Lets have a Snack

I can't tell you how many times I've heard those exact words this week.  Food is going FAST in this house!  So with not a lot to do, and not a lot of denaro left after the big day, I decided to make some good 'ol Hidden Valley Ranch Oyster Crackers. 

So so simple ...Simple is the name of the game in my kitchen.  Jill = Not such a cookerella.  Got me?

Mix a few ingredients together.

  Pop 'em in the oven.

...and Wallah!

Hidden Valley Ranch Oyster Crackers
3/4 c. popcorn or vegetable oil
1 (1 oz.) envelope Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Mix  (i used generic, works just fine)
1/2 tsp. dill weed
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. lemon pepper
12-16 oz. plain Oyster Crackers  (i used 2 bags)

Mix all above ingredients together.  Place on baking sheet and bake at 275 degrees for 15 - 20 minutes.  Drain on a brown bag to cool.  (i used paper towels)




Holiday Bokeh

Over the break I played with my camera some...I tried creating some bokeh, out of focus blur, pictures.  I had always thought that it was done in photoshop.  Not the case.  Here are a few I like.

There are some really great tutorials out there on shooting bokeh.  Like this one from (photobucket} or my favorite from Darcy at {my3boybarians}...Love Her!  Anyhoo...have fun creating! 

Oh, and while your at it, check out {Sweet Shot Tuesday} ...it's fun!



Merry Christmas

"If I could wish a wish for you, it would be for peace and happiness

not only now, but for the whole year through!"

~Catherine Pulsifer

From, The Franklin Family 

From the back seat...

Picture by Google Images
Brother:  "What's THAT on your face?"
Sis:  "It's make-up."

Brother:  "What are you wearing that for?"
Sis:  "Cuz I Want to.  Mom wears it."

Brother:  "No she doesn't"
"Sis:  "Yeah, she does."

Brother:  "Mom, do you wear make-up?"
Me:  "Yep.  It takes time to achieve this natural look."

Sis to Brother:  "Humph!"




Cadenism of the Day

Big Daddy kindly shared his Hershey's Kisses with Caden.

Caden, in a whisperish voice, then sings:  "Every kiss begins with K"

Big Daddy:  "Really?  Did you just sing a commercial song?  You have Got to stop watching so much TV!"

Text Message of the Day

Photo by mathworks.com
Him:  Carody says that John Cena is as gay as a circle!
Her:  ummm...I didn't know circles were gay.

Him:  Carody was just being Carody.
Her:  ya, thought so.


You Light Up My Christmas

We took the family and headed to the Country Club Plaza to see the Christmas lights.
Our first stop was at Winstead's, everyone was HunGreee!
I luff this old hamburger joint!  It's been on the Plaza since 1940.  It was "the" hangout for teenagers in the 40's & 50's.  I'll bet that was so much fun!
You can't beat a good ol' steak burger!

After eating we walked off our diner.
The Country Club Plaza is colorful, brilliant...stunning this time of year.

The window displays are Incredible!

Ya think...maybe...for Christmas?

This all started with 16 lights that were hung over a doorway in 1930.

Now there are over 80 miles of lights.

280,000 multi colored bulbs.

Burgers.  Hot Chocolate.  Together.
Ya...it was a good time.


My Favs...

For as long as I can remember, these two yarn dolls have been on the Christmas tree.  My mom made them when I was little.  I used to love sitting in the dark, tree all lit up, and make believe all kinds of stories about the adventures these two dolls had been on.  I think maybe  it was watching Rudolph venture to the Island of Misfit Toys each year that sparked this yearly ritual.

There's a wide variety of ornaments on our tree.  They range from handmade by my kids, the collected, and the gifted.  I honestly can't say I have a favorite ...they're all my favorites.  It just wouldn't be Christmas without each and every one of them.  I know, cheeeezy right.  Oh well.  That's the way I like, the cheeeeziest!

How do you decorate your tree?

What are your favorite ornaments?


The best way to spread Christmas Cheer, is singing loud for all to hear.

Enjoy this video celebrating the 80th Annual Christmas Candlelight Vespers at Baker University.  That's where I work, now ya know.  How on earth did I get so very lucky to get such a wonderful job?  I didn't know when I took this job I would Love it so SO much!  Anyway...be sure to have your speakers enabled.  These are the faculty, staff, and students I enjoy having in my life every single day, they are a~ma~zing.

Oh, just a little tid bit for ya, Big Daddy and I were married in this B~E~A~UUUtiful church.  Little did I know that someday I would look out my office window every day at that beautiful church.  I Love It!  My kids call it "Mom and Dads Church."

May your Christmas & Holiday Season
be Truly Blessed and Joyful


Christmas Cuteness

When we got home last night, there was a little red package on our front porch.  It was for my boy.  A little friend had left it for him. 


*warm fuzzies*

Now, I am perfectly aware that there may be a few too many pictures here...buy hey...it's my boy. 

 awww...MARVEL Super Squad Silly Bands & Tech Deck {a mini skateboard}

This is my favorite!

So I got to thinkin' and I asked Big Daddy, "Do you remember getting your first Christmas gift from a friend?

Big Daddy:  "Oh I got presents all the time!"

Me:  "pfft!"  *jill rolling her eyes*

So how 'bout you
Do you remember the first time you received a gift from a friend when you were a kid? 


My "thing"

At home or not, sorry folks but I just have to do it, I always check behind the shower curtain before I use the restroom.  I just have to.  It creeps me out to think someone may be hiding back there.  I don't know where this fear came from or why I must do it...but I always check first.


What's  your  "thing"?


Smiling's my Favorite

"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring...all of which have the potential to turn a life around."
~ Leo Buscagila

Be The Change and visit {www.helpothers.org} 
...because smiles are contagious.

It's a game of pay-it-forward:
Anonymously make someone smile with an act of kindness,
leave behind a card asking them to keep the ripple going.
It's easy and fun.

You can either print off smile cards at the website
or make your own.  My family has done both.
Either way, it's a great family experience,
Especially during the holidays.
We like to leave cards with store clerks, restaurant staff
and delivery people...like the mail, ups and fedex.
Hey, don't forget about the trash guys!
They deserve a smile too!
(maybe I'll make them some hot chocolate)


Also check out {Kind Over Matter} dedicated to kind acts, inspirational stories, art & projects.

Okie Dokie.
You're it.
Pass it on.


A Million Dollars

While rummaging through the storage closet I found this:

"If I had a million dollars I would buy an American Girl I like them a lot.  Then I would buy a horse because i love any kinds of horses.  then I would give the rest of my money to my family, Caden my little brother and my Mom and Dad.  I love them a lot." 
by C. F.  4th Grade

awwwh...  I remember it well.  I was sitting at a little round table at Parent/Teacher Conferences.  The teacher, all prim and proper; in her nicely pressed dress, every button buttoned and her lace collar just so.  Of course she went on and on about my "little angle".  I remember watching her lips move as she spoke these poetic words.  Oh my, I thought to myself, she must have me confused with another mom.  Surely this is a mistake.  I have to stop her before she goes on any further.  But how? 

The teacher must have sensed my confusion and asked me politely asked me if I had any questions.  I told her that as much as I would like to agree with her, I just don't see the similarities in my child.  Are we talking about C. F.?  She giggled and reassured me that we were talking about my child. 

Back then I didn't realize that your kids act one way at home and another elsewhere...at times.  *lol!* 

Anywho...I Love Love Love this short little ditty that my daughter wrote back in her wild days, back when I was a sceerd, sceerd fly by the seat of your pants kinda mom.  This picture, and my daughter, on good days & not so good days... makes me all warm ~n~ fuzzy inside. 

Sooo............with that said...

being the season of giving & all...

What would YOU do with a million dollars?


Ten Thought Tuesday

1.  Do I even Have 10 thoughts today???
2.  Everyone has such pretty Holiday decorations.
3.  Why oh WHY do I find it necessary to get on the scale every morning?
4.  I'm having a bad hair day...oh well.
5.  I've got a chicken cooking...
6.  Got to decide what to do with the chicken.
7.  Why do the men in my family think my son has to be a jock?
8.  It's c-c-c-cold!
9.  I need new {Cute!} winter clothes!
10.  I like to watch Ellen on my lunch break...she makes me lol!


Pancake Genous

Meet Jim.  Jim likes to make pancakes for his three year old daughter.  Not just any pancakes...he really is a pancake genius!  Just look at some of his creations...they range anywhere from an octopus, monkey, American flag, wearable jewelry and pac-man!  The list goes on and on...just take a look at a few of his incredibly gifted and loving creations:

Wow!  What an awesome gift of love.  Visit Jim and his adorable daughter {Here} at Jim's Pancakes.  You'll be Amazed!
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