Wednesday, December 5, 2012

School day!

The Princess works on "trays" while the boys all do school work.  This was new and a HUGE hit!
She searched for the shapes and scooped and poured.
She kept most of them on her desk....and for the record my vacuum gets beans up very well!  ;)

getting some seat work done

The big boys are unhappy about their assignments....but they did them anyway

A new math game.  Addition facts from 0+0 through 10+10 are on popsicle sticks.  The cups have numbers 1-20....

...drop the popsicle stick in the cup with the correct answer.  They had fun with it.

This little guy is learning to read.  :)

We've been home for around 6 weeks with our little Princess and we are finding a groove for getting school work done.  It has been a bit challenging to get into a routine but we're getting there.  Thanksgiving week, shotgun season (twice) and appointments have made finding that routine even harder....but we are still doing well.  I just love my job!!!!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Oh the LIST!!

check check check check check check.  We've been crossing so many things off that I am having trouble keeping track.  I will list the things we've crossed off and that we have gotten pictures of.  We have done a few other things on the list but there are no I'll wait and post them when we do them again.  :) 
In the last week, we can cross off.....

#14- go to VBS (I don't have pics of this one since I am working VBS and don't have time to take them.  Maybe I can get some of the official pics from the VBS photographer) :)

#17- visit the zoo

The boys were SO well behaved at the zoo.  We saw all the animals we had hoped to see except the tigers and spent a while checking out the penguins.  Great family day!
#39 - watch a baseball game
Daddy and the 2 little guys watching big guy play some little league
Up to bat.  So far he hasn't gotten on base cause he gets so nervous when it's his turn at the plate....but he'll get there. 

#52 - visit a different church
The King spoke at this church near STL last weekend and we all went with him.  It was a big church.  It was a lot of fun!

#62 - have a picnic

We had a picnic at a rest area on the way to STL.  The kids thought it was great fun. 
It is so much easier (not to mention cheaper) to do this on a long(ish) drive.  When the kids are done eating we let them run around for a while before strapping them back in the car.  Thankfully, we did this since shortly after this we got stuck in traffic and it took twice as long to get to the zoo as it should have

#78 - sleep at a hotel
We stayed at this hotel that was booked by the church the King spoke at.  When they booked it, he was going over alone....they couldn't get us a room with 2 beds.  So the kids all slept in sleeping bags on the floor  (1 on a love seat).  We had to sneak in a side door because we had too many in the room....but our other choice was for us to sleep in the van.  LOL!  The kids thought it was great!   

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Pasta e Fagioli

1 lb ground beef
1 sm onion, chopped
1 lg carrot, julienned (I cut it in disks cause I HATE julienne-ing veggies)
3 stalks celery, cut in "rings"
2 cloves garlic
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 can red kidney beans
1 can great northern beans
1 can tomato sauce (15 oz)
1 can v8 (I used a little one but I think I should have used more)
1 T vinegar
1 1/2 t salt
1 t basil
1/2 t thyme
1/2 lb ditalini pasta (or other small pasta)

brown beef in stock large stock pot.  Add carrots, celery, onion, and garlic.  Saute for 10 minutes. 

Add remaining ingredients except pasta.  DO NOT DRAIN ANY CANS just dump them in!  Simmer 1 hour.

Meanwhile cook pasta in boiling, salted water for 8-10 minutes.  Drain.  Add to soup and simmer 5-10 more minutes.

This time that I made it I used more carrots and skipped the pasta.  I think that adding pasta makes it hard to reheat the soup later.  Eat with bread or the garlic sticks I posted last week!  YUM!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Eat your Heart out Olive Garden!

Are those not heavenly looking garlic breadsticks?  I certainly think so.  And since I snuck a "taste-test" breadstick from the other pan of them, I know that they not only look fabulous but taste fabulous as well.  If only my arm was long enough to pat myself on the back I would.....cause after baking these I deserve it.  :)

So I started with the recipe here.  But as much as I love (and I do mean LOVE) foodie with family and all her recipes (I've made several), I didn't follow it exactly.  For one, I don't keep semolina flour or kosher salt in the house.  And for another....I am just not good at following recipes.  I have done the braids and they are adorable but I wanted smaller sized breadsticks and more quantity and not braiding gave me that.  The braids were adorable though and I would make them again that way if I weren't trying to increase the quantity.  

So you can see her recipe there and following are my (minor) changes.  Make them however you want....but make them you must.  :)

I followed her recipe in my kitchenaide mixer.  I substituted 6 cups all purpose flour instead of the 2 different kinds of flour.  And I use 2 t regular salt.  Her directions also say to put everything in your mixer except the olive oil, garlic and seasonings.....but the 4 T of oil does go into the bread.  To make the sticks and not braids just follow her directions up to the braiding point and stop.  Instead of using olive oil to brush on mine I melted a stick of butter in a jar with a lid (lid OFF in the micro) added pressed garlic (3 cloves not 1) and the seasonings.  Then put the lid on it and shook it up....then I brushed it on.  and baked it!  My house smelled so so so so good!!!  :)

Friday, June 1, 2012

#24 - CHECK

Making homemade popsicles (or in this case fudgesicles) was a HUGE HUGE success.  I made these last weekend using a recipe I found on pinterest.  It was easy peasy. 

1/3 cup Nutella
1 cup milk

whisk it together and put it in freezer pop molds and freeze...then eat.  And try not to make yummy sounds as you do!  They were GREAT!!!  Here are some photos to document the chocolatey yumminess!  

I'm mixing up the nutella and milk....please disregard my lack of make-up and the fact that my hair is barely combed or that I didn't clean up the supper waffle iron....I was focused on more important things.  Namely, NUTELLA FUDGESICLES!  It's all about priorities folks!

The middle kid is liking his.

Big Boy is doing a good job avoiding brain freeze -  not an easy thing to do with such yummy chocolatey frozen goodness.

Can his mouth BE any bigger?  I guess he takes after his momma. 

You'd think that by opening his mouth as big as he was that there would be less on his face.  But you would be wrong.  At least he gives them a thumbs up!

Look at that smile!  He is HAPPY!

He is happy!  I also wish he would wear pants....This one apparently takes after his Grandpa on his dad's side! 
Today I also made more popsicles (no pictures though)....they were even easier.  I just poured some orange juice in the molds and stuck them in the freezer.  I can definitely see popsicles being a standard part of our summer this year! 

..........Only 99 more to go!!!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

#37 - CHECK!!!

a picture of the star of the show!!!

Ready for Chipwrecked (and Bed!)

Lovin this movie!!!

So Chipwrecked was the first thing we checked off our list.  It was a huge success.  The perfect activity for a Friday night after a long and busy 2 weeks when mommy and daddy are exhausted.  And the kids didn't even know that we were punking out cause they were thrilled!  ;)  I expect some of the other activities will make for much better photos but I took some anyway....gotta get ready for a scrapbook!  :)

One thing down, 100 left to go.  :)

Monday, May 28, 2012

The Official "Summer Bucket List" List

The list on the blog is all great for those of us in blog-land.  But as my kids are 4, 6 and 8, they just don't spend a lot of time here.  And the value in creating more list makers and checker off-ers (of course that's a word) is immeasurable.  So I made a list and hung it on our craft closet door.  And we've already crossed a few things off.  We could have actually crossed more off the list this weekend but we are gonna spread it out a little bit.  Anyway, I'll post about that another day.  Today I am sharing the list itself.  And an inspiration to succeed at #68.  But first the list itself... 
Can you read the small print?  IRL, it is written on 1 inch lines.          

I have a fabric stash.  It is extensive (excessive?!?!) and most of the time when I am making something I have a specific fabric I want to use and it is not one I already the stash just keeps growing.  I also suspect it is multiplying on its own under my bed....not sure how that happens but I think it does.  Sometimes I am surprised at how much is really in there when I start pulling out the tubs from under my bed.  So #68 on the bucket list is to decrease my fabric stash by half in one way or another.  I either have to use it, throw it out, or take it to be sold.  So which is it going to be.  Maybe a little of all of it.  Some of it, I have ideas for projects for the boys or myself.  And other pieces need to be gotten rid of.  But the other perfectly great fabric (I have a TON of bandana fabric that I'm not sure why I got it) needs to be put to good use....enter The Sewing for Orphans Project.  This is an easy peasy drawstring bag with a very well done tutorial.  It requires 1 yard (2 - 1/2 yard sections really) of fabric and some ribbon and cording (she will add the cording for you if you don't want to buy it.)  We are talking simple, fast....and such a gift to hurting children.  So I am going to see how many of these bad boys I can make this summer.  They would be a great project for beginning sewers (both adult and child alike).  I haven't made one yet....but I will soon.  I have 4 or 5 other sewing projects (for myself) in my head.  Maybe I'll make one of these before I make each of the projects I wanna make for myself.  That would be 4 or 5 here in a hurry cause once I get a project in my head I don't wait well.  :)

I did get started on reducing my fabric pile this afternoon.  Of course, I picked this tiny bag and used about 1/2 of a fat quarter....barely a drop in the bucket.  Anyway, I found this tutorial and decided to try it.  I need a new makeup bag.  I'm still using one I bought (or my mom bought for me) at Walmart in, like,1992. This is a vast improvement on that one, needless to say.  And the tutorial on Flossie Teacakes was easy to follow.  Great beginner zipper project.  :)

The outside of the bag with the totally cute blue and off white bubbles.

Inside is just enough space for my makeup for traveling.  
So that is my update for today.  More on the other things we checked off the list this weekend another day this week.  Keep checking up....and if you are doing a "summer bucket list" and if you blog it, please share your link so I can check it out.....


Friday, May 25, 2012

101 Fun Summer Activities

Inspired by some facebook friends and boards on pinterest, we decided to make our own "summer bucket list".  I'm not sure we'll get to do all of them but we can try.  And have fun doing it.  Sometimes, I get tired of trying to think of fun things to do and this way we have a list to go from.  And, oooooohhhhhh, I LOVE lists!  So here is my 101 things to do this summer.  Some will be easier than others and some are on there cause I already know some of the plans for the summer.  Summer fun....Here we Come!!!

(names in parenthesis mean this is a goal for that specific person)
(If the item is followed by pinterest, that means the instructions are on my pinterest board so I can find them again) 

1. Ice Cream for supper
2. Pick berries and make jam
3. See the mountains
4. Jump off the diving board
5. camp out
6. Family 5K
7. Play with sparklers
8. Make giant bubbles
9. Movie Night at home
10. Have a sleepover
11. Drive In Movie
12. Library Summer Club
13. Tie Dye T-shirts
14.Go to VBS
15. Play putt putt golf
16. Go bowling
17. Visit the zoo.
18. Finish garage downstairs. (daddy)
19. Harvest the garden and can veggies
20.  Weenie roast
21. Go fishing
22. Go swimming
23. Go to the park
24. Make homemade popsicles
25. Go to Chucky Cheese
26. Make and deliver cookies to grandma's apartment building
27. Share a banana split
28. Host an ice cream social
29. Float trip down river
30. Go to Holiday World/ Splashin Safari
31. See a parade
32. Sculpey Sculptures
33. Learn to ride bike without training wheels (little guy)
34. Sleepover with Nanny and Pappy
35. Learn to make brownies (lesson from mommy)
36. Hold a little baby
37. Watch Chipwrecked
38. Give $$ to someone anonymously / or pay for someone's meal in restaurant
39. Watch a baseball game
40. tree climbing
41. Make a bug collection
42. Go to church camp (the Prince)
43. Go screen free for 1 day.
44. Eat on the patio
45. Make suncatchers (pinterest)
46. Try a new food
47. Go skinny dippin' (boys)
48. Swim at the river
49. Lazertag
50 Go to star step gym
51. Make a card for someone and mail it
52. Visit a different church
53. Watch a sunset
54. watch a sunrise
55. Bike rides
56. Catch lightning bugs
57. Go on a nature walk
58. Demo Derby
59. Eat an elephant ear
60. Water Balloon Fight
61. Build a birdhouse/bird feeder
62. Have a picnic
63. Fly a kite
64. Watermelon seed spitting contest
65. Ride the paddleboat
66. Skip rocks
67. Dance in the rain
68. get rid of or use 1/2 of fabric stash (Queen)
69. Make a naked egg (pinterest)
70. Have a pom pom shooter war (pinterest)
71. Make our own bouncy balls (pinterest)
72. Make photo bookmarks (pinterest)
73. Build a porch swing
74. Make new kinds of paper airplanes (pinterest)
75. Draw a sidewalk chalk masterpiece
76. Family boardgame night
77. Learn to tell time
78. Sleep at a hotel
79. Visit Aunt Heather, Uncle Greg, and Delaney
80. Watch the 4th of July Fireworks
81. Wiffle Golf
82. Make glow stick lanterns (pinterest)
83. eat homemade ice cream
84. Have a meal with no store bought food (except seasonings)
85. eat corn on the cob.
86. Watch for shooting stars
87. Jammie day
88. play hopscotch
89. Backyard obstacle course
90. Diet Coke and Mentos experiment
91. Baptism celebration for Middle boy
92. Make root beer floats
93. Build Jasper a dog house
94. Make handprint stepping stones
95. Scavenger/treasure hunt
96. Make "solar s'mores" (pinterest)
97. Make treasure boxes.
98. Sunburn Balloons (pinterests)
99. make bubble snakes
100. Ice Cube Hockey
101. Photo album to chronicle adventure

I'll be back with photos and stories as we complete our list!  :) 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

"New" Bathroom Cabinet

I found this old cabinet in "the old homeplace" and have been wanting to redo it for some time now.  I finally got a chance over our Christmas Break!

The old cabinet as it was when my dad and the King ripped it out of the old homeplace.  It was FILTHY!!!!
This is what it looked like after a good washing and nothing more. I LOVED the green paint that covered half of it but there were other sections that were raw wood so it had to be painted.

Here it is after the first coat of paint.  The color is called Earthy Gray and it was perfect.  I did not tape the glass because the left pane is broken so I will be removing both of them.  They will be replaced with chickenwire.

The cabinet is hung in the new master bathroom.  I still need to remove the one pane of glass and put in the chicken wire...but I LOVE it!  It adds a TON of storage to a small bathroom and looks so cool.  I will post another picture when the chicken wire is in and the rest of the stuff is finished....but I was too excited to wait for that.  :)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


So, I hate new years resolutions.  I think they are primarily destined to fail because we, as people, expect to make all these new changes at the same time we are trying to write the correct year on our checkbooks. ;)  Just because we have started the year over does not make new habits easy to make or bad habits easy to break.   But that doesn't mean I don't have goals.  I just dislike the tendency to raise expectations too high simply because it is a new year.

However this year (like any year), there are a few things I want to work on....

There are 2 big ones
1.  Read through the One Year Bible in one actual year.  I started the day after Christmas to give myself a couple days head start.   Some may call that cheating...I call it smart.
2.  Like more than half of all the other people on the planet (I'm sure)....I want to work on my health.  Exercise more and watch portion control.  I want to be comfortable in my skin and happy with the way my clothes fit.  My mom and I have gotten started on this one together also getting a head start on the new year.  I have no treadmill, and do not plan to join a gym so it is bundling up and trekking outside or doing videos in the house.  We'll see how it goes.

So those are my 2 plans for January.  Maybe I'll add something new as February rolls around and maybe I won't....but I know that I can set goals at any time of any year and waiting for the new year is not all that important. 

Monday, January 2, 2012

2012! Starting the New Year!!!

We had a wonderful New Years Eve celebration with close friends and Chinese take out.  YUM!  Little guy is the only one who didn't make it to midnight.  On Jan 1, the King and I did our annual clean out of the boys bedroom...the boys aren't allowed to help and we clean it up and get rid of things that need to be gotten rid of (which is why the boys don't help). 

Today, on January 2, we have gotten back to school!  And it has gone fabulously!!!!  It is hard to believe.  First days back never, ever, ever, ever go even good...they usually suck.  But today, I may have found a method of bribery that works.  :)  They are working to EARN TV/Wii time.  For different things they earn beads that are each worth 5 minutes of time on the Wii or watching TV.  Some are just general chores that they need to do each day but I am tired of battling about (get dressed, brush teeth, and make beds).  They get a bead for 30 minutes of productive school time and for each 5 minutes they spend reading.  Whining loses a bead.  So far, so good.  And I'm figuring out things that can or should earn or lose a bead.  I don't want to make it too complicated or we'll drop it...but I want it to be clear.  So we may make a few little changes here and there.

Part of school this calendar year that I need to seriously work on is little guy.  He has really not been doing much and he could (should?) be.  I am going back to a favorite blog of mine from when the middle boy was younger and finding all those great things that I loved then.  And I am going to start using them (SHOCK!).  I have most of the supplies from the last time I used them...and many are common around the house kinds of things anyway.  I just rearranged the bookshelf a little so I can put some tot trays on the lower shelves so he can get them and put them away himself. 

2012 is off to a great start.  I am thinking about "resolutions" for myself....and about how much I hate that word.  It seems a resolution is just destined to fail....but there are always ways to improve.  I know I'm behind for making it an official resolution but I don't really care so much about that.  I'll think I'll plan to post them tomorrow.  :)