Saturday, December 25, 2010

Friday, December 10, 2010

Baby Bears

I sure do LOVE these baby bears, whom God has given to us through adoption.
Too bad Bubba Bear doesn't like to pose for me. :-)

Mama Bear

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Blackberry Cottage Home Decor

I have a "new" shop on Etsy. Actually, I started it earlier this year, and then things got busy, and I didn't get very far with it. But now, I have begun to add digital prints, that you can print out at your favorite photo lab. Most of the prints are done as 8x10s, but I am glad to do a different size if you prefer. Right now, all of my prints have Scripture verses on them. I can personalize them, or put a different Scripture verse. Be sure to check out the super cute designs for kids' rooms!

Here's the shop:

Blackberry Cottage Home Decor

I'd love to hear what you think of the new shop!

Have a blessed day in Christ!

Mama Bear

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Got Leftover Rice?

Do you have leftover rice in your fridge, from last night's dinner?
Then, make rice pudding!

Well, this is what I know of rice pudding. This is what my mom would make for us when she had leftover white rice. It's delicious hot OR cold.

Here's what you do. When you go to put your rice away from dinner, add some milk, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and raisins. (Use your good judgment on all depends on how much rice you have.) Give it a good stir to mix everything in, and then stick it in the refrigerator. The next morning, you will have a lovely breakfast waiting for you.

Mama Bear

Friday, December 3, 2010

Delicious Hot Tea -- Just in Time for Cozy Weather

On my Bear River Photo Greetings blog (and on this one, I just realized), I posted about getting to go to my very first "tea party". Along with that post, I showcased some of the delicious looking teas that can be found on One of the shop owners, of Ann-Margaret's Tea Shoppe, sent me a whole slew of flavored, loose-leaf teas to try, and I am beginning to work my way through them, now that we FINALLY have some cold weather here in California.

I started with the Green Apple MarTeani, which is a green tea, and is SUPER YUMMY! Since I try to stay away from sugar in my drinks, I used Splenda (would the queen shudder if she knew?). This tea really tastes Green Apple-y! This would be awesome as an iced tea, as would my next choice: Angel Falls Mist Herbal Tea. I'm thinking this tea has a bit of a peach and berry flavor to it, and is absolutely delightful as a hot tea! I'm not much on bitter, dark tasting drinks (like coffee), so I really enjoyed both of these light, but very flavorful teas. By the way, I have never used a tea ball before, but I think it's pretty neat! I feel a little more sophisticated and grown up now.

Be sure to check out Ann-Margaret's Etsy shop, and if she doesn't have the flavors I mentioned, send her a convo to see if she might have any available. You will NOT be sorry!

Have a blessed day in Christ!

Mama Bear

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Mom Rocks the Holidays -- About a Christmas Giveaway

How do YOU ROCK THE HOLIDAYS? Your answer could get you $1000 from Rayovac! Or, you could also win $250 from Rayovac, via 5 Minutes For Mom. “Followers who promote the Rayovac Mom Rocks the Holidays Sweepstakes may receive gifts from Rayovac.”

So what do you do to rock the holidays? This year, we're planning on having a birthday cake for Baby Jesus. I think our 1 year old and 4 year old will love it, and I'm sure that our 17 year old will too, even though he may think he's a little too old. Secretly, I KNOW he's excited!

My mom has baked the pieces to construct gingerbread houses, each year for the past 21 years. I'm not talking one or two gingerbread houses. I'm talking anywhere from 30-100 gingerbread houses that measure about 6 inches tall, 6 inches wide, and 3 inches deep. I used to help put them together after we baked the gingerbread. We would put them on pieces of cardboard, covered with aluminum foil, and then we would have decorating parties. Everyone would bring a couple of tubes of frosting, and a couple of bags of their favorite candies, as well as anything else that would work for decorating a gingerbread house (like pretzel sticks, corn chex, etc.). It was SO much work, but SO much fun! I may start the tradition in my own family some day. Maybe! Maybe we'll just do 2 or 3 houses. We'll see. Oh, but what memories I have from making and decorating those houses! It was always a contest to see who could create the best looking house. I did log cabins, and even a little white church, a couple of different years.

Don't forget to head on over and enter to win the Christmas moolah!

Mama Bear

Monday, November 29, 2010

Mint Chocolate Chip Gum???

I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical when I first saw the Extra Sugar Free "Dessert" gum on The Biggest Loser. I figured it might taste similar, but I'm not sure I'd like it. Well, I've tried the Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream gum, and I LOVE it! I LOVE mint chocolate chip ice cream, and the gum isn't too far off the mark. Since I'm doing Weight Watchers, I need something that can help with the sweet cravings. This gum is really helping. I've also tried the Key Lime Pie flavor, and I'm not a huge fan, only because I'm not a "lime" person. But I'll chew the gum. Next, I want to try the Strawberry Shortcake flavor. I will be very amazed if this meets up to my Strawberry Shortcake flavor standard. :-) But I have a feeling it just might.

Have you tried the gums? What do you think?

Mama Bear

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Church Boy

Last night, Papa Bear and I were watching a movie with Bubba Bear, while the little ones were fast asleep. They had been down for over an hour after Little Bear woke up around 9:30 to 9:45, crying, and needing some cold medicine, due to a runny and sniffly nose. (See, I had originally put them down at about 7:30 for Baby Bear and 8:30 for Little Bear.)

Around 10:30, we heard Little Bear's voice, OVER the TV, which had the volume turned fairly WAS a movie after all! I went back into the little ones' bedroom to investigate, and both of them were sitting up in bed, talking. I asked them, in a stern voice, "What are you guys talking about in here???!!!". Little Bear, who is 4, promptly answered, "God". Good answer, church boy!!! Now go to sleep!

Mama Bear

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Christmas Photo Greeting Card Designs -- AND a Coupon!!!

Please check out my Etsy shop, where I design and sell photo greeting cards for all occasions. From now, through December 25th, I am offering a discount coupon for my blog readers ONLY. Get 15% off your photo greeting card design, by using this coupon code at checkout: MBGC15

Here are some of my designs:

Have a blessed day in Christ, and a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving!
Don't forget to thank the One who has given you ALL things!

Mama Bear

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Crib & Toddler Bed Sheet Tutorial from MADE

Now that I have seen this EASY tutorial on the MADE blog, and since I have LOADS of cotton fabric, I want to try making sheets for Baby Bear's crib and Little Bear's toddler bed. SO COOL! Click on the photo above to get to the tutorial.

Mama Bear

Keeping Up With Baby Bear's Words

Baby Bear is talking a lot these days. Today, she turned 14 months old, and she has a lot to say. I wanted to put down "on paper" her vocabulary as of today, so that I will remember when I have the time to scrapbook about it. Now, granted, all of these words are not all coming out phonetically correct, but we know what she's saying and so does she.

The List:

Mama (and Mommy), Dada (and Daddy), Bubba, Erick, shoe, sock, play, pray, boppy, please, thank you, baby, no, sorry, book, Bible, bow (she asks for me to put a bow in her hair each morning when she wakes up), bye-bye, hi, cheese (for pictures), kitty, meow, moo, car, bird, duck, bath, elmo, show, out, up, night-night, turtle, hat, shirt, uh-oh, doctor, guy (which sounds like "die"), more, toes, ear, hair, mouth, moon, ........

I'm thinking....I'm thinking....

Mama Bear

Random Act of Culture -- AMAZING!!!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

My Baby Girl's Quilt....Finally!

I am finally putting up photos of Baby Bear's quilt, which I FINALLY finished in mid-September, after having started it in May or June. All I had to do was hand-sew the binding, but that takes so long, and it hurts my hands, so I put it off for awhile. But she loves her quilt, and so do I!

Mama Bear

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Happy Birthday to Little Bear!

It's Little Bear's 4th birthday today! Happy Birthday, Little Man! We love you so much, and we are so grateful that God chose to place you in our family, through adoption. We have been SO blessed by your joy-filled presence in our family. We pray that God grows you in this coming year, that you learn more and more, and grow to love Jesus with all of your heart. We LOVE you!!!

Mama Bear

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Giggles Galore!

I have shared 2 videos on Facebook today, but I had to share this one too, because I just love Baby Bear's baby giggles. We put her tutu on her, for the second time ever, and let her toddle around in it. She is just learning to walk in this video. LOVE this baby, I do!

WARNING: The end of this clip might gross you out a bit. Sorry. She was a little excited.

Have a blessed day in Christ!

Mama Bear

Halloween with Two Very Cute Little People and a Great Big Brother

(Little Bear as "Woody", with his preschool class)

Normally, our family isn't big on celebrating Halloween. It's just not a big holiday for us. For others, including my sister-in-law, it's when their height of creativity really comes out, what with decorated yards, imaginative costumes, etc.

But this year, things were different. Because we have an almost 4 year old, and a 1 year old, along with our 17 year old. It became a little more fun for us. Our little guy is COMPLETELY and UTTERLY obsessed with Woody from Toy Story. He has these little figures that are about 3 inches tall, of Buzz and Woody, that he used to be able to take to bed with him. We made him tuck his little friends into his pillowcase each night. That stopped the night we heard screams and cries coming from the bedroom. I thought he had had a bad dream, but Papa Bear knew exactly what happened, the minute we opened the door. By the way, the screams came from the dark room Little Bear and Baby Bear share, and where Baby Bear was fast asleep...until the screams.

We saw Little Bear with his rear end up in the air, and he was face down...with his arm stuck in the bed railing. See, Woody must have somehow jumped out of his pillowcase to play with Little Bear, when they should have been sleeping. Papa Bear said, "He's stuck...Woody fell." Yep, that about sums it up. Woody fell between the bed and the wall, and Little Bear was trying to reach him, only he couldn't, because Woody was hiding under the bed. From that point on, Woody and Buzz had to stay out in the toy box when Little Bear went to bed. YAY! No more late night parties in the kids' bedroom!

So, here are some photos from our Halloween week. I hope you enjoy.

On Saturday evening, we carved our pumpkins.

(Bubba Bear, with the template for his pumpkin.)

(Getting ready to carve the pumpkins.)

(The finished products. Mama Bear did the one on the left. Bubba Bear did the one on the right. Pretty cool, huh?! We taped our templates on, then poked holes with thumbtacks and subsequent thumb cramps, to create the design. Then, Mama Bear cut out on the dotted lines.)

(Spooky...all lights of the finished pumpkins.)

(On Sunday, after church, we took our kids over to Grandma and Poppa's house so they could see the kids in costume.)

(We had two costumes for Baby Bear, that were given to us, but both were for much cooler weather, and it was actually in the high 70s on Halloween! So we ended up buying her this little kitty costume on Halloween day.)

(Baby Bear had just woken up from her nap on the way home from the grandparents' house, and didn't want me -- Mama Bear -- to put her down to get pictures.)

(Our very happy "Woody")

This last photo is of the two little ones as we waited for trick-or-treaters. "Woody" didn't want to come to the door when they showed up though, because there were "bad guys" (scary costumes). We had to coax him out from behind our legs when there weren't "bad guys" at the door, so that the could enjoy all of the "good" costumes.

Bubba Bear ended up going to a Christian rap concert with our good friend, Eric. They went and saw LeCrae in Richmond, and had a GREAT time! If you like rap, or if you don't, you should check out LeCrae...he has an amazing and very straight-forward Gospel message in his music!

Costumes will be put away until next year. Oh, wait, the "Woody" costume will likely get more use. Little Bear would wear it to school, to church, and to bed if we let him! His birthday is this weekend, and I can tell you there WILL be "Woody" gifts there, so he'll get to wear his costume then....and likely several dozen more times before it gets too small, or gets worn out...whichever comes first!

Well, have a blessed day in Christ!

Mama Bear

Thursday, October 28, 2010

You Capture -- Autumn

I have found a great blog (I Should Be Folding Laundry), where the author gives photography challenges. This is good for me, because I need to be challenged as I work to better my photography skills. So, this time, the challenge is to capture "Autumn". I LOVE Fall/Autumn, so this isn't too difficult for me. We took our little ones (and our big one) to the pumpkin patch this week, and here are a couple of photos from our visit:


Have a blessed day in Christ!

Mama Bear

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Pumpkin Patch

Baby Bear and I went with Little Bear on his preschool field trip to the Pumpkin Patch. After the previous week's temperatures of 100 degrees, we were NOT prepared for chilly, windy, 60 degree weather! But we bundled up, and we had a lot of fun. Thank you, G&M Farms in Livermore, for a great time!

Mama Bear