Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Holiday gift giving tips

My holiday tip is easy, the last few years I have bought pre made scrapbooks from Hobby Lobby using 50% off coupons and then just filled them with pictures from that year. Hopefully, with pictures of that person and my children. I can usually pick up the books for maybe $10-15. Add a few dollars for pictures and I am done. This is something they can keep for generations. I am talking about a 8*8 or 5*7 book. Really the work is done and you just have to write in it.
This year I am also giving away a few gift cards I earned from swagbucks. This has been so much easier than I thought to earn. I did install the toolbar. I do not do the scavenger hunts. But I do try to do the daily polls. A great thing about swagbucks is if you sign up under me then I get even more bucks to spend. If you are interested in signing up please just click http://www.swagbucks.com/refer/trooppetrie
Can I please take a minute to encourage you to shop at The Mercy house Etsy shop? This is a amazing family and I cannot wait to hear more about this house being built. If you cannot shop through there etsy shop them please pray for them, pray for all of the moms this will help.

Monday, November 29, 2010


Sleeping is huge in our house. We have all had issues with it. Right now I think we all wish we could just sleep all day. My wonderful teen has learned the art of sleeping in late and taking a nap as soon as school is over and you know what? I do not mind. One day last week he went outside to avoid studying. I looked outside and saw Grace setting quietly beside the trampoline.
Then I saw this
and it instantly took me back to this.

Pumpkin butter

Yum, Yumm and yummier is all I can say. Did I tell you that I cooked 195 pounds of pumpkin this fall. YUMMY! My bestest friend (you know my BFF) called me and gave me this recipe. She had tweeked it a little and then I tweeked it a little more. My hero liked it with more sugar.
The recipe is super simple
1. pull out your crock pot
2. plug it in (for those of you who have not had caffeine yet I thought I would remind you)
3. pour 7 cups pumpkin, 1/2 cup apple sauce or apple juice (I used apple sauce), 2t ground ginger, 1t ground cloves, 4t cinnamon, 2t nutmeg and then here is where it gets interesting. Add 2 cups brown sugar or 1cup brown sugar and one cup white sugar. We ended up using one cup brown sugar and probably 3 cups sugar.
4. stir and let set in crock pot for 2-4 hours. We stirred tasted and maybe added more sugar ever 30 minutes or so.

Did I tell you this was so yummy. I have used it on pancakes and toast and biscuits and tomorow I am going to show you how I used it in cookies. Oh man this is yummy. I honestly have made 3 batches of it. It makes a great thank you gift.
Tempt my Tummy Tuesdays

Cast Party Wednesday

Military Monday

I know I said I was talking about military but this week I want to tell you about a wonderful family. Eight years ago this week I woke up on a Sunday morning. My kids instantly asked when we were going to put up the tree. I had no desire to put up a tree or decorate. My husband was gone. It was my birthday in a few days and I knew no one would care.
Our church, Hillcrest Baptist had a program called SOSAF (supporting our soldiers and families). Each military family was given not one but three adoptive families. I woke up that morning and decided I would go to Kmart and buy a new tree. You know, one of the ones that is pre lit and only has 3 pieces. So off to Kmart we went. I bought a new tree and all new ornaments that matched so I would not have to worry about anything. I even bought a new tree skirt. I knew this would be easier. Then we headed to church (did you know I am a morning person and it is nothing for me to get somewhere 45 minutes early). I arrived at church and dropped off the kids. Several people came up to me and said Beth is looking for you. I finally found Beth and she handed me a card. I opened the card and read it fighting back tears. Beth had heard me say that I just wanted a night in a hotel alone for my birthday. Something a normal mom would never get but something a military wife would never get. She had arranged for me to spend my birthday at the Holiday inn. Wait, I have 3 kids and responsibilities. Nope, she had arranged childcare for my kids. Wait, Michael has tae kwon do and I babysit and……..
She said and this person is taking Michael to tae kwon do and we already took care of the little girl you babysit. Just show up and relax. So I woke up the morning of my birthday counting the hours until I left. What I did not realize is what was going on behind the scenes. My friend Debbie (and probably others I am forgetting, sorry) were at the hotel decorating the room with all kinds of books and chocolate and flowers and goodies. I arrived to my room and opened the door and could not find a empty spot. Okay, so we all want time alone but then you are alone 24 hours a day without your hero so they helped that. A friend met me for dinner and then we went to a pampered chef show. I went back to my room and scrapbooked for a while and then slept. Then my friend Tammy met me for breakfast and set in the hot tub with me. It was an amazing day of relaxing and being reminded that I am loved.

Military Mondays Family and Spouse Carnival at Army Wives' Lives

Miscellany Monday

1. I love my kids; I mean I am in love with my kids. I love to hold their hands and I love when they wake up and give me a hug. I love to walk past my non hugging teen and rub his back.
2. We have our tree up and all the Christmas boxes back in the storage building.
3. I have mailed out most of my Christmas cards, the only ones left are the ones I need addresses for. Thank you shutterfly for helping me out this year.
4. I cooked lunch for 80 people this weekend and it worked beautifully. I made tomato soup and chicken noodle soup and mini sandwiches.
5. I forgot to tell my hero that I volunteered to cook lunch on December 26th, you know the day after Christmas. He was not thrilled.
6. My hero is the biggest Christmas fan you will find. He is like a little child with bright excited eyes. We need that since I am the biggest scrooge you will find.
7. I am done with my Christmas shopping except for my husband. I have even given away a bunch of my thank you gifts.
My goal for December is to spend time with my family and enjoy the birth of Jesus. I want to remind them why we celebrate the season and grow together as a family

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

Friday, November 26, 2010

Red Writting Hood

This week was easy, what am I thankful for? I have so much to be thankful for and try to remind myself of this daily.
I am thankful that my mom is still alive and is healthy and is there every time I call.
I am thankful to an amazing husband who serves out country without thought of himself. I am thankful he has put up with me for almost 20 years, thankful he can fix anything and is willing to help me anytime I ask.
I am thankful for my children who keep me young and keep me laughing. I am thankful they are healthy and happy and have everything they need and that they do not ask for much more.
I am thankful that I live in a country where I can praise God with no fear. I am thankful that I have a God who forgives me daily for all that I do. That he loves me even when I do not feel worthy.
I am thankful for the internet, I know that sounds silly. But, when we had a preemie I had found several women who could guide me and encourage me. When my hero is deployed I have been able to find ladies who are going through the same feeling.
I am also thankful for my animals. We currently have a dog, cat, 2 gerbils and 2 guinea pigs. I love the way they make my children smile and the way they wake me in the morning. I love the way they make my house smell so refreshing or not.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

5 Question Friday

1. What is your favorite part of a Thanksgiving meal? Such a hard question, really if i can I like to have a bite of turkey covered in mash potatoes covered in gravy. Oh yummy, maybe I need more before bedtime. It would help me sleep.

2. Are you a host or a guest for Thanksgiving this year?
This year we were neither. We stayed home by ourselves and honestly it was nice. We relaxed and ate and relaxed and ate and cleaned up and relaxed.

3. When you think of one Thanksgiving tradition, what comes to mind? Getting up early to cook, staying up late putting up Christmas decorations (although we did not this year).

4. You have two pieces of pie in front of you and you HAVE to eat one...do you choose pumpkin or pecan? pumpkin hands down unless there is a good chocolate pie in front of me

5. Are you a Black Friday Shopper? no, I mean I would if it was something amazing but right now I do not see anything I really need

Thanksgiving facts

Thanksgiving Day is one of those joyous events we celebrate with lots of love and gratitude. Its a very significant day in United States and the world over. TheHolidaySpot is happy to bring you facts associated to the Thanksgiving celebrations. These include Thanksgiving turkey trivia, pilgrims, thanksgiving proclamation, thanksgiving as a national holiday and other things. These facts and trivia will not only enhance your knowledge about Thanksgiving Day, but also, let you share them with everyone who would like to enjoy the Day with more zeal and enjoyment. Happy Thanksgiving!.


1.Thanksgiving Day is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November in the United States.

2.By the fall of 1621 only half of the pilgrims, who had sailed on the Mayflower, survived. The survivors, thankful to be alive, decided to give a thanksgiving feast.

3.Thanksgiving Day is celebrated on the second Monday in October in Canada.

4.The Plymouth Pilgrims were the first to celebrate the Thanksgiving.

5.The pilgrims arrived in North America in December 1620.

6.The Pilgrims sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to reach North America.

7.The pilgrims sailed on the ship, which was known by the name of 'Mayflower'.

8.They celebrated the first Thanksgiving Day in the fall of 1621.

9.They celebrated the first Thanksgiving Day at Plymouth, Massachusetts.

10.The drink that the Puritans brought with them in the Mayflower was the beer.

11.The Wampanoag Indians were the people who taught the Pilgrims how to cultivate the land.

12.The Pilgrim leader, Governor William Bradford, had organized the first Thanksgiving feast in the year 1621 and invited the neighboring Wampanoag Indians also to the feast.

13.The first Thanksgiving feast was held in the presence of around ninety Wampanoag Indians and the Wampanoag chief, Massasoit, was also invited there.

14.The first Thanksgiving celebration lasted three days.

15.President George Washington issued the first national Thanksgiving Day Proclamation in the year 1789 and again in 1795.

16.The state of New York officially made Thanksgiving Day an annual custom in 1817.

17.Sarah Josepha Hale, an editor with a magazine, started a Thanksgiving campaign in 1827 and it was result of her efforts that in 1863 Thanksgiving was observed as a day for national thanksgiving and prayer.

18.Abraham Lincoln issued a 'Thanksgiving Proclamation' on third October 1863 and officially set aside the last Thursday of November as the national day for Thanksgiving. Whereas earlier the presidents used to make an annual proclamation to specify the day when Thanksgiving was to be held.

19.President Franklin D. Roosevelt restored Thursday before last of November as Thanksgiving Day in the year 1939. He did so to make the Christmas shopping season longer and hus stimulate the economy of the state.

20.Congress passed an official proclamation in 1941 and declared that now onwards Thanksgiving will be observed as a legal holiday on the fourth Thursday of November every year.

I got the fun facts from a page called Thanksgiving Facts

Momma Drama: Despicable Me Prize Pack Giveaway

Momma Drama: Despicable Me Prize Pack Giveaway

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I just entered a amazing give away at Raising Olives. It is from Navigating History which is geared more towards the older animals. I am always looking for a way to get more history in our children and I could actually do this program with them.

Wordless Wednesday-almost 20 years ago

Monday, November 22, 2010


I always feel like I have so much to be grateful. This weekend a friend left me the responsobolity of caring for her three children for 5 days. I know I just wrote about this yesterday. But I am still grateful. Grateful that she trust me this much. Grateful that our children got along and everyone had a great weekend. Grateful that they got away and got to spend time alone together. It is hard to do that when you are a military family.
This week I am grateful not only for my country and for Thanksgiving but for my wonderful husband who will be home to share it with me.

chocolate chip cookies

I love blue bonnet chocolate chip cookies. Today I made them but instead of using chocolate chip cookies I used a shaved up hershey bar that a friends son won at boy scouts. The recips is so easy to be doubled. I doubled it and got 9 dozen good size cookies.
2-1/4c all purpose flour
1t baking soda
1t salt
1 cup blue bonnet butter
1 cup sugar (oops had to send my hero out for the second time today to pick up something)
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2t vanilla
2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips (I used 2 cups m&m's and 2 cups shredded hershey bar)
bake at 375 for 12-14 minutes

Tempt my Tummy Tuesdays
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This weekend I had the privilege of keeping my friends 3 kids. I actually had them from Thursday until late tonight. I have to say it was wonderful for me. I have always wanted a large family so having 3 extra kids around helped me realize that I could handle it.
It was kind of weird because I home school and right now we are not involved in sports. So for a couple of days I had to make sure kids got to the school bus on time, homework was done, papers were signed and oh yeah last minute thought was put into what could be taken in for a school activity.
I have to say having kids on a school bus at 6:45 was not fun but it was nice knowing what it would fill like. These kids were so much fun. They were so well behaved and can you believe they slept well. I mean I put them to bed and never heard a peep which seems crazy with that many kids in one room.
It was so much fun cooking for a larger family. I think this weekend I got the best of both worlds. I got a large family, I got to understand part of what my public school friends go through (and it was not negative).
One day I hope to have my large family but for today I will enjoy letting my kids sleep in and letting them do school in their pajamas.

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

Military Monday

Military Mondays Family and Spouse Carnival at Army Wives' Lives

Man I am tired today but wanted to do a quick post about my military life because I have really enjoyed getting to know other military spouses.
1. My hero is sick, he went to the DR Thursday and they said he has bronchitis and a upper respitatory infection and bulging ear drums. Plus some other things. They still sent him back to work. He is worse now and will go back to the DR this morning. I so hope they send him home to sleep.
2. He did not pass his airborne PT test on Thursday morning (yes, he took it one hour before finding out how sick he was). Remember he passes his regular PT test with flying colors but the Airborne test is given as if you are a 18 year old. I should say the only thing he failed on the Airborn test was the sit ups, and he did 50 out of 53 so not bad for a 39 year old man.
3. I say all of this to say if he does not pass it in 2 weeks then he will have to switch units and the new unit is deploying next year
4. I am thankful that my hero only has a 3 day work week. I am excited to have him home this week.

homemade pizza dough

This weekend are keeping a friends children. Ages 13, 9 and almost 2. I love keeping extra kids. I tend to bake more when extra kids are here. So this weekend I made pumpkin muffins and chocolate chip cookies and we let the kids make homemade pizza's. We make homemade pizza's fairly often. I got the recipe from my friend Becky. The friend who I always call for my favorite recipes. This time we let the kids make there own. It is a easy recipe.
1T yeast warm water 3/4 c hot water
2T oil
2T sugar
1/8 t salt
3 cups flour
makes 1 pizza
15 min rise
450 dough prick 3 minutes
bakes 7-9

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Pumpkin muffins

Did I tell you I bought 195 pounds of pumpkin a couple of weeks ago. I love pumpkin muffins. I have some goals this week. Pumpkin cookies, pumpkin cheesecake (after my epic fail the last time) pumpkin butter to give to friends (already have some done). Maybe pumpkin fudge. I have already made tons of pumpkin bread and muffins and even pumpkin muffins.
I have tried several recipes for muffins and have loved most of them. Today I decided to go to one of my favorite cookbooks. Do you have a favorite cookbook. I love my MOPS cookbook. I found a recipe for pumpkin muffins that was submitted by my good friend Tammy who I have not seen in years. So today I made pumpkin muffins and thought about my friend Tammy and how we use to go walking. It was a comical act because normally we would push a double stroller and have kids running around too. We both babysett. Tammy kept Michael while I deliver Faith. Bless her heart I do not know what was going on with Michael but every time he went to her house he broke something. I felt so bad. It is hard to believe that we have gone from MOPS to her having a child in college. Anyways, I guess I should give you the recipe because it is a great one and easy to make into bread instead of muffins.
5c flour, 4c sugar, 4t soda, 1t salt, 2t cinnamon, 1t cloves, 1 c oil, 1 large can (or 2-16oz cans, I used 4 cups of my own) pumpkin, 1/2 c nuts (I did not add nuts)
1. sift dry ingredients together (oops, forgot this part)
2. add oil and pumpkin
3. it makes 18 jumbo muffins or 3-4 loaf pans
bake at 350 for 20 minutes.
oh man, these are yummy. I can not wait to have them for breakfast. They are also going to make great Christmas gifts. I like to make them in jumbo pans.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Mil Spouse fill in Friday

1. If you had to be shipwrecked on a deserted island, but all your human needs – such as food and water – were taken care of, what two items would you want to have with you? my husband and kids, honestly I would love for us to live far away from everyone and everything for a while. But as far as items I would say my Bible and my laptop. Because some how I would figure out how to get Internet.

2. If you were a salad, what kind of dressing would you have? Well, since I have never had salad dressing I would have to say ketchup. A little sweat, a little sour and the red matches my hair.

3. If you had to live on a ranch, what kind of animals would you raise/own? cows and horses, oh how neat. Actually we lived on a chicken farm for a while and that was not too bad but I guess that is not a ranch. So I would say a horses because my little girl loves horses. Again, I have to say that I would love to live on a big ranch way out in the middle of no where. Well it would be nice is papa john's still delivered to the ranch.

4. If your life was was portrayed as a movie, who would you choose to play you and your significant other? Kirk Cameron, have you seen fireproof. Have you heard about his morals.

5. What was the last thing you put a stamp on (envelope, duh, but what was in the envelope)? A envelope. UM, the funnies thing I mailed recently was a box to a wonderful friend full of things like oreos. Why is that funny because she has never had oreos. She is Mennonite and they normally make everything. And while I totally approve of her religion and would never say anything negative about her family it hurt my heart that she had never had oreos or bubblicious gum. So I sent her a box of oreos and nutter butter and bubble gum and I do not remember what else.

These questions are so much fun. If you want to join in the fun with us just head over to Wife of a Sailor

5 Question Friday

1. What Christmas song do you loathe? Santa got ran over by a reindeer, but that is mostly because I almost loathe Santa. Well not Santa but the attention he gets. My hero works hard and if there are going to be presents under the tree I want my babies to understand who worked hard for them.

2. Do you and your significant other cuddle at night or sleep on opposite sides of the bed?
It really depends upon the night, we sleep close but not really snuggle. I will be honest and say it is nice to be able to sleep close to him again. I remember when the PTSD was bad and you dare not touch him in his sleep. So glad that part of our life is behind us and I can snuggle with my man.

3. Have you ever had surgery? yep, I had eye surgery at age 5. I had clean out surgery when I was in a car accident at 17 (lots of glass and blacktop thought it should live in my body). I had a D&C when I 12 years ago when we lost our baby boy and last but not least knee surgery 2 years ago. WAIT!!! I forgot (because that is what being put to sleep does to you), I had oral surgery to remove a couple of teeth 4 years ago

4. When do you typically have your holiday shopping done? The goal is by Thanksgiving and except for my hero we are done. I mean sure there are some extras I would like to buy but we will see.

5. If money were not an issue (and you HAD to pick something), what would your ultimate luxury item be? Right now it would be boots, I really really want knee boots. Last year I bought my first pair. Do you know how hard it is to buy black knee boots for a size 11 boots? Let me tell you not easy. So last year in the middle of the move when someone thought it would be wise to put said boots (and all my nice shoes)in a trash bag to get from the hotel to the new home I was not thrilled. Then two days later when that bag was gone I was not beyond mad, in tears, crying. Someone got a whole bag full of size 11 shoes and my bare feet miss them. Thanks ladies, now I am in tears and it is only 6am. So sad. I have already started looking but the thought of spending $70 right now just seems crazy.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

For the Joy of it

Last weekend we went to a place called Whirlygig farm The man who owns the facility retired 25 years ago and has been making sculptures since then. He was a really nice man. You could walk into his work area and there were things to buy. I do not know why but this picture caught my eye but was not in my budget.
Good, True & Beautiful

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Gratitude Tuesday

Today I am grateful for so many things. This morning I am really grateful for my dear friend Becky. It seems like daily I am calling her to ask about a recipe that she has already given me a million times. She never gets annoyed. I call her all the time with weird questions and she never laughs at me. This morning I am cooking pumpkin butter and do you know where I got the idea. Of course from my friend Becky. My friend who lives hours away now but feels like she lives right next door.

pumpkin rolls

1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
2 teaspoons salt
1 (0.6 ounce) cake compressed fresh yeast
5 cups bread flour
1.Warm the milk in a small saucepan until it bubbles, then remove from heat. Let cool until lukewarm.
2.In a large bowl, combine milk, pumpkin, sugar, butter, salt, yeast and 2 cups flour; stir well to combine. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.
3.Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
4.Divide the dough into four equal pieces, divide each of these pieces into four pieces and then divide each of these 16 pieces in half to make 32 pieces. Form each piece into a round and place on lightly greased baking sheets. Cover the rolls with a damp cloth and let rise until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
5.Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
I found this recipe on allrecipes and it says Karen Rummer submitted it.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Military Monday

This weekend we went to Give2theTroops. It is a warehouse full of things to be sent to deployed soldiers. It was such a neat experience. I honestly thought we would get there and pack some boxes and that is so not what happened.
We started out by taking pictures in front of this wall. Let me explain this wall. The navy blue wall with stars represents every soldier who has given there life in Operation Iraqi Freedom. The light blue wall represents every soldier who has given there life in Afghanistan. So touching. Then my husband saw a name of a soldier from the 101st that he worked and deployed with. I am telling you this makes it real.
We had the job of making CHRISTmas ornaments. It was honestly fun. You open up a plastic ornament and take out ladies panties and take off the made in China sticker. Then give it to the girls to put paint in and shake. After they were done with that we folded the panties and put 2 pair in a ziploc to send to the female soldiers.
Then we made CHRISTmas cards and envelopes for CHRISTmas CD's. The wonderful lady leading us showed us pictures of the troops and where they are living. It was a wonderful day and gave us all a moment to realize how lucky we are to live in a safe warm home today. As we were walking out the door that morning I realized we were all wearing red, white and blue except my husband. So I had him change and thought this would be a great day to take a CHRISTmas picture. But sadly as you see those pictures did not turn out well. UGG!

Military Mondays Family and Spouse Carnival at Army Wives' Lives
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