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Monday, September 30, 2013

Our Weekend And A Fall Tradition

Happy Monday everyone! Hope you all had a fantastic weekend!

We sure did!

We are a family of tradition. And I love that about us. Chances are, if we start talking about family traditions around here, Hubster and I will break out in song.


You know that one, right?  From Fiddler On The Roof? Okay, sorry. I'll spare you any more singing.

Moving right along....

One of the traditions we have with the Hubster's family is to go on a little weekend get-away each year. We've actually been doing it since before we had kids. It hasn't always been in the Fall. We used to go in the Winter, but decided we liked Fall better. We haven't always gone to the same place either. We've tried a state park and another camp. But for the last six years we have been at Camp Buckeye, about an hour away from our home.

It is a great time to relax and unwind. The kids have such a fun time and get to hang out with their cousins, some of which they only get to see a couple times a year.

This year, we were blessed with amazing weather....probably the best we've ever had. It was a glorious Autumn weekend.

So, we did some of this.....

One of our traditions around the campfire is for one person to start a story. Then we go around the circle and everyone has to add a sentence, plus remember everything everyone before them said. It gets a little crazy and it's always good for a lot of laughter.

On Saturday, we did quite a bit of this.....

We got to see some of God's beautiful creation....

And I got my daughter to do this....

(Oh, how I wish I was a better photographer.)

Saturday evening we played some board games. One of our traditions is that a group stays up into the late hours playing a game of Risk.

And the food! Don't get me started!

And cousins! They range all the way from a 10 year old up to a college Freshman and they all get along so well. The young ones adore the older ones and the older ones are so sweet to the younger ones. We are a blessed family for sure.

So that was our weekend and just one of our many family traditions. I think it's so important to develop those things in our families. It brings us together and gives us a heritage and so many sweet memories.

So what about you? Do you have traditions in your family? Do have things you do specifically in the Fall? I would love to hear about it!
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Friday, September 27, 2013

Four Things For Friday

1.) Today at Drinking From My Saucer, Sal (yes, we call her Sal around here!) is talking about being thankful all year round. She's set out a challenge, especially to us bloggers, to share a couple things every day that we're grateful for. Why not start now before the season even gets underway?

2.) And speaking of being thankful....Last evening the Hubster and I went for a 20-minute walk in our neighborhood. By ourselves. Seriously, you have no idea how huge this is! Our kids are 13, 13 1/2, and 14 1/2 (when they're that close in age halves are important), but because of their special needs, we hadn't attempted to leave them at home alone yet. So this was a BIG deal. Hubster and I got a few minutes alone to talk...without being interrupted. And everyone survived. And I don't even think any arguing broke out while we were gone. Baby steps.

3.) This is either going to be a very exciting or very disappointing weekend. You see, our team is in contention for the American League wild card. It will be coming down to the very last game of the season on Sunday. We are big fans. Especially our oldest. So we will be paying close attention to these last three games.


4.) Right now I should be feverishly packing for our annual weekend away with Hubster's family. We have a pretty longstanding tradition of spending a weekend together at a camp about an hour away from home. Camp fires, hiking, games, cousins, and's a lot of fun!
Lots of memories have been made over the years!


Okay, I'm off to pack!
I hope you all have a great weekend too....wherever God's plans take you!

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Thursday, September 26, 2013

A Fall Recipe: Easy Pie Filling Cobbler

Today,  I have a yummy and super simple dessert recipe for you. This is a great one for Fall. It's my go-to recipe to take somewhere because it's easy to throw together.

Easy Pie Filling Cobbler

1 stick butter or margarine

1 15-oz. can of your favorite pie filling (I've used apple, cherry, blueberry, and raspberry before and they've all been good.

1 box Jiffy white cake mix (or 1/2 box of regular cake mix. I've also used yellow cake.)


Butter 8x8 pan well. Melt remaining butter.
Spread pie filling in pan.
Sprinkle with cinnamon.
Spread DRY cake mix over fruit.
Drizzle melted butter over top.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45-60 minutes or until golden brown and bubbling.
Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped topping of your choice.

A couple notes:

** This is an EASY recipe. Use cake mix DRY. My mom once shared this recipe with a good friend. She made up the cake mix per the box directions and spread on top of the fruit. Didn't work!

** You can double this recipe to make it in a 9x13 pan without a problem. I've even tripled it and made it in a roasting pan for a larger family get-together. You may not need 3 sticks of butter though. Your call.

This is one of our family's favorite dessert recipes. It's so easy and never disappoints.
Hope you enjoy it too!

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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Project: Technology Tamer

Happy Tuesday! Today I have a practical little project for you.

I love technology....iPods, phones, tablets. But the thing that I don't like about it is all those ugly charging cords that come with it. At various times I've pinned different ideas about handling this unsightly mess, but never really did anything about it.

Until I found these decorative paper mache books at TJMaxx. Then a lightbulb came on.

When I saw these two pretty boxes ($4.99 for the small one and $5.99 for the large) the wheels started turning in my head and I decided to kind of combine the two above projects into what we needed.

Here's what I did, step by step.

I knew I wanted a longer slot so that if I wanted I could put more than one charging cord through. So I used one of the cords to eyeball how long I wanted it to be and marked it with a pencil.

I was going to use a power drill to start my opening. I picked a drill bit that was roughly the same width as the end of my cord.

Next, I drilled holes in a line between my two pencil marks. It was a little trickly because the binder part of my box was concave and the drill kept slipping. Thus, the crooked line. But that's okay.

Then, I used a utility knife to finish out my hole and clean it up a little bit.

It was tough to make the slot look neat because of the multiple layers of paper mache. So I decided to cover the edges of the hole with tape. Unfortunately, I didn't have any clear packing tape on hand so I used duct tape. Not a big deal though because, as you will see, it doesn't show anyway. In hindsight, I probably should've taped the box before I drilled to help the layers not peel away and tear. Lesson learned.

All done. I know it doesn't look pretty on this side, but see how nicely the cord fits through?

And here it looks all nice on our bedside table. extra cords or iPod sitting out!
I haven't done anything with the large box yet, but if the Hubster's tablet fits in there, I may be getting the drill out again.

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Monday, September 23, 2013

Shopping And Praying

So I'm just going to say this up front. You are either going to totally get this post OR you are going to totally think I'm nuts.

I pray about shopping.

I do. Because I believe that God cares about how I spend the money He's given us, but even more so, I believe He also cares about the little things that are important to me.

Sometimes I pray before I shop. Like the time I needed to find the white blouse and black skirt that was required for my daughter's Spring band concert and was also age-appropriate. And I had already looked everywhere I could think of within a 10-mile radius. I prayed a lot about that one.

Many times I pray while I shop. And sometimes God provides what I think I need. Like a silly owl lamp.
Yep, sometimes God says, "You're right, Jill. That little owl lamp will make you and your family smile a lot. Here, let me lower the price for you!"

And other days....He shuts me down.

Like today.

You see, I had a plan. I really wanted to make a couple pumpkin topiaries for my porch. You know, those cute topiaries made out of fake pumpkins that are all over Pinterest and about 90% of the home blogs out there. Yea, those. The ones the really cool kids are making.

But I had to make them on the cheap and here's where my plan comes in. I was going to start at the Dollar Tree and find some really awesome fake pumpkins....that were a dollar. Yea, right. I found two rather small fake pumpkins that we're not so awesome. No problem. I moved onto the second step of my plan....WalMart.

At WalMart, I planned to find larger and more attractive fake two plastic urn-type planters that were totally marked down on Summer clearance. Because you know there's still all that great Summer clearance stuff out there. Right.

You know what they say...."the best-layed plans..." That phrase is like the story of my life.

So I found myself praying and searching every square inch of WalMart looking for what I thought I needed.

"Lord, I found this okay pumpkin and it's a little more than I wanted to spend, but if you help me find some okay urns that are really cheap, I'll know that I'm supposed to make pumpkin topiaries"

Yea, I sometimes put out fleeces for God when I'm shopping....especially when I have a plan. Sad, but true.

But as I searched the store looking for different cheap options and asking God for what I thought I needed, He asked me a couple things. No, I didn't hear God's audible voice. But I felt like I knew what He would be saying to me if He was there in the flesh shopping with me.

Why do you want to be like everyone else? Everyone else and their brother is making a pumpkin topiary.   Be different.


Why can't you be happy with what I've already given you? Like that super cheap leaf garland I helped you find last week. Why isn't that good enough?

So, I finally got the message. And I left WalMart.

But not before He helped me spot these cute, cheap-o Fall soap dispensers.

Just because He loves me.

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Friday, September 20, 2013

A Stroll Down Memory Lane

Recently, the Hubster has been working on cleaning out our basement. A couple weeks ago he unearthed my collection of Country Decorating Ideas and Country Almanac magazines. Do any of you remember those?

I confess, back in the 90's I was all about the country style. We were newly married and money was even tighter than it is now. It was a big splurge to buy a magazine (at a whopping $3.50!), but I would just pour over the pages dreaming of how we (and by "we" I mean "I") could transform our new home.

So I know Hubster was wanting me to toss the whole pile, but I told him I wanted to look through them first. I'm sure in his mind he was rolling his eyes at me. But I had spent so much time dreaming about the homes in these magazines that they were like old friends!

So I looked. And I laughed.

I guess it WAS a little over the top back in the 90's.


Birdhouses, Baskets, and Bears...Oh My!

No kidding!

I have a decent collection of salt-gazed pottery thanks to this photo. It got packed away earlier this year, but I still love it.

I had to laugh at this industrial stool which is so popular these days....lovingly stenciled with bows and flowers. OY!!

And look, even back then people were updating their kitchens on a budget by painting the cabinets themselves. Some things never change.

Yes, I laughed a bit. But I also realized something. My decorating taste and style have definitely evolved over the years, but I learned a lot even then about making your home your own, about styling your room, about collecting things from these magazines.

My style now still includes some more refined country mixed in with a few other styles as well. So I still found some things I liked.

This kitchen was always one of my favorite rooms. Minus the Raggedy Ann dolls. Although I did have a Raggedy Ann bedroom when I was in grade school.

And I always loved this bedroom.

In the end, I think I will be putting all the magazines in the recycling bin. But it was good to take a little stroll down memory lane and see where I came from and how it's contributed to making our home what it is today.

Have a great weekend everyone!

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Trend Alert: Painted Pumpkins

If you've been looking around anywhere in blogland or on Pinterest you've seen that the "in" thing to do is to paint your pumpkins. Even my current copy of HGTV Magazine has a feature on nontraditionally decorated pumpkins. They're everywhere!

Pretty ones....

Geometric ones.....
"Scary" ones....
And some just-for-fun ones....
Love me some minions!
I love all this creativity, but I think I'm kind of a traditionalist and like my pumpkins the way God painted them....bright golden orange.
So what do you think? Painted pumpkins....yay or nay?

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Wednesday, September 18, 2013


Good Morning!

Last Saturday I finally broke out all my Autumn decor and that's what I'm going to share with you today. So grab a cup of your favorite Fall-ish hot beverage and I'll show you around.

(This post is going to be picture-heavy so I'm going to TRY to keep my words short.)

I don't do a whole lot in the kitchen because counter space is at a premium. But I did change some things out on this shelf that is by our dining table. An orange candle, a little pumpkin, and pine cones replace the lemons I had in the wire basket. I also got out my favorite jar candle, clove tea, and have it on my pass-through window over my sink. It smells SO good!

Let's head into the Living Room. This is where most of the Autumn action is.
This little arrangement is on my old Singer sewing machine. A burlap placemat appliqu├ęd with leaves, various autumn-colored dishes picked up here and there. A sparkly pumpkin, and a more primitive painted one under a cloche.

Moving on....This is one of my favorite little areas to decorate. Can you believe the previous owner of our house left this great shelf? To my black and white plates I added another primitive pumpkin as well as a little jack-o-lantern tea light holder.

Next up we have the stove area. I changed out the white candles in my new lanterns for orange ones that I had and created a little vignette on the stove. The fresh flowers came from my grocery yesterday. They were marked down to $1.50. Cha-Ching!

This little guy flew into my cart at Hobby Lobby. Besides the flowers, he's the only new Fall piece I bought. Everything else are things I have collected over the years.

The top of our TV cabinet.

More little pumpkins from my sweet sister-in-law.

This final picture is the shelf above my computer desk. (Trust me. You don't want to see that.) These are plates I picked up at WalMart a couple years ago, along with a Hummel figurine that belonged to my Grandma and a little glass bird that was Hubster's Grandma's. I love having things in our home that belonged to them.

So that's it. I hope you enjoyed seeing my house in Fall. I hope it inspires you to a do little FALL-ing in your  home.

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