Thursday, November 29, 2012


What happens when you spill milk on your pants and your older brother brings a requested new pair to your mom for you to wear...

Double pink!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Pinterest Christmas

We decorated for Christmas here over the weekend, but that hasn't stopped me from looking at the beautiful holiday decor found on pinterest.  Here are 3 of my favorites...

I would love to do this on a future dining room chandelier.  


I actually already have a red lantern which could easily turn into Christmas decor with some ornaments like they did here: 


And here's another way to multi-purpose summer decor.  Add ornaments, greenery, and winter branches to your patio planters.  


I would love to follow you!  Add your pinterest name in the comments below.  
(You can follow me here.)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year?

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  We enjoyed a delicious feast on Thursday hosted by my in-laws. My sister-in-law and her family were in town, so it was nice spending time with them.

Of course I'm married to Kris Kringle, and our house was fully decked inside and out over the weekend for Christmas.

And after all of the chaos of decorating and rearranging and dragging boxes up and down the basement stairs, fevers hit Jude and Ellen.  Lovely.  And then the coughing ensued.  And then we ended up at the pediatrician with bronchitis diagnoses x2.

So Ellen's room has been turned into an infirmary with the one humidifier running for the two sickies, ibuprofen has been administered every 6-8 hours, the TV has been on non-stop, the thermometer beeps the latest body temperatures, and sippy cups are over-flowing with ice water and juice.  All the while Clare begs for her normal temperature to be taken in hopes of missing a day of school.  (Although I'm afraid she's more likely to end up home with the stomach flu that has infected 1/3 of her class...I'm crossing my fingers we dodge that one.)

If I try to see the silver lining through the haze of sleepless nights...we really are hanging out in Christmas pajamas, watching Christmas movies on the DVR, taking temperatures under the twinkling of Christmas lights, and snuggling under Christmas quilts, while coughs are muffled over Christmas music.

It is the most wonderful time of the year!


Friday, November 23, 2012

Shabby Apple Sale

I admit that I did some Black Friday shopping.  Thankfully the crowds weren't as bad as I anticipated.  But I think the best way to shop is online!  No crowds and your goodies delivered right to your door!

I wanted to share details on a sitewide sale going on at Shabby Apple right now!  Everything is 20% off.  Just enter the code JOYFULSEASON at checkout.  Sale ends November 30, 2012.

Dresses from Shabby Apple

Happy Shopping to you!


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

She Knows Me Well

A few weekends ago Ryan took Ellen to the back of our church during Mass because she was being a bit disruptive.  It was rather windy that Sunday and there were quite a few leaves that had blown into the vestibule.  When Ellen saw the leaves on the ground she put her shoulders down and exclaimed, 

"Oh my goodness!  Look at this mess!  My mom be so mad!"

At 2 years-old she knows my left-brained self very well!    

Monday, November 19, 2012

Last Game

Jude has his last soccer game of the season this weekend.  This was the first year he played and he enjoyed it very much...especially when he had a fan base at a game!  

He was looking forward to a trophy all season and his dream came true on Saturday!  
One very happy boy.  

I told him to put his trophy is a safe/special place in his room.  

He put in on his shelf, right next to his prized Nascar die-cast cars.  
Very important stuff up there!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Thought for the Day...

With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, I wanted to share something our pastor mentioned to my MOPS group a few weeks ago.  He came with requested words of wisdom for us from veteran parents.  One of the things he said really stuck with me:
"If you are not teaching your children to be thankful, you are teaching them to ask for more."  
How true in our world today when there is so much "stuff" that fills our lives and our homes!  How quickly children write out their Christmas lists (mine included!) when their rooms are full.  And how easy it is to teach them to say a simple prayer of thanks at the end of the day for the many blessings received.  This is the perfect time of year to show gratitude, not only for our children, but for us as well.  We have been making a point to ask our children what they are thankful for each night.  And want to make this a habit even after the holiday season.

What are you thankful for today?

Give Thanks


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Homemade Air &Fabric Freshener

I have successfully made some cleaning products over the past year.  At our MOPS meeting this week I tried out a new one, homemade air and fabric freshener AKA Febreze.

Here's how to make your own...

Combine 1 ounce of a scented fabric softener with 2 tablespoons of baking soda in a plastic spray bottle.  Fill the rest of the bottle with water.    

The smell of this homemade Febreze will depend on the scent of the fabric softener chosen.  

I also chose to make a new batch of my favorite soap scum cleaner at our meeting.  

This stuff is a-mazing!  
Someone mentioned putting this cleaner in a handheld dish scrubber and keeping it in the shower - brilliant!   


For printable labels and more homemade cleaners see Sarah at Little Ms. Robinson.  

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Sensory Table

I was lucky to inherit a Little Tykes table from a neighbor last spring.  The table has a lid that comes off to reveal 2 compartments underneath.  The kids have enjoyed hours of entertainment on the deck in the summer when I fill the table with water and bubbles and any kind of waterproof toys.  

With colder temperatures ahead, I wiped down the table and put it in the basement this weekend.  Right now it's filled with our dry beans (thankfully Ellen is beyond the age of putting these in her mouth) and some small plastic animals.  

Other objects that might appear in our sensory table this winter include
rice, packing peanuts, and craft pom-poms.  

Monday, November 12, 2012

10 on 10

Linking up with A Little Bit of Sunshine for a summary of our 10th of November...

Morning gymnastics for Clare...through the viewing window.  

Star Wars books top this week's library collection.  

Not much chocolate left in these....

Swaddled 2 year-old with pacifier out for her nap.  

Red jell-o lips.  

Afternoon sunshine and picnic.

Christmas lights on at City Hall!?!?  

My "midnight" snack.  

Movie night.  

 Happy Monday to you!

Friday, November 9, 2012


See if you can guess the news I'm sharing today...  In the past 23 weeks I have not:

1. Stayed up past 9 PM.

2. Ate chocolate chip cookie dough.

3. Overlooked new varicose veins.  

4. Worn a belt, or anything with a zipper.

5. Relaxed in a hot tub.

6. Enjoyed a nice glass of wine.

7. Ignored my sciatic nerve.   
We are expecting a boy on March 6!  

Clare and Jude are very excited...and Ellen has no idea that her days are numbered as baby of our family!   

Linking up with Jen for a quick takes TGIF party!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Bye-Bye Bench

Clare's bedroom is the smallest one in our house.  There was a bench taking up a good portion of her room that wasn't really being used.  With the cushion on top, it was at an odd height for sitting on.  So we recently did a little demo job so the space can be more in eventually moving Clare's bunk beds there to avoid the current set up where the ceiling fan interfers with the person sleeping on the top bunk! 

Now you see it:

Now you don't:

Bonus outlets found behind said bench!  

We obviously have some painting and baseboard work to do.  Ryan already patched some of the rough spots from the demo.  And I need to extend the diamond pattern to the floor.  This project is right up our ally...not too much room for error!  (I hope!)  

Monday, November 5, 2012

Easy-Peasy Crockpot Potato Soup

A month ago, we made 4 "make it, take it" freezer meals at my MOPS meeting.  I've loved having some "go to" meals in my freezer!  I put this potato soup in the crock pot last week and it was delicious!  And then I remembered how easy it was so assemble and it earned even more bonus points from me.  

Easy Crockpot Potato Soup
1 30 oz. bad of frozen cubed hash browns   
3 14 oz. cans of chicken broth
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1 package cream cheese (don't use fat free, it won't melt)

Combine everything except for the cream cheese in the crockpot.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours.  About 1 hour before serving, add cream cheese and keep heated until thoroughly melted.

Can serve with shredded cheese, sour cream, bacon bits, green onions, etc. 

I love a good 5 ingredient recipe!  

Linking here.  

Friday, November 2, 2012

Highlights of my Week

Linking with Jen on this lovely TGIF...

1. Does everyone have fruit flies in their house this time of year?  Or is it just us?  The only funny thing about having them is that Jude calls them "root flies."  In the meantime I've stopped buying bananas and started putting out apple cider vinegar to trap the ones that were left.  I'm happy to report no "root flies" have been seen in the past week.  Hooray!

2.  There are not a lot of big trees in our neighborhood.  Nonetheless, Jude can always find a stick to play with outside.  Or to attempt to bring inside.  This beauty only made it to the garage.

3.  I made a giant check for our Halloween costume on Saturday.  Then Clare used the leftover poster board to make her own.  I love how she wrote at the bottom that it is good for "free shipping!"

4. Jude was the proud owner of a pet potato bug this week.  It didn't last long, but long enough to be named "Joseph" after my youngest brother.  That's the kind of namesake everyone wants.

5. Typical daily backseat conversation between Jude and Ellen: 

     "Ellen, you're not the boss of me!"
     "Jude, I'm not the boss of you!!"
     "You're not the boss of me!!!"
     "I not the boss of you!!!!!"
     "You're not the boss of me, Ellen!!!!!"
      Etc., etc., etc..........

6. Everything seemed to be going wrong in Clare's life one day this week, so she wrote me a letter telling me she was running away.  Life is so rough when you're 7.

(Godde = Good-bye)

7. I recently survived a week with Ryan out of town on business.  Clare and Jude alternated being my bed buddy.  Halfway through the first night I became very thankful that Ryan does not grind his teeth 90% of the night...

Hope you have a restful and relaxing weekend!


Thursday, November 1, 2012

5 Things I'm Loving Right Now

Today I'm linking up with Julie at to share 5 of my favorite things this month...

1.  Hot apple cider in the evening.  I love this time of year!

2.  My flannel sheets.  The night temperatures have hit freezing and it's warm and cozy in my bed every night.  I'm also loving this duvet cover....after almost 9 years I feel like it's time for an upgrade.


3.  The Year of Faith proclaimed by Pope Benedict.  A perfect invitation and opportunity to grow in faith.  And sometimes getting a personal invitation helps.  

4.  Dare I say it...but Christmas shopping.  I made a big run to Target the other day and picked up some things while I was there by myself.  It would be so nice to be finished with gift shopping early!

5.  Clare has been off school all week for fall break.  I have enjoyed spending the extra one on one time with her.  So thankful for my 7 year-old and that all of my loved ones are safe.

What are you loving right now??