Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The bell still rings for those who truly believe... 

Can you still hear the bell?

Wishing all of my friends, family, and loved ones a Merry Christmas!

We are off on an exciting family adventure that I am looking forward to sharing with you!  


Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Simple Christmas Break Celebration

Yesterday was the last official day of school before the start of Christmas Break.  And while some area kiddos got an unexpected snow day, today, we were already off of school and in celebration mode!

To mark the last day of school and kickoff these next 18 days together as a family, I put together a simple after school snack table for my daughter, her friend, and my two little boys.  Finger foods (cheese, crackers, and pepperonis) were served on festive paper products and steaming hot chocolate was ladled into winter white coffee mugs.  Candy canes, peppermint bark, marshmallows, and whipped cream sweetened the cocoa and their palates.

I fashioned a table runner from a remnant scrap of Christmas fabric and used some faux greenery and a coordinating serving platter to celebrate the whimsical nature of this after-school snack.  The lights were dimmed, the Christmas music cued, and the tree was lit.

The girls delighted in the table setting and the boys in the food!  Just a few simple touches that turned an after-school snack into a holiday celebration!

It's the most wonderful time of the year
With the kids jingle-belling
And everyone telling you
Be of good cheer
It's the most wonderful time of the year

It's the hap-happiest season of all (wonderful time)
With those holiday greetings
And great happy meetings
When friends come to call
It's the hap-happiest season of all

Happy Thursday!  I'm off to finish up some last minute shopping, gift-wrapping, packing, etc.!


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Twas the Night Before Christmas Break

Twas the Night Before Christmas Break

Twas the night before Christmas Break
and all through our house
kiddos were running and scurrying about!

A program to present
to parents and staff,
one angel, one donkey, one stable sheep en masse.

Their voices so precious,
in our hearts they remain;
Our sweet girl rocked her
"In Excelsis Deo" refrain!

Upon returning home
a few stitches still to be sewn;
Mama nearly finished with pajamas
for a Polar Express Party to be thrown.

Eagerly awaking
for the last day of school,
my little ones couldn't wait
to give teacher presents they thought were so cool!

Market bags and journals,
Christmas ornaments and (peppermint) bark,
Hand sanitizer and candy canes,
secret gifts for teachers kept in the dark!

Their eyes filled with tears
as their gifts were passed out;
but they'll never know the gratitude we feel 
so we shout...

"We love you Mrs. Herrick,
Ms. Thimesch, Mrs. Gay,
in light of Connecticut
do we thank you enough each day?"

And so break begins
where we spend time with family and friends;
We cherish our loved ones,
and pray for a peace that only the Christ Child
can transcend.     

Dedicated to the faculty and staff of
St. Paul Catholic School
Olathe, KS

Linking up with StoneGable for Tutorials, Tips, and Tidbits!


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Chocolate Peppermint Bark ~ Recipe

Linking up with the lovely ladies and their blogs at

This morning/afternoon, I have somehow managed to finish sewing two more pairs of Christmas pajama pants as well as make two batches of Chocolate Peppermint Bark.

Chocolate Peppermint Bark is easy to prepare, but there are a couple of things to keep in mind...

...first, commercially prepared (chocolate) peppermint bark uses tempered chocolates which gives the bark that beautifully shiny appearance, crisp breaking ability, and lack-of-melting factor.

That being said, commercially prepared (chocolate) peppermint bark is expensive. So, if you don't mind your chocolatey-bark goodness melting in your hands and you have a way to keep your bark refrigerated, why not create a homemade version?

  • Dark Chocolate baking squares or melts (NOTE:  All of the recipes out there recommend not using white/chocolate chips since chips have a different melting point.  I used chips in my recipe and the bark turned out fine!)
  • White Chocolate baking squares or melts
  • Candy Cane
  • Before melting your chocolates, have  your candy canes crushed.  I used a gallon size zip lock baggie and a meat tenderizer mallet.
  • Over a double boiler melt 1/2 of your chocolate squares/meltsI started with approximately 6 ounces.  As chocolate begins to melt, remove from heat and add the additional chocolate squares/melts.  At this point, you can add 1/2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon cooking oil to give your chocolate a shiny appearance.  Stir rapidly for approximately 5 minutes.
  • After chocolate squares/melts have been stirred, spread quickly using a rubber spatula on a tinfoil lined baking sheet.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Next, melt white chocolate squares/melts over double boiler. Follow the same procedure as you did for the chocolate squares/melts.  When white chocolate is ready, pour over the hardened dark chocolate and smooth with a rubber spatula.  At this point, you will sprinkle your crushed candy canes on top of the white chocolate.
  • Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • After refrigeration, break apart into chunks similar to peanut brittle.
NOTE:  Although your Chocolate Peppermint Bark will have a shiny appearance, due to the added vegetable oil, it will still melt and need to be refrigerated.  Curious as to why?  Read here .

 Step 1

Step 2

Step 3


Step 5

Step 6
Step 7

I am using my Chocolate Peppermint Bark as part of gift bags for my kiddos' teachers at their school.  I went with a "peppermint" theme this year for faculty/staff gifts (my children go to a really tiny parochial school).  I purchased $5 Peppermint Hand Sanitizers from Bath & Body Works, added the Chocolate Peppermint Bark and a candy cane.  Voila...support staff Christmas gifts!

Needless to say, I've been a busy bee...not too much free time tonight as we have our children's Christmas Program at 7:00 PM.  (Nester the Christmas Donkey...we can't wait.  We think we will have one of the cutest barnyard/manger animals as well as one of  the most adorable angels in the program...but we might be biased!) ;)

Tis the Season...for Christmas Programs...Polar Express Pajama Parties...and Baking! Have a wonderful evening!

Linking up with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop
The Chicken Chick


Monday, December 17, 2012

Pajama Pants in Progress

I still need to put in the elastic waistband and hem the bottoms, but here is a sneak peek of my kiddos' Christmas pajama pants (Luke's size 2T)...

These are turning out even cuter than I expected!  I loved the fabric when I saw it, but just wasn't sure how it would look as a pair of pajama pants...

...I'm thinking my older kiddos are going to look so cute at their Polar Express Party on Wednesday!

Tutorial to come.  I'm off now to make a pair of  6X and 9/10.  Can someone please tell my 2nd grader to stop growing?!!! :)

Linking  up with Amy at Homestead Revival for her


God is Everywhere all the Time!

Here it is, Monday afternoon, I am just now getting my "Spiritual Sunday" post written up.

Obviously, that tells you what kind of weekend we had at our house!

But also, I needed some time to process what happened in Newtown, CT on Friday.

That being said, my dear friend, Carrie D. wrote a most beautiful post on facebook that I just didn't "like"...I loved!  She summed up exactly how I feel about God and public schools.

"As I'm reading the t-shirt about God not being in our schools, and the Fred Rogers quote about looking for the helpers I'm having some thoughts. (I know, shocking right?) I don't think we have the power to kick God out of anywhere. God is good all the time and He is everywhere all the time. He gave us all free will and some will for pain - to feel it, to cause it, and to be blinded by it. 

But some of us choose to help, to respond, to teach, and to love. That being said, we are praying for the families and students who suffered yesterday and for all families everywhere who have suffered. We who teach will continue our work daily to show our students a caring community and the importance of their presence within it."  ~Carrie D.~

I think Carrie is spot on.

I know that there are those who are non-believers...maybe even believers... who are pointing and asking..."Where was (your) God when this was happening?" 

I believe, HE was right there.  Waiting to usher HIS littlest ones in HIS kingdom.  

I choose to believe that HE was weeping right along with those parents at the Sandy Hook Fire Department when they heard the awful news...that there were no more survivors.  That their child was one of the 20 dead.  

I believe that HE was running right alongside those brave first graders who made a mad dash past the gunman in their fight for survival.  

I believe HE was working right alongside the first responders who, too, have to live with the horrific images and memories of that tragic day.

Yes, we as an American society may no longer allow images and icons of God in our public schools.  We no longer use Scripture passages as handwriting...we no longer use Old or New Testament stories as our reading primers (teaching reading)...

...but to say that we have kicked God out of our public schools...


Instead, I believe that there are many, many complicating factors as to why this tragedy occurred including many in society who have systematically removed THEMSELVES from RELATIONSHIP with GOD, the prevalence of violence through media in our society, the gun control issue, bullying,  the lack of access/resources for adequate mental health care, and last, but certainly not least the breakdown of the family.  

We must do better, as a society and as parents, by our children.  

God expects nothing less. 


Linking up with Charlotte for Spiritual Sundays.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Market/Tote Bags are Finished!

My daughter and I had a lovely time at the Kansas City Ballet last night.  We attended the Friday evening performance of The Nutcracker.  After yesterday's tragedy in CT, it was good for my soul!

This morning I was able to finish up the last of the market/tote bags for my kids' teachers.  I have a few last minute embellishments that I want to add, but otherwise am pleased with how they turned out. 

Bag #1 (Red Chevron w/ Black Floral coordinating fabric)

Bag #2 (Orange geometric circles with orange scroll pattern coordinating fabric)

And finally, market/tote bag #3 (pink and green paisley with pink and green striped coordinating fabric).

It's hard to pick...but I think the pink and green paisley might be my favorite.  I have a bit of yardage leftover and plan on attaching one big bow with tails to one handle for a bit of embellishment.

Do you have a favorite?

Now, I only have three (3) pairs of Christmas pajama pants to sew before my kiddos' "Polar Express" party on the 19th!  whew!  Tutorial to come.

Happy Saturday.  We are off to a corporate Christmas Party tonight.  'Tis the Season!


P.S.  If you are interested in a tutorial for the market bag click here.

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Nutcracker Ballet

In light of this morning's tragedy in Newtown, CT, I'm not feeling particularly up to blogging about holiday decor...breakfast casseroles...sewing tutorials.

And while all those little things are important, because it is those little things that add up to make our days, I'm feeling a need to keep the television turned off, the radio dial tuned to Christmas music, and the computer shut down so that I can truly focus on being present with my loved ones.

Tonight, my sweet daughter and I have a date, compliments of Daddy!  We are headed downtown to see the evening performance of the Kansas City Ballet's The Nutcracker.

And while part of me feels guilty for going out and having a good time in light of a national tragedy, a different part of me feels it is necessary to show my daughter (who doesn't know what has happened) that life continues on...we don't stop living or loving or celebrating with those we love.  There is certainly a time to mourn, but there is also a time for celebration.

Tonight, I am honoring her innocence.

I leave you with these two sweet photos captured by our family photographer last Sunday...

...all the more meaningful today.

Our precious 8-year old.

Mama holding her sweet boys close to her.
I will be back tomorrow to visit all of you at the various linky parties I joined up with and to share a delicious breakfast casserole.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Simple Tote Bag (Sewing Tutorial)

Updated this morning...

I'm linking up with Laine over at It's Just Laine for her

It's a Handmade Christmas linky party

 Be sure to drop by if you are looking for last minute handmade Christmas gift ideas!

This evening, I'm linking up with Sherry at No Minimalist Here for

and the ladies at

The 36th AVENUE

As this is my first "tutorial", let me sincerely apologize if I over-explain each step.  I can't seem to help myself...it's the "teacher" in me!

Yesterday, I gave you a sneak peek of my fabric choices for this project. They include...

For today's tutorial, I am working with the red chevron/black floral fabrics.
These fabrics are from Hobby Lobby's printed duck cloth collection.

Simple Tote Bag Tutorial

  • Two 15.5" X 19" fabric panels (for front and back of tote bag)
  • Two 5" X 30" fabric panels for tote bag handles
  • Sewing Machine
  • Iron
  • Thread
  • Ruler
  • Straight Pins
  • Scissors

Step 1
Begin by cutting your fabric panels.  You will need two (2) 15.5" X 19" panels from your main fabric for the front and back of your tote bag, and two (2) 5" X 30" fabric panels of your coordinating fabric for the tote bag handles.

Step 2
Working on a flat surface, on each panel along the shortest side, fold over fabric 1.5".  Press with iron.  Pin in place.  Sew folded edge down on each panel.  I used a 1/4" seam along the raw edge of the fabric.

This 1.5"  inside seam will be on the top of each front and back panel.  (It is where you will attach your tote bag's handles.)

Step 3
To make your tote bag handles, take remaining panels and fold lengthwise, with right sides (pattern sides) together.  Pin folds and press with iron.

Step 4
Sew each handle from one end to the other being sure to backstitch.  Turn each handle right side out and iron along all edges for crisp folds.

Step 5
Next you will attach your tote handles to the back of each panel using an "x" joint.  (Feel free to email me if you need further clarification on how to sew an "x" joint.)  

Placement of your handles should be precise.  So, using your ruler, place handles 3" from each outside edge of each tote panel and 1.5" from top of tote.  (Note, if your folded edge is 1.5" in width then you should just be able to match up raw edge of the tote handle with the raw edge of the tote seam.)

Step 6
Last step...you're almost finished!  With right sides (pattern side) of panels together, pin left, right, and bottom edges together.  Sew using a 1/4" seam allowance being sure to backstitch.  Turn tote right side out and voila...you're done!

You now have an adorable tote bag to take with you to your local Farmer's Market/Public Library/Errand Running, etc.  The printed duck cloth is durable and holds up well.  

Note:  I embellished this tote bag with a front pocket.  (A first for me...a novice seamstress!)  I might add some black beaded trim/fringe around the top/opening, but it is cute as is.  

This tote, along with the other two I am making, is for my child's classroom teacher.  I plan to have my kiddos deliver these to their teachers filled with some homemade Christmas treats and an ornament attached to the handle.  (My kiddos picked each teacher's fabric based on their personality! SEW Sweet!)

Please feel free to email me at oursomedayfarmdotgmaildotcom if you have any questions regarding this tutorial.  Also, I'd appreciate any comments regarding the difficulty/ease of following these directions.  

Happy Sewing!


P.S.  I have no idea why some of my font sizes are normal...and others "tiny".  I used the same size throughout unless I enlarged for the labels.  Odd.