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Monday, November 30, 2009

A Feast for the Birds

On Thanksgiving Eve, we decided that it would not be fair to indulge in such a delicious dinner without giving a grand feast to the birds and squirrels as well!

The girls and I traveled over the hills and through the woods to Grandma and Grandpa's house where we mixed up a big batch of bird feeder mix!

Grandpa handmade a bird feeder by drilling 1 inch angled holes into a thick tree branch and attaching a strong eye bolt to the top. Little hands soon went to work stuffing the holes with our bird feeder mix!

After filling 2 bird feeder logs, we used some gathered pine cones and filled every nook and cranny with the mix. Tying twine to the tops of the pine cones made them easy to hang from the branches outside!

My mom kindly gave me the recipe for the Bird Feeder Mix that she has used for years. Unfortunately, she was not so willing to give me her secret Thanksgiving stuffing recipe.

I hope she will grace me with that addictive recipe one of these years. It is simply the best!

Bird Suet Food for Feeder Log

1 cup peanut butter, chunky is nice

1 cup vegetable shortening
3 cups cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup birdseed

In a large bowl mix all ingredients with hands. If too sticky, add more cornmeal.

Keep any extra in a plastic bag in your refrigerator for refilling.

Feeder Log:

The log should be about 2 inches in diameter, and about 1 1/2 feet long.
Screw a hanging hook into the top.
Drill several 1 inch holes around the log, at a downward angle.
Press the bird food tightly into the holes.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

And every day...

Happy Thanksgiving to all! I will be spending the day with the ones I love the most in this world. For that, I am forever grateful.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Christmas Countdown

A day away from Thanksgiving and I am already decorating for Christmas! Can you blame me? Only 29 days left!

I love our holiday wreath against my newly painted red front door! A perfect greeting to welcome us home after our delicious Thanksgiving dinner hosted at my parent's house tomorrow night.

18 guests last count! The braid bread I make every year is currently rising as I write this post.

Today we are heading over to Grandma and Grandpa's house for a holiday card photo shoot with the girls! Afterward, we plan on making a
Pine Cone Feeder feast for the birds and squirrels!

What holiday fun do you have planned for today?

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget
that the highest appreciation is not to utter words,
but to live by them.
- John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Friday, November 20, 2009

Seventh Generation

A couple happy little packages arrived on my doorstep this morning! I was one of 10 randomly selected winners for a Healthy Home package hosted by Mom it Forward.

Fantastic! I am completely set for all the holiday cleaning I'll be doing these next couple of weeks!

I know just where to begin too! One of the twins pulled my half-full coffee cup onto the living room floor today. While I can certainly live with the delicious aroma of peppermint mocha coffee, a barefoot walk through the sticky aftermath is not so cool.

Links from Seventh Generation's website:

Wishing you all a Happy, Healthy Weekend!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Making Autumn Lanterns

Crafting with 5 little ones can be tricky business. You must be prepared to spend an entire day on just one project!

We made autumn lanterns out of clean jars (baby food jars, salsa jars, spaghetti jars). Sometimes I feel my criteria for a certain jarred food item lies in whether or not the jar has a smooth surface for future crafting.

Setting up the craft area before calling in the troops is key.

First, I cleaned and dried the jars. Each girl picked a tissue paper color to decorate and I cut the paper in strips to fit their particular size jar.

The twins were occupied with snacks and we were ready to go!

We painted a line on the outside of the jar with Mod Podge and then placed a strip of tissue paper on top. Continuing, until the entire jar was covered.

After the jars were completely covered, we let them dry. We were not particularly fussy about the top lid edge or the underneath. The top we planned on covering with ribbon.

There was a brief intermission with a session of playing outside while the jars dried. Then, a coat of Mod Podge was applied over top of the tissue paper to seal it.

While this final layer was drying, I proceeded to create endless amounts of tiny maple leaves using a hole punch.

Also during this time, Grace took a much needed nap, Daddy came home, dinner was made and consumed, and Sophia put together every puzzle in the house after a spontaneous wardrobe change to a bride dress (but, of course).

We then came back to attack our unfinished jars with an arsenal of paper leaves, ribbon from Maya Road, and (the greatest invention for crafting with children) glue dots!

Sophia shows off her tiny leaf decoration!

Grace wakes up and eats scrambled eggs for dinner!

Silly Isabella tries to sneak into the craft area.

A dance party is held!

And then finally... the finished project!

Our beautiful lanterns..worth the wait!

Perhaps for some more than others.

And the winner is...


image @ WeHeartIt

Stephanie commented that her favorite eco-friendly item from
CSNBaby was the Peek-a-boo ball!

Congratulations on winning the ABC Touchy Block set from Wonderworld! What a wonderful start to the holidays!

Thank you to all the commenters! Your participation made this giveaway a success!

*CSNBaby is offering 10% off your entire order through 11/15/09! Enter code 10PERCENT at checkout! *some exclusions apply.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Illusionist

"From the moment we enter this life we are in the flow of it. We measure it and we mock it, but we cannot defy it. We cannot even speed it up or slow it down. Or can we? Have we not each experienced the sensation that a beautiful moment seemed to pass too quickly, and wished that we could make it linger? Or felt time slow on a dull day, and wished that we could speed things up a bit?"

Mike and I watched this movie last night. It was in theaters in 2006 but if you missed it, go rent it! It was great (even though I was exhausted and wasn't too sure I would make it to the end)!

See the movie trailer

Have you seen any great movies recently? Do tell!

*Tomorrow night (11/12/09) ends the
giveaway for an ABC Block Set by Wonderworld offered at CSNBaby. Enter *here* for a chance!

Friday, November 6, 2009

CSNBaby Giveaway!

I was contacted by CSNbaby to host a giveaway this week! CSN has over 200 stores and are continuing to grow!

CSN stores has secure online shopping, a 30-day return policy and a fantastic selection of nursery decor
and gliders that are offered to ship FREE of charge!

Don't you just love "Free Shipping" deals? I know I do.

So, I did a bit of online window shopping and was pleased to find a "Go Green" section on their website!

They have over 1100 eco-friendly products listed!

Here were some items that have already landed on my holiday wish list!

1-5 Stacker Activity Toy by Wonderworld

Heavy Duty Toy Truck by Wonderworld

House Shape Sorter by Wonderworld

CSNbaby has a great selection of baby bedding sets, also! They even offer organic choices! I am particularly fond of this bedding set by gus and max.
The modern pattern and bright autumn colors would look fantastic in any nursery, boy or girl! Plus, all gus and max products are produced in an eco-friendly manner without formaldehyde or any harsh dyes!

So, now for the best part! I was given the choice to keep an item for myself to review or offer an item to my lovely readers! I chose YOU!

This ABC Block Set by Wonderworld retails for $45. The set is made from environmentally friendly rubberwood and non-toxic water-based paints. Plus, a fabric bag is included for storage. Recommended for ages 3+, it is a perfect gift for the holidays!

To enter to win: (Cananda & USA residents welcome)

*Check out the
"Go Green" section of CSNbaby and let me know in the comments which item you most adore.

For an additional entry:

*Retweet the phrase below and link the tweet in a separate comment.

"Win an Eco-friendly ABC Block Set from
CSNbaby @MooMama! PLS RT!"

(FYI: To link a tweet, click on the "time stamp" under your tweet. This will bring up the url address via Twitter which you can copy and link in a comment!)

Good Luck!
The winner will be chosen via
Giveaway ends November 12th @ midnight EST.Winner be contacted via email with 24 hours to respond.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Sesame Street Celebrates 40 Years!

Sesame Street celebrates their 40th anniversary today! What a perfect opportunity to view some of the classics!

Did you know Sesame Street has its own youtube channel? It pretty much kept me busy all morning!

Here are some of the tunes that I could recite from heart without missing a beat:

Well, I could post Sesame Street memories forever!

Oh, one last one, though. This scene used to completely terrify my brothers! It remains a constant source of ridiculing decades later. Not like we need
any more help in that department. Hah!

Check out:

Take a Sesame Street Song Quiz from Mental Floss
(I got 10 out of 10... just saying.)

Make your own Pinball Number Count Clock from
Sesame Street's Pinball animation.

Print out crazy amounts of
Sesame Street coloring pages!

Buy Christmas Eve on Sesame Street on DVD! As children, we would watch this faithfully every year on Christmas Eve. (Still do!)

Find games, videos and more at the
official Sesame Street website!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Farewell October

I am taking a break from my frantic cleaning of Halloween decorations to post about our Halloween adventures!

The minute the hour strikes midnight and the calendar turns the page to November... I am utterly and completely, 100% DONE with pumpkins, witches, cobwebs and spiders. UGH!

I begin to feel a little like my tired pirate, Sophia, pictured below.

Don't get me wrong, though! Oh how I adore October! The leaves changing; falling from the trees and skittering across the ground. I love the pumpkin pie and apple cakes; fresh bread warm from the oven and hot cider on windy, rainy nights! Autumn could go on forever and ever in this house!

Every year for Halloween, we host a party at my house. It has become easier for us as a family of 7 to stay in the neighborhood, trick-or-treating and then having family and friends over for a spooky celebration!

We used to travel to each grandparent and great-grandparent's home to visit on Halloween night but it is much easier for everyone to come to us now!

Our Halloween night was fantastic! Complete with apple-bobbing and Best Costume ballots; candlelight and black light. This year even included tarot card readings by myself (dressed as Sybil Trelawney from the Harry Potter books!)

Here are the pictures of the girls dressed in their scary costumes and some close-ups of a long night of pumpkin carving! Enjoy!