27 December 2014

Christmas Gift Wrapping Contest 2014

I love this tradition. Formally, it’s a new one. Historically, it’s just what our family does! We love to wrap.

This year’s categories were:

1. Mono-colored wrapping: All one color

2. Free Style: Boundary less creativity

3. Repurposed: Reused materials for a different use

Participants and judges were the same as last year.

Participants: Daddy, Sister Sarah and myself

Judges: Mama, Dave and Mike

Time:

Christmas Eve, after church. After cookies have been set out for Santa. After carrots have been carefully laid out in a perfect formation in the driveway for the reindeer. After kids have been tucked into bed. After cookies have been eaten. After carrots have been chewed up and spit out on the driveway in a perfect formation. After we gather our hidden gifts from corners all over the house. After scoring papers have been handed out. After we collapse onto the couch in front of the Christmas tree.

Whew!

Okie doke, first up… Mono-Colored.

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The winner is…

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Sarah!

Category 2: Freestyle

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(woven ribbons for wrapping, cut-up paper for ribbon!)

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(also woven ribbons!)

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(tissue paper ball hanging)

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Me.

Category 3: Repurposed

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(Paper bag, sand paper disc, twine, duct tape and caution tape… yes I raided my Dad’s shop!)

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(Foil molded over tree relief!)

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(Two milk jugs with coins inside, tied with a ribbon… this is an inside joke between Dad and I… I laughed! And then he regretted doing this later in the week). Ha!

Winner?

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Me again.

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A really fun activity for a Christmas Eve night with ones that I love.

xoxo

17 December 2014

20 Meals in the Freezer!!

When my Mom visited us in Colorado a few weeks ago, I had a lil’ project lined up… 20 freezer meals at once!!!

I had seen this Costco meal plan online somehow and decided it was worth purchasing for a few dollars:

20 Slow Cooker Freezer Packs for $150 from fivedollardinners.com

BOY was it worth it!!

After I shopped my own pantry and substituted a few things and looked for sales elsewhere, I actually spent less than $150. And the handful of meals we have eaten so far have actually fed us twice. So it’s more like 40 meals! Oh my word. So so worth it.

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In days leading up, my fridge had so much meat in it. This meal plan had lots of meat. I don’t  think I’ve ever in my life had so much meat in my possession.

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Shopping done! These are all of our supplies out and ready to go.

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When you purchase the plan she gives you detailed shopping lists, preparation lists and assembly lists.

I love lists.

Did you know that about me?

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We started at 2:29.

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We worked alongside this lady who walked us through things step by step. Next time I think I’d just stick to the lists though. It wasn’t that helpful to watch her while we were doing our own.

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We peeled and chopped and sliced and diced and opened cans and cut meat and rinsed beans and measured spices and and and…

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It made quite the mess and quite the pile of dishes.

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But then we had two of each meal bagged, labeled, and ready for the freezer!

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It’s so beautiful.

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This little lady woke up from her nap and promptly got deposited in her playplen close by…

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And she likes to take her socks off and put them on her hands. That’s a bonus tidbit for you.

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We did it!!!

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It took us about 2 1/2 hours. The lady said it should take one person less than two hours. It took two of us more than that! I was SO thankful for my Mama’s help. It’d be a really big job for one person.

I froze them flat and filed them in the freezer drawer.

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What a gift! Thank you Mom for helping me. I think we will definitely be doing this again. It’s such a perfect thing for a busy Mom of of littles to have meals that can be dumped from the freezer straight into the slow cooker.

And they’re delicious too.

Silly Girl

Here’s a great way to get lots of attention while walking around Costco…

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She felt like getting comfy I guess!

05 December 2014

Blessed Birthday

This year I had one of my best birthdays ever, I believe. My heart was just overflowing.

I did learn a lesson this year. I learned this lesson because my husband was gone during my birthday. I told him to go ahead and take the trip… I wanted him to, but it was still sad to not have my best friend with me to make my day special.

Buuuuut because he was gone, I was forced to schedule my own day and make it what I wanted it to be! Let’s face it, husbands can’t usually read our minds and give us the day we dream of anyway, right? But he was gone, so it was on my responsibility to make a fun day for myself and not spend the day sulking, wishing I was doing this or that but couldn’t because my husband was gone and he didn’t plan it for me…

I did just that. I planned and filled my day with things I wanted to do and people that I wanted to be with. AND. IT. WAS. AN. AMAZING. DAY.

Even in future years, I hope to plan my own day now. So much less pressure on Mike and much more of what I want it to be, since I’m the one doing it!

It wasn’t all me though! Several of my girlfriends did plan a simple and and fun night for me, which couldn’t have been more perfect.  My heart nearly burst.

So there you have it.  The lesson I learned. And here’s some picture for me to remember it by…

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H and N got up before me, pushed these two stools over to the counter so they could make me a piece of toast together and then put coconut oil on it that they had not so sneakily asked me to leave out the night before!

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Then they hid behind the couch for about half an hour waiting for me to come out before they jumped up to surprise me. The sweetest.

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