Friday, December 16, 2011

Some Christmas Decorations!

A bowl full of ornaments makes the perfect center piece!

Yesterday we talked a lot about Advent traditions and now here are some of our Christmas but not so much religious traditions!

Stocking with a lighted garland.

Some simple ribbon and cricut cutouts transform a closet door into a Christmas Card Wonderland.
I absolutely love receiving Christmas cards every year - and yes I send my own out on November 30th so that people can enjoy them (hopefully) all month long!

Every year we get the girl's an ornament based upon what they like that year.
Unfortunately this year they aren't very telling of their personalities but this picture is.
Look at Chloee's goofy look and Caylee's messy hair.  That about tells it all!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Garlic Bread - Simple Weeknight Side

Ever have those extra hot dog/hamburger buns or bread that is almost too old to eat.
Turn it into a simple weeknight side dish - garlic bread!
This simple idea saves food from the trash and costs no extra money!

For buns - slice in half and spread with butter.

Sprinkle some garlic powder (or garlic salt) and parsley flakes.
You could add chile flakes if you so desire.

Add some Parmesan cheese (or any cheese you have).

Broil until crispy (5-10 minutes depending on your bread).
Serve with almost any meal!

What are your quick time and food saving recipes?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Advent Traditions

Our Nativity Scene
Which we often stop and talk about all of the pieces and the story.
The girls also have a little people set that they can play with.

Every year we look forward to the holiday season.  It begins with Halloween and moves rather quickly to Thanksgiving.  We try hard to enjoy these days in and of themselves but part of us is secretly excited that soon it will be the Christmas season.  Now in the true religious sense the Christmas season doesn't begin until midnight mass on Christmas eve.  The season that truly lies between Thanksgiving and Christmas days is Advent.  As a family we have been trying to instill some advent traditions which enlighten us to the true meaning of Christmas: the birthday of Jesus.  Please don't kid yourself when you think we don't also fall into the hustle and bustle of modern Christmas season: shopping, decorating, baking, eating to much - yep we do that too - we just try to also have some fun memories of the season's real meaning.

Advent Calendar. 
Every day we open a box, read a scripture, and place a person,
star, or animal on the magnet board.

Advent Wreath
Just like at church we light these candles and discuss their meaning.
Since we only light these on Sunday's it is a reminder of the four weeks before Christmas.

Jesse Tree

This year we were attempting to do a Jesse tree however due to some hectic scheduling we have fallen behind and may have to try again next year.

During this time of Advent we also make sure to discuss giving to others and make a point to donate food to the needy, toys for our church's toy drive, and visit a convalescent home with some goodies for those who are homebound.  The Lord gave us the greatest gift on Christmas day and it is with that in mind that we should celebrate this season.  Sure have some eggnog, decorate the tree, and make a wishlist - but also take a moment to think about why.

And to everyone even if you aren't the religious type please have a very Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Meal Plan and Busyness!

Whew - it feels good to be blogging again!  These last few (well almost 6 weeks) I have been stepping in as an administrative assistant at my old job and thus things have been quite busy around here.  While I am not done helping out we should have a little reprieve and the posts should be more regular (although they probably won't be daily still).  Thank you for all the stop ins while I was away - you all are the best!

Here is our menu for the week:

Monday:
  • Egg McMuffins (homemade), Mangos
  • Peanut Butter Sandwiches, Cheez Its, Carrots, Blueberries
  • Cheese Enchiladas, Refried Beans, Spanish Rice, Corn
Tuesday:
Wednesday:
Thursday:
Friday:
  • Granola Bars, Applesauce, Yogurt
  • Peanut Butter Sandwiches, Blueberries, Crackers
  • Family Movie Night: Pizza, Salad, Popcorn
Saturday:
  • Cinnamon Rolls, Yogurt
  • TBD
  • Tamales: it is our annual tamale making day!
Sunday:
  • Cereal, Juice, Pears
  • TBD - delivering gifts after church
  • German Pork Roast, Rice, Brocoli