Tuesday, November 18, 2008

ten (plus) smile tuesday

in the past week it has turned downright frigid outside...but we are warm and toasty, snuggled up in our sweatshirts and hats...still smiling. and okay, we're not really wearing our hats inside...but they look so stinkin' cute i almost wish we were! :) as you read through these smiles, you might also think i skipped straight from halloween to Christmas...forgetting all about good ol' thanksgiving...but nope, i'm definitely looking forward to some turkey, sweet taters, and pumpkin pie...just getting a head start on the Christmas crafting. :) anyway...on with the smiles.

1. time with two delightful girls...and there babes. thursday morning i met with two other gals who are interested in meeting together to sharpen and encouraged one another as wives, moms, and women. i'm so excited about this intentional time...and the blessing of our first get together. and, of course, it was quite fun to have jill and brennan stick around for a bit afterwards...as you can see, the girls LOVE them!

2. my new autumn table decor...have i mentioned that i LOVE candles...they just make me feel at home and cozy. it really is the simple things in life...and elizabeth thinks it is incredibly special to have all the candles lit.

3. this incredible recipe for pumpkin spice lattes in your crockpot. personally i think it is better than the starbucks version...and MUCH less expensive...not to mention you can enjoy it without going through the hassle of buckling the kiddos in carseats and leaving the house! :) you really should check out "a year of crockpotting"...so far all the recipes i've tried are really tasty and easy...and how fun that today's post goes right along with my smile #2). now if only i could invite each of you over to indulge in one of these tasty treats with me...but no worries...i shared them with jill and chrisy when we met thursday morning!

4. its the little things in life...really. when some friends canceled at the last minute saturday night elizabeth was quite bummed out, so we turned our carry-out pizza into a pizza picnic. kate thought sitting at the little table rather than the highchair was fabulous fun, and elizabeth, well, she just plain thought the whole thing was great fun. amazingly enough kate sat there through the whole meal (and didn't want to leave the table even when the rest of us were finished!). bonus #2 was discovering a new pizza place nearby...with awesome prices and our favorite pizza and breadsticks by far. (and just in case you wondered...we ordered bacon and tomato pizza...and if you haven't tried that combo you really should....YUM!)

5. red velvet holiday cookies...found this recipe in a magazine (i posted the recipe on good stuff maynard...so click on the cookie name or here to check it out!). mike declared that these are his new favorite cookie...they were elizabeth and kate tested and approved as well. as for the Christmas-y sprinkles...what can i say...the choice was between orange pumpkin sprinkles or these...the Christmas sprinkles were a better match to the red cookies....

6. the arrival of my first swap package from sweet aminta...aren't these the cutest cards ever! :) the package came complete with tasty chocolates as well. i am also delighted to know that my swap packages are on their way (and a couple have already arrived)...this was such a fun little project...and i'm getting excited about the Christmas swap!

7. crafty goodness. i feel like my time to craft comes in bursts and spurts...and the past week has been full of crafting...including these fun and easy magnets. you just need clear rocks (i found these in the fake floral section at wal-mart), magazines or scrapbook paper, modge podge, and magnets (i used the disc ones found in the craft section at wal-mart). trace the rock on your paper (or small pic from a magazine...which is what this set was made from), cut it out, modge podge it, stick pic to rock. use hot glue gun to attach magnet to back...and voila! i'll be making LOTS of these puppies this season...in fact, i already have. this set went to shanna with her swap packet.

8. remember the socks from this post? here they are now...well, at least a few pairs. (clearly some are still waiting for mouths, and the big guy is missing eyes...but you get the idea). i have 12 more monkeys waiting to be sewn together...and i'm working on a few different hat and scarf ideas. some of them will most likely hit the shelves of my etsy shop...but most of this monkey making frenzy is due to my sister's phone call and news that she would be willing to include them in her booth at the big crafty (a craft bazaar in asheville, NC). bring on the monkeys! if any of you are interested in a monkey (i have Christmas-y and non-Christmas-y leave me a comment or e-mail me theyakmom AT yahoo.com) and i'll set one aside for you...i'll even give you a special discounted price. :)

9. perhaps my favorite crafty endeavor this past week...a muffin tin advent calendar. this was such fun to create, and i can't wait to fill it with holiday activities, traditions (new and old) and fun for the month of december.

10. family time. we were planning to head to the prayer service at church sunday night, but at the last minute my oh so wise husband realized that what was best for our family was perhaps some downtime together instead. and, while praying is definitely a fabulous thing, and i'm sure the service was a blessing...he was so right. we headed to red robin, enjoyed some togetherness and balloons...and oh my, kate was so into wanting a balloon...so cute!

11. this face...this is kate lunging for me as i tried to capture a smile...the face is priceless! :)

12. i wish i had video of this last smile...it is too precious. i'm going to try to get video tonight, because i simply know it is something i will cherish as long as i live. last night at bedtime elizabeth snuggled into my lap and chose her two books...one of which was "go dog go". she proceeded to read the entire book to me...only missing a few words here and there. i know it was from memory....not reading per se...but it just illustrated to me what a sponge she really is at this age (and reminded me that she really DOES remember even when she pretends not to). the cutest part was listening to the inflection of her voice as she read...showing excitement, pausing, and all of that...this little girl really has been listening when mommy and daddy read! she also amazed me by "reading" the Monkey's Miserable Monday book from M week (a couple weeks ago) to Kate yesterday afternoon. i was finishing up dinner and oh how it brought joy to my heart to hear her say, "here kate kate...i will read to you." even better...when i peeked around the corner kate was just sitting there...right next to elizabeth...listening and pointing to the pictures. melt my heart! :) hopefully i will have some "go dog go" video to post soon! :)

13. snapfish...took advantage of the free 8x11 photo book offer last week (the coupon ended friday...but if you have it be sure to make your book by the 23rd!)...i created a color book for the girls using pictures from around the house and writing little poems to go with the colors. it is more kate's speed...but elizabeth will love it simply because of the pictures from around the house (and of her and kate!)...and the fact that she helped find the items. i also just ordered our christmas cards today...i know, its early...and they definitely won't get sent out until much closer to Christmas...but snapfish had two great offers...your first 20 cards were just a penny a piece plus shipping (so $6.00ish) (with the code CARD08)...then i placed a second order for the rest of my cards, using the coupon code (SHIPALLFREE)--this code is good today only. (i did two orders since you can only use one code per order...it was cheaper this way).


Shanna said...

wow! Where to begin!

First, thanks for letting me know where to buy and how to make the magnets, the girls thought they were so cool and they'd have fun with cutting out magazines for them ;)

Second the cookies look sooooo good. It could be too that I'm hungry (almost dinner time)

Third I LOVE the face Kate is making LOL

OH! Thank you for the Latte recipe this looks AMAZING and I can't wait to try it!

And one last - UGH! I totally heard about the Snapfish thing but didn't look close enough at the expiration dates and then when I went back to do it, it had ended. I was SO bummed!!

What a great week ;)

Lisa said...

Gosh, Shanna I am bummed I missed out on the Snapfish thing too!!

Great smiles Amanda! The cookies look amazing and I love your pizza pinic, too cute!

And as much as I love Thanksgiving, it's hard not to be caught up in the Christams spirit already, huh.....

Cottage Mommy said...

Geez louise girl! You are one crafty mama! I am jealous of your skill...those sock monkeys are so cute! Thanks as well for the how to on those magnets. My children quickly broke some I bought at the craft fair and just as quickly broke one you sent! No matter how many times I tell them not to play with them they are magically or shall I say magnetically drawn to them!

Leslie said...

ok the monkeys are beyond cute, love the stripey ones,

RYLAN ADORES HERS!! and I love Cades, have a picture idea I need to take with it...

in fact Amanda, Rylan puts hers to bed and gives him lots of hugs!

we did the avent muffin tin last year... and adored it all thinks for reminding me to start filling it up...

you get so so so much done in a day I don't know how you do it!!!

Colored With Memories said...

love the magnets, mouthless monkeys and will be checking back for the go-dog-go video!

thanks for your comment re:homeschooling. it sounds like we are in the same EXACT spot!

Amy's Blah, Blah, Blogging said...

What a fun bunch of smiles! As is always the case with you my dear friend!

Love the monkeys, so, so cute! I'm sure they will be snapped up at your sister's craft booth. Who doesn't love a home made sock monkey after all?

The girls hats are way too adorable! Did you make them or buy them? I'm looking for a hat for Lilla that goes under her chin because hats don't stay on her very thin hair otherwise.

The cookies look oh so yummy, and make me want to start holiday baking...mmmm, mmmm!

Hope you have another great week!

mudpies4all said...

I think this is your best post yet! Adorable crafts, tantalizing recipes, and two of the cutest girls ever... what's not to love? I can't get over how much you accomplish. And hooray for Elizabeth! Reciting a story is one of the early steps of reading, so she is well on her way. What a smart girl, just like her mom!! Hope you all have a terrific week :-)

Chelle said...

What a happy and productive days you are having...all cozied in with your girls.

You are one inspiring lady...

Jackie @ Our Moments Our Memories said...

Look at you, all crafty! I have been getting so many great ideas that I want to try...now if I can just tap into my creative side and get something done. :)

Those cookies look fantabulous! As does the Pumpkin Spice Latte...oh, my.

I made a photobook at Snapfish, too...what a great deal! Makes a great gift for the grandparents.

Hey...I tagged you on my blog today if you feel like playing along... :)

creative gal said...

WOW! You've been busy. I love the magnet idea!! Think I may be making some of those as gifts! I also like the cards from your swap.

And, of course, pics of the girls always make me smile! Have a blessed day!

Wendi @ Every Day Miracles said...

I agree with the other girls- this is one fabulous post! :) You are just really inspiring. :)

And I have to thank you for the comment you left on my blog. I got in on the Christmas swap JUST IN TIME! :) In fact, my partner is your friend Jill and I am just thrilled to be doing this. :) I'm giddy about getting into Christmas stuff. :)

One of K's favorite books is "Go Dog Go" and whenever we say "Do you like my hat?" He just disolves into giggles. :)

Little Candle said...

Elijah is in love with "Go Dog Go!"
What a wonderful post...thank you for sharing! I am really wanting to try the latte recipe, so yummy.

Sarah :)

Nancy M. said...

Beautiful smiles! I love the monkeys, they are so cute! It's amazing what kids remember sometimes.

Rebecca said...

hello there! thanks for the nice comment :). i enjoyed your smiles and pictures this week, as always! your girls are so adorable! i love their matching winter hats...so so cute! i'm definitely going to be trying out the pumpkin spice lattes and the cookies (making the cookies today, actually). thanks for sharing! and wow...look at all the crafting you are getting done! i'm so impressed! those magnets are great and i can't wait to try making some. the monkeys are adorable. i've never seen the muffin tin advent calendar...i'd love to hear more about how that works. i love kate's face in that photo...so so cute! and how fun that libs is "reading" to you and her sister. so precious! kids sure are sponges of information. it's amazing how much they pick up. jonathan has a couple of possible job opportunities after the new year if you could please remember us in prayer for that, i would really appreciate it! thanks, amanda! love to you and the family...God bless!

Shanna said...

Oh one more thing. I e-mailed you the other day when I received your package in the mail but it occured to me this morning that maybe you didn't even get the e-mail?? Anyway, if you didn't let me know, I'd like to resend it. And if you did, then just thank you again, because the package of swaps was gorgeous!

Shanna said...

Glad it made it there and that you enjoyed it! I had a lot of fun with the whole project ;)