My Blog Adventure!

Welcome to my blog! It's high time this 46 year old ventures into blog world and joins the ranks of you intriguing bloggers. First off, you should know I love the Lord Jesus Christ with all my heart. I love His Creation, His Word, His forgiveness, His mercy, and His being the Savior of my life. He is my reason for living! After the Lord, my next love in life is my outdoor-lovin', prankster pullin', hard workin' man I've called my husband for 22 years and counting. My 3 sons - to whom this blog is dedicated - have the next piece of my heart, and they fill my world with laughter, love, and laundry. I am calling this MY BLOG ADVENTURE... so hop into blog world with me... let's get to encouraging one another... this could be fun!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Christmas Truffles Made Easy!


These Christmas Tuffles are lovely and easy to make!  Here are a few tips to make this recipe extra easy...


Here is the station I set up. You can put the balls in the fridge in a cake pan to solidify them a bit.   Next, you can melt the chocolate in a fondue pot and use the fondue skewers to dip the balls in the chocolate.  Then, just make holes through an empty cardboard box (I used a Wheat Thins box), and prop the box on a bowl.  This make it easy to put sprinkles on the tops before they harden... 
pictured below...



Give them 30 seconds or so, and you can move them to a paper cup lined mini-muffin pan...
 pictured below...

The liners make it easy to move to Christmas platters for serving or Christmas tins for gifts!  I had some with crushed peppermint sticks on top, some with red and green sugar on top, some with Christmas sprinkles, some with white chocolate and some with dark.  Such fun!

  • Here is a link to the All Recipes site, which has a ton of great pictures of different ways to dress these truffles up!
http://allrecipes.com/recipe/easy-oreo-truffles/kitchenview.aspx

Here is the recipe...
  • Ingredients:
  • 1 (16 ounce) package OREO Chocolate Sandwich Cookies, divided
  • 1 (8 ounce) package PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate, melted
Directions
1.
Crush 9 of the cookies to fine crumbs in food processor; reserve for later use. (Cookies can also be finely crushed in a resealable plastic bag using a rolling pin.) Crush remaining 36 cookies to fine crumbs; place in medium bowl. Add cream cheese; mix until well blended. Roll cookie mixture into 42 balls, about 1-inch in diameter.
2.
Dip balls in chocolate; place on wax paper-covered baking sheet. (Any leftover chocolate can be stored at room temperature for another use.) Sprinkle with reserved cookie crumbs.
3.
Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. Store leftover truffles, covered, in refrigerator.

Using Photos to Say Thank You or Give Encouragement



One of the things I struggle with is getting thank you's written on time.  I feel terrible about this!  Relatives send cards with money for b-days, Valentine's treats, Easter eggs, Halloween stickers - and I cannot seem to get thank you's out on time!  Or, someone is hurting and needing encouragement - in the hospital or struggling, and I don't get a card written.  Weeks pass, and then it's too late.  So, this past year, I had an idea - what if I just snapped a picture of the boys and thanked or encouraged them that way?  Then, I email it with a short message, or print a 4 x 6 photo and jot a message on the back.  The response has been great!  They love the pics of the boys, and often hang them on their fridges!  Here are a few we have done this year...
A thank you for a b-day card and money for each of them - they were both born in March!
A thank you for Easter candy, crayon water shooters, and eggs sent for an Easter egg hunt!

A thank you for my Dad giving each of the boys a refurbished CD of his Christian Quartet record he and his "Reformers" quartet made back in the day!
Another part of the thank you - as the boys sang one of Dad's quartet's songs just like their Papa!
Encouragement for my Dad after his whipple surgery to remove his cancerous tumor - it says....
LOVE YA PAPA...

...THIS MUCH!!!
He had these pictures hung on his wall at the hospital for the month+ he was there.
He showed every nurse and doctor them!

My parents have taken our sons to a lot of Journey Bound Quartet concerts.   For my parents' 50th wedding anniversary  celebration at their church, I sent this picture to Journey Bound along with some money to ask them to record a short message and possibly a song for their anniversary.  It shows all of the Journey Bound cd's my parents or my children have gotten through the years - they are their biggest fans!  Journey Bound recorded a DVD of them singing "Happy Anniversary", gave a special message as they remember all 7 boys coming to many concerts, and sang "In His Shoes," one of their favorite songs about how our children (grandchildren too) walk in our shoes, so we should walk in HIS (the Lord's) shoes.  They even wrote an extra special verse about my parents and the boys.  We played it at their anniversary celebration as a surprise - what a neat part of that special day it was!

A thank you for Halloween card and stickers and money!

Happy Valentine's Day picture I printed that says "We Love You!"  to all the family the boys love so much!  I just laid a dollar store red table line on the floor with the heart in the middle and had the boys lay in a heart position.  It was on all of their fridges when I visited their homes months later!

Just thought I'd share this idea in case any of you other busy moms have the same struggles I do with getting cards out on time!

In Christ,
Julie


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Homeschool Christmas Party Fun

MERRY CHRISTMAS!







Toss as many mini-marshmallows as you can in one minute through
 the Christmas wreath and into the bowl.


Jackpot!  Way to go,  Cole!



With your partner, cheek to cheek, hang as many ornaments as you can on the string tied between 2 chairs! 

 Good teamwork, guys!
 Pretty good for 2 little shavers!
Hey buddy, help me out here!
 Wow - these guys mean business!
 Count 'em - FIVE!  Pretty amazing!
 Brotherly teamwork!

Great job, Cole and Shaw!

 How many cups can you stack in 1 minute?  Wow, way to go Emmett and Beau!
 Pretty big tower, Riley!
 Who is that handsome fellow peeking through that big tower?  Greyson!
WOW, Wyatt - now THAT is a TOWER!
 Pretty creative, Shaw - 2 towers!
Lookin' good, Cole!!!
 Use a candy cane to try to stack as many bolts in a tower as possible in 1 minute!

 A big task ahead, Greyson!
 Quite studious, Wyatt!
 Looks like it paid off to be studious!
 Wow!  Now, there is a tower, Riley!
 This is a serious job that needs some serious concentration!
Way to go, Shaw!



 Can you get the oreo cookie from your forehead to your mouth with no hands?  
Good idea to go for the eye first, Greyson!
 Mom's getting you off to a great start, Beau!
Here goes nothing, Wyatt!
Success never tasted this good!
 Toss the Christmas candy!  Sing "We Wish You a Merry Christmas," 
and toss the candy every time you sing "Christmas!"  
 How high can you go!
Whew - that's high!  Now have fun eating the candy!
 Can you help Rudolph get his red nose on right?  Tie some yarn to a red pom pom, put some vaseline on your nose, put the yarn in your mouth, and give it a swing, can you do it?  You did it, Shaw!
 Way to go, Riley!
 A sticky mess success, Cole!
 Jackpot, Wyatt!
 Now, there's a smiling Rudolph!

It's a shocker when it connects sometimes, eh, Greyson?
 Let's make some good old fashioned snowflakes, and while you do, Mom and Aunt Carrie will be hiding a special Christmas snack and drink for each of you upstairs!!!









 Now, each of you needs to find a can of pop and a Little Debbi Christmas tree!  Leave the easy ones for the littles because the hard to find ones are H-A-R-D to find!  Hope you are up for a challenge!






The one that stumped everyone - the old pop can in the reading light trick!  Aren't we clever?!?
 Now, each of you gets a part of this paper nativity scene to color as you eat your snacks 
and drink your pop!
Always remember, the real meaning of Christmas has CHRIST at its center!  
Praise the Lord for the birth of our Savior, our Messiah, our King!


I hope this gave a few fun ideas for all of you to have your own fun homeschooling Christmas party!
Love in Christ,
Julie