Wednesday, December 12, 2012

DIMyself: Ice Cream Cone Christmas Trees

Sunday the kiddos and I decorated “Christmas Tree” Ice Cream Cones. I’ve seen them all over the internet and being repinned like crazy on Pinterest. Every year, we try decorating a gingerbread house, and every year it looks like crap. I’ve never made gingerbread, so I always buy a kit, thinking it’s going to be easier.

Who am I kidding?

I have tiny kids, they can’t construct something with “icing” glue. They can barely construct something with actual glue.

I figured ice cream cones would be doable, since the project was basically like decorating a 3D cookie. (Decorating sugar cookies is something we do often in our house.) All in all, I would say the project was a success. Of course, Small’s tree looked like all the bottles of sprinkles exploded on it, but she was happy with it, and that’s all that matters.


This was my tree. I'm very proud of it. :)


Icing--I used a basic sugar cookie icing recipe:
4 cups powdered sugar
3 Tbsps butter, softened
1 tsp Vanilla
Green Food Coloring.

*Cream together the powdered sugar and butter, stir in the Vanilla and then add enough milk to make the consistency you want. For this project, I left it a little thicker so that the candies would stick & the icing would harden a little when done.
*Then stir in the food coloring. I used about 20 drops (I wanted very green trees.)
*Note: Since we only did 3 trees, there was lots of icing left over for cookies. :)

Sugar Cones
Assorted Candies for decorating--
We used Mini M&Ms
Twizzler Pull & Peel licorice
Girl Scouts Gummi Berries
& some random Christmas themed sprinkles & sugars I always have on hand.

First: We slathered icing all over the sugar cones.

Second: We added sprinkles and candies to our hearts’ delight.

Third: We ate.

The decorating only took about 30 min after the frosting and other ingredients were assembled. Which is great for short attention spans. This is definitely a project we’ll be doing until the girls are old enough (read: coordinated enough) to attempt gingerbread houses again. Heck, we might even do it again yet this Christmas!

Have a Merry (and tasty) Christmas!

Monday, December 10, 2012

30 Days of Thanks: Day 30

I know that this is very late for 30 Days of Thanks, but it's for good (read: embarrassing) reason. It took me forever to hunt down the "appropriate" pictures to go with this post. (I still couldn't find the exact one that I was searching for.) And then, it took me another whole day to remember how to scan pictures on my printer. But, anywho, without further ado ... Day 30:

30 Days of Thanks

Day Thirty: The Thing You Are Most Thankful For

Without a doubt, I am most thankful for my mother.
And for her to feel the need to follow her dream and come to the
United States.
Some of you know that my mother was pregnant with me when she left her small village in Laos, and that I was born in a refugee camp.
(She was only 18 when she left home!)
I was 14 months old when we arrived in the US. This is the only home I’ve ever known.
I did some research when I grew a little older, and learned what my life would be like if my mother had stayed “in the old country.”

I am so thankful to have all the opportunities being in America has afforded me.
The chance to marry for love.
For a great education.
For modern conveniences.
For my children to know what a great country they were born in.

See that little boy there? Yeah, that's me at 14 mos.
They even gave me a bunch of boys' toys? WTH, guys?!

NOTE: The picture I was searching for was of my mom and me during/right after immigration. If I ever find it, I will definitely post it.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

30 Days of Thanks: Day 29

30 Days of Thanks

Day Twenty-nine: Something in Your Home

It may seem a little odd, but today I am thankful for blankets. I love a good blanket
or quilt. They provide warmth, and are great for snuggling.
I am the mom that tells my kids to make blanket tents out of the furniture.
When I was younger, my brothers, some family friends, and I made a 
virtual Tent City in our basement.
It was awesome! 
I swear we slept in there for a week.
Blankets are the best. ☺

Now that I’m a parent, not only do I help my kids make the most
epic blanket forts ever; I love to get wrapped up
with the girls in about 10 blankets/quilts, grab some
kettlecorn, and watch a Disney movie.

They keep me warm when it’s too warm for the fireplace.
They provide (kiddie) shelter.
They’re great for movie night.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

30 Days of Thanks: Day 28

30 Days of Thanks

Day Twenty-eight: A Gift

I have been given so many wonderful gifts throughout my life,
but I’m afraid I’m going to have to be cheesy
and romantic for this one.

I am most thankful for the gift of the Hubbs’s heart
(and more materialistically, my engagement & wedding rings).
The Hubbs had said he never wanted to get married.
With the way marriages are today, I didn’t blame him.
But, I told him that for us to be in it forever, marriage was a definite for me.
Ring or nothing.
The man caved and proposed--ha ha!
In all honesty, though, around about our third anniversary the Hubbs told me
getting married was the best decision he’d ever made
& he would do it again in a heartbeat. ♥

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

30 Days of Thanks: Day 27

30 Days of Thanks

Day Twenty-seven: A Song

I know, you would think that “Jessie’s Girl” by Rick Springfield
would be the song that I’m most thankful for.
But, it’s not the only one that I love.

God Bless the Broken Road by Rascall Flatts
Little Moments by Brad Paisley
You Are My Sunshine (whose mother didn’t sing that to them as a kid?)
Come Home Soon by SheDaisy
Home by Michael Bublé

Each one is associated with a very special memory.

30 Days of Thanks: Day 26

30 Days of Thanks

Day Twenty-six: A Charity

There are a lot of charities that are near and dear to my heart.
Here are some that have helped me and my family in the past:

30 Days of Thanks: Days 21-25

We were lucky enough to have Large with us over the Thanksgiving break, so I fell tragically behind in my thanks. I have to add that I am thankful we were able to have our little family whole over the holiday. ☺

30 Days of Thanks

Day Twenty-one: A Disappointment or Fear

I think I have the same fears as any mother. I’m afraid that my children will not be well-rounded, educated, and well-mannered members of society. Jesse and I have seen some of the brats running around the schools and playgrounds, so we try as hard as we can (without being dictators) to bring our children back to the way we were raised.

You know, like back in the good ole days.

Day Twenty-two: A Book

I don’t think I could narrow it down to just one book! I love almost all of them--especially the serials that I read as a kid. I can’t wait to share them with my girls:

The Babysitters Club
Nancy Drew
The Boxcar Children
Sweet Valley High (when they get a little older)
Fear Street
Anne of Green Gables
The Little House on the Prairie

And some of my favorite non-series:

Little Women
Where the Red Fern Grows
Charlotte’s Web
How to Eat Fried Worms
anything by Roald Dahl,
Beverly Cleary,
or Judy Blume

Day Twenty-three: A Feeling

I love the feeling of romantic anticipation.
Which is definitely different from sexual anticipation, mind you. I’m talking about butterflies and your heart skipping a beat.
I’m happy to say that after almost a decade together,
I still get those butterflies when I’m waiting for Jesse to come 
home to me.

Day Twenty-four: A Photograph

With my best friend being a photographer,
this is easy to answer. I actually have more than one favorite:

my favorite photo of daddy and his little princess

my favorite photo of the girls -- this totally shows their relationship

my absolute favorite picture of the Hubbs & me

Day Twenty-five: A Luxury

Anyone that knows me,
knows that I am, basically, in love with our wood-burning stove.
Shoot, it can be cold and windy with a windchill in the single digits,
but it’s a balmy 80°F in our house.

It costs more money to cool our house in the summer,
than it does to heat it in the winter.
(It’s a good thing the Hubbs is awesome with a chainsaw!)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

30 Days of Thanks: Day Twenty

This one was especially difficult to do ...

30 Days of Thanks

Day Twenty: A Keepsake

My post precious possession is a tiny, gold baby ring.

In late summer of 2005, I had a miscarriage. I didn’t even know I was pregnant. Jesse and I had separated (this was before marriage). I had moved in with my mother. Things were basically a mess.
One morning, shortly after my mom had gone to work, I woke up experiencing the most excruciating cramping. I remember thinking at the time, that it felt a lot like labor.
(Later, I found out why.)

It hit me hard.
No one could get a hold of Jesse. Turned out, he had hit the road as soon as he got the first voicemail.

Before I was discharged from the hospital, a grief counselor visited me. Among all the information she gave me, was a card. In the card was the tiniest gold ring. I’m not sure if Jesse knows it, but I still have that ring. Every once in a while I visit it, and remember the child that I never got to know.

All babies are precious,
especially the ones we don't get to meet.

Monday, November 19, 2012

30 Days of Thanks: Day Nineteen

30 Days of Thanks

Day Nineteen: A Favorite Piece of Clothing

My favorite piece of clothing that I own is a ginormous, XXXXL (yes, that’s 4 Xs) Oakland Raiders hooded sweatshirt. Apparently, when I bought it I thought I was gangsta. Ha. Yeah, right. I am one of the biggest nerds, ever. Honestly, though, this  thing is the most comfortable piece of clothing. I can pull it over my knees and it doesn’t stretch (duh, it’s already huge). When we have bonfires, the thing is, basically, a blanket. The sleeves hang past my arms, and the shirt reaches almost to my knees. I feel tiny when I’m wearing it. The sweatshirt is absolutely ridiculous, but I love it.

The Hubbs and me --he's wearing the best sweatshirt ever!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

30 Days of Thanks: Day Eighteen

30 Days of Thanks

Day Eighteen: A Saying/Quote/Scripture

Today, there are two quotes that I live by. Both are very relevant to my life every single day:

--The Golden Rule. It doesn't get more basic than that.

1Corinthians 13:4-7 --Those in serious relationships
know that you must live this everyday.

30 Days of Thanks: Day Seventeen

Thanks to the children and the hubbs all being on my laptop yesterday, I'm a day late ... again.

30 Days of Thanks

Day Seventeen: A Store

I know some people think the place is pure evil, but I’m so grateful for Wal-Mart. More specifically, Wal-Mart Supercenters. Any parent of small children can appreciate the convenience of being able to buy dog food, milk, a new bra, and a furnace filter all in the same store. Especially in the winter!

So, thank you, thank you Sam Walton for creating such a place.

Wal-Mart Supercenters -- Redneck shopping malls :)

--L Schueder

It's a little known fact that Jesse saw my picture in the training room shortly after he transferred to the Wal-Mart in Storm Lake. If we hadn't met at Malarky's when we did, he said he would've hit on me at work. ♥

Friday, November 16, 2012

30 Days of Thanks: Day Sixteen

30 Days of Thanks

Day Sixteen: An Experience

So this entry started out as a joke, and is now becoming something else. Hehehe.

Today, I’m thankful for the start of my friendship with ML. We met over the internet via, not one, but two military support message boards. I honestly didn’t think much would come of it, since there is such a vast difference in our ages and our stages in life.

What started out as emails of support between a Marine wife and a Marine Girlfriend, became a random & crazy first phone call (she was lost in Wilmington, I was traveling the notoriously dead zone riddled back roads of Iowa). She and Vincent visited us shortly after we arrived at Camp Lejeune, and ML was the first person to spend the night in our “new” house -- we didn’t even have our furniture yet!

Together we’ve waited in line at book signings. Traveled from NC to SC, and back again, with a van full of kids and dogs. We braved Black Friday in Columbia -- twice. Eaten copious amounts of chocolate cookies. And attended so many Pure Romance parties that I’ve lost count.

Our relationship is, truly, one of a kind.

Husbands out of the Corps -- We're still Moto

We ♥ Nicholas Sparks

Much Love,

L Schueder

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