Thursday, December 31, 2009

Have a great celebration and.......



Go Bucks!!!



Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Honey, I'm Home!!

Earlier this year when I realized I had one too many irons in the fire, I took a brief sabbatical from The Humble Arts. This group is truly a family, and I am soooo very thankful to be able to be back with a new group of offerings for the January issue!!

A prim lil' pillow......



Lil' Miss Ella Sue.......




Simple Sally.......


Mark your calendars and check out the new issue on January 1st!!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

May You Be Blessed.....


....with the Christmas Spirit today, tomorrow and forever more!! God Bless you all my friends and family, with a Christmas season full of love and laughs!!

Merry Christmas!!

Ooooooh Noooooo!! It's Happening Again!!

I'm cleaning......and I can't stop!! Someone help!! This is a disease I tell ya!! Long time readers will remember that I clean quite often.....at least once a year.....and once I begin.....I clean everything and anyone in sight....once ripping the poor neighbor child from his morning jog and scrubbing him down!!

I just get exhausted from simply gathering the needed tools.....the shovels, the jack hammers, and of course my feather duster.....that....well...shoot....I'm already beat!!

Oh well.....it's worth it to see the joy in my family's face when it's done....you know.....when the dogs chew a bone to crumbs all over the freshly cleaned carpets....in EVERY room.....or when Brady throws his stinky socks on the couch in the family room....and leaves them there for a month....Oh and Rick LOVES a clean toilet to leave the seat UP!!! Yessirreeeee...they love a good clean house!!!

Alrighty then......I'm back to it.....after all.....we all know how much a cat loves a good bubble bath....and today is the day I bless Maggie Mae, our crazy cat!!

Suds and sparkles all around!!
Stace

Saturday, December 19, 2009

On The Sixth Day of Christmas......

....my True Love gave to me......
The six days of creation

Friday, December 18, 2009

On The Fifth Day of Christmas......

My True Love gave to me.......Five Gold Rings!!


Genesis

Exodus
Leviticus
Numbers
Deuteronomy


Thursday, December 17, 2009

I Feel It My Duty.....

....to warn everyone......





....time is flying by, and......



Enjoy!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I Sure Am Thankful For.....

....a hubby that'll go and get Dairy Queen last night just cause!! After all......who doesn't love a Peanut Buster Parfait when it's 21* out!!! Yuu-uu-u-u-uuuummmmm!!

....spending the day with my mom yesterday getting groceries!! Who doesn't love to spend every penny in your wallet and come home with 3 bags of nothing to eat!!! We even caught my brother on his break for a lunch out together!! We giggled, pointed, chatted and munched!! What a great day!!!

.....my wonderfully terrific kid who after a rough morning yesterday, has been an absolute angel ever since!! Boy do I love that kid!!! :O) This is what being a family is all about!!! It's a fun carpet ride!!!

....all the activities Brady sooooo enjoys!!! It is so much fun watching your child get a life all his own!! Being a teen is one of the best times in your life and he is having a great time with it!! Totally awesome to watch!!

......Coke Zero!! Even though it costs like $40/oz anymore....it sure is a great pick me up!!

.....my crock pot!! It sure makes preparing dinner a whole lot easier!!! I'm kinda fond of reservations too!!! :O)

.....my slippers!!! They keep my sandpaper feet warm and toasty!!!

......my cyber family!! With a few clicks of the mouse I can visit, share, laugh and cry with each of you......ain't technology grand!!!

....a daily hug, multiple kisses, an occasional fist pump, a daily cookie, an occasional candy bar, potato chips where you can't eat just one, a look across the room, butterflies in my tummy, the voices in my head, and the opportunity to giggle each day!!

So......you see......I sure am thankful.....and blessed!!!
Have a great day!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Morning Moods

By a show of hands.....how many of you have teenagers in the house?

By a show of hands how many of you have had teenagers in the house who are now grown and on their own and are laughing hysterical simply because of my title and opening question?

By a show of hands how many of you survived teenagers in the home by tying them up in the basement and/or attic?

By a show of hands....how many of you who have survived teenagers in the home did so by running away to Alaska?

By a show of hands....how many of you who have teenagers in the house actually had their brains fall out upon the child turning 13....and then while not knowing one single thing....still be expected to be a gourmet cook, waitress, maid, taxi driver, and giver of all things gold....while never speaking to the child?

By a show of hands.....how many of you who now have grown children had your brain grow back upon the child turning 21 and/or on their own in the world? (please give me hope)

Thank you for any insight you may offer.....I was a perfect teenager sooooooo I'm new at all this!!! I've decided that since clearly everything was my parents' fault all those years ago, that it couldn't possibly be me now either right???!!!! While my child is perfect as well.....just ask him....he truly is a good kid!!!!......I just need to learn how to avoid him in the morning when clearly we are speaking 2 different languages....his and stupid (mine)!!

Hope you are having a great day......and now I need to re-dose on excedrin!!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Our Romantic Day Out

After 20 years of marriage, Rick and I work to keep our marriage romantic.....always setting aside time to be together.....like when we've put off Christmas shopping until the week before Christmas!! With Christmas coming and Brady gone for the day at a speech competition, we decided to spend a nice romantic day together....shopping with 6000 of our closest friends.....and my mother along for the ride!!!

I was sooooo very excited to spend the day hand in hand strolling with my husband......through crowds of coughing, sneezing, snotting swarms of people....and it was heartwarming to see the light of Christmas in the children.......screaming bloody murder to go home....remembering when our one and only child was that wonderful age......when we'd wait in line to see Santa for 16 hours only to have him scream an ear shattering scream of fright and refuse to sit anywhere near the jolly elf!! Yes, our day was shaping up to be a beautiful memory!!!

I've been battling a migraine all week, however, I was determined to focus on my loving hunk of a man and let nothing ruin the day......except for the fact that I felt like 4000 nails were being driven into my skull through my eyesockets!! We decided to take a break and go for a nice lunch.....with those same 60000 million friends shoved into a sports bar with college basketball AND Christmas music blaring....oh yea.....and my mother!! I'm falling deeper and deeper in love with my man by the minute, leaning my head on his shoulder......because by this point I could barely walk from pain. We decided it was time to go home....taking a nice long leisurely drive along the way....because I had to stop every mile and puke!! We got home and went straight to bed.....because I was in full blown mind blowing migraine mode!! We have decided it went so well that we'll spend the day in bed together today too.....okay, actually I'll be lying around and he'll be my nursemaid!!

Yes!!!! 20 years of marriage, and we're still as romantic as ever!!! Jealous????

tah tah!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Happy Friday!!

The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words
when one will do.
~Thomas Jefferson




It is 18* today!!

'nuf said????

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I Think I'm Gonna Move to Alaska!!

Good golly miss molly!!! The McClure household got very minimal sleep last night!! And I know what you're thinking......NO!!! We were NOT on a sugar rush from yesterday's baking!!!!

We seem to be in some funky weather pattern where it rains for 3.8 seconds like it's trying to drown you.....then......sleets for 6.9 seconds as if trying to cover everything in a glaze. This is followed by an amazing 4 minutes of icing pellets turning into snow flakes the size of my van!!! We had thunder as well yesterday and moments of sunshine and blue skies!!! The crowning event however has been the never ceasing winds reaching speeds of 50mph +!!! So......it is pretty crappy weather topped with the loud rush of trees and/or the neighbor's pigs flying through the air!!! This has lead to our animal children acting like.......animals!!!

At 12 midnight my alarm went off!!! Ummmmmmm!!! I haven't worked a "real" job for like 5 years however.....Maggie Mae, our crazy cat felt the need to set my alarm by pouncing on the stupid thing!!! She too cried to get out and then once out cried to get back in......15 times!!! Yea!!! That was fun!!!

The party continued from that point on when every few seconds Opal, our black lab would get on the bed, pace for a moment and then jump down. She would roam through the house and return to jump up on the bed again!!! Magenta, our aged husky gal joined the fun by moving her arthritic body ever so slowly right behind her sister....however.....she was a few moments behind because she can't jump onto the bed the first time anymore! Oh no, it takes her about 5 minutes and 5000 jumps!!! Oh yea!!! What a great time!!!

At this moment.....it is 6:30am....where is Opal you ask? She's sound asleep under the bed!!! And Magenta? She fixed herself a nest of blankets in MY BED and is fast asleep!!! Maggie Mae, the crazy cat......yep!!! Asleep!! And Brady, my human son.......said, "Now, what happened last night????? Ohhhhhhh, I didn't hear that!!!" UGH!!! I'm moving to Alaska!!! I should have no problem sleeping there right?????????

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

So Far, So Good!!!

I promise......my baking isn't quite as bad as this....

HERE



See for yourself....

.
























Hope your day is just as yummy!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Look Out!! I'm Baking Again!!

My baking during the year varies. Sometimes I get in the mood and bake fairly frequently, and then the rest of the time my baking consists of break and bake cookies!!! However, during the Christmas season, I seem to enjoy baking more......you know.....sucking up to Santa and all!!! So when the golf team took over Warrior Bingo (our local school fund raiser bingo program) for the month, and I had little time to donate, I decided baking cookies to sell would be the perfect way to contribute!!! I guess now the dilemma is coming up with a recipe I can't ruin!!! I'd really hate to poison a bunch of people so close to the holidays!!! **giggle**

Here's what I came up with......

Can't fail, everyone loves No Bake Cookies!!!
Yummy delicious forever old recipe Brown Sugar Cookies w/ caramel frosting
Peanut's guaranteed to bring a pretty penny Pumpkin Cookies w/ cream cheese frosting
These wonderfully sinful, you better be really good the rest of the year because you ate the entire batch by yourself Graham Cracker Bars

I'll share the recipes, you can try them, and let me know what you think.....you know after you awaken from your sugar coma....will we earn a gazillion dollars or what???!!!

No Bake Cookies
I'm sure everyone has this but here ya go in case you've been living under a rock!! :O)

1/2 c butter 1/2 c peanut butter plain or crunchy
2 c sugar 3 c quick rolled oats
1/2 c milk 1 tsp vanilla
4 tblsp cocoa

Boil the butter, sugar, milk and cocoa for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Remove from heat and add the peanut butter, oats and vanilla. Drop by spoonfuls on wax paper and let set up. Recipe can easily be doubled.....so that you can eat one before the kids come home from school!!!! :O)


Easy Praline Bars (graham cracker bars)
from Betty Crocker's Cookbook

24 graham cracker squares 1/2 c packed brown sugar
1/2 c butter or margarine 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 c chopped pecans

Heat oven to 350*. Arrange crackers in single layer in ungreased jelly roll pan. Heat brown sugar and butter to boiling. Boil and stir 1 minute; remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Pour over crackers; spread evenly. Sprinkle with pecans. Bake until bubbly, 8-10 minutes, cool slightly. Cut into bars.

***Your gonna want to wash up the pan before the family gets home so they don't know how much a batch actually makes......if you tend to taste test before serving. I ALWAYS do because I'd hate to serve my family something non-edible....and by taste-testing I mean eat 1/2 of the batch!!! But hey....no evidence...no crime!!!! :O)****



Brown Sugar Cookies
a recipe from my friend's grandmother

2 c brown sugar 2 tsp baking powder
1 c butter 1 tsp baking soda
3 eggs 1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c milk dash nutmeg
3 c flour

Cream brown sugar and butter. Add eggs and milk, as well as vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and nutmeg. Gradually add to the brown sugar mixture. Bake at 400* for 8 minutes after dropped on an ungreased cookie sheet.



Caramel Frosting

1/2 cup butter 1 c packed brown sugar
1/4 c milk 2 c powdered sugar

Heat butter in 2 quart saucepan until melted. Stir in brown sugar. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir over low heat 2 minutes. stir in milk. Heat to boiling; remove from heat. Cool to lukewarm. Gradually stir in powdered sugar. Place pan of frosting in bowl of cold water; beat until smooth and of spreading consistency. If frosting becomes too stiff, stir in additional milk.


Peanut's Prize Winning Pumpkin Cookies
she recently auctioned a bunch of these off for big bucks for a charity event!!!!

2 1/2 c all purpose flour 1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda 2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg 1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp salt 1/2 c butter, softened
1 1/2 c sugar 1 c canned pumpkin puree
1 egg 1 tsp vanilla


Preheat oven to 350*. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, and salt; set aside In a medium bowl, cream together 1/2 c butter and white sugar. Add pumpkin, eff and 1 tsp vanilla to butter mixture, beat until creamy. Mix in dry ingredients. Drop on cookie sheet by tablespoon, flatten slightly. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Cool before frosting


Peanut's Cream Cheese Frosting

4 oz softened cream cheese 1/4 softened butter
1/2 tsp vanilla 1 1/2 c confectioners' sugar

Cream together Cream cheese, butter and vanilla, gradually adding in confectioners' sugar until of spreading consistency.

****Again.....it is all fair and not lying at all to proclaim that this batch makes only 3 cookies because you have eaten the rest!!!! Not that I have EVER done that.....I'm just saying!!!!****

Enjoy!!





Monday, December 7, 2009

Why!!!!

Why does the phone always ring when......

........you've gotta go potty sooooo badly that your eyeballs are floating?

.....you're in an extensive discussion with your husband and you haven't made your point nearly clearly enough nor explained in detail how horribly wrong he is?

......you are sitting down to a family dinner for the first time in a week......and nothing is burnt or still frozen solid and everyone is still speaking?

.......you're walking out the door to a meeting you are already 10 minutes late to?

......it's 6:30am on the only morning for the entire year that you can sleep in?

......you've just made it to the mailbox at the end of the drive.....or to the clothesline.....or in the furthest spot in the house away from the phone?

.......your hands are covered in crafting slime?

....you've just gotten undressed to get into the first shower you've had time to take in a week?

Now clearly, caller ID has been a wonderful tool!! You can avoid a whole lotta folks thanks to knowing whose calling!! However, let's be honest!! How many of these situations have been made worse by caller ID????

How about......

....you're in an extensive discussion with your husband, you haven't gotten your point across, the phone rings and it's his mother?

......you're running late to a meeting, you're ready to leave, the phone rings and it's the person you're having the meeting with!!! Uh-oh!!!! You are s'posed to be stuck in traffic!!!

....what if it's Publisher's Clearinghouse calling to tell you that you've won $1 gazillion and you don't answer cause you've gotta go potty and you think they are calling as a telemarketer???

See!!! So please, someone tell me......Why?

Have a great Monday.....and now I gotta go....the phone's ringing!!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Are You As Thrifty As I?

Are ya feeling gitty in anticipation of the weekend? Can you believe that we blew by Thanksgiving an entire week ago? Geesh!!! As with everyone.....December weekends bring us a crazy, (even crazier yet i should say) schedule partying with friends and family which we may not see any other time of the year!! With all the gatherings, the grocery bill always seems to go up in (could it be that we also give the go ahead to eat a lil' more during winter as well????? LOL!!)

Earlier this year I made the decision to try couponing once again. In my early marriage I tried, however was not serious about it, and quite frankly found it annoying!! This time around, I made the commitment to give it a true full out effort!!

Couponing is definitely a commitment!! It takes time to collect the coupons, clip them and sort them, and then it takes longer at the grocery store as well!! Now I haven't gone crazy in watching all the sale ads and shopping many different stores, however, that is an additional way to combine coupons with sales and save even more......maybe next year!!! LOL!!

The Sunday paper is a great place to collect coupons. I also subscribed to All You Magazine which is a terrific resource!! It is inexpensive to purchase at $2.50 per issue (available only at Walmart sorry to all you who less than love Walmart) and contains coupons ranging in $40 - over $100 so that it pays for itself should you use just 1 or 2 coupons!!!!

Online resources are quite helpful as well!!! I use Bargain Jargon, Frugal Coupon Living, and Deal Seeking Mom. These sites collect wonderful deals, freebies (which are really fun to receive) and alert readers to additional coupon sites!! They each generously send out daily emails which are quick and simple reads. You can then research the deal further or overlook them, limiting wasted time checking out many sites!!! I have found them a great tool!!

So there you go.......I routinely save $20 or $30 each week and buy nothing different than I would have otherwise!! Sometime you do need to purchase one brand over another in order to save, however, things we are brand specific on, I just avoid that coupon!!! It's simple and easy with a little dedication, and has allowed us the luxury of a little extra coin in the pockets!!! I'm sure there are large diamonds, gold and silver in my future with all the savings I've earned!! tee hee hee!!

Let me know if you have some great resources too!! I'd love to hear from ya!!! Until then......have a great Friday!!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Perseption vs Reality







This is what I'd love to
be doing for a few days


















This is my reality!!











Hope your day falls into the first category rather than the latter!!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Well, Hello There!!

So......here it is December 2 and I'm finally making time to sit down and get this thing back up and running!! Geesh where does the time go????? Let's get caught up shall we.....

We have had a HUGE show line-up this year!!! We started off the year with a spring show that went wonderful, and our fall included 6 shows; our first Atwood Fall Festival and the Simple Country Gathering in Hanoverton. Both were very nice however, the Simple Country Gathering show was AMAZING!!!!! Sold out in a half hour and met a ton of great folks too!! can't wait for next year!!! Next we did a couple school shows, a private show and finally finished up our last this past weekend!! As soon as we finish up our list of orders we'll be home free!!!!

Additionally we were hired by the local condo association to do the landscaping for the year as well as painting, staining decks and a ton of odd jobs!! This kept all of us quite busy (especially Rick), he still gets frequent calls for additional jobs!!

Our Brady is now in High School and crazy busy being a teenage student, athlete and scholar!! He had a fantastic golf season, and begins bowling season this week. Also, he has discovered a new passion.....the speech team. He has placed in several tournaments and done exceptionally well!! He is in the International Extemporaneous category....which means he must know everything there is to know about the world and be able to give a 7 minute speech on any given topic with a 1/2 hour prep!!! YIKES!!!! We are extremely proud of our son......he is an amazing kid and I am proud to be his mom!!!

Soooo.......this has been my crazy busy life in the last few months!!! I have missed each of you and look forward to getting re-acquainted with you again!! Let the blog hopping begin!!!

Can't wait to hear from you!! Until then......tah tah!!