Wednesday, December 31, 2014

January Visiting Teaching Handouts.

How did this happen so fast?

It's officially been a year since I started my monthly FREE Visiting Teaching handouts and I must say - - I quite enjoy making these up for you.

First ever VT handout HERE.

I LOVE hearing from all of you and 
how you go about using these.

This month's message is on:
The Attributes of Jesus Christ:
Obedient Son

And just because EVERY sister is different...I've provided a few different ways you can package this up.

And if you REALLY wanted to go the extra mile - - you could even bake up a basket of fresh rolls to deliver this with.
{Or BUY em from your favorite bakery}.

ANY type of honey candy.

I thought NO ONE on earth liked Bit-O-Honey but my friend Chanda informed me otherwise. {Who knew? If it doesn't have chocolate - odds are....I'm not interested.}

Burt's Bees lip balm.
The bomb.

To download a FREE copy of my handout click HERE.

I'd love to hear how you use this month's tag....

As always - if you plan to download any of my tags - I 

just ask that you PLEASE make sure to become 

an official follower of my blog

{right hand side under 'Join Site'}.

You can also follow me on 

my social media sites

 *Ideas are posted daily!*

Also - - I am MORE than flattered when others

 'replicate' my ideas and come up with their 

'own' tags.  I just 

PLEASE ask that you give credit where credit 

is due when posting, and please link back to 

this original post.  xoxo

Happy Visiting Teaching!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2fer Tuesday.

2 Random Thoughts from my Brain:

1.  Does anyone have any GOOD ideas for starting a traditional New Year's dinner with my little family?

I know that cooking black eyed peas is supposed to bring good luck for the New Year {or so they say} but I'm 99.9% sure my kids wouldn't eat em so I don't even want to waste my time buying them. I'm wanting to start a dinner tradish that my kids actually would enjoy.

2.  WHY are there so many Viagra commercials on cable news networks? Does anyone else notice this? I realize I'm a tad young to be obsessed with the news like I am but...COME ON! Is their average viewer like 65?

2 Funny but Trues:

All hail the YOGA mom pants!
I spend about 3/4 of my day in em.
{The other 1/4 of my day is spent wearing pajama pants.I know, I know...I'm classy.}

Does anyone else feel like this?
All. The.  Time.???

I'm getting ready to re-open my Etsy shop later this week {sooooo excited!!} and I have a bazillion ideas/thoughts swimming in my head of things I want to create and accomplish and there is literally no off button in my brain.

Not to mention - - I still need to take down all of Christmas.

Thank goodness for Diet Coke and Diet Dr. Pepper.
That is all.  

Monday, December 29, 2014

Appetizer Recipes for New Year's.


Raise your hand if you find it hard to believe that 2015 is just a couple of days away?!?


Why does time fly by so fast?

Joe and I will celebrating New Year's Eve with dinner out {early of course!} and then going to see THIS movie with my parents and sibs. We'll make it back to my sister's house most likely before 10:00 - - just in time to ring in the New Year with our kiddos {back East time!} 

Usually we stay in and play games and eat appetizers on New Year's Eve. 

New Year's Eve OUT usually isn't really our thing.
We don't drink alcohol
We don't like crowds
We don't like staying out late

{Aren't we fun?}

So if YOU'RE staying in this year...might I suggest some tasty appetziers for you to try?  First off is the most DELISH dip EVER. It will WOO your crowd for sure.

New Year's Eve Dip

2 - 8 oz. packages of cream cheese
12 ounces of shredded Swiss cheese
chopped green onions
1 cup of Mayonnaise
1 package of bacon

Brown your bacon, crumble and set aside.

 Mix all remaining ingredients and spread into an 8 1/2 x 11" pan.  

Bake on 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
Add the crumbled bacon and bake for an additional 10 minutes {or until cheese starts to bubble}.

Serve with crackers - we used Ritz, Club and Triscuits.

Sorry for no pics.
Just trust me on this one, please?

This one is so super simple.  My mom shared it with me and it 

honestly took me less than 10 minutes to prepare. 

{My kids LOVE meatballs right now so I was super excited to try it!}

1 bag of frozen meatballs {I like the Italian kind of pretty much any brand.}

2 packages of Pillsbury crescent rolls
Mozzarella cheese

Thaw out your meatballs. {I just put mine in the refrigerator that morning to thaw}.

Separate your crescent rolls into triangles.

Sprinkle mozzarella cheese onto the rolls.

Add a meatball {or two!}

Wrap the crescent roll around the meatball and pinch to seal shut.

Bake according to directions on the crescent roll package.

{May need to add a couple of minutes onto the cooking time}.

Serve with either Heinz Chili Dipping sauce OR spaghetti sauce.

That's Carson's teacher in case you're wondering.
She's the one who introduced me to this CRACK-like dip that you CANNOT get enough of. I will forever be grateful.
Buffalo Chicken Dip

1 - 8 oz. package cream cheese

1/2 cup Buffalo Wings sauce
She used this....

1/2 cup Ranch dressing

2 cups shredded cooked chicken

1/2 cup of your favorite shredded cheese

Combine all ingredients.
 Bake at 350 Degrees for 20 minutes or until heated through.

Serve with Tortilla Chips or crackers!

I don't usually like SPICY stuff - and this dip had JUST the right amount of KICK to it without it burning my mouth off.

It'll be a HIT at your party - - I promise!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

This Weekend:

* Friday, I felt like an absolute zombie.
This happens to me EVERY year on the day after Christmas it seems.

My boys had their friends over to play all of their new Xbox games with them...

....and I sat on my couch for most of the morning...dreading cleaning up the post-Christmas tornado that was my house.

* Friday night Joe put together Grant's new basketball hoop.

Let's just took A LOT longer than expected.
And it was COLD outside.  
Like....low 50s COLD!

* Saturday we slept in until 10:30.
{We = me + Joe. No clue what time my kiddies woke up. Mom of the year over here.}

* London had a birthday party at the park.

* I took Carson to the mall so he could use his Lego gift card that's been burning a hole in his pocket since the second he opened it.

I LOATHE the mall on Saturdays.  
No matter WHAT time of the year it is.
But ESPECIALLY during the holidays.
I almost broke out into hives I un-enjoyed it so much.

The things we do for our kids.....right?

* Dinner out on Saturday night with 
the fam + parents + sis + nephews.

Seriously...why are Red Robin's 'Clucks and Fries' like the greatest thing EVER made? They are hands down MY FAVE!

* Churchey-church on Sunday but I stayed home with Carson. He's just gotten better from being sick and well...someone needed to take one for the team and stay home with him so it just so happened to be me. {Smile}

* Spaghetti and Meatballs for Sunday dinner.
My kids have informed me that they are officially SICK of pot roast on Sundays.  How dare them?!


Lots of fun on the blog this week...

My JANUARY Visiting Teaching handout 
I've been brainstorming and creating for the re-opening of my Etsy shop.  Stay tuned....

Friday, December 26, 2014

Part 3: Christmas Day

Christmas Day came and went in the blink of an eye.

Our morning started around 3 am when London woke us up asking 'is it time yet?'  We assured her that it was not and settled with the kids on going downstairs all together at 6:45.
{Which...if you know know is STILL way too early in my book! 
But it was Christmas after all.}

Favorite presents included:

Kevin Durant aka 'KD' shoes
Barbie Dream House
Andy Dalton jersey

Oh....and a Diet Mt. Dew in Carson's stocking.
Darn that Santa!

My fam came over for Christmas brunch...

Joe and I snuck in a nap.... did London 
{yes...I let her stay in her jammies ALL day long}
on our way to see....

It's pretty much been a tra-dish since I was a little girl that we ALWAYS go to the movies on Christmas. 

This year we saw ANNIE and it was A-dor-A-ble!

I grew up with this movie 
{even had the record to sing along with} 
and I thought this rendition was super cute.
My only suggestion would've been to have Carol Burnett reprise her role as Ms. Hannigan.  
Because NOBODY can do Ms. Hannigan as well her.

We ended the evening back at my parents house with leftovers for dinner.  Might I suggest this idea for you next year? No big meal + no dishes on Christmas night is pretty much the best thing ever.  We were all EXHAUSTED tired and it was SO great to have something quick and easy.

Sad that Christmas is over.
I'll leave my decor up until New Year's eve and then take it down.  I sure love this time of year.

Part 2: Christmas Eve.

Our Christmas Eve didn't start out exactly as I had planned...

...but we rolled with the punches.
{Carson had a bad bout of croup. Thank goodness for fast working steroids!}

After filling up at the pharmacy 
{Target on Christmas Eve is never a good idea}
 we headed home and decorated our traditional gingerbread houses.

Our evening was spent celebrating with the entire Lamoreaux family at my parents house.

They have a pretty sweet backyard RIGHT on the golf course that the kids LOVE playing on.

My cute parents made the most delicious 
pork loin for dinner...

....and we had our annual COUSINS gift exchange where my kids made out like bandits, as usual.

We made yet another attempt {just as we do every year} at re-enacting the Nativity from Luke 2.

Your baby Jesus wasn't a girl and had long blonde hair?
Weird cause ours did!

And no matter HOW hard we try each year - - it always turns out a little more ir-reverant than we'd like. But oh well.  
The kids have fun doing it.

We tracked Santa....

and then had to hurry home because he was ALREADY in the United States ON THE east coast!

Once back home...we opened Christmas jammies, left out cookies and a clementine {which is what Rudolph gets when you're outta carrots}, tucked the kiddies into bed and then Joe and I carried on our tradition of watching
 "A Christmas Story" before hitting the hay. 
{I always pick up new lines from that movie no matter HOW many times I've seen it!}

Part 1: Christmas Eve EVE.

I really really REALLY dislike the day after Christmas.

SO MUCH FUN is had the ENTIRE month it seems and the blink of an's all over. 

So as I sit on my couch today, sipping my ice cold Diet Dr. Pepper, watching my kids play with all of their Christmas house remains a disaster with wrapping paper and packaging strewn everywhere...I'm trying really really hard to NOT be down in the dumps...and INSTEAD...remember ALL of the fun we had this Christmas! 

I present to you...PART 1 of the festivities...

Grandma Marilyn's big Christmas party was held on Christmas eve EVE this year {Dec. 23rd}.

She always has her house decorated so cute for the kids.

I fell in love with darling soft plush nativity set she had out.

Everyone brought an appetizer to share and we feasted all night on munchies plus Swig cookies, homemade toffee, peppermint ice-cream and homemade hot fudge.

We had our annual talent show....

where London busted out her dance moves to the one and only Taylor Swift.

Grandma set up her 'fishing pond' where the kids got to 'fish' for some of their presents....

We watched a couple of short Christ centered videos, listened to uplifting music centered around Christ and then ended the night with.....

My sister-in-law and her hubby's latest Christmas hit
It's soon to top Bing Crosby's "White Christmas" as the greatest holiday hit of all time.

Photo via my Instagram.
Are we insta buddies yet?
It really made us laugh our heads off.
Fun Fact: Nothing makes Joe laugh harder than his siblings.

Thank you Grandma Marilyn and Grandpa Scott for yet another magical Christmas party....we're already looking forward to the next one!

UP next....Part 2: Christmas Eve...

Thursday, December 25, 2014


Details from all of our Christmas festivities...
comin atcha soon! xoxo

Monday, December 22, 2014


My oldest turned T-E-N today.

How is that even possible?
It seems like JUST yesterday we were driving to the hospital...not sure if I was in real labor or not. 
{We were pretty naive way back when.}

Grateful for this bundle of Christmas joy in my life.
Boys/Big Brothers rule.

We celebrated the day with:

* Birthday donuts
* Dick's Sporting Goods {his favorite store}
Chili's with he and Carson's awesome school teachers and their families {his favorite restaurant}
* Mesa Temple Lights {if you are local and have not MUST go.}

Who says birthdays RIGHT before Christmas can't be fun?!

I love this boy.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

This Weekend:

* Friday was the kids' first official day of Christmas break.

To celebrate, we piled in the mini van and got breakfast at McDonalds. {Why is McDs breakfast SO MUCH BETTER than the rest of their menu?!}

* Afterwards, we picked up my nephew to babysit and I finished up ALL of my Christmas shopping.

* Friday night date night with some of our most favorite friends HERE:

We've been hangin with these peeps since before we all started having kids 10 years ago.  It's been SO fun growing old with them. {Smile}

* Saturday morning I ran errands with my Carson.

I sure love spending ONE on ONE time with my kiddos.

I feel the need to let you know that I filled up for gas at $1.16 per gallon on Saturday. 
 {Thank you Fry's points for the $1 off!!} 
Can't beat it!

* Saturday night we celebrated my nephew's 17th Birthday with dinner at Joe's Farm Grill.

Cute Lamoreaux cousins.

Their Peppermint shake?
YUMMMM. It's a must try if you stop by over the holidays.

* I spent the rest of the evening preparing a talk for church that I had to give the next day. {Bleh}.

* Churchey-church on Sunday.

* We stopped by my brother's new house afterwards to check out his new digs.

Fun Fact: My siblings + my parents + I all live within about 10 minutes of each other. So grateful, indeed!
 {Most of the time....haha...I kid...I kid.}

* Chicken tacos for dinner + watching the AZ Cardinals game Sunday night.

BIG week ahead!
*Tomorrow my oldest turns T-E-N!!!
{What the what?!}

* Coombs Christmas party on Tuesday

* Lamoreaux Christmas Eve on Wednesday

* Seeing ANNIE on Christmas day 
{Movies on a holiday = Lamoreaux tradish}

I'm so excited for CHRISTMAS I can hardly stand it!!