Thursday, December 31, 2009

BEAUTIFUL HOLIDAY NONALCOHOLIC DRINK

My daughter accidentally discovered this drink, and we have been making them all during the Holiday Season.  She took warm Sprite and poured it over ice in a clear glass and then slowly added refrigerated Cranenergy drink on top. 
It is fun to drink because you gradually begin to taste the Sprite as you are drinking.

GOODBYE CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS

I can't help but reminisce when putting away the Christmas decorations each year.

This was given to me this year by a student.  She made it with her Grandmother along with several other ornaments for my tree.  One even has my initials.  I can just imagine the fun they had making these together.


This Santa Christmas card holder was made by my very special Uncle.  (I actually have his middle name.)  His dear wife owned a ceramic shop, and in later years, he picked up her craft. 

I actually made this set several years ago from Fimo clay.  It has held up very well.

My daughter painted these this year at a Tour Through Bethlehem workshop.


I love these snowmen...hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil.   I may have to leave them out  a little longer.

 
A dear community friend has her house filled with Santas each year.  A few years back, she invited my children to come and see, and then she gave them each a Santa to take home for their tree.  How sweet.


I was so proud to find this Nativity at our church's Fall Festival a few year's back.  It is just like the one we had at our house when I was growing up.


And finally, my children's Kindergarten letters to Santa Claus.  Oh my... how the time does go by.
But for now, I will pack all of these things away for another year.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

SNAPCAPS...SO COOL!!!

Did you watch The View yesterday????

They had a show for kids that featured two girls who had started a business making bottlecap magnets that are used on necklaces.

The company is called SnapCaps.

We decided to look for the caps on the internet and found the following website:  www.m3girldesigns.com

You couldn't order the necklaces online, but would you believe we have a store in our town that actually sells the necklaces?

Here is the one my daughter puchased with her Christmas money...



If you live in our area, the store is called Lulu's, and it is run by one of my former students.  How cool is that??? 

She is expecting a new shipment next week, so go and check it out.  The bottlecaps are collectible and interchangeable.

Isn't this fun???

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

LAND CLEARING AND MULCHING

Almost one year ago, we found ourselves in the same boat as many others of you...my husband's company downsized, and he was suddenly without a job.  After much pacing, worrying, and praying, we decided he should open his own business.

He had seen these really cool machines that can cut down small trees and brush and instantly turn them into mulch. And so...

The next thing we know, he is driving to Texas by himself to purchase a Fecon Bullhog Machine.




The rest is history.  We now have our own business.



This machine is really cool.  Look what it can do.
BEFORE




AFTER


He made this four wheeler trail through the woods for our kids.

It is a really cool machine, and it is fun to watch it run.
You can have a grown up mess, and in no time, it is all shredded to mulch.  The machine is small enough to fit between trees, so that bigger trees can be left in place.

We feel really blessed to have come up with this idea.  Business was slow over the holidays, but now the phone is ringing again.

Monday, December 28, 2009

CROCHET FLAPPER BEANIE


I decided to spend my Sunday afternoon crocheting this flapper beanie.  I love this time of year, because I actually have a little time to do the things I enjoy.  I am so glad I finished it... just in time to send with my "Sewing Sister" on her trip to visit her boys in Minnesota.  She and her daughter are leaving today and driving. 
We pray for them a safe and fun trip.
The cap is actually not for her boys, but it is for her newest granddaughter, who is not even a year old.  We want to be sure her head stays warm in all that cold and snow. 

Sunday, December 27, 2009

SUNDAY FUN READ

It's time for...
SUNDAY FUN READ



Each Sunday, I will recommend a book that my Sixth Graders and I have really enjoyed.

Today's book pick is The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo.  I love this book!  It is a wonderful book to read aloud to your classroom or your child.  I just finished reading it to my class before the Christmas break.  We read 2 or 3 chapters each day, and I would dramatically close the book with them begging for more. 

Kate Dicamillo also wrote The Tale of Despereaux which most of you are probably familiar with as the movie.  It is also a great book to read.  It reads really fast.

I have purchased for my 11 year old daughter a new Kate Dicamillo book called The Magician's Elephant .  We are reading a chapter each night together, and I believe it is going to be another good book.

We hope you enjoy today's Sunday Fun Read!!!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

"COOL" LEGOS REINDEER

My daughter received a set of 650 Legos for Christmas. 
With a little help from Legofamilytime.com/FamilyFun, she was able to create this really neat reindeer and sleigh.
She is so excited to have found this website.  You can check the site often for new sets of instructions.
Thanks Nena and Papa for the Legos!!!!!

Friday, December 25, 2009

CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS AND HAPPENINGS


Merry Christmas to all.  We have had a wonderful two days of celebrating.  We spent Christmas Eve at my Lynchburg Sister's home.  The highlight of the evening was the new ping pong table, which almost overtook the yearly competition of the men playing Risk.  The food was wonderful, and we enjoyed seeing each other as much as ever.  We did miss our Minnesota and Wyoming relatives...who are continuing to enjoy a nice snow!!!

My Lynchburg Sister's home is so beautiful during the holidays.  I thought I would share some pictures from her home as I talk about our Christmas.  She has such a nack for decorating and making her home seem so warm and inviting.
Our eleven year old daughter chose to wake us up at 3:00 this morning to open presents.  Our fifteen year old son just happened to be awake, too (with a little help from his sister), so once again our little family celebrated Christmas during the wee hours of the morning.

We then traveled to my Dependable Sister's home for a big family breakfast.  A tradition we have celebrated for years that just can't be broken.  (Gotcha).  My daughter made up for her early morning rise when she sang "Oh Beautiful Star of Bethlehem" with my husband and the guitar.  Do we remember the true meaning of Christmas???  I believe we do.
We then traveled to spend lunch time with my husband's family.  Can I say that there is not a better Christmas dinner anywhere else in the world?  The best dressing, giblet gravey, mashed potatoes, corn, slaw, green bean casserole, pistachio pudding, rolls, and ham you could ever eat.
And now we are back home...very tired...very satisfied...playing with presents...counting our blessings...feeling very loved...watching the Christmas Story...realizing our dog Annie is 70 years old today (in dog years)...looking forward to next year.
Merry Christmas to all
and to all a good night.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

EASY CHOCOLATE CANDY BAR CHRISTMAS CAKE

This cake has become a Christmas tradition
at our house. 
 It is so easy to make and looks
lovely for the holidays.

You will need:
1 devil's food cake mix
8 oz. cream cheese
1 cup confectioners sugar
1/2 cup sugar
8 oz. cool whip
Hershey's candy bar

Make the cake according to
the directions on the package. 
 Mix the other ingredients (except for the candy bar)
together to make the icing.  This icing spreads so easily on the cake.

It really is a pretty cake just like this!
Add the grated chocolate, and you have a beautiful Christmas cake!!!!

REDNECK LANTERNS

You might be a redneck if...

you hang red lanterns from your front porch instead of ferns!!
                                                                                        
This was an idea from my Lynchburg Sister.
We have really enjoyed lighting them at night and sitting on the porch when the weather is nice.

You might be a redneck if...
You have red lanterns and a satellite dish.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

PEANUT BUTTER BALLS

Every year at Christmas, for as long as I can remember, we have made peanut butter balls.  It was always a mystery to me when I was a little girl, why we only ate a few at
Christmas, and the rest went in the freezer to save for later.  I never did figure out when "later" came around.
These are the ingredients you will need:
1 1/2 boxes confectioners sugar
2 cups creamy peanut butter
1/2 pound butter or margarine
1/2 bar paraffin
2 large Hershey bars (8 oz)


After mixing the peanut butter, margarine, and powdered sugar, roll into balls.  The mixture will appear crumbly, but it will go together into balls as you roll it.


Melt the chocolate and paraffin in a double boiler.  Our local grocery store was sold out of paraffin, so we chose this year to cheat and use chocolate candy coating instead.


Use a toothpick to dip the peanut butter balls in the chocolate, and then place on wax paper to harden.  Cover the place where the toothpick was inserted with chocolate.



This is the finished product!!!  My children loved them.  I promise not a one will go in the freezer to save for later!

NOTHING GOES TO WASTE



At our house, nothing goes to waste.  Remember the good stuff that we scooped from the oranges yesterday.  We used it to make a lovely fruit salad.  We just removed the skin and added some apples and grapes.  Delicious and nutritious.

Monday, December 21, 2009

HALLELUJAH TREE

A few weeks ago, my husband (who just happens to be in the Land Clearing Business) decided to do a little selective clearing in the Big Woods. When he finished, we noticed this cedar tree seemed to stand out in the clearing with light shining on it. Hence, we named it our "Hallelujah Tree". Today, my daughter and I decided to decorate the little tree for the birds.
So, today has been a fun day!!! First, she used cookie cutters to cut Christmas shapes from some stale bread. She then coated each shape with a mixture of peanut butter and Crisco. After tying a ribbon in the top, she dipped each shape in bird seed ... and


Presto...a beautiful treat for a lucky bird.





Next, we cut oranges in half and hollowed out the good stuff.







Carefully, I punched a hole in each side with a screwdriver, so that a ribbon could be added.







Now we have a neat basket to hold more bird seed.







This ornament is a pinecone covered in peanut butter, crisco, and bird seed.





Our little tree is beginning to take shape.







Just a few more additions...











Hallelujah!!!!!


A beautiful tree for the birds.









THE BIG WOODS

Yes, the header of my blog is a picture taken in our big woods.



I bet you think we live in the Northern part of the United States.



Actually, we live in Tennessee...we just got lucky last year and had a really nice snowfall.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

SUNDAY FUN READ

I happen to be one of the few teachers who still believes strongly in Accelerated Reading. We encourage our students to read for rewards rather than grades...so they learn to love reading. Picking out a book is like choosing a movie at the video store. You'll get a better movie if you choose one a friend has already seen and recommended to you.

And so

We begin

SUNDAY FUN READ

Each Sunday, I will recommend a book that my Sixth Graders and I have really enjoyed.

We will begin today with one of my very favorites...

Chasing Redbird by Sharon Creech

This is a book you cannot put down because each chapter leaves you wanting to read the next. And, you won't be able to figure out the ending...it is nothing you would ever think of.

I hope you enjoy my first book recommendation!!!!!

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