Thursday, December 15, 2011

Big suprise

We went to the doctor yesterday,
To see the baby on the way.
We thought we were having a girl.
The words of the doctor made us whirl.
We were surprised with joy,
we are having our 4th little boy.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Graham Crackers Houses

     The boys have been asking to make gingerbread houses for a while. I promised them we would do them & that it no matter if any one else could do it with us by Monday we would do them. So Monday afternoon we started working on them.  We had to have school first, & then we started working on them. First we have been talking about classification of animals in Science, so I made them review what it means to classify something & then told them to classify the candy.  

The mixed up candy. 

The boys trying to classify it. 

The candy all classified & ready to go. 

I read that somewhere that you should use chocolate (white in our case) instead of frosting. The dipping chocolate hardens faster so it doesn't take as long to build the houses & attach the candy. I luckily had some on hand & I admit once I got the right temperature they went together really well & held nicely. I will be using white chocolate from now on. 

My little dude working on his. 

The cowboy trying to get his candy to stay.  About half way into it, this little boys looks at me as says " I thought this was going to be dumb, but it is actually cool." I laughed. Glad you think so cowboy.  
My monkey focusing on decorating his. 

My little dude showing off his almost complete house. 

My monkey's completed house, with sled in the back. 
My cowboys's finished house & sled. He built a shed somewhere, but I don't know where it ended up for the picture.

So it made a nice mess (big surprise) but it was really a lot of fun. I think we will have to make it an annual Christmas tradition. The boys loved it & I am glad we took time out of our crazy days to do something fun. For the last 13 days left until Christmas I am trying to do something "Christmas/Snow" Related.   On Monday we made these & yesterday we spent the afternoon at the Quilt Club I attend Christmas party.  Not quite sure what we will do this afternoon, maybe paper snowflakes or something simple. Since it is a crazy day, and the rest of the week just gets worse.  
   We will see. . . what are your fun plans for this week? 

Monday, December 12, 2011

A Lifetime of Memories.

Grandma's 84 Birthday!!

  So last Thursday we were lucky enough to be able to spend time with my Grandma & help her celebrate her 84th. Birthday.  My grandma is amazing. One thing I love about where we live, is we live close enough to see her frequently & she is apart of my boys lives. She has celebrated Easter & Christmas & other holidays with us. We have spent hours visiting with her in her kitchen & my boys love her so much. As do I.   I have so many wonderful memories of her house, from the time I was little to now. She is my mom's mom & well their personalities are a lot a like. Grandma is easy going, sweet, loving & very active.  Still at 84 she is canning, planting her own garden & still on the go. I feel so lucky we have gotten to have her around so long & hope she sticks around a lot longer. 

  So for her birthday we made chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting. (She is where my sweet tooth originates.) And headed over to her home. She had just had lunch with my mother, so ice cream & cupcakes were perfect.   

Eating Cake & Ice Cream with Great-Grandma  

The boys with Grandma on her 84th birthday. 

  This year I wanted to give Grandma something special for her birthday.  I saw this a while ago on Pinterest, & then a week before her birthday as I contemplated what we could give her. I remembered it. 
           So I wrote this letter:

Hello everyone!

If you're receiving this email, you probably know that my grandma, Marilyn , is turning 84 December 8th (much as she would hate us to be reminding everyone, I'm sure.) To celebrate her birthday, I'd like to put together a little surprise for her to let her know that her nearest and dearest are thinking of her. I'm going to try and create "84 Years of Memories" by filling 84 envelopes with a memory her friends and family have of her.

And this is where you come in! 

If you have a spare moment in the next few days (as soon as possible, there isn't much time), we would be so grateful if you'd jot down a favorite memory you have of our favorite woman and put it in the post. It doesn't have to be anything fancy -- you can just write it down on a piece of paper and sign your name. You can mention anything you like -- although the more nostalgic the better! Please absolutely feel free to send more than one memory (in fact, we welcome it -- we've got 84 envelopes to fill!), but make sure you write them on different pieces of paper (and sign your name to each) so we can split them up. You can mail them to me at my address . Or if it is easier for you, you can e-mail them to me at

Thank you so, so, so much for participating -- I know everyone is busy with their own lives, and I do appreciate you taking a few minutes to do this; it will be so worth it when she reads all the memories people have of her! And she knows how much she is loved from near & far. (Please don't forget to keep it a surprise until then, though!) But please respond quickly as we only have a few days for this miracle birthday present to happen. 

Thank you so much again. 

-- Me 

P.S. Please pass, forward this to anyone who knows my grandma, as I have a limited number of address & e-mail. Or pass it along word of mouth, to anyone who has had the pleasure of meeting my lovely grandma.
 So after a few phone calls & some mass e-mails to family & friends of my dear Grandmother, we started collecting memories of her. Not just some, 84, to be exact. A memory for every year of her life.   This is has to me one of my favorite gifts of all time to have every given someone. 

 I was nervous that we wouldn't be able to pull it off, with such little time. But everyone came through for me & in fact I am still receiving memories of her & have more than 84. 
   It turned out to be quite a few. Here is the stack of  "A lifetime of Memories." 84 envelopes each filled with a memory of my Grandma.   

My monkey was so excited to give it to her & he wanted to make sure that his was read 1st. So he kept it out, I made my 84 envelopes & then when we got there he gave his to her 1st.

It was such a wonderful day to spend with my Grandma & to all those that helped. Thank you, it was greatly appreciated. To grandma who will check this as well. We love you so much & thanks for all the wonderful memories!

And to anyone who is a looking for an amazing gift to give to someone, though I would start this a month or 2 prior. That way you can get some from all places they lived. (One weeks was a little too short). But i would recommend it. It was a amazing.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Home made Gifts

  Christmas is just around the corner.  It seemed so far away & now it is coming so fast! Which brings me to one of my favorite questions. Do you make home made gifts.  The answer at this house, is yes.  Not everything, but when I was growing up & I think to this day my mom has always made me at least one thing. Home made. She is amazing. It is a tradition that I am trying to keep alive today.

In the past I  have made some things, like pajamas, blankets, one year I made this car mat:

This year,   I have ideas & haven't even started. . .  I am starting to push it I  realize. Only 18 days left.   So my goal for everyday until Christmas, is to give at least 15 minutes a day on working on them. I will let you know how it goes & maybe even give you sneak peek if I can.  But for now if you are want to make something, but not sure what. Here are a few cute gift ideas I have found on the web.
Click on the picture or this text & it should take you there. 
Click on Picture or these words & it should take you there.

photo_memory_5 copy     family photo go-fish game

or A Family Photo "Go-FISH Game" 

So there are a few just to get you started. I know most of them are boy gifts, but that is what runs in this house. I will keep posting more ideas as I find them on here.  For now . ..  happy gift giving, & go make something.  It is really quite nice, & pass a tradition on to your kids. Or if it is already a tradition of yours, please leave a comment & tell me some of the things you have made. I am always on the lookout for more ideas!! Thanks. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

  The other day I was  craving a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. I didn't want to run to the store, when I remembered I have an homemade version of  Reese's Peanut Butter Cups from my Aunt Sheryl. So we dug it out & made them.  I usually make a 1/2 batch, instead of a full batch, because it makes a lot. I forgot that & made a whole batch, it was tons. Either way they are delicious. 

Here is what you need.:

Home Made Peanut Butter Cups

   1 c. butter
   1 tsp. Vanilla
   2  Cups peanut butter
   A Dash of Milk &  3 cups powdered Sugar

 Melt & mix the butter, vanilla, peanut butter & dash of milk.  Until it looks about like this: 

Then add your 3 cups of Powdered sugar. Mix well. 

It looks kind of like this. I then let it cool, so I can handle it better. 

Roll into balls, or whatever shaped desired. Place on Wax paper & Let cool completely. 
Melt some chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet) or you could used dipping chocolate. If you use chocolate chips add a Tablespoon or so of Shortening. I melted mine over  a double boiler on the stove. But you could use your microwave. I just don't own one. Then dip & roll your peanut butter in your chocolate. Place back on the wax paper & let cool & the chocolate harden. 

Now eat & enjoy!!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Checking Accounts.

  Yesterday I had the privileged of taking all 3 of my boys to the bank & opening up checking accounts. Now, I will be truthful when I headed into town I knew I wanted all of my boys to have checking accounts, not just savings. But  I wasn't sure if you can get a checking account for a 3 year old. It turns out where I bank you can.

      So now you may ask, why on earth does any of my kids need a checking account. Well it's simple. I don't believe in paying my kids allowance for household chores or anything similar.  I just don't. My kids don't get paid to make their beds, clean their rooms,  vacuum (anything) or to bring in wood to heat the house. To me that is just part of being a family. You pitch in, to make our house run smoother. We just do it together, that is what we do.  Call me mean or  grouchy, but I want my kids to know that a family means you help out no matter what. Not if you get paid to do it. 
So we don't pay my kids anything. If they want money they can earn it themselves.  Or if we are doing something that is a business related & they want to get hired on & work. They can. If they want to think of a business &  earn their own money they can. 

     My boys once stood by the side of the road & played  their guitar & electric piano.  If I could have thought of anyone that could have driven  by & given 25 cents. I would have. But we live on a slow road & after about an hour, they  came in the house. I thought they would be heartbroken, & though they were a little discouraged, all they said to me is "That didn't work out very good, I think we need a better plan."
    And so it goes, I want my boys to become entrepreneurs. It is our family goal, by the time my boys are in high school they will have been running their own business (whatever it may be) & be profitable for years before they get to high school. So that is what we are working on. 

   This spring we took on a LOT of baby animals. I mean hundreds on baby animals that needed 4 times a day bottle feeding. These little boys got hired as my help in bottle feeding the goats & sheep.

 Oh what a chore that was. Some days I spent 8 hours or so just in the barn doing daily feedings, ect. 

It doesn't get cuter than that. 

This little dude was one of my best bottle feeders.
But it taught them to work, & that they had to even if they didn't feel like doing it. The babies would die if they didn't go out & do chores. I think it teaches them valuable lessons.
And so it goes, we are working on creating their own business, for each child. They need their own starting capital. 
So the other day, my boys finally got paid for all their hard work feeding bums. & off to the bank we went. To do this: 

My little dude, trying to sign his paperwork. For 3 year old he didn't do to bad. 

My cowboy electronically signing his account. 

My monkey signing his paperwork. His is blurry sorry.( That is what you get when you use a camera phone & a 3 year old on your lap who wants to take the pictures instead.) 

Because if they are going to run their own business, they need their own checking accounts. Remember the monkey post about his business plan & pigs. (You can read it here if you missed it.)
He has his own pig operation at the age of 5. We have the books on it, so we can keep records of what he spends on feeds, initial investment, ect. Just a regular business.  So why does my 5 year old need a checking account.  Well his operation has been running off of loans since August. Now his has his own capital, & the pigs are almost out of feed again. Except this time, I won't be the one writing the check. 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Guest Posting Today . . . Go Check it out!

      Today I am guest blogging & I must say I am pretty excited about it too! I will be teaching you tips & tricks of Refinishing furniture that I have learned.  As well as showing you some of my before & after  pictures too!  So if you want to check it out head on over to: Jade Louise Designs.  I have known her for quite some time & she is an awesome lady. 

Also I am slowly starting to get my Etsy shop up & running. So look for a shop called the butterflypatch.
Right now I only have 3 items in, but more will be coming. There will be some more Fine Art Prints that will be added, along with some Ties for your Little Guys & an a Pattern or two, and possibly a few more quilts. Once I get the original quilt finished. But for now it is a start. So I would love to chat, but I will be spending my day chatting over at 
  Jade Louise Designs, followed by a trip to the Bank to open savings/business accounts for all of my boys, a trip to the dentist, grocery store & the regular Monday mayhem   So go check out my guest post, & let me know if you have questions. Otherwise I will see you lovely people tomorrow. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Spinach Salad

I made this for Thanksgiving & it was a hit. When you first hear the ingredients that go into it you can't help but wonder. Your first bite. Your hooked. Now, I can't claim this as my own, because I got it from my friend Jodie & I am not quite sure where she got it. But it is a keeper. After tasting it, my sister asked for the recipe, so I thought I would share with everyone. 


           (Not my greatest picture, I cropped it out of the Thanksgiving one. Next time I make it, I will try to take a picture that is more appealing).

Spinach Salad

½ C. Slivered Almonds & 3T. Sugar
1 Head Lettuce
1 bag Spinach
¾ lb. Grated Swiss Cheese
1 red onion
1 can mandarin oranges, drained
½ lb. Bacon, cooked & crumbled
¾ lb. Fresh sliced mushrooms

*Cook sugar and almonds with some butter all together until light brown. Mix together lettuce, spinach, cheese, and
chopped onion. Add oranges and almonds before serving. Add bacon and mushrooms and toss.

Poppy Seed Dressing:
1T. poppy seeds
1/3 Cup Vinegar
¾ Cup Oil
1/3 Cup Sugar
1/8 Cup finely chopped onion
1 tsp. dry mustard
¾ tsp. salt

*Shake well in quart jar. Let chill in fridge.

Don't mix the dressing & salad, just put it on as you eat. Just as you would with most green salad. It doesn't take a lot of dressing.  

It is delicious. Enjoy! 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Our Thanksgiving Week

 This is just a glimpse of our Thanksgiving Week.   For the week or two prior to Thanksgiving in home school we have been learning all about Thanksgiving .Why it was started. Why the pilgrims left England. We discussed the Mayflower, how 50% of those that made it died the 1st winter, we talked of Squanto.   I learned that the famous Pocahontas story happened before the "Pilgrims" came to America. That is how Squanto learned English. He was taken back to England as a slave by John Smith's men & later escaped & came back to America. When he arrived he discovered his entire tribe to have been killed by the plague.  I am impressed with Squanto, because after all that,  he still found it in his heart to help the pilgrims & teach them to plant food & help them survive.  

Anyways along with learning all about pilgrims & the first Thanksgiving we had to do a few Thanksgiving games & crafts. 

My Monkey doing a puzzle. 

The Completed Puzzle 

We made a Garland with things we are thankful for. 

We cut out & reviewed our shapes to create Indians. 

Little Dude's 

My Monkey's Indians 

& Cowboys finished Indians. 

We used to Oreo s & Candy Corns to create little Turkeys.  (Just in case you ever do this, use the double stuff Oreo. The Normal ones were quite big enough.  

We usually do an activity the Monday before Thanksgiving & make treats & notes to take around to those we are thankful for. We missed it this year because a few of my boys were sick. 

Then later in the week,  we packed up & made our journey to my hometown to have Thanksgiving with my family. Sad to say we were there for 4 days & I have hardly any pictures to show for it. To make it worse the ones I do have don't really have any people in them. Oops. I guess we will do better next year. 

Because this year we still met with all of my dad's brothers & sisters & their kids this year we did it at a church. So there was room for everyone. 

My boys with their cousins. 

We ended up taking my two youngest home back to Grandma's house because my Monkey started to run a fever, but everyone else stayed late into the day playing games & visiting. 

We had a great time & my hubby realized that it was the first time my sister & her kids have ever been to Thanksgiving with the family in our entire marriage. Which is almost 9 years, but I think it was even longer than that. So we had a great time & visit. We are so blessed & have so many things to be grateful for!