Tuesday, November 29, 2011


The time of Advent is here! Advent refers to the coming or arrival of Jesus Christ. During the season of Advent we celebrate the first coming of Christ. There are many different way to celebrate or remember at this time of year. I'm going to share a couple today and more as we get closer to Christmas. We are going to try to do something special each day to remind us why we celebrate Christmas.

1. We started a couple weeks ago by getting some special candles. Scent is a big part of any experience for me. I love to find a yummy smelling candle to make my house smell good!We went to the Yankee Candle store and took our time smelling all the candles until we picked the perfect one!

2. We set up our Advent Wreath. All you need is a wreath, candle holders and candles. You light one candle each Sunday starting on the Sunday after Thanksgiving. The fifth candle is lit on Christmas Eve. We like to sing songs and read scripture while the candle or candles are lit. A good book to read is Christ in Christmas A Family Advent Celebration. (There are various authors for this book.)

3. We made Glitter Bells with different names of God on them. We hung them up as a reminder to why we are celebrating. Pants really enjoyed this craft.  Pie Pie got into it a little later.

4. We set up our Nativity. Pants and Pie Pie were especially excited to get this out. We only get it out at Christmas Time. I got a Fisher Price set when Pie Pie was little. I love it because the girls can play with it and act out the story. I would also like to get a special Nativity just for me! I've seen some very beautiful ones. Maybe next year!

Webkinz, gotta love them!

5. I have wrapped some Christmas books. I plan on letting the girls each open one occasionally to read before bed. These are not new and some are from the library. I just thought it would be a fun surprise! We'll see if it is! It's definitely not going to happen every night. That would be fifty books I would have to wrap! 

More ideas to come!
How do you keep Christ in Christmas!

Sunday, November 27, 2011


It's time for another Smile!

Proverbs 15:13a
A happy heart makes the face cheerful.

We recently had the chance to visit my Ema (my Grandma). When Pie Pie was little she couldn't say Great Grandma so she decided to call her Ema and it has been her name ever since. I can't say enough about this special lady. She is the greatest Grandma you could wish for. As you can see in the picture Pants loves her too! We haven't been able to visit her as much since she moved, but we are going to change that. She needs children around, just like all of us do, to remind us to laugh! Life is short, let's enjoy all of the smiles and laughs that we can along the way!
Pants and Ema were having a great time playing puppets. It's the simple things in life that bring the real smiles to our faces. Jesus knew that too. In the Bible He said "Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these.". Matthew 19:14 I know our kids can drive us all a little crazy sometimes, but they can also give us the greatest smiles and laughter in our lives. Never forget that and you are in possession of some of the greatest wisdom in the world!


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thankfulness Abounds

The Thankfulness continues at our house! We've added onto our lists and will continue until the first day of Advent. I might just keep going until the end of the year. I'll just cut out some Christmas shapes. There can never be too much Thankfulness!

I love Yankee Candles!

Psalm 95:2
Let us come before Him with Thanksgiving and extol Him with music and song.

A little more of our Thankfulness lists!

Mermaid, Devin, Ace, Apples, Santa, Grammy, Grumpy, lambs, markers, rocks and waffles

Pie Pie
Food, Redbox, Pants, My Friends, Pokemon movies, Mommy, Olivia, Megan and Miss Pam

Lighthouse Co-op, soft pretzels, Birthdays, God's Grace, homeschool, sleep, friends, Co-op Moms, cameras, the Bible, Ema and God's Sacrifice for us all

I know there is a little something called The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thanksgiving that you may have heard of. We had a smaller version at our house recently.

The Webkinz Parade!

Pie Pie led the parade and Pants brought up the rear as Drummer Pants! Pie Pie got a lot of exercise leading the parade back and forth through the house! I've heard that there is a possibility of another parade coming to our house soon!

However you and your family choose to celebrate Thankgiving this year I hope you have a great time!
Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours!

Monday, November 21, 2011

I Designed a Roller Coaster

by: Pie Pie
This was an extra fun creative writing we did for our Science Fair. Pie Pie designed her own Roller Coaster! I wanted to share it on our blog.

My Roller Coaster will be for girls. It will be made of steel and will be a suspended type of Coaster. It will have a big first hill. It will have ten loops, two barrel rolls and three corkscrews. You must be as tall as me to ride. There will be three cars to hold people the Fluffy, the Sweetie and the Pinkie. The ride will be twenty minutes long. When you are done you get a Zhu Zhu Pet, Webkin and you may pet a guinea pig.
The End

P.S. For any boys who might be reading this Pie Pie recently realized that her Daddy, Grumpy and Pop Pop couldn't ride her Coaster. So she decided that boys would be allowed to ride! You will not miss out on the fun!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Weird Science Fair

We had the opportunity to participate in Lighthouse Learning Christian Homeschool Co-op's Science Fair. (This is a Co-op we joined about two years ago. We always have fun with these homeschool friends!)
First we had to pick a scientist. Pie Pie picked a Roller Coaster Designer. (I whispered it in her ear first!) She loves Roller Coasters so I thought this would be a great topic to learn about. She agreed with me so the next time we went to the library I ordered lots of books and movies. Then we went to the craft store to get a Roller Coaster model. We were on our way!
I already showed a picture in this post of the progress Pie Pie was making on her model so here is a finished picture!

It was very interesting learning all about Roller Coasters. Here are some of the questions we answered while we were learning.

Where did Roller Coasters start?
In Russia in the 1400's or 1500's as ice sledding. They would sled down 70-foot hills that were very steep and covered with ice.
When did the first wheeled Roller Coaster open? 
In Paris in 1804. It was named the Russian Mountains after the country where the sport had originated.
When did Roller Coasters come to North America?
In the 1870's on paper in the form of blueprints. The first one built was the Gravity Pleasure Switchback Railway at Coney Island in 1884.

When did Roller Coasters really get popular in North America?
In the 1920's about 1,500 coasters were built.
When and why did their popularity decline for awhile?
In the 1930's and 1940's due to the Great Depression and World War II. They needed the supplies for the war and people did not have money for fun rides. Over 1,000 coasters were torn down in this time period.
When did they gain popularity again?
Walt Disney opened up the first steel coaster in 1955. It was called the Matterhorn Bobsleds.
How many types of wheels does a modern coaster have?
They have 3 wheels. The road wheel, upstop wheel, and guide wheel. They are all important for safety to keep the car on the track.
Why does the first hill have to be the highest?
So the coaster will have enough energy to make it through the whole ride.
What do designers think about when designing a coaster?
They think about engineering, physics, safety and creating an unforgettable experience.
How many types of coasters are there?
The classic, racer, figure 8, inverted, out and back, suspended, shuttle loop, stand-up, trackless, enclosed, twister and launch. 

Some of the resources we used were:
the Internet
Roller Coasters by A.R. Schaefer
Roller Coasters or I Had So Much Fun, I almost Puked by Nick Cook
Popular Mechanics for Kids Rip-Roaring Roller Coasters and All Access to Fun DVD
The Science of Disney Imagineering:Gravity DVD

The night of the Science Fair we had a lot of fun sharing with our friends what we had learned. We also enjoyed learning from the other projects!
I'm looking forward to our next Family Night! Get out your measuring spoons,mixers, and don't forget the chocolate! We're going to be baking up a storm for Top Chef! You will not want to miss that!

Friday, November 18, 2011

History Stop: Mayflower and Pilgrims

We did a couple of things for this time period. Not much because we have done a lot with Pilgrims in past years. I wanted to do a little so we could work it into the timeline. We read some books and did some crafts.

We learned about the Mayflower and how the trip was not fun.  It was actually pretty gross. (Sorry, but I am a girl and I can not imagine being stuck in the bottom of a boat that long without a shower or a bathroom!)  We learned why they came to America and what they took with them.

Pie Pie decided she would bring her Webkinz, clothes, blanket, pillow, notebook and colored pencils. Pretty good choices!

Some of the books we read were:
Food and Recipes of the Pilgrims by George Erdosh
This is the Feast by Diane Z. Shore
The New American Colonial Times 1620-1689 by Betsy Maestro.
We used History Pockets.
We also watched a video called Dear America: A Journey to the New World. The Story of Remember Patience Whipple.

Here's another craft we did that showed the girls how the Pilgrims dressed.

We are slowly making our way into the Colonial Time Stop. I'm trying to figure out how to transition into that time period. There will be a lot more fun when we get there! We're gonna make a quilt. A little one, but it's still a quilt!  See you at the next stop!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


When I first decided to to go ahead with my idea to post pictures that bring a smile to your face I was a little nervous. I only had one picture! I felt this was something that was needed. We all need a smile now and then. I feel these pictures are a special gift because they are not planned they just happen. They are a gift from God to us! He loves laughter and smiles!

It's Not YOUR Birthday!

I just love this picture! It was by pure chance I captured it! We had just finished singing Happy Birthday to Pants and she was about to blow out the candle when my Nephew decided to help her. No worries though, he didn't actually blow it out. Pants didn't seem to mind either. He'll be invited next year, we don't kick you out of the family for helping your cousin! 
We hope you get your wish when you blow out your next Birthday candle, especially if somebody helps you!


Monday, November 14, 2011

It's All About Thankfullness

We usually like to do a craft project in November to remind us to be Thankful. The last couple years I have drawn a turkey and we have filled in feathers with what we are thankful for. 

This year I decided to do something different. There is a reason for the change. I was in charge of a craft at our homeschool group recently. We ordered a craft and it hadn't arrived by the day before we needed it, so I made a back-up.  I just knew if I didn't the craft would not arrive on time.  So I made a craft and the purchased craft, of course, arrived just in time. Anyway,  I had the extra craft all cut out.  It was bunches of leaves and birds to make a garland. Enough for thirty kids! So, that is what we are using this year. We are writing what we are thankful for on birds and leaves and hanging them up. Here's a little sample:

Pants's Thankfullness
Mommy, Daddy, Pie Pie, Abby, birds, leaves, dogs, Nanners, Poppy, Nah Nah, Olivia, Aunt J. and turtles

Pie Pie's Thankfullness
Webkinz, Daddy, library, Pop Pop, Nanners, t.v., Archie, My family and AWANA

My Thankfullness
Daddy, coffee, chicken tortilla soup, Pants and Pie Pie, Nanners and Pop Pop, Grammy and Grumpy, friends and Sparks and Cubbies

We are not finished, so don't be sad if you didn't make one of our lists! I'm sure you'll get on there!

Enter His gates with Thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His Name.
Psalm 100:4
What are you thankful for?!

Friday, November 11, 2011

11/11/11 Pant's Birthday!

Pie Pie had the idea recently to put pictures of them when they were babies in a post. I thought this was a great idea! Their Birthdays will be the perfect excuse to feature their baby cuteness.  Thankfully Pants's Birthday is first, it may take some time to locate baby pictures of Pie Pie. I found some pictures of Pants for you to enjoy.

Pant's First Birthday! She already loves Nanners's Cake!

She's almost two here! Gorgeous!

My little fairies.

Silly Pantsy!

Pants's third Birthday!

My cute Little Monkey.
I feel very privileged that my baby girl shares her Birthday with Veterans Day! I want to take the time to thank everyone who has served or who is serving our country! Here are some links I got from a friend if you would like to write a letter to a soldier. We recently had the opportunity to do this, but  I would like to do it again! Please join me! 

Happy Birthday Pants!
We love you!

Thursday, November 10, 2011



Look at that Hair!

I'm not sure exactly when this picture was taken, but I remember the fun my girls had playing this game! Pie Pie and Pants thought it would be fun to play Cannonball. This is usually a game played in a pool, but that did not stop my girls. They got creative and made a pool out of a blue blanket on the floor. They would run and yell "Cannonball!" as they flew through the air to land on the blanket. I, of course, did what any self-respecting mom would do. I took pictures! I made sure they weren't hurting themselves too! So there's your smile for the day! I hope you enjoy it! Please send me pictures if you have one of a moment of happiness that makes you smile! You can share it with me on Facebook and I can share it on my blog! 

Sunday, November 6, 2011


Silly Horsey!


I knew there was a reason I liked this horse. I wrote about him earlier in Riding Mr.Diesel. We were at Pie Pie's horse lesson on Friday. During his brush down after their ride Wesley thought it would be funny to stick out his tongue. He was right. We had many giggles over his antics. I wasn't sure if I could get a picture of him doing his trick, but he was very compliant, as you can see! I was very excited to get this picture! I hope you like it as much as we do! I promise it was much funnier in person. You'll just have to use you imagination!


Friday, November 4, 2011

Flavorful Friday

Sweet Potato Pie
from Debbi Fields' Great American Desserts

I'm going to try to feature some pies this month in honor of Thanksgiving. Pie is definitely a must at my Thanksgiving Feast! I'm going to start with my husband's favorite. If I ever want to make him happy, I just make him one of these pies! I've tried many different Sweet Potato Pie recipes and this one is our favorite.

These pictures are from Daddy's 30th Birthday! Instead of cake we had a Pie Bar!
Daddy enjoyed the featured pie, Sweet Potato!

Crust (I use store bought but you can make your own if you like.)
4 Tbsp. of unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup of sugar
1 1/2 cups mashed sweet potatoes, fresh or canned unsweetened, well drained
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup milk
1 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground ginger
pinch of salt

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Fit the crust into the 9- inch pie pan, trim and crimp the edges. Cover the shell with aluminum foil and line the foil with pie weights. Bake for ten minutes. Remove the pie weights and foil, and bake the crust five minutes more. Remove to a wire rack to cool.
3. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees.
4. Put the butter and sugar in a bowl and cream together until fluffy, four to five minutes using the electric mixer on medium speed. Add the mashed sweet potatoes, eggs, and milk, and beat until combined. Add the vanilla, spices, and salt, and blend well.
5. Pour the filling into the prebaked crust and bake the pie for 55 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the pie to a wire rack and let cool for 30 minutes. The pie can be served warm or at room temperature.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Snow is in the Air?

Snow was in the air and on the ground this past weekend. It really put me in the Holiday Spirit! Too bad it's Halloween and not Christmas! Not that I have anything against snow, it just came a little bit early for me. I wasn't quite ready. I snapped a couple of pictures of us in the snow to share with you. (The only reason I have any was because we went to the store to pick up my Nephew's Birthday present!) I'm not an extreme weather kind of person. I like normal temperatures for this time of year. Light Jacket Weather is my favorite!
Pie Pie romping through the snow!
Pants posed for this one!
Pie Pie making a giant snowball.

Pants as Snow Baby!

We took this, I love Pants in the background.
Pie Pie took this one for us.

I guess it's time to bundle up! Make sure you have lots of cocoa and marshmallows because it looks like it's going to be a cold Winter!