Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hospitality is... (linky Party)


Let's just pretend that we are enjoying a cup of tea. Just you and me. I may be squirming a bit, because I am ALWAYS talking...but I am really trying hard to become a better listener.

What is hospitality? Is it simply just as Webster defines it[noncount] 1 : generous and friendly treatment of visitors and guests : hospitable treatment...or is there more to it than that?

In some cultures, it is offering your guest a drink, a place to sit, or something to eat. (Like Eileen Barton sang: If I knew you were comin' I'd've baked a cake!)

Both my hubby and I grew up in "hospitality houses". Our homes were always filled with people. My family home was a home-away-from-home for military men and women overseas and my hubby's home was filled with, as he puts it, "strays"...people that he and his brother knew through school or work who were going through tough times and needed a place to stay.

In our home, my mom was always in the kitchen preparing for our family and guests. It was very structured due to the way the ministry operated. In hubby's home, they operated in a very casual way. You just helped yourself to whatever you needed.

Now that we have been married for 20 plus years, we have developed our own style of hospitality which is a blend of both of our families.

I still love the anticipation of having company and all the preparation involved, but I also want our guests to feel at home enough to where they grab whatever they need from the fridge without asking.

I look forward to sharing simple "hospitality" ideas with you and can't wait to hear your ideas and traditions you share with those whose lives you touch.


Now it is your turn. What does hospitality mean to you? Link up and share...anything hospitality...a recipe, something you do to make guests feel welcome, maybe it isn't even in your home!

Monday, November 29, 2010

A Brilliant Idea

My friend, KARI was telling me about these last night! Her hubby's company is selling these amazing tables. We all LOVE IKEA and Pottery Barn...and I think this is the perfect combo of the two! What a great idea! Thank you, Kari!

Win KidzPad Activity Table ($289 Value)! – Hip2Save - Not Your Grandma's Coupon Site
Are you looking for a table that is perfectly suited for play time and craft time yet beautiful enough for the living room? Need an activity table which is so attractive it can double as a coffee table or a cocktail table? Well, KidzPad has the PERFECT solution...the KidzPad Activity Table! The Kidz

...So if you are amongst those of us who did not finish their Christmas shopping on Black Friday...here is a great place to start at Hip2Save! Happy commenting!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Thoughts

Most times I write my posts in the evening when my hubby is on his 24 hour shift...but this time, I actually thought ahead of time and asked my Dad to write a blog post for me! I mean for YOU.

It goes without saying that my Dad has had an AMAZING influence on me. This isn't because he is perfect, but because of the way he has allowed God to work in his life.

I have so much to be thankful for, but today, I am thankful for an ever-caring DAD who has demonstrated and shared his love to his family and to those around him in the day-by-day moments of life.

Thank you, DAD for taking EVERY opportunity you have been given to clearly define what it means to be grateful! I love YOU!

Thanksgiving 2010

“Give thanks with a grateful heart”

Grateful: “Definition – 1a. appreciative of benefits received….1b. expressing gratitude; 2a. affording pleasure or contentment…2b pleasing by reason of comfort supplied or discomfort alleviated.

Thank you, Lisa for this opportunity to express some thoughts on the subject of Thanksgiving. Over the past month my attention has been drawn to that side of thanksgiving which is expressed by the word “grateful” or the attitude of gratitude which I believe flows from lives that are characterized by that elusive state of mind: “contentment”.

Have you noticed how our market economy strives in its annual multibillion dollar advertising efforts to raise our level of discontentment in virtually every area of our lives?!
How thankful I’ve been, that in my realm of life, the predominant influences as we approach this holiday season are focusing on gratefulness and gratitude.

In view of the Webster definition above, how are we doing? Are there benefits you’ve received this year, even if they seemed as unwelcomed guests at first, that can allow your Thanksgiving Day to be one in which you and those around you will be enriched as you truly express not just words of “thanks” but that which flows from a heart of contentment?

A most unforgettable Thanksgiving Day for our family took place 34 years ago. Through Lisa’s brother, John, we became friends with a German doctor and his family who lived in our little German village in northern Bavaria, West Germany (About 20 miles from the former walled, fenced and mined East German Border.). John’s best friend in 1st grade was the doctor’s son. As we prepared to have about 40 soldiers and some of their families in our home for the Thanksgiving Dinner, we invited the doctor and his family to join us. What was most memorable was the opportunity for the doctor to have his father in our home. The father had been given a 30 day pass to come out of Potsdam East Germany to visit. The reality of bondage and freedom became very real to all of us. As with all guests, we welcomed him to sign our guest book. He politely expressed his fear of doing this in case he would be interrogated about his activities while visiting in West Germany! We believe for the soldiers present, many who served frequently on border guard duty, that gratefulness for freedoms became more meaningful. The prayer for freedom for the people of Eastern Europe in Cold War Europe would become a more fervent aspect of our lives and prayers.

May God bring to you many past and recent reminders of the benefits received resulting in your Thanksgiving celebrations being overflowing with expressions of heartfelt gratefulness.

Paul Metko

COMING SOON: HOSPITALITY IS... Be thinking about what it means to you. :)


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Christmas Cream Puffs {puffs with peppermint ice cream}

Christmas Cream Puffs

Heat to a rolling boil in a saucepan:

1 cup water

½ cup butter

Stir in all at once:

1 cup sifted flour {it takes 48 seconds…Caleb timed it!}

Stir vigorously over low heat until mixture leaves the pan {yep…!} and forms into a

Remove from heat.

Beat in thoroughly: ONLY 1 AT A TIME

4 eggs

*Beat mixture until smooth and velvety. Don’t give up! KEEP stirring. It takes a bit of muscle…but they are worth it.

*Drop by spoonful…about ¼ cup size…onto ungreased baking sheet. {I put mine onto a SILPAT}

*If you have a pastry bag you will waaaaant to USE it. I made 16 mini puffs.
Simply eyeball the sizes and if you have a bit of extra mixture, go back and add a “second layer” of pastry dough.

Bake at 400* for about 25 minutes or until tops are golden brown.

*Remove from oven and let sit a few minutes until they have stopped steaming.

*Using a sharp knife, cut off the tops and scoop out the doughy dough.

*Fill with scoops of SCOTT'S PEPPERMINT ICE CREAM.

EMBELLISH EMBELLISH EMBELLISH! Freeze until ready to serve!

Cream puff dough recipe straight out of GOOD OL' BETTY CROCKER!

Shared with: comfy in the kitchen,

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thanksgiving Punch {Cranberry&Orange}

Happy Four days before Thanksgiving!

What a weekend of Thanksgiving this has been!

I wont go into detail, but Rissa's honey showed up to surprise her on Friday night! Yep, he called us that morning to let us know he was on his way home. :)

Coordinating with her roommate, {smart guy!} he had it all figured out. We met him at the airport along with his family and we got to be on "THE VERY BIG DEAL"!

We are blessed!

Please keep this very special young man in your prayers as he will be leaving for South Korea...to serve our AMAZING country along with so many others who are willing to fight to keep the freedoms we still have!

We have this punch every.single.year. It doesn't matter if we are HOME or somewhere else. It comes right along with us.

I have gotten so many e-mails with readers who are frustrated with my ingredient list. I am VERY sorry. I also use a KITCHEN AID stand mixer and lots of Demarle products and TRADER JOES. I will really try to be a bit more sensitive to this.


Cranberry Juice

Orange Juice {Do your family and friends a favor...NO PULP! THEY don't like it!}

Ginger Ale/Champagne


Freeze cranberry juice in ice cube trays...or whatever shape you would like {IKEA has some fun star molds!} Make sure they fit in the glasses you will be using! {BEEN there, DONE THAT!}

Before dinner or during appetizer time {if that is what you do} drop frozen cranberry cubes into glasses. Fill glasses with half OJ and half Ginger ALE/Champagne! It is simply BE.U.TEE.FUL as the cranberry juice melts! :)

If you are planning a holiday brunch, you may want to try the "fancy Mimosas".

Shared with:  Stone Gable

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Eggnog Thumbprints

I am still trying to figure something out...

Friday, November 19, 2010

Snickerdoodle Doodlebugs {mini snickerdoodles}

Do you know of anyone who doesn't like SNICKERDOODLES? I can't think of anyone. In fact, for most, they are a favorite! Maybe it is all the cinnamon and sugar...but I think I would like them even if I wasn't crazy about the taste of them...just because I love the NAME. Anyway, you are in for a real treat.

Last night my son walked in the door after work. He said, "Mom, the house smells sooo good and it isn't dinner." WHAT?????!! He quickly realized what he had said and quickly told his bff..."MY MOM MAKES THE BEST SNICKERDOODLES!" I didn't say a word and gave them snickerdoodles before dinner and AFTER dinner....because that is what Mommas are for, right?!


Mix together:

1 cup butter, room temp

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

Stir together:

2 3/4 cups flour

1 tsp. cream of tartar

1 tsp. baking soda

¼ tsp. sea salt


Roll into balls the size of walnuts.

Roll in mixture of 2 Tbsp. sugar and 2 tsp. cinnamon. {3 of each if you like a lot!}

Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet.

Bake until lightly browned…but still soft...DO NOT OVER BAKE...your dog wont even think of them as a treat!

These cookies puff up at first…then flatten out
Bake @ 400 for 8 to 10 min.


While cookies are still warm, use a small cookie cutter and place in middle of cookie. Press gently and you have a little doodlebug.

*SIMPLY FRUGAL: SAVE the Snickerdoodle crusts for ice cream. Let ice cream soften a bit. Add the cookie crumbs and stir. ENJOY. These crumbs can be added to homemade ice cream, too...right before you put the finished ice cream into the freezer to harden.

*SIMPLY ADORABLE: Using scrap paper, use your scallop punch and make a top and a bottom. Place doodlebug in the middle. Wrap with ribbon. Perfect for Santa to take home to Mrs. Claus.

*These darlings are great sweet treats for holidays and for party favors as well!
I love adding baby bells for baby showers!!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Over the past few days, the unexpected blog break gave me time to think about so much.

I love my family beyond words and I love my friends and you all know how much I love to bake, entertain and nest my days away, but that is absolutely not what defines who I am. I AM God's beloved daughter who loves me just for who I am. Not for the few things I think I do well at...not for what I do...He loves me because I am HIS!

Sitting in a Mom's mentoring group this morning, our table conversation was quite startling. At first I felt myself a bit baffled at how some of these young Mommas felt, but my hubby and I have had THE.SAME.EXACT. conversation!

With the way things are today...there is the illusion that somehow we are the ONLY imperfect one out there. Everybody else seems to have well-behaved children, wonderful hubbies, beautiful homes, heat pumps that never go out, healthy bodies that are strong and viable, kitchen sinks that don't leak and ruin the new wood floor etc. I am telling you, it isn't TRUE. All I can say is this: I am so glad we didn't have cell phones, computers, and especially the web and facebook when we were raising little ones because I KNOW I would have been paralyzed with what to do, how to do it and plain old jealousy and discontent. Living way out in the country, we were just content and happy for the mornings when my car was returned to us in the mornings! {It was routinely "borrowed" at night! DON'T ASK!!}

OKAY. SO, over the past few days and then with having listened to the Momma's this morning and my heart-aching for one of my children...I had to reign it in BIG TIME!
I just had to take a look at what it is I am doing, how I come across, but more than anything I have been reminded I need God's help. I need Him more now than ever. Half of the time I feel like a broken record asking for the same things, and questioning Him as to WHY????

I am so sorry this is all over the place. You may want to stop reading for now and come back!

Back in September, I read this and wanted to share it, but I ended up waiting until now. BUT it has given me so much comfort over the past few months.

To me, there is very little in life that is more soothing to my soul than listening to old hymns. They can make me cry because they are so TRUE and can put life into perspective the minute you start listening to them!

Here is a reading from OUR DAILY BREAD "The word EBENEZER in the hymn "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" refers to a time when the people of Israel were trying to regain the close relationship they once had with God. Their spiritual leader, Samuel, told them that if they would abandon their foreign gods and return to the Lord wholeheartedly, He would deliver them from being oppressed by their enemy, the Philistines {I SAMUEL 7:2-3}

When the people turned from their sin, God gave them victory. In response, 'Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen, and called its name EBENEZER, saying, THUS FAR THE LORD HAS HELPED US..."

"When we sing, 'Here I raise my Ebenezer; hither by Thy help I've come; and I hope, by Thy good pleasure, safely to arrive at home,' we are reminded that in our times of need we can ALWAYS turn to God to find forgiveness and help. Whatever we have done, wherever we have wandered, HE WILL RESTORE US BY HIS GRACE." David McCasland

WHAT a beautiful reminder that by God's help we have come this far in life and He will be faithful to the end...which is really the beginning of ETERNITY. {paraphrased}

Since we all know I have major problems staying focused and can get so distracted with things that are sooo not important...I printed a sign and wanted to display it to remind our family of God's unfailing faithfulness. The only thing I could find was a frame with an old family prayer letter photo from the 70's. As I started to take it out...it was sandwiched between two thin pieces of glass to protect it...I felt God was giving me another vivid reminder that HE has helped us and HE HAS protected our family. Even though we have had major tough times, years of pain, loss of loved ones, and everything else like everybody else...His "streams of mercy have never ceased."

I decided to leave the picture under "EBENEZER" and sandwiched my documents back between the glass. Every time I see the sign I will know that no matter how I feel, who I have let down or failed, the minute I have NO idea what to do...I want "my heart to be tuned to sing of GOD's GRACE"!

May you be overwhelmed by HIS grace toward YOU!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Scallop Paper Christmas Tree

So I can't wait for Christmas, but Thanksgiving...which I also LOOOOVVVVEEEE is first. Here is the compromise: A Christmas tree in Thanksgiving colors.

This project did not cost me a dime. It pays to keep scraps! :)

Does that work?

Here is what you need:

Leftover glass jar {I love the squatty artichoke jars!}

1 branch from your yard

Leftover craft filler

1 sno cone holder {leftover from who knows when!} You can make your own cone with sturdy card stock.

1 glue gun

Scallop paper from scallop punch or whatever punch you might have!

I glue-gunned the paper punches in layers and only glued the top so the bottoms could be ruffled out a bit. That is it!

To assemble: Glue the branch to the bottom of your jar.

Put a big blob of glue on the other end of the stick and place the cone on top!

I used a small piece of ribbon to cover the jar top for a finished look.

This would be a fun family project. Have some punch and the others layer.

Possibilities are endless! What would we do without glue guns???

I can NOT wait to make a pink and blue one and bakers twine with beads for garland!

What are your ideas?

I started putting branches on one, but it was way too Christmassy!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Woodland 19th Birthday Party

Happy Birthday Rissa!

Nineteen years ago...I was in labor wondering if I was ever going to see your little face. As Daddy reminded me, one way or another we were going to have you. I was begging for a C-Section and I think I even started to pout and refused to push any longer, but eventually with the help of a vacuum thingy, we saw little you! What a joy! Daddy was right. You were a girl and we were in LOVE!

You were so strong that you held your head up high as if you were saying, "Hello, world...I'm here!

There were nine baby girls in the nursery that Thursday morning and you were all having a hen party.

Daddy had recorded all of my favorite Christmas music onto a tape so that I would be distracted {THAT DID NOT WORK!} As Daddy and I tried to get a bit of rest, I remember thinking there was no way on earth that life could ever be better than those first hours...a beautiful, loud baby girl, all of our friends poppin' in and out {It is no wonder you love parties!}, our whole family in one place at one time...celebrating YOU!

Well, needless to say we have had many special moments, hours and years together. We have been incredibly blessed by your gentle spirit and by your amazing love and affection for others. Your sensitive heart to those who have little, to those who feel insignificant, and to those who are hurting.

We love you and are excited to see where God leads you!

Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you...thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope."

Friday, November 12, 2010

Chocolate Peppermint Biscotti {from a Trader Joe's Cake Mix}

This is a fun, quick recipe for a lot of bang-for-your-buck. {Who came up with that quote, anyway?! Hope it doesn't have to do with a deer getting shot!}

Even if being frugal is not something you are concerned about, this recipe is fun, pretty, and deicious!

Chocolate Peppermint Christmas Biscotti

Adapted from Anne Byrn

1 Trader Joe’s Chocolate Cake Mix or 1 plain devil’s food cake mix
{You will need to remove about 1 ¼ cup dry cake mix if you are using Trader Joe’s brand}

1 stick unsalted butter, melted

2 eggs

1 cup flour

½ cup crushed peppermint candies

Place cake mix, melted butter , eggs, flour and peppermint candies in a large mixing bowl.

Blend until all ingredients are well blended.

The dough will be one big ball.

Divide ball into two balls.

With floured hands, shape the dough into two rectangles…about 7 inches long by 4 inches wide. It should be about ½ inch thick. NO NEED TO BE PERFECT HERE! Form it so it is a tad bit higher in the middle.

Place on SILPAT or parchment paper on baking sheet.

Bake @ 350* for about 30 to 35 minutes.

Remove from oven and let biscotti cool for about 10 minutes. DON’T TURN THE OVEN OFF, yet.

CUT biscotti in 1 inch slices {if you are using a SILPAT, don’t let it cool and use the back of a knife to cut!}

Use a sharp serrated knife and cut on the diagonal.

Carefully, turn biscotti on their sides and bake for about ten more minutes.

You may turn the oven off and let the biscotti continue to harden if that is what you like or remove them if you are not planning on dunking them.:)

Let them cool completely. About two hours.

Place biscotti gallon Ziplock bag and freeze until ready to decorate.

Melt candy melts according to package directions and drizzle over biscotti.
ADD food coloring AFTER candy melts have been melted. For some reason, it seems to be less drizzly when I heat it after the food coloring has been added. {WHO KNOWS? It could just be me!}

Happy Happy Friday!

Shared with: comfy in the kitchen

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Night before Thanksgiving: Charlie Brown-Style

{Sorry about the pic...I took it awhile ago before I was planning on using it!}

This is going to be a short, sweet and to-the-point post! No blah, blah,blah, today!

My hubby is a complete Charlie Brown fanatic. All I can say is that it has been a good thing that our children have had him as a Daddy, because while I like culture...he is all about FUN! AND I mean lots and lots of fun. Jammie walks, adventures through Bear Country and the Scarry Forest.

Every Veggie Tale, the Little Rascals and The whole Charlie Brown Collection has been a must for his babes.

I have loved his thoughts on different traditions we could start for our children. He has had the best ideas. Another reason we wives should listen to our hubby's! :)

It always seemed that the evening before Thanksgiving was crazy busy in the kitchen! You know, making final touches before the big day to keep stress at bay on Thanksgiving.

Very seldom did we eat in front of the T.V, but it was nights like this that were "special". I would buy fish sticks and tator tots. Yep, the children are still alive, too! They loved it because I never bought junk food.

Their Daddy would put A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving into the video machine and they would get so excited. Like squirming excited! It gave me just enough time to kinda get things cleaned up and prepped for the next day.

Several years ago, we implemented Charlie Brown's Thanksgiving menu to our traditional fish stick and tater tot menu. WHAT A FUN IDEA! {not mine}

Even though we have one child in college now, I can guarantee our grown children and grandchildren will be coming home for The Night Before Thanksgiving. It is a silly tradition, but the memories and no clean-up make this a definite keeper!

Happy Memory Making!

Buttered toast...mom's...no wheat bread allowed. You may get away with potato bread, but you will score BIG points if you buy WONDER BREAD!


Jelly beans...BIG ones...no Jelly Belly's allowed, either.


PINK Sherbet with whipped cream and DO NOT forget the cherries for the top! Trust me, your children will notice!

Fish sticks and tator tots

I serve everything in DISPOSABLE paper trays. That way there is no clean up. :)

Your children will think you hung the moon and your hubby will nominate you AGAIN for MOMMA and WIFE of the YEAR! :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Thanksgiving Organization: Split Pea Soup with leftover HAM

Sorry, I am having major problems with blogger today, and I am not the tech queen, so please forgive all the lines and who knows what else.

If you have guests staying with you, this is a great recipe to make, it is so easy! It doesn't make much of a mess and you can enjoy your compnay while your Crockpot makes dinner for YOU! So go see the city, take an Autumn hike, battle the Mall or cozy up and pretend like you have not a thing to do...no toilets to be scrubbed, no laundry to be done... {NOW, that would be too good to be true!}...just dinner to make and family game night! :)

Split Pea Soup

Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens


2 medium onions, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tsp. oregano

1 Tbsp. kosher salt

2 tsp. fresh ground pepper

3 carrots, peeled, washed, diced

6 baby red potatoes, washed and diced…not peeled

2 lbs. dry split peas

12 cups chicken broth

*Sautee onions and garlic in oil. Add oregano, salt and pepper until fragrant.

*Add carrots, potatoes, peas and broth.

*Mix all together and let sit in Crockpot for 6 hours!

If you are planning on making the soup in a stockpot...bring the soup to a boil and let it simmer for a couple of hours. Stir frequently to avoid a scorched soup!


This coup may be thickened with milk or thinned with more chicken broth.

FOR MY LITTLE VEGANS: AHEM! Substitute Better Than Boullion Vegetable Broth or Bill's Best Chik'nish Seasoning...it is a great substitute! DO NOT ADD HAM and don't let your Momma convince you that a little bit wont hurt 'cha. IT WILL! :)

Coming Up: Our Traditional Charlie Brown Night before Thanksgiving dinner...with fish sticks and tator tots.

Easy Chocolate Peppermint Biscotti with drizzled candy stripes...made with a box mix!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Crafty Thanksgiving Organization: Leftovers {part two}

Don't forget: SHARPIE, tags, tape for labeling containers

Hot drink cups and LIDS :} are useful for take-home Wassail

This is not a must, but if you enjoy crafting labels are fun to make for each family. I have had this "gobble gobble placecard" in my stash for a long time...maybe Martha Stewart???

As we all begin with our individual preparations for the holidays which may include out-of-town guests, travel plans, pet care, housecleaning, coupon clipping, stocking up on paper towels, tin foil and groceries, it is easy to forget about LEFTOVERS.

I could care less about any of the leftovers. Having said that, I can get myself into a major tizzy if we don't come home with Auntie Debie's broccoli salad and Oma's pie. Mean-spirited might be a better adjective, actually. You would be too!

How many times have you been cleaning up after your THANKSGIVING DINNER in anticipation for dessert {at least that is the order in which we do it!} and you discover you are short on containers for leftovers? Seriously, it used to happen EVERY.SINGLE.TIME.

You can only save sooo many Cool Whip, sour cream and cottage cheese containers! Then, if you are lucky enough to find the actual containers, you start breaking out into a sweat looking for the lids. We have had our share of Saran Wrap and rubber bands wrapped around a container with greasy gravy or cranberry sauce one TOO many times...and spilled red wassail...all over the back of the car. I wonder how many of you have had a food disater heading to or returning from a Thanksgiving dinner? Anyway, misery loves company. {PLEASE DO TELL!}

I hope you aren't checking for Grammar here. ANYhoo, enough is enough.

Several years ago, I started planning for the leftovers. I decided to add to my Cash and Carry stash to ensure that we all had DISPOSABLE containers to pack leftovers in. Can I tell you how nice it is for everyone to be able to take containers home without needing to return them? 'Cause I can't even remember how many times I have ended up with my Momma's orange Tupperware from the 70's, knowing, it had better not end up in the bags for GOODWILL. It is also nice for your fridge to NOT be cluttered with three sour cream containers only to have to take the lids off of all three before finding the leftover green bean casserole! I know it could be labeled with a SHARPIE, but it still stressed me out.:)

AHHHHH, it is so nice. It is not a huge investment, either. You can purchase 5o take-out boxes for less than $5.00. I usually have other containers in different sizes only because I use them for alot of different projects, but you could easily decide on a basic size and go with one kind, or you might want to go halvsies with a friend. I have two other friends that I have split things with and it works out great!

Before my parents moved from Colorado to Oregon, we called them on Thanksgiving morning to wish them a happy Thanksgiving. We were talking about the children, decorations and all the little details for our day. When I mentioned that my Mother-in-Law was making the turkey, my Momma jokingly asked me to save the carcass for her so that she could make turkey soup {YUCK!!!} for my Dad. Well that was NOT going to happen!

As we were cleaning up after dinner and my MIL was getting ready to toss the carcass,{Can you guess where this is headed?} I did the ONE thing I told myself I would NOT do. Reluctantly, I asked her if I could save it for my Momma. I think she thought I was crazy and I KNEW I was crazy for really wanting to save it since it would be several months before they were planning on moving. We bagged it up and my sweet hubby didn't even say a.word. Needless to say, I called my Momma as soon as I could to let her know I had the carcass in my freezer. She was so excited! I think more than being excited about the turkey soup, she knew how much I loved her, because the thought of having animal bones in my freezer was beyond creepy and really quite disgusting to me! I would have starved living on a working farm, without a doubt!

Aside from having to look at the bag-o-bones every time we got into the freezer. It was good to know that my Momma was so happy about it and it was a little {okay, BIG!} reminder that this would be the last time I would have to house a bird in my freezer and a sweet reminder that we would all be together for the next Thanksgiving.

So wheather it floats your boat to save containers {make sure you have the lids!} or carcasses, or to stock up on disposables...be sure to plan for leftovers...your hubby will be happy for the turkey sandwiches, you will be happy with the pie, your children wont need to be rushed in for counseling due to the trauma of spilled food... and your car will thank you, too. I am guessing there is a reason why car fresheners smell like pine, vanilla or strawberries and NOT mashed potatoes and gravy, wassail or turkey carcass!


Shared with: crafty scrappy happy, Organizing Made Fun

260th post and {GIVEAWAY} Winners!

Time has flown out the window. I can't believe this is the 260th post...or blog entry!

How appropriate to have the "follower appreciation" TODAY!

Again, thank you to all of you who read, comment and send e-mails. I am excited to write the next 260 posts!

May you all have a great week as you start to prepare for the coming holidays.

Blessings to YOU!


I had to edit. I am such the ding bat! I was reading the wrong number!!! OH.WELL. I guess we will have to do something special on the OFFICIAL 300th post!

CALEB drew numbers 1 and 2. Congratulations to Debbie and to Raining Pearls. Please e-mail me with your address so I can send out your Christmas Cookie Recipe Cards!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Thanksgiving Organization {part one}

These pumpkin scone mixes make a great gift, too: Simply add a cute tag with the instructions. {The containers are from Cash and Carry}

If you provide or take the same thing every year, it is fun to make menu cards that can be saved for year's to come. {Unless you are crafty and get bored!}

Favor boxes are easy to make. Cardstock can be purchased on sale and leftover paper can be punched for the placecard. Simple initials can be stamped in miinutes or printed on the computer with a fun font!
One year at Christmas I hosted a Christmas luncheon. I made the favor boxes and filled them with YORK peppermint patties from the bulk section. Easy Peasy.

Contrary to popular opinion, Thanksgiving will NOT go un-noticed. Sorry, I am just sooo excited for Christmas this year. :)

Now is the time to start making things ahead of time. It is not too soon if you have space in your freezer. If you don't you may be able to ask a neighbor.

If you are hosting Thanksgiving, make a Menu or if you do the same thing every year, try to delegate as much as possible. This will take stress off you and your family and you might just be the kindest, most relaxed hostess ever!

If you are travelling or going to be guests, be sure to find out what you need to bring now, so that you can get what you need. It will take a huge load off your mind. Just knowing you have what you need will allow you to enjoy the coming holidays so much more.

In our family, I am responsible for the same thing every year {AND in 20 years of being married I have never made a TURKEY...YAY! I don't think I could be trusted anyway!} I have saved my menu cards and reuse them every year. I love making the table favors also. It is not needed, but it is something I love to do. A few years ago, my friend Kim and I split the job. I made the truffles and she made the favor boxes. I had made a template...and the computer genius she is made a computerized template that turned out so great. So, if you have a friend to collaborate with...I highly suggest you try it! Even if it is for a dessert, rolls, mashed potatoes whatever! Hey if the guests complain...you can blame it on your friend's cooking skills. JUST KIDDING! HOW MEAN_SPIRITED! DO NOT DO THAT!!

I make lots of cornbread and pumpkin scones, so, I have found that it takes just a few minutes more to go ahead and measure out the dry ingredients for several batches and to store it in the freezer. That way if you are running around and need to take something last-minute, you are ready. You will save time and money not giving in to paying premium prices at the grocery store.

Decide on ONE thing that is going to be "your thing". Make extras and stick to it.

The pumpkin scone mixes and cornbread mixes are now stored in the freezer for last minute parties, get-togethers, company etc. They are each labeled with what is still needed to complete the recipe. Even the temp. settings so there is no need to look it up. Even though you may have it memorized, it is easy to make mistakes when you have lots of other things swirling around in your head.

What is one thing you can make ahead of time and freeze? If you are expected to bring "your signature" now is not the time to be changing things up. You will never be forgiven. Trust me. And if nobody else seems to mention it, I can guarantee your children will remind you for the rest of your LIFE...they may even talk about it to their children's children. At least my children will. Laurissa!!! Caleb!!!! LOVE YOU!