Monday, December 29, 2008

Last Touch

Here's the final step of our kitchen I was talking about.
See this picture:

See the white area under the wood? There used to be another piece of trim there, but the new counter top was higher than the old so we had to take the trim off.
We were just going to paint it but then I had an idea. I remembered seeing small tiles and I thought we would be able to find some for not very much money.
I was right! We found big squares of tiles that we could cut apart to fit exactly what we needed. We ended up taking the tiles all the way around the top of the counter top. I think it finishes it off so nicely and the squares were only $5 a piece so to tile it cost me $15 with grout!

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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Look at how talented Mark is!

I have to show you my Christmas present- well actually it's all of my Christmas presents wrapped into one.
We give gift cards on my side of the family so I asked for Lowes. Then I had asked for something different from Mark which he got me. However, it wasn't as great as I had envisioned so I returned it and got the cash for it. I also had given Mark a Lowes gift card which he lovingly gave me back to use for this:

New counter top! We got the pre-fabricated type that you can get at Lowes and it's very very reasonable- for our entire kitchen it cost $175 with my gift cards it only cost me a tiny fraction of that.
My dad gives us money for Christmas every year so that paid for my new sink.
Labor???? Free- Mark did it all and did an awesome job if I do say so myself!
There's one more thing that is being finished up Monday- it does make a huge impact so I'll show you that tomorrow- but in the meantime- check this out!

The construction begins:

Oscar helping put in the sink

I just love it. The old counter top and sink were so yucky- this makes the whole kitchen look new again. Thank you Mark- I so appreciate all the hard work you put in. He did this in 1 day- pretty good huh!
Check back tomorrow to see the finishing touch!

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Friday, December 26, 2008

Winner Of Papa Murphy's Give Away

I'm so sorry I'm late. I got busy with Christmas and forgot to draw a winner for the gift certificate.
The Winner is:

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:


Patty!! This works great for me as well since she's right across the street! I'll get you the certificate Patty and enjoy the pizza- Maybe for New Years?

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

This is my last post before Christmas so I just wanted to take a minute to wish you all a very blessed Christmas. I hope you make wonderful memories with your families and see the real joy of Christmas in your childrens eyes as we celebrate baby Jesus' Birth.

Sending Holiday Hugs from my house to yours!

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Mark took the kids sledding on Saturday morning. It was great because while he took them, I went to get grocers- ALL ALONE!

I had him bring the camera along to get some pictures:

They all had a great time and no injuries!

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Monday, December 22, 2008

Mini Cinnamon Rolls

So Sunday on our snow day I was going to make home made cinnamon rolls with the girls. When I pulled out my yeast much to my dismay it had expired.
Time to come up with plan B.
On to the internet I went and found a recipe for cinnamon rolls made out of crescent rolls. We decided to try them.
They are so delicious! Better yet- they are so easy!

1 can crescent rolls
1/4 c. softened butter
2 T. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Separate rolls into 4 rectangles; press perforations together. Spread with butter. Combine sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle this over the rectangles. Roll up each rectangle. Cut each roll into 5 slices. Place each slice cut side down in miniature muffin pan. Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes.

Now to make them even better I wanted to try a different frosting than ususal- here's what I did: You can easily cut this recipe in half and have plenty of frosting.

3/4 c. butter
3/4 c. brown sugar
1 T. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
powdered sugar

Melt butter, add brown sugar, salt and vanilla and bring to a boil. Take off the stove and add enough powdered sugar to bring it to the consistency that you wish. Beat with mixer. Pour over warm rolls.

The frosting has a maple taste to it and it is absolutely delicious.
I would have taken a picture but they were gone instantly.
They are so cute and yummy and easy to make- this will definitely be made again!

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Hiding Place!

Mark absolutely loves the chex mix or nibbles as he calls them that his mom makes.
Every year she still makes enough to give to all of her kids.
Mark loves them so much that he has a hard time sharing them with the kids, because they also love them and they disappear rather quickly.
I walked into the kitchen this past week and something caught my eye. When I looked up this is what I saw:

Yes- that's right- he hid them on top of the cupboards! It's not like when the nibbles are gone we don't have enough cookies around this place!!

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Sunday, December 21, 2008

This is so great!

I saw this on Jodi's blog and thought this was such a great idea- I had to pass it along!

Copy and paste this link... (for some reason it won't link to it for me)
to send a few free songs to a soldier. Add a personal message and hopefully you can put a smile on someone's face! Hurry, it ends DECEMBER 31st!!!

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Treasured Keepsake

We had our Christmas party on my side of the family on Saturday. Once again we had a great time, but I have to tell you about a very special present I received from my brother in law Bob.
If you read his blog or Mari's you know he is a very talented wood carver. When I opened the gift I really couldn't believe what I saw.
Bob found a picture in the newspaper of some Russian women and in the front was an old Russian woman. In Russia the old woman (grandma's)are called Babushka's.
Look at what was in the box for me:

Here is a close up view:

Here is the newspaper picture that he carved it from:

On the bottom is a gold plate that he engraved Babushka.
Isn't that amazing! As Arianna says- "It's a good thing we have someone that's talented in our family!"
Since our girls are from Russia this present is so special to us. We are so thankful for such a unique, thoughtful gift!
Thanks again Bob- we love it and you!

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Saturday, December 20, 2008

What I love about Christmas

Ginger tagged me to do this meme.
You need to list 5 things you love about Christmas. The difficulty for me is keeping it to just 5. You see Christmas is absolutely my favorite time of year!

1. The obvious one first- that we get to celebrate baby Jesus' birth.
To imagine Jesus becoming human to come to this earth to save us is really amazing. So often I take God's incredible plan for granted. How amazing that in his grace he loved us enough to have a plan to redeem us when we are so not worthy- THAT is surely something to celebrate!

2. The Christmas lights. I remember being a young girl and just sitting on my couch in the living room with the lights out and just staring at the Christmas tree.
I still like to just look at the tree and enjoy the beauty.

3. Being able to spend time with family. There are so many horror stories of people hating to spend time with family during the holiday. I love spending time with family- we always have fun and lots of laughs.

4. Christmas treats. I love all the special yummy foods this time of year. I love to bake so this is right up my alley!

5. Seeing my kids eyes light up when they open their presents. I just love watching them and the excitement they have. We don't get them an abundance of presents because I want them to remember the real reason for this celebration but it is so special to just watch and listen to their joy.

If you haven't done this meme yet- consider yourself tagged!

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Friday, December 19, 2008

Snow Day

YEAH- it's a snow day. We've gotten about 9 inches of snow and this is what it looked like when I woke up this morning:

After we blew out the driveway, I thought it would be the perfect day to decorate our gingerbread house.

The girls and I had so much fun. There is something so wonderful about being snowed in- I just love the feeling of being "stuck" in my house. It just makes me want to bake homemade bread and make soup for supper. Too bad I just did that last night!

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

I love this place- and a give away!

You probably all know about this place already, but I'm just finding out about it.
My Aunt told me about Papa Murphy's on cookie day and we decided to try it out on Saturday.

It's take and bake pizza and we all thought it was really goood.
Here's our pizza before baking it:

Here's our pizza after:

Here's the kids pepperoni pizza after:

It's very reasonable- about the same price as Digiorno and it tastes great!
I didn't know of any around here- but there's one by the new Meijers-(those of you from around here know where that is)
Next time I think I'll try the thin crust and Mark wants to try the stuffed crust.
I am now officially a fan!

Now for the best news- they have AWESOME guest services as well. I emailed them and told them I was really impressed with them and asked if they would give me a gift certificate to pass on to you. They said yes!!
So I'm doing a give away!
To enter simply leave me a comment and tell me your favorite toppings on your pizza. I will be doing a random drawing next Wednesday.
Good luck!

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Oscar's early Christmas present:

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Pumpkin Bread

Dawn requested this recipe so I thought I'd just post it for all of you:

Pumpkin Bread:

2 2/3 c. sugar
2/3 c. shortening
4 eggs
2 c. pumpkin
2/3 c. water
3 1/3 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 T. Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
2 tsp. soda

Mix all together till smooth. Bake in greased loaf pans at 350 for 1 hour or till knife check comes out clean.

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Halle's Snowman

Halle would play outside in the snow everyday if she could. Before supper on Saturday
she headed out to play. After awhile Mark went out. Just a few minutes (like literally 5-10) Mark came in and told me to come out with the camera.
This is what I found when I went out:

Before Mark got out there- Halle had made the whole bottom ball by herself- it's almost as tall as she is! She was so excited. I think she did a great job. She named it Eric she says because he's way high into the air!

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Monday, December 15, 2008


The youth group had an outing on Saturday- Paintball!
Nick and Mark were very much looking forward to this and it didn't disappoint.
They had so much fun- Nick can't wait to go again. I have to admit- I even think it looks like fun- well all except the welts you end up with if you get hit!

Here is Mark and Nick all ready to go:

Some of the other guys:

Looks like Jimmy didn't fare too well:

Here's one of the guys with a welt on his back. Mark didn't get any, Nick has just a small one- war wounds!!

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

It's looking like Christmas

I put my decorations up the day after Thanksgiving and thought I'd give you a peek into my house.
Here are my stockings. I'm fortunate because I have a talented sister. Terri made the kids stockings and they are treasured keepsakes for sure. I also love my stocking holders.

I love Santas and I've collected a few. The tall one is my favorite- it's also Oscar's favorite as he's been trying to bite his beard!

We decided to do something different this year over our cupboards. We wanted to get garland that was already lighted, but it was pretty pricey. Mark suggested making our own. I didn't know how that was going to turn out- but I'm really happy with it.

This is above my kitchen sink- I've got a little mantle there. Again my love of Santas! Since my girls heritage is Russian, I like to incorporate it where I can so these Santas are Russian and the girls love them as much as I do!

Lastly, the tree:

Oh- look closely under that tree- do you see what I see?

Lets look again:

Yes that's Oscar under the tree- how fitting since he was part of the kids Christmas present this year!

Hope you're enjoying all the beauty of the Christmas Season!

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