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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Gift Ideas

December is almost here, which means for most of us moms, the list making and list checking begins. One list that I usually try to complete before Thanksgiving is the kids teachers' gifts.  This year I think all of their classes are contributing money to get gift certificates for their teachers, but I still like to give a little token of love from the Lee House.  Below are a few things we have done, some the kids can help with, some they might not be so helpful on.

These are a favorite!  I am telling you once you start eating these, you cannot stop (not that you are making them for yourselves).  And they are easy and fun for your kids to help with.  While you are making these you might as well get extra white chocolate and pretzels and make white chocolate covered pretzels.  They are soooo yummy!  Recipe is here.

This project is a little more involved, but so fun.  Your kids can get really creative with this though and love seeing their finished product.  What a special way for the teachers to remember your kids over the holidays.  You can add different scents and colors, so you could even make Christmas Soap!  Directions are here.

I know it is a little out of season for strawberries.  But even this time of year, strawberry jelly still makes for relatively inexpensive gift.  Have you ever had homemade jelly?  It is soooo much better than store bought jelly!  And I promise you it is so much easier than you think!  I follow the directions in the powdered Sure-Jell box.  Here is our first (of many) jelly making endeavor.

This is actually a pretty easy sewing project that a child could help with.  These scarves are everywhere and they are so easy to make.  I know Ella would be so proud to give her teachers a scarf that she actually made and I would feel good about it because I know they would not just wear it out of guilt, but be excited about wearing their cute new scarf.  Here is the tutorial.

Now, this is obviously a little bit more involved sewing project, but it is much easier than you might think.  I have actually had the link to this tutorial on the side of my blog for a long time.  I made one last winter and then a summer vest version this summer, but just never got around to blogging about it.  The hardest/longest part is making the pattern.  But after that it will take 20-30 minutes tops (including cutting out the fabric).  And I promise you the recipients (teachers, family members or friends) will love their new sweater.  It is one of my favorite and most comfortable sweaters.  I get compliments on it all the time and no one can believe that I made it.  Here is the link.

I hope these ideas will help with your Christmas lists!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving Recap

We spent Thanksgiving at the lake this year.  And oh what a Thanksgiving it was!  We spent almost an entire week at the lake.  We are all recharged and ready for the craziness that comes in the month of December!
We spent lots of time playing with cousins.
Ate lots of good food.
Had lots of naps...
Or at least tried.

Had lots of silly moments.
And lots of love from Grandparents.
Even had time for some painting,
family photos,
and a visit to see some friendly alpacas...
Or not so friendly.
But we still had fun
or without the alpacas.
We have so much to be thankful for this Holiday Season!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


If a picture could sum up a day, it would be this...
but not just one day, two days!

Now to her credit, this picture was taken on the way to the doctor, where we found out that Sara Wells had an ear infection and was wheezing which led to this...
We cannot believe we have another child on the nebulizer

But I will be honest, there have been several times in the past few days where I felt like laying on the ground and pitching a fit right along with Sara Wells!  After we put the kids to bed and I started thinking about my past couple of days, a prayer that I had just written in my journal came to mind.

There is one thing that deserves my greatest care
that calls forth my ardent desires,
that is, that I may answer the great end for which I am made-
to glorify The who hast given me being,
and to do all the good I can for my fellow men.
Verily, life is not worth having 
if it be not improved for this noble purpose.
**Valley of Vision

I read this prayer last week the morning after we found out that Miller needs to stay out of school and church until January to give his lungs a good chance to heal and that Ella would be getting her tonsils out.  That morning when I read this prayer I was reminded that my number one purpose in life is to bring glory to God.  Right now, that means loving my kids well and showing them the love of their Heavenly Father even when they are whinny and so tired of being sick and being cooped up inside.  When I actually remember that my whole purpose in life is to glorify God all my frustrations seem so petty and melt away.  

Even just a few days later after Sara Wells had probably her worst two days ever, I needed reminding again.  I tend to get so caught up in the day to day and so quickly forget what is really important.  But God graciously reminds of his love and helps me realize what is truly important.  Just as God is patient with me, I must be patient with my children (and everyone else, they just seem to be the ones lately I am loosing my patience with).  Always showing them love, not frustration because my plans were a little disturbed or they were running up and down the aisles in the grocery store and it made me look like a mom with no control over her children.  

This Thanksgiving I am reminded how much I am loved by my Heavenly Father and hope to live my life in a way that I am always sharing that love with others, always lifting up and always pointing to Christ.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


I don't know...
 but something tells me...
 this might not be the best idea.
Of course, Murray is so proud of Miller and Ella's natural climbing abilities.  All I am seeing in these pictures are broken bones.  

Monday, November 14, 2011

Our Climber

I think everybody has a child who is a climber.  Miller is our climber.  He was not one of those babies who you look up and they have pulled out all of the drawers and are on top of the dresser or climbed up the bookcases.  Miller's climbing is a fairly new hobby.  He now climbs anything and everything!  Literally,  he tries to climb smooth walls.  

This hobby of Miller's started before we moved into this house and I knew when I saw the fireplace it would not be long before Miller tried to climb it.  It happened the other day.  We were sitting at the table coloring.  I looked up and Miller was scaling the wall.
A few minutes later, the same thing.
I have never been a climber, but to me, this looks pretty impressive!
We have never given Miller any ideas that he should try climbing the stone fireplace (although just a few nights before this Murray did ask me if I thought he could climb it and then tried!).  I think these pictures may speak a little into Miller's future?  If anyone knows of a place where almost 4 year old can climb, I would love to know!

Saturday, November 12, 2011


Thursday night we had a freeze warning.  So while Ella was at school Miller, Sara Wells and I loaded up and headed over to our old house to pull up our basil.  I am was still making probably weekly trips over to the house to get the basil I need for the week.  When I heard the freeze warning I knew I had to get that basil up and make some delicious pesto out of it, there was no way I was letting that basil die in the freeze.  I have clung tightly to my basil because it is the only thing that was really successful in our garden this year.  I would like to blame it on the tornado and us having to leave the garden behind.  But, last year the basil was the only thing that was very successful too and there was no tornado last year.  We have had some success with tomatoes, but nothing like I have hoped for.  It would probably help if I would actually water the garden consistently, but we will not go there.  Anyways, back to my basil...
Ella is usually my big helper in the kitchen, but now that she is gone during the day Miller is loving being Mommy's big helper!
Miller's job was to pick the basil leaves and then measure out two cups to see how many batches we were going to get (I am always shocked by how much basil is really takes to make pesto!)
Next Miller grated the cheese.
And then Miller discovered our stow-away...
I lost my helper in the kitchen after Miller found Flippy.
Miller was very concerned at making Flippy feel very at home in his new home.
He put a few of the basil leaved in a glass and Flippy sat right next to Miller all through lunch.
I finally convinced Miller that Flippy would really only feel at home if he was outside.  After lunch he and Sara Wells headed outside to find the perfect home for Flippy.
After all the excitement of our stow-away settled down, I did finally get my pesto made (after Murray stopped at the store because I ran out of olive oil!)  All that basil only made THREE batches.  We will savor every bite!  Here is the recipe for pesto just in case you have any basil left in your garden.