Friday, November 28, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We had a great time with family in Kentucky.

 Let us remember and be thankful for all the Lord's blessings not just on this day, but every day!

"Sing unto the Lord with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God: Who covereth the heaven with clouds, who prepareth rain for the earth, who maketh grass to grow upon the mountains. He giveth to the beast his food, and to the young ravens which cry. He delighteth not in the strength of the horse: he taketh not pleasure in the legs of a man. The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy."

-Psalm 147: 7-11

Monday, November 24, 2014

June and Georgia's First Birthday

Cannot believe my babies are a year old. Makes this mama a bit sad that the baby stage is soon to end. June and Georgia's first birthday was towards the end of October and we had a party for them with family and close friends. The first year sure does fly by!

We had several family members and some close friends in for the party, which was a fall and "pumpkin" themed affair with simple autumn-inspired food and decorations. Here are a few snapshots that were captured by our good friend April of April Cole Photography:

June with her Jiji

Georgia with Grandad

June and Georgia with Grandma and Big Daddy
Georgia with Nanna

We kept the party decor simple and the only items I made prior to the party were the scrap fabric garland and the month-by-month first year of baby photos that were hung on twine and tied around a tree. You can simply print pictures on your computer or order prints through Shutterfly. This DIY banner was easy to make and a great way to incoporate personal pictures into a birthday party. All you need are clothespins, string/twine, and whatever you'd like to hang off the banner!

Another fun thing with pictures I plan on doing for the Holidays this year is making a photo calendar of the girls. These make great gifts!

I used burlap and lace ribbon for the bows on the dessert table and fresh mums were placed around the yard with heirloom pumpkins. The heirloom pumpkins and mums will keep for the rest of the fall season long after their birthday is over so I love that they are not wasted. Before they go bad we will save the seeds from all the pumpkins for roasting and either freeze the flesh for baking or feed it to our chickens.

Making this scrap garland is super simple--just cut pieces the same length and tie onto twine

The day turned out to be beautiful and after everyone ate chili and appetizers for lunch we headed outside to open gifts. The girls had a really fun time and enjoyed playing with the tissue paper and cards just as much as seeing new toys and presents.

appetizers and snacks

 Then it was time for birthday cake -- June and Georgia got to try their first cupcake and oh my what an experience! They had started to get a little tired at that point in the party but once they had a taste of the cake it changed everything!

June and Georgia eating their pumpkin cupcakes

Georgia dove right in once she had a taste of the sweet treat whereas June wanted me to feed her little pieces of it. June would start to pick the cupcake up and then stop because she didn't quite know what to do with the icing on her fingers. Ha!

Georgia devouring her cupcake
mmmmm.......where has this been all my life?

June stayed fairly clean :)

Along with the cupcakes we served caramel apple pie, pumpkin pie, and Derby pie. I love serving pies for dessert to feed a crowd--especially in the fall :)

A year ago I was overcoming and healing from a traumatic delivery and thanking the Lord we were all healthy in addition to adjusting to the difficulties of mothering twins. I remember praying for the strength to get through those early weeks, which I could not have done without the help of family taking care of me and the girls. Thankfully, it got SO much better and SO much easier as the weeks and months went by. I truly love being a mom and am grateful for such an amazing gift.

I cannot express how blessed beyond measure we are with these two little loves in our life!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Roasted pumpkin seeds are one of my favorite fall snacks. They are not only healthy for you as a good source of zinc and other nutrients but they are also incredibly easy to make.

You can use the seeds of any squash, not just pumpkins.

Simply remove and wash the seeds in a colander, then spread on a towel to dry. I usually end up cooking my pumpkin in the oven so that I can then freeze the roasted pumpkin flesh. Once cooked, the skin of the pumpkin peels off easily.

Toss in a bowl with some olive oil to coat and seasoned salt. Spread on a baking sheet and roast on 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until browned.

You can use many other flavor combinations for the seeds if you like, adjusting the seasonings to make a spicy or cajun mix, or even a sweet and salty one with cinnamon sugar. My favorite is just the classic seasoned salt but you can certainly get creative!

It's as simple as that! 

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