7. Jam Thumbprints:

Post inspired by G&D.

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook - December 28, 2009

For today...

Outside my window...snowy and grey. We got our snow yesterday, about 2-3 inches.

I am thinking...about my frustration with Jamison. She has been going through a not listening phase and speaking in a tone that is not appropriate. I can handle the normal kid not listening stuff but she is taking it to a whole new level. I have been in a lot of prayer to figure out what is going on with her and how to teach her to be kind to others (especially her brother).

I am thankful...for a joyous Christmas.

I am praying...for parenting guidance.

I am reading...Captivating...still. I haven't had time to read but I plan on it this week now that the holiday hustle is over.

I am hoping...that Kroger makes turkeys after the holidays. I am having a big dinner on New Year's Day and I want to have turkey, but I'm not brave enough to make it myself. I know that Kroger (our local grocery store) makes turkeys for the holidays and I hope they still will for New Years.

From the kitchen...I have no plans other than dinner for New Years...turkey (?), dressing, mac and cheese, green beans and sweet potato pie. YUM!

Around the house...the tree is down and the decorations are put away. Yes, we took it all down Saturday evening. The house was a mess and needed to be put back to normal. We organized the new toys and put some old toys in a box to be donated. Time to clean up for the New Year!!!

One of my favorite things...the faces of my family when they opened gifts they really liked.

A few plans for the rest of the week...Clean, organize, rest, hang out with Lyndsey/Amber and their families for New Year's Eve.

What's in your daybook?

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas 2009 - The Extended Version, with Bonus Features

This year we had a wonderful Christmas. It was filled with talk of Jesus, family, good food, relaxation and presents.

I thought I'd share our Christmas festivities with you. On Christmas Eve we went to the "family friendly" service at our church. Our pastor "Uncle Steve" read the kids the story of Christmas as they gathered around him at the front of the church (he was even in a rocking chair) was really cute.

After service we went to my cousin's house to celebrate Christmas with my mom's side of the family. Ever since my mom was little Christmas was celebrated at my great-grandmother's house on Christmas Eve. I remember going there when I was little in my pjs and staying up until after midnight to open gifts. The tradition of going to her house ended when Gramma got too sick to have us over and she passed away two years ago (at the ripe young age of 99!). But, we have continued to get keep the tradition going. We've had some off years but I'm sure we'll get it together soon. It was nice to get everyone together (except Aunt Roni who was sick).

Here are my babies on Christmas Eve at cousin Shanette's house:

Miss Jamison. She was excited to put on a skirt and tights.

I swear Caleb is going to turn into a chip.

My great-grandmother used to always makes these sandwiches. I'm not sure what is in the middle, maybe cream cheese with food coloring. My uncle really wanted to make them. They look just like hers used to look!

My mom and I made a cookbook to give out as a gift this year. It turned out really well and people seemed to like it. Here's my mom explaining her deviled egg recipe to my cousin's husband, Tim. He LOVES her deviled eggs. See my mom making them...there were eggs boiling when we got there and Tim said he was going to make some. I have to wonder if it was a ploy to get my mom to make them :) If so, it worked. She's so sweet!

Here's Jamison with Shyanne, Shanette and Tim's daughter.

My mom brought old pictures and it was a lot of fun looking at my mom and her siblings when they were younger. Shanette got a kick out of seeing her dad in his younger days...he was cool (or at least he thought he was).

My mom and her brother. She is the oldest of 5. My Aunt Tammy was there too with her family.

After leaving Shanette's we went home to put the kids in bed. Then it was time to wrap...or time for Mommy and Rondell to wrap. I'm not the best wrapper and I'm not a night owl, so I have been known to crash on them before. I actually stayed up this year! We were up until 1:30, which is VERY late for me. This is the fourth year that my mom has spent the night with us and I love that we created that tradition.

Did you notice a little someone in the background?

Christmas morning...we actually got to sleep until 8:00! Here's the tree before all the damage:

Time to open presents!!!!!

Jamison handed out all of the gifts.

Aunt Roni bought her a Princess Tiana cookbook. There are some good recipes in there. She loved it. You can also see the Legos that she got from Gramma Lee (my mom).

Mr. Caleb checking out his new Thomas station. He was so excited for Christmas this year and all of the presents. He got a ton of Thomas stuff and Cars stuff.

Big Mack...another great gift from Aunt Roni. Caleb already had a smaller Mack but he's been asking for Big Mack for weeks. He loved it. We also got him a "Cars new racing track", as he calls it. Poor Caleb though, he was so overwhelmed because he didn't know what to play with first.

Rondell and I bought my mom a picture calendar (thanks for the tip Lyn!). She is always asking for pictures of the kids and now she'll have them all in one place. I put a lot of her favorite pictures in it. As you can see, she liked it a lot and that makes me happy (Mom, so sorry to post the ugly cry).
Maw Maw and Paw Paw came over too to help spread the Christmas love. Paw Paw was so excited he said he wanted to come over at 4:00 am.

Jamison...overloaded with paper.

A shot of some of the gifts. They really cleaned up!

Rondell is a huge New York Giants fan, so my mom bought him a personalized pullover. I love the smile on his face:

His favorite number is 7, so we put a 7 on the back.

Of course, there were some classic lines...On Christmas Eve Jamison said that Jesus must be tired "because it's His birthday tomorrow." When Jamison opened the Wii she said "look Mom, we got a free Wii." When Caleb opened a few things he would say "I knew it!" or "oh, snap." They were a lot of fun to watch.

Here they are in their Christmas pjs:

So, the Bonus Feature:

After we were done opening gifts and settling down a bit I remembered that Jamison had a gift for us from school. It was in a brown paper bag that she decorated. In the bag was this note (along with an ornament that she made):

My sweet girl has been rooting for me to get my sewing machine for weeks. I love that she was so thoughtful to put this in her note. mom gets up and when she comes back....
She gives me THIS!!!!! She said she didn't know how she was going to give it to me, but after I read the note from Jamison she thought it was perfect...and it was. Jamison was so excited for me. I think I'll have to make her something first! I can't wait to crack this baby open...right after I sign up for a class at JoAnn's to learn how to work it. THANKS MOMMY!

While we all received wonderful gifts, it was also a day to remember the best gift of all...Jesus. I know I am guilty of getting wrapped (ha, ha) up in the presents, food, etc., but I pray to continue throughout the year to remember why we celebrate.

How was your Christmas?

Friday, December 25, 2009



Thursday, December 24, 2009

You've Got Mail

Oh, how I love that movie...but, that is not the focus of this post.

I think it is safe to show you the card that I made this year for Christmas. It is a pretty simple card, but I had a lot of fun making them and I hope people enjoyed it.

Here's the front. I used two different designer papers (which is SU!'s scrapbook paper, except is matches its color groups). The card base is red (Real Red) and the I used a green cardstock (Old Olive) to add another layer. I used two punches, an oval punch and a scallop oval punch for the sentiment. I also used a piece of red (Real Red) ribbon for trimming.

I used the Christmas Greetings stamp set for the inside and used another piece of designer paper just to add some pizazz.

Next year I will have more products and will be able to make more cards. I didn't send out as many as I would have liked to send out this year...let's call it the trial year!

What kind of card did you do this year?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Blocks

My mother-in-law likes my crafts. She compliments me all of the time on the things that I make and she has asked me a few times to make her something. I decided that I'd do something crafty for her for Christmas this year.

I decided to spell CHRISTMAS using wooden blocks covered in holiday scrapbook paper.

{Another one of my mood lighting pictures!}

I used my Cricut to cut out the letters (I love that machine!). Then I cut out squares to fit on each side of the block and glued the pieces using Mod Podge. I glued one letter per block and added another layer of Mod Podge on top of the paper for a finished look.

Here's the result:

I hope she likes it!

Monday, December 21, 2009

5-Flavor Pound Cake

My Granita used to make this cake and she passed it down to my mom and my mom passed it down to Rondell. Rondell really likes to bake and usually makes this if we are going to a function and need to bring a dessert.

I hope you enjoy:

5 Flavor Cake

2 sticks butter, softened 5 eggs, well beaten
½ cup shortening 3 cups flour
3 cups sugar ½ tsp baking powder
1 cup milk
1 tsp each of vanilla, lemon, almond, rum, coconut

For glaze:
1 cup sugar
½ cup water
1 tsp each of vanilla, lemon, almond, rum, coconut

Beat butter, shortening & sugar
Add eggs, milk & baking powder, stir
Gradually add flour
Add flavors, stir
Grease Bundt pan & lightly shower with flour (don't use Pam for baking...doesn't work!)
Pour batter into pan

Bake at 325 for 1 ¼ hours (checking every 5 minutes during the last 15 minutes)
You know the cake is done when you poke it with a toothpick and the toothpick comes out clean
Remove cake from pan and cool on plate

For glaze:
In a saucepan add sugar, water & flavors
Bring to a boil
Stir until sugar is melted
Poke holes in cake with toothpick
Pour glaze on top of cake

The Simple Woman's Daybook - Monday, December 21, 2009

For today...

Outside my window...snowy and gray. We don't have a lot of snow, just enough to cover the grass. While driving through my neighborhood I saw a ton of snowmen from the snow we got on Saturday.

I am thinking...I would like to be at home right now. There are some cards I want to make and I am in the mood to make cookies. Maybe next year I'll take this time off.

I am thankful...for my church. I love, love, LOVE my church. Yesterday's service was just wonderful and unique. There was no sermon, just praise songs and segments talking about the different characters in the story of Jesus' birth. My church really makes Scripture come alive!

I am reading...Captivating. I haven't had a whole lot of time to read. I hope to catch up on some reading this weekend.

I am hoping...that we have a smooth week and continue to remember the true meaning of this special holiday.

From the kitchen...Last night I made chicken tetrazzini (which is fast becoming a favorite), appetizers for Christmas Eve and turkey and all the fixings Christmas Day. Last night Rondell made a 5-flavor cake. I'll post the recipe soon.

Around the house...the gifts are still hidden in their secret place.

One of my favorite things...Christmas morning...I can't wait!

A few plans for the rest of the week...we have a Christmas dinner with friends tonight, finishing up some cards, going to Christmas Eve service and then to my uncle's, enjoying Christmas morning!

How you you today...share here.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Little Q&A

I saw this list of questions and answers on this blog and I thought it would be fun to post them here since I love sharing and learning new things about people. So, if you are moved to, please play along.

1. If you could change anything about your physical appearance, what would it be?
I want to be thin. Rondell and I are planning on buying Jillian Michaels' "The Shred." Wish us luck.

2. Is there a habit in others that you find annoying?
Yes, and that's all I have to say about that.

3. What is your favorite recipe using ground beef?
Hamburgers on the grill.

4. What was your favorite book as a kid?
Where the Sidewalk Ends.

5. Did you work as a teenager and if so, where?
I worked at The Gap. I loved working there and got a great discount.

6. Did you work while in college and if so, where?
Yes, I worked at the front desk of my dorm. Since I'm a social butterfly it was the perfect job for me. I also worked as a freshmen orientation coordinator for two summers and loved that as well.

7. When you go to sleep do you like total darkness or semi? When you go to sleep do you need quiet or is some noise ok?
Total silence and total darkness. Rondell stays up later than I do so I almost always go to sleep with the TV and the light of the computer monitor on. When he turns it all off it's a wonderful and peaceful moment.

8. When doing laundry, fabric softener or not?
I use Tide with Downy. I think I use it mainly because I love the smell.

9. Open toed or closed toed shoes?
Open toed, but that can't happen too much here in Ohio. I love wearing flip flops in the summer.

10. Would you rather be blind or deaf?
This is tough. I'd guess I'd say blind so that I can still hear my kids' voices.

11. Dangle or stud earrings?
I love dangle, they are so feminine. I wish I had more. Sounds like I need to check out etsy!

12. Bottled water or tap?
At home I drink tap, but if I'm out somewhere I'll drink bottled and usually have bottled around the house for outings.

13. What do you put on pancakes?
Butter and syrup, but if I'm at IHOP I love to use their blueberry syrup. I wish we had an IHOP here.

14. On a long trip would you rather drive or fly?
Drive. I have a fear of flying. I have done it because I like to go places but if I can drive there I'd rather do that.

15. Do you prefer classic old movies or new?
New, but I would like to sit with my mom and watch the old movies that she always talks about. We will probably do that this year in Florida.

Your turn!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

It's Here...

And I can't say that I'm all that happy about it.

Friday, December 18, 2009

School Christmas Activities

Jamison has had a few events at school the past two days. She is in the chorus at school and it had a performance last night and then again today. It was so cute to see her on stage singing the songs and doing a few dance moves. It was also nice to hear the songs she has been singing all around the house for weeks.

Here's my princess before the concert last night. They had to wear black bottoms and white tops. They were also instructed to wear a bell...that was Jamison's favorite part of the outfit.

This picture shows the true Jamison...laughing and playing with her hair.

Here she is singing. It was a cute concert and I could tell that her music teacher put a lot of work into making it a success.

Today Jamison's class had its Winter Party. I was there to help with the party and Aunt Roni got to go too! I was so proud to see how well behaved Jamison is in class.

Jamison and I both made something for her teacher:

When we were in Hobby Lobby Jamison saw this S and wanted to get it for Mrs. Schlaegel. Then she saw the wooden star and decided to glue it to the back of the S for Super Schlaegel. She's already learning to be creative!

I made Mrs. Schlaegel a post it note dispenser (I took the picture before I put the post it pad on the frame). I got the idea here. I hope she enjoys it.

How did you wrap up your week?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Goodbye...So Long

Not you, silly. I'll be around blogland for a long time!

There is a judge who is retiring at the end of the year and I decided to make a card for her that my entire department can sign.

Another simple card. One day, when I get better at stamping I'll be able to come up with super-creative cards. I used a stamp set called Short & Sweet (see it here). I used one of the accent stamps to create a bit of a background and then used two punches for the sentiment.

Here's the inside of the card. At first I didn't think I should put anything on the inside since more than one person will be signing it, but I couldn't help it.

Another angle.

I hope she likes it. She is a judge who will truly be missed.