Friday, December 30, 2016

The Prayer Saturated Family {Review}


Written by Cheryl Sacks, The Prayer Saturated Family explores the why and how of family prayer time.  Many Christian families feel the call for prayer, but struggle with practically applying it in their every day lives.  Frustrations can run so high that we can even loose sight of why we pray.  What once was so simple, suddenly becomes convoluted as personalities clash and schedules threaten to derail the best laid plans.  In today's fast paced world, realistically, how can a vivid family prayer time become a reality?

Part One of this book explores the "why" of family prayer, including:
  • having influence with God
  • communicating with God
  • prayer building faith
  • battling the enemy
  • and more!
Part Two of the book goes into the "how" of family prayer, such as:
  • identifying the seasons of life
  • overcoming obstacles 
  • when and where
  • staying on track 
  • and more!
And finally Part Three is a 31 day prayer guide for establishing a family prayer routine!

So what did I really think?

I really appreciate that this book was written for real life people.  There's no preaching down for people who aren't on their knees for hours at a time.  Scattered throughout the book are stories of real people living real lives with complications, commitments and time constrains.  The reader is encouraged to realistically look at their place in life and begin there.  This is often a fine line to walk, but the author has the ability to encourage readers in their current lot in life, but also not allow them to stay there.  Growth always feels immanent. And do-able.  It's like talking to a friend who loves you and understands you, but also wants to see you grow.

The advice in the 31 day prayer guide is so practical.  And that's the way I love to live.  Practical and real life.  So if that's the way you are, you'll thrive off this 31 day guide.  Each day includes scripture, practical instruction, and a simple prayer.  I found that these were a great place to start and served as a wonderful launch point when the family is ready to go deeper.

I would highly recommend this book to any family striving to begin a prayer time together.  It's a reference that I'll be returning to again and again.  I pray that it launches your family into a vibrant prayer life, both together and individually.

*Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.  All opinions are my own.


Friday, December 23, 2016

Weekend Links











This Week:

What I Made:  We baked  A LOT this week.  Molasses cookies, jelly cookies, banana bread....
Yum, yum, yum!  Tis the season, right?

What I'm Reading:  I just finished Esperanza Rising.  I know, I know... kids' book, but I couldn't put it down.  My excuse?  I'll incorporate it into our homeschool curriculum.  :-)

What I'm Doing:  Wrapping gifts, last minute shopping, enjoying the sound of the rain...

What I'm Watching:  We've been watching the Great Christmas Light Fight.  It was really exciting to see someone from our little hometown actually win a round.

What I'm Enjoying:  Christmas light... Jam Shortbread cookies... reading... vlogmas... 

What are you up to?


DITL 12/21/16--Lydia's 9th Birthday



 Finding adventures around town for Lydia's 9th Birthday... baking, lunch, shopping, and more!

Lydia's 2016 Christmas Performance:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F0qpym_GUcA

C O N N E C T
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Music Attribution:

Country Cue 1 by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

Jingle Bells by Kevin MacLeod  is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

I created this video with the YouTube Video Editor (http://www.youtube.com/editor)

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Happy 9th Birthday, Lydia!

Happy Birthday, Sweet Girl!

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Getting ready for ballet performance
June 2016

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Fishing with her Daddy
July 2016

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Showing her cooking creativity
August 2016

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Egyptian Princess for Halloween
October 2016

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Love that smile
November 2016

Lydia's Winter Dance Recital -- 12/17/16



 My sweet 8 year old daughter danced with for her winter recital the Saturday before Christmas.  I love seeing how she's grown every year as a dancer.  She's simply amazing and glows when she dances.

Simply Elegant {Jr. Ballet 2} 12/17/16:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_sUzguwTHxc

Amazing Grace {Jr. Lyrical 2} 12/17/16:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0pZlXjPVdE

Bendables {Acrobatics 2} 12/17/16:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUKQs1-yqlQ

Jammin' Jazz {Jr. Jazz 2} 12/17/16:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUKQs1-yqlQ

Winter Dance Recital Finale 12/17/16:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HvzcMy4e5I

Group Dances will be available for a limited time, then go into family archives.

C O N N E C T
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FTC DISCLOSURE: This video is not sponsored.

Music Attribution:

Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies by Kevin MacLeod

I created this video with the YouTube Video Editor (http://www.youtube.com/editor)

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Stocking Stuffer Ideas for Kids {11, 9, 5 Years}



Stocking Stuffer ideas for 2016

I have a 11 yr old son, a 9 yrs old daughter, and a 5 yr old son. Stocking stuffer shopping is some of my favorite with the little extras to open on Christmas morning.

What are you putting in your kids' stockings?

C O N N E C T
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FTC DISCLOSURE: This video is not sponsored.

Music Attribution:

Country Cue 1 by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

I created this video with the YouTube Video Editor (http://www.youtube.com/editor)

Monday, December 19, 2016

The Weekly Wrap: Winter Colds ATTACK!



Ugh!  We have the winter sickness.... cough, colds, and sore throats... Lydia tries to get better for her recital, we do some yard work, and Mama pulls out all the stops to get better.

DITL 12/11/ 16: Lydia's 9th Birthday Party
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ippd-dbfyMw

Lydia's December 2016 Recital:
 Coming Soon

C O N N E C T
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Music Attribution:

Runaways by Silent Partner is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

I created this video with the YouTube Video Editor (http://www.youtube.com/editor)

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Christmas Book Advent and Library Haul {12/18/16}



Books we're checking out from the library...

Previous Library Hauls:
10/10/13: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXKkrKF-TBI
8/20/14: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXKkrKF-TBI
2/23/15: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9izvYrb_2XQ
8/29/15: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWMqZSmF_Zg
2/23/16: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_1AhUGk4YI
6/9/16: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ko6z5JrBkFw
8/20/16: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=prxWcFDoZ54
11/9/16: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGbwjVk0Ao8

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Friday, December 16, 2016

2016 December Bookmarks


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*Bookmarks is an online book club hosted at Creative2xmom. Here we discuss the books we've read in the past month as well as the suggested reading. Our suggested reading for December was The Art of Dancing in the Rain by Garth Stein.

These are the books I read this month:






What We Read with the Kids:



Our suggested reading for December was the Art of Dancing in the Rain by Garth Stein:

So what are your bookmarks this month?

Tell us in the comments about the books you're chewing on. Or link up a review from your own blog. Let's share the books we're finding, good and bad. And give us your thoughts on The Art of Dancing in the Rain by Garth Stein.

And come back December 30th as we unveil 2017's Bookmarks List.

*Linked to these Parties





Welcome to 2016 December Bookmarks... Join us as we review the books we've been loving and hating for the past month.  Maybe find a new favorite.  What books have you been reading?

2016 December Bookmarks:

Prayer Saturated Family Review:

2016 Book List:
http://creative2xmom.blogspot.com/2016/01/2016-bookmarks-list.html

C O N N E C T
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Contact us for business inquiries, reviews and collaborations: BethAnn_97@hotmail.com

FTC DISCLOSURE: This video is not sponsored.

Music Attribution:

Country Cue 1 by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

I created this video with the YouTube Video Editor (http://www.youtube.com/editor)

Thursday, December 15, 2016

DITL 12/11/16: Lydia's Ancient Egypt Birthday Party


 It's time to celebrate another birthday in our house. Lydia is turning 9 years old and requested an Ancient Egypt birthday party. Pinterest and Jo-ann's the rescue in making my little girl's DIY dream party come true. Enjoy!

 C O N N E C T

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 Contact us for business inquiries, reviews and collaborations: BethAnn_97@hotmail.com

 FTC DISCLOSURE: This video is not sponsored.

 Music Attribution:

 Runaways by Silent Partner is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

 Sleepy Jake by Silent Partner is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

 I created this video with the YouTube Video Editor (http://www.youtube.com/editor)

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

2016 Christmas Light Tour/ Featuring a "Light Fight" House


 We love driving and looking at Christmas lights and there's some great spots here in town. Luckily it wasn't raining this year and Grandma got to come out with us too. And we saw one of the winners of ABC's The Great Christmas Light Fight!

 C O N N E C T subscribe at http://www.youtube.com/creative2xmom
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 FTC DISCLOSURE: This video is not sponsored.

 Music Attribution: Deck the Halls by Jingle Punks

 I created this video with the YouTube Video Editor (http://www.youtube.com/editor)

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Ancient Egypt Party Prep


 Prepping for Lydia's Ancient Egypt birthday party!  This girl is all about history and couldn't wait to celebrate Egyptian style!

Included in this video are DIY invitations, banner, game, piñata, and activities.

C O N N E C T
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Music Attribution:

For Mimi by Twin Musicom is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/...)
Artist: http://www.twinmusicom.org/

I created this video with the YouTube Video Editor (http://www.youtube.com/editor)

Monday, December 12, 2016

The Weekly Wrap: Mommy Invades Daughter's Room



 It's the busy fall family and homeschool life, Mommy secretly declutters, Christmas festivals start, and Lydia dances for a Teddy Bear!

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Music Attribution:

You So Zany by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/...)
Artist: http://audionautix.com/

Free Dog by Silent Partner is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

We Wish You a Merry Xmas by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/...)
Artist: http://audionautix.com/

I created this video with the YouTube Video Editor (http://www.youtube.com/editor)

Saturday, December 10, 2016

2016 Lighted Christmas Parade



This is one of the longest standing Christmas traditions in our family... including Mommy's 17th time at the parade!


C O N N E C T
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FTC DISCLOSURE: This video is not sponsored.

Music Attribution:

We Wish You a Merry Christmas by Jingle Punks

Jingle Bells by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/...)
Source: http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-...
Artist: http://incompetech.com/

I created this video with the YouTube Video Editor (https://www.youtube.com/editor)

Friday, December 9, 2016

Holly Jolly Christmas Tag



Time for a fun Christmas holiday tag!  Wanna know our favorite Christmas movie?  What do we love to munch on?  Are we dreaming of a White Christmas?  Watch to find out!

We love sharing our life and connecting with you! Come hang out with us on twitter, facebook, pinterest, and the blog to see our outtakes, photos, recipe sharing, and general fun!

And don't forget to join in as well.  Leave me a comment with your video link and I'll start a playlist.

Just Sew Trish's tag video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fyYUS7itxnw

1. Favorite Christmas Movie?
2. Are you on the Naughty list or the Nice list?
3. Show us an embarrassing Christmas Card photo!
4. Have you ever had a White Christmas?
5. Where do you usually spend your holiday?
6. Play or Sing your favorite Christmas Song!
7. Do you open any presents on Christmas Eve?
8. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer?
9. What holiday tradition are you looking forward to most this year?
10. Is your Christmas tree real or fake?
11. Hands down, what's your all-time favorite holiday food and holiday sweet treat?
12. Be Honest: do you like giving gifts or receiving gifts better?
13. Show us your tackiest Christmas attire (ex: Ugly Sweater)
14. What would be your dream place to visit for the holiday season?
15. Does your family have a special holiday recipe you like to help make?
16. Are you a pro-present wrapper, or do you fail miserably?
17. Most memorable Holiday moment?
18. What made you realize the truth about Santa?
19. Do you make New Years Resolutions? Do you stick to them?
20. What makes the Holidays special for you?

C O N N E C T
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Music Attribution:

Country Cue 1 by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

I created this video with the YouTube Video Editor (http://www.youtube.com/editor)

Weekend Links







This Week:

What I Made: We finished our Pin the Scarab game for Lydia's party, as well as her piñata.  But most of that was on my husband.  I also finally finished the kids' ornaments.  Don't know what took me so long this year.  :-)

What I'm Reading:  I'm doing a review on The Prayer Saturated Family.  I love the 30 Day Guide in the back.  It's given me some great ideas.

What I'm Doing:  Lydia is performing with her jazz class this weekend so I'm looking forward to that.  They're going to look so cute!

What I'm Watching:  I've been catching up on Once Upon a Time and have discovered a new show "Speechless."  Very funny!

What I'm Enjoying:  Peanut Butter Blossoms... date night... our Christmas Book Advent... going back to the gym... 

What are you up to?

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Our Christmas Eve Traditions



Christmas Eve is a blast and certainly not to be overshadowed by Christmas Day!  Our Christmas Eve is still full of traditions and just as much a part of our holiday as the main event.

We love sharing our life and connecting with you! Come hang out with us on twitter, facebook, pinterest, and the blog to see our outtakes, photos, recipe sharing, and general fun!

C O N N E C T
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FTC DISCLOSURE: This video is not sponsored.

Music Attribution:

Country Cue 1 by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

I created this video with the YouTube Video Editor (http://www.youtube.com/editor)

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Top 10 Gifts for the Homeschool Mom



Shopping for the homeschool mom in your life?  Here are my Top 10 Gift Ideas for the Homeschool Mom!

We love sharing our life and connecting with you! Come hang out with us on twitter, facebook, instagram, and periscope to see our outtakes, photos, recipe sharing, and general fun!

C O N N E C T
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Music Attribution:
Country Cue 1 by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

I created this video with the YouTube Video Editor (http://www.youtube.com/editor)

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

DITL 12/1/16: All Christmas, All the Time



We watch attend our favorite homeschool field trip to a Christmas play, work those modern appliances, and prep for our Christmas Book Advent.

C O N N E C T
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Music Attribution:

We Wish You a Merry Christmas by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/...)

Up On the Housetop by E's Jammy Jams
(from Youtube Editor)

I created this video with the YouTube Video Editor (https://www.youtube.com/editor)

Monday, December 5, 2016

Prayers & Answered Prayers {Review}


Prayers and Answered Prayers is a sweet little prayer journal for tweens and young teens.  This journals is well designed with an interactive format.  Inside the glittery cover is a journal with split pages, the top half for praying and talking to God, and the bottom half for thinking about how God talks back.  Each page has a thought provoking question or idea to journal about with a corresponding thought below.  The cover is well constructed and the pages have made from quality cardstock. 

This prayer journal would make a wonderful gift or stocking stuffer with the girl in your life ages 9-12.  The prompts are age applicable and the design is just fun!  Scripture is beautifully woven throughout the journal and the format is perfect in introducing the idea of prayer journaling.  I feel confident that my 9 year old daughter will enjoy this journal as much as I do and I can't wait to share it with her.

*Disclaimer: I received a free copy for this book from the publisher.  All opinions are my own.

Frugal Family Winter Fun

Winter is here and with it, new ways to enjoy the season as a family.  But with the holidays upon us, we getting even more creative with our finances and looking for ways to have some frugal family fun.    So besides all the hustle and bustle of the Christmas, if you're looking for inexpensive ways to spend time together as a family, here are 8 fun ideas to get your creativity flowing:

1. Build a snowman--We all have a creative side when it comes to snowmen and no two are ever alike.  Maybe yours has a fancy scarf while your chid's has funny facial features.  Get creative.  Maybe even make a contest out of it.  For an extra touch of creativity, fill spray bottles with colored water to add detail.

2. Go sledding--We haven't done this the past couple of years, but my kids love it.  It's a great way to burn off some energy and spend time together at the same time.  Make a day of it with turkey sandwiches and hot cocoa too.

3. Have a snowball fight--While you're at it, why not start a snowball fight too?  See who can make the best snowballs or the best baracade to hide behind.  Divide into teams, boys against girls or parents against kids.

4. Make snow ice cream--We don't get a lot of snow so we tried this for the first time just a few years ago. With just a few ingredients you can make a fun winter treat that even the kids can be involved in.  And it's cheap!

5. Look at Christmas lights--Load up the kids in the car with some hot cocoa and some Christmas music and you're all set for an adventure.  Make a game out of it.  Have a scavenger hunt while you're looking.  Who can spot the Grinch?  Which houses have a Nativity Set?  How many candy cane trees will you see?

6. Go on a hike--Yes, it's snowy, and windy.  But you know what?  We can still enjoy the vitamin D.   Getting out for a little sun and fresh does us all some good.  And there's still plenty of places to hike and enjoy this time of year.

7. Go ice skating-- Confession time... I've never been ice skating.  I've just never lived somewhere that it's been a possibility.  But how fun does that sound?  Holding hands around the skating rink... laughing... listening to Christmas music... and getting some fresh air.

8. Service Santa--This one sounds like so much fun and could really happen any time of year.  Instead of buying gifts for each other, why not do service projects for each other?  Draw a name, do chores for each other, surprise each other with gifts of service, and try to keep it a secret all at the same time.     We've already drawn names this year, but I totally think we're doing this one next year.

What are your ideas for Frugal Family Fun in the Winter?

The Weekly Wrap: An Old Time Holiday!



A week of getting back into the homeschool routine, playing in the leaves and celebrating An Old Time Holiday!  We stepped back in time and celebrated our local history.

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Music Attribution:

Crawdad Stomp by Josh Kirsch/ Media Right Productions

Happy Little Elves by E's Jammy Jams

(from Youtube Editor)

I created this video with the YouTube Video Editor (http://www.youtube.com/editor)

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Decorating a Christmas Tree in 3 Minutes



Our Christmas Tree Decorating Tradition...

Our 2014 Christmas Tree: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKUjoTkid_E

Our 2015 Christmas Tree:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3cWxw8PE20

C O N N E C T
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Music Attribution:

Jolly Old St Nicholas by E Jammy Jams

I created this video with the YouTube Video Editor (http://www.youtube.com/editor)

Snowball to the Face!



We went Christmas tree hunting the day after Thanksgiving!  When we decided to play in the snow, someone took it a little far with a snowball!  Living in a Winter Wonderland...

C O N N E C T
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Contact us for business inquiries, reviews and collaborations: BethAnn_97@hotmail.com

Music Attribution:

We Wish You a Merry Christmas by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/...)

Happy Little Elves by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/...)

I created this video with the YouTube Video Editor (http://www.youtube.com/editor)

Saturday, December 3, 2016

One Second Every Day {November 2016}



 One second every day during the month of November... sledding, boots, and the California State Railroad Museum.

C O N N E C T
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Music Attribution:

Sunday Spirit by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/...)
Artist: http://audionautix.com/

I created this video with the YouTube Video Editor (http://www.youtube.com/editor)

Friday, December 2, 2016

November Homeschool Favorites



Some of our favorites this month in our homeschool!

Original Creator: FullTimeWifeLife

Food Chain Game:
http://homeschoolgiveaways.com/2016/02/free-printable-food-chain-game/

California Railroad Museum: https://www.californiarailroad.museum

C O N N E C T
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Music Attribution:
Country Cue 1 by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

I created this video with the YouTube Video Editor (http://www.youtube.com/editor)

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Christmas Cookie Collab/ Cooking with Kids

Who doesn't love to bake during the holidays? My kids certainly do. Watch me try to corral my three kiddos while we share our classic Peanut Butter Blossom recipe. MsDanaRyan: https://www.youtube.com/user/MsDiaperD Christmas Cookie Playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLySPrw-J7GpmuQUP1QxutovnFg7MhtYY9 C O N N E C T subscribe at http://www.youtube.com/creative2xmom read at http://www.creative2xmom.blogspot.com like me on http://www.facebook.com/creative2xmom follow me on http://twitter.com/creative2xmom Contact us for business inquiries, reviews and collaborations: BethAnn_97@hotmail.com FTC DISCLOSURE: This video is not sponsored. Music Attribution: Deck the Halls by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/...) Artist: http://audionautix.com/ I created this video with the YouTube Video Editor (http://www.youtube.com/editor)

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving 2016!



We celebrate Thanksgiving with Grandma eating, playing, and breaking out the board games.  Plus many reasons to be thankful this year!

C O N N E C T
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Music Attribution:

The Creek by Topher Mohr and Alex Elena MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/...)

I created this video with the YouTube Video Editor (https://www.youtube.com/editor)

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Crockpot Stuffed Pepper Soup

My kids love this stuffed pepper soup.  It's a great way to get vegetables in their diet and it's super filling.  Perfect for those cold winter nights.


C O N N E C T
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follow me on http://twitter.com/creative2xmom

Contact us for business inquiries, reviews and collaborations: BethAnn_97@hotmail.com

FTC DISCLOSURE: This video is not sponsored.

Music Attribution:

One Fine Day by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/...)

I created this video with the YouTube Video Editor (http://www.youtube.com/editor)

The Weekly Wrap: Crazy Sledding!

We celebrate Thanksgiving break with a trip to the children's museum,  baking cookies, and sledding in the snow!

Thanksgiving 2016:
Coming Soon!

2016 Christmas Tree Hunting:
Coming Soon!

Contact us for business inquiries, reviews and collaborations: BethAnn_97@hotmail.com

C O N N E C T
subscribe at http://www.youtube.com/creative2xmom
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FTC DISCLOSURE: This video is not sponsored.

Music Attribution:

Walk In The Park Full by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/...)
Artist: http://audionautix.com/

Joy to the World by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/...)
Artist: http://audionautix.com/

I created this video with the YouTube Video Editor (http://www.youtube.com/editor)

Monday, November 28, 2016

DITL 11/18/16: This Is What I Wished For

We watch a Christmas parade in the rain, visit the California State Railroad Museum, and turn the kitchen into a bakery!

C O N N E C T
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FTC DISCLOSURE: This video is not sponsored.

Music Attribution:

We Wish You a Merry Christmas by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/...)

Deck the Halls-B by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/...)
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I created this video with the YouTube Video Editor (https://www.youtube.com/editor)

2016 Christmas Advent List

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*Photo from Christmas 2011

It's time for our 2016 Christmas Advent List!  In keeping with tradition, I'm posting 25 days of memory making ideas with my family.  As our countdown to Christmas, we're planning activities to spend time together outside of the usual school and work.  As we're still finalizing holidays plans, these are the activities I have planned so far.

Dec 1st--Attend Christmas Play
Dec 2nd--Go to Christmas Tree Lighting/caroling?
Dec 3rd--Go to Christmas Parade
Dec 4th--Make pinecone fairies
Dec 5th--Grow Christmas trees
Dec 6th--Make popsicle mangers
Dec 7th--Go look at Christmas lights
Dec 8th--Wear Christmas socks
Dec 9th--Watch a Christmas movie/ Elf?
Dec 10th--Attend Teddy Bear Festival
Dec 11th--Lydia's Birthday Party
Dec 12th--Do some candy cane experiments
Dec 13th--Make Frozen Themed Nutty Buddies
Dec 14th--???
Dec 15th--Try a new cookie recipe
Dec 16th--Watch a Christmas movie/Frosty the Snowman/ Go sledding
Dec 17th--Lydia's Dance Performance
Dec 18th--Build Gingerbread Houses
Dec 19th--Shop for exchange gifts
Dec 20th--Bake Molasses cookies
Dec 21st--Make Edible Playdough
Dec 22nd--Package Gifts in a Jar
Dec 23rd--Watch a Christmas movie/Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Dec 24th--Play board games
Dec 25th--Monkey Bread Breakfast

What's on your Advent Bucket List?

Monday, November 21, 2016

Ashland, Or's Standing Stone Brewery

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Each year as my husband and I get away, one of our favorite places to eat is Standing Stone Brewery in Ashland, Or.  My husband loves their beers, and we both love how fresh and flavorful the meals are.  

My favorite item on the menu is their Buffalo Burger.  Buffalo is very lean and rich in flavor.  Standing Stone cooks their Buffalo Burger to juicy perfection.  Served with cucumber salad and homemade fries and ketchup, this is my go to item.

Besides the Buffalo Burger, other items to consider include: the Black and Blue Burger, Greek Salad, Margherita Pizza, and Salmon Tacos.

We've also sample a few of their desert offerings.  The Marionberry Cobbler a la Mode has a wonderfully soft crust and the filling was wonderful  And the Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce was surprisingly delightful.  Both were well worth the price and easily shareable.  That is... if you can agree on which one.

What's your favorite Southern Oregon restaurant?

Friday, November 18, 2016

Weekend Links











This Week:

What I Made: I finished a shadowbox for Lydia with her first pair of ballet slippers.  I've been wanting to do it for a long time and finally finished.  We also made Ancient Egypt invitations for a certain birthday girl and I took the kid's pictures, edited them and had them printed.

What I'm Reading:  I just finished a book called Love That Boy.  I picked it up on a whim from the new releases at the library and it's given me a new appreciation for my kids and history.  You can read more about it on this month's bookmarks post.

What I'm Doing:  These days, I'm teaching Lydia to cook.  We're working on an Egypt party and getting ready for the holidays.  With Thanksgiving, Christmas, a birthday, and homeschooling, this time of year can get crazy.

What I'm Watching: Actually I've been watching lots of homeschool videos on Youtube.  :-)

What I'm Enjoying: pumpkin candles... Thanksgiving story books... lots of salads... 


What are you up to?

2016 November Bookmarks

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*Bookmarks is an online book club hosted at Creative2xmom. Here we discuss the books we've read in the past month as well as the suggested reading. Our suggested reading for November was Every Day by David Levithan.

These are the books I read this month:


Love That Boy by Ron Fournier-- I picked up this book on a whim from the library.  It was in the new release section and the subtitle was interesting.  It wasn't what I expected as the majority of the book focuses on the author's autistic son.  However, the book extends far beyond parenting an autistic child and touches on universal parenting themes.  All in all, I took away some great lessons from the book about my expectations on my one kids and focusing on what I truly want for them.

What We Read with the Kids:


Paddington Takes on TV by Michael Bond--  You can't go wrong with a Paddington book.  The trouble this bear gets into is absolutely hilarious.  The chapters are long, but so worth the effort.


Our suggested reading for November was Every Day by David Levithan-- Wow!  Levithan writes a unique and page turning story.  A wakes up every morning in a different body.  Boy or girl... it doesn't make a difference... Always around the same age... always around the same location.  That's just the way it's always been.  Until one day he meets THE GIRL and suddenly he wants to plan for the future.  While there was some questionable material, I really enjoyed it and look forward to reading the sequel.  

So what are your bookmarks this month?

Tell us in the comments about the books you're chewing on. Or link up a review from your own blog. Let's share the books we're finding, good and bad. And give us your thoughts on Every Day by David Leviathan.

And come back December 23rd as we discuss The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein.

*Linked to these Parties

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Pumpkin Cheesecake Ice Cream

*This post was originally published on 11/21/12.  Enjoy!



Thank You, Pinterest!  I have found the yummiest Pumpkin Ice Cream.  And I can make it in my own home.  Dangerous, I know.  And to celebrate, I want to share this yummy recipe with all of you so you can enjoy this seasonal treat with me.  So if you're looking for a new Thanksgiving dessert or you're like me and just can't imagine saying farewell to Pumpkin Ice Cream till next fall, keep reading!

Pumpkin Cheesecake Ice Cream
(from I Wash You Dry)

1 c. Pumpkin
1 c. Sour Cream
8 oz Cream Cheese
2/3 c. Sugar
3 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
1/2 c. Cream


  1. Blend all ingredients together until smooth.
  2. Put in ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's directions.
  3. Serve immediately as soft serve or put in freezer to set.
  4. Serve with crushed graham cracker or dusted with cinnamon/sugar mix.
I love setting this ice cream in the freezer and dusting it with cinnamon/sugar mixture.  The cinnamon/sugar just gives it a slight crunch and it's so yummy!  Hope you all enjoy this recipe as much as I do.  If not, just send your leftovers my way.  :-)

What seasonal treats are you enjoying right now?
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