Monday, December 19, 2011

ITs Christmas Time

So as our family tries to get more missions focused, I am frequently reminded that we are terrible neighbors.   We don't know hardly any of them, don't really talk to any of them, and those who we do know we aren't on very good terms with due to their children being bullies.....   all that to say I have been prompted to be more Christlike to our neighbors this Christmas.

So feeling the need to invest in them, I decided to give Christmas baskets this year.   On a limited budget with 7 neighbors surrounding us I did what every thrifty woman does......heads to her mother in laws basement for great things to decorate said baskets with.   Then I proceeded to scour Pinterest for inexpensive gift ideas I could make.   So thought I had come across the perfect cute gift to make - I soon found out I am not as talented as said blogger and my jars of cookie mix looked retarded.  So, I changed gears and made them my own way and they turned out far better.   So this is my version of the cowboy cookie jar gift.

I cannot take claim to the recipe inside the jar so here is the site I used for the ingredients inside the jar.

As far as the outside - here's the lowdown.

Items you will need:
12 1/2 inch stripes of ribbon
6 1/2 x 7 1/2 inch squares of fabric cut in half for bandanas  (roughly)
Labels that say Cowboy Cookies and Labels with instructions for baking ( I will post so you can print)

1:  Fill the jar using the above recipe.
2:  Hot glue on 12 1/2 inches of red ribbon about an inch from the bottom of the jar.
3:  Glue or Double side tape the label on.
4:  Glue or Double side tape the instructions on the top.
5:  Roll the bandana material at the top 1/2 inch, two times, put the bandana on so that it is to the left side of the front and then glue on both ends in the back. 

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Friday, December 16, 2011

All Aboard

The final leg of our vacation was an adventure planned just for Andrew buddy.   We debarked from our floating home of 7 days and headed for a suprise destination.   Arriving 20 minutes later with a very excited young man after he noticed our new location.....the Amtrak station of Miami.

We did have a two hour wait - but Andrew could hardly control his excitement as we joined the line to board the train.   "All aboard to Orlando, FL aboard the Silver Star line."  announced the ticket man.   "Wow, the Silver Star line.  Dad did you hear that?  It has 2 lounge cars, a dining car, a sleeping car, and a bunch of passenger cars." Andrew said.   His excitement was contagious and we were already to get on with our final leg of our trip.  

We settled into our sleeping car and I was so grateful we didn't have to get into another car where Tanner had to be strapped in somewhere.     About an hour into our trip the porter came and told us the dining car was ready to serve lunch and off we went to enjoy our first of two meals about our train.

Tanner and I napped after lunch - the two big kids relaxed - watched some movies and the scenery flying by outside their top bunk window.  Eric studied for a Microsoft test he was scheduled to take upon our return to Minnesota.    All in all, it was another fun Skillestad adventure!

Pirate Adventure

Our Christmas cruise with my family was quite an adventure.   The Blatzheims and Skillestads - took a break from the Carnival Liberty and boarded the Black Pearl.   The kids had such a great time interacting with the pirates and I'm sure it is something they will remember for the rest of their lives......well all except for Tanner probably.
Captain Andrew
Courtney & Lydia learning the dagger

My Mermaid

So Courtney Mae has a major infatuation with mermaids this year.   She begged and begged for us to buy her a tail so she could swim like one.   After much searching around the internet I decided that was not going to happen.   Who spends $100 on something she will hardly ever be able to wear?   Not me!   So I did the next best thing and ordered her a fin for $30 and purchased some fabric for $2 and did the best I could to create one myself.   Even though the stiching is less than beautiful - it fit her perfect and she looked so cute!

Thanksgiving/Christmas Dinner

This year I hosted Thanksgiving/Christmas for our family since many of my immediate family will be gone over Christmas this year. I spent a long time on Pinterest trying to find just the right table decorations - but to no avail. So I did the next best thing and spent many hours waltzing around Joann's looking for something not to insanely expensive. I found for 60% off this snowflake fabric, some wooden snowflakes I painted white and glittered, and pulled out some old ribbon and blue Christmas balls to finish it off. Not as amazing as I had pictured it in my head - but was still beautiful. The dinner was wonderful and we all had a special day together - I guess that is the real purpose anyway.