Mom’s Sugar Cookies

Feb 23, 2015

Ingre­di­ents 1/2 Cup But­ter, Soft­ened 3/4 Cup Sug­ar 1 Egg 1/2 Tea­spoon Vanil­la Extract 2 Cups All-Pur­pose Flour 1/4 Tea­spoon Salt 1/2 Tea­spoon Bak­ing Pow­der 2–3 Table­spoon Milk Direc­tions Pre­heat oven to 375 Degrees. Cream but­ter and sug­ar in mix­er bowl until light and fluffy. Add egg; beat until blend­ed. Mix in vanil­la. Add sift­ed mix­ture of flour, salt and bak­ing pow­der alter­nate­ly with milk; mix well. Chill dough until firm 15–30 min. Roll to a 1/4‑inch thick­ness on floured sur­face. Cut with 4 to 5‑inch cook­ie cut­ter. Arrange on greased cook­ie sheet or one that is lined with parch­ment paper. I pre­fer parch­ment paper. Bake for 5–7 min­utes. Mom’s oven is 5 min. mine is 7 min. Cool cook­ies on cool­ing racks com­plete­ly then add icing. This recipe makes about 1 1/2 Dozen Cook­ies....

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Weekend of Family Fun

Dec 23, 2014

This past week­end, my sis­ter and her fam­i­ly came up for the week­end. Her Christ­mas gift to Brit­tain was a tick­et to see the Cow­boys play the Colts, Sun­day. It was­n’t the game Brit­tain was hop­ing for but it was a fun time spent with his mom. Since he isn’t able to go to Beau­mont for Christ­mas I decid­ed to have a fam­i­ly Christ­mas par­ty for him at our house. Sat­ur­day morn­ing, Made­lyn and Bel­lie made snow­men out of donuts for break­fast. These were a big hit with the girls. All you need are pow­dered donuts, orange jel­ly beans for the nose and mini choco­late morsels for the mouth and eyes. A cup of hot choco­late is a great drink to go with the snow­man donuts too. Sat­ur­day evening, we had our fam­i­ly par­ty....

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Fun Getting To Know You Christmas Questions

Dec 19, 2014

Here are some fun get­ting to know you Christ­mas ques­tions you can share with friends and fam­i­ly at a fam­i­ly gath­er­ing or par­ty. I always find it inter­est­ing in how oth­ers cel­e­brate the hol­i­day sea­son. If you don’t cel­e­brate Christ­mas you can eas­i­ly change the ques­tions to fit your hol­i­day cel­e­bra­tion. My sis­ter and her fam­i­ly arrive late tonight and I can­not wait to have some fun with every­one. You know I’m on “best week­end ever” notice for Made­lyn and Isabel­la. I LOVE being their aunt. I have a week­end of fun all planned out that includes lots of hot choco­late, s’mores, cook­ie bak­ing, hol­i­day light look­ing and presents. It’s going to be a fab­u­lous week­end. 1. Wrap­ping paper or gift bags? This year it’s all about Gift Bags.  2. Real tree or arti­fi­cial? We...

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I believe…

Dec 17, 2014

Orig­i­nal­ly Post­ed Decem­ber 12, 2011 and to this day it’s still one of my favorites. Just recent­ly my 8 year old niece was ask­ing if San­ta was real. My mom asked Made­lyn what she thought to which she replied, I think he is real. Mom left it at that and Made­lyn went on her mer­ry way. I remem­ber when I found out about San­ta and for a moment I was sad but then dis­cov­ered since I had younger sib­lings I was in a spe­cial secret club… I got to be a secret elf and help with wrap­ping and shop­ping which I just loved. I found this part just as reward­ing if not more on Christ­mas morn­ing. Watch­ing my broth­er and sis­ter run down the stairs, through the hall­way and into the liv­ing room star­ing in amaze­ment...

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Weekend of Holiday Decorating

Dec 8, 2014

The Christ­mas tree is the first item to go up in our house dur­ing the hol­i­day sea­son. Ans­ley designed this “Pep­per­mint” tree a few years ago and we’ve kept it since. It’s a fun tree that is easy to put up and take down and lets face it dur­ing the hol­i­days easy is the key word. Once the tree is all set Ans­ley and I start to plan how we want to dec­o­rate the house. This year it is all about lights. In the den, we decid­ed to hang three wreaths with white lights and some gar­land with red and white lights in the bay win­dow. We added white lights on the fire­place man­tel and I accent­ed it with some of my favorite vin­tage mer­cury glass orna­ments, gar­land and green depres­sion glass. I say “I” accent­ed...

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Teeny Tiny Needle Felted Terrarium

Oct 20, 2014

I’ve been in Beau­mont help­ing mom and dad with a few of their aches and pains these past few weeks so while I’m sit­ting in the evenings I’ve been doing some nee­dle felt­ing. Over the week­end, I decid­ed to give it a go at mak­ing a tee­ny tiny ter­rar­i­um. The jar for this ter­rar­i­um is only 2″ x 2″. Which means the mush­rooms and gnome house are real­ly tiny. The tallest mush­room mea­sures 1″ and the gnome house is only .75″ and I LOVE the tee­ny tiny acorn cap used as the roof. Mom and dad have some super tiny acorns on their oak tree that are per­fect for these lit­tle hous­es. It’s a bat­tle between me and the squir­rel on who gets them first. I plan on mak­ing sev­er­al more of these tee­ny tiny nee­dle felt­ed ter­rar­i­ums because...

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Needle Felted Doll

Oct 14, 2014

I’m in Beau­mont for a bit get­ting mom and dad tak­en care of, they are nick­named Gimp 1 and Gimp 2, at the moment. Dad has a nerve in his leg both­er­ing him and mom has a knee that wont straight­en. Between the two of them they are quite the pair. When I arrived last week my youngest niece, Isabel­la came down with a 24 hour tum­my bug so while watch­ing her for a few hours I made her a nee­dle felt­ed doll. She picked the wool col­ors and instruct­ed me on how she want­ed her doll to look. Col­lab­o­rat­ing with kids on a project is real­ly fun. She loves her doll and I was ever so hap­py to make it for her. The tum­my bug hit my niece Made­lyn, last night. I’m real­ly hop­ing...

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Home and Missing the Old Family Homestead

Sep 15, 2014

I just returned from my year­ly vis­it to Buck­han­non, WV with mom and dad. I always love dri­ving them up to see fam­i­ly. We have the best time togeth­er sit­ting in the car for 19 plus hours and lit­er­al­ly laugh until we cry. It’s always a won­der­ful adven­ture with these two. But once home I miss see­ing them every day and miss enjoy­ing the quiet­ness of sit­ting on my aunt and uncle’s porch lis­ten­ing to birds as they fly by, lis­ten­ing to a turkey or two and watch­ing the deer eat pears and apples from trees plant­ed by my great great aunts and uncles many many years ago. I’m tru­ly a nature girl stuck smack dab in the mid­dle of the burbs. Since fam­i­ly his­to­ry is so impor­tant to me I thought I would...

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FREE Shipping In My Etsy Shop

Aug 26, 2014

Next week, I will be on a mini road trip with mom and dad. I’ll be dri­ving them to Evans­ville, ID to see the LST-325 ship which is  sim­i­lar to the ship LST-557 that my grand­fa­ther Clay­ton Spin­ney, (dad’s father) was a mechan­ic on dur­ing WWII. Before gram­pa passed away and the last time I saw him, he shared with me a heart­break­ing sto­ry of see­ing his best friend killed on deck. That was the only time I ever saw my gram­pa have sad­ness on his face but I’m glad he shared the sto­ry. After we tour this ship we will then head over to Buck­han­non, WV to see mom’s side of the fam­i­ly at the old home­stead I love so much. I sure hope my house is still stand­ing when I return home. Alan, Ans­ley...

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Being an Aunt…

May 29, 2014

Means you can sur­prise your nieces before bed for a sur­prise adven­ture in their jam­mies. Means you can load your nieces up on a Son­ic Shake sug­ar high right before bed, take them home and let your sis­ter deal with their sug­ar high. Means you will crawl out of bed bright and ear­ly to take them to school for Muffins with Mom & their Book Fair. Means the only pay­ment you want for get­ting up super ear­ly to attend Muffins with Mom and the Book Fair is a sweet self­ie with your nieces plus one best friend. Means you get to throw a sur­prise mini birth­day par­ty for a very spe­cial 7 year old when she comes home from school. Being an aunt is the next best thing to being a mom. Aman­da, Brit­tain, Made­lyn and...

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Good Junkin Spots

May 28, 2014

Last week, while head­ing down to mom and dad’s place I stopped at one of my favorite junkin spots near New Waver­ly. This place is filled with all kinds of stuff and the best part is you nev­er know what you’ll find. Every time I’ve gone I’ve found some­thing awe­some. One of the places that is a must go to spot every sin­gle time I’m home is the Sour Lake Antique Mall. This place is filled with lots of amaz­ing things and I look with an eagle eye in every sin­gle booth. If you’re ever in or around Sour Lake this antique mall is worth the stop to shop. I found some awe­some things this past vis­it. This time my finds were all about vin­tage jew­els. I found so many fab­u­lous pieces that I can­not wait to use in my art...

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Garden of The Gods ~ Colorado Springs, Colorado

May 1, 2014

Gar­den of the Gods was first called Red Rock Cor­ral. Then, in August 1859, two sur­vey­ors who helped to set up Col­orado City explored the site. One of the sur­vey­ors, M. S. Beach, sug­gest­ed that it would be a “cap­i­tal place for a beer gar­den.” His com­pan­ion, the young Rufus Cable, awestruck by the impres­sive rock for­ma­tions, exclaimed, “Beer Gar­den! Why it is a fit place for the gods to assem­ble. We will call it the Gar­den of the Gods. The row of hog­backs. The Kiss­ing Camels for­ma­tion is the near­est hog­back to the right of mom and dad. The camel’s heads are above a hole in the rock where the sky can be seen. It’s hard to see the hole in some of the pho­tos. But if you look close­ly you can see it in the pho­to above. The...

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Rocky Mountain Memories ~ Estes Park, Colorado

Apr 30, 2014

All of last week I was in Estes Park, Col­orado with mom and dad. We had a fab­u­lous time explor­ing every inch of Estes Park and Rocky Moun­tain Nation­al Park. I loved being able to com­bine work with play espe­cial­ly with mom and dad. They are a blast to trav­el with and guar­an­tees lot of laugh until you cry moments. Through­out the week, I will be shar­ing loads of pho­tos tak­en dur­ing our adven­ture. First I have to tell you about the fun I had teach­ing class­es at Rocky Moun­tain Mem­o­ries April 25th & 26th. Cheryl Grigs­by is liv­ing my dream. Seri­ous­ly I’m not kid­ding, she has a scrap­book store, an adorable rental cab­in and a home in Estes Park. Oh how this Texas girl wants to move to Estes Park so bad­ly. I tru­ly belong...

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Observations from an Alcoholic’s Sister ~ Emotions

Apr 16, 2014

There are so many dif­fer­ent emo­tions fam­i­ly mem­bers of alco­holics feel. One emo­tion I def­i­nite­ly felt was anger. I was angry because of what I saw Richard’s alco­holism doing to him and to our fam­i­ly, espe­cial­ly mom. I felt as though Richard was being self­ish and unap­pre­cia­tive of all that mom and dad were doing in hopes of him get­ting sober and it made me furi­ous. I under­stand alco­holism is a brain dis­ease but like any dis­ease most do what they can to con­trol or get rid of their dis­ease, most don’t let the dis­ease con­trol them or end their life with­out some sort of fight. Alco­holism is a beast to con­trol and I saw first­hand how strong the crav­ings were but I still felt Richard could have tried a lit­tle hard­er to gain...

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Observations from an Alcoholic’s Sister ~ Their Friends

Apr 9, 2014

Their Friends ~ talk about a real­ly hard issue for alco­holics. I feel alco­holics need to sev­er the major­i­ty if not all of their friend­ships in order to remain sober. This is because most alco­holics have friends who are social drinkers, are alco­holics them­selves and they may even have some who are drug abusers; I know all of this was true for Richard. In order for a recov­er­ing alco­holic to find the strength to remain sober, they can­not keep the same group of friends. If the friends an alco­holic con­tin­ues to hang around drinks or uses drugs in their pres­ence I feel those new to sobri­ety are on a fast track to relapse. If you real­ly think about it, how is a recov­er­ing alco­holic just com­ing out of rehab going to stay sober while...

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From The Archives ~ Paper Bag Easter Basket

Apr 8, 2014

This tuto­r­i­al was orig­i­nal­ly post­ed on my blog, April 11, 2011. Paper Bag East­er Bas­kets are fun to cre­ate and with East­er just around the cor­ner I thought I would re-share it. I love the sim­plic­i­ty of brown paper bags and think they make the per­fect East­er bas­kets. I remem­ber mak­ing them in grade school and being so excit­ed to bring them home to show mom and dad. This bas­ket can be left plain or altered using pat­terned paper, stamps, inks or paint. You can care­ful­ly use any of the many Fiskars bor­der punch­es to cre­ate gor­geous edges along the top of your bas­ket or you could take a hole punch and punch a hole just below where the scal­lop meets, thread a rib­bon through the holes and cre­ate a pret­ty bow by tying...

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10 Years

Mar 28, 2014

Today marks the 10 year anniver­sary of my brother’s death. Ten years is a long time yet it still feels like yes­ter­day, I was enjoy­ing a fab­u­lous morn­ing sun­rise train­ing my gold­en retriev­er, Son­ny in the field. I went to my car to get us some water and noticed I had a bazil­lion missed calls on my phone. I called home ask­ing what was up and I will nev­er for­get Alan’s words,” Its Richard.” He didn’t have to say anoth­er word, I knew he was gone. I could hear it in his voice and I felt it deep in my soul, my lit­tle broth­er was gone. At that moment, my life and the lives of my fam­i­ly changed for­ev­er. Mom and Dad lost a son, my sis­ter and I lost a broth­er, my daughter’s,...

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Home For Christmas

Dec 27, 2013

This year, we seemed to cel­e­brat­ed Christ­mas a lit­tle bit at a time. We had a fam­i­ly get togeth­er with Ter­ri and Laren at their loft on the 23rd then a small Christ­mas cel­e­bra­tion at our house Christ­mas Eve.  Christ­mas morn­ing, my nephew Brit­tain and I head­ed down to Beau­mont to see fam­i­ly and cel­e­brate Christ­mas with my par­ents. Alan and Ans­ley both had to work on the 26th so they could­n’t come along but when I return home they’ll have a small Christ­mas cel­e­bra­tion with the gifts I bring back. We arrived at mom and dad’s house in the late after­noon and every­one was ready to exchange gifts. It’s always a flur­ry of excite­ment dur­ing Christ­mas at mom and dad’s. I’ve been very blessed to always have an amaz­ing Christ­mas. Mom and Dad...

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Something Fun to Entertain the Kids

Dec 4, 2013

When I was a lit­tle girl around the age of 3 or 4 my mom would go to an elder­ly lady’s house to do her hair. This lady had an awe­some album filled with greet­ing cards she put togeth­er for lit­tle ones to flip through. I remem­ber sit­ting on the floor look­ing at page after page in this album. I LOVED it so I thought of a fun idea for young kids dur­ing hol­i­day gath­er­ings. Find some old Christ­mas cards and if you are like me you have lots. I found this one that works per­fect­ly for this type of project. You will want one that you can cut the face out of (snow­man, gin­ger­bread man, San­ta, Elf, Rein­deer even ani­mals will work great). Using a craft knife cut out the face on your...

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Cyber Monday Etsy Sale

Dec 2, 2013

I hope you and your fam­i­ly had a won­der­ful Thanks­giv­ing. I know I have a few added pounds from mom’s awe­some turkey, stuff­ing and desserts. After din­ner every­one was stuffed and all us adults need­ed naps except Made­lyn and Bel­lie, they were run­ning around like the ener­giz­er bun­ny and were glued to Ans­ley’s hip. Made­lyn and Bel­lie LOVE Ans­ley. After 50 years, mom and dad final­ly have a table to sit the entire fam­i­ly. This has been one of mom’s wish­es for years and I’m so glad it final­ly came true. Thanks­giv­ing din­ner was a won­der­ful way to break it in too.  From left to right are Mom, Laren (son-in-law), Ter­ri (daugh­ter), Aman­da (niece), Steve (Aman­da’s boyfriend), Dad (San­ta), Brit­tain (nephew), Bel­lie (niece), Ans­ley (daugh­ter), Me and Made­lyn (niece). Today, through Dec. 16th I’m...

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Old Fashioned Sugar Cookie Recipe

Nov 26, 2013

This is the sug­ar cook­ie my mom has used for years and every­one in the fam­i­ly loves them. I thought since lots of you will be start­ing your hol­i­day bak­ing I would share the recipe. My fam­i­ly can devour a batch of these in min­utes. They are...

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