Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Best of 2009

Here are some of my favorite posts of 2009:

A day at home with the kids

Revamped Dresser

Our Yard

Lamp revamp and a Chalkboard

My favorite

2009 was a great year! I pray that this next year God is glorified in me and my family!

Happy New Years, everyone!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

An Organized Pantry

This time of year, we all think about cleaning out and getting organized. There are so many areas in my house that need this! Here's one that has been tackled! This is my pitiful little pantry.

Now, most people would be happy with a pantry at all, but you see, I used to have one l that was about 5 x 5 feet, so this seems VERY small!

My mother in law had the great idea to use some baskets I had to organize things better, so here's the final result!


So much better!

I did spend about $5 for these racks that I installed on the inside of the door. It was so worth it though! Now, if I can just keep it that way and keep the little guy in the corner of the pictures out of it!!

Posted at Kimba's DIY day!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Luke 2-The Birth of Jesus

1In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2(This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3And everyone went to his own town to register. 4So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. 8And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ[a] the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." 13Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." 15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about." 16So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.Jesus Presented in the Temple 21On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise him, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he had been conceived.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Jam

This is my absolute favorite jam!!

Here's what you need:
1-12oz. pkg. cranberries 2-10oz.frozen strawberries 4 cups sugar 1-3oz. pkg. liquid pectin

Now, I think you are supposed to make this jam around Thanksgiving when you can actually find cranberries in the grocery stores. Well, I NEVER think about making this then, so here's what I do: I buy the dried cranberries and toss them in some boiling water. It plumps them up and works perfectly! I used about half of the package shown.

Also, make sure to check your strawberry package size. Mine were 14 oz, so I used 1 whole package and 6 oz of the second package. After thawing your strawberries in the refrigerator, cut them up coarsely.

Next, put cranberries and strawberries in a food processor and pulse until you get the desired consistency.

It's always nice to have a helper!

Combine cranberries, strawberries and sugar in a large pan or Dutch oven. Bring to a boil and cook 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat . Add pectin to mixture. Return to full rolling boil. Boil 1minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and skim off foam with a metal spoon. ( You can play with the cooking time to get the consistency you want. Sometimes, I don't get it quite right and it is a little runny.... but it still tastes awesome on biscuits and would be yummy on pancakes or cheesecake!!

Quickly pour jam into hot sterilized jars, leaving ¼” head space. Wipe jar rims off. Cover at once with lids and screw on bands. The recipe I have says to process them in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes, but I don't usually do this. I just turn them upside down on the counter and usually they will seal just fine.

Add a tag and some ribbon and you have a nice gift! Or.... you could just eat it all yourself!!

Now, the only bad thing about making this jam, is cleaning up this mess!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas Hurricanes

What do you get when you take one of these-

and put it in one of these-

put it on top of one of these-

and then add a sprinkle of this ?


There are several of these all around blogland. I know I saw them here and here. This is my version.

Vase- Dollar Tree $1
Candle- Dollar Tree $1
Candle Base- Walmart $2
Holly- Free from my frontyard

Most of the other hurricanes like this I have seen had a candlestick base also from the Dollar Tree. I really wanted a softer line and for them to be a little shorter. I found these at Walmart and even though they were twice the amount, it is perfect!! Because of the sturdy wide base, I didn't have to glue them together, either. For only $4 each, I still think they are a great deal!!

I'm linking to Transformation Thursday (barely made it!), Frugal Friday , and It's So Very Cheri.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Christmas at our House Part 2

I posted about the Christmas decorations in my living room here. Well, here's the rest of the house!

Like I said in my last post, it has been challenging to decorate this year. We just moved into this house in October. It's hard to decorate for Christmas when I feel like I don't even have the house in order! But, the reason we decorate, make cookies, go to parties, put up's all to celebrate the most amazing gift- God's son coming to earth to love us and pay for our sins. When things seem crazy, I have to remember the reason we celebrate!! What a great reason it is, too!

Can I tell you how much I love chalkboards during the holidays? I posted this one's makeover here.

Here are a few decorations in our kitchen...

My favorite Christmas plate

A vase/cloche (I showed you it here.) filled with yummy Christmas ornaments, a mug of candy canes and my favorite Christmas scent- twisted peppermint.

I strung a few lime Christmas balls I bought at the Dollar Tree from my chandelier.

This little tree sits on the kitchen table on top of a holly runner. It's decorated with a few more lime ornaments, a red sequin necklace and some Dollar Tree birds. (This little tree has been deconstructed MANY times by my 15 month old!! It now only has the bow on top.)

Here's my entry table. I kept it simple. I changed out my fall berries for some winter ones. I added a small potted poinsettia that I showed you here. I displayed one of my favorite Christmas photos of Kris, Konnor and I portraying the nativity may Christmases ago at a play.

I love to display these vintage Christmas ornaments. This year, I put them in this glass canister I bought at a thrift store for $1.

In the bonus room, we have the kids' tree where nothing is off limits. You will see that there is even silver tinsel garland on it. Next year I want to have colored lights on it. This is a prelit tree that my grandmother gave me and only about half the lights work. I'm hoping to find another tree after Christmas on sale to replace this one.

This tree has all the ornaments that the kids have made through the years at school and church.

Emma made this one last week and I love it!

I saw some ornaments like this at Kelly's Korner. I loved them, so I made some for the kids. Super easy!

I also bought wooden letters of the kids' first initials and let them paint them however they wanted.

Well, except for my dining room and the trees in the kids' rooms, that's about it! My dining room table is covered in craft projects right now and I just didn't want to clean it off to take a picture. I'm horrible, huh? Maybe I'll get my act together!

I'm joining the Nester's Tour of Homes and Thrifty Decor Chick's Christmas Tree Party, and It's So Very Cheri . Go check out these links for some great Christmas decor!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Christmas at our House Part 1

Well...decorating a house that you feel barely moved into is hard! I love to decorate for Christmas, but there seems to be so MANY other things that need to be done! I did manage to get some decorations up and am excited about joining the many Christmas parties out there in blog land! Today I'm joining Rhoda at Southern Hospitality whose Christmas decor puts mine to shame!

My computer is acting up, so I only have a few pics to share. Apparently, my camera is also acting up as many of these are blurry!

Here's our living room mantel and our decorative tree. (We have a tree in the family room that has all the kids ornaments.)

At least once a day, I pic up red Christmas balls off the floor where my 1 year old has deconstructed the tree! Or, I find them gathered up in the ribbon like this:

I have always wanted some blocks that spell out Merry Christmas. I thought about making some, but then I found these at Target for $9!

I bought these sequined trees last year for a few bucks each after Christmas.

My blurry garland going up the stairs.

I'm headed to Gatlinburg for our annual getaway. I'll be posting the rest of our Christmas decor next week. Hopefully the pics will be a little better! : )

Don't forget to go and check out Rhoda's site!