Mama Sonshine

thoughts from a mother of boys, a wife, a scientist and an artist

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Mason Jar Christmas Scenes

My sister has one of those Christmas villages, with all the houses and the snow and stuff.  This year my nieces wanted to make her a little village in a giant Mason Jar.  Luckily my mom has hundreds of Mason Jars in various sizes.  Remember how we made all those Cookie-in-a-Jar guest gifts for my cousins baby shower?  Yep, she still has tons.

She took the kids to the craft store, got all the little things to go in the jars and turned the kids loose.


Ian made one for me and my mom put together a stand for it.  I am pretty sure this was a gallon mayonnaise jar, it’s huge.


My mom made some cream-colored playdoh so the items would stay upright in the jar.  She also bought some of that Kinetic Sand in cream.


Ian placed all the items himself.  I absolutely love it.


His gift gave me an idea for a Christmas gift for Ian’s teacher.  Luckily my mom had all sorts of stuff left over so Ian could make another jar.


Before we started decorating I used the hot glue gun and glued six blobs on the bottom of the jar for stability.

I tried to use the playdoh, but didn’t like how the stuff wouldn’t really stay up right, unless you used a hold bunch of playdoh.  I didn’t really like how the playdoh looked from the outside.


So after he placed all the stuff in the jar, I took it all out along with the playdoh.  Then I put it all back in how he had it, and with his instructions, but I used hot glue to secure his decorations.


He was sad that we didn’t have any more reindeer, but at least we had Santa.


This jar wasn’t as large so he couldn’t fill it quite so full.  After all was secure I dumped in the plastic snow that mom got at the craft store.


I really wish I had sprayed the inside bottom of the jar with that window snow paint.  I think it would have looked great, but I thought of it after, and I don’t have any….but you can use that idea, it’s all good.


Since this is a teacher gift and made in a Mason Jar I thought these tags would be perfect!


I designed the tag in Silhouette Studio software.  For the jar I used the print ‘n cut method, and cut the lid out in two layers.


Love the tag?  I know, it’s super cute.  And you are in luck, cause you can download here. For free.

This PDF file is the above printable tag for Christmas.

This PDF file is plain for any time of year.


This SVG file is for those of you who would like to use it in your cutting machine.  I did have to change the font for the SVG file because it was a little too thin for cutting.




Please note this design is for PERSONAL USE only please. Please do not forward, share, sell or distribute the files for any commercial purposes or claim as your own design. Thanks a bunch!



Dawn Marie

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Running Log Dec 17th ~ Race Recap

12k Vancouver WA

This post has been a long time coming.  The race was actually Thanksgiving weekend, but I just haven’t had a chance to tell you about it.

I really wanted to do a Christmas themed run this year.  After looking into the ones that were available I decided on the Hot Buttered Run.  It sound fun and Christmasey and there was Hot Buttered Rum at the end.  What could be better.

The race offered two distances; a 5K and a 12k (7.28 miles).  I picked the 12k race.  The course was mostly flat and wound through downtown Vancouver, WA and through Fort Vancouver.  This also put us in the industrial district for a couple of miles, which wouldn’t have been bad except the smell coming from one of the plants.  It was either tires or asphalt, think burning rubber.  Not the best thing to inhale while running.

MSS_HBR course

12k course

Because of the distance and the small town, we had to run by the starting park twice.  Around mile 3 we run by the park, but that is ok, because the race just started and I was expecting to double back.  But then at the end, close to the 7 mile point we run along the park and you think you are going to take a left turn at the corner and cross the finish line.  WRONG!  You keep going, granted it is only about a 1/4 mile, but mentally it throws you.  The course took us down another block before turning left to come around the other side and up to cross the finish line.

MSS_HBR course

close up of mile 3 & 7

The day was beautiful and cold.  I mean cold.  OK, it wasn’t below zero or in the single digits but it was cold.  However the sun was shining and there were parts of the run that I actually felt warm.


I-5 bridge and Fort Vancouver

Running through the fort with the sun on my face was glorious.  In fact it was so great I stopped to take a picture, which paused the Map My Run app and I lost about 3/10 of a mile.  Which means my split records are not really accurate.  My times were about ten and a half-minute miles to eleven and a half-minute miles.


there was ice under the leaves on the path

There were less than 500 finishers with over 300 of them females.  I wanted my time to be under 90 minutes, and it was.  So I am happy about that.  I averaged an 11:18 min/mile officially running 1:25:50.  I am hoping that next year I will finish closer to an hour.  There was a few slippery spots of ice where it was better to walk than run and I stopped to take a few pictures.  I also took a walking break to have some Gu for refueling.

View at mile 6

View at mile 6

Then as soon as I was done I started to freeze! Did I mention how cold it was?


Of course I made a shirt to wear for the race, but I had to put my coat back on, which covered it up, as soon as I was finished!

The other reason I picked this race was because of the Kids Kandy Kane Race and the fact that Santa would be there.  Ian has been talking about doing a race with me and I figured this would be a fun one for him to do.


There was two divisions of kids races.  One was a fun run, for the kids under the age of 8, and was supposed to be a distance they could reasonably finish.  There was two waves, the first one was for kids ages 3-6 and running with a parent, the second was 7-8 with no parents.  So if  you had to run with a parent you went first.  The second kids race was a 1k (.62 miles) for kids older than 5 and could run without parents.  The other benefit of this race is they had a kid zone, a secure area where the kids could play while parents raced.  The thought was, Ian would go to the kid zone, I would run.  I would come get him, see Santa and do his race.

The kid zone had one of those bounce house things in it, and was under a covered area, with only one wall, and no patio heaters.


Did I mention how cold it was?

The poor kids had to hang out in freezing weather while we ran.  I really felt bad at the end of my race.  Sure he had gloves, layers of clothes and a hat, but only one pair of socks.  Which would have been fine, but he had to take his shoes off to go in the bounce house.  (after we did his race he told me his feet hurt because they were laughing so hard)  The kid zone had hot chocolate and snacks, and he didn’t complain, I just wish I was faster.  I kept running and tried to run faster because I wanted to get Ian out of the kid zone as fast as I could.


The line for the rum tent was so long, Ian couldn’t come in with me and I didn’t want to leave him in the play area any longer….so I didn’t get my Hot Buttered Rum.  But that’s okay, I got to hang with Ian until his race started.  He decided he didn’t want to go see Santa just yet.

The kids races couldn’t start until all the other runners crossed the finish line.  Then they packed us all back into the starting gate and organized us by waves while Santa walked around talking to the kids.  MSS_HBR09

For our wave, the first wave, they told us to just run around the park, which ended up being 0.45 miles.  The actual course was supposed to cut through the park, giving a 0.34 mile course.  But all the kids made it around the park, including Ian and me.

MSS_HBR kids course

When the kids crossed the finish line they were handed a medal from either Santa himself or an elf.

Ian with his new medal

Ian with his new medal and a super runny nose

Seriously, that made it all worth it.  Ian had a great time, loved his swag and loved the fact that he got a medal from Santa Claus.  Since the race area was at a park, there was a playground.  We went and played on the playground for a little bit then went to Starbucks for more hot chocolate and a cake pop & cookie for Ian.


However we talked about his next race happening when it is warmer.

I do plan on doing this race again next year and hopefully Ian will too.  Although we might figure something else out, like having someone with us to hang with Ian, or bring him before it is his time to race.

MSS_HBR shirts

Our shirts

MSS_HBR swag

Ian’s Swag from the race

Just. Keep. Running.

C25K interval information can be found here

Want to find out what races I’ll be doing next year?  Check out my list.

Dawn Marie

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Menu Plan Monday Dec 15th

I can’t even believe another week has gone by in December.

I am so running out of time.  The to-do-list is just as long as it was last week.  Of course I might keep adding to it…

Cards are coming along, but not yet done….This week is more card assembly, present making, gingerbread house assembly (for our big house decorating party on Sat.) and wrapping.  No, don’t worry I didn’t mean rapping, ’cause I can’t throw down rhymes.

But what does that mean? I have no time to cook! OK, I have very limited time to cook.  So to the crock pot I turn.  And to meals that do not require a side dish.

Or I can turn to take-out, or eating at my sisters, or….are pop-tarts ok for dinner?


MSS_Breakfast With Santa

We had breakfast with Santa yesterday. No big deal.


Menu Plan 12/15-12/21

Mon: Korean Beef and Rice

Tues: Slow Cooker Nacho Grande Soup

Wed:  Beef Bourguinon with garlic noodles

Thr: Ham and Cheese Gnocchi 

Fri: Leftovers

Sat: Kitchen is Closed!

Sun: Roasted Pork Loin in Beer Sauce with roasted potatoes



Happy Cooking


Today is the last day for the Silhouette Giveaway, so if you have not entered, now’s your chance.  Click on the picture below to enter the giveaway.

Click on picture to enter giveaway

Click on picture to enter giveaway


Dawn Marie

Need something to help plan your meals?  I use the Plan to Eat online meal planner.  Try it free for 30 days

Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat


Find more recipes at I’m an Organizing Junkie

Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory


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Menu Plan Monday Dec 8th

Why is my Menu Plan Monday on a Tuesday? you ask….
Well yesterday I had this Silhouette Challenge post schedule with a mega huge giveaway! so the menu plan just had to wait.  It’s okay, you get it.


As usual life got in the way of my cooking plans on Sunday, so I made the pork chops last night.  And it had to be last night because I pulled them out of the freezer on Sunday.

We got our tree on Sunday and I brought home a raging headache, which is why I didn’t end up cooking.  I could only handle the boys trying to decorate the tree for about 30 minutes and had to stop them, but I let them finish last night.  As a result the Christmas bins didn’t get put back into the attic and the boys made a fort.



I am so busy this week trying to get Christmas cards and gifts made that I want really easy dinners.


Menu Plan 12/8-12/14

Mon: Bourbon & Onion Pork Chops with noodles

Tues: Chicken enchiladas with Spanish rice (I don’t know why, but I must always have Spanish rice when I have tacos or enchiladas)

Wed:  Italian Sausage and Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce

Thr:  Crock Pot Bacon Ranch Chicken

Fri: Leftovers

Sat: Kitchen is Closed!

Sun: Beef Stew



Happy Cooking


Dawn Marie

Need something to help plan your meals?  I use the Plan to Eat online meal planner.  Try it free for 30 days

Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat


Find more recipes at I’m an Organizing Junkie

Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory



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