Friday, November 30, 2012

Top 12 Christmas Cookie and Candy Recipes

Nothing says Christmas like a plate of homemade cookies or candies.  The girls and I are looking forward to baking some of our favorite recipes so I thought I would share some of our favorites with you.  Click on each description for a great Recipe and Tutorial!
11.  Buckeyes   12.  Candy Cane Hearts

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Deck the Halls

Our Thanksgiving decor has been packed away until next year and we started to decorate the inside of the house this past weekend for Christmas.  Christmas is one of my absolute favorite holidays to decorate for. 
My newest collection of Christmas decorations is this Willow Tree Nativity Set that my Mom and Step-Dad got me for Christmas last year.  I had been drooling over it for a few years!
My Dad started buying a Santa Claus for me back when I was 16 years old. He has also bought me a few different things here and there but I thought I would share some of my favorites with you.  The past few years he has bought me a Santa from the Jim Shore Collection.  I have to admit they are my favorite....hint hint Dad ;)
These three are some of my oldest, I think the
 Santa Doctor on the left is my very first Santa.
This guy is from Germany. 
A fishing Santa, because Dad loves to fish.
My Grandmother bought this for me one year, it's a Christmas Advent Tree.
Inside the box are drawers filled with ornaments that you hook onto the tree, one for each day in December leading up to Christmas.  The girls love taking turns to hang an ornament. 
One of my Mother In Law's, all of our parents are remarried so we are both blessed with two Mother In Law's, gave us these great Stockings, hangers and a matching tree skirt several years ago.  We don't have a mantel or fireplace in this home so they will hang off of the entertainment center. 
 Another favorite Santa of mine, he's sitting on top of my fridge with Rudolph.  I found him at Home Goods several years ago.
I swapped out my DIY Chalk Canisters for these cute Santa canisters.
Looking forward to making lots of yummy Christmas cookies with my girls soon.
The cookies we make can go in our Santa Cookie Jar.
And here's a little peek of our Christmas tree.  Little Sis has been checking out all of our pretty ornaments the past few days.  Last year we didn't decorate the bottom half because she couldn't keep her little fingers off of it but she is doing pretty decent so far this year.  We have so many ornaments, I'm starting to think the girls need their own tree to decorate and Mommy and Daddy another one for our ornaments.  We are to the point that we have to pick and choose our favorites to go up because there are so many! 
Hope you enjoyed seeing some of our Christmas Decor!  I love Christmas and that we get to celebrate the birth of Jesus with our family and friends. 
I'm linking up with Women Living Well's Making Your Home a Haven Challenge.
See my "Blog Love" page to see where else I party! 

I'm also linking up to Kelly's Korner Blog, love her!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Our Thanksgiving 2012

Little Sis and I started with some baking on Wednesday morning(love those little toes standing on a chair next to me helping me bake!).  Silly Mommy put two pies on one cookie sheet and while it baked, the baking sheet warped and out came the filling!  Luckily I put them on a sheet with tinfoil.  So back to the grocery store we went for more pie crusts and I baked some more during nap time.  Lesson patient and bake one at a time :)
We were so happy to have Daddy home with us for Thanksgiving, he got
 off duty that morning at 8 and had the next few days to spend with us!  What a blessing.  Here is Daddy injecting and seasoning our turkey breast.  To see what we used check out our recipes for Thanksgiving here.
We received a couple of cards in the mail from family and we
 had some beautiful sunflowers on the table.
I'm not going to lie...trying to get a good picture of these three is a challenge!!!
Little Sis before we went for a walk to the golf course, that is in the neighborhood we live in.  We invited the neighbors to come watch Daddy fly his RC Airplane....they loved it.
We had fun watching Daddy fly, running around with the neighbors and being silly in the beautiful grass.
Then it was time to get down to business, time to fry our Turkey breast.
To fry the most tasty bird you've ever must wear this hilarious Turkey hat!!
Daddy had an audience...Little Sis and Luke our Golden Retriever.
Little Sis was so hungry she started snacking on her fingers...just kidding!  This is how she is always sucking her fingers.  I think we have lots more bills to an Orthodontist in our future. 
It turned out GREAT and DELISH. 
So juicy on the inside and crisp on the outside.
Everything was yummy, our time together was GREAT and we praise God for all of it!!  Happy Thanksgiving from Our Happy House of 5 to yours!  Time to get our tree up and all the Christmas Decor, can't wait to celebrate the birth Jesus.


Thursday, November 22, 2012

10 things I'm Thankful for

Every day should be like Thanksgiving.  We shouldn't spend just one day a year where we focus on all the blessings in our lives.  I'm working on being more intentionally aware of all the blessings in my life.  I have so much to be thankful for and I want to stay focused on those in the times that I'm stressed, tired and not in a positive thought of mind.  God knows you inside and out, he knows your thoughts and every move.  I want my thoughts to always be praising and glorifying to God. 
Here are a few things that I'm thankful for:
1.  My loving and hard working husband for supporting our family and being a wonderful Father for our girls.  Your hard work allows me to be a Stay at Home Mom.
2.  I'm BLESSED with a house to clean, laundry to fold, food to cook and to be a 24 hour-round-the-clock Mom and Wife.
 3.  Our three beautiful daughters who bring me such joy and remind me to slow down and enjoy each and every day because they are growing up way too fast. 
 4.  The United States Coast Guard for protection of our great country and giving my husband his dream job that supports us so well.
 5.  All of our Family and Friends, we may not be close in distance but my heart and prayers are always with you. 
6.  For Skype, Face Time, Facebook, blogs and other technology that allows me to stay in touch with family and friends.
7.  For our good health and God's constant protection.
8.  Our church for teaching us, changing our hearts, giving us a loving family when ours isn't nearby, and for new friends who live as examples of great Christian families.
9.  For the bible, the best self help book out there!
 10.   Most importantly To our Lord Jesus Christ, thank you for the sacrifice you paid for all of us.  For giving us grace as we continue to shape and mold our lives into the ones that you call us to be.  For blessing our family with a wonderful life filled with so much love and happiness. 
I pray you all have a very Happy Thanksgiving with your family and friends!  I am so looking forward to family time, yummy food and making memories to last! 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thankful for Neighbors

Today I wanted to make some yummy treats for some special people in our lives,  to tell them how thankful we are for them!  We made the mini pumpkin loaves shared on "The Larson Lingo" blog and added the cute printable also found there. 
Pumpkin Bread:
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
3 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
3 1/3 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp salt
Mix ingredients, bake 7 mini loaves @350 for 35-40 minutes. 
{One of our neighbors family is gluten free so I picked
them up a special brownie mix instead of the pumpkin bread}
These cute labels fit perfectly on top of the mini loaf pans. 
 The girls loved handing out the goodies to our neighbors!
As a military family, we are so grateful for the neighbors that God has blessed us with!  They are like family to us and go out of their way to help us out.  God knew where our family needed to be, although we didn't get to move to our top choice of air stations at the time, I am thankful that he put us exactly where we were meant to this neighborhood, these schools and lead us to our church where we also are surrounded by loving community!  We are truly blessed. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thanksgiving Decor

Today I'm giving you a sneak peak at our Happy House of 5's Thanksgiving decor.
I made this "Give Thanks" banner a couple of years back using my Cricut. 
Sometimes I use the wooden clothes pin on ribbon but this year I pinned it onto the blinds behind our dining room table.

On the front porch

Our mini-mantel by the front door.
This printable was found at How to Nest for Less

This sits on our entertainment center
Some of our Dining table decor
Looking forward to Thanksgiving in just a couple of days!!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Decorating Ornaments for the Whitehouse

This weekend the big girls were able to decorate stars
for a Christmas tree in the White House, yes as in THE White House!
They decorated the stars with a group of Coast Guard kids at the air station. 
They were both very excited to do this. 
Great job girls, way to represent the Coast Guard!

Friday, November 16, 2012

2nd Deployment 2012

Welcome Home Daddy!
Remember how I talked about deployment last week?
I shared my favorite Deployment countdown and Easy Deployment Meals because it was what we were going through.  Daddy just got home from his second deployment.  He was gone for two weeks, which is nothing compared to my friends whose husbands are in different branches of the military.  They are short deployments, but he will be going often.  Any extended period of time that Daddy has to go away isn't easy for all of us.
The girls were very excited to have Daddy home, they got to stay up a little late to wait for him to get home from the air station earlier this week.
Daddy grew a mustache while he was away, this is only two weeks of growing....imagine longer! 
{Don't tell him this....but I kind of like it}
We are glad to have you home Daddy!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Our Happy House's Thanksgiving Menu and Recipes

I can NOT believe Thanksgiving is  next week!  It seems like it was just Halloween yesterday.  This time of year is busy and hectic for everyone but we have to throw in two birthdays to all of the holiday business of December and January so I feel a little overwhelmed most years!  This year is no different, Thanksgiving is next week followed by Middle Sis's birthday in  three and a half weeks after that, followed by Christmas, New Years and then Big Sis will be 13 the end of January!  I have Chrismtas planning and decorating, birthday planning, lots of cooking and baking....need I say more.  My head is already spinning.  I'm going to try my best to just focus on one at a time and not get too overwhelmed. 
Today we are talking Turkey and all the other yummy dishes for Thanksgiving.  We aren't having any family visit us this year for Thanksgiving so we are doing a small and personal dinner with our Happy House of 5.  I'm looking forward to cooking and spending time with our little family and probably doing desert at one of our neighbors houses. 
Here is what is on our menu this year:
Since it's just us 5, we don't need a huge turkey.  The Happy Husband likes to fry a Turkey Breast for Thanksgiving, which frees up oven space for me.  We buy this Creole Marinade Kit, usually from Sam's or Walmart.  It comes with marinades and an injector and seasonings for the outside. 
The Happy Husband and our Brother-In-Law frying one a couple of years ago.
They made this pole to lower it down into the oil very carefully.  We don't want to burn down the house!  Make sure you are very careful to follow the directions when measuring the amount of oil you need and pat your turkey dry before submerging it.
Asides from the Turkey, this is my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE side dish for Thanksgiving.  Actually I make it several times a year because the Happy Husband and I love it so much, our girls not so much, but that's ok then there is more for us!  I follow this recipe and I add shredded cheddar cheese to the mixture.
Picture of Basic Mashed Potatoes Recipe 
I'll make your basic Mashed Potatoes also.  My Dad makes these great garlic mashed potatoes by cutting off the top of a clove of garlic, placing it in tin foil and drizzle it with olive oil and bake it until it's soft and mushy.  Then add this before you mix your mashed potatoes.
This is Janelle's Stuffing Recipe from Comfy in the Kitchen.
Corn Casserole
Paula Deen's Corn Casserole
I recently had my first taste of a Corn Casserole at a friend's house and really liked it.  I think I will make this in addition to our Green Bean Casserole this year! 
Ok, so this is where I probably need to step outside of my comfort zone and do something more than just open a can of Cranberry Sauce and slice it.  I don't really care for cranberry sauce, The Happy Husband is the only one who will eat this in our house but I buy it for him.  Maybe I should try a different recipe for this, anyone want to shar one with me?? :)
I have a beautiful Red Kitchen Aid Stand Mix so I should really try to make some homemade bread or rolls for our Thanksgiving Dinner.  I really need to start trying out some different dough recipes, but for next week I'll be making a bunch of Pillsbury's yummy crescent rolls because I'm going to keep things simple ;)
And now let's talk dessert:
LIBBY'S® Famous Pumpkin Pie
Pumpkin Pie is my FAVORITE pie EVERRR!
I follow Libby's Recipe and pile on the Cool Whip!!!!
I'm getting excited for Thanksgiving Dinner now :)

I think I'll have the girl's make these cute
Turkey Cookies that Happy Home Fairy shared.
So that's what's on our menu for this year.  I'm looking forward to spending Thanksgiving Day with my girls and husband, watch the Macy's Day Parade, enjoy yummy food with family and friends,  and thank my God for all the blessings in our Happy Lives!

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