Well hello there! This is the place where I share my crafts, recipes, knitting and crochet projects, photos, and moments of family life in the Midwest.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Deck the halls

With real trees it is always a good idea to let them adjust to the temperture of you house and make sure they have plenty of water before you start the decorating process. Our tree drank about 3 gallons of water and the branches came down a bit so we decided that today would be decorating day. We tried to keep the decorations to the unbreakable ornaments for the main tree because Riley is still very curious about the whole process and will probably pull every ornament off and on 100 times. There is still some more ornaments I want to make with the boys this year and we will do that in the next few weeks.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Our Christmas Tree

This year we went to Handley's Holiday Hillside in Solon for our Christmas Tree. We went there years ago to buy a tree when Jered and I were first married and really liked it. Today was cold but not snowy so it was a nice walk through the rows. The boys enjoyed picking out the tree and we all carried it back to tie it on the Jeep. We bought a Canadian Fir tree, it has nice small needles and strong branches for ornaments and lights. There is really nothing like the smell of a fresh cut pine tree. We have it all set up and tomorrow we will decorate it once it "relaxes". The house is really starting to feel festive now that the tree is up.

Friday, November 23, 2012

May your days be...

Now that Santa has arrived in the Macy's day parade, it's time to start decorating the house for the holidays. I love getting out the ornaments and special items every year and it's great to may new ones too. This year I am loving the chalk art that is everywhere right now and made one of my own. It's easy and you can change it whenever you are inspired!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Give Thanks for Pie

Every Thanksgiving I make a pumpkin pie and an apple pie. The apple pie is by far the favorite. The recipe is a little different than the average pie but I thought I would share it in case you wanted to give it a try.

1 double crust pastry
8 medium Granny Smith apples
¼ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup unsalted butter
¼ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup water
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup white sugar
½ cup packed brown sugar

1.         Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
2.         Peel, core and slice the apples. Toss them in ¼ cup of flour.
3.         Place bottom crust in pan, and fill with apples (should be mounded very high) Cover with 
         lattice work crust.
4.         Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in ¼ cup all-purpose flour to form a paste.
5.      Add water, white sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and bring to a boil. Reduce
         temperature and let simmer for about 5 minutes.
5.         Gently and slowly pour sauce over pie so that it goes into the pie.
6.         Bake 15 minutes in the 425 degree oven, then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F
         for 35 to 45 minutes until apples are soft. If crust begins to brown you can cover with tin foil.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Rain Gutter Regatta

Max's Cub Scout troop had a Rain Gutter Regatta tonight. Max's boat was minecraft inspired, of course. They also had a all troop photo opportunity which was so nice. Thanks to Jered for taking photos!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Riley Turns Three

On Friday Riley turned 3 and on Saturday we had a party for him. He loves Super Mario Bros. and I was happy to get such a great theme for the party. We had cupcakes frosted like one up mushrooms and fun Mario Bros characters. I was inspired by his cousin Maisie's birthday and so I made a coin block pinata. It was super easy to make with a box and crepe paper. (and a lot of glue!) It was a "pull" pinata so all you did is pull the tassle and all the chocolate coins fell out. Rowan and Riley tryed to hit it with their heads first, like Mario dose, but  went for the tassle eventually. It was adorable. Riley is a great three year old, kind and gentle. He loves to make people laugh. He is a joy to have in our family.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Guineas

 Yes, we now have two guinea pigs. The boys are in love with them, the Guineas (as the boys refer to them) aren't so sure yet. The story on these guys is Jered's friend at work needed to find homes for them and  so hey free pets! Guinea pigs are large, a little smaller than a rabbit and make funny sounds like grunting. Max named his Teddy or Ted for short, he is 5 monthes old and bigger so far. Riley named his Hooper after the PBS charater and he is 3 monthes old. So far they have been super easy to care for. They basically eat and sleep and oh man do they like carrots. They each need their own or there is a fight!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Sullivan's 3rd Birthday Party

This Saturday we went to the Playstation in Cedar Rapids to celebrate Sully's third birthday. The Playstation is this huge play structure that the kids can run and climb in. It's pretty amazing. The Iowa cousins were there and some friends from Sully's school. The kids got pretty sweaty running around! Sorry for the blury photos sometimes. It was hard to slow them down. Everyone had a fun time. Only one more party to go this month...Riley's. I hope I get it all done!  

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