Wednesday, November 28, 2012

the evil witch

my kids play this weird game when we are on the road called, "the evil witch" and it is actually quite clever. the car directly behind us is the evil witch and as it gets closer the kids start yelping and carrying on telling us to  hurry or to go faster. if the car passes us, though - that's it. she ate them.
bryce says he came up with the game and i love hearing them play it. i would definitely prefer for a different character...say, like a mean lion or something, but no matter. it's a good old fashion made-up game between brothers. and those are the ones you remember forever.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

easy advent how-to


i have a giant magnetic board hanging in my foyer. it usually boasts snapshots of our family and friends, but for the christmas season i wanted to do something different. inspired by a pinterest idea, i created a simple {and super cute} advent calendar.

i bought red twine and the small envelopes at hobby lobby for a couple of dollars a piece. i also bought the clothespins there several months ago. i used a red sharpie for the numbers. i'm a "lots of red girl" for christmas time.

it is decorated by a single sprig of berries and greenery and a cute santa chalkboard. when the christmas cards start rolling in, i will tape a long piece of ribbon down one side and tape each card to the ribbon.

the twine is just taped snugly to the back of the frame and each envelope hangs by a clothespin. easy peasy. a large frame or canvas would work in place of the magnetic board. even twine tacked along a fireplace mantle or wall would be fun!

the reason for an advent calendar: obviously, i had to redeem myself from last year's advent calendar. yikes! and it is a fun way to count down the days. but more importantly, i want to keep my kiddos {and myself} aware of  why we celebrate christmas in the first place.

as for our advent activites: we have busy children with practices and travel teams and lots of homework so I kept the activities to weekends but we will read a scripture each day. I only wrote where to find the verse for each envelope rather than the whole verse so they will have get their scriptures out to read from.

Dec. 1 John 1: 1-5 - light parade & christmas tree decorating
Dec. 2 Isaiah 9: 2-7 - read a christmas story
Dec. 3 Isaiah 11: 1-10
Dec. 4 Jeremiah 33: 14-16
Dec. 5 Luke 1: 5-10
Dec. 6 Luke 1: 11-17
Dec. 7 Luke 1: 18-25 - watch a christmas movie
Dec. 8 Luke 1: 26-38 - jump in the car for christmas lights
Dec. 9 Mathew 1:18-21 - christmas craft
Dec. 10 Matthew 1: 22-26
Dec. 11 Luke 1: 39-45
Dec. 12 Luke 1: 46-56
Dec. 13 Luke 2: 1-5
Dec. 14 Luke 2: 6-7 - decorate a gingerbread house & christmas story
Dec. 15 Luke 2: 8-12 - wrap & deliver donated christmas gifts
Dec. 16 Luke 2: 13-14 - make christmas cards for far-away relatives
Dec. 17 Luke 2: 15-18
Dec. 18 Luke 2: 19-20
Dec. 19 Micah 5: 2-5 - christmas caroling at church
Dec. 20 Matthew 2: 1-2
Dec. 21 Matthew 2: 3-6
Dec. 22 Mathew 2: 7-8 - watch a christmas movie
Dec. 23 Matthew 2: 9-12  - make some goodies to share w/ christmas music
Dec. 24 John 1:14 - open a gift & leave cookies for st. nick

 can't wait for dec. 1st!

feel good tip # 1

bake your neighbor some bread just because. and share recipes, muffin tins, sugar, eggs, ect. i even have a neighbor that ran to the store for me once during a dinner crisis. i appreciate our neighbors because they look out for my kids when they are all hooligan-ing it in the backyard. they come to birthday parties and think of us on holidays. they answer my seemingly stupid gardening/landscaping questions and leave starters on my back patio. our kids go to school together and play sports together. and i know if i were ever in need of help, they wouldn't think anything of it to go out of their way to do what they could. and of course, we return the thoughtfulness. bonus: if you are feeling blue, taking your neighbor a treat will not only brighten their day, but it will yours, as well.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

thinking of my little son at 7.

oh, this boy. just the other day, i was was observing him at church. he was sitting there in a tiny suit, that was suited for a 7 year old. he had gelled his hair, which is something that the boys only reserve if they feel like "getting ready" or dressing up. so, he must of thought he looked good, and he did. he had one leg crossed over the opposite knee with a hymn book resting on top. he was following along, singing. quite well, too, i might add. and he looked roughly 35.

today he brought home from school a certificate that certified him to marathon reader status. it's a big deal to hit marathon reader, as they have to read and test over specific books. and it is a big deal to me because the written word is just about one of my favorite things and i love that my kids love to read.  AND the best part: they get a candy bar from the librarian.

it is such a joy to watch my boys achieve little accomplishments. for example: triston was having some issues with 'elapsed time' in math and had a test coming up. he didn't say a peep at all when i told him he had to skip wrestling practice to make sure he was prepared for the test and continued to have a great attitude about it even though the work was tough for him. he took the test the following day and got a 100%. i did the lamest happiest dance EVER and then rewarded him by downloading a song of his choice for his ipod.  example 2: bryce and i are practicing reading and it is not the funnest thing in the world for bryce. but, he did it and by the end of our lesson (which was really lesson 5 in the book i am using), he was reading the words "nap" "tap" "map" ect. and was able to spell similar words all by himself. it was sort of a huge breakthrough for him so of course i was jumping around the house and dancing like a lune every time he spelled a word right. which was just the most hilarious thing to him and nash.  and little nash - he is repeating everything anyone says and his big thing right now is playing with "guys" which is any action figure that he uses to battle. and he even makes fighting and shooting sounds. is that normal for an 18 monther? it seems really early for that.

but back to jackson: he has been working hard practicing his shot for basketball and is looking good on the court. he is a little rough around the edges though and fouls like a mother every chance he gets. i guess he has time to work on that. :) and tonight he was walking around in his underwear telling his brothers that his butt stinks. uuuuuggggggh. boys are seriously gross.

love my little guys.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Annual Christmas List - 2012

This perfume. not to be confused with this one, also a favorite - and one i am out of...

These dishes.

This mirror.

Definitely, this.

..and I wouldn't say no to this.

...but really, i can't think of anything better than just sitting at home with my darling little family, all together, and celebrating our savior's birthday. so skip the presents, someone make my kids stop fighting for just a sec, and let's just relax - a christmas movie, board games, hot chocolate, maybe a random dance party and just slowing down. i'm cool with snow, too - just on christmas day, though.

i've got plans for the cutest advent calendar ever. last year i made the most ghetto one ever, but i planned ahead this year. details to come...

Sunday, November 18, 2012

meet the love of my life...

i mean, i love a lot of inanimate things: snl, sparkly christmas decorations, essie nail polish, the new bruno mars song, the limited, ect. but, i'm pretty sure the love i feel for cream cheese is at the top. you can pretty much do anything with this stuff  by way of food and i can pretty much guarantee whatever it is will be awesome. case in point: here are a few recipes i have been banging out of the kitchen as of late:
baked spaghetti - i will never be able to eat plain pasta again!
chocolate cheese ball - an old favorite.
and if you want to hit me up with your favorite cream cheese recipe, i definitely won't say no.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

when is 'too early' too early?

one day we are raking leaves, admiring our pumpkins & mums, and playing outside...

and the next day we are putting up our christmas decorations. i made a christmas wreath and hung it on the mirror over our fireplace mantle just to see how it looked. but the christmas bug hit and i didn't want to take it down! so we are slowly but surely dragging everything out.
this year, i am not taking any chances on mr. nash with some of the glass ornaments i have, so they are going in glass dishes instead of on the tree. i will save the tree for thanksgiving: a family tradition. so am i too early?

Monday, November 12, 2012

my kids {at least want to} look like me.

it is true that not one of my sweet little boys look like me. mayyyybe jackson (on the far left), but that is stretching it.
howEVER, this little one started wearing these mr. potato head glasses around all on his own - just like me! 


and while we are talking about glasses... just an fyi: some people think glasses = fun accessories. not true. people who HAVE to wear them, like restricted driver's liscense have to wear them - HATE THEM. just so you know.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

olive garden fans, check it out...

the best part of olive garden? unlimited soup, salad, and bread sticks. always my fav. and besides the zuppa toscana soup, chicken gnocchi is the best. actually, it might be better. i found this recipe on pinterest, and you can find the original here.  i made this for dinner tonight. i'm adding it to my arsenal of awesome hearty soups. every girl needs one of those.
via pass the sushi

1 c. cooked chicken
1 c. carrots, diced
1/2 c. celery, diced
1 med. onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
4 T. butter
2 T olive oil
1/4. c. flour
1 qt. half and half
14 oz. chicken broth
1/2 t. thyme
salt and pep, to taste
1-2 c. of fresh spinach, chopped
16 oz. package of gnocchi

saute your veggies and garlic in the butter/olive oil until onion is soft, about 5 min.  in a separate pot, boil gnocchi according to package directions. once onion is soft, add the flour and seasonings and blend well. cook a minute longer and add the half and half. stir often and once it starts to thicken, add chicken and chicken broth. once the gnocchi is done and drained, add that to the pot along with the spinach and more salt and pepper, if you like. turn heat to low and let simmer until ready to serve. every 5-10 minutes or so, give the soup a good stir and you can add more chicken broth if it gets too thick. (or if you are reheating.) i served it up with fresh garlic bread and my kids LOVED it.

hooray for cold weather dinners!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

what a patriot.

"if i were president, i would make more sweat pants" - jackson
this explains a lot. like, when he cries every time i tell him to get dressed for church.

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