Monday, November 30, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

We spent most of our weekend decorating our home for Christmas. I'll be honest and say, it was definitely crazy decorating and being productive with four little ones wanting to "help".

The decorations are far from perfect,
but we had fun, laughed, and made special memories as we decorated together!

Shane's job was trying to untangle all the outside lights!! Oh the JOY!!!

Sophie and Riley playing with their little Fisher Price nativity.
Not sure what Sophie's face was all about-ha!

Riley having fun in the Christmas decorations!

We decided it was best to set the tree up in the foyer this year. Normally, we put it in the living room, but this year we decided to place it where it was out of reach from (you can guess who's) sweet, little hands.

The boys actually did a great job helping me decorate the tree, but Sophie girl was more interested in taking the ornaments off-ha!

Sweet Hudson was entertained by it all!

As we decorated, we cranked up the music and sang/danced along to our favorite Christmas carols.

I'm going to participate in the Nester's (LOVE her!) tour of homes on December 14th!

Christmas Tour of Homes with The Nester

I am SO... excited and can't wait to peek inside other homes and enjoy
looking at every one's beautiful Christmas decorations!
Oh-- the inspiration!

I hope you will join in on the fun too!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Sam is BACK--a FUN Christmas Tradition!

Sam, our sweet little Elf , has returned from the North Pole. Each year Sam (the boys named him) arrives the day after Thanksgiving. His sole responsibility is to watch the kids behavior and then fly back to the North Pole to give a report to Santa each night. In the morning, after the boys awake, they discover that Sam has returned from the North Pole and is hiding in a new and different place!

This has become such a fun family tradition for us. The boys have been so.......looking forward to Sam's return this year. They have literally been counting down the days for months now.

When they woke up this morning, they bolted out of bed and headed downstairs to see if indeed Sam had returned and where he was hiding.

Riley was the first to spot him-- perched high on the kitchen chandelier.

And does make a difference in their behavior. They were remarkably good today! Let's hope they keep it up!!!=)

Does your family have an elf friend too?
Head on over to Kelly's Korner and check out some other fun family traditions!

Give Thanks!

We hope you had a wonderful and joy-filled Thanksgiving! We sure did!
We were blessed to have BOTH Shane and my family together in our home for Thanksgiving this year. It's such a treat to have EVERYONE (26 people) together under one roof!

Two sets of GREAT-grandparents and two sets of Grandparents, along with lots of aunts, uncles, and cousins make for one JOYOUS and FUN-FILLED day!

Shane holding his niece Makayla!

Two of my sisters--they are true blessings in my life!

My grandpa and uncle Charlie!

The food was DELICIOUS and the fellowship was sweet!
We ate until our bellies were stuffed!!!

Corban enjoyin' his turkey!

Mamma's little turkey!

We also had some furry visitors with us too. Shane's mom brought along three of her adorable puppies for the kids to play with. Riley fell in love with this little guy! We would LOVED to have kept him, but our family is not quite ready for a pet-- yet! Maybe when the babies are a little older.

We truly have so much to be thankful for this year. I am humbled by the Lord's goodness! He has truly blessed me more than I could ever have imagined!!!!!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

National Adoption Day Celebration!

Saturday morning we headed to our county courthouse to celebrate National Adoption Day. Our family, along with 59 other families, finalized adoptions during a special ceremony that day.

We were so excited to participate in the days events and of course finally finalize Sophie's adoption. It was so... sweet to be there and witness so many other families becoming FOREVER families as well. So many happy tears were shed!

There were carnival- like games and refreshments set up in the lobby of the courthouse.

Sophie had fun playing in the prizes!

Waiting for our turn to enter the court room!

My mom, Aunt Betty, and Grandma came to celebrate the day with us!

My sweet Aunt Betty and Hudson!

Daddy and his boys!

Standing before the Judge. She handed us our adoption decree and then gave Sophie a little teddy bear!

It's official...We're FINAL!!!!
Together FOREVER and EVER!!!!!!!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

A few of my favorite pumpkin recipes!

I LOVE anything pumpkin! I've probably already eaten my weight in pumpkin treats this fall. lol!
I thought I would share with you a few of my all-time favorite pumpkin recipes.
Of course, their is this Pumpkin Bread. I posted the recipe a while back.
So delicious!!!!

Have you ever had pumpkin dip? It is the BEST! I had it for the first time a couple of weeks ago when one of my sweet neighbors brought it to a get together. Trader Joe Ginger Snaps go with it perfectly!! I'm not kidding when I tell you that I ate so much of this dip I had no room for dinner!!!

Pumpkin Dip Recipe
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 (15 ounce) can solid pack pumpkin
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon frozen orange juice concentrate

In a medium bowl, blend cream cheese and confectioners' sugar until smooth. Gradually mix in the pumpkin. Stir in the cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and orange juice until smooth and well blended. Chill until serving.

Another one of my all time favorite desserts is Pumpkin Crisp!
I like this better than regular pumpkin pie! It's so...........good!!
Riley and I made this dessert today!

  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 (29 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Set aside 1 cup cake mix for the topping. Combine remaining cake mix, 1 egg, and melted butter or margarine. Pat into a 9x13 inch baking pan.
  2. In a large bowl, mix pumpkin, 2 eggs, spices, 1/2 cup sugar, and milk. Pour pumpkin mixture over the cake mix crust.
  3. In a small bowl, combine 1 cup cake mix and 3/4 cup sugar. Cut in 1/2 cup softened butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle mixture on top of pumpkin mixture.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 55 minutes.
And here are four of the yummiest PUMPKINS of all...

...all bathed, in their cozy pj's, and cuddling together on the couch!

Monday, November 16, 2009

My two little turkeys!

Just finished making Thanksgiving outfits for the kids. Sophie and Hudson wore theirs to church on Sunday!

My little turkey!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Some "Turkey" Fun...

I really can't believe Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away!!!! It's time to start preparing my menu for Thanksgiving dinner! Oh, how I just LOVE this time of year!

Yesterday, Corban had the day off of school in honor of Veterans Day! We decided to have some "Turkey" fun in preparation for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday! I LOVE doing little arts and craft projects with my kids---especially holiday projects!

The first thing we made (and probably the boys favorite craft) were these adorable
Oreo turkey's!

They not only looked cute but were YUMMY too!

We also made turkey hand prints. This was definitely my favorite project.

It was quite the mess painting Sophie and Hudson's hands, but their little turkeys ended up looking so precious!!!

I wanted to take a picture of the kids holding their hand print--just so I will ALWAYS remember exactly how little they were when they did these prints!

My sister Al and my sweet Sophie girl!
I'm going to cut each hand print out and laminate them altogether in order to
save them for years to come.

We also made "paper cup turkey's", and a "thankful turkey"--where the boys listed some things they were thankful for on each feather.

Now, we are definitely in the holiday spirit and ready to celebrate Thanksgiving!!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wednesdays Weekend Wrap-up!

Why do week days seem to drag sometimes,
but the weekends ALWAYS FLY by?

Sunday afternoon, we had my family over to celebrate all the October and November birthdays. We have a total of six birthdays to celebrate during these two months.
We always have one big birthday bash somewhere in the middle of when all the birthdays fall.

Sunday we celebrated Shane, my Dad,
my sister Al, my brother Steve, and my brother Tim's birthday.
WHEW--that's a lot of celebrating!

Baby Jake has an October birthday as well, but we
celebrated his first birthday at a special party a few weeks ago.

We enjoyed a yummy baked potato and chili supper and my sweet Grandma made several desserts. We had our choice between birthday cake, pumpkin pie, or apple pie! Some had a plate with them all;)! I think we could have skipped dinner altogether and went straight for the desserts ;)!

Sophie sure did enjoy sharing dessert with Grandma!

Dessert is DEFINITELY Riley's favorite part of the meal too!
Riley with Mimi!

After dinner, everyone had a great time chatting, or just hanging out watching football--of course!

Riley with my Grandparents!

Looks like these two could be dreaming up some kind of trouble to get into together!?!?!
What do you think?

Hangin' with just the boys!
We are SO....BLESSED to have ALL our family close by and to celebrate together another wonderful year of birthdays!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Friday Night-- "Family Night"!

Friday night, we headed to Corban's school for their first annual "Family Night"! There were lots of fun, carnival-like, games set up in the gym for the kids to play. Families were encouraged to dress up in their favorite team attire. Our family, of course, sported our Panther pride!!!

They had sack races,

hula hoop contests,

and Sophie's favorite...corn hole!

As you can see... a great time was had by all!!!!!!!!