Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Hannah's Hope and Sarah's Song by Karen Kingsbury and I, Alex Cross by James Patterson

Find my reviews at my other blog  A Room without books is empty .


Our New Year celebrations are pretty low key these days.  We sometimes go to a church service but most times we just stay home and eat snacks and appetizers and play games and maybe watch a movie. 
I spent soem time yesterday goin through a bunch of recipe emails I have saved looking for appetizer recipes and this is what I came up with:

New Year's Eve:  Honey BBQ chicken wings (recipe I have been using for years from Taste of Home)
Mini soft pretzels and dip from Pillsbury site
Potato skins recipe I am not sure where I got
Flaky pizza Snacks from Pillsbury
slow cooker bbq meatballs from recipelion
caramel brownies

New Year's day:

Semi Homemade Breakfast Casserole
spicy potato wedges
bacon wrapped breadsticks from homecooking
cheesy sausage stars recipes from homecooking
Marinated ham and swiss buns from homecooking (my boss made these one time and they are really delicious)

We spend most of the day New Years watching parades especially the Mummers parade which is a Philly thing. 

I will post some of these recipes if they turn out ok. 

I have alot of recipes saved that I get in my email and plan on making them this next year. 

Here's hoping everyone has a great and wonderful New Year.   

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

23 years ago today

23 years ago today I went into the Drs. to have a checkup to see how I was progressing in my pregnancy.  I was due in about two more weeks.  The doctor checked me and asked me if I wanted him to break my water to start the labor because he said I would probably be back in a day or two anyway.   Well you don't ask 9 nomth pregnant lady if she wants to get it over with, of course I said yes.  12 hours later I had my son.
My husband and I were totally clueless on what to do as parents even though we both had spent several years working at a children's home as house parents (it's different when it's your on child).  He was one loved little boy.
We had our ups and downs with him and recently he has chosen to step away from his upbringing and has chosen to live a life that is both bewildering and heartbreaking to his father and myself. 

But we still love him and pray for him every day.

So Happy birthday Justin!!! We love you.    

Monday, December 28, 2009

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas

My christmas started off alittle rough.  I work in a house taking care of two wonderful ladies who are both developementally disabled.  I try to bring them home with me most holidays and they are just like part of the family.  Anyway one of them is in a wheelchair and we have a special van to transport her.  After I strapped her in and got the other lady in, I hopped in the van and started driving the van out of the garage.  Crash!! Bang!!  I get out and realize (too late) that I forgot to latch the hatch and it hit the garage door and I smashed the entire back window out.  Ugh.  so after a quick call to my boss I preceded to clean up the glass and while I was doing that I slipped and fell and really scrapped up my knee.  I got the window covered with garbage bags but didn't have any tape but scotch tape so I taped it as goo as I could then preceded to come on home.  I stopped at two convenience stores on my way till I found some duct tape then taped up the the window better.  Whe I got home my wonderful husband measured a piece of plastic and got the rest of the glass out and taped the plastic on for me.  We had a good rest of the day. 

My husband surprised me on Christmas eve with my main gift in my stocking (we open our stockings on Christmas Eve)  It is a beautiful opal and pink diamond ring.  Opal is my birthstone and pink is the color for October.   I had to take it to get it resized as it was just a bit to small but I will have it back soon I hope.

Both my daughters got mp3 players for Christmas and gift cards to itunes so they have been adding songs.

My oldest daughter gave my husband and I gift cards to Ruby Tuesdays and we went out to eat on Saturday.  It was nice having a "date" with my hubby.

I have been thinking about New Years resolutions and one both my husband I have decided to do is to read the Bible cover to cover in 90 days.  I used some of the money my parents sent me for Christmas to buy the Bible in 90 days Bible.  Blogging about it

What are some of your resolutions?  


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wishing Everyone a very Merry and Happy Christmas

I will be enjoying time with friends and family tomorrow as i am sure many of you will be so I want to wish you a safe and Happy Christmas.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Braving the world today

Only two more days till Christmas and I am braving a trip to Walmart with my daughter today.  I have avoided the stores like the plague and you will not catch me at the mall.  But my daughter needs to go buy some gifts and I have to bite the bullet.  I have done most of my shopping online and it is so nice having everything delivered to the house (except when Fedex delivered a package to our front door which we do not use and I didn't realize it till it had been rained on.  Luckily the contents were wrapped in heavy plastic.)


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

don't make shows like this anymore

Only a few days left

Only a few days left until Christmas Day.  Hope you are enjoying FAmily and Friends.

 I only have a few links for today.  One is for Christmas stories here.
 And here  a quiz about Christmas traditions.

The girls and I will probably go last Christmas shopping tomorrow because that is when Faith has off and I can get the car.  I can't wait till she gets her insurance check and I can have my car back full time.  

have a great day


Monday, December 21, 2009

Digging Out

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Winter eMotions
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Final Stretch

Well we are in the final stretch for Christmas.  We like so many others in the east were hit by a snow storm over the weekend and it caused us to slow down and really remember what this season is all about.  Look toward the bottom of this blog to see pictures from our storm. 

Here is a Holiday menu that you can make very inexpensively.  Even if you have certain things that you eat every holiday like my family does it is always nice to have some new things to try.

If you like candy canes Here is the legend.  And Here is an online tour of a candy cane factory.

Here are Christmas file folder games.

In all the hustle and bustle just slow down and enjoy your families and have a great week.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Friday, December 18, 2009

Went Grocery shopping for Christmas Ugh

I went grocery shopping for Christmas this morning on my way home from work.  Ugh.  Boy am I glad this only happens once a year.  I really should be buying things alittle along the way.  Funny thing is I did buy several things along the way.  We will be having seven at our house this year.  I know that doesn't sound like many but two of them are developmentally disabled and need help.  My hubby is also thinking of seeing if he can bring someone home from the local rescue mission.  Did I mention I work Chrismas eve and will have to do most of the cooking before or remotely (have daughters put what I have already prepared into oven). but I love Christmas and wouldn't have it any other way.

Just a few things to keep the kids busy until the big day.  Here is a set of Rudolph the Red-nosed reindeer dominos.  And if your kids like Legos Here you can build online. 

Hope everyone has a great weekend.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

9 days till Christmas Oh My!!

I woke up to the fact that there are only 9 days till Christmas.  I do basically have all my Christmas shopping done but there were so many things I was hoping to get done that ,well, just didn't get around to it. 

Next week we are going to have what we call Christmas school.  We can count it as school but it is usually just doing home ec things around the house.  Baking and cleaning and crafting with some Christmas History thrown in. 

A few things that I found in my travels around the web today.

Relax and sit back and use this pdf of the Velveteen Rabbit to spend some quality time with your family and just sit around and listen.  Has several cute ornaments to print out and asssemble.  Here is a penguin and you can find several more at the site.

Hillbilly Housewife is having a virtual  cookie exchange.  Here is the link for that.  While you are there check out the rest of her site.  She has alot of good ideas and recipes.

Head on over the We are That Family blog and see how Kristen made easy monogram ornaments.  Here is the link.  

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Silent Monks sing Hallelujah Chorus

It's that time of year

I think I am coming down with my first cold of the year.  I have watery eyes and that tickly feeling in my nose that I need to sneeze but of course I don't.  Ugh. 
Any way I may not have to share my car after next week.  Faith got all the paper work into the insurance company yesterday so hopefully she will have a car by next week.  I don't use my car much but it really is nice to be able to go somewhere if I have the urge to or need . is offering some free things and contests from now till Christmas. has a list of fun things to do for Christmas.

This link will take you to a site that has some cute Disney crafts.  Guess what craft we will be doing? free product this week is a Lving books Christmas Helper has some ideas for cute ball ornaments.

My Hubby is in colorado and Sent me these pictures of the scenery in the Mountains. 

Then he sent me this

Not sure how long that snowman will be around. 

Hope everyone has a great day.

Monday, December 14, 2009

some Christmas crafts

Here are just some links to som Christmas crafts.  Hope everyone had a great weekend. 

Here are the instructions for making cute little Snowmen ornaments.  I love snowmen so anything snowmen i really like.  I forsee a trip to the craft store in the future for my duaghter and myself.

Here's another cute snowman.  I can see him sitting on our mantle.

At this site you will find a whole list of different Christmas crafts.

This site has a cute snowflake ornament.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

This is what happened at my House last night

We were innocently decorating for Christmas and I was taking a video of the girls putting up the tree and decorating when this happened

This is my eldest daughter and she is totally sober and no drugs or soda.  The outfit is compliments of a Dirty Santa Gift from a year or two ago.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

What a beautiful day!!

I woke up this morning to the sun shining bright here in Pennsylvania.  It is still cold but not  quite as cold as yesterday.

First and foremost I would ask everyone to pray for Beth Moore of Living Proof Ministries. Seems that she has been dealing with some health issues and had surgery on Monday and has been having a rough time of it.  I have really enjoyed Beth's ministry.

I have several links today for some Christmas crafts.  Here you can learn to make some cute marshmallow snowmen (I am a sucker for snowmen)

This site tells you how to make Chocolate playdough.

I remember making sparkly pinecones when I was a little girl.  Here is a how to make these.

Here is a link to make a a Christmas tree from craft sticks. has recipes for 540 cookies and counting.  You should be able to find something that interests you. has several cute craft ideas. Claypot SnowmanCandy Cane Santa,Free e-book of easy crafts,gifts in a jar, and Holiday home

I would encourage to look around each of these sites and comment on the blogs especially.  who knows you may find a new favorite.

Friday, December 11, 2009


Baby It's Cold Outside

Here in Pa it is 25 degrees and the wind is blowing a bit.  But it is nothing compared to what my hubby had to endure during and after the blizzard. 

This is a picture of him trying to stay warm in the below zero wind chill.  He will not make it home probably till next weekend as the storm put him behind several days.  Glad he was able to get a motel room and the lady at the motel made homemade chili for him and the other guests.

Now onto the goodies I have for today.

Here is instructions on how to make interesting ornaments out of straws and a styrofoam ball.  Here is a picture 

This is a site that show you how to make a really neat paper snowflake.

Here is a pdf on how to make easy gingerbread houses.

Grinch coloring pages are are at the this link.

You can practice your math skills here with a Christmas twist.

Make your own wacky Christmas Tale here.

Here you will find a pdf of a bunch of Christmas worksheets.

Here is another pdf worksheet to match up Merry Christmas with the country.

This is a cute idea to keep your children writing all the year through.

The FDIC offers a free cd that can be used for Economic lessons.  You can find it here.

The following are several links that you can use with A Christmas Carol, most of them deal with Victorian age.  Here is a page on different things in the story.
This is more indepth about the Victorian era. This page has victorian crafts just becareful not to click the Google ads.  Here is an online quiz about A Christmas Carol ( I got 100%).

Last but not least is the page from Easyfunschooling for Christmas and Winter activites and units which can be found here.

 Dig in and enjoy.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Christmas Shoes

It's not officially the Christmas season until I hear this song.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

I listened to a free downlaoad of this story from  See my review here.

Lots of goodies were in my email today

so I am going to share with you.

Here you can make virtual snowflakes. Of course if you were caugth in the blizzard you don't need the virtual kind.

I have several things from Hewit Packard site for Christmas decorating and crafting.  Here you can get Christmas labels.  Here you can get printable ornaments, and Here are the instructions for a pretty teardrop ornament and Here are the templates.

This is a pdf of a project for Scrooge running for mayor.  I think I am going to use this as a final project for Hannah when she is finished with A Christmas Carol.

This is a cute craft project for turning a paint brush into a cute Santa.  We have never done Santa but I do like the Santa projects.

And last but not least here is craft project to make angels out of coffeee filters. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

New Book Reviews

Please see my book review blog A room without books is empty  for reviews of the following books.  
Gideon's Gift by Karen Kingsbury

Maggie's Miracle by Karen Kingsbury

Piercing the Darkness by Frank Peretti
Cooking Up Murder by Miranda Bliss
The Murder of King Tut by James Patterson and Martin Dugard

Straight no Chaser - 12 Days of Christmas

stuck in a Blizzard

Not us but my Hubby.  He is stuck in Iowa in the blizzard that is going through and will not be able to move until at least tomorrow becasue it is just too dangerous.  He is in a warm safe place (His truck) and he has plenty of food and stuff to keep him busy and is close to a truck stop so he will be fine. 

I don't have much to post today. is letting you give away gift cetrificates worth $10 to 30 people a day until Christmas.  The link is here.

Hope everyone stays warm, dry and safe. 

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Sometimes Moms Mean well but...

I thought about this when I looked over this article from Family Fun.  I can say that I have been  guilty of several of these over the years.

Some of these penguins just may find their way onto our yard (if I don't procrastinate).  Hannah loves penguins.

This site has lots of ideas for filling your Christmas curriculmn.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas in Sarajevo

Christmas Cookies

Every year I plan on making tons of Christmas Cookies but never seem to get around to it.

Here are some links for Christmas cookies maybe to get you and me both in the mood.

Recipe Lion is offering a free Christmas Cookie recipe e-book.   You will have to register on their site but they have several other e-books that you may find interesting.  I am always looking for new recipes (although I have more than I can ever make in the rest of my lifetime)

This site has a cute idea on how to present your cookies once they are made.

Here is an idea from Family Fun on another way to present your cookies.

Family Fun also has an idea for a gingerbread family kit.

Homeschool Helper has a unit study on Christmas Cookies here.

And Here is a recipe for a cookie in a jar gift. 

Hope this gets your inspired to make cookies.

Now I'm Hungry!!

Friday, December 4, 2009

That's What Christmas is all about Charlie Brown

Stuff that was in my email today.

First of all I spent the last hour designing a button for this blog so if you would like to grab it you can find it on the left sidebar.  It was really easy once I got the hang of it.  Here is the blog that I got the instructions for the button.

Econobusters has freebies listed every Friday. Today you can sign up for a free calendar from Pillsbury, get a flash drive and a tote bag  just to name a fe of the frebies listed.   As you probably can tell by my blog I love free stuff.

Here is a free Christmas customs lap book and here is another Christmas Symbols lapbook.

This is a link to a Christmas Scripture quiz.  Test your knowledge about what Scripture really says.

Click Here for a free downloadable Advent Calendar with different activites for you and your family to do each day.

This  a Lapbook about Christmas around the world. offers a free audio book each month. This month is A Christmas Carol and they are also letting you download last months book on poetry for this week only.   

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Little Drummer Boy

More Christmas fun!!

I get a newsletter from click schooling everyday.  She had a link in her newsletters about using different holiday activites for school.  The page is here.

Heart of the Matter online is offering a unit study of the symbols of Christmas.  You will find a pdf for the whole study on this page.

If you would like to try using podcasts in your schooling this page offers a list to get you started. We have used several in our school to make things a bit more exciting.

Here is a link to teach children to save while also paying for the things they need to live.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

It's Called Christmas

Free Christmas Music

It seems that this time of year I can not get enough of Christmas music.  By Dec. 26th I am willing to give it up for another year but from Thanksgiving until Christmas I love to Listen. is offering a free   download of a Christmas song each day between Dec 1 and Dec 25th.  You can download any that you have missed on the previous days so you can still get the Casting Crowns "Joy to World" that they offered yesterday.

Hear it has a calendar and they are offering a free song of O Come O Come Emmanuel for yesterday.  

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Happy first day of December!!

Soon 2009 will be a memory.  I hope that each of your years were full of family, friends and fun.

I came across a calendar for December till Christmas that gives you a look at what Christmas is like in another country. Here is the link. offer a free download every month of an audio book.  My husband and I have been listening to audio books for a few years now and I  have used audio books in our homeschool.  The free book this month is The Brothers Karamazov.  I found that as my mind wanders a bit when I am reading classics especially that if I listen it is a great experience.  The link is here.  Don't forget to add the special code that is on that page.

I love watching Christmas specials but am never sure when they are on well I found a site that takes care of that problem.  It's a Wonderful Movie has the specials listed everyday and she updates it everyday (except Sundays).  A charlie Brown Christmas is suppose to be on tonight!! Yeah!!. 

Hope you have a great Day. 

Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving is over

Thanksgiving is over so it is time to start concentrating on Christmas.The internet is a wealth of information and ideas on every thing to do with Christmas so I thought I would just list some things that my family and I have found really great.

First and formost is the Reason for the Season which is the Birth of Jesus.   Here you will find a wonderful Advent Study that we have used in the past.  I think we will probably be using it this year also.  I like that fact that it is inductive and that you read the same scripture several times so that it is really in your head when you are finished.

This is a page that has a whole list of units and worksheets and clip art for you to use in your studies at this time of year.

Clement Moore wrote The Night before Christmas and you can learn about him and read the poem at this link.

Here you will find both lined and unlined Christmas writting paper.  These are more for younger children but older children can use them also for little notes etc.

At this link you can find out all about Christmas traditions around the world.

Here you can find lapbooks on symbols customs and other ideas.

This is a wondeful unit on the symbols of the season.  I think we have used at least part of this study every year for as long as I can remember.

Here is another unit which is more about the songs.

Easy Fun School has a long list of activities and units for Christmas.  There are some activities for A Christmas Carol which I already listed some links under the tag A Christmas Carol. A Blessed Christmas can be found here along with a unit on Christams Around the World, and a unit on Christmas songs. 

And lastly for today has a countdown calendar with activities online , crafts and recipes.

Well that should keep you busy for awhile. 


Friday, November 27, 2009

My Eventful Thanksgiving

We had a fairly eventful Thanksgiving.  Dave was not able to make it to the family Thanksgiving with his family but the kids and I went.  The three kids went in Faith's car and I was in my car by myself.  This let me get to listen to my current audio book and gave the kids some bonding time.  We left a bit early and arrived at the restraunt about 45 minutes early.  I called my mother in law and she said for us to go on over to her house so my son joined me and the girls followed in Faith's Car.  My mother in law currently lives out in the country so we had to travel some country roads.  We were driving along when I happened to look in the rearview mirror just in time to see Faith's car spinning around into the ditch.  She had driven to close to the edge and her tire went over and she over compensated and lost control of her car.  I immediately turned around and went to see what happened.  They were okay just alittle shook up but her car was smashed up a bit.  Luckily it was able to be driven away.  We then had to deal with the insurance and police.  Our meal was quick and short.  Then we went to my Mother in Laws and did what we call Dirty Santa but this year didn't get  to bad.  The whole family gathered pictures together and and my brother in law put them on a digital picture fram for my mother in law as she is moving to a retirement community so this will probably be the last Thanksgiving that we get together.  She gave us a few things that she didn't need anymore and I packed upmy car and went home. The kids stayed a bit longer.  I picked up my hubby on my way home.  I had to go to work last night and I took my son home.  Just as I was leaving my house I was hit by a horse and buggy.  No damage to us or the car or the horse or buggy.  So that was our day, not really a day i would like to repeat. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving

I will probably not be able to get on the computer tomorrow as we are going to celebrate with Dave's family so I just wanted to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.

We will be eating at a restraunt tomorrow as I think there over 20 of us.  This will probably be the last time we all get together as one as my mother in law is moving to a retirement community and will not have the room for all of us to get together afterwards.

Dave will not make it home in time to celebrate tomorrow so we will have another dinner on Sunday. 

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Not the biological kind but the computer kind.  We have been dealing with computer viruses for a couple of weeks now.  I would use one antivirus program and it would seem to work but then in a few days it was not cutting it so I used the one our internet comes with and it works a few days then nothing.  I just bought an anitvirus that my brothe recommended.  We will see how well that works.  This reminded me that we have to be careful in our thought lives too.  If we are not careful of what we look at or read or listen to things can make their way into our subconscience just like those pesky viruses made their way on my computer  and unlike a computer our brains are not easily erased.      

Friday, November 20, 2009

Thanksgiving is coming.  It will be here in 6 days.  There is a slight chance that my hubby may not be here because he may be in Florida or Texas but that is ok.  
I have been fighting a little stomach distress and have had a ehadache for three days now.  Not sure if it is stress or weather related, just wish it would go away. 

I made a dvd of my family over the last twenty five years.  I put music to it and everything.  It really was quite fun to do.  I am thinking of making another one for my parents (this one was made for my mother-in-law).  I have put the picture I used in a slide show on the side bar.

I have gotten lots of links in my e-mail for Thanksgiving so here goes.  Here is an entire study on Thanksgiving .  There are some pretty good links at this one.  

This has ideas to make a Thanksgiving lapbook.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Hannah's Assignment continued

Last week I gave Hannah the assignment of taking pictures of fall and I thought she did a great job.  She enjoyed it so much that she asked to take pictures around our neighborhood so here they are -

She is turning into quite the photo bug.

I have collected some more links that will help you enhance your holidays.

Crayola  has some things at this site for Thanksgiving.

Kraft  has some decorating ideas for Christmas.
Kraft will also donate 10 meals for every free e-card you send from this site.

Lesson Plans page has a lot of lesson plans for Thanksgiving. has 100 gift ideas at this site.

I confessed to be a Disney fan a few posts ago.  Here you print out some cute Disney decortions for your Thanksgiving Table.

And last but not least I get current events articles and questions from this site.  Hannah is really learning alot about a variety of things.  I don't use it everyday but it is a good start for current events.  And of course all of these are FREE sites.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

This and That

Today is a day of learning.  Not just for Hannah but for myself as well.  I have to take a test for work on passing medication.  Luckily it is open book.  Tonight is our last session on our Study of Esther.  I will miss getting together with other women and learning with and from them.

On this day Ellis Island stopped being the main way most immigrants came to America.  Here is an interactive study about Ellis Island.

How well do you know you Pilgrim and Colony history?  At this site you can find out if what you think is true or just a myth.

Last but not least  if you don't mind reading of of the computer Amazon is offering their Kindle Reader for free for the PC. The Link is here

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Hannah's assignment

Hannah's Assignment yesterday was to take my camera and go outside and take pictures of Fall.
Here is what she came up with.

Maybe she should pursue Photography?