All posts by Susie @ Kirby's Korner Blog

First and foremost, I am a daughter of the King. I am also a proud (square dancing) Momma of 9 precious kiddos! I thank God for each and everyday He has given me and for the days ahead. I know we are not promised tomorrow and we need to cherish every minute of everyday we have here. We need to hold our loved ones close and make sure they know how much we love them and care for them. I have been through a lot in my time here on earth and I know God is preparing me for a bigger plan. I do not know what His plan is for me and sometimes I don't understand. I know that I must keep my eyes on Him and keep my faith in His promises. I am not perfect and I do not pretend to be. I am sinner saved by grace and I just want to bring honor and glory to His name. I pray that my blog will help to inspire others and that they may find hope and encouragement in knowing they are not alone in their battles. Let us each strive to be a light to others in their darkness. That our light may lead others to Him and cause others to come to know Him. I pray that everyone who reads this may be touched by His loving hand and receive Him so that they may also be heirs to His glorious kingdom.

Happy St. Nicholas Day 2018!

**This post may contain affiliate links to products we use.

Well the countdown to Christmas has officially started here. The kids are super excited after St. Nick stopped by sometime late last night. They had left their stockings on the table before bed and woke up to a big surprise!

They had been talking about our previous St. Nicholas Day celebrations and how they forgot to put their stockings out last year… Oops!

Don’t worry… that heater was not on ‘HEAT’ as we only have the flames going this morning  but it has been doing great job at keeping us warm and cozy so far.

St. Nick did not disappoint with a variety of small toys, coloring books, and other holiday items plus a tiny bit of candy. He also left a couple of new books and a holiday music cd for them. They are looking forward to a midday snack of gingerbread cookies and hot cocoa too!

He didn’t forget about the grownups either and even left a small gift for Nanny J and Papa O. He left Momma some much needed kitchen items, some holiday jewelry, and CHOCOLATE!

Santa had even decorated a little bit and put these cute covers on the chairs.

And he must’ve met up with the UPS man at some point to grab our new Advent wreath for us. It had been stuck in delivery status as the driver couldn’t locate our house.

It is so much prettier than it looked on the internet! I had a hard time deciding what color to get but thought this was a good choice even though it isn’t the traditional Christmas colors. Now we are just waiting for the candles to arrive. After all this excitement it was time for breakfast:

This year I added the chocolate chips to the pancakes while on the griddle for our Santa Claus PancakesI forgot to pick up some fresh strawberries and blueberries so we made do with what we had here. I also didn’t realize that Mr. Jacob had added a couple of extra chocolate chips to Santa’s beard… lol!

The kids thought they were cute and very yummy. Later on we will be watching a few videos about St. Nick and taking a little about the history of Santa Claus.

If you want to check out some other activities please see St. Nicholas Day 2016 for some additional links.

Happy St. Nicholas Day everyone!

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Smushed Taters In The CrockPot

Oh my! I think I’ve finally recovered from my Thanksgiving food coma… have you? I’ve tried to hold off on posting too many new recipes lately because some of you may not even want to think about cooking so soon after Thanksgiving but I just had to share this one. These are so good I could probably eat a whole batch by myself!

A while back I posted our Smushed Taters recipe and that was a hit in our home. Well, at one of the Thanksgiving square dance dinners we attended there was a dish that reminded me of this recipe except that it had been made in the crockpot. Hmmmm…. what? Why had I never thought of this. I didn’t get a chance to get the recipe but here is how we made our version last night. Which was another smashing hit when served with Steamed Asparagus and Broiled Parmesan Tilapia!

I think I want to give this a try with red skin potatoes or cauliflower at some point.

Smushed Taters In The CrockPot

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 potatoes, peeled and washed well
  • 1/2 stick butter, cut into pats
  • non stick spray
  • Salt and pepper (We like Lawry’s Garlic Salt)
  • shredded cheese
  • chives, optional
  • bacon bits, optional

Directions:

Spray your crockpot well with nonstick spray.

Place the potatoes in the crockpot and cover. Cook on low for 4-5 hours or on high for 2-4 hours, just until tender. (I didn’t add any water but you may want to add a little if they seem like they are drying out.)

Take a potato masher or large fork and slightly mash the potatoes.

Place the pats of butter on top.

Season as desired.

Top with shredded cheese, chives, and bacon bits. Cover and cook an additional 5-10 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Serve as is or with sour cream.

St. Nicholas Day 2016

Oh my gosh! This seems like it has been so long ago but the kids have been talking about St. Nicholas Day and what they got. They are so excited about it coming up that I really need to make sure to keep up with this tradition. Check out the post for some ideas.

Kirby's Korner Blog

**This post does contain affiliate links.

This was our first year celebrating St. Nicholas Day here at our house. I am hoping to keep this new tradition and continue to build on it as we go through the years. Below are some of the ways that we celebrated today:

The night before, after our Advent Study, we set out our stockings. Many traditions involve setting out shoes, but we chose to use our stockings because Momma didn’t want to put the shoes on the table. The kids also made some chocolate chip cookies with DD17. Then they left a glass of milk and a plate of cookies for St. Nick to snack on.

st-nick-day

Sometime after the kids went to bed St. Nick made a visit by our house.

stnick.jpg

They each received a book, a coloring book, a small toy, and a few candies. (Santa picked all of these up at…

View original post 265 more words

Our Favorite DIY Christmas Decorations For Kids in 2018

Have you been crazy busy this first week of December? How many of you have finished your shopping? How many haven’t bought the first gift yet? Well, I have been busy and my shopping is somewhere in between the two but I have a few ideas here that the kids can help with and they could double as really great gifts for grandparents and family members too!

Some of these links are affiliate links but there is no extra fee if you purchase through these links… it just means we may get a teeny weeny kickback which helps support our blog and our family.

I also have a TON of ideas saved on my Pinterest… my newest board is Christmas Crafts 2018. Here’s a screenshot of just some of the ideas I’ve found:

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I think we are going to get really busy with crafts so be sure to keep an eye out for lots of pics! If you aren’t feeling crafty or just don’t have time to shop for craft supplies then check out the following links for Amazon deals that can be shipped right to your home and most of them include everything you need to start crafting and keep the kids busy while you finish your shopping!

The neatest Christmas crafting idea I found is this Tree Mendous Ornament Decorating Kit:

I’ve got this (and an extra for a gift) in my Amazon cart right now plus a set of extra ornaments to go with it. Continue reading Our Favorite DIY Christmas Decorations For Kids in 2018

Easy As Pie Blackberry Dumplings

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! We did and we ate so much good food and will be eating some delicious leftovers for a few days. One of the best desserts was the Blackberry Dumplings I made in the crock pot (they can be made in the oven too). This recipe is similar to the Blackberry Pig in a Poke recipe but so much easier!

The caramel sauce and nutmeg are optional but they make it so much better. I think this would go nicely with some vanilla ice cream on the side too! You could also experiment with other fruits/berries as well as maybe changing the soda to Sprite or Mountain Dew. Add in your favorite nuts, raisins, or maybe some white chocolate chips too… whatever you and your family likes. Just have fun and enjoy experimenting as I know we do here.

Easy As Pie Blackberry Dumplings

Ingredients:

Dumplings:

  • 2-3 cans of crescent rolls
  • 2-3 c. blackberries
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 12 oz ginger ale

Sauce:

  • 1/4 c. butter
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • a bit of ground nutmeg (freshly ground is best)

Directions:

Crock Pot Directions:

  1. Spray your crock pot with non stick spray.
  2. Place the berries in a small bowl and toss with the sugar. Let rest for about 10 minutes or so.
  3. Place 2-3 berries in each crescent roll and roll up making sure to pinch the sides closed.
  4. Place the ‘dumplings’ in the bottom of the crockpot. I did one layer to make sure they all got finished.
  5. If you have any leftover berries you can mash them up and add them to the soda and then pour this over the dumplings.
  6. Cook on high 3-4 hours… they will smell amazing!
  7. When ready to serve place the butter and brown sugar in a small bowl and microwave for 1-2 minutes until bubbly. Stir well.
  8. Drizzle the sauce over the individual servings and then sprinkle with a bit of nutmeg, if desired. Enjoy!

Oven Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Spray a 9×13 pan with non stick spray.
  3. Place the berries in a small bowl and toss with the sugar. Let rest for about 10 minutes or so.
  4. Place 2-3 berries in each crescent roll and roll up making sure to pinch the sides closed.
  5. Place the ‘dumplings’ in the greased pan.
  6. If you have any leftover berries you can mash them up and add them to the soda and then pour this over the dumplings.
  7. Bake 20-30 minutes or until lightly browned.
  8. When ready to serve place the butter and brown sugar in a small bowl and microwave for 1-2 minutes until bubbly. Stir well.
  9. Drizzle the sauce over the individual servings and then sprinkle with a bit of nutmeg, if desired. Enjoy!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hey y’all I know it’s gonna be a super busy day but I wanted to pop in and wish you all a happy thanksgiving from our family to yours. We do appreciate each and every one of you.

I really do hope to get back to blogging on a more consistent basis very soon. Life has been so crazy here lately with homeschooling, Square dancing and kids! We’ve already had a few birthdays this month…. can you believe William is 16?!!! This has been a crazy transition for all of us trying to help him learn to handle these BIG teenage hormones and emotions.

We’ve also done a BIG rearranging of the house here. I’m excited about how everything is coming together and it really is starting to look and feel like HOME! 🏡 ❤️ I’ll be sure to post some pics soon… you may even notice some changes in the pics below.

The new arrangement has helped so much already. Last night was a lot of fun here as the kiddos all helped with Thanksgiving preparations. They’ve actually been helping all week as we rearranged and had to put our Fall decor back in place. (No Christmas decorations up here… at least til we get through Thanksgiving.)

We made some really fun snacks for tomorrow’s dinner:

Turkey cupcakes

The kids loved making these!

And then we made some pretzel cookies/candies.

(The Rolos unwrapped are so handy for this!)

And some acorn cookies:

They also made some ‘Indian corn’ with Reese’s pieces:

We can’t forget the Pinterest fail caramel apple bites:

They did look pretty good before but they’ve been sitting in a warm kitchen for a few hours and they are melting faster than the wicked witch after Dorothy threw a bucket of water on her.

After the kiddos were off to bed I set about getting a few things ready for tomorrow. There are some pies:

The pumpkin is the recipe I shared on my blog. The pecan is a new variation and I’ll share it once I’ve had a chance to taste it. I normally don’t recommend trying out brand new recipes the night before a big event but this wasn’t the only new recipe I worked on.

I love making yeast rolls for Thanksgiving and it is one of our traditions. I’ve been wanting to try to make some sweet Hawaiian rolls and finally did. The dough smelled heavenly and I’m hoping that they will taste as good.

I also whipped up a batch of my regular dinner rolls… I’ll share that recipe soon if I haven’t already. The rolls are now in the fridge waiting for their second rise so they can bake into golden deliciousness. My tummy is rumbling just thinking about the wonderful aroma that those rolls will be giving off tomorrow.

Another new thing we will be doing is frying our turkey. I’ve had a turkey fryer but haven’t used it for turkey yet. Our bird is in the fridge soaking in some Cajun butter injection juices. I’m hoping all goes well with this.

In addition to all of that I’ve gotten all the casseroles prepped and in the fridge. They are covered with foil and have the baking directions written on the tops. Just a few more things to take care of tomorrow before everyone gets here.

I’m so excited! This will be the biggest get together we’ve been able to have in our little house on the pond. Fingers crossed all goes well and everyone gets plenty to eat.

Then I have an exciting trip planned with the kiddos for this weekend. It should tie in nicely with our Little House on the Prairie Adventures. Anyway I better get a couple of hours of sleep before the kiddos are up and at em again.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday!

God bless!

Our Family Favorite Thanksgiving Desserts for 2018 (plus a peek at our Thanksgiving Menu)

I know this is a tad bit late but maybe it will be helpful for those of you still trying to find that perfect dessert for your family get together. Below are the 10 desserts that made the cut for our family Thanksgiving Dinner this year:

  1. Luscious Four Layer Pumpkin Cake
  2. Blackberry Pig in a Poke (I may try to experiment with a simpler version.)
  3. Chocolate Pudding Pie – (This was something I always looked forward too with my Mom-Mom)
  4. German Chocolate Pie
  5. Pumpkin Pie
  6. Pecan Pie
  7. Pumpkin Roll
  8. Brownies
  9. Easy Banana Pudding
  10. Cheesecake

I’m not sure if all of these will be homemade or store bought as I have quite a bit on my To-Do list already. I know that my oldest daughters will be helping with some of the dishes as well as other guests. Just writing this post has made me HUNGRY!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Want a peek at our Menu? Look below:

Thanksgiving Dinner 2018

I’ve also sent out a ‘draft’ with names beside each dish so everyone remembers who was making what… lol… I’m so forgetful sometimes it really helps. Many of these recipes can be found on our blog as well!

Just Like Grandma’s Chocolate Pudding

I don’t know if this is actually the recipe that my Mom-mom used but it is close. If you don’t like the ‘skin’ that cooked pudding has then simply place a piece of plastic wrap over the warm pudding so that the wrap touches the top of the pudding. When cool you remove the wrap and the ‘skin’.

Just Like Grandma’s Chocolate Pudding

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2/3 c. sugar
  • 1/4 c. cocoa powder
  • 4 T. cornstarch
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 2-1/4 cups milk
  • 2 T. butter or margarine
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

DIRECTIONS:

In a medium size saucepan whisk together the first four ingredients. Slowly stir in the milk.

Cook this mixture over medium heat until it boils. Stir constantly and boil for about 1 minute.

Remove your pan from the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla.

Pour into a serving bowl and chill for about 2-3 hours.

For Pie:

I usually only use 2 cups of milk and then pour this into a baked pie shell or a graham cracker crust. Chill for 2-3 hours. Top with whipped cream, if desired.

 

Pumpkin Pie Filling From Scratch

I know that this time of year there are ao many pumpkin related recipes going around but Pumpkin Pie is a big traadition around here so I wanted to share our recipe. You can put this into a store bought pie shell or try your hand at a made scratch from pie crust as well.

Pumpkin Pie Filling From Scratch

Ingredients:

  • 1 pie crust, store bought or made from scratch
  • 2 c. pumpkin, cooked and mashed
  • 1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 c. brown sugar
  • 2 t. pumpkin pie spice (or 1/2 t. ground cinnamon, 1/2 t. ground ginger, 1/2 t. ground nutmeg)
  • 1/2 t. salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400.

Put your pie crust into you pie pan.

Mix together the remaining ingredients and pour into the pie shell.

Bake 40 -50 minutes or until the center is done.

Enjoy as is or with cool whip.

Strangers Did My Grocery Shopping This Weekend And I’m Glad!

**This most may contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. These links are provided at NO EXTRA charge to you, and in some cases they may offer a special discount or offer, but we may receive a small commission from any purchases made through these links. 

This might sound a bit scary to some of you as it did to me, at first. Last year I started doing a few ‘Click n Pull’ orders from Sam’s Club  and I loved the ease and convenience of the whole process. Not to mention the time (and $$) it saved me by not walking the whole store every time I needed something. (Don’t you hate it when stores move something and it takes FOREVER to find it? I’ve found that stores have been rearranging EVERYTHING for the holidays and I spend so much time trying to find our ‘regular’ items it’s not even funny!)

Well, some of you may already be familiar with the Grocery Pickup service offered at some Walmarts but I hadn’t had the chance to give it a try although I really wanted to. After shopping with all of the kids last week and realizing how hard it is to get around some of the stores this time of year I figured now is as good a time as any to give it a go. Continue reading Strangers Did My Grocery Shopping This Weekend And I’m Glad!

Free Printable Shopping Guide

I know, I know …. some of us just don’t want to think about Christmas shopping yet, even though I have already bought a couple of gifts. However I am getting a lot of requests about what my kiddos want or what sizes they are wearing so I think its time to make up my list so I can send it to those people who have asked for information.

Usually I just write it out on a piece of notebook paper but I thought others might benefit from this idea too so instead of just telling you about it I am including a FREE Printable Shopping Guide for you to use as well.

shopping guide

This can be used to write down information for your family or for information about others that you may need to shop for. You can even file this away for future reference for birthdays, anniversaries, etc. Just snap a photo of the completed form and you’ll always have it handy when shopping or if someone calls to ask you for sizes when you are knee deep in the mud trying to rescue a ball from being eaten by Mr. Snappy the friendly turtle… another story for another day.

I will be making mine up just as soon as I hit that blue Publish button. I’ll write or type in each child’s name, sizes (clothing and shoes), their favorite/preferred colors, and anything they might be interested in which for us will be lots of dinosaurs and little house on the prairie… lol. The notes will be used for other information that I might need to give like their ages or ‘assigned’ color. Yeah…. we color code some things around here like cups, baskets, and school items to help keep track of things with so many kiddos.

Anyway here is the link again to the download:

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE PRINTABLE SHOPPING GUIDE

 

Enjoy and happy shopping!

Little House On The Prairie Adventure Weekly Guide Links

**Although I try to provide as many FREE resources as possible this post may contain affiliate links alt no extra cost to you. We may earn a small commission, if a purchase is made through these links, which helps to support our blog and our family. Thank you!

Click Here for Little House On The Prairie Adventure Weekly Lesson Plan Links Only.

How we use these lesson plans:

Our school week is usually completed in 4 days. We use a Loop Schedule where we work for a designated amount of time on each subject before moving on to the next. After their work is completed for the day the kids are allowed to have independent studies were they can study whatever their little hearts desired.

Our 5th day is an optional day that we use to complete unfinished work or for other activities as we choose.


Please click HERE for a list of resources that we have purchased from Amazon and other suppliers.

Click on the links below for the series you would like to view/use. I will update these links as we get them finished.

Tip: If you want to go to a certain week/chapter or topic simply push the ‘ctrl’ and the ‘F’ button down together and a small bar will pop up. Type in the week number or chapter number you want and it will take you to it.


1. Little House On The Prairie Adventure Week 1 Lesson Plans


2. Little House On The Prairie Adventure Week 2 Lesson Plans


3. Little House On The Prairie Adventure Week 3 Lesson Plans


4. Little House On The Prairie Adventure Week 4 Lesson Plans


5. Little House On The Prairie Adventure Week 5 Lesson Plans


6. Little House On The Prairie Adventure Week 6 Lesson Plans


7. Little House On The Prairie Adventure Week 7 Lesson Plans


8. Little House On The Prairie Adventure Week 8 Lesson Plans


9. Little House On The Prairie Adventure Week 9 Lesson Plans


10. Little House On The Prairie Adventure Week 10 Lesson Plans

 


**BE SURE TO SAVE A FEW SAMPLES OF YOUR WORK FOR YOUR  PORTFOLIO!  TAKE PICTURES OF BIG PROJECTS!

As always we try not to charge for any printables or resources that we offer but we do appreciate any donations that you may feel like giving. You can use the ‘Tip Jar’ link on the Home Page or send a donation via Paypal to ‘happy2bmyownboss@yahoo.com’. Thank you so much for your support!