We Survived

Look at this crew... they are ready to GO!
Well we did survive, a 4 year old and 9 month old in a car for 2 1/2 hours to get to the Cleveland Zoo.  It was the longest car ride either has done and it didn't go too bad.  I wont be jumping in the car every weekend to make the trip but at least now we know it's been done.  Once we survived the car ride we had to survive the heat of the day.  It was absolutely beautiful but about 80 plus without even standing in the sun.  We met up with cousins that also had to make the same distance drive with a 14 year old, 4 year old and 5 month old- I think we would all take the heat over getting back in the car for the repeat ride home.  The 4 year olds hadn't seen each other since they we 6 months old, no difference though they were buddies from the start.  We all caught up and enjoyed each others company in between sharks, moneys, polar bears, elephants, seals, giraffes, and countless other animals.
The giraffe bent down but I still thought this was great picture of their area

We had to get a picture by the elephant for daddy!  And there's Cy with his map that he wouldn't let go of the whole day.  The 4 year olds were our tour guides leading us to each animal on the map.

Round Two was this morning- Memorial Day Parade!
The  older boys have been going since they were babies, we've gotten a picture every year in that wagon. (Project for another day find a picture from each year)

They were so grown up sitting on the curb and watching the parade go by.

Sage we had to let loose in the backyard when we got back- he was quite the adventurer but behaved himself and didn't eat too much grass.

Singing crawling through the yard.

Had to get the swim suits out today!

So we all survived our weekend crazy as it was.  We ran from morning to night two days in a row.  But what the boys will remember are all the fun they had with their cousins and at the zoo and parade.  We don't always take those trips and have never really been away on a vacation but someone told me this weekend its not where you go but the journey you take.  You pick how you take each journey are you going to make it worth it?   Love Life, Love Your Kids and let things fall into place.

and always LICK the spoon........ my new favorite whip cream recipe: 1 cup heavy cream, 1/4 cup sugar, tsp almond- beat on high till stiff peaks.  Mmmmmm.....



To Do Fun List

Adding to the To Do Fun List for the Summer:

3. From Cakies:  A Frame Tent pattern from free pattern month at Grosgrain

4. DIY I SPY book from Delia Creates

5. Okay I had to get a recipe in here, because my crafting list is getting way too long and summer hasn't even had a chance to start.   So let's go with some.....cheesecake in a jar.  Cheesecake in a Jar Recipe from My Baking Addiction. Great Memorial Day, 4th or Labor Day dessert- let's see if I get it done!

6. And finally I just came across these and couldn't resist.  water party: sponge ball tutorial 
at One Charming Party.  These look like WAY too much fun!

“Summer romances begin for all kinds of reasons, but when all is said and done, they have one thing in common. They’re shooting stars, a spectacular moment of light in the heavens, fleeting glimpse of eternity, and in a flash they’re gone.”  The Notebook

Looking forward to summer romances with my LOVES, they are each my shooting stars...... with our summer days that in a flash are gone.......


Cardboard boxes + Imagination = FUN

Cardboard Box Fun, these would definitely go over well in my house....

DIY: Castle Story Box 

The Imagination Tree Blog

DIY Kids: Ice Cream Shop

Childhood 101 blog

Homemade Card Wash 

Filth Wizardry Blog

Check out tipjunkie post for  

32 Things to Make Using Cardboard Box DIY

 I had to go searching for these, here's a Cardboard House I made for Cy probably 1 1/2 ago out of Refrigerator box:

Cut out doors, 2 windows, doggie door in the back.  Siding was made out of strips of blue poster board, white poster board for the trim and windows.  The window boxes are a shoebox split down the middle and we decorated with flowers and curtains. And of course a mailbox for his mail.


Fresh Fruit Popsicles

Fresh Fruit Popsicles
Strawberries, Watermelon, Mandarin Oranges and OJ........
 Popsicle molds and OJ
 Assemble with a little helper, freeze for a couple hours and......


Homemade Pop Tarts from Bake at 350

These are definitely being filed in the must try recipe folder.

Digging in the Dirt

One of the most delightful things about a garden is the anticipation it provides. 
~W.E. Johns

My boys were digging in the dirt today, well the baby was just eating it but anyways.....
We are working on starting a vegetable garden this year,  a small raised bed that will hopefully house a tasty harvest in a couple months.

Seedlings are in: Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Squash and Peppers.  The abundance of rain fore- casted for the week had us hold off on the seeds, they'd be washed off the second they were in the ground.  But in the works will be: both Winter and Summer Squash, Peas, Green Beans, more Tomatoes, Carrots and of course PUMPKINS for jack-o-lanterns this fall! 

You can't beat the smell of dirt, fresh air and the warmth of a sunny day (especially when it started out as a rainy one).  As we anticipate our garden and its harvest this year, we also anticipate the long, fun, sunny days..... and making memories that will last my boys lifetime.  I can't believe by the end of the summer Cy will be starting his school career in Pre-K, Sage will be 1 year old and most likely walking, and Sean will be going into his third year as a business owner.  Wow, life really does fly by.  Once in a while time needs to stand still so we can sit back and soak it in........take a little while to smell the dirt in the garden.



Chocolate Chip Cookies
......note to self don't give your four year old a cookie while he's playing games on the computer.  I'm still trying to get the crumbs outta m thru c.  But mmmm.... those were some good cookies!
Here's my favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Sweater Monsters

My four year old loves to make crafts, my husband would say he spends too much time with me.  He had been thinking real hard all day on what craft he wanted to make with mommy... finally (with me in the middle of making dinner) he announced he wanted to make a monster out of fabric.  So trying to think of how to make this fabric monster with him and not burn our meal for the night, the sweater monster evolved. 

I hate to throw anything out that I think I might be able to use again; in other words I am hoarder that refuses to admit that I hoard and save the weirdest stuff that I think I could reuse or recraft.  I have bags of old shirts and sweaters that have unfortunately met with the dryer saved with my stashes of fabric, because hey that's good material I could make something with. (what I might not be sure of yet, but something, someday)

Today those old sweaters came in handy, instead of trying to figure out a pattern for this fabric monster we saved a little time and made a sweater monster.  The sleeves were tied off to make arms, then I cut a piece of fleece to fit in the neckline quickly hand stitching it closed,  Cy got to stuff his monster to his liking and I made about a 3 inch cut into the bottom of the sweater stitching "legs" which I just tied the bottoms closed instead of sewing.  We decorated, made the monster face, with scraps of fleece and googly eyes which were hot glued on.  Nice and easy- Sweater Monster!!!


Blue Skies

“If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you, if the simple things in nature have a message you understand, Rejoice, for your soul is alive.”

Eleanora Duse


Something about the spring, the start of warm weather, blue skies and green grass wakes you up inside.  This time of year always seems to be filled with hope, a sense of renewal and excitement for summer days to come.  

My heart has been full the past couple days, I spent the beginning of the week home with my boys.  Just us three, and of course daddy after work, enjoying sunny days, having picnic lunches, afternoon walks, trips to the playground, barefeet in the grass, chalk and finding bugs in the dirt.  Simple everyday things that continually take my breath away and I'd love to freeze forever to hit replay.    

My heart sinks a little bit, thinking this comes to an end that work calls again tomorrow.  But that is life and in everything you must find a balance.  My countdown begins with a few less days till the weekend and pancakes in pajamas!

 These warmer days have me thinking of some summer fun.  Last year I wrote out a Summer fun resolution list for an article I had to write at work..... who doesn't want to write out a list of things to do that are all fun so here's the start of one for summer 2011:
 1. Play with chalk and soak up some sun, here's a fun take on sidewalk chalk:
Side Walk Chalk PAINT guest blogger at Positively Splendid Summer Survival
2. Summer picnics, it's always fun to try out a new recipe- especially dessert!
Summer Sand Cake at I am Momma Hear Me Roar

To Do FUN list for summer 2011.... to be continued!


Mother's Day Photo

If there is an opportunity for me to make a costume or dress my boys up for a silly picture I'm there. 
I was reminiscing tonight about some of my favorites.......

We added a new one to the collection for Mother's Day this year:
Inspired by a package of fake mustaches and a four year old who loves to paint......
We came up with l'artiste and le masterpiece
I picked my favorite pics of the boys and made a collage in picasa for both grandma's.  Cy painted two wooden frames for the collages, but after a body painting incident following this craft we forgot to take a picture of the final project.
Here's another one for the scrapbook:  Happy Mother's Day 2011!  


Homemade Baby Food

You know you would love to do it......... just keep thinking, I think I can, I think I can.

By the time your ready to introduce your baby to baby food, you most likely haven't recovered from the continuous lack of sleep since that baby came home from the hospital.  So to take on the chore of making your own baby food seems quite daunting.  But you can do it, and you can do it with appliances that can already be found in your kitchen.

What you'll need:  fruit or vegetables to prepare, stove with pots and pans to either boil, bake or steam, mesh strainer, spatula and your blender.  Yep that's it! 
  1. Wash, peel and dice your desired fruit or veggie
  2. To steam food use your mesh strainer to hold the food over a pot filled half way with water.  Boil the water allowing the steam to rise and steam your food.  Or to boil food simply put it in a pot of water and wait until its soften.  Note you can bake squash at 350 in a pan with about an inch of water.
  3. Now its time to place boil, steamed or baked food into the blender.  Try and keep it only about half full it will be easier to process.  You are going to need approximately 1/4 cup water to your prepared food, you can either reserve liquid from step #2 or add water as you go.(or substitute juice)
  4. Run your blender on medium or high until the food is blended into a puree and turning over in the blender.
  5. Now pour the pureed mixture through the mesh strainer sitting over a bowl.  Using the spatula stirring and pressing the mixture through the strainer.  This will catch any seeds or skins of fruits or veggies that weren't pureed and could get caught in the baby's throat.
  6. If you are preparing purees for slightly older babies you could add baby cereals to your puree to thicken the mixture.  Those that would be eating at a stage 3 in baby food you could also add finely diced, cooked or steamed fruit/ veggies into the puree.
  7. Next you need to transfer your puree into a storeable container.  Ice trays work nice for smaller quantities or when you are first introducing food, look for small containers to freeze food in.  If you know someone who is using store bought food ask them to save the containers.  (make sure a wash containers with hot soapy water or boil glass containers before use)
That's it your done!  You can store food in the fridge only for a couple days before it will develop bacteria.  Freeze food, for around 3 months, and thaw at room temperature or in the microwave.

    Click Here for a schedule of when to start different fruit and vegetables, along with some other helpful tips


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