Celebrate With A Birth Date

We all have one and so do our kids, parents, friends, and other family members. Around here we have more than others or at least we celebrate more than others. However this is one topic I’ve failed to post a lot about… birthdays.

I recently read about the ‘new minimalist’ birthday trend called ‘Fivers’. I laughed a little as the article explained the trend and how it worked. Basically, according to the article I read, you have a birthday party and ask the guests not to buy a gift but they may give a card with $5.oo, if they like. This money can then be pooled for a larger gift of the child’s choosing, used for an ‘experience’, or saved for a later date.

Sounds great and I’m so happy to see so many people jumping on board with this idea. I just thought I’d share how we do birthdays here which is how we’ve done birthdays for a while now. Now don’t get me wrong, there is NOTHING wrong with the way anybody celebrates birthdays but we do things a bit different than most.

When my older kids were younger we did do the traditional parties… cake, ice cream, and gifts. Sometimes I would have two parties instead of four as they had birthdays close together and sometimes we would just do one big party.

Most of our parties were just for family and a few very close friends and they were never very big. The biggest one we probably ever had was in NC. We held an ice cream party for all four of my older kids. That was so much fun! We had everyone help to make homemade ice cream and then we had a variety of toppings. There was plenty of other food too but everyone always remembered the ice cream and how good it was.

There have been many times where I would plan a semi-elaborate themed party like the Sock Hop party we did several years back. It was so much fun and the kids really enjoyed it. Continue reading “Celebrate With A Birth Date”

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.

Made From Scratch Hot Cocoa

My kids and I love Hot Cocoa. The weather right now is just right for sipping on a steamy cup. I have many fond memories from when we lived in Virginia and North Carolina that involve this delicious treat. It is even better after coming in from building snowmen and having snowball fights.

We haven’t seen any snow since we’ve moved to Florida several years ago but the weather still gets a bit nippy. This weekend was definitely cocoa weather. I used the Keurig to make my cocoa to take out to the woods with me. Just place the cocoa in your mug and set it under the Keurig. You don’t need a K-cup as the hot water will flow right through it, into your cup, and Voila… Hot Cocoa. Enjoy it as it is or add some marshmallows.

We also enjoy making this when we have our ‘Polar Express’ parties… hopefully, I’ll be writing a post about this soon. This is also a great treat to take camping with you to enjoy on those crisp mornings.

I have two versions of this and you can try them both to find your favorite. I often make double batches as we can go through quite a bit of this rather quickly. (You will need a large container with a tight lid to store this in.) Continue reading “Made From Scratch Hot Cocoa”

Making Memories With Family

My oldest daughter and her husband came to visit this weekend. We decided to have an impromptu cookout with hamburgers, hot dogs, deviled eggs, baked beans, and pasta salad… yum!

The best part of the whole time was not the food but the time we spent together. I wasn’t feeling really well and tried to ‘keep away’ but watching the kids all spend time together was really amazing. The little kids enjoyed having big sister around and they loved playing with their dog.

The older kids decided to get down some games… I normally have them in a big coffee table, however that coffee table is out on the porch because we have no room right now, so they had to get them down from the storage loft. (We have a big collection of board games as we would request these for Christmas gifts as the whole family can enjoy them. Board games do make great Christmas gifts!)

First came Battleship, we have the older version somewhere but couldn’t find it so they got down the Electronic version, however we couldn’t find all the pieces so I guess that will need to go on the Christmas list. I am thinking about getting this Star Wars version.

Next came the classic Monopoly. We would spend hours playing this game when they were younger. We also have the set with a speed die. DD18 is planning on getting this out later to play again with the kids. I am thinking about checking out the Junior edition too as this is a great game to teach money skills.

Last they pulled down the old Scrabble. (We have a couple version of this game too.) I love that you can buy replacement tiles for this game fairly cheap and these tiles also work great for crafts. I think my oldest daughter took the electronic version home with her to play with her husband. This is also a great game to help with reading, spelling, vocabulary, and math as you count up the scores. You could start younger kids out with this junior edition.

After they played for a while we ate dinner together and talked a bit. Big sister also passed out some bags of Halloween candy for everyone. We cleaned up and they went home as it was starting to get dark and they had to work the next morning.

DD18 wasn’t ready to put up the games though. She asked Mr. Awesome and me if we would play and we did. We played Scrabble first and she went to grab the dictionary so she could make sure my words were ‘legal’… lol. Like I would really cheat. I do pull words out of my head that I don’t even know that I knew sometimes though.

Once that game was over they decided to play Monopoly again. We had a blast playing even though they lost… again. This was definitely one of those days that we will keep in our hearts forever. It has also encouraged us to start some new traditions with the younger kids. I am hoping to start having a game night at least once week like I did when my oldest kids were younger.

All in all today was a great day. I am so thankful for these days and feel so very blessed to have such a wonderful family! I definitely feel like a winner!

 

Our Favorite Holiday Recipes

This idea came to me as Easter was approaching. Some of these recipes will be found in other areas of my blog but I wanted to gather them together to make it easier for others, and myself to find.

New Year’s

Black Eyed Peas

Easy Collard Greens

Hoe Cakes

 

Easter

Brown Sugar & Honey Glazed Ham

Empty Tomb Rolls

Pickled Eggs

 

Thanksgiving/Christmas

30 minute Rolls

Brown Sugar & Honey Glazed Ham

Candies

Grandma’s Mac N Cheese

Green Bean Casserole

Luscious Four-Layer Pumpkin Cake

Russian Tea Cakes

Sweet Potato Casserole

Empty Tomb Rolls (aka Resurrection Rolls)

I found this recipe on Facebook a couple of years ago and my kids love to help make these. This has become an Easter tradition in our home. Continue reading “Empty Tomb Rolls (aka Resurrection Rolls)”

March 29, 2017

Hey there everyone! I hope you all are doing well. We are doing pretty good here. The weather has been extremely nice, not too hot and not too cold, and we have been able to enjoy the outdoors a bit.

Life has been busy, as usual, and a bit crazy at times. I can’t believe how fast time flies. It seems like only a week or two ago that I decided to go to my first square dance class but it has been a little over 8 weeks ago! I have learned so much and so much has changed. That one decision has literally been a life changing event for my family and me.

This week especially has been and will be very busy. We’ve already been to two dances and we have two more to go to not to mention that we have our special April Fool’s Dangle Dance on Saturday. Square dancing is so much more than just dancing around and listening to the caller yell ‘Do-si-do’ and ‘Swing your partner’. It is a lifestyle! It encompasses so many different aspects of life that I can’t even begin to touch them all right now.

I am just learning the basics of everything but a lot of square dancing goes back to the basic courtesies and manners of old. It is such a pleasure to see, well at least for me it is, the men taking charge and the ladies following their lead. I know, I know, a lot of people wouldn’t agree that that is the way things should be but we are all entitled to our own feelings and beliefs.

Square dancing is also good for you in so many ways! It is a great form of exercise for all ages and it can also help with memory issues and mental clarity. I have always tried to do my exercising but sometimes I’d get bored by doing the same thing again and again. Other times certain things would bother my joints or hurt my back. I don’t have these issues when I am square dancing.

We are always doing something different too and just when you think you know what the caller is doing he’ll switch it up on you! It really helps to keep your mind sharp and makes you focus on what he is saying so that you can be sure to catch the call. Then the fact that some of the calls aren’t used as often as others makes you pull from those memory banks to remember the rules so you can execute the call properly. I like to be challenged from time to time and I definitely get that while dancing.

Then there is the social part of it. I am usually a very shy person and that make it hard for me to meet and make new friends. I have met so many new people since I’ve started dancing and it has been so much fun.  There are a variety of different people and it keeps thing interesting. I always have a good time and my face is usually sore after a night of dancing because I laugh so much! Everyone seems to have a good time everywhere we go. Then more often than not people hang around after the dance to talk and sometimes we all go out to eat afterwards. Talk about fun!

I have seen some people really come alive after a visit or two with the groups. Some of the people are lonely after a divorce or the passing of a loved one and they just want to be around other people. Maybe the kids have all moved out and they just feel kind of lost. The dancers are all so welcoming and friendly that it is almost impossible for anyone not to feel genuinely ‘at home’.

Can I also say, without revealing too much, that not all dancers are part of a couple. Sometimes you will find a single dancer at a dance and who knows what could the future could hold if you are single yourself?

Square dancing is also good clean fun, plain and simple. Sometimes that is hard to find anymore. Not only that many clubs are a big part of the community and do their part to help out wherever needed with benefit dances and such. I have heard many stories of square dancers coming together to help fellow dancers after house fires or other unexpected circumstances. It makes my heart smile to hear these stories time and time again.

Unfortunately square dancing seems to be a dying tradition. I am hoping that we can bring it back to life though.I can see the possibilities it could hold for many families who long to find family friendly activities that everyone can enjoy and be a part of. I know that I do plan to introduce my kids to it in the near future and get them involved in it as well.

I encourage each of you to check it out. Maybe you know someone, a friend, a neighbor, or maybe a parent, who could benefit from a little extra movement, who needs some new friends, or maybe someone who just desires to feel like they are a part of something.  Square dancing is for all ages so don’t ever feel like you are too old or too young to try. I know that it won’t be something for everyone but at least you could give a try and see what happens.

Well, today is our only free day this week so I have a few errands to run while the kids are down for naps. I still have a few things to finish up for our upcoming dance and a couple of things to get ready as far as my outfits go for the next couple of days. I will be taking my older daughter along while running errands for a little mother/daughter time too. (We are going to try and check out the new ‘Five Below’ store in town.)

This afternoon will also be ‘fun day’ with the kids. We will probably do some arts and crafts and I have already gotten the stuff for some root beer floats this evening. The kids are excited about the upcoming dance as they have seen some of the decorations and I have promised to give them some of them after the dance. Not to mention they want to have their own little ‘party’ with whatever Momma has left over.

I hope you all have a wonderful week and weekend! Be sure to check out the Silver Fox Squares on FB and our new page on WordPress. We are also on Twitter @SilverFoxSquare. All of the pages are still in the baby stages but we would appreciate a like and/or follow.

Thank you and God Bless!

Santa Pancakes

December 6th is St. Nicholas Day. It happened to fall on a Tuesday which is normally our French Toast day but the kids loved this extra special treat. Below are the instructions for how I assembled these today. These did take a little extra time but the look on their faces was well worth it!

These would also work well for Christmas morning! Continue reading “Santa Pancakes”

December Holidays

I will try to update this list with some fun activities as well. Feel free to click the links to find out more about the origins and meanings behind these special days. I plan to incorporate a few of these into our normal homeschool routine to add a little fun and excitement to our days. Have fun and maybe make up your own personal family holiday or tradition for the month! Continue reading “December Holidays”

Advent Studies (Updated)

**Please note this post does contain affiliate links to which I may, possibly, earn a small commission from if you click on and purchase an item. For full disclosure click here.

Updated 12/5/18 I know Advent has already began but its never to late to learn about the true meaning of Christmas and to prepare ourselves for the coming of our Lord. Check out this old post with updated links for ideas on how to bring the joy of Christmas into your home this holiday season!

As I mentioned on the Holidays page I am attempting to do an Advent study here at our house. Sometimes I get so many ideas going in my head that I just can’t seem to get them in order in time to use them. This year I have went ahead and began ordering a few books and researching a few ideas on Pinterest. (I set a reminder on my  Cozi Calendar to research Advent. Yes, if I hadn’t I probably would have forgotten. Sad but true.) Continue reading “Advent Studies (Updated)”

Christmas Ideas and Activities

I will try my best to keep updating this post with the resources that we have found and used. I will also try to post any lesson plans and/or activities that we do as well. Continue reading “Christmas Ideas and Activities”