Tuesday, November 29, 2011

It's Beginning to Look Like Christmas...

Slowly, but surely things are starting to look like the Holidays
around here.  The decorations are still slowly coming out
and the glitter and snow are speckled all over the floor.

Austin and Scott helped me put out the Snow Village
and Jackson, Bless his heart, can NOT keep his little hands
out of the snow...so needless to say it is sprinkled all over the floor.

The farm sits on the Entry Way table.
The little animals in the farm are rearranged daily...

All of the houses give off such a light glow.
I started collecting the Department 56 Original Snow Village houses
when Scott and I were married 17 years ago. 
We have not bought any for the last
few years because I am running out of places to put them.

This row sits across the top of the Entertainment Center
in the Great Room.

I just love the detail that is put into each one.
They take me back to the "small towns" with all of the streets
lined with wreath covered windows and the festive lights attached to
the city light poles.
I love the holidays!!!

Main Street sits across the top of the Buffet

These sit across the counter top in the Butler's Pantry.
The hedges and wrought iron fence look a little crooked...
Hmmm...wonder who had a hand in that!

Slowly but surely, we are decking the Halls and
getting in the Holiday Spirit!  As much as I have complained about
Jackson and my snow...I do need to go and buy some more.
Apparently, I have gotten lazy in the past when packing up
the Snow Village and have just resorted to sucking this stuff up
with the Vacuum.   There was not enough to go around this year.

Jackson and I are planning on putting out a few more
decorations today.  Our Elf on the Shelf "Russell" has
not arrived yet...he usually comes on the first of December,
so hopefully we'll have the house all ready for his arrival...
He needs some Christmas Cheer to play in...

Off to decorate...have a wonderful day!

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Monday, November 28, 2011

Black Friday Decorating!

This was the first year in a LONG time that my
mother and I have not been out at Midnight in the
crowd of crazies shopping for the big bargains!
She was still helping my brother get back on his feet
so we did not get any shopping in this year,
but I did get some decorating done...so the day was not a loss.

Scott put my wreath and garland on the front door this
week and my little Santa that sits
out front needed a little help this year.
Our front door faces south, so it takes a lot of weather.
Over the years, the paint has just worn off of him.
Mom bought Santa at Hobby Lobby one year
for a little bit of nothing...I think he might have been $12.

But as you can see...his paint was getting very thin.

So Jackson and I sat down and started painting.

Some bright Candy Apple Red and he
was looking better already...

Brightened up his beard with a fresh coat of
white...like new fallen snow...that they
are predicting in the weather forecast tonight...

A Lime Green tree and holly...
works for me!

Jackson helped with the star and also helped
give Santa a new pair of black gloves.

And there he is all ready to welcome guests as
they come through the front door.
I was going to take a photo of him standing guard at the
front door, but it turned cold and rainy as soon as he
was finished and I have not been able to
get out and snap a shot of him.

The kitchen canisters have a little holiday spirit going on...
but that is as far as we have gotten in the kitchen...

But the big tree has been pulled out
and dumped right in the middle of the foyer!

It was a lot easier to decorate sitting out
where we could walk all around it.
The Bow and Streamers started us off.

Then I added these new glittery ribbons that I found
at a local floral design shop.  They always have the most
beautiful trees in a variety of color schemes.
I don't really know what this stuff is.  It will bend a little,
but almost feels like plastic.  But it was very easy to use.
 I just cut it to length with my kitchen scissors
and then looped it to a branch...
and there you have it!

At this point Austin looked at me and said
"This tree sure looks Froo-free"
To which I replied in a very mature
parental tone
"So...what's your point"

A mix of gold, brown and deep red
are hanging from the branches.

There are a few whimsical ornaments, but overall
the tree is pretty simple.

All dressed up and ready to sit in the corner of our
family room to have lots of presents stuffed underneath!
That we still have to shop for...

Even though I didn't get to join the large
mass of shoppers, my sweet husband, who hates to shop
was out the door at 4:30 AM...
His mission was to grab this bad boy!

Scott has wanted a good miter saw for a while and I kept
telling him to get one...I had many, MANY projects that he
could mark off the list with this bad boy!
But he kept saying that it was just too much to spend.
But thanks to the great people at
Home Depot and the Black Friday Deal...
it came home with him...
at the crack of dawn.

I still think this is funny...

So, did you shop with the masses?
Or did you stay home and avoid the chaos?

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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Taking Time to Give Thanks...

Did you gobble 'till you wobble today?
We did!

What a week...
The last several days have been a little hectic around here.
The big Thanksgiving plans were in place and we were
ready to go.  Mom and Dad were coming down last Sunday
and my brother and his family were heading up to see
us on Tuesday.  The rest of the week was going to be spent
eating and decorating and some Black Friday shopping!

But our plans were changed....
My brother, who is only 43, suffered a heart attack last Sunday.
Our plans quickly changed.
After having 3 stints put in place, he is finally back home
and recovering with much to be thankful for.

So, the dinner plans changed, some decorating has begun...
the after Thanksgiving shopping...postponed a little,
but most of all we are thankful that he is still here
and on the mend.

    Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise;
 give thanks to him and praise his name.
Psalm 100:4

So as this season of Thanksgiving is upon us,
take time to look around and realize that we have
a lot to be thankful for.
We tend to get caught up in the hustle and bustle
of our daily lives some times that we forget to sit
back and enjoy the simplest things in life.
Not ever realizing that they can change in the blink of an eye...

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Rain, Rain and more Rain...

It is raining here today...
and I think the forecast is for rain
the next 10 days...
I am hoping their predictions are to just cover them 
"in case" it rains and that we will see some sunshine
over the next week.
The time change has been bad enough...
I don't like it being dark at 5 o'clock...I just don't.
And then if you add the gloomy rain on top of that

I have been trying to put away the Halloween stuff and 
pull out what little I have in the way of Fall Decor.

(I know there are only 2 candles...I could not for the life of me find
the 3rd small candle...I need to make a run to the store for some
pretty fall colored candles...but, it's raining...)

I saw these cute little candle holders at Cracker Barrell the other
night while I was waiting to pay the check.
Scott had taken Jackson over to play with the toys
while I paid and they had these on sale for 40% off.
I thought $11.50 for the set of three was a pretty good deal
so I grabbed them while I could.
When I walked back to see the boys, Scott looked at me 
a little funny...I told him he had just bought me a Christmas present.
He grinned and said
"Really, what did I buy"
I told him he bought me a fabulous set of candle holders for fall
and he got a really good deal on them...
he's such a good little shopper...NOT!

Truth be told...I think he would rather me do that kind of Christmas shopping
for myself than to have to fight the crowds and figure out a good gift idea.
Although he did hit a home run this past Mother's Day with my surprise
iPhone...yep...best gift ever...he totally rocked on that one!

Speaking of Christmas...
do you realize there are only
38 days until Christmas????

Oh my!!!
I am so far behind...

I need to make it through Thanksgiving,
and Austin's Robotics competition in Auburn,
and then dig my heels in and get going on gift buying!
I have a few items purchased for family, but need to get going
on my kids and see what Santa needs help with on his list.

Mom and Dad will be here next week,
along with my Brother and his family.
A house full, so, I better get cleaning!
Mom and I plan on getting some Christmas decorating done
and a little Black Friday shopping too!!!

Need to make my list 
and check it twice...

Have a great week!

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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

We NEVER eat in there....

Last week Scott came in and asked
"Can we have Miguel over for dinner next week?"

(heart skips a beat...)


Miguel is Scott's boss from California.
He was going to be in town for the week
and Scott thought it would be nice to have him over
for a home cooked meal while he was here.
They travel so much that I am sure eating out gets old.

Once the shock wore off,  I calculated how many hours
it was going to take me to hide all of the toys,
laundry, sweet up the dust bunnies and decided on a menu.

Scott kept telling me not to stress,
that this was not like the BOSS coming to dinner,
but just a dinner with good friends...
that made me feel better,
he's such a good husband!
He even helped me hide a dust bunny or twenty!

Once the plan was in place I decided that this would be 
a perfect opportunity to break out the "good" dishes
and play a little.

As we were picking up on Monday night, Austin told Scott that 
we needed to put the leaf back in the kitchen table, cause
we would not all fit in the kitchen, and guests were coming.
He paused a minute and said,
"Or we could eat in there...but we never do that!"

Well sonny...times are a changin' around here!
Not only was he going to eat in the dining room,
which we do use...Austin is just usually at the kids table in the kitchen.
I decided to totally blow his mind and let him eat off of 
our Wedding China, too!

Out came the dishes and the table was set.
I call this my Wedding China, but I actually had 
this before I ever even met Scott.
My mother worked at McRae's for several
years when I was in high school and she bought
a new set of fine china for both of us using her 
employee discount.  She also used that little discount on 
several pieces of silver too!  

So when we got married, I registered for Christmas china
instead...you'll get to see that in a few weeks!
(I can't wait for the holidays!)

I didn't have much time to think about a centerpiece
or try and get really creative,
I was trying to hide those dust bunnies, remember?
I had recently found these woven pumpkins at Target.
They were on clearance and I think I got them both for
less than $15.  I placed a candle in the middle of them and
had to say, "That will have to do"

I also didn't have any nice napkins on hand so I ran to
Tuesday Morning and grabbed these after I picked Austin up from school.
I didn't think my Bounty paper napkins would do the trick.
(No offense to the makers of Bounty)

We even used the "fancy glasses"
They are made by Gorham and are
the Cherrywood pattern...

Here's a little close up of my china.
It is Chandon Gold by Noritake.
I think it has now been discontinued.

I love the scalloped edges and delicate lace pattern.

 On the menu was
The Pioneer Woman's Pot Roast
you can find the recipe here
Fresh Green Beans
Sweet Potato Casserole
Sister Shubert's Rolls
Peanut Butter Pie for dessert

Dinner may not have been a show stopper,
but let me tell you...this dessert was to die for!

I served it in my individual trifle bowls
from Crate and Barrell.
This is soooo good!
I found the recipe the other day on 
Pinterest and thought I needed to keep it because 
Scott loves anything with Peanut Butter in it.

In case you are a Peanut Butter-a-holic too,
here's the recipe
that I found on Pinterest
or you can read it below

For the crust:
16 Oreo cookies
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the Filling:
1 cup heavy cream
8 ounces cream cheese
1 cup creamy-style peanut butter
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place Oreo cookies into a food processor and pulse into fine crumbs. 
 In a small bowl, combine cookie crumbs with melted butter and stir. 
 Evenly divide crumbs between your individual serving dishes 
and press into the bottom to form the crust.  In a stand mixer, beat the heavy cream until stiff peaks form.  Transfer whipped cream to a small bowl and place it into the refrigerator while you prepare the rest of the filling.  Place cream cheese and peanut butter in the mixing bowl and beat on medium speed until smooth.  Reduce speed to low and gradually add the confectioners' sugar until well combined.  Add in sweetened condensed milk and vanilla and beat on medium speed until creamy and smooth.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Stir in 1/3 of the whipped cream into the filling mixture.  Use a rubber spatula to fold in the reaming whipped cream until well blended and no streaks remain.
Evenly pipe or spoon into the serving dishes.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.  If desired, garnish with whipped cream and chocolate curls.


At the end of the evening, all of the dishes had been washed and dried
and my china had survived my two little men.
I can trust Scott with the "good dishes"
but Austin and Jackson are my work in progress.
They tried to use their best manners but I have to admit...
Austin was so excited to be using crystal that he tried to 
make his glass "sing" in the middle of dinner....
and immediately after that Jackson announced to our dinner guest

"I can go Poop in the Potty!!!"

Manners....yeah, we are still working on that...
I could have just crawled under the table and died with Jackson's 
announcement.  While we are very proud of his recent accomplishments,
we would prefer to keep that one away from a dinner table conversation.

Our honored guest was a trooper,
having raised two boys of his own,
he jumped right in there and said
"Hey, that's great, you are a Big Boy now!"

The night was a success...
good food and good friends
eating on the good china,
and good memories that you can hold over your 
children's heads FOREVER!!!

Hop on over and see all of the other beautiful tables at 

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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween 2011

Well, another Halloween is in the books!
Kermit the Frog gave it a thumbs up.
Austin dressed up at the green frog himself
and had fun going trick-or-treating with some of
his friends.

Jackson was ready to eat and did not have time to pose
for a picture.  He had already found the "Dirt Cake" and 
thought that he needed to take care of a gummy worm or two 
before they crawled on anyone's plate.

Every year, my friend Nancy has a big Halloween party
for all of the kids at church...and the big kids too.
Everyone brings a yummy treat to eat and Nancy provides
several pots of soup for the grown ups to eat.
We enjoy spending the evening with friends and then
all of the kids take off into her neighborhood and 
see how much candy they can haul back in.

The table was set with all kinds of yummy treats.

There were some tasty witches hats...
Jackson said they were very good...he had two.
He said he especially liked the "chaw-twit chip" on top.
I tried to tell him that was a Hershey Kiss, but he would not listen...

Talk about double dipping...someone just left their hand
in the dip...which was very yummy.

An assortment of yummy Krispy Kreme doughnuts.
In my opinion, you can never go wrong with a doughnut!

I tried my hand at some spooky deviled eggs...
I found this idea on Pinterest and it was really easy.
Just sliced some black olives and sat them on top and 
it looked like there were little spiders running all over.

And then it was time to
Jackson had so much fun running
from house to house and ringing the doorbell.

He spent most of his trick or treat time with his
friend Carolyn.
She was dressed as Hermine from Harry Potter

He thought this looked like the best house on the block
since Jackson was "Aubie", Auburn University's mascot.
He rang the door bell and when she came to the door he 
yelled "Trick or Treat, WAR EAGLE, Thank You"
all in one breath. It was kind of funny, but the lady at the door 
thought he was precious.  She said that was the best costume she
had seen all night!  Gotta love those Auburn fans!

Here was a quick shot of Caleb and Jackson
after the night was over.
Every little trick or treater was all tuckered out.
And so were the Mommies and Daddies!

Hope everyone had a very
Happy Halloween

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