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Thursday, December 29, 2011

My Budding Photographer

My daughter is in her 2nd year of American Heritage Girls which has been amazing for many different reasons.  This year, her group is working on their photography badge.  Here's a sampling of what she's done so far.  I want to thank Cori Baughman for helping Allysha get her badge by being willing to be interviewed.  Cori is a great photographer!  You can find her at Cori B Photography on facebook.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Our Family Favorite Christmas Movies

It's a Wonderful Life

The Bell's of St. Mary's

A Charlie Brown Christmas

Samantha's Christmas

A Christmas Carol

The Nativity Story

Veggie Tales: The Star of Christmas

Kingdom Under the Sea: The Gift

Bible Hero Classics: A King is Born

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Celebrating Advent

(picture taken from Budget Wise Home)

I have seen some really neat ideas online on how people celebrate Advent in different ways.  The definition of advent is a coming into place, view or being; arrival.  As we move into December, we want to really keep our focus on Christ and what He did for us.  Here is a list of things we plan to do for Advent.  Do you celebrate Advent and if so, what are your traditions?  We don't have a fancy calendar.  We printed off pictures of the creche and wrote things on the backs of those pictures.  We then hang them up and depending on how the day goes, we pick one thing instead of going in order.  This helps ensure we actually get everything done regardless of what kind of day we have. 

Here goes. 

Our Advent List:

2. Read a Christmas story
3. Get our Christmas Tree and decorate
4. Make ornaments for the tree
5. Make goodies to take to neighbors
7.  Wrap gifts.
8.  Put lights up outside
9.  Draw and color a picture of Jesus birth.
10.  Go to a living nativity.
12.  Drive around to see all the Christmas lights.
13. Help a family in need.
15.  Look through all the Christmas cards we've received and pray for the families.
16. Write and send letters to shut-ins and soldiers.
17. Donate clothes and toys to Goodwill or other charity.
18. Make paper snowflakes.
19. In the evening only use candle light and talk about how Jesus is the light of the world.
21. Make a star tree topper for the tree.
22. Play with a nativity and have the kids tell the story.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Homemade Salad Dressings

I will be honest, I've had a hard time finding dressing recipes that I really like.  Thankfully, I've gotten a few thanks to my friends Kim and Jen as well as combining some good online recipes.  Hope you like them as well as I do.  They are frugal, healthy and yummy!

Ranch Dressing and Dip 
I think this tastes very similar to the ranch dressing from Logan's Roadhouse.  

1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon dried chives or 1/2 tablespoon fresh, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
milk or buttermilk 

1. In large bowl whisk together all ingredients with the exception to the milk or buttermilk.  This will make a dip. If you want dressing, just add a few drops of milk/buttermilk at a time till you reach your desired consistency.  
2. Refrigerate at least 1/2 hour before serving.  The more it sits, the better it gets.  

French Dressing:
1 cup olive oil
1/3 - 1 cup ketchup (homemade if possible), to your liking
1/4 cup honey
3 tablespoons white vinegar
1/4 cup water (or more to your liking)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

1. Blend onion first in food processor till finely minced.
2. Add in the rest of the ingredients and blend well.  Refrigerate till ready to use.

Poppyseed Dressing 
If you don't have the sesame seeds or the poppy seeds,  you can still try this.  Make sure to let it sit in the fridge a few hours before serving.  The flavor enhances tremendously!

2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1/2 scant cup honey
2 teaspoons minced onion
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil

1. Mix all together and refrigerate.

Sweet Vinaigrette 
I don't have a name for this one so named it sweet since it is sweeter.  

1/4 cup oil
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley ( i used dried if I don't have fresh but not as much)
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Mix all together and refrigerate till ready to use.

I hope to find a really good Italian dressing as well as a Caesar very soon..