Saturday, December 10, 2011

3rd Annual Country Women's Christmas Candy Making Party

I just returned home from my annual candy making party. It was another great time filled with holiday festivities and spirit and great company.

My sweet friend ended up with a house full of sick kids this year. So we held the party at the church instead of her house. We missed her a lot but the set up at the church went great! I wanted the day to still feel cozy cottage like. So I tried to decorate and bring in the Christmas spirit. My precious mother in law came to the church and helped me set up. We hung a wreath on the door to welcome my guests. Then we wrapped the three large tables in wrapping paper. We used chair back covers to cover the chairs and then wrapped pretty bows around the chairs. This added a special touch. I set up a small fiberoptic Christmas tree. Then to add the final touch I set up a CD player with Christmas music and turned on my candle warmer with a Scentsy Caramel Pecan scent. *Perfect!*

To make things easy and the least divided as possible I brought my microwave to set up in the room with us so that no one had to leave to melt all of the different ingredients. This was really nice as it kept us all visiting and laughing together.

I always love to see who is able to come, both those who I know and then those who I don't. This year we had two ladies come that I was able to meet for the first time. I just Love that this party pulls people out of the woodwork and brings people back year after year.

We made A LOT of wonderful treats this year. Several repeats from years past and a few new treats as well. all of the recipes are things that we can make with a microwave, plenty of chocolate, and several glass bowls. Here are the recipes:
Here are the links to the recipes:
Chocolate Peanut Butter Candy
Chocolate Peppermint Bark
Holiday Truffles
Toffee Peanut Clusters
Oreo Cream Cheese Truffles (AKA: Hosts of Ghosts for Halloween)
Chocolate-Dipped Pretzel Rods
Butterscotch Treats

1 C. Butterscotch pieces Nestle Tollhouse
1/2 C. Creamy peanut butter
3 c. Corn flakes
On cookie Sheet with edge, cover bottom w/ wax paper, set aside
Put PB and Butterscotch pieces in a 2 qt pan. Stir and melt on Medium heat, when all melted, remove
fromt heat, add corn flakes stirring until well coated. You can add more cornflakes until they are all
drop by teaspoon on cookie sheet, place in fridge- and they'll set.

It was a wonderful afternoon filled with the treasured sights, sounds, and smells of Christmas. I am so grateful for the chance that I have to give back to my wonderful friends, old and new.
Merry Christmas Dear Friends!

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Home School Month in Review November

November was a busy month. But we managed to fit Home School in with my Finals. Jakob also went on his first extremely long road trip with Grandma and Grandpa Baron to New Mexico. It was a 12 hour trip and he loved it (not necessarily the drive;)

Our main focus this month was on Jets/United States Air Force and Thanksgiving/Gratitude. The other subjects came in as Netflix Documentaries. So here's the rundown of some of our favorites.

Jets and the USAF: (I can't remember the books that I already returned to the library:(
Dog Fights Season 1 and 2 (documentary), Supersonic Saints Audio Book, the Aviation Nation 2011 air show. It was spectacular!! Jakob went to White Sands Missile Range Museum and loved that as well!

Thanksgiving/Gratitude: The Untold Story of the Mayflower (Movie/documentary) We watched this as a family and enjoyed the history and the story. I would recommend purchasing this DVD for your Home School curriculum. Standin' Tall by Janeen Brady Audio Book GRATITUDE (they loved this!) BOOKS: Fire Fighters Thanksgiving by Meribeth Boelts, Thank you Sarah the Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving by Laurie Hales Anderson, Squantos Journey by Joseph Bruchac

Creatures That Defy Evolution: Vol. 1 (AWESOME!! There are 3 volumes.)
How Smart are Animals?: Nova scienceNOW
Lizard Kings: On the Trail of the Monitor
Making Stuff: Nova: Making Stuff Cleaner
Making Stuff: Nova: Making Stuff Smaller
Making Stuff: Nova: Making Stuff Stronger
Making Stuff: Nova: Making Stuff Smarter
Animal Planet: Safari: Saba and Rhino's...

Math: I'm still really happy with the BJU Press Math DVD!!

Creative Thinking: Jakob made a photo collage of some of the things he is thankful for.

Gospel Studies: We started something new. We give the boys a piece of paper and a can of crayons as we get ready for scripture study. Then the boys illustrate what we're reading about on their paper. Jakob writes the chapter we read at the top of the paper. We'll compile them in a book as we go. So far, so good! I'm still very happy with the morning devotional book that I purchased The One Year DEVOTIONS for Preschoolers by Crystal Bowman.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

The Lighting of the Christmas Tree

Written Sunday November 27, 2011:
Tonight we spent the evening putting the Christmas tree up and stringing the lights. The evening was really special. The boys watched a Christmas movie while Leif and I strung the lights. Stringing the lights isn't really the fun part. But it was fun working together and enjoying the moment. Caleb and JJ were especially excited about the beautiful twinkling lights this year. They were both bubbling over with glee. The tree was finished just as the kid's movie ended so we transitioned right into the bedtime routine. Instead of scriptures tonight we gathered next to the tree and I read the boys the Legend of the Candy Cane. This is a story that revolves around Jesus Christ and the True meaning of Christmas. While I read the story Leif passed around cups of Cinnamon Eggnog. We couldn't have felt more CHRISTmas Spirit if we tried.

I am so grateful for my precious family. Life can get so busy and overwhelming at times. I am so grateful for a husband who will take the time with us to invite the Spirit of Christ into our home through these little traditions and special moments. The calm that comes into our life is invaluable.

I am most grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ who brings meaning to all of these traditions and festivities. He truly is The Light of the World!

Monday, December 05, 2011

Healthy Habits Contest!

My sister in Law Heidi has put together a great contest to help us all feel more healthy for the new year. I want to invite anyone else who wants to join us! Let Me Know!!

Here are the Rules (Written by Heidi): 

1. By the end of tomorrow  (Dec 6) everyone will email me (HeidiBoydPotter at back with your BMI (Body Mass Index). If you go HERE  It will ask you a couple questions and calculate it for you. I think it is better to go off of this number, rather than actual pounds lost. As we are all different sizes and have different goals :) I will keep a record, so that you don't have to announce it to the whole group, and I'll keep track of everyones, so that we know who the winner is at the end.

2. By the end of tomorrow (Dec 6) everyone will email me (HeidiBoydPotter at back with your goals. For example, Mine are... I would like to lose 20 pounds, Exercise 6 days a week for a minimum of 30 mins and wake up before 6 am every morning and go and read motivating material with my hubby :) Your goals can be whatever you wish. I'm just simply making you write them down and say them to somebody. Ya' welcome :)

3. EVERY monday, you must respond to the weekly email that I send. You will respond with your updated BMI, and how your goals are going for you, and, if you wish, any recipe ideas, and/or tips you learned the previous week that you would like to share! But, I AT LEAST need a quick check in email with your BMI.

4. As far as what you eat. This is not too strict, However, if you wanna win, you will do whatever it takes. I suggest going off of soda completely. Narrow your sugar intake way down and eat less carbs and more proteins and grains. You can use for healthy recipe ideas. Try to avoid going out to eat as much as possible during this time. Plan ahead. Make lunches for yourself the night before. If you do go out to eat, on the weekend, than CHOOSE WISELY. For example, ask for no mayo or extra sauces on sandwiches. Choose a salad with a light dressing. AVOID YELLOW CHEESE!! It's no good. Just trust me. Think about switching to Almond milk. There is better health benefits than regular milk. Eat Greek yogurt, instead of regular..Eat lots of veggies and fruit.

5. If you miss reporting on 2 emails. You are DISQUALIFIED. So don't do that. If you had a bad week, report anyway. We are all going to have bad weeks, let's be honest, it's the holidays. SO, just report, and keep going. It will be worth it.

6. You will take a picture of yourself every week and hang it up on your bathroom mirror to see each week. (this is the part I dread) 

7. Every morning, you will wake up and say OUT LOUD one of these two options " I am Alive. I am Alert. I feel GREAT! " or "I am Happy. I am Healthy. I am TERRIFIC!" and no... I'm not kidding. You WILL do this. If you feel so inclined, you will also repeat these thoughts to yourself as you go to bed at night. 

GREAT! Now, here is the PRIZE idea I have..

* Everyone, besides the winner, will put $25 towards buying the winner a gift, and if necessary, mailing it to that person if it cannot be delivered by you. Think of how fun it will be to be the winner and receive 8 thoughtful gifts in the mail. I know right ???!! Oh, and PS don't send a restaurant gift card, it needs to be an actual present. Be creative :)

THE Competition Begins NOW and ends March 5. We have 90 days to make this happen!!! If you know of other people that would like to join, please send me their email address and they may participate. 

And remember * This is not a DIET, Diet's have a beginning and an ENDING. We are making a healthy eating HABIT. Habits take 30 days to develop, so be patient with yourself for the first month and keep plugging along. 

Alrighty folks!!!  I figure, if we are going to do this, we are going to keep ourselves accountable and on course. BECAUSE, We are so SUCCESSFUL!! Yay team!! Now, happy healthy shopping for food!!

Email me back with any questions!  We will also set up a blog as soon as we get going to help us stay in touch. 
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