Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Meal of Death

Pin It Now! For the past few weeks we have been reading a book called, Eating the Plates, A Pilgrim Book of Food and Manners. It fits in perfectly with our study of early American history. Quite informative, yet interestingly fun, we have thoroughly enjoyed it. The kids were looking forward to finishing, though, since they knew we would have a go at a couple of the colonial recipes in the back of the book. Authentic recipes with just the cooking methods changed a tad to account for the fact that the oven and stove have replaced fire.

Not too long ago we made an authentic colonial Dutch recipe that turned out rather yummy, so we couldn't wait to try another.

**I did learn an interesting fact that lets me off the hook when it comes to washing linens and things. The pilgrims only washed them like once a year!!! Now I don't feel so badly about letting our sheets go for 2 weeks without being washed. I just can't pull off once a week anymore. :( They survived, and so will we. :)

Alright, back to food.

I didn't title this post Meal of Death for nothing. Poor Pilgrims. Hot Indian Pudding and Swizzle, supposedly a cool and refreshing drink, were absolutely HORRIBLE!!!!!! BLECH!!!!

Just look at these faces...

Shiloh's just told me "I am NOT eating that for lunch!" I love Mullin's face in the background. :)
Yep, he had good reason to be a bit nervous about eating that!

As for Swizzle, a drink made with water, vinegar, ginger and molasses, yeah--that face says it all. Not only does it look and smell kinda strange, it's worse than Polyjuice Potion, worse than Uruk-hai juice. No wonder the Pilgrims and their children drank so much beer. (And I think beer is GROSS!)

And I was looking forward to a high-in-molasses meal since it contains so much calcium and iron. So much for that.

And just for the record-- I didn't make them stand up while they ate, and they didn't have to share a trencher.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Bringin' Home the Bacon, Literally

Pin It Now! Just a little FYI: This post contains photographic evidence of my son's first and very successful wild pig hunt. I know some readers may be sensitive to these images. I post out of sheer praise and excitement for my son, not for the purpose of offending anyone.


I never imagined myself the mother of a hunter. When I held my first, sweet, little newborn son in my arms, I never even thought that one day, a decade later, he'd be holding, aiming, and firing a gun! A real gun, people! Hunting just wasn't really a part of my family, at least not that I knew of, so that is why I never fathomed it. (Plus, I just don't think new mamas picture their sweet little ones doing anything but sleeping, crying, pooping and looking angelically cute as pie!)

I guess that little, camouflage, baby outfit (given by his Grandpa D of course) was a bit prophetic.

Unfortunately, this is a picture of a picture. I don't have a scanner, and I didn't have a digital camera in the year 1999!! I dressed my Sweet Pea in his little hunting outfit and placed him on a soft pile of leaves. And yes, this was all done especially for a certain hunter Grandpa.

My little baby has grown quite a bit and has spent the last few months preparing for this very day--the day of his first hunt. He left feeling a little nervous and very excited.

Obviously, he came back feeling like quite the successful champion!! All of his preparation paid off--it was a perfect shot. He carried the shell around and wouldn't put it down for a couple of days.

Mullin and his very proud Grandpa D., the hunter.

Grandpa D.'s friend, Mike, also a hunter, who accompanied Mullin on his first hunt.

I really haven't seen for myself yet, but from what everyone says, Mullin is a natural. I am proud of all of your hard work, son!!

In this day and age when, in my opinion, it's not wise to let a 10 yr. old ride his bike to the neighborhood park alone, I am glad he has something to do that allows him to feel like a "man". I could tell he felt so grown up. I am glad he had the opportunity to spread his wings a bit and take charge of something associated with "manliness". Thankfully, this mama can rest knowing he is in good hands when he is away doing all of his hunting stuff!!

From my point of view, it has been sort of difficult not being completely immersed and involved in one of his interests. I mean, when he was 3, I could name ALL of his Thomas trains, knew what color they were and what job they had. When he played baseball, I was right there watching. And now, frankly I don't know much about hunting. He's teaching me what it's all about. But then again, I guess that's what we raise our kids to do--to go out into the world and to do things for themselves.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Finally, A Field Trip!

Pin It Now! Well, I have been a resident of Arizona for 3 years and have just now joined a home school group. Didn't have a car when we first moved out here, so I knew it would be pointless to search for a group. Then, after about 6 months we were given a car, but I was just too overwhelmed with the move to bother.

Once I felt sort of at home here, I began searching on and off but just couldn't find what my heart desired. Then, we were back to one car again, so I quit searching. Blah, blah, blah.

I admit, too, that I just got comfortable doing my own thing without any interruptions. Plus, I am somewhat of a homebody and have to make myself get out sometimes, especially if it involves meeting new people. I love being social; I just dread the getting started part.

I just love how God used bloggyland to find us the perfect group at just the perfect time!!

A new home school mom was led to my blog through a google search, and she contacted me. We only live like 20 minutes apart from one another but probably would have never met had it not been for the internet connection. To make a long story short, we ended up meeting not too long ago (we both have boys around the same ages), and she invited me to join her home school group. And last Monday, I was finally able to meet the rest of the group for the first time at the New York Pizza Department!!!

You'll be able to tell by my children's faces just how much we enjoyed this field trip. I met a wonderful group of parents and felt really welcomed!! Thanks Amy!!!!

The boys had a blast socializing with other home schooled kids. I think they had forgotten just how fun a home school group could be.

Ooooh, the freezer was so cold. Shiloh quickly made some friends, too.

The kids get behind-the-scenes-pizza-making training.

They really liked seeing dough being thrown into the air!

Time for sauce, and the kids were able to help top the pizza with cheese. They got to eat that pizza--it was not served to customers!! :)

Playing with pizza dough while waiting for their pizza to cook.

NYPD had amazing service and delicious pizza, and we all had such a good time.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

In Sickness and in Health

Pin It Now! In sickness and in health we shall put up our Christmas trees before Thanksgiving! (By my husbands orders.)

I don't mind too much. I love Christmas trees. They add such warmth and beauty to a room. Memories of times past float through the air and nostalgia's presence envelops me like a big, fluffy cloud. Now all I need is some Christmas cocoa to complete this picture perfect moment. :)

Seriously, I could just stare at my trees for hours.

Well, like I said: In sickness and in health.... 3 of us were feeling a bit under the weather as we adorned our Memory Tree, but it was still fun.

Lincoln gives Snoopy (his ornament from us last year) a shake before he hangs him up. Oops, I see Shiloh's Cabbage Patch Kid needs to be turned around.

Isn't she cute in her Kohl's Christmas shirt? Got it majorly cheap with coupons. :) She loved posing with various ornaments--this one is from Pa and Cece I believe.

Lookin' good guys! The blankets are not my normal floor decor, but they keep falling, treasured ornaments from smashing into tiny pieces. They are promptly removed once we are finished decorating and the strict orders, "No more touching!" have been given.

Mullin poses with a favorite--oh yes, of course, it is a Star Wars ornament!! Mmmm, an M&M one at that!

All done! Can't wait to see it all lit up at night. So beautiful. I am sure the neighbors who've moved next door recently and don't know that we are crazy and start WAY early will think they're seeing things as they drive by. (Because no one decorates this early, right?! Well, except for Mark's Pawpaw and Grandma :)--they start in October!)

Happy decorating every one!

WFMW: Flaxalicious

Pin It Now! We could all use a little more fiber and omega 3s in our diets especially during the holiday season! I don't know about you, but I like to eat lots of "cloggy" foods like fudge, toffee and sugar cookies. :)

Here are a few easy ways that I have incorporated ground flax seed meal into my everyday cookin'.

*Add a couple of TBS to home made biscuit batter.

*Do the same to home made pancake, cornbread or muffin batter.

*Pour some into a blender as you are making a smoothie. You can't even tell it's there.

*Sprinkle a little bit on warm oatmeal or cold cereal.

See, now you don't have to feel too guilty about eating all the "junky" but tasty stuff!

For more tips visit We are THAT Family.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Just A Dose of Reality

Pin It Now! I often write of all the many blessings bestowed upon my family and me even in the midst of various trials.

Cuz that's just life.

And I honestly mean each and every one of those posts from the very depths of my heart.

But... We all have THOSE days, right, when all we want to do is vent, rant and rave, and find the nearest bridge!?

Well, today is THAT day and this post is THAT post. Cheery huh?

WARNING: It is THAT time of the month and I have an annoying head cold. I am about to rant, so if you are in a good mood and you are having a fabulous day, please DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT read any further since I do not wish to spoil it for you.

Just giving you some time to click the heck outta here....

Well, if you are still here, you are either just curious, or you too are having a bad day and just don't want to feel alone. Misery loves company. :)

Yep, I am having one of those "I-just-wanna-give-up-and-do-nothing-and-talk-to-no one- days". In other words, I am having a BAD day. Over silly, little stuff. That's usually how it is, though.

*I am tired of getting sick here in this dust bowl of a place.

*I am mad at myself for snapping at my kids during school. Yes, they were annoying me greatly, but that's no excuse.

*I am upset that orange juice spilled all down the front of my white shirt today.

*I am so sick of insomnia and all of my other bothersome health issues. I just want to be able to go to a naturopath. I just want to be able to go and get the "natural medicine" that I think will cure me, or at least help me. Oh wait, insurance won't pay for anything but "unnatural medicine".

*I am mad that I am completely out of ink for the computer. My computer has been irritating me. I want to yank the plug out of the wall and THROW it outside. Then I want to stomp on it and yell at it.

*I don't want to cook dinner. I am tired of cleaning, cleaning and cleaning.

*If I have to pinch one more penny, I think I am going to scream.

Okay there, I will stop. I feel better. Thanks for letting me blow off some steam. Now I need to go and blow my nose and get to all the above mentioned chores that I don't want to do.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Annual Ornament Gifts

Pin It Now! The kids get to open an ornament from us before we let them decorate the Memory Christmas Tree. I found some really cute, and yummy, letter ornaments at Kohl's that were on sale, plus I had one of those 15% off coupons, so they were very inexpensive this year.

M for Mullin, my dark and handsome hunter.
L for Lincoln, my good-looking, blue-eyed sunshine.

S for Shiloh, my gorgeous, green-eyed (hazel mostly) princess.

These ornaments remind me of the sugar cookies I make every Christmas, the ones my mom made every year, the ones her mom made every year and so on. I hope one day as my grown children are hanging up their sugar-cookie-letter ornaments on their own tree, they smile and remember the fun times we had baking and decorating Christmas cookies! :)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Laid Back Tree Decorating

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The day the calendar reads November 1, my husband, and now kids, pester me to get out the Christmas stuff.  They call me Scrooge because I actually want to savor the little blip of a holiday season that’s sandwiched between Halloween and Christmas.  In case anyone’s forgotten, they call it Thanksgiving. 

Anyway, all families have to give a little and learn to compromise, so I usually give in and start Christmas decorating around the middle of November.  We’d be waiting until next weekend if it weren’t for my oldest going on his first real hunt ever!!

We usually start with the Memory Tree, that’s the tree with the “everything” ornaments and ornament treasures we receive from family every year.  Love that tradition!!!!!!!!

But before we can start, I HAVE to clean the front room from top to bottom.  Thankfully it isn’t very big and there’s not much in it.  So, after I have mopped, dusted, and even cleaned the window and blinds (my least favorite chore, by the way!), we are ready to begin the process.  No kid involvement yet.

Each child has their own box of ornaments.  I have learned from years past that getting them out as we are decorating DOES NOT work!!!!  I can never get them out fast enough, plus I can’t enjoy watching them hang up their ornaments, which gives us all such a wonderful nostalgic feeling.  I don’t like missing that one bit!

Here is my solution that has worked for years.  It brings peace and enjoyment in the midst of decorating.  I unwrap each and every ornament and lay them out on top of plastic tubs.

Like so

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Now, after Mark has put the tree up and fluffed the branches, the kids have received and opened their yearly ornaments from us,and I have covered the entire tile floor with thick blankets (learned to do that the hard way when an ornament fell to its death) we are ready to let the Memory Tree decorating begin!!!!!

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See, each ornament is nicely laid out and completely ready to go on the tree. Each child knows which tub is theirs, so there is no fighting.  Mark and I get to sit back and ENJOY!!  Well, Shiloh still needs a little help with the hanging part. :)


And that is how the family of Autumnfawn Lane has a laid back decorating experience!

So how many of you have already pulled out the Christmas decorations?  Or am I the only CRAZY one?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Yea! I Won!!

Pin It Now! I have often wondered, "Am I wasting my time by entering endless giveaways?"

Well, aparantly not. I have won two in the past week!!!!!

One is for Christmas cards from Avondale Paperie. I am really excited about this one b/c I have always loved sending these out every year, and I honestly didn't think I'd be able to fit this holiday extra into our budget this year. We even used to get really into our annual Christmas cards by writing fun letters etc. Now that my husband and I both have blogs and all, I guess all that yearly info. would be overkill. Now it's just beautiful photos of our kids!!!

The other is for 2 beautiful hand quilted Christmas stockings that will match perfectly with my gold and garnet decor!! Jennifer makes beautiful quilts of all kinds!

I can't wait to receive my goodies in the mail!!! Seriously, winning these 2 giveaways made me smile in the midst of getting some not so good news the other day. :)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

WFMW: How to Properly Eat a Pomegranate

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I love pomegranates and sadly they are only around for like 2 months every year. They may seem pricey, but just one will be enough for about 4 people. Well, I could eat a whole one, but I share. :) I am always surprised at how many who ask me, "So how do you eat one of those?" You are missing out if you haven't tried one, and now you have no excuse!!

First, put an apron on!!! Do not skip this step as these ruby babies are VERY juicy!! I cut mine into fourths.

Then I immerse the pieces in water. It makes it easier to remove the seeds without getting splattered with juice.

I discard all of the outer covering and pulpy insides. Only the seeds (the part you eat) should be left in your bowl.

Drain the water and they are ready to eat! I like to place mine in the fridge for just a bit so the seeds are slightly chilled. Mmmm, then I love to eat them with a spoon. The sweet, juicy crunch is amazing!

Visit We are THAT Family for more WFMW tips!!

*Updated 10-26-10* It's pomegranate season again! I am so excited that I actually have some on my tree this year~not as big or juicy as the ones in the stores but still so yummy. :)
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Monday, November 09, 2009

Phoenix Zoo Fun

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Had a great time with grandparents and cousins at the zoo.  I am exhausted!

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Saturday, November 07, 2009

Raw Minerals Review

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Long gone are my high school days of wearing “pancake” make-up to cover up my freckles.  Since then I have made peace with my freckles, and for most of my make-up wearing life, I have been wearing all sorts of liquid foundations.  But, for the past year or so, I have been trying mineral make-up, which I really like: less mess, more natural looking, etc.

I was more than eager to give Raw Minerals a try and review it for myself and for all women out there who want great, natural looking skin!


I have been using Raw Minerals Discovery Kit, which includes Light Duo, Mineral Glow, Active Veil, Maximum Coverage Foundation Brush, Concealer Brush, and Multi-Tasking Retractable Brush, now for a few weeks and have been wondering the entire time, “Maximum Coverage Foundation Brush, where have you been all my life!”  It’s the best make-up brush I have ever used, in fact, I didn’t even know a make-up brush could be so wonderful!  The ladies on the Getting Started DVD kept talking about how soft it was, and they were absolutely right!

The rest of the Discovery Kit includes:body_photo_light_duo

two shades of foundation in case they need to be mixed in order to match your skin tone perfectly.  I am glad because I do need to mix them.  If you don’t need to mix for the perfect shade, you can specify that your next kit come with the same 2 shades.  After applying the foundation with the amazing Maximum Coverage Brush, I apply a little extra foundation with the Concealer Brush to my under eye area and to any minor blemishes I may have.









Mineral Glow, which gives your skin a natural, sun-kissed glimmer.  The DVD explains where to use this on your face, and I even like to apply it to my eyelids and lips for an overall natural look. 


Active Veil, which sort of “seals” everything in and also contains sunscreen.



Both the Mineral Glow and Active Veil are applied with the Multi-Tasking Retractable Brush.


Also included in the kit is a Getting Started DVD.  It was very informative and gave clear, step-by-step instructions.

I honestly like the way Raw Minerals looks and feels on my skin. It’s not heavy, and I don’t feel the need to constantly do a “powder touch-up” like I did when using liquid foundations.

Knowing that I am using products on my skin which contain no harsh chemicals, artificial colors, or synthetic fragrances makes me feel pretty good, too.

 2009-10-27 027Me with no make-up on whatsoever.  (These self portraits just don’t do me any favors!)

2009-10-27 028  Me wearing everything in the Raw Minerals Discovery Kit.  Looks MUCH better in person.  Just gives a slight glow all by itself—great to wear on all of my stay-at-home-mom days. :)

2009-10-27 034 Me with the rest of my make-up on.  I just used some extra Mineral Glow for blush and lips, although I did use lip liner to make my lips look more full.  I used all of my own eye make-up.

Please take a moment to browse around their site and see for yourself how Raw Minerals can help you achieve the perfect, all natural look! 

**Raw Minerals would also like to extend a special offer to all of my readers!  Enter coupon code DISCOVERY50 upon checkout to receive 50% off your Discovery Kit order plus free shipping.


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