Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Happy 6th Birthday, Kameryn Faith


If six doesn't just sound a whole lot older than five.

My third baby girl is six today.

Happy Birthday, Miss Kameryn Faith!

It surely seems like merely months ago that you were born.

Just weeks ago that you were toddling around.


And all of a sudden, here you are a young lady.

You are the girliest girl I have ever known.

You are in love with headbands, hair bows, earrings, and everything frilly.

You see the beauty in everything around you,

and delight in the tiniest of things.  

And I LOVE that about you! 

You are such a reminder to me, never to overlook the small things.

Because, in your eyes, nothing is too small to celebrate.

You are wise beyond your years,

and the kindest, most loving,

and compassionate child. 

You fill our home with love and laughter each and every day.
 Happy Birthday, Baby Girl!

Love you to the moon!
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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

For the Kiddos

The girls and I were in the kitchen ALL.DAY.LONG New Year's Eve day.

But what fun we had!!!

Thought I'd share a couple of our creations, because I'm always looking for Kid-Friendly snacks, and my daughters ALL definitely approved these:

Pizza~Pretzel Bites:

The Dough:

1 1/2 Cups Warm Water
2 Tbsps. Brown Sugar
1 Pkg. Active Dry Yeast
3 ozs. Melted Butter
3 tsps. Salt
1 Egg
5 Cups Flour  {or so}

I add the warm water, brown sugar, and yeast to a bowl, and let it sit for a few minutes, to get bubbly and yummy.

Then I add in melted butter, salt, and a beaten egg.

Lastly comes the flour. 
I just keep adding more until the dough isn't sticky any longer.

Set aside to rise for about an hour.

Once it's risen, dump it out onto a lightly floured surface, and roll into long ropes.

I use a pizza cutter to divide dough into strips about 3-4 inches long. 
Then I flatten the dough and place a piece of pepperoni and a little chunk of string cheese
on one side.  Like so:


Then fold over so that you've made a little "pocket" of pizza goodness.

I seal it all up, and then place in a pot of boiling baking soda-water

About a 1/2 cup or so of baking soda to 3-4 quarts of water.

Let each pocket boil for 25-30 seconds, and remove with a slotted spoon.

I then place them in a 13x9 pan and brush them with a bit of butter, and sprinkle with sea salt

Then throw 'em on in to the oven for about 15 minutes at 400* {or until they turn golden on top}

They'll come out looking something like this:

And then you can go ahead and start shoveling them to your mouth
Or share them with your kiddos.  Whatever.

We also made Jell-O Parfait Treats for our quiet, little New Year's Eve :

We made up the Jell-O according to package directions, but substituted Ginger Ale for the cold water.

We, of course, added whipped cream and sprinkles because . . .

Well, we just love sprinkles.

 Your favorite kid-tested treats and snacks??

Do share! 
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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A Brand New Year!

I am wading through hundreds of Christmas photos right now, but in the
meantime... It's almost time to ring in a new year!!

If snacks, treats, and other goodies on your mind too, here are a few ideas for you (and don't worry, calories don't count when you are saying goodbye to a whole year!)
We just made these yummy treats 
(That my 5 year old insisted could double as treats for a Frozen Party):

  All you need is a package of Oreos
(crushed), and an 8oz package of cream cheese. Roll together into balls, and then coat with your choice of candy melts and sprinkles.
A few years ago we made these: 

Oh good heavens, they were delicious!

  You need vanilla candy melts and Oreo Cakesters... Do they make these anymore? Because I haven't seen them recently. 

  Once dipped they're super fun to decorate!!

And last year it was these Jell-O Parfaits:

  Just prepare Jell-O per box instructions, but substitute Ginger Ale for the Cold Water. You'll, of course, want to top with whipped cream and sprinkles!

What are your New Year's Eve plans??

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Monday, December 22, 2014

Counting Down . . . Only Days Away!

So . . . .  Time kinda got away from me.
And I sit down today to type out a "quick" post, and find that the "photo organizing fairy" did NOT do her job organizing my photos.  Slacker.

Well, anyway.

A run-down:
Monday's activity was Christmas shopping with Daddy!!!  Sadly, I didn't get any photos that day. But....

Tuesday we decorated a Gingerbread House, and I *did* manage to snap a few that day.  

My most favorite surprise that day... The Gingerbread House was ALREADY put together!! All we had to do was decorate. You can't understand how happy that made me - the mama who cannot, for the life of her, get a house to stick together.


Wednesday was spent making Gingerbread Men... Annnnd stars!!


On Thursday we drove out to my MIL's office to have hot cocoa and donuts with her (and also to answer her phone, and pound on her 10-Key).
And Thursday night we surprised the girls with a drive to a local light display.

One of our most favorite traditions, we look forward to browsing this awesome display each year.

Friday's activity was a Spaghetti Dinner and watching Elf :)  

And Saturday.
At last!!! Kam has been counting down the days until her recital since September!

Oh how my heart just melts when I watch my girls on stage. 
Kam looked so beautiful.
She just shines up there ❤️
  Sunday, after church, we baked!!

  Each year my mom, sister, and niece come out for a cookie baking party. This year my sister and niece couldn't make it ��  But my mom came over, and we had fun, just us.

Whew! We are now in full countdown mode. Wrapping the last of our gifts. Enjoying a few more Christmas movies.

What have you been doing?
Hope you are enjoying every memory ❤️
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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Little Break From Countdown ~ Alternately Titled: Gettin Real

So.  I'll just jump right in.
This can be a tough time of year.
I mean, it's good.  It's probably my favorite time of year. 
And with all of the talk about counting down to Christmas.  The activities.  The crafts.
The happy, smiling, photographs.  It *looks* like the most blissful, joyous season ever.
And it can be.  But it can be tough too.

And we don't always see that side on social media.
Like.  Is it just me, or do children find it EXTRA difficult to get along in December?
It feels like we need an attitude check, daily.
Me, included. 
This one doesn't need a lot of explanation, does it? 
Finances can be extra tight in December. 
And when you're in love with all the decorations, the pretties, the White Chocolate Peppermint M&Ms {ahem}, the stuff that you're inundated with starting the day after Halloween.  Well, it surely makes it hard not to covet, doesn't it?  {Or perhaps that's just me}.
The missing.
It sure can be difficult to be filled with joy when someone {or multiple someones} are missing from your holidays.  You miss them every single day of the year.  Every single minute of the day.  But, man, the missing seems to be exponential when it's Christmas, and you can't hug them, hold them close, tell them you love them.  And equally painful: not being able to ease that pain for others.  Not being big enough, strong enough. It's a daily struggle, to be sure.  But so much harder during the holidays, when you're trying to hold it together.  Trying to make it magical for the littles.  And you feel like you fail at it time and time again.
And all of the insecurities.  All of the doubts.  All of the worries.
Those don't just take a hike because it's Christmas.
If anything, they are multiplied as well.
I love living in a small town.  And I hate living in a small town. 
I think I'd love it a lot more if I hadn't grown up here ~ so much past to contend with.
Yes, hello, my name is Liz, and at 34 years old, I *still* care {a LOT} about what others think.
And you know what, people can be mean.  And people can hurt.  And I have an extra heaping of sensitive feelings.  
Nope, that's not stressful at all.
So, while we are having good days, making lots of memories, and trying our best to make the most of what we've been given, sometimes it's a relief to just be real.  Not have to paste on that smile.
Admit that it's difficult.  And hold tight to the knowledge that God will see us through.
So, here's a big squeeze from me to you ~ just in case you need one too ♥
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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Countdown to Christmas 2014 ~ Day 14

 The fourteenth day of our countdown found us at church for our annual program.

The most fun tradition??

The donut fry afterward.

 Sometimes it's fun to pretend we have five girlies :) ♥
 What is your most favorite tradition?
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Monday, December 15, 2014

Countdown to Christmas 2014 ~ Days 12&13

It is impossible for me to believe we are more than halfway through our countdown to Christmas.

This season flies by every year!

December 12th was wrapping day!

It seems like a simple activity, but the girls LOVE it!

 All that tape. And wrap. And ribbons.

Mostly Tay just likes un-decorating the tree every day.
And then playing with all of the ornaments ;)

After a busy week, we were happy to spend another day at home.

So, on the 13th our activity was a Hot Cocoa bar and cinnamon rolls.
 What activities have kept you busy??
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