Monday, November 30, 2009

A Family Reunion

This past weekend, my hubby and the kids set off for Dickson, TN (right outside of Nashville) for a family reunion. The three hour car trip wasn't that bad. There was only one major meltdown from my three year old. We spent Friday at grandma Thea's and had a great late Thanksgiving meal and I got to meet many wonderful people. Saturday was spent at Uncle Kevin's house where 65 family members exchanged between touch football and volleyball. My hubby was a big hit with the little kids when he and his brother started a kickball game out front just for them. My daughter got her first run and was so excited!

Sunday was our day to return home but we stopped off at the Country Music Hall of Fame and took the Studio B tour (well worth the time and money. We got to sit at the very piano that Elvis recorded many of his top hits with. It was a great experience. We finally headed back to town at 6pm. We were all exhausted but we had a great trip. If you haven't been to Nashville lately, make the drive. You won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Putting up the Christmas tree!

I know it's not even Thanksgiving yet but I'm putting up my Christmas tree tonight...woohoo! It's one of my favorite things to do each year. We usually do it on Black Friday (I don't go shopping in that mess) but this year we have to travel to my hubby's uncle's house for a late Thanksgiving with them. So it has been pushed up to today. I'm fine with that though. Afterwards, we are going to sit down and watch Four Christmases (which came out today finally). I think it's going to be a good day.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Saw New Moon Last Night...

Twilight - New Moon

I dragged my hubby out to see New Moon last night. I originally thought that I would wait to rent it but the 'girl' in me got the better of me and I decided to go see it. So glad I did....

Needless to say, the movie is aimed at the teen crowd. There were plenty in the theater to prove that point. Surprisingly, there was an array of 20-30 somethings in attendance also. Besides the random giggling from the teen girls when Jake took his shirt off, the movie was rather good. It started out a little slow but by the time it was over, I was wanting more. The last line of the movie (not telling you what it is) is a doozie. It, no doubt, will have Twilight fans buzzing about the third installment of the saga, Eclipse, set to release on June 30, 2010.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Best Homemade Cranberry Sauce

This recipe is one of my favorites. The only ingredients you need are cranberries, sugar, and three oranges. I made it last year for Thanksgiving and it was a huge hit. There will definately be a repeat performance this year. You can find complete instructions for the recipe and more fun cranberry stuff here. Let me know how it turns out for your family dinner.

Photo Credit:

Friday, November 13, 2009

It's my anniversary!

Today is my nine year wedding anniversary! I'm not sure how many couples make it to 9 years but I'm thrilled about it. We are planning on having a pretty normal store in the morning...watching my soaps while the hubby rakes the leaves and my youngest is napping...normal stuff. Later we will drop all the kids off at my mother's house (for the night!) and go see the new 2012 movie that I have been so excited about. Maybe if Roger is lucky, I'll let him rub my feet after...who knows. :) It sounds like the perfect day to me....

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Help Feed The Homeless

I decided to take today and share a little love. I was inspired by today's Lens of the Day on Squidoo, Feed the Homeless During the Holidays. It was written by Leanne Chesser, a life coach, teacher, business owner and mother of 4.

"What's ultimately important to me is giving and love, not only for myself and my family, but for people in need around me. So why not intertwine it all?", Leanne says.

I think that is a good lesson for all of us during the holidays. In the lens, Leanne tells ways that we all can contribute. I encourage everyone to do what they can to give and spread a little cheer this holiday season. All it takes is a little time, and a little love.

Photo Credit: aflcio2008 at Creative Commons

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Casserole

It's time for Thanksgiving again and what is on everyone's One of this holiday's staple foods is sweet potato casserole. It's sweet and gooey and just makes you happy.

I have been reading a lot about gluten intolerance and decided to find a great recipe for people with this affliction that their whole family will enjoy. This recipe on eHow is all of these things and I think that it will make a great addition to your Thanksgiving table.

If you try it, leave a reply. I would love to know what you think.

Photo Courtesy of

Monday, November 2, 2009

7 Simple Techniques for Keeping Your Child Believing in Santa Claus

Many parents love to see the joy and excitement Santa Claus can bring to their child. For many people, their childhood memories of Santa Claus are the best Christmas memories they have. Keeping your child believing in Santa, however, can be a daunting task. Children are smart these days, and some of the old Santa tricks just don’t get by them anymore. Many children are perpetually plagued with the question, “Is there a Santa Claus?”

Every family may have slightly different Christmas traditions with regards to Santa Claus, but there are some very easy things any person can do to keep the belief in Santa at an all time high. The following 7 techniques will keep your child believing in the magic and wonderment of Santa Claus and you don’t have to be familiar with the history of Santa Claus to apply them.

1) Have your child write a Santa Letter. This can be a simple letter that your child can write to Santa Claus. Children absolutely love to write a letter to Santa, but they occasionally need a little parental guidance to pull it off.

Help your child include a special list of gifts they desire for Christmas into the Santa letter. Many children enjoy getting more creative by drawing or cutting out pictures that represent the gifts they want.

Once the child’s Santa letter is finished, simply mail it to the North Pole. Mail it to the following Santa Claus address: Santa Claus, 1 Candy Cane Lane, North Pole 00001. Don’t bother using a return address, you wouldn’t want it to return as ‘undeliverable’ for any reason.

2) Write a Letter from Santa and have your child receive it in the mail. Create a personalized letter from Santa by directly mentioning your child’s name and certain information about your child in the text. This will make for a much more believable Santa letter. Be sure to make these letters from Santa different for each child in the same household. The child will have no doubt that Santa Claus is coming to town after they receive their personalized letter from Santa!

“I can honestly state as a parent that the personalized letter from Santa has single handedly restored my son’s belief! The look of shock and amazement on his face when he got an ‘authentic letter from Santa’ quickly abolished any doubt he previously had about Santa Claus.”

Print the Santa letter on authentic looking letterhead, as this will help to reinforce the believability. Many different styles of paper can be found at your local office supply store.

You can add to the fun by getting your letter from Santa postmarked at the North Pole. Simply send your Santa letter inside another sealed, stamped envelope to: North Pole Christmas Cancellation, Postmaster, 5400 Mail Trail, Fairbanks, AK 99709-9999. (It needs to arrive by December 15th)

Many parents add a certificate for being on Santa’s “Nice List” along with the Santa Letter for added effect. Another great item to add with the Santa letter is a Santa Claus coloring sheet. Combining the personalized Santa letter, the nice certificate, and the Santa Claus coloring sheet is a sure fire method for keeping your child believing.

3) Have your child leave milk and cookies out for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. This is simple enough to do with your child. It lets your child know YOU still believe, too. Make it a bonding experience for you and your child by baking the cookies together on Christmas Eve. Don’t underestimate how powerful this can be for creating joyful memories of Santa Claus, for both you and your child. Did you know that Santa’s favorite cookie recipe is Chocolate Chip?

Put the fresh cookies on a plate next to a glass of cold milk. You can even put a short letter to Santa Claus next to the cookies and milk. These tasty treats will give Santa the energy he needs to continue traveling to the millions of other households awaiting his arrival.

Don’t forget to leave some crumbs on the table Christmas morning. Your child will feel honored that Santa Claus ate the whole plate of cookies and drank all of the milk before rushing on his way.

4) On Christmas Eve, have your child sprinkle reindeer food on the lawn. Santa Claus gets milk and cookies on Christmas Eve, but what about Rudolph and the rest of the joyful gang? What do they eat? Well, reindeer food, of course!

You can make a batch of environmentally friendly reindeer food with common grocery items such as oats or granola. (Do not use potentially hazardous items, such as glitter in your reindeer food. Although this may make the reindeer food appear to be magical in some way, it can be extremely dangerous if ingested by small children, should they decide to ‘sample’ the reindeer food. It can also be potentially hazardous to the small animals outside such as rabbits, dogs, or cats that may eat the food.)

Once you have the reindeer food mixed up, walk outside with your child on Christmas Eve night and explain the importance of making sure Santa’s sleigh team stays fed. Sprinkle a small amount onto your yard near bushes or trees.

This healthy reindeer snack will give Rudolph and the rest of the reindeer the nourishment they need to continue flying Santa’s heavy sleigh into the night. Your child will be proud for helping Santa Claus on his journey, and is sure to raise the belief in Rudolph and the other reindeer as well.

5) Leave Santa Claus tracks in your house on Christmas Eve. Being sure to not stain your carpet, leave some dirty boot prints by the fireplace (or doorway). Be sure to draw attention to the Santa Claus footprints on Christmas morning. To a child, this is solid evidence that Santa had been to their house.

6) A month or so after Christmas, send your child a postcard from Santa Claus on vacation. This not only keeps your child believing, but reminds your child that Santa is in their hearts all year long. It also answers the common question posed by children after Christmas, “Where is Santa Claus now?”

Be sure to make the postcard from somewhere very warm and sunny. After all, Santa does need a break from all that North Pole snow.

7) Mail your child a birthday greeting from Santa Claus. This technique works in tandem with the personalized Santa Letter you mailed your child previously. Mailing your child a simple birthday card from Santa is an excellent way to keep your child’s belief high throughout the year. Your child will think, “Wow! Santa actually knows my birthday!” The shock on your child’s face will be priceless.

Parents that have extremely intelligent kids or kids that are getting slightly older will genuinely need to utilize all 7 techniques mentioned above to keep their child believing in Santa Claus.

These techniques will assure your child is one of the millions of children that write Santa Letters each and every holiday season… one of the millions of children that believe wholeheartedly in Santa Claus.

A reputable, inexpensive website that offers all of this as a service can be found here: