Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas!!!

I’d like to wish all of my friends





Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Breakfast Recipes & Family Room Pics

Happy Friday, friends!!  Are you all ready for Christmas?!  I’m happy to say that everything is falling into place at my house!!  I still have cookies to bake, which I’ll do on Monday.  I don’t like to make them too far in advance, otherwise, they’ll be gone before Christmas!!  Other than that, I’m ready!!

Today is the last day of school for Kory and Justin and so it’ll be nice to have the next week to be able to relax by a fire and spend some quality family time together watching movies and playing games.   We even have snow in the forecast!!  We’re suppose to get up to 2” tonight and on Christmas Eve there’s a 60% chance of some major accumulation!!  Perfect to snuggle up in front of a warm fire on Christmas Day, especially since we don’t have to go anywhere!!

We have a few activities this weekend to attend to.  Kory has bowling in the morning and then Saturday evening, we have a 50th birthday party for my brother-in-law to go to.  On Sunday afternoon, my Mom and Dad are having our family  get-together.  So that’ll be fun!

chrbrd    Here are a couple of recipes that we like to make and enjoy Christmas morning after all of the presents have been opened.   I hope you enjoy them, too!

Cream Cheese Coffeecake


1/2 c. butter, softened

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

1 1/4 c. sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

1 1/3 c. flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 c. milk


1/3 c. flour

1/3 c. brown sugar

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

2 T. butter, softened

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream butter, cream cheese and sugar together.  Add remaining ingredients.  Pour into greased 9x13 pan.

Mix topping ingredients together; mixture will be crumbly.  Sprinkle onto batter.

Bake 35-40 minutes.  Let cool.

Breakfast Pizza

1 lb. Italian sausage

2 c. bisquick

1/2 c. water

1 c. frozen hash brown potato cubes

1 c. shredded cheddar cheese

3 eggs

2 T. milk

1/2 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Brown sausage; drain.  Mix bisquick and water; press onto bottom and up sides of an ungreased 9x13 pan.  Spoon sausage over crust.  Sprinkle with potatoes and cheese.  Beat eggs, milk, salt and pepper and pour over top.

Bake 20-25 minutes.


As always, if you’d like to see who else is participating in Colleen’s (And Baby Makes Five) Homemade Holiday Recipe Swap click here:



I wanted to share with you a picture of a cupboard my hubby and I made for my sister to give her granddaughter for Christmas.  This thing is huge!  She has a couple of American Girl dolls and my sister wanted us to make something for her to store the dolls in, along with all of the doll clothes and accessories.   My sister is going stencil something on the front of the doors and make liners for the baskets to give it a little color! (You can’t see it, but there’s another rod at the very top on the right side to hang clothes on.)



Okay, before you see these next pictures, I want to explain a few things.   First off, I’m sorry they’re dark.  My family room is in the basement and doesn’t have any windows so the lighting is very poor.  I’m enabling it so that if you click on each picture, you should be able to see a larger view. (But don’t look too closely!  lol)

The couch and chair definitely clash with the plaid wallpaper (check out the pillows on the couch).  When we got new furniture for the living room a couple of years ago, some of the old pieces came down here.  We put a slipcover on the couch, but I never got around to getting one for the chair,  so a sheet got thrown over it, which helps a lot when Sam, our Dalmatian, rubs up against the front and leaves dog hair all over it!  Even tough it’s not very pretty, it’s easy to take off and throw in the wash.

Eventually, we’ll get new furniture and new carpet and redo the ceiling tile by raising it up a couple of inches and installing smaller 2’x2’ squares.  We’ll also put in recessed lighting to brighten things up a bit.

As far as the decor, I really haven’t put to much effort into decorating down here.  Everything is pretty much odds and ends from upstairs that I don’t know what to do with. 

My hubby did the Christmas decorations.  While I was busy doing the upstairs, he took the things that I decided not to use and placed them down here.  I usually have the garland, the stockings (that’s where Santa leaves the treats for the pets) and the tree, but not much else. 


This is Sam.  I gave up trying to get him to move, he was way too comfy!!



It’s not a very good picture, but, the TV stand was made using 3 ready-made cupboards from Home Depot.  We attached them together, put sides and a top piece on, and then painted.  The middle door holds our satellite receiver, Wii and Xbox 360 consoles, and the VCR/DVD player.  The other cupboards hold DVDs and video games.



On the top of the cupboard is my collection of Byer’s Choice “A Christmas Carol” figurines.  I usually have them upstairs, but since I’ve rearranged things, they didn’t work in the place I usually put them.




This heads into the Rec room, which I had posted pictures of earlier.


The door you see in this picture leads into the utility room.  One day, when I get really, really brave, I’ll post show you pictures of it.  This is were Sam stays at night and while we’re away.  And also where Chuck comes in after work covered in concrete dust and muddy boots with stones stuck on.  On the extreme right, behind the pole, are the stairs leading up to a side door and then into the kitchen.


I mentioned in my last post that I was working on another Santa.  I love the ones that Druann makes and sells on her PictureTrail – Cinnamon Creek Cabin and the ones that Stacee makes and sells on her Picture Trail – Arnett’s Country Store.  I haven’t been fortunate to be able to purchase one of theirs, yet (I keep trying!!),  so I decided to try to make one of my own!  It’s definitely not as nice as theirs, but it turned out okay.  I didn’t have any patterns to use, so I had to create my own. I just kind of “winged it” as I went along.  I have a lot of tweaking to do!   I need to revise the pattern for the pants, because these make him look bowl-legged!!  lol   I’m not sure how I’m going to finish him off, yet, but I’m not going to worry about it until after Christmas.  I actually don’t even know where I’m going to put him!!  lol  He was kind of fun to make!  I’ll probably try to make more and experiment with other techniques, again, after the holidays!!



I hope to be back and do one more post before Christmas – I have a few more things that I’ve made and want to share them with you. . . but, in case I don’t, I want to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and I hope that the time you get to spend with loved ones is a very memorable one and that Christmas turns out to be everything you’ve dreamed it to be!!

Merry Christmas!!!


Until Next Time. . . .Kris


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Few More Christmas Decorations

Happy Wednesday, everyone!  I hope everyone is well!  I feel like I’ve missed so much!! I forced myself to stay off of the computer for a few days so that I could get some stuff done before the holidays and be able to have the week before Christmas to just relax and spend time with my family.  You don’t know how hard it was to keep from popping in to read everyone’s blogs or visit a couple of social forums that I belong to.  But, my efforts paid off – I’ve gotten a lot of things done.  My house is all clean and decorated for the holidays, Christmas cards have been mailed, a few appetizers for Christmas eve are made and in the freezer, presents are all wrapped and everything I need for our Christmas eve get-together and for our Christmas day breakfast and dinner are all bought.  I’m all set – so bring on Christmas!!  lol

I have so much to share with you!  This post is a little lengthy and definitely laden with pictures!! First of all, last Monday my hubby and I made a quick trip to Amish country.  One of the little shops had a flyer laying on the checkout counter announcing a Christmas Open House at Ragon House that would be open to the public.  It was being held for 3 weekends, with this past weekend being the final one.  Most of you may be familiar with the many Belsnickle santas that they carry.  You can check out their website by clicking here.They’re located in Bolivar, which is about an hour away from me.  My hubby and I went Saturday morning and OH. . . MY. . . .GOODNESS!!!!!!  When I walked in the door, I literally went giddy!!  It was prim heaven!!  They had so much stuff and it was all marked down 50% off PLUS another 35% was taken off at the register!!  I could have gone crazy and bought a lot more than what I did, but I contained myself and was a good girl!!

A girl at the checkout said that this was the first time the have done a Christmas open house.  They usually hold one in May.  Let me just say that I’m definitely saving my pennies for that one!!!

Here are my goodies:


These ornaments were marked down to $2.00 and $3.00 PLUS the additional 35% off!


This lantern is about 15-16” tall and was marked down to $8.75.  I don’t really care for the color, but at that price, I’ll paint it!


I bought the santa on the left at the store in Amish country that had the Open House flyer for $18.95.  The larger santa, which stands about 16” tall, came from  Ragon House.  It was marked down to $17.50, but I got him for $11.38!!!  Can you believe it?!!

And now for the final item! My hubby was excited about this one, too!  Are you ready?!!


This fabulous guy was marked down to $48.00 and I got him for $31.20!!!!  The picture doesn’t do him justice!  I absolutely love him!!



When I decorate for a holiday, it usually entails making a few things.

Here’s some pictures of a couple of santas that I made.



I found the pattern for this guy at  It’s a free epattern so if you’re interested, click here to take you to the web page to download the pattern.  He’s about 37” long.  I think his clothes are too big on him, especially the pants, so I’ll probably remake some new ones later.  They don’t look that big on the model santa, but mine are huge!!  lol


This one is my favorite, although, it’s not a very good picture of him!  His pattern was in the Create & Decorate magazine from a couple of years ago.

I have another santa that’s in the works. . . I hope he turns out the way I’m envisioning him.  I’ll share him with you later.



Here are a few more pictures of my Christmas decor.











Did you notice my stockings are different than the ones posted in earlier pics?  I was tired of the cross stitch stockings that I made about 20 years ago.  Last year, I made these and hung them, but this year I felt kind of guilty and put the cross stitch ones back out.  After a couple of days, though, I decided to hang these back up instead.  The cross stitched ones, I think, looked busy.

IMG_2119  IMG_2125


I like to use mixed nuts (in the shells) to toss into my fruit centerpiece to use as a filler in the nooks and crannies.  I usually only find them this time of year in the produce section at my local grocery store by the bulk.

Save the Brazilian nuts and paint them to look like watermelons to use as bowl fillers in the summer.



This door is to a food pantry.  This is where I hang my Christmas cards.  I used to put them in a basket, but they seem to get looked at more hanging here. Our advent wreath also hangs on this door.  I started this years ago when my kids were small.  I bought 24 little ornaments and keep them in a little basket, which sits on a table to the left of the door.  My kids take turns hanging an ornament on the wreath every day until Christmas.  And even though they’re 18, 21 and 24 years old, they still like to hang the ornaments!

Do you see this guy?

IMG_2158 My opinion is that this ornament shouldn’t be hung until December 24th and every year, some one tries to pull a fast one by hanging it before that day.  Last year it went unnoticed for a couple of days.  Every once in a while I count the ornaments to make sure the correct number is up there.  One day Brittney and Justin were standing nearby, giggling, which made me suspicious, so I took a closer look and discovered that my son had hung the Dec. 24th ornament under the bow so it couldn’t be seen!  He said it had been there for a couple of days and I never knew it!!  The little stinker!!  This year, Justin is excited because it works out that he will get the honors of hanging that ornament on the 24th.  Sometimes, you just never grow up!!  lol






The other day, I received a nice surprise in the mail from Colleen (And Baby Makes Five). She sent me some of her homemade Mini Cinnis and Cinnamon Gingerbread boys, plus a homemade “Joy” sign and a “Sugar Cookie” Yankee Candle votive.  Thank you so much, Colleen!!   You are such a sweetie!!  I was so involved with the hustle and bustle of the holidays and this was a wonderful little reminder of what Christmas is all about.  You are such a warm and caring friend!  Thank you, again!



Thank you for taking the time to stop by – I really appreciate it!

Please check back on Friday for a couple of recipes that my family likes to make for breakfast on Christmas morning. Plus, possibly some pictures of my family room decorated for the holidays.

Until Next Time. . . .Kris

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A Soldier’s Silent Night and Fresh Pine Christmas Arrangements

I wanted to share with you a “song” that I had heard on the radio last year. This one ranks right up there with “The Christmas Shoes”! It makes me cry every time I hear it! The first time I heard it, I was on my way to the grocery store and let’s just say that it’s kind of hard to drive when your eyes are blurred with tears! I had to sit in the parking lot for a while to get composure of myself before I could head into the store!! It’s very touching!

The poem, “A Soldier’s Silent Night” was written by Lance Corporal James M. Schmidt in 1986. It was recorded by Father Ted Berndt, a priest at Bread of Life Charismatic Episcopal Church in Dousman, Wisconsin and who was also a Marine and a WWII Purple Heart recipient. His stint as a radio host in the 40’s attributed to his succession in recording the poem in one take.

To listen to the recording, turn off the music on the bottom and then click here and then click on “A Soldier’s Silent Night” highlighted in blue.


I love the smell of fresh pine at Christmas. And since I can’t get that scent from an artificial tree, I like to make fresh arrangements.

They’re pretty easy to make. Years ago, when I was involved in our school’s PTO, we had one of our monthly meetings at a local nursery and were taught to make an arrangement. Every year since, I’ve made a few. I buy bunches of cedar, silver fir, variegated orgonia/boxwood and pine roping from my local greenhouse/nursery and use a few sprigs off of my Norway spruce from my backyard. You can use whatever greens you like or have on hand.

Here’s how you can make your own:


Container for arrangement

Wet/Fresh floral foam – do not use dry foam that’s used for artificial flowers

pruning shears

assorted fresh pines – cedar, white pine, silver fir, boxwood, spruce

embellishments – candles, berries, glass ornaments



I made my arrangement in an old box. Since I need to keep my foam wet, I put the foam in an aluminum loaf pan. If you’re using a waterproof container, you can omit the use of the pan.

Place the foam in the pan and thoroughly soak your foam by running it under the faucet until it is saturated.

I start with using the cedar first. Cut little sprigs off and stick into the wet foam - going all around your container. Try to push them in sideways, not straight up, at this point.


The next layer, I used Silver fir. Placing it randomly.


Next, I used some white pine. Just take apart some pine roping and cut a few sprigs and also place randomly.


Then I added some variegated boxwood/orgonia.


I’m adding a candle to this arrangement. I never like to have an open flame around fresh greens, so I place my candle in a mason jar.

At this point, add your glass container and keep layering until you reach the desired effect.. If you choose not to have a candle, just keep layering the greens until your container is filled in. Go back and fill in nooks and crannies wherever needed. Sprigs of White pine and boxwood are great fillers


Embellish by tucking in sprigs of berries, glass ornaments, etc.


I usually have enough greens to make a couple of arrangements, plus have some for tucking in here and there.

Here, I stuck some greens in a couple of crocks. I placed some wet foam in plastic cups and set in the crocks.



Depending how dry your home is, water every 3-4 days. Mine have lasted well into January. I change out the red berries with white ones and have little snowman heads on picks that I tuck in to replace the candy canes.

These are so fun to make!! For the first couple of years after I learned how to make these, I had fresh arrangements EVERYWHERE!! I went a little crazy!! Now I’ve toned it down to just a couple. lol

Now don’t hesitate to try this on your own!! You can do it!! If you make an arrangement, please email me a picture of it. I would love to see all of the different creations!!


I’m just about done with my Christmas decorating. Now that I have my arrangements made, the final pieces are falling into place. I’ll share more pics with you in a couple of days.

So Until Next Time . . . .Kris


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