My Absent Note

>> Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A little bit of this..

caused this to melt
winter sun Pictures, Images and Photos
then a drop in temps later caused this
Windbrooke ice Pictures, Images and Photos
which in turn caused this
3 tall candles Pictures, Images and Photos
and this..
fireplace Pictures, Images and Photos
NO POWER for almost 2 days+COLD= Unhappy Tearz

Holiday Goodie post coming soon!


Joy to the world!

>> Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Joy to the world

the Lord has come

Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus Pictures, Images and Photos
let earth receive her King

Jesus Returns Pictures, Images and Photos

Let every heart, prepare him room

And heaven and nature sing,
heaven Pictures, Images and Photos
And heaven and nature sing,
Heaven_1 Pictures, Images and Photos
And heaven, and heaven, and nature sing
heaven hell Pictures, Images and Photos
Merry Christmas! From my blog to yours~
May we all remember the reason for the season and let heaven and nature sing!


Right now....

>> Sunday, December 21, 2008

Right now I am

enjoying the warmth from the fireplace. Its 3 degrees outside and -20 with the windchill.

wondering what Santa will bring me this year
santa Pictures, Images and Photos
marveling at the joy and excitement this time of year brings to my boys

dancing to Elvis Presly Blue Christmas

ELVIS' Blue Christmas Pictures, Images and Photos

listening to the wind blow and the ice and snow ping against the window...brrrr....

anticipating cuddle time with my boys and reading our Christmas books (and DH's work Christmas party tomorrow)
Cozy Christmas Pictures, Images and Photos
loving the smell of our woodstove, candles and my never ending baking

thinking of all those last minute things I need to do and praying for all the cold animals

signing off for a few days

wishing all of you peace, love and happiness during the Christmas season!


What works for me- Gift edition

>> Thursday, December 18, 2008

I have been so busy with this goal of mine to have a homemade, handmade Christmas that my little ol' blog is suffering. Its crunch time and between preschool and baking bread and making fudge sauce and wrapping up 20+ gift bags of homemade crayons and peppermint playdough for little 3 and 4 year olds....I'm pooped! Now we've got only 7 days till the big day for me to wrap up the many projects I've still got on the table. But to quote a book I've read over and over since the boys were born...."I think I can, I think I can, I think I can..."!

So, in keeping with my handmade theme....Little J worked on his present for his brother last night. I saw this idea on a Montessori website and I had to copy it. J made his brother colored pasta. Colored pasta you may ask with a scrunched up nose? Well....there are so many things you can do with this activity. You can have the child sort the different noodles by color, size, shape. You can have the child string the pasta or just let the child's imagination run wild. It teaches fine motor skills and developmental skills that are needed at this age. I'm so excited for little Z to enjoy the possibilities and J is too.

I set J up with a big bowl of all sorts of noodles.

I then put different bowls of colored water (just water and food coloring) in front of J and let him begin sorting the noodles into which color he wanted each noodle

He then went through the whole big bowl of noodles and sorted all of them appropriately! He's such a smart guy.

We let the pasta soak in the colored water for a few hours and then drained it and put the noodles on wax paper covered cookie sheets to dry.

The noodles dried up nicely overnight and ta-da!!!! Little brothers gift is all done.

J is bursting with pride in his homemade gift for his little brother. I am too in the fact that I'm teaching my boys the simplicity of the holiday season.


Is it safe?

>> Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Story Banner 07 Pictures, Images and Photos

Are your toys safe?

A free online consumer guide to toxic chemicals in toys is available at (or go here:
There you will find:
• Explanations of chemical hazards
• Product searches by name, brand or type.
• Toy test requests
Better check here to make sure all those presents you have stashed in your closet for your little babes are safe. I was surprised at the findings. You don't want someone to shoot their eye out!


Advent=Day for the senses

>> Sunday, December 14, 2008

Nativity Pictures, Images and Photos

Go on a Christmas "senses hunt". Collect in a basket things that have to do with Christmas and your senses throughout your home (e.g. bright wrapping paper to see, pine cones for smell, peppermint for taste… etc.). Then compare to another basket having to do with Christmas senses at the time of Jesus’ birth. In that basket you can have hay for touch, some sort of perfume for the gifts from the Wiseman for smell, a beautiful star for sight, warm milk for taste, angelic music for hearing and anything else you can think of! Have the kids nativity set ready to put up in the living room and have the children name senses that each character may have experienced (i.e. Shepherd SAW the star with his eyes, HEARD the angels, etc).

Song: Angels we have HEARD on High
Activity: Watch The Nativity with just the Christmas lights on (or Veggie Tales Christmas depending on the mood of the boys)
Treat: Sugar Cookies (because they TASTE soooo good!)


Rave Review

>> Friday, December 12, 2008

Many thanks to my BFF, Karen, who told me months ago to have the kids watch Wall-E. We finally got the movie and watched it one evening while the boys were in bed. I was in love with the movie. I loved every aspect of it! From the way the earth was overcome by trash to the way Wall-E and Eve shared a special friendship.

The next day the boys watched it. To back up a bit, the boys don't really watch much TV or movies so for them to sit through the Wall-E was a surprise. Not only did they sit through the movie once, but they have begged for it over and over. They are in love!

This is a great movie for kids to learn about kindness, friendship, health and to take care of their surroundings. Awesome! Go and watch it soon!

walle Pictures, Images and Photos


What Works for me Wednesday! (holiday version)

>> Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Ok- lets talk Christmas cards....

Yes, I am one of those people that have always sent Christmas cards. In my quest to be more green, the thought of not sending cards this year did cross my mind, but poeey on that. There are ways to be green and still send cards. SEND HOMEMADE!!!! I started making my own Christmas cards a few years ago and though I always complain about it, I'm glad I do it. Not only is it "green", but I couldn't see the sense of spending $5-$12 for a 10 pack of cards when I have quite an address list of people to send to. Not to mention, in my opinion, receiving a homemade card is personal and cute.

This year I got the boys on board to help. I'm not sure where I found this idea, but this is what we did and the cards are great! I'm not showing the final result, will get one in the mail and I don't want to ruin the surprise, but trust me they will be cool (and homemade by 2 creative boys).

Cool Artsy Cards
(What you need)
Tissue paper
Fancy scissors
White glue
Tin foil
Foam brush
Blank Card

I cut up tissue paper with some fancy scissors

Mixed the white glue with a little water

Spread the glue mixture on the tinfoil, then let the boys loose with the peices of tissue paper

Once finished, I spread another layer of the glue mixture over the tissue paper and added sequins.

I then let the peices of our art dry on the counter and plan to cut them up for the cards. Aren't you excited to get the card now and see how they turn out? ha!

Cards are a great way to send cheer for the holiday season, especially for those in your life that you haven't seen in a while. I always look forward to receiving cards from all my long distant friends and family. Hope you send cards and if you do, maybe you will think about a homemade card!

Have a green holiday!!



>> Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I've upgraded and updated!
Check it out~


Twas the night.....

>> Sunday, December 7, 2008

Twas the night before Sunday
One couldn't see the moon
It was snowing so bad,
but mommy was leaving soon

The boys were getting ready
to be nestled in bed
to soon be dreaming
of Monster trucks roaring in their head

While Daddy all dopped up
and dinner in the crock
Mommy snuck out of the house
and made sure the doors were locked

She drove to Ann Arbor
Bought her ticket for TWILIGHT
Met her friend, Sarah
and shared a drink and a bite

Sat in the dark
laughed and cried at the end
Then fell in love with Edward Cullen
all over again

twilight Pictures, Images and Photos


Woe is me!

>> Thursday, December 4, 2008

I'm wearing this

snowy mittens Pictures, Images and Photos

and this is my view

When just a few months ago I was wearing this

and this was my view

I'm cold
and missing the sunshine and warmth!
WOE IS ME!!!!!!



>> Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Sew-Mama-Sew is hosting a "Give Away Blog Day". You gotta check this out. All handmade goods up for grabs.
~Gotta love handmade~


What Works for me Wednesday!

christmas advent Pictures, Images and Photos

The Christmas countdown is on. In my house we do a Christmas Advent Calendar. Some of you have your own family traditions but this is a fun way to bring the true meaning of Christmas into your traditions.

I made our Advent Calendar a few years ago. I used a heavy cotton for the wall hanging and used felt for the pockets. I hand cut most of the pocket embelishments and craft glued them on (for some of the embelishments I used stickers that are for scrapbooking but they were too cute to pass up and have held up well over the past couple years). I put a piece of paper in each pocket that states the scripture verse we are to read, the carol we are to sing, who is in charge of the treat, the activity that we are to do and the theme for the day. An example:

(Gingerman Pocket)

Craft: Gingerbread men puppets
Scripture: John 6:28-35
Theme: Bread of Life
Song/Activity: Make Gingerbread houses

There are lots of ways you can make an Advent. There are also lots of different things you can do with your Advent. Some read Christmas books, some give little treats, some sing songs for each day and the list goes on and on. Check out this site for more ideas on making your own Advent:


Snowed in

>> Monday, December 1, 2008

What do you do when you are snowed in?

This is what we came up with....


For the love of Chai

>> Sunday, November 30, 2008

You all know that I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Chai tea. Besides good ole' water, its been my drink of choice for quite some time. Then you will not be surprised by the cartwheels I was doing when I found this recipe on a blog ( Once this snow stops falling and the plows dig me out, I'm heading for the store to buy the ingredients. I can't wait! Oh, and don't be surprised if you get some for Christmas (Sarah, just act like you didn't know it was coming and it will make my holiday-ha).

All natural, healthy and soooo yummy! You will fall in love with Chai too!

2 cups caster sugar (vanilla sugar is best- if you can find it?!where can I find caster sugar?)

1 cup Typhoo QT instant white tea (See beneifits of herbal White Tea here:

1 cup non dairy creamer

1 cup dried skimmed milk powder

1 cup Coffee Mate 'Latte Creations' creamer (original or vanilla)

4 teaspoons ground ginger

4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons ground cloves

2 teaspoons ground cardamom

2 teaspoons ground allspice

1 teaspoon white pepper

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl. Process the mixture in a blender or food processor, 1 cup at a time, and store in airtight jars.To serve, put 2 tablespoons in a mug, top up with boiling water and wait a few minutes before drinking to allow the spices to settle at the bottom. Now drink up! Your life (and health) will never be the same again.


Thanksgiving Prayer

>> Wednesday, November 26, 2008

thanksgiving or turkey Pictures, Images and Photos
May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
Have never a lump.
May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize,
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs!

thanksgiving wish Pictures, Images and Photos

And to add a "What works for me" tip:

Thanksgiving is a day to reflect on all that you are thankful for. I recently read the "Mayflower" and it reminded me of all that the pilgrims sacrificed and went through during their first year on American soil and how important the famous feast of Thanksgiving was. It humbled me on all that I am grateful for. In honor of teaching my children the simplicity of holidays, I will be adding this lovely tree to my thanksgiving table. A Thankful tree is easy and you could pull it by tomorrow. Grab a branch, cut out some colorful leaves. Before you eat your feast, while everyone is sitting at the table, begin by filling out a leaf of gratitude and attaching it to the tree. Have fun and be thankful for all that you have!


I've got Twilight on my mind...

>> Saturday, November 22, 2008

I'm a Esme! I found out through Which Twilight Female Are You? Take the quiz and find out!
Take the Quiz and Share Your Results!




>> Friday, November 21, 2008

A little glimpse at whats been going on at the Sirken house.
Let me introduce you to our new general contractor.....


Green Christmas Tips

>> Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The day after Thanksgiving is a big event in my house. It is the day I literally roll down the stairs from being stuffed the day before, pile my breakfast plate with a cold turkey sandwhich and turn on some bowl game football. Once I'm finished filling my face again, the waiting totes of Christmas decorations will make their debut.

This year in my goal to have a green Christmas, we will be "Decking The Halls" in all natural decorations. All the tree trimmings will be handmade.


I have LOTS of extra fabric laying around. I took some with matching colors and cut it into strips, then tied it to twine. Easy peasy puddin pie!


Cinnamon Ornaments: Some of you may remember these as I have made them in the past. They smell so yummy and its soooo easy to make. The hardest part is to wait for them to dry. I'm very excited to have these decorations smelling up my house.

Cinnamon Ornaments
1 Cup Cinnamon
1T Cloves
1T Nutmeg
3/4 C Applesauce
2T White glue
Combine cinnamon, cloves & nutmeg. Add applesauce & glue, stir to combine, work mixture with hands for 2-3 minutes. Divide into 4 parts. Roll each to 1/4" thickness. Use straw or toothpick for hole. Place on wire rack & allow to dry at room temp. Turn after a day. (takes about 2 days to dry).

Salt Dough Ornaments: What a great, all natural way to decorate a tree, not to mention what a great way to get the kids stretching their creative muscles. The kids can do whatever they want to these great ornaments. I'm pretty geeked about this little birdie. Look for upcoming post of our creations.

Salt Dough Ornaments
2 Cups Flour
1 Cup Salt
12 oz Luke warm water
You mix the ingredients together adding just enough of the water to make a supple but not too sticky dough. Then you knead the mixture for 10 minutes. Roll out and use your imagination (or cookie cutters) to create your ornaments. Use a straw to punch a hole in it for hanging. Then the whole lot goes into the oven at 150 degrees c for a few hours until it makes a ringing sound like pottery when tapped. When it's cool you can paint it (preferably with acrylic paint) and with a couple of coats of varnish it can last for many, many years.

Paper Ornaments:

These are so cute and fun. I can't wait to go to Michaels and get some fun paper to use. The kids can even help with the cutting and fastening. Try it for yourself!

Paper Balls
12x12 scrapbook paper (cut into 1cmX40cm paper strips)
Hole punch
For each strip, punch a hole in the center and at each end. Take a fastener and lay it so the prongs are facing upward. Insert some strips of paper through the middle hole onto the fastener. Lay the strips evenly in a star shape. Close the fastener and lay it so that it is parallel with the last (uppermost) strip. Starting with the ends of the uppermost strip, gather both ends by overlapping them and matching the holes. Hold the 2nd brad facing down and insert it through the end holes of the strips. Continue this with the next strips and repeat until all of the strips are gathered. Once you have all of the pieces together, close the fastener off. Tie either a piece of string to the fastener or you can also hang it using wire.

The boys and I went for a nature walk and picked up as many pinecones as we could carry in our basket. I plan on just tying twine on them and hanging. I also picked up some scented pinecones at the store. They just smell soooo good!

I'm not sure what else I will come up with for our natural decorations, but this will get me started. Hope you find something that you and your little ones can do to have some Green Decorations.


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