Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Merry Christmas from the Griffiths family!

Holly Jolly Story Christmas 5x7 folded card
Make a statement with custom Christmas cards at Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A Shutterfly Christmas (card, that is)

I have used Shutterfly in the past for many different photo projects. They regularly have excellent deals and promotions that make using them completely worth it! Not to mention the fact that the site is very easy to use. Last year I used Shutterfly to make our Christmas card, and this year as I was planning my Christmas card I went to their site to check out holiday photo card backgrounds and the Christmas photo card backgrounds.  Here are some of my favorite backgrounds:

I love this cute little trees on both of these!
And how fun is this?!  This would definitely be a cute one to use for the picture bloopers! :)

And this one is just so beautifully classic. 

I found several others that I loved as well, and then I began planning how I wanted to set my children up for pictures and what I wanted them to wear.  I am pleased to say that, with the help of my sister's photography skills, we captured some great shots and I cannot wait to finish designing our photo cards. Of course I don't want to ruin the surprise, so I won't be posting the finished product on here until after I'm sure everyone has received their Christmas cards!

P.S. After I finish up my Christmas card, I might just have to make one of these super cute photo calendars! And pictures of my kids in these calendars would make them even cuter!!! *smile*

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Busy At Work

While Tom was busy at work ON the kitchen this morning, I was busy at work IN the kitchen! Tom was temporarily setting the sink and countertop (until we get the new countertop that fits correctly in our space.) and I was baking some really pretty and tasty sugar cookies. It has been a lovely productive Saturday!

Thursday, May 13, 2010


I feel compelled to share these sweet and precious thoughts from Bible study at church last night

Proverbs 24:10 If you faint in the day of adversity your strength is small.

Nehemiah 8:11 For the joy of the Lord is your strength.

Joy is an abiding sense of well-being which comes from knowing God. This joy gives me the strength to stand in the day of adversity knowing that "no power of Hell, no scheme of man can ever pluck me from His hand." Nothing can harm me in an ultimate way for the end of this journey for me as a believer always ends in VICTORY and being united in heaven with my Abba Father.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Reasons to Celebrate!

I have so many reasons to celebrate this weekend.  Of course, Sunday was Mother's Day, and I have the privilege of celebrating the opportunity to be a mother to my three blessings: Megan, Kyle, and Caleb.  They are such an amazing gift! With the help of God, I want to live a life that leaves them a legacy of faith, and is an example of the life-changing grace of God.

Mother's day is also a wonderful day to celebrate my own Mom, another of God's precious gifts to me.  I remember the first few weeks at home with my sweet Megan.  I wasn't prepared for how much work being a Mother really is.  I remember having no idea how I was supposed to get my tiny baby from sleeping in my arms to sleeping in her crib.  My sweet mom stayed up many a late night with me helping me to get things figured out.  She has continued to be a blessing with her help, her godly advice and gentle encouragement.  I love her dearly!

I also am celebrating the amazing gift of life.  A year ago I had my liver-transplant surgery.  It was the beginning of renewed health and optimism as well as tremendous spiritual blessings!  Sunday was exactly a year later, and everyday I marvel at how much energy I have!  God has used this experience to change my life in so many many ways.  I never want to forget God has done.  I pray that he will keep using the things that I experienced through the last year to change me and continue to make me into his image.

And lastly, I had the opportunity to celebrate by enjoying some time alone with my husband!  We spent Sunday night in Rochester. I had an appointment in the transplant clinic Monday morning (which went very well).  My parents generously agreed to watch our little ones while we had a one night getaway!  I soaked up the peaceful time with my husband without the little ones to interrupt conversations.  It was sweet and wonderful and I loved it!

All of these precious gifts are from the hands of my heavenly Father.  I cannot claim responsibility for any of it.  All I can do is praise God for his mercy and his grace in my life.  Every good and perfect gift comes from Him!  

God's Word Protects Our Hearts

Over the last several weeks God has been teaching me about how important it is to be careful with my mind... Impressing upon me the need to be careful, not just for my sake, but for the sake of protecting my children's purity and innocence.   Our pastor has had several messages lately in which he has briefly touched on the fact that the world's philosophies are wrapped up in pretty little feel good packages and made to sound great, but, when it comes right down to it, go against what the Bible says.

Then a friend of mine published an article on her blog, A Moment Cherished, about protecting our children's innocence and I enjoyed some good discussions in the comment section about what it means to protect our children's minds from the evils of this world.  I was reminded of how God protects and shelters us, and how He desires us to soak up light from his Word for when we are full of light it is easy to see the darkness. 

Of course on Mother's day both our pastor, and our Sunday School teacher touched on the fact that as parents we need to make what we are trying to teach our children real in our own lives.  I was also reminded how easily it is for our hearts to be slowly pulled away from God.  It happens without us even realizing it at times... It's a slow fade...

Romans 16:17-19 I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people. Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I am full of joy over you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil.

Hebrews 2:1 We must pay more careful attention therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.

God is still working in my heart about how this is to be manifested in the workings of our family. For the time-being he has impressed upon me the need to really be a student of His Word, and to be very careful about what I read by mere men because it is so easy to be led astray by flattering words and feel-good philosophies.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

More Baby Shower Fun: The Food

As promised earlier this week, here is the menu and recipes from the shower.  Samantha and I got together on Friday and spent the day baking and preparing our refreshments.  That was almost as much fun as the actual shower!  All of the food was very very good, and we received lots of compliments and requests for recipes.  I think a good recipe deserves to be enjoyed, not hidden away in my recipe box, so I'm happy to share them!

The Menu:
 Breakfast pizza (the shower was at 11 a.m.) purchased from a local pizzeria and cut into triangles to dress it up a bit.

Fresh fruit: grapes, strawberries, and apple slices.

Veggies, apple slices, and Peanut Butter Yogurt Dip.  This peanut butter dip is amazing, and healthier than most dips.  It is great with so many different things.  Pretzels, mini rice cakes, apples, bananas, veggies... I'm sure there is more that would taste good with it that I haven't thought of yet.

Peanut Butter Yogurt Dip
1 cup Vanilla flavored yogurt
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla

Mix all ingredients together until smooth and serve with your favorite fruits and veggies.

These sticky buns are AMAZING!  I mean, the best I have ever had by far.  Mmm.... I'm getting a craving for them right now just thinking about how good they are.

Easy Sticky Buns
16 frozen  bread dough dinner rolls
1 lg pkg (or 2 small) cook & serve vanilla pudding (NOT instant)
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup margarine

The night before place frozen roll dough in greased pan.  Mix pudding, brown sugar, and melted margarine together and spread over top of frozen dough.  Let rise overnight.  Bake in the morning at 350 for 20-30 minutes.  Turn sticky buns out of pan upside down while still hot or they will stick in the pan.  These are just as good cooled as they are warm.

These frozen fruit cups were a great cool refreshing treat.  These would be great to make and keep in the freezer for the summer as a healthier alternative to popsicles.

Frozen Fruit Cups
6 ounces frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed slightly
6 ounces frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed slightly
11 ounces can mandarin oranges, drained
20 ounces can crushed pineapple, drained
20 ounces frozen strawberries (2 pkgs), thawed slightly
10 ounces frozen raspberries, thawed slightly
3 to 4 bananas (more if desired), diced
4 cups ginger ale (more if desired)

In a very large bowl, mix all ingredients together. With a measuring cup, fill individual plastic cups with mixture. Place cups on a flat surface such as a baking sheet. Cover loosely with wax paper and freeze. Thaw at least 30 minutes before eating. (note: if you don't thaw them a little they will be hard as a rock and very difficult to eat)

Instead of doing a typical shower cake, we decided to make cupcakes.  We made a batch of Pillsbury Funfetti cupcakes, and used store bought icing tinted blue with chocolate sprinkles on top.  We also made a batch of Rich Chocolate cupcakes with store bought chocolate icing and little white sprinkles on top.  I don't care for chocolate cake mixes so I found this recipe.  I thought it turned out very good, although I think I overcooked them slightly.  I have a much harder time telling when chocolate things are done since I can't easily tell by the color.

Rich Chocolate Cupcakes
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup baking cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup milk

Mix dry ingredients, add wet ingredients one at a time.  Mix well.  Pour 1/4 cup batter into muffin cups.  Bake @ 350 for 18-20 minutes.

And to add the finishing touch to our table, Aunt Laurel made these cute little molded candies. I'm not sure you can tell by the pictures, but they are in the shape of booties and pacifiers.  They looked absolutely perfect and were the extra little bit of teal that our food table needed.  I don't have the recipe for these, although I believe she just used the little melting wafers that can be found at most craft stores.  Aunt Laurel also made the cutest little feet cookies to give out as the favors.  Unfortunately, I don't have the recipe for those either, but I may have to ask her for it because they really were very good!

So there you have it, our party menu.  We had 32 people at the shower, and we had more than enough food. However, I did have a mini panic attack  the morning of the shower and sent my husband to the store to get more, but I  shouldn't have worried, we had plenty with lots left over.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Baby Shower Fun

Over the last several months I had the privilege of planning a baby shower for my sister-in-law, Holly, with Sam, our other sister-in-law, and Anna, a friend of the mom-to-be.  I think I have found my second calling in life: to be a party planner!  I thoroughly enjoyed choosing a color scheme, making invitations, planning the refreshments, surfing the net to find fun shower activities, and shopping for festive party supplies.  I also got the chance to get to know my sister-in-law, Sam, a little better and discovered that we see eye to eye in many things and get along really well!
 Pictured: me [in the black], Anna, Holly, & Sam

Here is the mom to be, Holly.  She's about as cute as any pregnant mommy gets!  Holly's expected due date is about 4 weeks away.  I can't wait to meet little Luke!   I just love the anticipation that comes along with pregnancy, don't you?!

We chose teal and brown for our color scheme. Although we really didn't do much decorating aside from the food table.   (Menu and recipes to come later this week.)

The centerpiece of the shower was my special project and my pride and joy: the diaper cake! {grin}

I dislike it when children are excluded from family activities such as showers and weddings.  They are as much a part of the family as anyone else.  They  want to, and deserve to be a part of these special occasions.   So of course Megan came along.  She was very good, and she enjoyed herself so much.  Not to mention, she won the how big is the mom-to-be's belly shower game!  We had just over 30 people there, and the 5 year old was the winner!  She was so excited to win the little prize, which was a March of Dimes bracelet purchased for a $1 at Motherhood Maternity.

Megan helped clean up the wrapping paper and tissue paper from all the packages Holly opened.  I thought she was putting it into a large garbage bag, but apparently she decided to dump the garbage bag out in Holly's bedroom and just keep adding the papers to the pile. 

The shower went off without a hitch and was a definite success.  Holly's little baby will be well clothed and bathed, and he will ride in a stylish travel system (stroller & car-seat), and sway in an adorable plush swing.  Not only was she well-supplied, but she also felt well-loved, which is exactly what we wanted!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Girl After My Own Heart

This is what I found wadded up in Megan's pocket:  

Weeds Flowers & Chocolate!  

She's a girl after my own heart! {grin}

Thursday, April 8, 2010

It's Party Time!

Ultimate Blog Party 2010

A good party has to have good music!  This may not be your typical party music, but I sure do love this song!

Here are a few of my favorite things! 

I love flowers and gardening. I have a very friendly black an white kitty named Dexter. I love to hear my 3 children play the kitchen pots and pans in their homemade kitchen band.  I am so glad that my Mother-in-law taught me to knit nice soft hats and mittens to keep their precious little fingers and ears warm! And I will admit that I enjoy opening a present once in a while as well!  Who doesn't?! :)  These are a few of MY favorite things!

I have fond memories of warm summer days horseback riding with my sister for hours when we were girls.  I find it so satisfying to bake sweet treats for my family.  The doorbell on my house is probably the loudest doorbell known to mankind and scares the bejeebers out of me whenever anyone rings it.  I love to take my kids sledding on cold snowy days. I try my hardest to cook homemade healthy meals for my family.  I have a wonderful husband who hunts geese, and many other types of wild game.   These are a few of MY favorite things!

I love the pretty little white flower girl dress with a blue sash hanging in my closet which my daughter wore in her Uncle Drew's wedding.  I always get excited for the first snowfall of winter, and even more so now that I have my precious children to share the moment!  I enjoy big snowstorms, but I am always so ready for the first warm days of spring, and the first few little flowers coloring the dreary landscape.  These are a few of MY favorite things!

I have experienced my share of "dog bites and bee stings" in life, and sometimes I can become discouraged or afraid, but then I remember the blessings that God has graciously given me, and then I don't feel so bad!

I'm so glad you joined my party, and I hope to see  you again soon!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Our Easter Party & Egg Hunt

Today was the big day!  The day of our Easter party and egg hunt with my friend and her 5 children.  My kids were so excited!  I told them that the party was at 1 o'clock. Then explained that 1 o'clock is after lunchtime. So, of course all morning they asked if they could have lunch so their friends could come over and we could have our party.    Afterall, they had seen me preparing since Wednesday when I filled the eggs, and then licked their lips as they watched me make bird nest cupcakes on Thursday.  They could hardly stand the waiting!

Didn't these cupcakes turn out so cute?!  They were very easy to make.  I just used a regular cake mix and store bought icing.  Then  icing was tinted a very light pastel green.  I sprinkled on the chocolate sprinkles, and put three peanut butter m&m's in the center and voila,  little bird nest cupcakes!

Caleb enjoyed collecting the eggs with the help of various aunts, grandma, daddy, or whichever other adult or big kid was willing to help. His favorite part was eating the cupcake. We even had a 'special' cupcake reserved just for him... because he'd already claimed his by licking half of the icing off one this morning!

Mmm! Chocolate and boogers...what a combination! {grin}

Megan could not stop looking in her bag at all the eggs she found.  She is so very enthusiastic when it comes to fun activities like this.  I just love to hear her squeals!  It is such a blessing to have a little girl who is so happy and loves life! 

Kyle was the typical competitive boy.  He ran around like a man on a mission.  By the time we had found all the eggs he was red faced, hot, and sweaty; and ready to rest for a bit and enjoy his cupcake and water.

After the egg hunt we all sat down and I went through the story of Jesus' death and resurrection using the resurrection eggs object lesson idea that I found here.   Egg hunts are fun, but I don't want the kids to forget the reason we celebrate Easter in the first place!  I took a ton of pictures, some of which I'll share another day, and some I won't be sharing in order to respect the privacy of my friend and her children.  I had so much fun planning our little party!  And I am thrilled that it was a huge success all around.  I've decided this will be our new family tradition!  I can't wait to do it again next year, and I'm even more excited because we'll have a new little nephew to join our little egg hunters!!!

Happy egg hunting to all!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Kicking Off Spring Break With Pumpkin Waffles

Today is the first day of Spring Break!  I am looking forward to some extra time with my kiddos.  I have all kinds of fun plans, including an Easter egg hunt with the neighbors, baking activities, trips to the park, and spending few days at my parents house with my family.

Today we slept in until 8 o'clock.  Well, the kids did while I soaked up the extra hour of quiet.  When they awoke I tried my hand on a new breakfast recipe to kick-off their little vacation.  I found a recipe for pumpkin waffles on my favorite internet recipe site, recipezaar.com.  I made a few changes to it because I didn't want the spices to be overpowering, and it was a HUGE success!  Absolutely Delicious.  I'm still licking my lips from it!  Mmmm!

I did decide, however,  that I need a new waffle iron... Either that or I am going to have to make the batter into pancakes instead because my waffle iron is losing its nonstick quality.  Getting the waffles out of the iron was quite a pain in the butt!

I was a little worried about how the kids would like them because they can be very picky when it comes to waffles and pancakes... For example, neither Megan or Kyle will eat them if they have blueberries or chocolate chips in them.  {they're crazy}  However, these were a big hit for everyone.

Pumpkin Waffles


1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (I used half white, and half whole wheat
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 2/3 cups milk
4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled

  1. Mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt in large bowl.
  2. In a second bowl, add vanilla, eggs, sugar, pumpkin, milk, and butter; beat well.
  3. Gently fold in the flour mixture.
  4. Cook according to your waffle iron directions.
  5. They come out a deep golden brown.

Now that we are finished with our sticky breakfast bliss--->on to bath time!

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