Lisenby Week In Review

Hello Everyone!
Holy Cannoli its been a week here at the Lisenby Residence!  A viral infection has taken over our house.  I know wasn’t I just saying that we had the flu and we were not going to be sick the rest of 2016!  Darn I spoke too soon! It started with K at the beginning of last week and Friday we were at the doctors with both as S woke up Friday morning with the same crazy cough/bark!  Only to be told it’s viral and our doctors cough lasted eight weeks!  YES, you read that right eight weeks!  WHAT THE!?!? Sunday K seemed over it with a cough here and there but Sunday night it hit S like a ton of bricks! She started with a temperature of 100 and all night fluctuated between that and 104.  Many rounds of cool clothes and cold bath but I was not able to get below 100.  We were back at the doctors as her cough was still bad at we were back to 102.  We discovered she needed a breathing treatment and if that didn’t work we would go do a chest x-ray for pneumonia.  This wasn’t what I expected I actually thought we might have escalated from viral to strep.  Well here we are three days later and she is still home from school.  We have been doing albuterol treatments every four hours.  She still has a terrible cough but doesn’t seem as much.  Tomorrow we will likely be back in just to confirm her chest is 100% clear.  As Saturday is her 5th birthday!  Sunday is her party!  So we need to get her back and running!  Amongst the zarbee’s cough syrup, Motrin and breathing treatments I have actually been doing other things!

Last week a good friend of ours who owns a excavation company had his birthday!  I’m sure you can guess I challenged myself to a special cake for him!  Last time I did a construction cake was for K on his 2nd birthday.  That was also the first time I did a 3D cake so it was…to say the least STRESSFUL!  Well here we are two years later and I have done a couple cakes since but not a construction cake and let me tell you…it was just as STRESSFUL!  The bucket, arm and boom which I waited to do until the rest of the cake was done and I was quite pleased with it.  Now I had a small window of time to complete the cake and we had these main components to complete!  WHAT WAS I THINKING?  Let’s just say I did it three different times even bringing Joe in for assistance on the second go at it!  We started using Twix bars…WAY too heavy.  Next we tried bananas; better but still pulled!  Last I decided not all cakes can be 100% edible and this was going to have to be my first cake that was not.  So I went and watched videos and went to the CAT website to review details.  Then I grabbed a cardboard box and got cutting.  I covered it in fondant which I will say adhered great with just water.  Lastly I added a few details to show the screws/nuts that held each section together.  The cake itself was chocolate and one was white.  The fondant was marshmallow.  The frosting was buttercream; side note I am not a buttercream fan so I almost always do cream cheese frosting but this was the third cake in three months I had done for this family it was time to change it up!  I actually really like the buttercream recipe I used.  See below for the link!

My siblings and my mom made our way to a painting class on Friday night.  Yes after completing the first time the excavator cake!  Just what I needed to do is go from one stressful art project to another!! LOL!  We went in celebration of my little sisters birthday she is finally OLD!  She’s 31…She loves elephants so there happen to be event doing an elephant at The Studio by my parents so we all went and enjoyed drinks and paint!  It’s always fun to do even if you think your painting good be done better by a toddler:)  These events are great for just about any occasion and with one friend or twenty!  Check your local listing for a location near you!

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I have also been working on a few other projects with Mom of course as we are a team when it comes to products we are selling at a local shop!  Our holiday ornaments, snowmen out of birch and stuffed snowmen were a hit so we have decided besides having furniture pieces at the shop we are going to provide seasonal items for the home here too! As long of course as she will accept!  So for spring we are going to go with a bunny theme which I think is perfect for spring! If your yard is like mine those cute little ones are going to be all over our yards very soon!  I will mention they don’t step foot in to my back yard since Nala has arrived…we had a devastating experience last summer and word must have gotten out on the street.  But, they do love our property as I just saw one in the front yard a few days ago!  Anyway, back to it…We are doing some floppy eared bunnies out of two shades of burlap and garden flags!  One side note on the flags which I’m super excited to share is sealing the edges of the burlap.  I was super annoyed with how quickly mine started to fray after cutting.  So of course I started google searching for how to and of course it was like 9pm and I didn’t have fabric stiffener on the shelf of magic that they were suggesting but I did have modge podge!  Heck I have about 20 bottles of modge podge laying around as every time they are in the dollar section at Target or I see them at the Dollar Tree I grab a bottle or two!  So I simply used my small tip brush and painted it along the edge.  It dries quick as by the time I was back where I started that area was dry!  The more you use the stiffer it gets just an FYI!  A note on the floppy bunnies is to use beans over rice to weigh their bottoms down!  We used a bit of muslin fabric so our pinto beans didn’t show through on the lighter burlap.  So here are a few pictures of the cute stuff!  I think we may do a few other items but haven’t decided 100% yet!  Happy Spring decorating!

Well I have another cake to get finished up for a special little girls 5th birthday party tomorrow!  Look forward to sharing all the fun we have next week!  Until then enjoy your evening.  Cheers

 

Get In My Belly!

Hello Everyone,

Well the weekend came and went and after I left my parents on Sunday after stuffing my face with mom’s vegetable soup and baking powder drop biscuits I realized I keep meaning to share some recipes of food I have made and been asked to make many times over.  With that being said I feel confident you too will be asked to make these many times over.  I will also say a few of these are adapted from family members (which I have noted) and I don’t think they will mind you using at your next gathering!  One last thing my mom and I as you know love to bake and you may find it shocking but many of our recipes outside of baking consist of using the shake method.  I have noted quantities but please know we typically just use one shake, two shakes, etc.  So let’s get cooking and baking!!

So let’s talk about a bread that will knock your socks off!  Banana Bread!  Yes, I eat this at all times of the day even for dessert!  That’s when I add a little extra butter!!  I believe the story goes that my mom pre my dad dated a man, I know I was shocked by this as well but that man’s grandmother gave my mom this recipe.  My parents have been married for over forty years so if the man’s grandmother would like credit within my blog I would be happy to do so.  Just send me a note!  My family has been enjoying this recipe for many years and now my family enjoys it as often as banana’s turn brown.  As my opinion is NEVER throw brown bananas away always bake with them!  Then take the peels and cut them up and bury them a few inches deep in your vegetable garden to rid it of aphids!  These little pest HATE banana peels!  So here is the recipe for the Banana Bread!IMG_0988

Let’s move to my Tomato Basil Bruschetta!  This is something I can’t even remember where I learned about but I have been making for years.  It is always a hit actually I made for our “Friendsgiving” party this year and mentioned I was going to make for our New Year’s Eve party.  Well I brought out my other appetizers and my one friend waited about half an hour and said “I thought you were making your bruschetta?”  Then Joe chimed in “Ya where is the bruschetta!”  I honestly was just not really interested in whipping it up as we had just ate a big dinner a few hours earlier.  But I ran upstairs and whipped it up as I don’t like to let my guests down!  So if you decide to make these just plan to be asked to make them again.

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Next is what Joe likes to say “The best pretzels you will ever have!”  He actually thinks these should be made and sold at baseball games in place of popcorn or peanuts!  Actually, I would totally agree with this statement!  They are super addicting and the recipe I will share makes two bags full so there is plenty to share weather to snack on at work or have as a bar snack when friends are over!  The cheese dip I can’t vouch for as I never make it as these little gems need no stinkin’ dip!  Lastly, I do think the pretzel is what makes these what they are so I recommend trying to find the Tom Sturgis brand!

Last on my list of appetizers is one that my brother-in-law shared a few years ago at Thanksgiving!  It’s a brie with jalapeno jelly, pecans and crackers!  This is another one that is perfect for any occasion and available year round.  I will say I usually share this one in the fall/winter months but again can be used any time of year.  This is more of a lay out and guests put together to enjoy then really any work on your part!  I can already tell your loving this one!  The most important part to this appetizer with that being said is choose a great platter to display it on!  As a side note I used to always use Braswell’s Jelly but they stopped carrying it at my local grocery store so I switched to Reese Mild and I think it taste just as great!  I found Reese’s right by the apricot jelly, etc.  Braswell’s I found at a small end cart in the produce section.

Now let’s talk about my grandmother’s Baking Powder Drop Biscuits!  These are so simple and go perfect with just about anything but with soup I loved!  Adding a little butter or a squeeze of honey is always welcome!

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On to the soup!  Mom made vegetable soup on Sunday and yes this is my blog and yes sharing what I do is all great but you know what sometimes someone else does something great and it’s worth sharing!  My mom is a vegetarian but my dad is not.  I will also say dad is the main cook in my parents house!  Yes I know you didn’t expect that.  Don’t discount my mom here.  My mom is a great cook but when we were younger mom always worked later than dad so I think this is a big part of why dad has always done.  As we joke the dinner bell rings promptly at 5:30 at their house each night.  If you are not there you don’t eat.  This is no joke I remember as I kid sliding in on my bike just in time to eat.  Once dad cleared and washed the dishes you were well you know how the saying goes S#*! out of luck!  Ok so back to the soup it is vegetarian but hearty.  Joe ate a bowl mom sent home and thought it was fantastic and I will say he is typically the one to not even give something a try if there is no meat involved!  I know silly man!  So here you have the Vegetable Soup Recipe!

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One main course item I feel necessary to share with you is one that will fill your home with the great aroma of sesame seed oil.  Which in our home means Joe’s favorite dinner is being served!  Pork Tenderloin with a few seasonings!  The smell alone of this is inviting and I will also say for Christmas we did the same recipe with our beef tenderloin and was just as good but I think the pork showcases the flavors a bit better.  The amount of each seasoning will depend on the size of the tenderloin.  Just make sure it is covered on both sides with the oil.  The black pepper is the other stand out ingredient here so don’t be shy.  The garlic powder is an accent so just sprinkle; not so much of a shake for this one!

Ok now it’s time to talk about our sweet tooth…Now you all know I am a baker or maybe I should rephrase that I have a love for baking.  Yes I went to culinary school but as in the title of chef I think ALOT of work goes into earning this title and can sometimes be used by people who may not have done the work to earn it.  So let’s just say I’m passionate about baking.  I share this passion with my mom as well.  It is one thing we LOVE to do together.  We have had many crazy experiences in the kitchen always ending in one thing a great dessert!

I think sharing a no bake cheesecake is a good start for us!  Not that I’m doubting any of you and your skills because I’m not but this cheesecake is so good and with a few holidays just around the corner that brunch is an appropriate meal to celebrate them I think this will go over well with your guests!  Plus there’s a bit of champagne in it and no we don’t bake it out so CHEERS!  It is our Strawberry Champagne Cheesecake.  One thing I will mention about cheesecakes baked or not.  When we had our micro bakery and did the cheesecakes for a local restaurant we had many trials and errors with pans.  I will say my ALL TIME favorite springform pan to use is one with an extra lip on base.  They are a real pain to find.  I ended up getting mine from an individual bakery supply contact I found.  Back to the cheesecake the key to this cheesecake is set up time.  Make sure you allow this cake at least 24 hours to set up.  If for some reason you go to use it and you can’t slide it off on to your platter have a back up plan.  Mine is to have wine glasses or small bowls ready and a ice cream scoop!  The taste will still show through and you will still be a rock star!  You can totally play it off as this was what you planned on.  I will say this has only happened to me one time but it has happened so don’t freak just rock it!  P.S. Don’t mind the ingredients on the paper this is how most of my recipes look; that just means they get a lot of love!2016-01-19 10.45.15 WOW!  Now that was fun!  I have many recipes to share and will try to be better about doing so and also more specific and maybe less shaking!  If you have any problems with opening the recipes let me know.  I just took pics so you could open and print and simply add to your box of recipes!  I hope you and your family and friends enjoy these as much as me and my family and friends have!  Cheers!

Lisenby Week In Review

We are 15 days into 2016!  Can you believe it I feel like we were just toasting and saying “Happy New Year!”  With that being said lets review what’s been going on in our parts this past week.  If you read my last post you know that my blog alarm went off and I hit snooze three times!  But I’m here and so are you so that’s what matters.  So let’s get on with it!

Last week I mentioned K wasn’t feeling well.  WELL that turned out to be an understatement.  That evening he was soooo very sick.  That night Joe was up sick all night.  Wednesday morning S came to my room and within minutes I was rushing her to the bathroom avoiding projectile vomiting on my bedroom floor.  I felt like I had been hit by a bus but thankfully hadn’t gotten sick.  K woke up and was exhausted but was done being sick.  S was sick in every sense the entire day.  Joe was on the job thinking he was going to die.  He said “this is the worst flu I have had in my entire life!”  That evening we were all in bed by 730pm.  Bodies feeling like we were just beat up by someone triple our size.  My fingers are crossed that we are done with our round of the flu for the year!   Hey one can wish/hope/dream right?!

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I have been active and kept to my promise to myself to strive to feel confident in my own skin.  Sending pictures to my sister daily after I bust my butt with Jillian!  I just printed a 30 day ab challenge I am going to add to my workout.  Keep you posted how it’s going.  I’ve struggled a little with my meal plan but also know this is new and it’s going to take time to get my body acclimated to this new way of eating.  If you too are getting after a new you keep it up!  You can do it!! As you can see below some days are easier than others!  But after its done I know I’m doing something that will show results!

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Sid had her first social calendar event last weekend which she counted down to.  It was very cute and I learned quite a bit about being a mom to a toddler on the social scene!  One I may have mentioned I wasn’t planning to stay at the party as I had K and Joe was working.  Honestly, I was having a rough few days prior and just wanted to go with K and grab a Starbucks and digress.  We arrived to all the kids at the party with their moms there to stay.  Joe ended up getting done early so I called him and I ran and met him so K and he could go do boy things… you know wander around The Home Depot!  I don’t know if S even noticed I ran out and came back but it was good to talk to some of the moms I hadn’t yet met and get a feel for how the social side of classmates parents was going to be.  I may have mentioned we have open enrollment in Wisconsin so the school we go to is not in our town.  It’s one of the trendy towns among a few others competing to be the best within a county.  No joke we live in an area that is full of summer homes/second homes/etc.   So those that live within full-time have or sometimes can feel a need to be presented as better than the one next door.  It’s crazy to me as we chose the school as it is rated one of the top in the state and in the country.  I did worry about the social side of this choice as I came from a larger school.  Joe came from a very small school and this was his last worry.  As he said we are sending her for her education not to fill her social calendar!  LOL!  Anyway, back to it… almost all of the moms are new to school as I am so it was a very level playing field and felt great to get out and socialize with other moms.  At the end of the party one of the moms said “well here is the beginning of our little ones social lives blowing up!”  She meant it as three days later we received an invite to another party in a week!  One week after that is S’s 5th birthday! Holy Moly it has begun!

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With S’s birthday on the brain we had to decide our plans for that.  If you are a longtime follower of my blog you have read my birthday posts.  I take birthday’s very serious!  Joe thinks I might take it a bit too serious but I don’t care.  It is a special day we all have once a year to celebrate just us!  Yes there are millions of others that were born on the same day but not often do you end up friends with one of these people.  It’s a day everyone let’s you know you are special weather by calling with birthday wishes, texting, e-mailing, or sending a note.  Yes, I did say a note as one of my mother in-laws sends us a special letter each birthday sharing why our day is special.  It’s very sweet S’s arrived just the other day.  I will hold on to it until her day!  On this day Joe and I like to do a little special thing for each of the kids too.  On S’s birthday I purchase a card and write her a note reviewing the past year and her accomplishments, challenges, changes really how she has grown.  Joe does it for K.  They each have a box that we place them in.  When they turn 18 we will give it to them on their birthday to enjoy reading.  I make notes throughout the year when the kids say funny things but I don’t typically place these in the card though this year I may have to.  These two have said some pretty darn funny things!  S had asked to have her birthday at Chuck E Cheese this year and I cringed.  In years past it has been at our home and I go all out with the theme of the party from decorations, to food, to entertainment!  She said “I want to have it at a place everyone can have fun!”  She has only been to Chuck E Cheese one time but it clearly had an impression.  Joe laughed at me and said “it’s her birthday, not yours.”  I believe my mom had the same response when I went to her for sympathy!  As I did research I ended up finding a place that was more than just games.  So we have decided on this location which they will do games, a two-story ballocity climbing, and a heist; having them go under and over lasers to capture the gem!  Followed by pizza and juice.  Way cooler than just games.  I should note at this point I’m not bashing chuck E cheese at all.  But again as a mom who is used to doing it all for the special day it was a little crushing to have her daughter not want that and want GAMES over what I was planning.  I will also say having a party at the place we have chosen over Chuck E Cheese was cheaper and offered more overall.  So that’s the plan; oh ya and S has requested I throw in some Monster High details of course!  This girl!

On my note of humor and these two I think sharing a bit of their humor would only benefit you.  If you are a mom you LOVE and NEED these moments.  If you’re not a mom I’m sure you have heard little ones say things that make you laugh inside!  Like I said as soon as they say something or as soon as I can get to my phone I pull up my notes and plug it in!  So here you go, enjoy!

Oh No the Honey!  (me) But the honey’s not important mom!  What is? (me)  The Bears Are

-S at beginning of Paddington

K farts and says Mom I’m just like a gas tanker, I have a tummy full of gas and I fart!

-As we are driving behind a gas tanker trunk.

Santa please do you hear me?  Please give us our toys back!

-S after both kids lost two favorite toys each for hitting.  In the middle of the grocery store

I know you guys are up to something…what are you doing?  

-S busting Joe and I in the act! YIKES

I don’t like that word you just said.  What word?  BALD!  I say well how do you think Papa and Uncle Robert feel they are bald?  She says terrible!

-S as we are discussing a baby picture of her and the fact that she has no hair.

“We can’t put out peanut butter cookies for Santa” says K.  I say “why?”  “He’s allergic, I know that!” Who told you that? (me)  “Oh I just know” says K 

Now that my kids have provided you with a few LOL moments I will reserve the rest for another special day!

Lastly, Joe and I shared/celebrated our six-year anniversary yesterday!  We have been together nine years and it has been one crazy ride!  Started out with me dancing on a speaker as he was the bouncer at a local bar!  Yes I have a bit of a wild side.  But so does he just doesn’t display as much as I!  All resulting in two beautiful kids, two beautiful German Shepherds, a beautiful home and a life I wouldn’t trade for any other!

On this note I wish you all a beautiful weekend with your loved ones and heck go get a little wild!  Cheers!

2016 Has Arrived!

Hello Everyone!  Happy New Year to All of You!

We are so happy to have 2015 behind us which I’ve heard from many and it’s likely I hear this about the previous year from many every other year but I guess this year I’ve noticed as we are saying it too!  Now its on to focusing on this coming year and making it great!

I shared with you about the journal my mom gave myself and each of my siblings having us each day write one thing or three hundred things we are grateful for each day.  If you didn’t catch this in my last post or did and thought it was a good idea.  I suggest getting yourself a journal or notebook really anything with paper binded and starting your own.  As I have done it for four days I have realized it is very easy to find only negative happenings in your day when you sit down and think about it.  Not to say there aren’t a hundred things that happen in my day that don’t make me laugh, smile and simply happy.  But of the things that happen in your day what makes you GRATEFUL?!  Put some thought to it!

S is back to school and wow didn’t realize how lazy we had been over break!  This girl has been exhausted each day!  We have finally gotten back on track with our 730/745 bedtime.  It seemed we lost track of this over the past few months.  Its so easy to let them stay up late especially in our house as Joe doesn’t get home until 8pm.  He’s quick to let them watch one more show while they snuggle him.  I give in as I know he misses them.  But now that he’s working local for the most part we are able to eat enjoy conversation as a family and watch a show together all before 730 arrives!  Loving every minute!  Today Sid received her first birthday party invite.  Being new to having a kid in school I had to ask her friends mom how it all worked.  Do I stay, do I drop and go?  She said drop and go but completely ok if I want to stay.  I shockingly have something going on at the exact time of the party so this is great!  As my mom said “Sid’s social calendar is officially starting to fill up!” I love this!

K has had a rough go of 2016 so far.  EARLY January 2nd he woke up puking which I’m pretty sure I was half asleep through thankfully as I am good at handling ALMOST everything but puke I don’t do!  Then it happened a few more times during the day.  Unfortunately the poor guy seems to be now having stomach problems like S and has been constipated for days so I gave him miralax  for two days.  Well last night he had an experience no one at any age cares to have let alone talk about!  Poor guy took bath as he ran downstairs he passed gas.  All of a sudden he was freaking out!  “Check my butt there’s something in my pants!”  We ran in the bathroom and the poor guy pooped!  Thank goodness he is three because if he was any older and knew I was sharing this he might kill me!! He crawled in bed with me last night which doesn’t happen often anymore; now waking up four times a night to be re-covered is another story!  He woke up and this time made it to the bathroom to get sick again.  He wanted to eat breakfast and then took himself to the couch and just laid down saying he was sooo tired.  He went to school as he had no fever and by the time we were leaving he was back to normal.  I could only assume the miralax was just too much for his poor tummy.  I picked him up and they said he was very sleepy today and actually fell asleep at story time.  Lesson learned on my part even if it’s not a viral thing sometimes its best to just stay home!

I have a few things for the New Year I am making a focus!  One being my commitment to you!  I have put time on my calendar with an alarm each week to sit and commit to my blog!  I truly love doing this and appreciate everyone who reads it.  It is like my morning cup of coffee.  Its the only thing since having kids that I OWN!  It’s all mine just like the morning cup!  I am also committing to getting myself back to looking the way I want.  Everyone can say you look great, but no one lives in your skin.  As I am getting older I need to recognize this and if I want to be swimsuit ready I need to recognize that too! LOL!  As you know I love to run it’s my thing that I enjoy for so many reasons.  So I am getting back on track with that.  I have also pulled out my Jillian Michaels “Ripped in 30” dvd and weights.  I challenged myself to her four week program years ago and so amazing results and did not follow the meal plan.  I am not following her meal plan this time either but I am following another meal plan but not to a T.  As having a family I need to make this work for us.  I don’t expect my family to eat 4oz of grilled chicken 2x a day for four of seven days or plain rice cakes as a snack every day.  Heck I don’t want to eat that; really who does!  But I have committed to the breakfast, lunch and snack menu for me and for dinner I am just getting creative with it.  Keeping portions the same on proteins, etc. but flavoring things up a bit!  As I struggle to commit to working out I have requested the help of my sister.  I have asked her for the first thirty days to send me a daily message questioning my daily activity.  So far I have been successful and I know its only been four days!  But I know I can do this!  So if you too have taken on the challenge of a better you I recommend you find a friend to hold you accountable.  Send them a picture after you workout each day.   I love that Jillian Michaels says the most important part of the workout is that you showed up!  Even if you can’t do everything to the fullest or need to take little breaks at the end of the day you showed up and that’s what matters.  Perfecting will come.  For me the first two days I thought I was going to die as my muscles were screaming.  Now I feel great!  So go for it!  I am lastly committed to ease up on my managing habits!  I’ve never shared this but I have a terrible habit of managing mainly Joe in everything he does when he is home.  Seriously from the way he toasts a piece of toast to how he drives the truck.  Yes its a very wide spectrum!  It’s a terrible habit… and since when did I become so perfect that I have the right to do this!  Joe is a truly great husband and father and as I’m typing this I can think of many reasons why I do this but that’s not productive so let’s say I am working to appreciate him and what he does for us and not worry about what he does every second of the day that many of the times are really not my concern.  We all do things different that’s what we teach our children and that’s what makes this world so great!  On that same note I have stopped taking my mommy needs to chill pills.  Another subject I discussed months ago.  I stopped these two weeks before Christmas and last week I did call to refill as I felt myself over managing everything how I want and not remembering S and K are three and four.  But I ended up not having them fill the prescription. I mentioned previously that I have PPMS so I started tracking when this week is by putting an alarm on my phone the first day it is to start.  This has honestly helped so much as now that I’m conscious of this I find myself using my tools to get through tough days.  Including counting to ten and taking deep breaths.  Having a plan B on all plans always but especially on this week.  Lastly, giving us more time so there is less frustration when we are rushing because we are going to be late! These are my New Year, New Me commitments.  I hope you too have made some realistic commitments.  Remember keep it realistic as I think many times this time of year we over commit and under accomplish!  Boo to that but its life so move on and keep it real!!

Last I want to mention Joe’s New years commitment to the family…We used to sit at the dinner table and go around while we ate and ask each other the following.  What today brought you joy?  What today made you sad?  What today made you disgusted?  What today made you angry? What today did you fear?  When we did this the kids loved it and it had us all talking about our day and feelings.  We got away from this so Joe wanted to get back on track with this!  Also family game night!  The kids got new puzzles and games for Christmas.  It has almost been nightly which has been great as I would rather we do this then watch a tv show before bed!

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Well that was long!  I didn’t even touch on NYE or some recipes I want to share.  Well there is next time!  Have a wonderful day and let me know what’s new for you in 2016!  Until next time cheers!

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