Saturday, December 21, 2013

Milk and Cookies from the funny farm

I hope your card found you in happy spirits for this wonderful season and you were able to find the blog okay. It was quite a road getting them to you, but well worth the journey! (See the story below letter)

I have decided to go digital with my annual milk and cookies update. So I hope all of you have been able to take a minute and find the link on or in your Christmas card. Please enjoy our yearly update as much as I enjoy writing it. I hope it finds your family happy and full of holiday cheer :)


More pictures from what we have seen in 2013

Click to play this Smilebox photo album
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This photo album created with Smilebox

Click to play this Smilebox photo album
Create your own photo album - Powered by Smilebox
Create a photo album

My Christmas Card Creation Catastrophe...
 It all started when I sat down to make the card on Snapfish when they had a 60% off sale and my pictures were too large to fit in their boxes and shrinking them did little but lose quality. After a sorry but there is nothing we can do chat with Snapfish I opened Picaboo to try out their cards. At first I was having the same problem, but their online chat was much more helpful and I was off creating what I wanted. They happened to be running a buy 40 get 20 free promotion so I jumped on it after checking with online chat to make sure the promotion meant if I ordered 40 I would get an additional 20 so 60 cards in total. An hour after I submitted the order I remembered I forgot to put the web address for the blog on the card so I again hopped on to online chat where I was very kindly told you only have 30 minutes to cancel and change orders. No problem, it was my fault for being forgetful. I then waited 10 days for my cards to arrive and get them ready to send. But when I opened the package I had only 40 cards.... I promptly called Picaboo support the next morning to see what happened. The nice customer service rep explained to me the discount was applied and I received 20 cards free, but misunderstood the 20 additional cards statement from my online chat, even though it made perfect sense to him because he worked there... I am still unaware how I misunderstood 20 additional cards, but I guess I do not work at Picaboo... So in panic mode I tried to figure out how I was going to get additional cards in time to send for Christmas when one hour photo from Wal-Mart popped in my head. I went searchimg to see if cards were available in one hour and YES they are. So I went to work creating a card to order, but the pictures would not upload. After trying different browsers, restarting my computer with some choice words I emailed Wal-Mart and found out you can email pics and they will upload. Problem solved, right? An hour and a half before I needed to take girls to sitter for Christmas presents I was finally creating. Once again I ran into the size issue (as Wal-Mart and Snapfish are identical sites) but I found a layout that would work and I very quickly pasted in picture and our names with one hour to when they would be ready and I was dropping girls off. Problem solved, right? I waited 10 minutes in line and Wal-Mart photo counter and watched employee 'search' for my cards. He finally found them in the drawer he started with and I was on my way. When I opened the cards at home, I noticed in my hurry to get them made, I did not see the pre entered names of the people in the store-made example card....So my card had our names and 5 additional names....Well since I forgot to put web address on cards, I decided to put stickers on these cards with web address and create small cards to put in Picaboo cards. I was in business and the girls were stuffing, licking, and labeling (until their attention switched to something else) We were all stuffed and ready when I realized I had like 20+ extra cards and some of my addresses were missing, so I went to work checking off who I did and did not have. I am not sure what happened during export of addresses, but it seems middle column was deleted... I managed to figure it all out and was ready to finish the stuff, stamp, label, and send! And as I sit here and type this I have 20 extra cards because I guess I got excited when I ordered and added 20 extra cards to the number I needed. So we will see what kind of craft project I can experiment with.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Sweet Treats - part 4

001 collage (1) by mmggkane
001 collage (1), a photo by mmggkane on Flickr.

Here is the fourth collage of pictures from making sweet treats at the funny farm where everyone is gathering up the goodies to share or take home and enjoy!

Sweet Treats - part 3

001 collage (1) by mmggkane
001 collage (1), a photo by mmggkane on Flickr.

Here is the third collage of pictures from making sweet treats at the funny farm.

Sweet Treats - part 2

001 collage (1) by mmggkane
001 collage (1), a photo by mmggkane on Flickr.

Here is the second collage of pictures from making sweet treats at the Funny Farm

Sweet Treats from the funny farm - part 1

001 collage (1) by mmggkane
001 collage (1), a photo by mmggkane on Flickr.

Here is the first collage of pictures from the weekend of making sweet treats at the funny farm.

Sweet Treats

I have meant to get on and post this for two weeks, but things have been a little busy around my house. We are getting ready for the holidays, I have been working on Christmas cards, letter, and making gifts, my dad gave me my Cricut Expression Christmas present early (which took up about three days of time trying to get set up, experiment with, and use) my Internet somehow started to have advertising pop-ups all over, and my laptop suddenly stopped talking to the wireless printer (an of course my husband has waited until December to print of information needed for tax prep and needs it now!) so I have spent lots of time on the computer creating and trying to get everything working properly.

Almost every year since before my husband and I were married we have gotten together with his family to make cookies for the Christmas holiday. It started out as just a small little afternoon gathering to let the kids have fun cutting out sugar cookies and has grown into a whole weekend of baking, cutting, decorating, dipping, and packing the goodies up to share. My sister-in-law even mixes and cooks a few days before to prepare for the weekend.

Each year I pick a new recipe to try (and usually flop) for the weekend. With the invention of Pinterest this has grown easier to find, but harder to choose just one to try. This year I tried two. One was a simple wreath decorating idea with a shortbread cookie and the other was called a hot cocoa cookie. I am happy to say I did okay. The hot cocoa cookie did not look just like the Pinterest version, but it was okay and I managed to only brown the marshmallow on top, not burn it like I have been known to do with S'Mores brownies. So now I think I have a new recipe to add to the festivities.

The cookies are nice to have and share, but the best part of the weekend is opening up our home to family and having the time with them. We have been doing it the first weekend in December for a few years now so the women bake and the men go deer hunting and come in for lunch and cookie dough for a break from the cold. My girls get to spend time with their aunts, uncles, and cousins and learn about baking (which is something I do occasionally, but not as often as my husband wants or as good as my sister-in-laws.) It is a tradition that I hope continues with our family for years to come.

The 'tail' end - comment about some fun holiday activities you do with your family to celebrate the togetherness of the season.

I am also posting some collages I made on Smilebox to show the fun we have :)

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

I wish we could put up some of the Christmas spirit in jars and open ajar of it every month. ~Harlan Miller

Since it is December, I can now start to acknowledge that Christmas is coming. I think Christmas starts earlier each year, but in our house nothing happens until the first week of December. My husband usually spends time deer hunting that first weekend and all my decorations make an appearance. Christmas is by far my favorite holiday and the five tubs of Christmas decorations I just hauled up from the basement would prove it. I love the spirit and magic the season brings. Growing up my brother would always sleep on my floor Christmas Eve and stay up talking and trying to catch Santa. We no longer live in the same house, but we started a new tradition of shopping together and eating dinner afterwards to prepare for the gift giving season.

After seeing many blog posts about The Elf on the Shelf I decided to start a new family tradition at our house. I love the idea of the magic the Elf brings to the month of December so I set out to make it our own on our funny farm. Before I knew it, thanks to help from my very talented sister-in-law I had a stuffed cowdeer in training named Moodolph ready to entertain my kids this month while keeping an eye on them for Santa. He flew in on the ceiling fan today and has been placed in his perch to watch us after we helped him with his lesson to be a reindeer for the day. Below is his opening note and a calendar of the items he needs help with in the month of December.

The 'tail' end - Share the traditions you have at your house for holiday spirit in the comments below.