Sunday, November 06, 2016

Sarah and Zach's Graduation

Again, I'm late with the news, events and has me crazy busy.

It's been hard to keep up, but I'm trying.

Here are some pics of Sarah and Zach's high school graduation
(better late than never...)

here they come....
(they were a bit sad that they couldn't walk in together).

diploma time

who are these kids...and where did my itty bitty babies go?

I admit...I cried.

Just so proud of these two and the journey of our life together.

Proud Dad Moment....

Granny came all the way from Georgia to see this momentous event.
my mother in law is marvelous!

This is one of my best friends, Terri.

We became friends shortly after I had the twins.  They are like her babies too,
so we just had to include her on this special day.

They love their "aunt" Terri!

My sister in law and mother in law with our family.

That's a whole lot of Juliani's right there!!

I may be biased, but my kids are totally gorgeous - and they clean up rather well - haha!

we're outta here!!!

Just a little side note -

Sarah is a college freshmen - she chose to study general course as she is  undecided,
and she doesn't quite know what she wants to do as of yet.

She also passed her EMT certification.

Zach chose to take a year off from college and focus on working.  He's saving up to buy his own car and putting money aside for school.


I'm so thankful to my sweet sister in law, who took all the pictures.
I was so overcome by emotions that almost every picture I took came out blurry. 
Several times, I thought I was taking a picture and actually forgot to click the button. 
It just goes to show that sometimes, you just need to witness special moments with your own two eyes and not through a camera lens. 
I know how weird that must sound coming from someone
who pretty much documents just about every moment of their life. 
But it's true.

Thursday, August 04, 2016

My babies just keep growing.....

Nathan recently graduated fifth grade....where has the time gone....seriously!

He will be moving up to the middle high school this coming year.

Part of me is excited for him and for me.

and part of me just wants my baby, my cuddle bug, my little guy back....

you know as a mom, how difficult these growing days can be.

It's not easy, that's for sure.

These last few months have been super busy and also flying by faster then I can keep up

Not only did Nathan graduate, but so did the twins (I'll be sharing that soon enough).

My sweet mother in law and sister in law traveled from Georgia to help us celebrate

these very special, momentous occasions.

Thank goodness for my sister in law, because I was so excited by watching my baby walk across 

the stage that I forgot to take pictures.

So thankful, she was able to capture it on her phone.

Nathan with the school superintendent, the middle school and the elementary principals

Nathan with his fifth grade teacher

Nathan and one of his best friends doing the dab thing...whatever that is

and here,I thought I was hip - but I just don't get the dab thing...

oh well

Nathan with my mother in law and Rich

Nathan with Granny 

Nathan with Aunt Christine

We celebrated at Pizza Hut...Nathan's choice.

selfies with mom...

I wish I could just bottle up those memories and place them on a shelf and when the desire hits me,

that I could just open a bottle and replay those memories right before my eyes....and I don't mean in

 video form...I mean as if I were and we were still at that stage in life.

in real time - someone needs to invent a machine that can do this...

you know, kind of like a star trek holodeck type thing.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Gluten Free Banana Bread

I recently went gluten free - my reasoning, I'll explain later.

But for now, I'm sharing this super yummy
banana bread recipe.

Gluten Free Banana Bread

(this picture doesn't do the recipe justice haha...)

  • 2 cups gluten free all purpose baking flour (I used King Arthur gluten free brand)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups mashed bananas (about 4-5 ripened)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350*.  Spray two loaf pans with cooking spray.  Combine flour, baking soda, and salt.  In another bowl whisk eggs, bananas, sugar, applesauce, oil, and vanilla.  Add the dry ingredients and stir all together.  Pour the mixture into the two prepared loaf pans evenly.  Sprinkle with walnuts.  Bake for 45-55 minutes.

*once the bread is cool, wrap with plastic wrap overnight.  *freeze one loaf for later use.

I cut one loaf into individual slices and wrapped each slice in plastic wrap and then placed the slices in a ziploc freezer bag, so I could pull a piece out as desired.  It tastes really good heated for breakfast or a snack.

Monday, February 08, 2016

heart marshmallow pops

These are my favorite, so I just had to share them again...hope you like them!

These are nothing new, they've been around for a long time, but we have never tried making them (I usually make chocolate covered pretzels). 

My kids love marshmallows and chocolate.

Heart Shaped Marshmallows, Lollipop Sticks, Pink Candy Melts, and Nonpareils

While the candy is melting, place the marshmallows on the lollipop sticks.

To melt the chocolate, I like using a few handfuls at a time.  I stick them in the microwave for a minute or two at a time (stirring in between) on the defrost setting.  Regular settings could make the chocolate melt unevenly or get hard.

Dip the marshmallows in the melted chocolate

Sprinkle on some nonpareils


FYI....Nathan's apron is sold in my Etsy Shop ;-)

You can also stick the marshmallow on a toothpick and dip them in the chocolate and nonpareils and let them dry and serve them without the lollipop stick...but I think they are cuter as a lollipop, especially when displayed in these cute little tin buckets.

Once they are dry, you can wrap them in saran wrap and tie a cute ribbon or yarn around them.

Super Cute and Yummy!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

chicka chicka boom boom

 Last semester I had to do a project for art class.
The project was interjecting a children's book into
learning lessons (such as math, spelling, reading, etc.)
and making a tri-fold board of activities.

I chose the book Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
I love this book and there are so many ideas that you can
come up with using it.

Once I decided on the book, the ideas started flowing.
I had a hard time choosing my activities, because I thought of so many fun ones.

To make my learning center, I bought a tri-fold board
and painted it yellow and pink to match the book cover.
I also added some fun yellow polka dots to the pink sides.
I glued some white ribbon down the edges between the pink and yellow
to add some fun detail, but to also hide some of the flaws ;)

Then I took some brown poster board and cut it into strips for the tree.
I folded the two edges in just a bit (to give me something to glue down)
and curved the poster board on the tri-fold board to give the tree a 3 D effect.

Next, I took some green poster board and made some leaves.
I wanted the leaves to hang above the tree and the board.

I used a glue gun to hold it all together (regular school glue does not work).
I cut some circles out of the brown poster board for coconuts
and glued them onto the leaves.

I bought some magnetic letters and glued them to the tree and the board
(again, for the 3 D effect).

I got some paint sample chips from the store and cut out the letters of the book title.

I totally love how it all came out.

The activities that I chose were fun and could incorporate a multitude of learning activities
One activity that I chose to do was story retelling with magnets.

I bought some clear garden stones from the dollar store and
wrote the letters on them, both capital and lower case.
I glued a small white circle to the back to make the letters pop
and added a magnet to them.

I got some brown and green paint chip samples from the store and
cut them out to make a coconut tree.  I thought it would be more fun
to cut the tree trunk into strips so it could be made to bend like the tree
in the story.  I also added a magnet to the back of the tree parts and made
coconuts too.

I bought two cookie trays from the dollar store to use with this activity.

The letters can also be used to match capital and lower case letters together.
Spell words, learning the alphabet, and much more....

For my second learning activity, I chose to do pasta estimation.

I bought some letter pasta 
(which was super hard to find - seriously, I went to
three stores before I finally found some).

I thought it would be more fun if the letters were different colors.
so, I dyed them with food coloring.

All you need to do is put the pasta in a large ziploc bag, add
a few drops of food coloring and a spoonful or two of rubbing alcohol
and shake the bag until the pasta is completely colored.

Then lay the pasta out on newspaper to dry.

easy peasy

and see...isn't it way cuter colored than plain old pasta???

Grab some containers and let the kids guess and measure the amount of pasta

You can also use the pasta in a sensory bin.

You can come up with a bunch of different learning activities to do with this pasta.

I also did a letter tree.

I drew a picture of a tree on a sheet of paper and bought
foam letter stickers.  Children can find the letters to their name
and put them in the tree.  Then for more learning ideas, they can 
add the number of letters in their name and make a graph or
they can spell out their spelling words with the letters as well.

My last activity was letter beads.  Children can make a bracelet using the
letter beads that spell out their name.  Again, you can use the letter beads in a number of ways.

The possibilities are endless....

Wouldn't this be a fun activity to do one day?