November 30, 2016

Welcome Back Zip!

I just love Christmas. And I just love childhood. I love the magic, innocence, wonder and pure joy that childhood lends to this time of year. Childhood passes so very quickly. Steve and I try to capture as much magic as we can during this fleeting stage of our children's lives. Zip is our Elf on the Shelf. He has visited our house during December for many years. Zip is a sweet little guy. He arrives the day after Thanksgiving, and stays until Christmas Eve.

Zip watches over the kids and then flies back to the North Pole and reports to Santa each night before returning to our house and hiding in a different spot. Zip is my kind of elf. He isn't really into all the Pinterest inspired activities like making snow angels in powdered sugar or painting with shaving cream. He prefers to sit on a shelf and observe. Like I kind of elf. I mean really. Isn't he supposed to encourage good behavior? Dumping powdered sugar all over isn't exactly conducive to that. Anyway, Flynn absolutely adores Zip. She waits all year for him, and is thrilled when he returns. So far this season, her favorite spot he has hidden was in a new roll of paper towels! She carried him around all day! Here are a few pictures of Zip...our sweet little Elf on the Shelf...who has added so much to the magic of Christmas for our children for so many years. : )

Flynn, last Christmas Eve, saying goodbye to her friend Zip for another year...

And this year...the night before he returned...

She left a note, a chocolate chip for a snack, and a fresh pair of jammies for him...

And here he is!
Getting trickier every year. : )

Enjoy making your own magic this season, my friends.
It is the most magical time of year.

November 29, 2016

Thanksgiving And A Long Distance Birthday

Thank you for all the kind comments on my last post concerning my dear mother-in-law Mum. Your prayers and words of support mean so much to all of us. Mum continues to rest and pray and is surrounded by loved ones. She is indeed very loved.

Thanksgiving has come and gone. Our turkey was delicious, and I feel the need to share that at the ripe old age of forty-seven, I have finally mastered the art of making gravy!! Also this past weekend, my first born child, Madison Marie, turned twenty! It was her first birthday away from home, and while we missed her very much, we were comforted by the fact that she had an absolutely wonderful birthday in Denmark. the fact that we spoke to her about a hundred times that day. : )

We prepared for Thanksgiving on Wednesday by making Daddy a special craft to take into work and hang in his office.

And then we all watched a favorite movie, complete with all the appropriate snacks, of course. : )

Wednesday night we continued our tradition of making my Grandma Mildred's amazing pumpkin pies. I always ask Grandma to bake with us as I read from her handwritten recipe she gave me years ago.

Thanksgiving morning.
Cinnamon rolls and The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. : )

Our Thanksgiving table...

Every year since Madison was four years old, she has had a homemade blackberry pie for her birthday. And this year she did as well. I am so very thankful to Nicolas' mother Kirsten for making it happen. She messaged me and asked me for the recipe. And then she asked to Skype with me as she made it, and said it would be from me. She said she would be my hands. I could not think of anything more special and had a wonderful time visiting across the miles with this wonderful woman who has welcomed my Madison into her home and family.

She and her husband also had a special birthday dinner for Madison with their family! She made one of Madison's favorite meals...Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes. : )

On her actual birthday, Nicolas surprised her with a trip to Tivoli Gardens, Denmark's oldest and best known theme park. It opened in 1843!

It was all decorated for Christmas, and they had a magical time.
And girl is twenty.
 Yesterday she was a giggling little baby, running around dragging her blankie and singing to Santa Claus Is Coming To Town.
Today she is a beautiful young woman, living her dream on the other side of the ocean.
Life is good.

Have a wonderful day, my friends.
Enjoy every moment.

November 23, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving 2016

Well, here we are. Thanksgiving is but one sleep away. The turkey is thawing, the stuffing bread drying, the pumpkin pies cooling, and the tablecloth ironed. Tomorrow we will snack on cinnamon rolls while we watch the parade. We will cook a turkey, give thanks for our blessings, eat too much, and take a nap. We will finish the day enjoying a slice of homemade pumpkin pie with whipped topping and some family time watching television together.


As I count my blessings this year, I will include all of you, my friends. Your friendship blesses me greatly. May you all enjoy this day with your people. And lots of pumpkin pie. : )

(Thankful for Pinterest, too. )

November 22, 2016

If You Are Not Watching This...

Please do.
It is on Netflix as an original production.
It is television perfection.
Simple as that.
You're welcome. ; )

Thanks Pinterest for the pics.

November 21, 2016


My little Flynn is seven. Seven years have passed since God blessed us with the "just one more, please" we had so fervently prayed for. Her birthday was perfect. She was happy and thankful and content and loved. God even celebrated her by sending the most beautiful snowfall as the day turned to night. My Flynn asked Father for a Birthday Blessing after Mass. And was so happy when she received it.

My baby is seven. And I am ok. I realize that I have been blessed. I am not sad about the fact that she is growing. After all, that is exactly what she is supposed to do. We are all so thankful for our Flynn...this little one who still drinks only skim milk and water. Except for a glass of Kool-Aid on special occasions. The little one who loves her home, and longs to stay here forever. The one who keeps us all young with her magical love of all things Christmas. The one who giggles and laughs and still snuggles with her mommy. The one we all prayed and longed for. Happy Birthday Flynn Grace!

Flynn was greeted with this beautiful sight as she woke on her 7th birthday...

And all the credit goes to her sister and brother.

Flynn sat and stared at it forever!

She was surprised and excited by her very first flower delivery ever!
Madison and Nicolas made her day extra special!

All ready for Mass...

My baby. Seven years old. : )

She was thrilled...

And so were we. : )

After Mass, we were back in jammies.
Because. Us.
And she was all smiles and sillies...

With her best friend Peyton. : )

Things got serious when it was time to make a wish...

And then we all enjoyed a piece of chocolate chip pumpkin bread.
Ok. Two.

Happiest of birthdays, Flynn Grace!
We love you!

FYI: The Belle Teacart is amazing!!!!!

November 18, 2016

Weekend Plans

Friday already! And time to make some plans for the weekend. Fortunately, we have only one thing planned and it is our sweet baby's 7th birthday! We celebrated her with family and friends Wednesday at a movie party, so her actual birthday will be just us. And Grandma, of course!

Friday evening we will spend wrapping presents in princess paper, and then spend some time playing our new favorite game...Uno Wild Jackpot. Flynn received it from Aunt Margie and Uncle Chris, and the kids have played it every free moment since! I am anxious to see what all the excitement is about. : )

Saturday is Flynn's birthday! She always asks for Pumpkin Bread for her birthday, so after Mass we will have Tuna and Noodles...her choice...and celebrate her with chocolate chip pumpkin bread and presents! Grandma will be here to celebrate with us, and we are so glad. : ) I am not even going to lament the fact that my girl is seven. I'll save that for another post. : )

Sunday is gloriously free! And...we are expecting snow! We are planning on putting the tree up in the schoolroom, and also begin wrapping some gifts we have for friends and family. I really try to do things early and mindfully, so we can enjoy the season in awe and in peace. I am thinking Sunday will be the perfect day for a crockpot meal. I think I have some chicken thighs in the freezer. Any thoughts?? We will finish our last weekend before Hunting Season commences watching The Holiday Baking Championship followed by The Walking Dead. And most likely some cocoa and cookies on the couch too. : )

Here is a peek back at the week that was in our part of the world...

Last weekend we made our annual trip to The Hallmark Store so the kids could pick out their ornaments...

This years selections...
Peyton...Winter Warlock from her very favorite Christmas movie ever...Santa Claus Is Coming To Town.
Rhett...Iron Man from one of his favorite movies... Captain America: Civil War.
And Flynn...Cinderella holding her pink dress. Because. Cinderella. : )
I also got one for my Madison. But will refrain from posting about it in case she is reading. ; )

And so it begins.
Our Christmas Season.

While elsewhere is all about Christmas, the schoolroom is focused on all things Thanksgiving.
This week we studied my favorite...Cranberries!

We did a super fun experiment with dried cranberries and Sprite...

And were happy to see our hypothesis was correct.
They will dance in bubbly liquid!

We also did an experiment to see if cranberries sink or float in water.

We read this beautiful and charming book.
I was introduced to it by my longtime blogger friend Patty last year.
It has quickly become a favorite.

We also studied turkeys, and learned a lot about the difference between wild turkeys and farm raised ones. We are blessed to have many wild turkeys in our own backyard!

And of course, Thanksgiving wouldn't be complete with out a headband to wear, right?

Insert random picture of my puppy Mocha.
Because. Come on!
A photo by my littlest one... Flynn. : )

And finally, some photos of Flynn's super fun Toy Story movie party!

One with her bestie...

One with Grandma at the theater...

And one with her sweet little cousins and friends.
They were thrilled with the little Sheriff Woody badges!

The table was set...

And we enjoyed chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting, made by Peyton of course!
I found those darling toppers on Etsy.
And they were a hit!
After cupcakes and presents, we got our popcorn and drinks and headed into the theater to watch one of my favorite movies ever...
Toy Story.
And my girl was happy. : )

Have a wonderful weekend with your people my friends!
Thanks for visiting. : )

Pinterest for the last one. : )