Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Some Thanksgiving Pictures

A family picture in front of the truck that has a tree growing out of the bed. :-)

Yay Hokies, they won!
How sad is my family, four lap tops and three iphones

A new fun game, Guillotine
Pops and Tirzah

Benji and Gideon watching Cars2
Stacey and I

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A tale of Potty Training

These pictures below are taken back in April when I tried to start potty training my little boy...well after a couple of successes he decided he wasn't interested and although I've tried off and on I finally decided to give up! It wasn't worth the time to have him make a mess on the floor later. He just wasn't interested. Until last week...we were sitting at the table having dinner when Gideon said he needed to go peepee, not really thinking he was serious I let him down and he went and brought his potty to the dining room, sat down on it and went in the potty! Amazed we praised him and rewarded him with an M&M, well then he decided he needed to go every two minutes, which was just fine with me...later in the evening to my even greater surprise he went poop in the potty all by himself! I just couldn't believe it! The next morning I hoped he would continue but didn't have my expectations too high...but after I put him in his cars underwear he continued like it was the normal thing to do going to the bathroom on his potty. Needless to say we praise him and thank him and he has continued doing it even when we are out and about...although we do take his potty with us wherever we go! So all that to say that my little boy is potty trained when I least expected it!!!! And he did it himself!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Visit to North Carolina

 We took a little trip last week to visit Joshua's cousin and her family who are on furlough from Indonesia. It was nice to let our kids play together. Their little boy Elijah who is a couple years older than Gideon loves Cars so those two had fun playing together as long as they weren't taking toys from each other. We had a wonderful visit. We then stopped off at some friends of ours who have quite the farm...they have llamas, pigs, cows, chickens, guineas, ducks, turkeys, donkey, dogs, birds, goats and a couple cats. It was so much fun! Gideon had a blast with all the animals. I think we'll have to return for a longer visit.
Moriah, Elijah, Micaiah and Tirzah

Gideon and Elijah playing with cars

Watching Cars
Rooster at farm

Pig--that was trained to sit upon command

Look Daddy, look!

Danielle and goat

Emily and baby goat

Baby goats feeding

Decorating Gingerbread Houses

So last week my sister Beth came over to help me decorate the gingerbread houses. We accomplished 15 by the end of the day. It is quite the operation when you get down to it. But we took up different tasks and completed it by the end. Then we shrink wrapped them and tied them with ribbon! All ready for selling!
Lots of little people

The table covered with supplies and houses
Work in progress

Bethie working hard
Tirzah having a blast with all the mess!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Moneysavingmom's New Book!

I am so excited about a new book that Crystal Paine (otherwise known as Moneysavingmom) just wrote on budgeting!!! I go out to her site pretty much everyday to check on deals she shares and read about things she is doing or learning! She is quite an inspiration. So I am so happy that she is getting her first book published and I can't wait to read it myself.

Here's a little bit about it: Crystal Paine, who has helped busy women everywhere take control of their finances, presents her most effective strategies designed for families of all sizes and income levels.With hundreds of inspiring “why didn’t I think of that?” TIPS, plus WORKSHEETS, Paine breaks down your goals into easy, manageable steps so you can• Achieve a complete financial makeover • Set up a realistic budget • Never pay retail • Slash your grocery bill • Organize your time & your home• Us e coupons wisely • Pay with cash only • Live simply • Become debt free • Choose contentment • Make every dollar count

If you want to get it you can pre-order it (it doesn't come out till January) at Amazon here.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Baking Gingerbread...for our Business!

When I was a young girl my parents wanted to help me be able to earn money so that I could go to camp in the summer. They created a home business for me around Christmas time making gingerbread houses and selling them. It started out very simple and over the years we improved the recipe, the decorations and eventually our sales! It has become quite the family business...as my younger siblings and I grew our role in the business changed.

When you are small your  first job is to unwrap candy for the decorators...then you move up to standing for 12 minutes at a time to make icing for the decorators (who were always so impressive) then you got to place candy on for the decorators after they had put icing on. Eventually you worked your way up to having a small part in decorating that you were responsible for. One day you graduated to being part of the business owner! :-) I've been out of the business since I've been married and quite missed it...but this year my sister Beth and I are taking it back. We got the coveted gingerbread house cookie cutters (they don't make them anymore that i can find--and ours are taped together they are so old--18 years). We thought we would try out the business in our new town so we have started our adventure!

For those who are curious we sell our houses for $18 or 2 for $30. We make our gingerbread from scratch and spend hours decorating them. Everything is edible except for the cardboard base. We also shrink wrap them so they come giftwrapped and stay in tact better. We are looking for ways to get the word out this year. I'll post more on the decorating and selling later.

All that to say...my sister and I got together and baked on Sunday. I had never baked the gingerbread because my Dad always did it for us, he is the BEST gingerbread baker ever! And he has perfected the recipe. I am sharing the recipe below so that others can have amazing tasting gingerbread. We mix molasses and honey so its dark but sweet--it is soooo yummy!

Foster's Gingerbread Recipe:


  • 5 1/2 - 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons powdered ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup solid vegetable shortening
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cups molasses
    1/2 cup honey
  • 2 eggs beaten 
    Preheat oven to 375°F. Thoroughly mix flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Melt shortening in large saucepan. Cool slightly. Add sugar, molasses and eggs to saucepan; mix well. Add 4 cups dry ingredients and mix well. Turn mixture onto lightly floured surface. Knead in remaining dry ingredients by hand. Add a little more flour, if necessary, to make firm dough. On floured surface, roll out 1/8 to 1/4 in. thick for cut-out cookies. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet, small and medium-sized cookies for 6-10 minutes, large cookies for 10-15 minutes. Really watch the gingerbread, you don't want it to get burnt or too hard, when they are still soft but firm and baked take them out! Note: If you're not going to use your gingerbread dough right away, wrap in plastic and refrigerate. Refrigerated dough will keep for a week.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Visit with Auntie Beth and Uncle Brandon

Last night we got to visit with Auntie Beth and Uncle Brandon...the purpose was for Bethie and I to start making gingerbread for our gingerbread house business (more on that in the next post). So while we baked the guys played ping pong and the little ones amused themselves with toys and exploring a new house. Later Joshua and I got to go out for dinner while Bethie and Brandon babysat (a birthday present for Joshua). Tirzah and Gideon had so much fun with Auntie! They were very happy when we got back...thanks Beth and Brandon for such a nice birthday gift for Joshua that I got to enjoy as well!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Tool Bench...a late Birthday present

Gideon received some money from his two great grandmothers for his birthday that they wanted me to use to get something for him to play with. The other day I saw a great deal on this tool bench and couldn't resist! So here is Gideon's little tool bench (that will most likely wind up in Joshua's for when he's working and Gideon wants to as well).  He loves all the tools!
Also notice anything missing from recent pictures of Gideon? He's given up his passie this week!!!! Yay!!!! That's why his mouth is open in some, he's not sure exactly what to do.
Using the hand saw

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Visiting "Cousin" Zachary

On Wednesday I took Gideon and Tirzah and we went on a road trip with my brother Zach and his wife Amy Joy and my sister Beth and her husband Brandon! We were a van full! We went up to D.C. area to see our adopted Indian brother Bobby and his wife Bency and their two week (today) baby boy Zachary George! He is quite precious! So little, Tirzah looked huge around him! Gideon loved being able to have baby Zach on his lap...everyone did quite well for such a long day, we were in the car over 10 hours! We had fun however and it was so worth it to see my little nephew!!!
Bobby, Bency and Zachary
Tirzah eating lunch with Auntie Bethie

Uncle Zach being a bad influence and feeding my children sugar.
Amy Joy and Zachary

Two Zacharys
So little

Playing in the nursery

Gideon "holding" Zachary

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Playing in the Leaves

Load it up!
Take it away
My favorite picture, no pacifier, smiling and leaves and a truck!!!