Thursday, December 29, 2011

Who lives in the gingerbread house?

Mommy, do gingerbread men live in the gingerbread house? That is the question that my youngest daughter asked while we were putting together our gingerbread house this year. I snapped a few pictures of our sweet little house covered in white icing and candy of all colors and shapes.
The house now looks like a tornado hit it, a hungry tornado that is. Much munching has occurred since the roof raising.

 The Kit~ picked up at a local craft store
 Oh Mommy I am so excited!!
 Our finished chalet de gingerbread!
 Gumdrops, sprinkles, icing, peppermints Oh My!!

Miss Lucy says " and when are you people going to bed"? 
huh? I am gonna attack that house....

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Great Tree Trek 2011

Each year we take a family trek to the mountains nearby to look for that just perfect "real" Christmas tree for our house. For 2 years now we have visited the "Greene's Christmas tree farm in Boone NC. and received outstanding service, this year they even met us at the farm for a private appointment when we called. The beauty of the rolling hills are covered in snow with lines of Frazier firs all waiting with anticipation, reaching for the sun.
After a short walk around the farm we found the tree we wanted to take home, the winner, the best in show for the day. Our escort with chainsaw in hand, took care to cut, haul, bail and tie our festive tree to the top of our "family-tank ". We headed back down the mountain once again home to decorate a Christmas tree.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Why are my ornaments on the floor?

The reason is called "LUCY"
Our Christmas tree has gone up in stages this last week, and it is also coming down in stages. Miss Lucy, the newest baby at our house has delighted in all things bright and shiny. Nothing glass or breakable has gone on the tree unless it is well secured. 
I do believe that she thinks this grand bush is hers and is celebrating nightly the joys of having her own decorated tree in the dining room. I had to move the chairs so that she could not stand on the backs and easily swing at her toys.

Hopefully I will get the lately trek to get our tree 2011 pictures 
downloaded and share soon.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

All dressed up and it snowed...

All dressed up For Winter time now, our blog that is......

I love to change up the scenery as you can tell, and in comes winter complete with a header from last years great "Christmas tree hunt" when we went to the mountains in
the snow looking for that perfect tree.... boy it snowed, as you can see by the roads our trek to the tree farm was not an easy one, but so worth it. We began a yearly
tradition of driving to the mountains to chop down our Christmas tree as a family and spending the day all together no matter the weather. This week we will go again on our yearly trek, thought I would post some of last years 2010 pics. In the mountains near Boone North Carolina.

Here are a few more pics I love:

The blog header above was created with this cute picture, one of my silly kids running up and down this snowy hill....

Monday, December 5, 2011

Here Piggie Piggie Piggie....

Spiced Gingerbread Piggies

Recipe courtesy The Neelys
Food Network Cookies

 Prep Time:30 min
  • Inactive Prep Time:2 hr 0 min
  • Cook Time:15 min
  • Level:Easy
  • Serves:
    12 to 16 cookies


    • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup mild molasses
    • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
    • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
    • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
    • 2 teaspoons ground allspice
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
    • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • Royal Icing, recipe follows
    • Special equipment: 5-inch-long and 3-inch-wide copper piggy cookie cutter


    Combine butter, sugar, and molasses in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together the remaining dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture in increments, and continue to beat until thoroughly mixed together.

    Pour the dough out onto the countertop and divide into 3 pieces. Press each piece into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator and chill for 1 to 2 hours, or up to 3 days.

    Adjust the racks to the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line sheet trays with parchment paper.

    Spread 2 large pieces of parchment paper out and very lightly flour them. Place a disk of dough between the parchment sheets and roll out to 1/4-inch thickness. Repeat with the remaining disks of dough. Rework all the scraps into balls and re-chill before reusing. Repeat with all the dough.

    Cut out cookies and place on the parchment-lined sheet trays with an offset spatula, leaving 1 inch between each cookie. Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes. Cool on the sheet trays for 5 minutes, and then transfer to a cooling rack to continue cooling to room temperature before decorating the cookies with Royal Icing.

    Royal Icing:

    • 2 egg whites
    • 3 cups confectioners' sugar, whisked to remove lumps
    • Juice of 1/2 lemon
    • Food coloring, optional
    Add the egg whites, sugar and lemon juice to a large bowl. Beat, using a hand mixer, until glossy and stiff, 5 to 6 minutes. Add food coloring, if using, and mix well. Place in icing bags with fine tips to decorate cookies. 

    Saturday, November 26, 2011

    Whose getting a Letter from Santa?

     I bet we are here at the Blockhouse, our Elf on the Shelf is back and he going to make sure that our kiddos are being good this year. Their letters are in that stack are yours?
    The elves are busy coordinating delivery of Santa letters to boys and girls across the United States. Is your letter in the bunch? If you haven't yet ordered your letter(s), don't delay! Place your order by Nov. 30 to ensure delivery before Christmas.

    Remember, Your first custom letter is only $6. If you purchase more than one, you will receive a 10 percent discount on the entire order. Use coupon code SANTA at checkout to receive 10 percent off the total.

    You will be asked a few questions about your child during the ordering process. Your answers will assist Santa in creating a unique letter for your child. Letters will be printed on Santa's special stationery, signed by the jolly fellow himself, and with the help of a special elf, shipped in bulk to North Pole, Alaska, in time for your little one to receive a special letter before the holidays.

    Reserve your letter(s) before Nov. 30 to ensure delivery before Christmas. We hope you'll take advantage of this terrific treat from the North Pole. Place your order now! http://www.themommiesnetwork.org/santa.html

    The proceeds of this fundraiser will support The Mommies Network and your local chapter.  Please mention your chapter's name to ensure they receive credit for your purchase. Our Chapter is Centralfoothillsmommies.com it would make this mommy happy if you put that chapter down or just placed an order would be fine too. The Mommies Network is my most favorite support group in the world.

    Got Turkey? Make Enchilladas and some biscuits

    Oh what to do with that leftover bird....lets make a casserole of course on our Saturday afternoon. I found this fun recipe in the Centralfoothillsmommies.com recipe database online when I searched the word turkey and leftovers. Enjoy!
    As I posted this on the CFM blog it looked to good not to share with my friends
    here also and save for my family this week.

    Leftover Turkey Enchilada Casserole
    Recipe Number: 1228663126
    Contributor: Amberleila
    Rating: 9.00 
    Rate This Recipe
    Review This Recipe
    Serves: 5-6
    Calories Per Serving: NA
    Preparation Time: 15 minutes
    Difficulty: Easy
    Print Friendly Version
    Leftover Turkey
    1 can enchilada sauce
    1-2 cups cheese (your choice)
    15 corn tortillas
    1-2 Tomatoes finely diced
    1/4 c sour cream

    Cooking Instructions:
    Slice tortilla's in half and then slice in thin strips. Mix diced tomato with enchilada sauce. Put a little sauce in bottom of pan, layer a handful of tortillas, then turkey, then cheese, then more sauce. Continue till all ingredients are gone. Bake at 350 for 15-30 min. Depending on how thick you make it. Let cool for about 5-10 minutes. Put sour cream on top.( I use a dollar store ketchup dispenser to get a small squirt)
    Serving Suggestions:
    Serve with rice and/or beans (and more cheese and sour cream---yummy)

    • Chopped red onion
    • Chopped avocado
    • Chopped fresh cilantro
    • Sour cream or crema fresca
    • Ice berg lettuce, sliced thin and sprinkled with salt and vinegar

     You could also pair this with those wonderful cheese biscuits I posted a few weeks ago, here they are:

     Are you drooling yet??? ha ha

    These are so easy! 

     {source: Plain Chicken}

    Better than Jim 'N Nick's Cheesy Biscuits

    1 1/2 cups Bisquick
    3/4 cup buttermilk
    3 Tbps sugar
    1/4 tsp vanilla
    1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

    Preheat oven to 425.  Stir together all ingredients just until combined.  Scoop into a mini muffin pan coated with cooking spray.  Bake 12-15 minutes, until golden.  **I used a medium cookie scoop and got 20 muffins**

    These are so easy and melt in your mouth, I am not a big biscuit maker, but I can do this and the kids helped me measure the ingredients. Thank you so much Stephanie at the Plain Chicken blog for such inspiring recipes that are simple and so good.

    Tuesday, November 22, 2011

    Lets Lapbook~~ Native American Study

    Have you ever made a lap-book with your children, we often do these to help understand a particular topic of study or interest. What on earth is a lap-book?
    This great video shows you how to make a lap-book (thank you to The Homeschool Club)  

    The following article credit: lynnhsmomof2.blogspot.com/
    Lapbooks are a great educational tool that are very popular with homeschoolers and are gaining in popularity with classroom teachers.  A lapbook helps a child learn about the subject and it is something they can look back on to refresh their memory later about the subject.  This article is to teach you how to make a simple lapbook.

    Step 1:  Choose a subject to use.  The subject you're doing your lapbook on should be broad enough to have many sub- categories, but not too broad that the subject goes on forever.  The category "animals" may be too broad, but "animal classification" or "horses" would be ideal.  The category "history" wouldn't be so good, but "pirates" or "pioneers" would be great.  Just make sure the category is broad enough that you can have at least 8-10 sub- categories.

    Step 2:  After you choose the subject, choose mini books and printables to go along with the subject.  Don't overwhelm your student by doing to many mini books in one day.  Your student may need a lot of your help, especially if they are younger.  Store the mini books that have been completed in a large plastic baggie ( I use the 2 gallon size) until you have them all done.  You can check out this page if you need help finding resources for your lapbook: Lapbook Resources

    Step 3:  After you have finished the study and the mini books and printables are complete, you are ready to assemble the lapbook.  Take a file folder and open it up so you are looking at the inside of it holding it so its width is longer than its height.  Fold the outside edge inward so that the edge is touching the middle and crease the fold.  Then do this to the other side so that both of the sides are now in the middle and the file folder opens like a shutter from the middle.

    Step 4:  Arrange the mini books on the inside of the file folder (now a lapbook) so they all fit on.  Glue them into the lapbook only after you have the arrangement that you want.

    Step 5:  Decorate the front.  There are many ways to decorate, some of my favorite ways are to use die cuts, stickers, coloring pages, or have your student draw on the front.
    Your lapbook is now done.  Your child will probably enjoy looking back over it and remembering all that they have learned.


    Now lets lapbook about Native Americans:

     Create a Native American Lapbook along with your Native American studies. A lap-book is a very education, but fun addition to any American Indian study.
    Kidinfo.com - Your Guide to Native American Histories and Native American Facts
    Quality Sites that contain information about Native Americans, First Nations of Canada, Native Americans Important to History, Documents Important to Native Americans, Native American Historical Events, Native American Legends,Native American Treaties, Native American Arts and Crafts, and Important

    North American Indian (DK Eyewitness Books)

    Amazon Price: $9.89 (as of 11/22/2011)Buy Now

    Things you can add to your lapbook.

    1. Clipart- Its good idea to have a good source of clip. Not only is it great for lapbooking, but it can be used in other homeschool projects too.
    2. Stickers
    3. Scrapbook Paper
    4. Mini Books
    5. Die Cuts
    6. Coloring Pages
    7. Games
    8. Puzzles
    9. Drawings

    Native American Worksheets

    Printable Native American Tribes Alphabetical Order Worksheet | Native American Heritage Month Worksheets
    Interactive printable Native American tribes worksheet. Place the names of Native American tribes alphabetical order. This activity can be done online or printed out.
    Printable Native American Word Search | Native American Heritage Month Worksheets
    Printable Native American word search worksheets - learn vocabulary words associated with Native American Heritage Month.

    Native American Printables and Lapbooks

    Native American Lapbook Resources
    Printable mini books that can be used for any American Indian tribe.
    Printable Indian Paperdolls
    These Indian boy and girl cutouts will be fun for children to dress up in different Indian clothes. There is coastal, desert, plains, and woodland clothing to choose from.
    Free Squanto Lapbook | Albright News
    Free lapbook printables about Squanto.
    Native American Lapbook Achejeman Juaneno Indians -Homeschool Bin
    Native American/ American Indian lapbook
    Coloring pages Native Americans - Free, printable, realistic. Coloring book pictures, sheets.
    Coloring pages Native Americans. Free realistic colouring pictures. Educational coloring sheets to print and download. Coloring book pictures. Online coloring pages.
    Native Americans - Dynamic 2 Moms
    Free units/lapbooks and notebooks for homeschoolers. Scroll down for lapbook pages.
    If You Lived With the Iroquois Lapbook
    Lapbook for the book If You Lived With the Iroquois            
    D'Aulaire Pocahontas Lapbook
    Lapbook for Pocahontas           
    Native Americans - Dynamic 2 Moms
    Free units/lapbooks and notebooks for homeschoolers.

    Native American Coloring Books

    Coloring pages can add a lot of interest to your Native American Lapbook. Coloring pages can also be a good teaching tool.

    Indian Tribes of North America Coloring Book (Dover History Coloring Book)

    Amazon Price: $1.80 (as of 11/22/2011) Buy Now

    Native American Masks Coloring Book (Dover History Coloring Book)

    Amazon Price: $1.51 (as of 11/22/2011) Buy Now

    North American Indian Design Coloring Book (Dover Design Coloring Books)

    Amazon Price: $1.40 (as of 11/22/2011) Buy Now

    Wigwams, Longhouses and Other Native American Dwellings (Dover History Coloring Book)

    Amazon Price: $1.38 (as of 11/22/2011) Buy Now

    Great Native Americans Coloring Book (Dover History Coloring Book)

    Amazon Price: $1.50 (as of 11/22/2011) Buy Now

    Native American Indian Tipi Coloring Page

    Tepee Clipart Public Domain Drawing

    Here are some more resources for your lap-books~

    Lapbook Booklet Templates

    Lap-booking templates are really great lap-booking resources. With a lap-booking template you can add so much to your lapbooks. These are blank lap-booking templates for you and your child/ students to fill in. They can be used in a variety of ways and for multiple projects.
    Homeschool Share
    Lots of blank booklets.
    Lapbook Template Pack
    Basic lapbooking template pack that can be printed out for any lapbook subject.
    Notebooking Pages
    Free templates
    Lapbooking Needs
    Thatresourcesite.com - Free learning resources for homeschoolers - Free Lapbooks, lapbook templates, and more.
    Minibook Master Template Download « Practical Pages
    Lapbooking templates
    Minibook Master Template - Lapbook Lessons
    When I create new minibooks or a lapbook, I use my Minibook Master Template with all my favorite minibooks and my handy lapbook planner. You may have to join the site to see this.
    Enjoy making lapbooks with your kiddos and be creative! 

    Please share on your favorites social sites


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