Thursday, December 29, 2011

Birthday Girl!!

We couldn't not do a special post for our dear sweet sister ANDREA for her birthday!

She started out as a beautiful baby

Seriously, just such an adorable little girl!

And then she went through a bit of an awkward phase...people may or may not have mistaken her for a 4th son in old family pics.

But through it all, she has maintained one thing...
her perfection!

She has always been the brains of the family
and the perfect child
(secretly I think she is the REAL favorite child)
But no one can be angry at her for that title,
she really is PERFECT!
And we love her oh so much!
Happy Birthday to the 2nd oldest sister at {Junk in their Trunk}

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Mrs. Claus

We are the girls from {Junk in their Trunk}
Here we all are with our momma.  She's a saint.  I mean she raised 9 kids.  Can you tell who the sister in laws are?  They kind of fit right in with the family don't they. 

Today we are going to share with you a fun little tradition our family has done since forever.  A few days after Santa would visit our house, we always had a 'special' visitor who came and hid us a little present.  Every NEW YEARS DAY we would wake up and hurry through the house looking for our hidden present from none other than MRS. CLAUS.  It never was anything big necessarily, but the excitement of finding the gift was almost as exciting as Christmas morning.

Years later we have all grown up and started our own little families.  This tradition has continued on with each of our families.  Our kids love it just as much as we loved it. 

If you haven't tried this tradition yet, this is the perfect year to start it.  We have attached a short story of how Mrs. Claus started her tradition of delivering gifts on New Years Eve (written by none other than Andrea).  The one thing to remember is that Mrs. Claus doesn't give big gifts.  She specializes in small gifts since Santa is the big gift giver.  This tradition is great to have especially if you get a gift late or forget where you have hidden something you bought to give your kids for Christmas.  But above all, it is great watching those little ones eyes light up with excitement and running around the house looking for that gift from the one and only Mrs. Claus. 

One year shortly after Santa had completed his season of gift giving, his beautiful young wife was putting in a load of laundry, careful to keep the whites separate from all those dastardly red suits that have a propensity to bleed and turn everything pink, when she discovered a sack full of gifts behind the laundry hamper that Santa had forgotten to deliver.  Already feeling a little overlooked and underappreciated for her part in the gift giving business, she hatched a plan to be sure the neglected gifts would be delivered to their rightful recipients with credit being given where it was due.  Santa always spent the week after Christmas cleaning out the sleigh of all those cookie crumbs and spilt milk, pampering the reindeer recuperating from their trans-world voyage, and sweeping up the torn wrapping paper and scraps of ribbon from the workroom.  Once these tasks were complete, he pampered himself for one night only by catching up on the latest football season and drinking eggnog till he crashed on the couch for at least 12 hours straight in a dreamless stupor.  This always happened on the last night of the year when the rest of the world was celebrating New Years Eve.  Poor Mrs. Claus had spent many a New Years Eve all by herself while Santa snored away in his La-Z Boy.  She knew this would be the perfect time to carry out her plan to salvage the gifts that Santa forgot.  

New Year's Eve day came and as soon as Mrs. Claus heard Al Michaels voice carry over the TV waves, she went out to the stables and prepped 4 reindeer for the journey (she didn't need all 9 since being a woman she was willing to ask for directions and therefore didn't take as many wrong turns causing unnecessary flight time for the reindeer).  She tossed in the bag of forgotten toys and began her journey across the world to deliver the presents that Santa forgot.  As she came to the first house, she could hear the celebrations for New Years Eve going on inside.  Not wanting to intrude or interrupt the festivities, she decided to hide the gift in another room so that when the child woke up on New Years Day, they would be surprised to find something hidden away for them, even more surprised when they saw that the gift was from the one and only Mrs. Claus.  After all, anyone who thinks that a man of all people could pull off something so grand as to deliver presents to all the world in a single night all of his own accord, has obviously never lived with a man.  Truly, a gift giving operation like Christmas has the stamp of a woman all over it.  And that is why on New Year's Eve, she personally takes care of the delivery of the gifts that Santa forgot.   

And now you know the story behind our family's fun New Years Eve tradition of Mrs. Santa's visit.


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Link It Up Wednesday #9

Thank you to everyone who linked up this past week.  I know it was a slower week due to the Christmas holiday.  But we still had a great turnout and some wonderful link ups!
Here are our top pics of the week...

Most viewed link:
24 Household Ideas by Keeping It Simple

Chasing the Sun by One Hook Wonder

Sea Salt Hand Scrub by I Can't Stop Crafting

Memory Cigar Box by Love Bug Living

Kraft Paper Wraps by Space 46

LaLa Lollipop by Polka Dots on Parade

Fun Twist on a Journal by The Brown Eyes Have It

Rolled Flower Headbands by The Little Giggler

Sofa Table Block Art by Her-Ballistic Garden let's get those creative juices flowing!

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Snow Warms Your Heart....really!

It's that time of year (unless you live in warm places like my siblings in Vegas, or if you're lucky enough to live somewhere tropical like Hawaii--SIGH!)
But if you're somewhere that actually gets a real winter, and it looks like this outside, don't cry. It can be fun (unless you have to drive in it). You can use your creative juices to bring Hawaii to you. Let me explain.
But first some rules! What's wrong with the above picture?
Oh, could it be that my daughter is out in below freezing weather with short sleeves and no hat?
That's better. Thanks, obedient daughter.

Now snow comes in all sorts of textures and smooshiness factors. Eskimos, I've been told, have a whole bunch of words to describe different types of snow. Good for them. For this post though, rather than confuse you with Eskimo terminology, I'm going to just use two adjectives to differentiate--GOOD and BAD.

Good snow is when you take a handful and pack it together and it stays put. You can make 100s of snowballs and throw them at people and get all your winter angst out of your system (well, at least until the next time you have to drive and your rear wheel drive tires are spinning out at the green light and that stupid 4 wheel drive behind you honks).

Bad snow is when you take a handful and pack it together...and it doesn't stay put. No matter how hard you press it or mold it or yell at it, it keeps falling apart into white worthless shapeless powder. Urgh! Me hate bad snow!

Now when you get good snow--which we don't often here in Boise, Idaho--you can mold it into tropical shapes to pretend you are on a beach chair in Hawaii.
Doesn't her tan look lovely?  I would get after her for her shoe attire and lack of gloves, only I can't.  She thinks she's in Hawaii, and I don't want to burst her bubble.

Oh, here's Ginger getting in on the action. If you have lonely pets, winter is a great time to create friends for them (nice snowy friends who don't poop all over your yard and leave hair all over your house. I love those kind of friends, and would have them stay forever, except they melt--like Frosty the Snowman. But don't worry, they'll be back again someday!)
One magical winter, we got dumped on with some GOOD, GOOD snow. My kids went wild and couldn't just make a regular snowman. Oh no! This was GOOD, GOOD snow. They were determined to clear every inch of snow from the front yard to create the biggest snowman in the neighborhood.

Now, I don't know if you knew this, but as you compact good snow, it gets heavy....Really Heavy!!! My poor kids could hardly roll these balls around by the end; but they weren't deterred. Oh no! They used the basic scientific lever method to roll the balls onto each other (snow is scientifically stimulating!)
Dad might have helped them get the head on top (I know mom didn't).
If you aren't lucky enough to get good snow, and receive the barely endured bad snow, don't lose hope. This is how to make a snowman out of the bad stuff. It's still pretty cute, I think.

We were lucky and after we made the bad snow snowman, we got some good snow. The kids went out and were like Calvin and Hobbes, making an army of big snowman to annihilate the bad snow snowman. Poor guy. I felt bad for him.
If your kids aren't into playing chaos and destruction with their snowmen, then maybe they want a taste of the real thing. My boy and his friends passed hours outside clearing the driveway and heaping the snow into a huge pile which they then made into a fort and dug tunnels through. Then they played chaos and destruction in real time! (And Mom enjoyed that they did this while she drank her hot chocolate inside the warm house with her wool socks on her feet)

Now my girls....they just want to be in Hawaii. Here's my oldest making a sea turtle to pretend the world is 78 degrees and humid, with a nice trade wind blowing across her tanned swim-suit clad body.
Ginger loves sea turtles.
So do I. I once followed one for a ways as I was snorkeling off Tunnels Beach in Kauai, and they are the most graceful creatures alive. I almost feel like one right now...don't you? Making a sea turtle in the snow is sure to warm you up (or not).
But watching your kids happy faces as they show you their snow creatures--whether they be great or small--will definitely warm your heart. I know it does mine. (Ginger!  Did you just eat your friend?)

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Monday, December 26, 2011

What a Tease!

Hey everyone, Liesl here with a quick styling tip on how to tease your hair. There are many ways to tease your hair but this is the way I do it and it can last all day if done properly.
I love to use just a normal styling comb when I tease. I have purchased many different kinds of teasing combs and brushes but I always go back to the normal comb that has one side fine tooth and the other bigger. I tried to show it in this picture below. Also you will need a good quality hairspray. My fav is Kenra aerosal hairspray (I like the super hold for teasing)but there are many others out there. Just make sure your hairspray dries fast and is not too wet.

Now for the teasing part. I usually just tease the top part of my hair. I usually do 2 to 3 pieces in the back and 1 to 2 on each side. On this picture below I already had done a slice of hair underneath the piece I have up.
So you start by holding a slice of hair up and spray it lightly with some hairspray at the base where you will be teasing.

Then with the fine tooth part of your comb you start in the middle or a couple inches from your scalp and push down with your comb 2 to 6 times.

Then you hairspray lightly again the part you just teased and put your can of hairspray underneath that tease for a second to let it dry and hold into place. This step actually helps a ton!

Ha ha see how nice it stays:) Just please don't leave it that way!

Now with the bigger tooth side of the comb I gently come over the top of the tease so that the teased part is hidden. Please please hide it! I hate when I see a rats nest in someone's hair. Don't make it look like you teased your hair.

Now here is the before and after.
Please excuse my straggly hair in the pics, I couldn't find my straightener this morning and was in a hurry. But you can get the idea.
I'm definitly not a big haired person but with my fine hair I need the tease to simply put some texture and a little something extra up top. It also holds my hair in place so I'm not feeling frumpy in an hour after I've done my hair.

So there is my ghetto tutorial:)
I hope it makes sense and helps any of you that struggle with teasing your hair.
Happy Teasing:)

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Friday, December 23, 2011

Jettison that Christmas to-do list

This happens to me every year - I make a long to do list to cover everything under Creation I want to accomplish for the Christmas season and in the very act of making it or reviewing it I add more things to  it.  In fact, even in the process of crossing something off the list because I accomplished it, I will think of seven new things to add.  The list never shrinks, only grows.

As Christmas nears closer and closer, the list is longer and longer and all I find myself wanting is for the whole season to be over and done with so I can toss that stupid list and get back to reality. 

I, for one, would enjoy the Christmas season a whole awful lot more if I would just learn to jettison that list a whole lot earlier than I do.  So what if I can't deliver a plate of twenty different home-baked cookie varieties to all 127 families in my neighborhood.  They'll survive - and their waistlines will thank me.  And so I forgot to get something for half a dozen friends of friends and teachers of my children from a decade and a half ago.  They're too busy to notice and my pocketbook will thank me.  At some point, when the list gets in the way of appreciating the wonder of the season, it's time to toss the list.  The word "jettison" derives from Old English and denotes the throwing of goods overboard to lighten a ship in distress.  This word made me think of something I heard from Dieter Uchtdorf who said that an acceptable sacrifice is when we give up something good for something of far greater worth.  The things on the list are all good but it will be of far greater worth to you and anyone who has to live under the same roof with you, if you give up some of those "good" things on the list for something better - time to reflect on the real meaning of the season.  My mom just told me a poignant story she heard of a harried lady shopping with her son in a mall a few days before Christmas.  Frustrated by the crowds and the hassle of it all she exclaimed, "Whoever came up with this stupid holiday should be strung up and shot."  Her son quietly replied, "Well, mom, I think they crucified Him instead."  It's now the 23rd of December and if someone asks you if you're ready for Christmas and all you can think to retort back is "Yeah, ready for it to be over", then it's time to jettison the list.  Kick back, have some cocoa, with any luck watch some snow quietly falling out your window, drink in the fragrance of your dying Christmas tree, and just let the season and the Man behind it all wrap you in peace for a day and a half.  Merry Christmas!
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A Twist on Eggnog

Eggnog is a drink that people either LOVE or HATE.  Personally I am a HUGE fan of it.  I love when Christmas time comes around and that eggnog hits the shelf.  And I also love that my husband hates eggnog because that means when I buy a carton of it I can devour it all by myself  and not have to worry about him stealing it:)

Anyways every Christmas Eve our family would get together with lots of our cousins and aunts/uncles and have a little party.  Us kids would reenact the nativity and Santa always paid a visit and of course there was delicious food.  I always looked forward to 2 things.  1) My aunts egg salad sandwiches and 2) my grandmas eggnog.  There was just something special about my grandmas eggnog. 

Today we are sharing her eggnog recipe.  And the best part is how simple it is.  

eggnog from the store
 Vanilla ice cream
 7 up or Sprite
Pour eggnog into a punch bowl.  Add desired amount of ice cream (depends on how thick you want it).  Add soda to make the mixture as thin or as thick as you want it.  And add a dash of nutmeg. 

As you can see we love to take the already calorie ridden eggnog and make it healthier:)

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

O Holy Night

Amidst the hustle and bustle of this week...

Let us take time to reflect and ponder our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ.
Not just His birth, but His life, His death, His resurrection and the HOPE we all have because of HIM.

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Link it up Wednesday #8

Its that time again.  Time to share with us any fun things you have been up to.  Remember we have no rules so link up old, new, giveaways, whatever you want.  We love seeing them all. 

Our most viewed link from last week was....
Neighbor & Teacher Gift Ideas by The Brown Eyes Have It found HERE

And here are our favorites:

1 Sweater 3 Crafts by COBBLESTONES & IVY found here


Window Ornaments by Salvage Savvy found HERE

I Spy Snow Globes by Reading Confetti found HERE

Ruffle Tree Forest by DOMESTIC IMPERFECTIONS found here

Stocking Holders by Southern Lovely found HERE

Penguin Oreo Pops by THE SWEET SWIPER found here


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