Wednesday, December 29, 2010



2 lbs hamburger (brown in skillet, drain grease)
2 cans Fire Roasted Tomatoes
2 cans Black Beans
2 cans Mexicorn
1 taco seasoning pack
1 ranch dip pack
1 jar cheese dip (found in the chip aisle)

Throw it all together in the crockpot. Cook on low for 4-6 hours. Serve with tortilla chips.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Silhouette Giveaway!!!

Go here to enter to win a Silhouette over at Brown Paper Packages! I would love to win one of these for myself...ummm...I mean for Maple Memories!! :)

I'll be back soon.

I promise. With something interesting. I don't know what yet, but something. The kids are on break and I've really been trying to give them "quality" time, which means less blog time. It's been fun. So, don't leave me. I'll be back soon. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Melted Snowman Cookies

I saw these Melted Snowmen Cookies here and just had to make them. So fun!! She used Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Mix, but I used this recipe instead. I ran out of white flour, so mine ended up being 1/2 white and 1/2 wheat. The other adaption I made was to use mini chocolate chips for the buttons. Can you tell I wasn't prepared when I started!? :)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Cleaning for a Reason

If you know any woman currently undergoing chemotherapy, please pass the word to her that there is a cleaning service that provides FREE housecleaning - once per month for 4 months while she is in treatment. All she has to do is sign up and have her doctor fax a note confirming the treatment. Cleaning for a Reason will have a participating maid service in her zip code area arrange for the service. Also, if you own or work for a cleaning service, they are looking for more people with big hearts!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Reasons we LOVE you

My husband's Grandfather just turned 88. For his birthday, the kids made him a GIANT card filled with "88 reasons we LOVE Great Grandpa!!" It was fun to make and even more special to watch his reaction as he read them all. Some were sweet enough to make your heart melt ("Because he took me out for ice cream after my softball game was canceled so that I wouldn't feel sad."), while others made us laugh so hard ("Because he is old.")

"Because he gives great hugs."
"Because he comes to our soccer games."

"Because he is proud of us."
"Because he plays basketball in our driveway with us."

"Because he is flexible."
"Because he can do a headstand on top of a horse." (see picture that follows for proof!)

"Because he serves people at Thanksgiving."
"Because he delivers meals for Meals on Wheels."
"Because he takes good care of animals."
My favorite..."Because he loves us!"

I thought this idea might come in handy for Christmas...let someone know all the ways that you love them!!!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Say It On The Wall

I am so excited!! I won a $20 Gift Certificate for Say It On The Wall over at The Idea Room. As soon as I heard, I started shopping! There are so many adorable things but I finally decided on this...

and this...

I can't wait to get my glass blocks and set up the Nativity Scene in my home. There were so many great ideas for Christmas Gifts! Head on over to Say It On The Wall and see what you can find! Oh, and they have been running a "Product of the Week" Special, which gives you 40% off the featured item during that week.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A walk down Memory Lane

Traditions. I love them. We started one with our kids involving Christmas ornaments. They get one each year that represents something they did during the year or a specific quality we have noticed. We make sure to write their name, the year, and what it represents on the back/bottom of each ornament.

For instance, my oldest has a LOVE of animals like I have never seen before...especially for our own yellow Lab. Both of these ornaments have been given to her to represent the pet she has grown up with and the absolute love she has for him.

This was given to my son the first year that he played soccer.

My youngest played Tball for the first time...yes, she's wearing a skirt and you have to admit she TOTALLY rocked it!! :) The back of this ornament says "Representing your first year of Tball", along with her name and year given.

My oldest daughter took a trip to Colorado for a family reunion. She got to ride in the RV with her Grandparents and Great Grandama to visit the original family homestead...back in the day when wagons ruled the road!

This just proves there is an ornament for everything. I mean REALLY...would YOU have bought this one!!!??

It was PERFECT to help us remember the year my son rode this float in the All School Days Parade.

What type of ornaments do you have on your tree? Any unique traditions revolving around them?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Hamburger Soup

Since my last post had so many pictures, I'll overcompensate by having NONE in this one! :) I got this recipe from a friend and made if for the first time was a HIT! I love having soup when the weather turns cold. What is your favorite soup? Feel free to share a link to the recipe! Hint, hint.

2 cans cream of potato soup
1 pound of ground beef (I used 2 lbs on worked too)
1 pound bacon
4 cups milk
1 cup sliced/shredded carrots
1 cup sliced celery
onion (I used 1/2 and onion because I have little ones that complain if they can SEE or SMELL them in their food!!)
salt and pepper to taste

Brown hamburger meat with chopped onion...drain. Fry bacon...crumble. Mix all remaining ingredients together in crockpot. Add hamburger/onion mixture and bacon pieces. Cook on low for the day or high if you wait till the last minute like me!! Really, you're just waiting for it to heat up and the veggies to soften!

Monday, November 22, 2010

I've been busy...

This seems to be my excuse for everything these days! I keep thinking that things will slow down, but the reality is I don't think they will. Luckily for me, it's been a fun kind of busy. "I've been busy" with these beautiful people...

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Pumpkin Carving...

Pumpkin Painting...

Pumpkin Pancakes...

Pumpkin Pizza...
Pumpkin Bracelets... I found the tutorial here.

I love FALL!!!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Senior Photos

I was asked by a family member to take her senior pictures. I will admit, I was nervous about my ability to do this. As I've said before, I don't know ANY of the technical stuff about cameras and photography. I have to admit, I was THRILLED with the way they turned out...AND it helps to have a GORGEOUS subject matter!

Now for you photography junkies. What type of lens do you use for most of your photography? If you only had ONE, which one do you think is the most versitile? I have the stock lens my camera came with, but used a 55 - 200mm for some of these. I liked it. I am thinking about purchasing one myself, but not 100% sure that this is THE lens. I would like to continue doing this type of photography (maybe even "officially" after I figure out what I'm REALLY doing), but would also like something that is great for sporting events. Would love your input.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Games on a Ring

I was cleaning my kids' rooms and kept finding flash cards and card games EVERYWHERE!! So, I found an empty box and just started collecting them as I went about my cleaning. When I was done, I was left with a bunch of cards from several different sets...many with no boxes or ones that were so ripped they were useless. I've rubberbanded them together before, but they NEVER end up back together when the kids are done. Over at Brown Paper Packages, I saw a cute Book on a Ring (which I LOVE) and decided to adapt it in order to find a solution to my problem.

You will need your cards, a hole punch (I recommed a Crop-a-Dile if you have one), a marker/pencil, and Album Rings (I used 1 1/2").

Mark the corner of your card so that you know where to punch. Make sure not to punch any words!

Use your hole punch to punch the first card. It then becomes your template to punch the other cards. The crop-a-dile EASILY punches 10+ cards at a time, so feel free to stack them together (making sure they are all lined up the same way).

Put your cards on the ring and you've got one set of cards, all nice at neat!! I did this with flash cards AND games. I plan on keeping the flashcards on the rings and just flipping through them. However, the games (such as matching or memory games) can be taken off and then put back on the ring when you are done playing with them. For now, I just have all the rings of cards in a plastic storage container. Eventually, I have visions of a peg board where they can be hung in reach of the kiddos!