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Archive for the ‘Grandparents’ Category

Entering The Christmas Zone!

It’s that time again!

Believe in the Spirit of Christmas Printable

Gearing up for Christmas!

ūüôā

Thanksgiving is over, Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday have all passed without further ado! Now is the time to think about the reason for the season.

LOVE!

Brrr, baby it’s cold out there!¬† I need hot chocolate. (I love hot chocolate!)

Cup of hot chocolate with whipped cream

Cup of hot chocolate with whipped cream (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here’s a¬† quick¬† holiday idea for making gifts teachers, friends, etc. My kids love¬† this hot chocolate mix.¬† Adapted and tweaked from Grandma Dot’s recipe to…

Evie’s¬† Hot Chocolate Mix!

1 Р8  ounce jar cocoa powder

1 Р8 quart package  non fat dry milk (about 10 cups)

1 -16 ounce package sifted powdered sugar (about 3 -3/4 cups)

1 -10 ounce jar powdered non dairy creamer

Optional * pinch of cinnamon and whipped cream or marshmallows. I like to add a peppermint stick to my gifts!

My grandson, Justin doesn’t like cinnamon so I just add it to my cup!

~ In large bowl mix all ingredients except optional items. Store in airtight container. For one serving add about one fourth cup hot chocolate mix to one cup boiled water. Let cool before drinking!

Last year for teachers and friends, the grand kids and I did Rudolph Hot Chocolate Treats .

For over a year I have pinned these holiday ideas, and here’s the mother load! I thought maybe you would like to check out my Pinterest board full of Christmas ideas.

Many are do-it-yourself, easy decorations, crafts, and ornaments that will make your holiday brighter.

Enjoy and don’t forget to follow Evie’s Gardens here and on Facebook!

Thanks ~ Evie

Holiday’s Are Coming!

As a child I remember going to our grandparents’ home. My grandfather managed a dairy, his father owned Pippin’s dairy when he grew up.

Just a blast from the past I thought I would share!

My great grandparents on the Pippin/Sams Branches of our Family Tree.

Made me think back, then forward. Family memories rock. Period. No one has your family and your life time memories. They are tucked away somewhere in your mind,  just to jump back in there right at the holidays. I know, right?

I love to make memories with my grandchildren and my children!

Last year while at my daughter’s, I had a wonderful time with my grandchildren, Ashley and Cooper doing “random acts of¬† Christmas kindness“, which from now on, will be referred to as RACK.

From making cookies for the neighbors and the fire fighters to picking up trash in the neighbors yards, we did an act of kindness from Thanksgiving through Christmas.

It’s the beginning of the holiday season, and I am looking forward to some family and friends’ time!

Every year at this time when my Thanksgiving cactus blooms, I start thinking about the fun ahead.

Last year we had a blast making gingerbread houses with Brittnee and Kye, two more of my grands who were visiting from Oklahoma. The kids had fun, the left over Halloween candy is history, and we made some precious memories.

This year’s holiday season started off sad, with an unfortunate accident that took the life of my nephew. My sister in law’s sister passed away, and there is lots of sickness going around.

Our local VFW Post and our auxiliary make Thanksgiving dinner for our community who don’t have family, or can’t afford to make such a meal. We take donations to help cover the cost.

Mr. M and I usually contribute by pitching in where ever we can. It’s such a little thing to spend your time making peanut butter sandwiches for those in need. Then we feast on a meal that is blessed by many doing RACK. Oh, yeah!

Then Countdown to Christmas! Check out my Pinterest board for a fun, easy inexpensive Christmas craft to do with your kiddos for teachers’ gifts, or for party favors.

Hot chocolate, anyone?

The number of cakes in the jars for my troop and family Christmas gifts is increasing, if I can keep the man out of them! ūüėČ I am making extras to have for when company drops by! My favorite so far is the egg-less, milk-less chocolate cake!

Remember the reason.

Enjoy the season.

Give thanks.

And RACK on!

Inspired Again!

Every day something inspires me to do better. Pinterest boards inspire me to do so much more… I love the hints, tips, and recipes!

Hot chocolate, anyone?

Last year while living and spending time with two of my favorite kids, we  looked on Pinterest to make Christmas presents for their teachers. We decided  to make our own Rudolphs!  After seeing  hot chocolate gifts, we started with a basic hot chocolate mix and did our thing.  This is the end result! We had fun making all them all.

You can use store-bought mix, or just comment and let me know, I will send you a link to the recipe that I have tweaked and used for years. It’s G’ma Dot’s!

Check it out… there are lots of inspiring links on my Pinterest boards. People inspire me to do crafty things around this homestead!

My friend and auxiliary sister turned eighteen recently. She inspires me!

Always amazes me to see a lady (Yes, you are a lady!) at this age, knowing what she wants from her life, and making to effort to do the best she can.

I get inspiration from those who supports our military at this young age and doing good for others,  when most are concentrating on the fun side of life.

The auxiliary I belong to… you inspire me, sisters!

Thank you for your service and your friendship!  I hope what we do helps someone along the way!

If you would be interested in joining the cause, check out www.ladiesauxvfw.org

Will you be my inspiration tomorrow? Looking forward to finding out.

My sister-in-law inspires me. Happy birthday, Evelyn Kay Thompson. Sharing her world tomorrow, maybe. ūüôā

Have a fruit filled day! ~ Evie

Hi, It’s Just Me!

For those of you on Pinterest… just thought I would introduce myself and share a¬† few flowers in Evie’s Gardens! For those of you who read my blog… I¬† am back!

If you follow me on Pinterest, and wonder who I am and why I pin such diverse objects, let me introduce myself.¬† I’m Evelyn aka Evie. Passionate about life in general, I wear many hats. A gardener and crafter at heart, I incorporate both.

My yard and greenhouse are usually full of handmade, recycled, DIY objects. My many family members and my friends are the perks in my life. I enjoy making peanut butter sandwiches… aka… random acts of kindness.

I started this blog last year, then my computer crashed. My daughter was diagnosed with lymphoma and my husband was diagnosed with skin cancer. So… the blog was put on hold.

Unfortunately all of my Evie’s Gardens files were lost when my computer crashed. So I must start over. ūüė¶

Computer is fixed. Life goes on. (Still haven’t retrieved all my files, but we are working on that.)

My news years resolution was to embrace the life God has given me, to live it, love it, and laugh and enjoy it and definitely be thankful for it!

No worrying about what ifs, no dwelling on why I didn’t. To do what I am led, no questions asked!

This is  my granddaughter Ashley. I have challenged her to eat healthier.

We’re working on this! Click on the picture and see what Doctor Oz says about healthy foods!

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We are making healthy choices this year!

When cancer strikes your family you question your mortality. We have a challenge to eat healthier! We are doing this daily in the choices we make!

Oh, to have the energy this little guy has!

Let's get healthy!

If my grandson Cooper can hoola hoop, I can, too!

My daughter Mirandy received the results for her pet scan. Halfway through chemo, the cancer has shrunk in half! Yeah, I’m praising the Lord!

Team Mandy

 This is my daughter Mirandy (front row Рcenter), her family, my son and his family, and me!

This guy on the right is my husband. At this time I am staying with my daughter in IL while he remains at home in OK.

We are just a small part of Team Mandy. There are so many who support her through this battle in her life. We had t-shirts made as a gesture to show her we care, and they are proudly worn in Illinois, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Arkansas! Go Team Mandy!

Even though we are having some bumps in the road, life is not going to get us down! We are fighting like a hoot! (Mirandy, aka, Mandy’s nickname)

I Pinned This!

I tried out the aluminum foil ball for the dryer that is supposed to get rid of static electricity. It didn’t. If anyone else tried it and it worked, tell me what you did right and what I didn’t!

If you would like to follow me as I go through my life in Evie’s Gardens… jump on board.

I’m you will find something that interest you, whether it is gardening, spiritual, crafts, food, DIY, kids fun, or just some good humorous fun! Please get involved!

Glad you dropped by.

Today I just wanted to introduce myself.

Hope your day is blessed beyond belief! ~Evie

In remembrance of¬† MLK… ‚ÄúFaith is taking the first step, even when you don‚Äôt see the whole staircase.‚ÄĚ~Martin Luther King
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Not Even A Mouse… Okay Maybe One!

I am sitting with my daughter at chemotherapy, and looking around at the patients that are all going through therapy, too. It is sad knowing they all will be feeling badly come Christmas day. My heart goes out to them.

Mirandy is halfway through her first round of chemo, and we are praying she will be cancer free when these twelve sessions are through.

The grand kids are on Christmas vacation so, for me, I will be trying to find something fun (and quiet) to occupy them while she is recuperating.

Crafts are good for all ages… and for some quiet time.

Maybe tomorrow we will see if we can get a mouse stirring!

Here is another easy craft to pass the time with the little ones!

At this time of year, most homes have candy canes laying around, and most of us have leftover felt and googly eyes from other projects. So go raid the craft supplies and¬† let’s get started!

This craft really doesn’t need a pattern. (Refer to picture for placement.)

It can be made with different materials; ours just happens to be felt! Size really doesn’t matter, as long as the candy cane is shorter than the fabric. I think fleece would work well!

Supplies needed:

Red felt (a bit longer than a regular size candy cane)

Green felt for ears

Cellophane wrapped candy cane for tail

2 googly eyes

1 small pom-pom for nose

This is the underside of the mouse.

Directions: Fold the piece of  red felt long-wise. Cut into a teardrop shape. (see first photo) Make two slits about middle ways for ears and to hold tail for support. (See second photo.) At the bottom of the body make a slit in the middle of the felt to slip candy cane tail in. The candy cane helps hold the ears in place!

For the ears you will need one small piece of green felt.  Fold in half. Refer to photos.

Make a straight cut then make a circle for ears then back straight to the fold. (see first photo) The ears will look like a dumb bell, only with circles at the ends. Slide one circle through slits in red felt. Okay, now you have ears!

Glue on googly eyes and nose.

On the underside of the mouse, slide candy cane straight end (first) through tail slit and run it through the ears. (see second picture)Hook end of candy cane makes the tail.

This would be nice for Random Acts of Christmas Kindness, too!

Don’t forget to take a picture of your special mice and upload to share with us. Thanks.

Do you have an easy craft you would like to share? We would love to see it!

Countdown to Christmas!

School is out for the rest of the year, and it’s cold outside!

What can you do while the kids are home, and impatiently waiting for the ‘big day’ to arrive?

I adapted a Pinterest pin and we made Rudolph Hot Chocolate Mix. (We made ours for the kids’ teachers.) Makes great last-minute RACK (random acts of Christmas kindness) gifts for the neighbors, friends, and family.

Hot chocolate, anyone?

This is an easy craft and the children can help!

For each Rudolph you will need:

1 Wilton decorating bag

2 Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate packets

Handful of miniature marshmallows

Small handful of chocolate mint M and M’s

2 googly eyes (attach with Tacky glue)

Curling ribbon or any tying material

1/2 metallic red pipe cleaner for nose

1 metallic red pipe cleaners for antlers

Directions for Rudolph Chocolate Treats:

Empty packets of hot chocolate mix in bag.

Next drop in marshmallows, followed by M and M’s.

Twist bag closed, tie off with ribbon, twist ties, etc.

For each treat you will need to cut 2 pipe cleaners in half. (I used a small pair of needle nose pliers, but you could use an old pair of scissors that won’t hurt if you cut wire.) You will need one and a half pipe cleaners per treat.

Pictured is pipe cleaners for antlers.

 

Wrap one of the halved pipe cleaners around the tip of bag for nose. Pinch it so it doesn’t slide off of the bag. See first picture.

For each antler you will need one pipe cleaner, halved. Take one of the halves and cut it in half again. Twist the halved one around the top of the bag (where you have it tied off with ribbon or twist tie.)

Then take the quartered pieces and twist around the ends of the pipe cleaner to make antlers.

Glue googly eyes on bag with Tacky glue. (See above picture.)

You could use any powdered hot chocolate mix. Here’s the link to my hot chocolate mix recipe.

These make double cups of hot chocolate. If you want, you could use one package and make a smaller reindeer. Just cut the excess plastic from the top.

BTW… my grand children already drank theirs, so I used an empty one for a pattern! You can tell by the hot chocolate spots on the TV tray! ūüôā

That’s it, folks. Occupy the kids and make a great last-minute gift! Be sure to make some for them, too!

For more great Christmas ideas check out  raisingolives.

Life Is What It Is!

It’s been a while since I have written on this blog… lots of things have happened since the last time I wrote. First of all, my computer crashed and I had only my phone to communicate with on the internet. I am back now, though!

Another thing that has happened… my daughter was diagnosed with lymphoma, so I have made the trip from Oklahoma to Illinois to help her through her chemo and help with my grandchildren.

Staying in the city is a change from living in the country!¬† The city noises are strange compared to the quietness of our rural home, and it’s not easy sleeping with the different noises.

Ashley, Cooper, and I put up the Christmas tree last week, and together we decorated it. We also have crafted some nice decorations, too.

My daughter Mirandy and I thought it would be a wonderful thing if we did Random Acts of Christmas Kindness (RACK) this holiday season with Ashley (9)  and Cooper (4), to give them something positive to think about. We wrote twenty-four kindnesses on a sheet of paper, one for every day until Christmas.

Ashley rewrote them on gift size cards I had previously cut from construction paper. She decorated the fronts of the cards with stencils and colored pens, enjoying every minute of it!

When we awake in the mornings, we take turns drawing out of the big holiday bowl, which holds the cards for our kindness of the day! RACK has been a big conversational topic in this house, and my grand children are feeling good about doing these little things for others.

I didn’t realize just how much Cooper thought about these acts until Saturday evening while he and Ashley were in the bedroom watching a movie. Paul, Mandy, and I were in the living room getting ready to watch bedlam, (OSU vs OU).

All of a sudden Cooper comes running into the living room crying, “Grandma, Ashley is in here doing random acts of meanness!”

I nearly fell to the floor laughing! Well, he’s been told to use his words! ūüôā

Have a great day, God bless you, and don’t forget RACK!

Catch you later, Evie! ‚̧

Socialization Rocks… Or What’s Your Story?

Third Grade,¬†9 years-old¬†~ What’s Your Story?

Friends, I would like you to tell me…¬†what’s¬†your story? Please comment at the end of the post. Share with me just what it is that you get from this social networking site¬†we use online on¬†our computers?

Playing scrabble with my friend Patty,¬†from childhood, this morning transported¬†me to pondering about life. As I was thinking about my friends, I wondered how different life would be if we didn’t have this tool.

For one thing, communication with so many of your family and friends would be next to impossible. With social networking sites, we are able to stay connected to many lives. In an instant you can pray for someone, rejoice with them, or congratulate a friend! You can send birthday greetings, hear sad news, see milestones happen, and so much more.

Here’s my the beginning of my¬†story. I hope you will share yours.

Rewind:¬†…to my preteens. Living in a rural area,¬†neighbors are not¬†a few feet away. Growing up, we didn’t have close neighbors.

As I recall,¬†one day¬†Dad went to our neighbor’s house for some reason. Don’t remember why. Some of us kids were with him, and when arrived he said we could get out and play.

This little blonde headed girl lived there, and we immediately became friends. Living in another school district, I had never met her. Long story, short! We were childhood friends, who through the years saw each only  occasionally. Through Facebook we have connected with each other and started right back where we stopped.

I love connecting with my family and friends playing scrabble and WWF on Facebook. With chat on the page, you can laugh with each other while you play. Kind of makes you feel like you are there!

Visiting with and getting to know my friend Barb better has been a blessing in my life. We love talking about our grandchildren and have a lot in common. She makes me laugh and sometimes makes me cry. I enjoy her friendship!

I admire her for her courage in the battle she has fought to survive cancer. It’s¬†rejoicing to know that my grandchildren have wonderful grandparents to love and care for them.

I can go on and on about the connections I have made, but I would be here all day!

I think we should start a blog roll and share our stories on the blog.

Here’s¬†some people who I connect with.

My children, sisters, sisters-in-laws, nieces, brothers, brothers-in-law,nephews, grandsons and granddaughters, cousins, aunts and uncles. This includes childhood friends from church and school, and people I have met in my life. There are students I have taught, teachers I worked with, my some of my scout troops from many years ago. Many of my friends through life are on here!

It doesn’t take long to scroll down through your news feed and stay in tune with your people’s lives.

This is time I give to my life and living it… me, time! We may not¬†be¬†able to comment on every¬†post, or¬†read every link, but only clicking the like button shows we are¬†alive, well enough to be online, connected, and interested in what the other person is going through in their lives!

That’s the start of my story! What’s your story?

How Was The First Time At School, Moms?

And please, they are fashionistas! They love to dress themselves!

I assume everyone is adjusting nicely to the new first time chapters in your life. My chapter is going through a slump now. My body is dragging.

Probably was that combination pizza I had for lunch and the Key Lime Pie I had for supper. I know, not a good idea, but it was good! 

Thanks Lynne! I agree, it was yummy!¬† I probably should go eat my meal now. ūüôā

I found out today that my grandson is not going to cry on his first day of his second year of school! You, go Coop!

For those of you who are going through this chapter in your life, whether you are mother, a grandmother, or a relative of a small child starting school the first time, it can get hectic.

Here are ten of the things I have learned in my big fat funny story!

  1. It’s harder on the moms and grandmas than¬†the child, usually whether the first time or the second year!
  2. We  have to learn to let go, and let them soar with the eagles, or at least with the kids in the classroom!
  3. Note to self: Refrigerator magnets.Their artwork needs displayed proudly.
  4. Don’t do it for them, do it with them. Teach them.
  5. Treasure the days amidst all the chaos!
  6. Encourage your child  to do his/her possible best. One day we could be looking at the next minister of God, Mozart, Erma Bombeck, a famous singer, or even the president!
  7. When your five-year old draws a picture of you, then jerks it back because it isn’t quite finished, don’t get mad! Smile brightly when she tells you she forgot to draw those squiggly lines on you that make you look old and tell her how pretty it is!
  8. Don’t get frustrated when your child forgets his backpack, his lunch, or whatever! It’s all a learning process, and it takes time.
  9. Hey, Mom, tomorrow is my day to bring snacks! (For when the times comes, and assuredly  it will,) keep a box of snacks hidden for reserve!
  10. Get a big calendar with lots of space to write. You are going to need it!

This chapter is a great blessing in your life, watching your children become who they will be. Be encouraging and make it fun for them¬†to learn! Don’t let it become a drudgery in your life, because you have too many other important things to do!

It’s your life,¬†live it as calmly as you can! You are raising someone special… your child and a child of God’s.

I found through my life, when a child sees their painting or drawing on the fridge, they will draw  you another. Soon you will need a file folder or big zip lock bag to store your prized collection. (One day it will be theirs and it is important to them!)

Helping them through the hard times, rejoicing in the good days, praising their earnest¬†achievements they accomplish, these are all the¬†pages in your own personal book. It’s who you are, and who you will help your child¬†to become.

As for the squiggly lines, well she did draw me!

Mark my words, one night, while tucking your child in bed you will hear, “Oh, Mom, I forgot. I¬†have to bring snacks tomorrow!”¬†¬† (Calendar) Be prepared, always have something suitable on hand that you can pop in your child’s backpack for snack day or some cash hidden for the school book fair!

Get a big calendar, and put it in a place where you will see it. It’s a great way to stay on schedule, teach your child the days and numbers, and keep you sane! For your older children have them write their projects on the calendar’s date. Make it a daily habit to discuss what is in that backpack, record important dates on the calendar, and plan with your children.

Don’t do this for them, do it with them. Makes for some quality time while teaching children very important organizational skills! It also will make your life easier!

Being organized is the best thing you can do for yourself and your family. Then on those days that you really need chocolate, it¬†isn’t because you’re stressed out over not¬†being¬†at your child’s program!

Get involved with your child’s school. Volunteer! For volunteer programs, check out¬† volunteerspot.com! I love it for organizing committees. And it’s free!

There is a premium package that does even tshirt sales. For classrooms, the free one is excellent! Even if you don’t use it, you might share this page with someone who could!

Enjoy this chapter of your life, take it slow and easy. Cherish the moments and treasure your family! Teach them well!

And if you want to talk organizing, well, throw out the comments, tips, and hints! We all might learn a thing or two to help in our own lives first times, but do it here and not Facebook, please!

First Times… A New Chapter In Life

This is one of our first times... when my son started school!

The first time my daughter Mirandy started preschool is one tearful day I will never forget. Fast forward a generation.

When her daughter started kindergarten, I was with her, too. Mirandy was an emotional wreck all day. When my granddaughter graduated from kindergarten, my daughter shed tears. (But then so did I!)

Last year I¬†spent the first morning of two of my grandchildren’s school year with them. My grandson was starting pre-k for the first time, and my daughter Mirandy couldn’t¬†quit crying.

I am often¬†telling her the nut doesn’t fall to far from the tree! Then I remembered her first day at preschool!

Oh, how she cried! She wanted her mommy, but her mommy had to work. Hanging on to my skirt tail dragging behind me, was one unhappy little girl! I cried all day while trying to sell clothing at the department store where I worked. She was fine within five minutes of me leaving.

Today, my niece Angie is starting a new chapter in her life with her first baby girl. She started preschool for the first time. I think it was worse on Grannie than it was Mommy! And I think my great-niece was pretty excited today! I told Angie she came about it honestly, and if she didn’t have those feelings she wouldn’t be who she is… a¬†caring Mother!
My friend Jennie’s new chapter is her son’s last year of school, her daughter’s first year of high school, and her little one goes to head start. She doesn’t know which one makes her sadder!

Then there is Niki, my cousin who I have been close to since she was born! Her¬†son¬†started preschool, too, for the first time. He informed her the night before at the dinner table, “I am walking into school by myself!” She feels numb.

My friend KML was taking her infant grandson for a walk. As she watched the little ones board the bus, she felt emotional. Excited moms were snapping pictures, instructions given about which bus to ride home.

Her little one was sleeping in the stroller with not a care in the world. As she gazed on him, her thoughts went back to another day. It seemed like only yesterday she was one of those excited moms!

For my cousin Jannie¬†it is “Moving Day!” Her son is off to college.¬†She has mixed emotions. She¬†is happy ¬†for him on this new journey, but¬†she is sad at the same time.

When my son started school for the first time, I was sad all day, but he was ready for school and loved it. It was hard to send my firstborn out in the world.

My feelings were exactly the same the day Russ started college out-of-state and a new chapter unfolded! I remember how sad I was that he was moving out-of-state, but happy for his good fortune. Today he has a son and daughter in high school and the youngest son in elementary.

It is all mixed blessings. With new chapters in your life,¬†sometimes there is sadness,¬†emotions, tears,¬†and well, just living. We want to hang on to the babies that we have nurtured and loved. We don’t want them growing up and having to face the real world.

But one day we all come full circle and treasure each of those special moments! We all live it, we all have our book of life to fill! We’re all going to go through transitions and emotional roller coaster rides so… I say, embrace life, and do live like you are dying!

My latest chapter is “Great Grandparents, Again?” I am glad I am not still raising grands!

But on those sad occasions when you are having a bad day, just remember chocolate is a whole other food group! ūüôā

How did you feel when the first time  your new chapter started?

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