Thursday, November 26, 2009


I love Thanksgiving. I love the food, making and eating it. I love family togetherness. And this year I'm a little more thankful for Thanksgiving itself. I think lately I've been noticing how selfish society and the human race has become. Just think about how our culture is starting to view marriage. When did marriage get so selfish? Society suggests that if we don't get what's ours than we need to get out. We've stopped being thankful and we've stopped giving of ourselves to others. God has been reminding me that I have more to give to others. I don't have to be snappy to customer service people at the store or the drive-thru window operators. I'm also reminded this year of all the families that have to eat Thanksgiving at their church or soup kitchen, because they can't find a job and put food on their own table. Hard working families that are trying to make ends meet and simply can't. Families that might lose their homes. Those same families are probably more thankful for the blessings that they do have instead of complaining about what that don't have. Here is my list, in no particular order, of what I'm thankful for:

1. My husband, for loving me unconditionally and showing me what true love really is. That man has been my rock in so many hard times.
2. My loving and faithful God, who will turn my tables of sorrow and grief into tables of joy and rejoicing. If I let go and let him.
3. My children who have taught me so much about myself. I'm thankful for the love I feel for them. That love has blessed me beyond measure.
4. My home, even though sometimes I think it's too small, because at least we have a safe and happy home.
5. Our extended family who also loves our family unconditionally. I have to say I am so blessed with awesome parents and awesome in-laws.
6. My MOPS friends and MOPS itself. I've meet true friends there that don't judge me or the way I mother.
7. The few pounds I've gained the past month, because it means that my family has food and our pantry is full.
8. We have really nice neighbors. Neighbors that we could rely on if there was an emergency.
9. I'm thankful we have one car because at least we have a car that fits our whole family. A car that has been good to us and hasn't needed any repairs. (So far.)
10. I'm thankful for my family's health.
11. I'm thankful for my husband's job even though I sometimes complain that my husband gets home late, because what would we do if he lost his job like so many others have. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Lord for his job.
12. I'm thankful that God has been leading me places that are out of my comfort zone, even though it's very uncomfortable and scary, so I can someday fulfill the plan he has for me.
13. Thank you Lord for giving me a gift of photography. I want to use it to bless others. Let it be a blessing to my family.

Dear Lord, I pray for those families that are struggling to put food on their tables this year. I pray that you bless them. Please show us what we can do to bless someone else this year. Don't let us ignore that little voice that tells us that the person we sit next to in bible study can use a gift that we may have. Even if it's someone we know who can't pay their electric bill and are too ashamed to say it. Let us be Thankful for the things and blessings that we have and to complain less. Amen.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 23, 2009

I ♥ Faces

This weeks category over at I heart faces is sun flare. I had to enter this picture. It's my header picture and one that I took of the girls to resemble fall. And to me nothing resembles fall more than the way the sun shines differently. And actually it's more like sun wash.

Sweet Potato Casserole

My favorite Mom makes this recipe every Thanksgiving and it's very, very yummy. It's almost like desert. Please make this for Thanksgiving this year. It's one of those dishes that makes my food loving husband, a very happy man.

3 large yams, peeled and cut (You can substitute 2 large cans of yams and make life easier. But fresh yams are best.)
1 cup of sugar
1 stick of butter, softened (Did you hear me? ONE WHOLE stick of butter!)
1 egg
1 tsp of vanilla
1 tsp allspice

Topping ingredients:
3/4 cup of flour
3/4 cup of brown sugar
1 cup of softened butter
3/4 cup of chopped pecans

1. Boil yams on medium high heat until softened. Then smash them.
2. While yams are boiling, make the topping. Mix flour, brown sugar, and pecans. Cut in butter. (Mom says to mix it with your fingers.) Set aside.
3. Mix the smashed yams, butter, sugar. Mix well, then add egg, vanilla and allspice.
4. Pour into casserole dish. Spread it our evenly. Then spread topping over the top.
5. Bake for 30 minutes or so in a 350 degree oven.

Decorating, five year old style

My five year old watched me put up the Christmas decorations. She decided to put some up of her own. Her Hello Kitty was not only on these pictures in the hallway, but on every wall in our home.

She even decorated her tree in the room she shares with her sister.

She decorated it with pink toys! The Tinkertoy tree topper is an especially nice touch.

Monday, November 16, 2009


Laney has been DYING to have a sleepover. If you have girls you will understand that she was possible literally dying to have a sleepover. Most of our little friends are too young for sleepovers. They would miss their much loved Mama's too much. Insert new friend Bethany, here. I'm good friends with her mom and the kids have never played together because they go to school. She's a couple of years older than Laney, but they get along famously. Can I just say that sleepovers are a lot of work for the mom, but totally worth it when you see how much fun they are having.

Pancakes for breakfast.

This would be my front row seat view to the fashion show of the year.

One word: SASS!

I even let B and L paint their own toenails! My favorite Bethany quote was when Olivia asked what that smell was, referring to the nail polish, Bethany said, "That's the smell of beauty."

Friday, November 13, 2009

Trying to be a Money Saving Mom!

I know that this year several families have a very tight budget. Ours included. I ran across some deals today that I wanted to share with everyone. There are a couple of websites that I ran across where you can check for deals everyday on your own. Here they are: (This site has grocery, health and toy coupons. Today I printed a $5 off coupon on a My Little Pony purchase of $20, and some other Playskool toys.)

1. If you order a pizza from you can print Hasbro game coupons upon checkout. (You have to order your pizza online.) I got a $5 off coupon for Connect 4x4. The game is normally $20. Toys R Us (until tomorrow only) is giving a $10 gift card when you spend $25 on Hasbro games. (Order a pizza tonight and shop at Toys R Us tomorrow!)

2.( Target) With the Purchase of 5 selected Glade air products you get a $5 Target gift card. If you click HERE You can print coupons for Glade that you can use on top of Target's promotion. For example, one of the coupons is for $1.50 off two Glade jar candles and one is save $1.00 off Two Glade Plugins Scented Oil refills. You can use those coupons on your five required Glade purchase and get the $5 gift card at check out. (I like this one, because I use Glade candles all the time.)

3. Now through 12/6/09, you can cash in $40 worth of change at the Coinstar machine, select a gift card instead of cash and you will be awarded a $50 gift card. Basically they are paying you $10 to chose a gift card instead of cash. They have good gift cards like and Starbucks. Not a bad Christmas gift that was purchased with change lying around your house. (Coinstar machines are in most grocery stores. They are big, green machines usually located at the front of the store.)

4. 50 FREE 4x8 or 5x7 Holiday Cards! Even the shipping is free. This coupon code expires November 30th. Go to, upload your own photo and design your own card. At checkout enter coupon code freebies4mom-1109 and it will be free! (I found this one on

I had to share these deals because they are products that I actually use and apply to me. Hopefully they apply to you. The key with coupons is to use them on top of a product that is already on sale.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins

One of my favorite muffin recipes for fall is this one. I got this recipe a couple of years ago, off one of the baking company's website and I can't remember which one. It's super easy, super yummy and only calls for five ingredients!

1 package of spice or carrot cake mix
(I prefer spice. I used carrot here because it was on sale.)
1 can (15 o.z. of pumpkin)
3 egg whites
1/3 cup of water
2/3 cup raisins or craisins

I actually used fresh cranberries, but have used craisins in the past and they are just as good.
It's all about what you have on hand.

Combine cake mix, pumpkin, egg whites, and water until moistened.

(It says to beat on low speed for 30 sec. Scrape bowl. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. I just mixed mine by hand because I failed to read the directions.)

Fold in cranberries.

Bake for 18-22 minutes in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees.

(I could eat the batter all by itself. It's really, really good.)

Halloween with Friends!

One of my good friends' husband was going to be out of town for Halloween, so I invited her and her three kids over. Not that I wouldn't have invited you Heather if your husband was in town. :) I'm so glad they came over, because the kids had the best time. So did I!

We made these cute little paper dolls that you could dress up in their Halloween costume. I got this free printable from

Trick or Treat!

She was Taylor Swift. My little girls got confused and kept calling her Tyler. Her real name is Bethany.

I like me some CANDY!

I thought Addy would be scared of Trick or Treating, but she LOVED it!