Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Treat bags for hungry little monsters

This post is for The Winter Bazaar on Scribbet's blog.

An easy treat bag or Halloween card can be made by using digital scrap booking elements that you size and print out on your own printer.

I started with a lovely round pumpkin, designed by the talented Rhonna Farrer, printed on white cardstock and sized just right to punch out with a circle punch.

Then I printed out the word BOO onto cardstock, also, spaced so I could cut them apart with scalloped scissors, fold, staple to the top of a snack sized zippy bag, topped with the punched pumpkin, and before you can say "Spooky", there you have it. Cheap and easy, but still with a homemade touch.

I guess I could have put the candy in the bag the right way, but at midnight, who cares!

And here are my two favorite pumpkins, my twin nephews. These are for you, Tara!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

In the News...

Alison Maki and I have know each other since 5th grade, when I moved into the Owen-Withee school district, and were friends until she moved out of the school district in 6th grade. I really missed her. We were the only two girls in our 4-person reading group in Mr. Waite's class, so that left me with the 2 Mikes. I was not a happy camper.

Well, Ali and I have stayed in touch through the years, and at one point even lived a mere 2 hours away from each other in California.

Now I can really keep tabs on her since she has a monthly column in the Chico Enterprise Record. Yeah, Alison! And another cheer for her hubby, Chris, who has been at the fires in Southern CA making maps.

The LDS church has had a new ad campaign, and our area has been one of the testing grounds. We've seen billboards and tv commercials, and new pass-along cards. The ads are wonderful, and are unscripted; just each person's testimony. Check them out here.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

An angel when he's smilin' and a devil when he ain't

This is how our morning went:

"Joseph, please get up and get dressed."

"JO-seph, get dressed, your going to be late to school!"

"JOSEPH! You have to get dressed!"


Then I pulled out the big guns and bribed him with food. {I was desperate!}

"Greta made biscuits and gravy for breakfast. If you don't get ready for school you're going to miss them."
He had already gotten out of bed and out of his jammies by this point, then got back into bed. Because he didn't like his pants. Or his shirt. And could only find one shoe. Humph.

Then I pulled out the camera, which he thought was funny at first. I didn't. I wanted to remember how ridiculous this really was, the power struggle we go through every morning.
This is what we call "Flailing". It's really just flopping around while throwing a fit. And he wasn't smiling here, he was crying. Nice.

After dropping the older kids off at school, I came back home to load up a crying kindergartner, drove back to the school to unload a crying kindergartner, walked him into the school and tried to get him to go into the cafeteria. Or the gym. Or anywhere. At that point I didn't care where he went!

The principal, Mrs. Brock saw our little drama and took pity on me, steering Joe to where he needed to be, and I took off to leave him in her capable hands.

Thank goodness they're off of school tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Large Fire Incidents Page

Large Fire Incidents Page

Southern California is on fire, with 1 million people displaced. 1. million. people. I can not imagine the terror of not knowing if your family is safe, if your home will still be there. Please keep them in your prayers. You can find more information at the CDF website.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

This and That

It's been a while since my last post. Busy week! Spent Friday and Saturday with my sister Emily and 3 friends at CKC in KC. We had a lot of fun, and got to know each other a little bit better. Found some great scrapbooking stuff that I hope to play with soon, too.

Stake conference today at church {where we meet with all of the other wards, or congregations, in our area} and we had some great speakers: Mission president, St. Louis temple president, President Phillips and his counselors.

I have some news:

Tomorrow I will be getting up and going to my NEW JOB! I'm the new aid at Monkey's pre-school, just three full days a week. I'm getting nervous! Not because I don't think I can do it, because it will be fun with great kids and teachers, but because I already can't get everything done that I want in a week without working! Time to get organized and streamline the process.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Candy Corn

Some Candy Corn Facts you never knew you wanted to know:

*October 30th is National Candy Corn Day
*One serving of candy corn contains only about 140 calories
*Candy corn has 3.57 calories per kernel
*More than 35 million pounds of candy corn will be produced this year. That equates to nearly 9billion pieces -- enough to circle the moon nearly four times if laid end-to-end.
*Halloween accounts for 75% of the annual candy corn production
*A cup of candy corn has fewer calories than a cup of raisins.
*Candy Corn was invented by George Renninger and produced by the Wunderlee Candy Company in the 1880's. In 1900, the Goelitz Candy Company, now Jelly Belly Candy Company, started mass producing  candy corn, but, due to the lack of machinery, it was only made available seasonally from March to November. Its recipe is unchanged from the original.
*Candy corn isn't just for Halloween there is also:
Reindeer corn for Christmas (red, green, and white)
Indian corn (it's chocolate and vanilla flavored)
Cupid corn for Valentine's Day (red, pink, and white)
Bunny corn for Easter (pastel-colored)

Have some fun with your kids: try to stick them onto your teeth to look like a vampire, jack-o-lantern, or hillbilly! Who cares about cavities!!

Here is another HUGE recipe, but it can be cut in half to be more manageable. This is great for a Halloween party or to give away to friends and neighbors! Just decorate paper lunch sacks with some Halloween stickers, fold top of bag over, punch two holes through the top and lace a festive ribbon and tie with a bow.

Candy Corn Popcorn
24 cups popped popcorn
2 cups walnut halves
1 cup butter or margarine
2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
½ cup molasses
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 tsp. Apple pie spice {or cinnamon}
½ tsp. Baking soda
2 packages candy corn {12.5 oz each} The chocolate candy corn is good, too

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Combine popcorn and walnuts in a lightly greased large roasting pan. In a heavy large saucepan, melt butter over med-high heat. Stir in brown sugar, molasses, and salt. Stirring constantly, bring mixture to a boil. Boil 5 minutes without stirring.

Remove from heat; stir in vanilla, apple pie spice, and baking soda. {Mixture will foam} Pour syrup over popcorn mixture; stir until well coated. Bake 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Spread on lightly greased foil to cool. Sprinkle candy corn over popcorn mixture. Store in airtight container.

Yield: about 30 cups popcorn mix

Linking here:
Nothing But Country

Check out the rest of the great holiday ideas here!

Cast Party Wednesday

Talk About Tuesday

I’m joining up with The Lazy Organizer’s Talk About Tuesday, where you can talk about accomplishments, good news, anything positive that you want, and link to her blog.
It’s important to think about the things we DO accomplish, and not just dwell on the things we DIDN’T get done. Or is that just me.

I have a couple of things to talk about this Tuesday, but no pictures because Blogger is having issues.

1. I finished our paperwork and got our taxes done! Sounds like a small accomplishment, especially since it was due, say, 6 months ago, but I am procrastinator extraordinaire. I’ve taken procrastinating to the next level. I DID remember to get an extension, though, so don’t worry. The feds won’t be taking me away anytime soon.

2. I decided to pull out an old project to work on while watching conference this past weekend. This is embarrassing to admit, but I began this little cross-stitching project oooooooohhhhhhh 11 years or so ago. The magazine is dated 1994. You know how it goes, out of sight, out of mind. I may not get it done for this Halloween but there’s always hope for next year. And I’m not going to sweat the small stuff.

Friday, October 12, 2007


Here she is, the little mischief maven herself, my little sister Monie. Oh, yeah, and that's Kyle, her "intended". This picture is one from their engagement shoot. She's planning the wedding, but really doesn't care too much about the details. You know, like wearing actual shoes, not flip flops.

Tara is in Utah trying on wedding dresses for her. Hard to find a nice, not too price-y, modest wedding dress in the middle of nowhere Nauvoo, and Middle of noWHheRe MO. I asked her {Tara} if she told the guy she's dating that she's looking for a wedding dress, and she said "Of course not!" Even though she's planning on wearing the same dress as Monie. Cuz we're nothing if not thrifty Mormon girls in this family!

Don't they look like they have fun together?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Wife, Mother, Singer, Songwriter

No, I'm not talking about myself. In my dreams! If I were describing myself, it would be more like; Drill sergeant, TV police, complainer, procrastinator.

I'm talking about Lori McKenna. Mother of 5, and amazing songwriter. Her voice is a little Stevie Nicks, with a touch of Suzy Boggus.

Read an interview with her at 5 Minutes for Mom and comment to be entered in their contest to win a 4-song CD and DVD. Or then again, don't enter. My chances will be a little bit better.

You can see her in action here. How can you not like her?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

More Pumpkin Love

Every year about this time we’d head on out to pick some pumpkins, then go home to spread newspaper over the table and make a huge, goopy mess. We loved to use patterns from the Pumpkinmasters books, though I have to say we kept them pretty simple. Their website has 3 free patterns to print out, and they also have a variety of pumpkin recipes. The Better Homes and Gardens site also has a Pumpkin Stencil Maker, but you have to register {quick and easy} to use it.

We can’t seem to get enough pumpkin around here. I experimented with our usual Krusteaz pancake mix and some pumpkin, cinnamon and vanilla and made some quick, yummy pumpkin pancakes. This is what they look like after my little piggies dive into them, and here’s how they were done:

Quick Pumpkin Pancakes

4 ½ cups Krusteaz Pancake Mix
2 tsp. cinnamon
4 cups water
1 tsp. Vanilla
½ small can pumpkin (about 1 cup)
Stir dry mix and cinnamon together, then add other ingredients. Try not to over mix or the cakes might be a little tough. This makes a very large batch, about 2 dozen very dense pancakes. We usually have some leftovers that I freeze for quick breakfasts.

We ate these with some of this:
Cider Syrup
1 c. sugar
2 T. corn starch
½ tsp. Pumpkin pie spice, or ¼ tsp. each cinnamon and nutmeg, and a dash of cloves
2 c. apple juice
2 T lemon juice
¼ c. butter

Mix sugar, corn starch and spices in a sauce pan. Add juices and butter. Heat and boil for 1 minute.
That’s it!

Now, don’t get me wrong, these are yummy with just plain old maple syrup. But if you really want a taste of Autumn, and you have a few minutes while the pancakes are cooking, cook up some Cider Syrup. This is another recipe from my Aunt Ramona. I remember visiting when I was a youngster and her kids would beg for pumpkin pancakes and cider syrup. Well, I cheated on the “homemade” pancakes, but the syrup is the original.

This post is part of the Winter Bazaar.
{Yeah, around here Winter is usually Bizarre}

To see more participants, go see Scribbet.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Get your life organized with these amazing Organizing Bags!

Edited: Contest is now closed. Thanks to those of you who entered! Click here to see who won.

If you're anything like me, you're constantly trying to get organized. You think about it, make lists about it, start organizing, but things just don't end up the way you planned. Oops, did I give away a little too much information about myself?

Enter The Lazy Organizer's Organizing Bags. Lara Gallagher is an overwhelmed, trying to get organized mom who came up with a great solution. She got tired of using disposable zip bags, but still wanted something see-thru. So, she made some!

These bags are perfect for kids games, scrapbooking, crafts, first aid kits, airplane travel, SCRAPBOOKING, you name it! They also make a great gift for struggling, wannabe organizers like me.

The Lazy Organizer is having a contest for a set of 5 bags, one of each size, but only til tomorrow. Just leave a comment here on my post, and click here to leave one on her blog. I am now an "affiliate" and can take orders for these awesome bags! I'll add a button to my sidebar as soon as I figure out how! lol For now, you can check them out or order by clicking on this link:

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

October = Pumpkins

Scribbet is hosting a Winter Bazaar on her blog, so I thought I'd hop on the bandwagon.

October has always been the Pumpkin month for me. When we were still in California I would get the kids from school and head to the pumpkin patch in Sebastopol, then Davis when we moved to Winters. I have many fond memories of choosing pumkins, including the year I sprained my ankle; 7 months pregnant and holding a 2 year-old I took a tumble while heading to see the three little pigs in the petting zoo. Ah, those were the days.

So, here's some pumpkin love for you. This scrapbook page was made last night while watching Boston Legal with Andy. I have to do something when I watch TV, otherwise I'll just end up snoring.

Page is a 12x12 sheet of cardstock, and with some orange and white felt, floss, and buttons, I had my page in minutes. The title is obviously just hand cut, as well as the pumpkin. The pumpkin is 2 pieces, the pumpkin-y shaped bottom piece, and an oval over the top to give it a 3D look. I blanket stitched around the outside edges of both pieces, added a button and piece of ribbon, and voila. I'm channeling my inner Elsie, just not as funky, more homespun.

And what should you eat while making a pumpkin page in October? Why, Pumpkin Cookies, of course! This is my Aunt Ramona's recipe, and they're yummy.

Pumpkin Cookies

1 c. sugar

2 c. flour

1 c. shortening

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla

1 c. canned pumpkin

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1/2 tsp. salt

1 c. chocolate chips

Mix all ingredients, drop by spoonfuls on cookie sheet, and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

Double this recipe (why wouldn't you?) and use 1 small can of pumpkin and 1 bag of chocolate chips. And yes, that's a lot of shortening. You could probably cut it down a little.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Just a little down-home fun

at the Green Ridge Harvest Fun Fest. At least I think that's what they called it.
We call it Park Day. It's the day that residents of our town,
population 4 hundred and something,
get together to have a little fun.
Just about anyone can participate in the parade and craft fair for no charge.
This is the view from the Pre-School float.
Carmen, Natalia, Jerica and Monkey are tossing out candy to innocent by-standers and parade-goers who hopefully are paying attention so they don't get a Tootsie Roll upside the head.

What do you do with the empty candy bucket?

Why, use it as a hat of course.

Pre-teen boys need something to do. Why not get a little creative?

Yes, that's Brian in the wagon.

His friend Joe is driving. See the sign? "Lawn Mower Posse".

And the wagon up ahead is the "Paddy Wagon".

This is what a three-year-old looks like after cleaning out the bake sale.

Can you say tummy ache?

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