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Tuesday, November 24, 2009


What is your Black Friday plan of attack this year?

We ALWAYS start at Joann fabrics, in line at 4am. They don't open until 6am. One person gets a cart and the number in the cutting line. The other person fills their arms with as much flannel as they can carry.

It is AMAZING what women will do for $.99/yard flannel!
After that we hit the stores with the sales ending the earliest. Then we head out to the SuperMall in Auburn and enjoy more outlet shopping and lunch at Johnny Rockets!

Why do I tell you my secret? Check out this contest from Twittermoms for a chance to win a $75 Target gift card, we can all use a little extra Christmas money!
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What are Your 5 Favorite Holiday Activities to do with Your Kids?

1. Cutting down the Christmas Tree
2. Going on the Santa Train at Pt. Defiance Park.
3. Zoolights
4. Making Gingerbreadhouses
5. Christmas Eve services

This is part of Twittersmoms Dora's Christmas Carol Contest
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Home entertaining for the Holidays

Let's face it; gifts for home entertaining are great for the holidays. They can be put to immediate use, and everyone loves digging into the goodies. Hickory Farms' gifts, a holiday tradition for nearly 60 years, provide a wide selection of the famous sausages and cheeses in environmentally friendly boxes.

Mom Central and Hickory Farms sent my family one of the delicious gift boxes to try out. We have sent them in the past but never received them. We see their kiosk in the mall at the holiday times.

This gift box was SO yummy! I love the Sweet Mustard spread! And of course all the Sausage and cheeses as well! I think I ate half of a block of cheese and sausage the day it it arrived!

I am really glad we have chosen to ship these to family in the past and in the future since I know know how yummy they really are!

For a limited time this holiday season, for each Party Planner Gift Box sold, Hickory Farms will donate $5 to Share Our Strength, a leading national non-profit organization working to end childhood hunger in America. Additionally, for 40 of these gift items, Hickory Farms provides free military shipping, allowing our troops across the globe to share in holiday traditions (YEAH for Hickory Farms to support our troops!). Visit to learn more about these two opportunities as well as the variety of gift boxes available!

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Hickory Farms and received a Hickory Farms gift basket to facilitate my review.
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Friday, November 20, 2009


Macaroni & Cheese Grandmas Stuffing Recipe

Two 6 oz. bags Mrs. Cubbison's stuffing

1 cup (2 sticks) melted butter or margarine1

1/2 cups chopped celery

1 cup chopped onion

1 1/2 cups broth

1 pound Regular Jimmy Dean sausage

Brown sausage in small pan. Use dripping from sausage, onions and celery over medium cook until onions are translucent. Combine dressing with butter or margarine, sausage, and vegetables. Stir liquid in gradually. Spoon into 2 1/2 or 3-quart greased casserole dish. Bake covered 30 minutes at 350 degrees F. Remove cover and bake 5 to 10 minutes longer for a crisper top. Makes 12 (1/2 cup) servings.

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My baby is no longer a baby

Yes you still are a baby. But each day your little fingers get a little bigger, and your hair grow a little longer.

You are growing up so quickly. I love it and hate it. I can't wait to watch you grow and teach you new things. But I also want you to stay a baby forever despite the sleepless nights.

At night when I am feeding you I love to smell you and feel your soft baby skin. I love to look at your little wrinkles for knuckles.

I don't want to miss anything but feel like I miss everything.

One day you will understand when you are a mommy.

Since you are growing so quickly I want more, now. But know now it not the right time. But I would give you all the brothers and sisters I could if I could afford to bring you all up as you deserve.

I want to bottle up your baby smell and keep your little feet and fingers. I will miss you being a baby but can't wait for you to grow up. I just imagine what you will look like and sound like.

I love you.
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Thursday, November 19, 2009


Help Other This Holiday Season

Every year my mom (who work at a church) gives her volunteers gifts for the holidays at their annual Volunteer Appreciation Tea. Several years back she found a great company that helps improve the lives of people around the world.
Saving lives.
Helping people overcome poverty.
Fighting for social justice.
Oxfam America.
We are an international relief and development organization that creates lasting solutions to poverty, hunger, and injustice. We are part of Oxfam International, a confederation of 13 Oxfams working in more than 100 countries. Together with individuals and local groups in these countries, we save lives, help people overcome poverty, and fight for social justice.
What sets Oxfam apart?
We create partnerships. Rather than provide short-term aid, we work with local communities to create lasting solutions to poverty by helping people address the root causes themselves. We rely on the knowledge and insight of those affected.
We’re independent. Among leading humanitarian organizations, we stand alone in our refusal of US government funds. We accept no money from sources that could compromise our ability to make decisions independently or to speak freely about injustice.
We work locally and globally. Oxfam is deeply committed to our community-based work, but we also recognize that there are larger barriers that can keep people in poverty. To tackle these obstacles, we do national and international policy and advocacy work.
We believe that human rights are fundamental and nonnegotiable. Oxfam adheres to the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which entitles all people to safety, a voice in the decisions that affect them, equality, basic social services, and a secure means of earning a living.
Oxfam’s reach
We’re on the ground around the world. Our regional offices are staffed by experienced people who often come from the regions in which we work and who know the local realities.
We work as part of a confederation. As part of Oxfam International, we’re able to campaign globally, uniting around some of the world’s biggest problems to achieve far-reaching solutions.
We’re there when an emergency strikes. Since Oxam is already working in communities around the world, when disaster strikes, we can be first responders—channeling funds, aid workers, and relief supplies to where they are needed in a matter of hours.

With the holidays right around the corner, thoughts inevitably turn toward the challenging task of buying gifts for friends, family, and colleagues. With an ever-growing list of people to buy for, each year I find myself searching for unique, meaningful gifts that fit my budget.

This year, Oxfam America Unwrapped introduces gifts that help those who need it most. From $20 for a pair of school uniforms donated to a poor community to a $50 goat sent to a struggling farmer to help provide fertilizer and food for his family, Oxfam America Unwrapped offers a convenient, easy way to find something for every one on your list while helping those less fortunate and avoiding the excess of the holiday season. When you buy a gift from, your recipient gets a card with the image of your specific gift and the money goes toward providing lasting solutions to poverty, hunger, and injustice in over 100 countries.
To see how your donation affects the lives of people around the world, log on to the Oxfam America Unwrapped website and click on the "How your donation helps" section. Visitors can learn about Oxfam America's amazing work on projects such as restoring Mangrove trees to Vietnam's coastline and the creation of savings and loan programs in Mali, Senegal, and Cambodia.
I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Oxfam America Unwrapped and received a credit for a gift on the Oxfam site.
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Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Thanksgiving Menu at the Peila's!

This year Thanksgiving is at our house. I can't WAIT! I love family time!
Here is this year's menu with links to the recipes!
Turducken - No I have never had it but my husband wants it SO bad. It is a boneless chicken stuffed in a boneless duck, stuffed in a boneless turkey. This will be interesting! Picking it up the 21st from Stewart's Meats in Yelm.
Bread Machine Rolls
Turkey Gravy
Dream Pie
Green Bean Casserole
Macaroni & Cheese Grandma's Stuffing (recipe to come this week)
Pumpkin Turtle Cheesecake
Deviled Eggs
Veggie Tray
Grandma's Potato Salad (recipe to come this week)

This delicious menu combined with 15 family members will be a holiday to remember!
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Tuesday, November 17, 2009


My Holiday Goals

This year my holiday goals are to spend more time with my family. I always feel so rushed during the holidays of things we MUST do. Then it just flies by! I just want to take this year and savor my husband, kids, family and friends. I want to create lasting memories for years to come.

I want to cut some traditions, the Santa Train, Zoolights, Holiday Food & Gift Show, the list of events is endless. I want a COUPLE simple holiday traditions, one being cutting down our Christmas tree at Mitchells Christmas Tree Farm in Gig Harbor. It is a great start to the season!

I would like to focus more of the meaning of Christmas and less on gifts. I want my kids to know the true meaning of Christmas and be joyful about it. And not worried about what they will have under the tree!

I want to attend church on Christmas Eve. Seems like with all the hustle and bustle we never make it to Christmas Eve services. This year we are going.
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Monday, November 16, 2009


Family Update Time!

We have all been SICK! Can't wait for us all to get well at the same time! I feel it coming soon! We have been sick consecutively for the past 6 weeks. NOT fun! Little Man missed his first 3 days of school and got behind in reading!
Little Princess sounds horrible but if feeling better every day. She is now able to sit herself up from the laying position and still crawling backwards and occasionally forwards. But she is already pulling herself up to her knees and sometimes standing position so I think walking will be sooner than her brother was!
Little Man loves school but seems to have trouble understanding the concept of "personal space". I am constantly getting calls from school that he cannot keeps his hands to himself. So we ordered a book and found some games online to help him out with that. Who knew teaching a child could be SO hard!
He is loving to learn to read. He sounds out all kinds of words and even wrote his letter to Santa a couple of weeks ago. It is SO cute. His teacher told me to let him write phonetically in the beginning so Santa is "santu" and good is "god". This is one to keep for the scrapbook.
Speaking of scrapbooking, I need to get started on that again! Little Man is 5 and I only have made it through his first year! And have not even started on Little Princesses!
Little Man also found a love of board games! He cannot get enough of them.
Well off to clean house I go!
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Tuesday, November 10, 2009


November is National Homeless Youth Awareness Month

This is a great blog post from my friend Dave Curry, Tacoma Rescue Mission.

When most people think of homelessness, young children and teenagers are not the first image that pops into their brain. Instead, they think of a grizzled older gentlemen sleeping in Pioneer Square or in the doorway of a local business.

Yet, the reality is that we have more homeless children and youth at the Tacoma Rescue Mission than we do men in our Shelter. Amazing, but true. There are anywhere from 80-90 kids on any given night that are taking refuge at the Mission.

Our most pressing goal is to make sure that “No Child has to sleep on the streets of Pierce County”. This goal is attainable, but first we people have to know that the problem exists.

Unfortunately, most don’t know that homeless children and youth is a problem so nothing gets done. The question is, what can you do?

Here are just a couple of suggestions:

1. Support agencies, churches and policy makers who understand the problem and are working to find solutions to homelessness. There are people out trying to solve the problem but they are often a voice in the wilderness. By supporting them you are helping to build critical mass toward ending youth homelessness

2. Make this your CAUSE. Let people know through blogging, twitter, facebook, and through personal conversation that you are really concerned about child and youth homelessness and are making a difference.

3. Volunteer to serve. The programs that are solving this problem need tutors, mentors and folks to help do crafts and activities. You can use your gifts to make a big difference in the life of a homeless youth.

Let’s all work together to raise awareness of this growing challenge. We can make a difference and make sure that NO Child has to be homeless in Pierce County.
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Friday, November 6, 2009


Hannah's Socks Holiday Sock Drive

Sometimes a charity comes along that started with a truly inspirational story, such as Hannah's Socks. During Thanksgiving 2004, four-year-old Hannah Turner in Toledo, Ohio helped her mother Doris serve food at a local homeless shelter. While there, she saw a man with holes in his shoes and no socks. Hannah asked her mom if she could offer the man her own socks. The next day, Hannah's mom took her to purchase and distribute socks to local shelters. They collected and donated over 100 pairs of socks around Toledo. Over the next two years, with the help of her Mom, family, and friends, Hannah distributed nearly 10,000 pairs of socks to shelters. Since then, Hannah's Socks has collected over 100,000 pairs of socks for homeless and domestic violence shelters. Today, the organization kicks off the Hannah's Socks Holiday Sock Drive, to collect socks and funds for this year's upcoming winter and holiday season. Inspired by Hannah's story, The Clorox Company became a sponsor of Hannah's Socks this season as Hannah's Socks strives to gather and donate 10,000 pairs of new socks to underprivileged children's programs as well as homeless and domestic violence shelters. Not only do I love the heart-warming message of this story, but also I find it provides a great way to teach our kids about simple, yet profound, ways to give back to those in need around us.

Families can also donate funds and find out more about Hannah's Socks and the Holiday Sock Drive at Follow the charity on Facebook at and Twitter at
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Thursday, November 5, 2009


She's At It Again!

My friend Trisha once again has found a SUPER deal for everyone! Check out her Deal of The Day Free Sunmaid Recipe Book!
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Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Wordless Wednesday

Such a simple life children live!
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Tuesday, November 3, 2009


It’s my Birthday, I’ll Cry if I want to!

Well not really. I don’t want to cry. I just want to take this day and thank God for all he has provided for me. A WONDERFUL family and friends who are irreplaceable.
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Monday, November 2, 2009


It’s Monday!!!

Do you feel tired? I do! Trying to tell a 5-year old and an 8-month old that the time has changed is impossible! I have to say other than the holidays, fall is my least favorite time of the year. It is cold and rainy and I come home in the dark. UGH!! How depressing!

However just this last weekend I started looking forward to spring and summer even more when I found a layout of our new yard and all the YUMMY and BEAUTIFUL plants that the previous homeowner left for us. Kiwis, grapes, rhubarb, blueberries, potatoes, green peppers, tomatoes, apples, plums, cherries, and the list goes on and on! Now I‘m just hoping they are easy to care for since my thumb is not that green!

Little Man is looking forward to Spring to so he can play and eat in the yard. It is really funny he just goes and has a snack when he needs one!

This weekend was fun family time with no stress!

Halloween was cold but not rainy as usual in the Puget Sound. We did a little trick or treating and then the kids went to Aunties house while Milkman and I went off to an adult only party for a couple hours!

Looking forward to celebrating my birthday this coming weekend with my friends and family.

Have a great week readers!
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