Sunday, December 9, 2012

Homemade Snicker Candy

You know that trip to the grocery store where you are in the check out line and suddenly you realize that you are there without kids and that if you wanted to you really could have a candy bar (or 2 or 3) and You wouldn't have to share with any one!! Well the candy bar that I reach for at a time like that is a SNICKER bar!! the perfect blend of Chocolate, peanuts, caramel goodness!!
  Well here is a recipe my family started passing around 10 yrs ago or so and since I first made them for my own family, These bars have become a Holiday tradition! Now YOU can make them any time of year that you want but making home made Snickers candy is going to be a a wonderful Christmas treat for your family!!

Snicker Candy Bars:
Layer 1:
1 cup milk Choc chips
1/4 cup butterscotch chips
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
melt together over medium heat until smooth,
pour into wax paper lined 9x13 pan and chill until set.
Layer 2:
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1&1/2 cup marshmallow creme
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1&1/2 cup chopped, salted peanuts
melt butter in sauce pan, add sugar and milk, bring to a boil, boil and stir over low heat for 2 minutes, remove from heat, add rest of layer 2 ingredients, layer over layer 1 and chill until set.
Layer 3:
1 package (14 oz) caramels
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
combine caramels and cream in sauce pan until caramels are melted and smooth, you will need to stir this all the while. add to layer 2, and chill until set.
Layer 4:
repeat layer one.
This Handsome son of mine celebrated his 5th Birthday today, and he was also the only one of the family not to be surprised to see the seasons first measurable snowfall this morning! His explanation over his lack of surprised was "I prayed that God would make it snow on my Birthday!"
The Birthday boy and his snowman!!
The 'Big' girls after church and before the birthday lunch.
Little miss Perpetual motion
It was a happy, snowy, Birthday Sunday!!

Monday, November 5, 2012

My Tweens for your Toddlers???

You know that moment, the moment when you are in the grocery store, one snotty nose preschooler is clinging to your leg, trying to commit suicide by throwing himself repeatedly under the shopping cart, another toddler is in the cart, the part where the groceries are supposed to go, and he's chewing on a package of chocolate chips, (you know there must be a hole in the bag because said toddler is no longer whining) the baby, (in the infant seat part of the cart) is crying fitfully and as you push the cart with one hand while holding in the paci with the other hand, all the while distractedly throwing food items into your cart.

  A sweet old lady stops you with this wistful smile on her face and she coos "Oh but aren't they precious", and she then proceeds to tell you that these days are the BEST days of your life! You smile distractedly, and think to your self that she must have just taken the wrong kind of medication!

 BUT!! I am here to tell you, I am beginning, JUST BEGINNING to get to the point in my career as a mother where I can honestly say I think That little old lady in the grocery store MIGHT have know what she was talking about!! Suddenly getting up 3-4 times a night, changing poopy diapers etc seems like a picnic compared to some of the moods my 10 or 11 year old can get into!!
 It's like this: When they're little, babies, toddlers, preschoolers, Mom is an angel!! She can do NO wrong! They'll protect you with their own little life!
 Enter Middle school:
 Suddenly Mom knows NOTHING any more!! (not even how to do simple long division) LOL LOL. Suddenly YOU are the one from ANOTHER planet! They're convinced Mom Doesnt Understand what it's like to be 11 years old!  Its all normal and part of growing up, that I understand, But some days, I really wish I would've enjoyed those chaotic shopping trips a bit more, they really were a simple and EASY time of parenting!!

Parenting isn't for the faint of heart! It isn't all fun and games!!  

It's HARD WORK, And sometimes Mom just wants to sit down and cry too!

But I am convinced....
I am still convinced.....

That NOTHING brings us to a greater understanding of God's love for us than becoming a parent does!! And that is ONE of the MANY reasons I'll never regret becoming a mother!!
Blessings to you,

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Breaking Amish, is it Reality?

Breaking Amish... What do you think?? It's the question I (and my husband) as former Old Order Mennonites, have been asked a lot lately. "Is it real?"  "is that what it's really like?"
After telling so many people that we didn't know because we hadn't watched it (no TV) We decided to see if we could find links to the show online.
less than 5 minutes into the show it was clear to both of us that this WAS NOT a reality show! I don't deny that the ACTORS may have Amish/Mennonite heritage. But it's been a while since they spoke Dutch, (If they even know the language) The show seems scripted!! And I do wonder how the character 'Kate' has become so polished! It definitely wasn't in Amish country that she became so comfortable in front of the camera!
I don't know where they found these actors, BUT it WAS NOT fresh from Amish country!
The boys haircuts ARE NOT Amish!! LOL!!
The girls aren't Modest and demure like they would be fresh from Amish country!!
The Pa Dutch isn't even mimed, if you notice they never show an actor's face when Pa Dutch is being spoken!
All that said, I have enjoyed the show SO FAR.... I am interested in how they are going to develop the characters.
I do wish they wouldn't be portraying it as a reality show!! It's FAR from reality!
It's obvious that they TLC is using the Amish to attract more viewers and this makes me sad.
As a former Old Order Mennonite, I am here to here to reassure you that Amish and Mennonites Have a whole lot of 'Things' that the 'World'  has lost!
Family as a priority!
God in their schools!
Marriage is forever!
Work ethics!
Most Amish and Mennonites are happy with their life, Very few want to get out! And EVEN FEWER that do get out go to the extremes that 'Breaking Amish' portrays!
The Amish/Mennonites that do leave their 'original church' often settle into a more liberal Amish/Mennonite church and some even leave the more conservative churches to pursue a deeper relationship with God!
All that said:
Here are some recent pictures of My (happy) Mennonite family
My Mom and three of her 22 granddaughters! (My Daughter, Hadassah, is in the center)

 Cousins playing together!
Cousins!!! Hadassah and Melony

 Being together is Happiness for us!!!

What do YOU think about 'Breaking Amish'???
DO you have any Questions???
I'd be happy to hear from you!!!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

How To Make Leg Warmers

Fall is here, Well, here in Iowa anyway, Some of you I am sure are still enjoying warm,summer-like days!
 But here in Iowa the leaves are orange, yellow, red and every shade in between! The air is crisp and clean and turns toddler cheeks rosy!
And Mamas every where are digging through totes of clothing to find that extra layer of toddler clothes, those items help turn favorite summer outfits into the perfect Fall wardrobes! Cardigans, hats, AND my personal favorite................. Legwarmers!!!! 
They are a perfect after thought to any outfit!
Perfect for potty trainees,
And so easy to take off later in the day when Mr.sun  finally gets the air warmed up!
Not to mention that they make for great pictures!!
AND you can make your own legwarmers for your baby or toddler!!
To make toddler leg warmers, Start with women's knee socks.
To make infant leg warmers, start with girls knee socks
I found these women's knee socks at my local Joann's Fabric,
(and I didn't stop with 1 pair!!!!)
Cut the socks right above the heel, right under the heel and right behind the toe!
Throw away the heel and toe, Save the middle, foot area.
Fold the foot area in half, creating a 'cuff'
Pin the cuffs like this to the bottom of the sock.
Sew around the inside of the sock, attaching the cuff to the bottom of the sock, being careful not to stretch either fabric more than you have too!
The edges of the fabric tend to roll a bit, but just unroll as you go or than just sew deep enough to avoid the rolls!

IMPORTANT!! Use a tiny zig-zag stitch to help the cuff stretch. (always use a tiny Zig-Zag stitch for fabric that stretches.)
Turn right side out and..... VIOLA..... leg warmers!!!

And if you're anything like me you won't be able to stop at just one pair!!

Listing these finished leg warmers on my Face book page  (1st come 1st serve)
And then Head outside into the gorgeous Chilly air with your Camera, Get down on your toddler's level and snap away!!


And HERE is the link to a great article (By one awesome Blogger )on how to take better pictures of your kids.
And while you're here stop on over and take look at the Christmas section of my Shop.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Home schooling your Children

It was 'back to school' week for us.
Back to school means:
Alarm clocks
strict schedules
early bed times
early morning alarms
(none of these things bring a smile to my face)
It means time to buckle down and and put my nose to the grind stone.
It means making sure that there is plenty of clean laundry all the time.
It means making sure homework is done, and done correctly.
It means making sure meals are healthy and on time.
It means having plenty of healthy food on hand for lunches.
In many ways I feel like its the end of summer, the end of carefree afternoons spent at the pool or under the shade tree, the end of lazy PJ mornings..
However, as My older daughters head off to school to hit the books I am reminded that they aren't only going to be hitting the books, They will be observing how I handle this time of change in our life. Even though they don't know it, (and I often forget it) our family life and the way we handle situations, solve problems, deal with change, will become the basis and standards that they measure their life by in their adult years. 
The conversations that take place around the family dinner table are a good example of how us Parents influence our children. Do they hear us voice negative opinions about our 'friends' and relatives, Do they hear me pass judgment on an unfortunate soul. Or do they hear me talk about the day's happenings with the love of Jesus in my voice?
Inside all of us is this desire to better ourselves, We all make promises to ourselves through the years,
Promises that we aren't going to make the same mistakes that our parents did.
This (in most cases) doesn't mean they were bad parents.
It's just normal that each generation desires to better themselves..
I sincerely hope my children desire to be a better parent than I am, It's the driving force of success,
Your life is the measuring stick of success that your children will use!
My parents NEVER argued in front of us kids!
therefore that's one of the standards I set for my marriage,
I wished my mom wouldn't yell in anger at us kids so much.
Therefore I have a standard of no yelling at the kids, I do it, I fail! But hey, Hopefully my children will have a desire to better themselves in this area and yell even less at their kids.
My parents went to church EVERY Sunday. Missing was Not an option.
And that's what helps us set the standard for church attendance in our family!
So school doesn't just happen in 8 mo out of the year! The most important lessons and life lessons Our Children are learning are from observing the adults in their life! Especially their parents!
So really, more school happens here at home right under my feet while we pack lunches, do laundry, cook meals, and interact with each other!
Even us as adults have people we look up to! People we admire, People who seem to have their life on track!!
These people are Human, therefore they will let us down, we'll see them make a mistake, or hear them say something that we thought they'd never say. But the important thing to remember is this! People will always let us down, Parents let us down, Friends let us down, Relatives disappoint us, Spouses let us down, The only Person that will never let you down is Jesus Christ. Trusting him with your life is the single most important way to have contentment and peace in your life!
So with all that said..... Here are a few Iphone pics of our first day of school!!
(and I won't, won't, won't feel guilty that I haven't yet taken REAL pics to scrapbook! that doesn't make me a bad mama!)
Kristina Ann on the first day of Middle school!!
Her beautiful and the best Middle school teacher ever! Miss Leslie Troyer!
Staci Jane on her first day of 4th grade!
Her beautiful and extremely talented elementary teacher, Mrs. Christine Newman
Saying good by was painful and hard for me and the little ones too!!!
Blessings to you and yours as you enter the Autumn season of changes and school routines!!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

End of Summer Guilt

Well school starts tomorrow!!!  Its officially the end of summer for us!
The end of days spent at the lake.
The end of carefree afternoons under the shade tree with a good book.
The end of Lazy mornings sleeping in.
Guilt, It's that unwanted friend that I know all to well. Most moms I am sure can relate. We feel Guilt when we take time for ourselves and leave the kids with a sitter, we feel guilt when we DO spend the day with the kids but then neglect the laundry and cooking, We feel guilt when summer draws to a close and and we've only done one or 2 of the things on our 'Summer fun' Pinterest board! The things that we ambitiously pinned in the early spring, Sure that this was going to be the best summer yet. (Pinterest guilt is a subject for another day!)

However, End of summer guilt will rob you of joy! It will rob you of joy IF YOU LET IT!!

the best exercises for chasing away the 'end of summer' blues:

take an afternoon to look through all your summer pictures, Scrapbook them, organize them, or just look at them, make sure you take special note of the happiness that radiates from every picture!
It just might help you like it has helped me! 

I remembered the happy, happy days spent at the lake!!

We spent time just 'Being' together!!

We picked Raspberries!

We expanded our country horizons

We giggled our way through numerous swing rides!

 We played in a few water puddles!

We enjoyed good summer food!!

We played Tball!!

Tomorrow is the end of summer..
I am sad!
I will miss the girls as they go back to school.
And I will try very hard to embrace the new season.
I will get on pinterest and find my inspiration for Autumn!!

What is your inspiration for Autumn??
What do you anticipate??

please share!!

And here is this week's deal from my Etsy shop

use code WEEK1