Monday, December 15, 2008

Candy Making

On Saturday morning we headed out to visit my sister. This is the third year that we have gotten together to make candy. The candy goes to my niece and nephew's teachers and we give some to some family members. This year we got bold and decided to make 5 different types of candy. The list includes: Martha Washington balls, Reese's cups, Turtles, Peppermint Bark, and Toffee.

Apparently I somehow managed not to get a picture of the Martha Washington balls!

Turtles before dipping.

Turtles after (sorry it's blurry).

Reese's cups...yummy!

Peppermint bark...yum, this is SO easy and tastes really good!

I also don't have a picture of the toffee!

So as you can see we were busy bees, but it all turned out good. We have the tins all filled and ready to give! We had a great weekend!

Christmas fun...

I decided I needed to take a few more pictures of the Christmas decorations we have up at our house, so here goes:
As a graduation present Joel added to my nativity collection. The camel, shepherd, and two darker sheep are new to the crew. I love them!

He's my favorite!The other new guys.

Up close of our stockings...

Our tree has not had a this year I decided maybe a bow would work nicely. Deborah made me one, and I think it looks great!

We also got this beautiful "gift" from Nathan and Deborah this weekend. It's not in its permanent home yet, but I just had to take a picture so I could show it!

Sunday, December 14, 2008


My graduation was on Friday night. I have officially finished my masters degree...and I can't explain how good it feels just to be finished! Here are a few pictures from the event:

The whole group coming into the coliseum.Mom and Dad, glad they were able to come see me graduate!

Joel, I'm sure he's glad I'm finished as well. He did great dealing with all my tears throughout the program :)

Deborah was so nice to come to my graduation. I was so glad to have her there :)

Brooke, we only got to take one class together, but we helped each other through the last semester and summer. Studying for comps was a major obstacle, but we both overcame it and were able to walk together!

Tasha and I actually work together, and we took one class together in the program. It was nice to be able to walk together.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

What we've been doing

Last night I made sugar cookies using this recipe. They were so yummy. (I even had one for breakfast...shhh! :))

I've also been doing some sewing. I made a couple more crayon rolls:

One for a very girly girl.

One for a little boy who loves to go hunting.

I also saw this post yesterday and happened to go to Wal-Mart right after I saw it so I picked up a Styrofoam ball. I wish they had had a smaller ball, but it was either this size (which is just a little large) or a tiny one.

It was super easy, and I think it turned out pretty cute. By the way, hopefully in the next couple of weeks you'll see that Christmas fabric reappear in another project!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Our favorite food...

Last night Joel and I made pizza, which is by far on of our favorite foods. The recipe came from You should check out that site, it has tons of good recipes. The pizza recipe includes the dough recipe (Joel made the dough last night, and it was good!) and a pizza sauce recipe. There is also a recipe for Alfredo time we're going to try an alfredo chicken pizza...yum!

Doesn't that look delicious?

The process makes a pretty big mess...but it's all worth it!

Let me know if you try any recipes from that site so I can try them too! The two I've made so far have been amazing!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Playing Catch Up...

So it's been several days since I last posted...and a lot has been going on during that time! We celebrated Thanksgiving with both sides of our families, and enjoyed every minute we got to visit with them. I have been reading all of the different ideas and ways that people celebrated Thanksgiving and how they remembered what they were thankful for...this year my family made a chain (the sort that you take off a chain each day it gets closer to Christmas) and on each chain link we wrote something that we were thankful for. It was really neat and fun to hear the different things people said.

So here's a picture roll of all the things we've been doing this last week...

First off some family pictures:

Wynn is looking so much like Sanders!

Sanders is looking so grown up!

Rebekah posing!
(Isn't her outfit adorable?)

The whole family.

A potential Christmas card photo...
(Check out my mom's new cabinets in the background)

The competing Christmas card picture :)McPhail family Thanksgiving '08

There has been much project work going on over the holiday...

This year we are donating to the Project Linus organization.

From the Project Linus site:

Be a Blanketeer

Our volunteers, known as “blanketeers,” provide new, handmade, washable blankets to be given as gifts to seriously ill and traumatized children, ages 0-18. It is Project Linus’ policy to accept blankets of all sizes, depending on local chapter needs. All styles of blankets are welcome, including quilts, tied comforters, fleece blankets, crocheted or knitted afghans, and receiving blankets in child-friendly colors.

So in order to help with Project Linus we are making and donating a few blankets this year. The picture above is of the one blanket I've made so far and the other one was made by my nine year old niece Madison. This was her first sewing project, and I think she did quite well :)

Madison posing with her almost finished blanket.

This is my first time to quilt on a let's just say I
need a little practice, but I think it's a good first effort.

I got in the sewing mood on Saturday...

A fabric's already full!

A Christmas present...

An organization that I am cutting Joel's hair there are several things that have to be kept up with in order to have everything when it's time for a haircut. So a bag was in order...

PJ Pants made with Amy Butler's pattern from In Stitches. These were a collaborative effort and I think they turned out pretty well. They are super soft flannel!

And finally (if you're even still reading) a few Christmas decorations...

Our tree all decorated

Finally, the presents have a home!

Well, if you even made it through this post I'm impressed! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. As you can see we were busy....

Monday, November 24, 2008


Well, sorry for the hiatus in blogging around here. Classes have started slowing down (finally), but only for a short time because exams start next week! I have a few more projects to finish up and then exams and I'll be done! Done as in graduating the next week, done. :)

I have several projects in progress right now, but I can't show you the work until after Christmas seeing as how several of them are gifts!

I mostly wanted to post today about this new site I have I love it. They have really good recipes on there (meaning the recipes are some I'd actually like to eat!). You should go take a look and see what you can cook up this Thanksgiving holiday. This weekend I made Apple Pie. It was SO good. Joel's exact words were, "Now, this is how apple pie is supposed to taste!" I made the crust and lattice top (recipe included on the site). It was the first time I'd ever attempted to make my own good and really it was easy. You really should try'll make you proud when the finished product turns out so yummy!

(Picture from, but mine looked pretty close :))

We are excited to get the Thanksgiving season started this week. Joel and I both love holiday's because it guarentees time to spend with our families. We will be having two separate Thanksgiving meals, one for each side of the family. Can't wait for that yummy turkey and dressing! What are your Thanksgiving plans? Any ideas to help your family realize all there is to be thankful for this season?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Holiday project & a little quilting

This weekend was a lot of fun, but it went by too quickly as always! On Thursday and Friday of last week we had a Holiday Bazaar on campus and my sister-in law Deborah had a booth. It was great to get to go over after work and visit with her. I think they had a good time at the bazaar so maybe that means they'll be back next year!

On Saturday Charlotte and I worked on a holiday project...It's a Christmas card holder. (Click on the pictures to see the fabrics better).

I still have a few things to do, like finish the edges and the top to make it stay on the door (we're holding it in the pictures :)).

I never know what to do with my Christmas cards, they are always so beautiful and I want to display them in some way. So here is what we came up with. What do you think of it? Is it something you might use in your own house?

I've been doing a little quilting...still not very far along, but I thought I'd at least update you.

I got a stencil to go in the blue blocks (it's called simple celtic I think...I like it).

So that's what we've been up to last week and this weekend. Can't believe Thanksgiving is next week...we're excited. We love to visit with all of our family and holidays provide the perfect opportunity.

What have you been up to?