Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas baking

Christmas baking... probably my favorite thing about Christmas.  This year the kids and I spent three weeks making sweet memories... and lots to satisfy our sweet tooth!  =]  Snickerdoodles and very easy to make chocolate cookies with peanut butter chips.

Easy Butterscotch Chip Chocolate Cookies
1 box (18.25 oz) chocolate cake mix
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 cups (12 oz pkg) butterscotch flavored morsels
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
Combine cake mix, oil, and eggs in large bowl.  Stir in morsels and pecans.  Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.  Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until centers are just set.  Let stand for 2 minutes, remove to wire racks to cool completely.

I love that recipe, it's so easy to do.  We are peanut butter lovers here so we use pb instead of butterscotch and leave out the nuts.  They really are delicious!

Amariah's favorite to make (and eat) are the chocolate stars.

Again, so easy to make.  Melt one bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips and a tub of chocolate frosting in the microwave.  Let it cool slightly.  Put it in a decorator (we love Pampered Chef's Easy Accent Decorator just for this recipe) and squeeze out your design.  Put them in the freezer for a few hours to set.  YUM!

Then Amariah got the smart idea to add recipe cards to the goodies.  I don't think she thought that one through too well... she had to write out one for each of her 6 teacher's bowls.  We decided just two of the recipes would be enough, haha.  In the end, they made cute little gifts.

Robbie has three teachers this year.  He's all ready for his school party with his book gift to exchange.  I'm so glad they do a book now instead of a toy.

After we finished all the school teachers' cookies, I made 6 dozen snickerdoodles for our Ladies Christmas party/cookie swap at church.  This year we did it a little different.  Everyone only took home 3 dozen cookies (instead of the normal 6 dozen) and the other 3 dozen were donated to our youth Christmas dinner and children's program.  We didn't want to leave out those who don't like to bake or don't have time for it; they only needed to bring 3 packages of cookies to donate.  It was a wonderful night of great fellowship, food, and cookies!  Also a fun way to serve others in our church!

Next on the list was Rich's co-workers, the kids' Sunday School teachers, and the College/Career class that Rich teaches.  Lastly, cookies for the extended family.  I wish we had counted the number of dozens we made.  I just know dozens of memories were made... that's all that really matters.

The stars are for a special project that I'll be back to show you in the next post.  Brothers working together...

I think they all three did an awesome job!

Ryan, the 15 year old has been a huge help in the kitchen for me this year.  I am training him the ways of cooking and baking so he will be able to do it when he gets out on his own.  He is a very fast learner and is doing a super job already!

Well it's been a lazy New Year's Eve day around the Berry homestead.  So very, very nice for a change!  But I'm not good at just sitting around.  I'm gonna tackle my scrapbook/craft area so some new cabinets can be purchased to get that area workable again.

I'm grateful for the three wonderful kids that God has blessed us with.  I'm thankful that God allows us time together to make some fun childhood memories for them.  I'm excited about what the upcoming year holds for this family.

Wishing you and your family a fun time to end out the year and a refreshed spirit to tackle the upcoming year~

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas packages in the mail!

I just wanted to share a couple of packages I received in the mail this week.  I put them under the tree and opened them on Christmas day, hehe.

Debbie over at Goat Creek made this adorable salt dough crow.  What's even neater is that her dear sister friend Holli from Where the Rooster Crows donated from her own pocket $1.00 for every crow bought, to MS research.  Well I couldn't pass up such a cute crow and for a wonderful cause!  He is so cute, thank you Debbie, you did a wonderful job on him!  Thank you also to Holli for having such a sweet and loving heart!

I was beyond thrilled when I learned that I had won Kerri from The Calico Rabbit's Christmas giveaway!  Here is a picture from Kerri's blog of all the wonderful goodies that I won:

It's always so fun to decorate with giveaway winnings, isn't it?  I thought the little pillow fit perfectly in this black wooden tray sitting next to a homemade rolling pin that my Dad made years ago (I treasure this piece!).

These peppermint sticks are the cutest!  I love the vintage tag and homespun that Kerri used on the bag.  They look right at home in this vintage bowl I bought last week at Hobby Lobby for only $3!

This bowl of pine cones, greens, and apples really needed something but I just didn't know what to put with it.  Kerri's gorgeous pillow completes the look!  Kerri, the stitching is perfect and I love the variegated look of the words.  It is truly beautiful!!

I'm so glad this wonderful greenery garland with berries was part of the giveaway.  I never made it outside this year to collect some pine boughs from my pine trees down by the pond.  Our country roads are overflowing with winterberry and I never had time to collect the beautiful berries either so it was wonderful to have some greens in the home!

Also part of Kerri's giveaway was a beautiful red wooden bead garland.  I have been on the lookout for wooden garland and all I can ever find is the plastic stuff so I was glad to get that too!

Thank you girls for your generosity!  Go check out these wonderful girls' blogs, you won't be disappointed.

Well, I've been laid up since Christmas evening.  As I put on my facebook status just a few minutes back "I'm sitting here by the fireplace surrounded by pillows, blanket, toilet paper (to blow my nose, haha, thought I better clear that up), Mentholatum, Mucinex DM, and my laptop.  Even though it really stinks to get sick Christmas evening, I am blessed to be feeling somewhat better already and so very thankful for my wonderful family that cleaned up all the Christmas aftermath for me."

I am truly blessed and had such a wonderful Christmas surrounded by loving family and friends.  I hope you did too. Looking forward to what the new year holds for the Berry homestead.  Much love to you all~

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Our busy November & December

Well, as always... I am behind again.  But that's okay.  We are making lots of memories at the Berry household so I'm okay with being behind on my little blog even though I love it so much and love visiting you all!

The November "Dad Initiative" project for Robbie's Pre-K class was to build a barn together.  They sent home some popsicle sticks to use.  I love these projects because for once I get to sit back and watch, hehe.  Rich did a wonderful job with his dad duties, as always!  Out of two boxes, he cut and transformed a shell for Robbie to use.  Robbie colored and glued them all on, all by himself!  I was so proud of how straight and how well he did for a five year old.  I think they are both pretty proud of their barn...

Another project that was made at school was butter.  Yep, butter.  Don't know how or why, but they made butter.  Here's a picture of Robbie holding his butter... looks like he's thinking the same thing.  Lol!

We always enjoy our little town's Christmas parade.  The Shriner's never disappoint.

Big guys in little cars is something every parade needs.

You can't have a parade in Catoosa, Oklahoma without The Blue Whale.  Check out the story, it is a sweet one.

Just because I love horse and buggy's...

Amariah's 6th grade basketball team played the other Catoosa 6th grade team in a tournament.  It has to be hard to play against your own friends.  There was some pushing and elbow slinging, but we all loved how they came together at the end to show their true spirit.

Oh such a busy month.  I can't wait to come back and share our baking days with you.  Such precious memories I LOVE to make!

I am grateful for Rich to work so hard to allow me to stay home and raise our kids.  When I was working, even just part time, it took such a toll on me that I was too tired or too stressed trying to get everything else taken care of that I neglected to enjoy these precious moments with my family that make up such sweet memories.

I wish for you and your family a warm and wonderful, Christ filled Christmas~

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

My snowman tree

Well girls, my snowman tree isn't prim but I love it just the same.  See the painted Amish cheese box under the tree?  That was my Christmas present from my sister last year.  She works at an Amish cheese house and I had been bugging her about a cheese box but she kept ignoring me.  I was getting perturbed with her... then when I opened my present I realized why she was ignoring me.  Her talented daughter-in-law painted the snowman scene on it and I just love it!

I only use blue and rusty ornaments for this tree.  It has snowballs, snowflakes, mittens, and snowmen.

I had a great-uncle that was a big man with a big nose (well, really he did and he would admit it) who always had a deep, jolly laugh that made you laugh when you heard it.  He rightfully earned the nickname "Frosty" and that's what we always called him.  See my "I love Frosty" ornament?

The snowman tree started out as a 4' tree about 8 years ago.  Then it graduated to a 5' tree.  Now it has become a 7' tree.  I'm gonna have to stop buying for it because I don't want to go any bigger, haha!

It's one of my favorite trees and the most fun to decorate.  It's my little tribute to Uncle Frosty who has passed on.

I wish for you and your family a warm and wonderful, Christ filled Christmas~

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Barely There Primitive Bear's Christmas giveaway!

Make your way over to my sweet friend Karen's The Barely There Primitive Bear's blog for a chance to win this wonderful Christmas arrangement in a sifter, it's just so cute!

But hurry!  The giveaway ends Dec. 8th!  This is how sweet my friend Karen is:  She has 216 followers and if she reaches 225, she will draw a second name to win something!  Tell her Angie from Berry Homespun Primitives sent you.  =]

Have a delightful week my prim friends~

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Cardinal Tree

Well, it's December 4th and I'm not too far behind, am I?  This fall lovin' girl puts her fall decor out mid to late August and puts it away the beginning of December.  So out came the Christmas totes last night and the cardinal tree got decorated today.  See the little cardinals peeking out?

Cardinals are so beautiful against the stark white snow.  I got the idea for a cardinal tree a few years ago.  During the '08 Christmas season working at Hobby Lobby, someone returned a $393.00 7.5 ft. mixed pine tree with red berries, snowy branches, and pine cones because the lights didn't work.  It was a beautiful tree but I just couldn't afford it.  This tree sat in the box in the stockroom throughout the season and I admired it every single time I walked by it.

My manager let me have it for 80% off, plus my 15% employee discount!  I was so excited!  But the excitement wore off when I got it home and realized I had to use wire cutters on the 1,266 branches to cut off the lights.  Yep, each branch had lights clipped to it.  Whew!  That literally took me over a week!  So last year, the cardinal tree made its debut with new sets of clear lights, shiny glass red balls, matte glass red balls, and cardinal ornaments.  I even found a metal cardinal tree topper.

I won the Thomas Kincade Christmas book from Micki's Make Mine A Country Christmas facebook group.  It's perfect under the tree.  We can cuddle on the floor by the fireplace and read it.

I realized, a little too late... that I didn't share any of my fall decor with you.  It is my very favorite season of all and the most fun for me to play with.  Everything seems to fall into place.  Not so with Christmas, haha!  So here's tree #1.  Four more to go.

I hope you are making delightful memories this time of year with your loved ones~

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


My favorite holiday of all is Thanksgiving.  November has always been my favorite month... well, as an adult anyway.  As a child it was December and Christmas.  I love the fact that most of us get time off from work and school to get together with our family & friends and just spend time with each other.  No presents, no big parties, no stress... just time to enjoy each other, time to slow down and get re-acquainted with one another.  The added bonus is all the great food we get to eat.  =]  We allow our busy lives to take over, consume us, and take away precious time and would-be memories.  So November is my month to slow down, be thankful, and enjoy what God has blessed me with.  (I'm still working on letting the rest of the months be more about life and less about stuff).

I am grateful for so many things in my life that God has blessed me with that I don't even deserve:

  • A wonderful and loving husband that supports, provides, loves, and takes care of his family.
  • A funny teenage son with an awesome, creative imagination that reminds me to laugh, that life can be funny.  Also, that life can be fleeting as he is 3.5 short years away from leaving our home and getting out in the big, wide, world.
  • A beautiful, loving pre-teen daughter that doesn't conform to the world but allows herself to be her own person.
  • A little guy that has so much energy and charm, that still loves to cuddle and has so much innocence in him.
  • A beautiful home where I can surround myself with loving things given to us or created by family.
  • Parents that will do anything for me, that instill values in their family, that are still together after 57 years.
  • Brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews that number 50+ when we all get together for holidays and birthdays.  There is nothing quite like the roar of the Goins' when we all get together.
  • The unity and family fun that is there at any family function we go too, whether it be with the Smith's, the Roger's, or the Goins'.
  • Our church home and church family that we are blessed to be a part of for almost 13 years now.  The friendships we have formed in our brothers and sisters are lifetime, loving.
  • The many friends, both old and new, close and distant, that make up the bounty of people in our lives.
  • So many things I am grateful for, but the thing I am most grateful for is the love of my Savior.  I am glad He chose to send His only Son as a sacrifice to save me from the burning pits of hell even though there is nothing in me that deserves it.
I have so enjoyed seeing the lists of gratitude and thankfulness this month.  My prayer is that we could all see how much we truly have every single day, especially on those days when we feel empty, when we feel like we have nothing.

Hoping you had a blessed Thanksgiving, a time of reflection, surrounded by loved ones.  Wishing you a wonderful Christmas, remembering the greatest present any of us could receive... our dear Savior's birth.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Heading home... where I belong

I headed back home Friday.  I was looking forward to this time alone to get back to my roots.

I can't even explain how much joy there was in my heart as I traveled through my state.  I saw those rolling hills and the familiar roads, towns, creeks, and churches.  I couldn't help but be happy to be home again.

But even in the small towns where you expect things to remain constant, there is change.  I stopped off at a local shop that I loved to visit.  I hadn't been in there in over 10 years.  The older gentleman and I had a brief conversation.  He says "That's the way the world is anymore."  I won't remember what it was like in there now... I will always remember it the way it used to be.

I forget how much my heart longs to be back until I travel that way and I'm confronted with my emotions.  Is it because I'm reminded of simpler times?

No matter how much I have tried, I just can't seem to call Oklahoma "home".  I've made a living there, made a house there, and even raised my kids there.  But my home will always be in Southwest Missouri.

I'm grateful for the closeness I have to my roots.  I'm grateful that I will never forget where me and my family came from.  I'm grateful for the strong family bond that has a legacy of love, unity, and kindness.

I found this Bible verse and I thought it was fitting to this post:

Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.
~ Colossians 2:7

Monday, November 15, 2010

A couple of last weekends junking finds

I went out junking last weekend with two of my kids in tow.  I prefer not taking them so I can take my time and look for me.  They always have something to show me or something they want.  But it was either take them or not go.  I only have a couple of pictures for right now.

I picked up these rolling pins.  The big one was $1, the other one was only 25 cents!  I love it because it's different than any I have.  Can anyone tell me why it is made that way?  The guy I bought it off didn't know.  This is when I really miss my grandmas!  I would call them up and ask them about anything on this earth and they would give me an answer, especially about old pieces and home remedies.  Anyway, I was excited to add a couple of rolling pins to my small collection.

The old Cain's spice tin was only 75 cents and it is going on top of one of my spice cabinets in the kitchen.  I love this old broom!  There was a $6 price on it so I picked it up.  As I was looking at the stuff on the table, the lady said that everything on the table was a quarter.  I showed her the $6 price tag and she said it's still a quarter.  Woo Hoo!  =]

The broom is in great shape except for at the top.  I didn't want to cover any of the pretty bristles, so I just cut off the scraggly strands and glued a little homespun at the top.  It's going in my laundry room but right now, it's all decorated for fall so I will have to wait till I change out with the seasons.

I have a few more awesome deals that I picked up but I will show them with the makeovers I do on them.  I so love before & after pics, they are fun!

I know so many have already decorated for Christmas.  I love all the holidays and enjoy decorating for all of them.  But my first love is fall so I will join in at the end of November.  Thanks for stopping by for a visit, I appreciate hearing from you all!  I let my blog reading get three weeks behind... YIKES!  But I'm glad to say that now I'm only one week behind.  =]

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Amariah's hot pink & lime green bedroom, part 2

Now on to pictures of Amariah's room.  Curtain and bed before...

I had bought a cheap curtain rod (and I mean CHEAP!) at Wal-mart for a dollar or two and that's why it's bowed in the middle.  It didn't even come with a middle bracket but I thought since the sheers were very light it would be okay... not so as you can see by the dip in the middle.  We bought this cute curtain rod with pink glass balls on the ends at Hobby Lobby on clearance.  Not only did it come with a middle bracket but it's pretty sturdy.

Here is a picture of the dresser and junk, er... stuff before...

We moved it to where the bed used to be.  Now it's just organized junk, er... stuff.

Here is a picture of her vanity and a shelf before.  Her birthday party last January was pink and green so she had to put streamers all over her bedroom. I'm glad she realized it was time for them to go.  It's so hard to let them be independent when you so badly want to say No, don't do that! 

So she took off the streamers and decided it was time to put the dolls and teddy bears away, even though they are special.  We bought the colorful glass bottles at Hobby Lobby at 50% off.  They had so many pretty colors, sizes, and shapes that she had such a hard time deciding!  I told her we can go back and pick up a few more since their glassware is on sale every other week.

Little bookshelf area and Dino, the turtle before...

I talked her into grouping her posters in one spot for a bigger impact.  I like how she positioned them.  We bought a plain white clock at Goodwill and painted it pink.  I think it turned out cute.

We bought two bead curtains at Hobby Lobby on clearance.  One was pink and one was green.  I cut them into 2-strand sections and put them on a cafe rod then hid the rod inside the closet.

A little help here... any ideas on what to do with the cords from the hanging lanterns?  I thought about making cord covers in coordinating colors but maybe it would be easier to have my electrician brother change it out to battery operated lights instead.  Any easy ideas?

So there you have it.  My pre-teenage daughter's bedroom.  Not much in the way of major change, just little make-overs that we performed here and there.  It was fun working together to achieve what she desired.  I prefer the yellow & white, daisy & bumblebee stage but I know this is part of growing up.

No matter how much I want to fight her growing up, I choose to embrace her age and enjoy her at this time in her life for I am grateful for each day here on this earth that I have with my precious daughter.