Monday, June 24, 2013

Flag Art Project

Here is a fun idea for the kids to do for a 4th of July art project.  You will need:
-Red, White & Blue Paint
 -Construction paper or magnet
-Popsicle sticks
-Star stickers

Start by first cutting out a square shape from construction paper.   Glue your popsicle sticks in a row onto the paper  (I used a glue gun).  Then glue one popsicle stick onto the back of your paper to serve as the flag pole. 
Then start painting all of your red and white stripes.  Let it dry for a bit and then paint a blue square in the top left corner of your sticks.  After it drys again, add star stickers on top of the blue square.

Then you have a cute 4th of July flag!  You can also add some pieces of magnet to the back so that you can hang it on your fridge.

Have Fun!!

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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

New Orleans Trip!

So, I've been missing in action for over a week now, but that is because my husband and I took a little trip to New Orleans!  Every year, his company pays for him and a guest to go to a different location for a conference they hold.  It is really great because we get a little time away and get to go enjoy some fun things.
We took the kids up to Utah to spend the time with their grandparents and then we flew out from there.  It was a perfect timed trip because last Friday was our 12th wedding anniversary. 
New Orleans is an interesting city.... it's not at all what I had envisioned.  It's actually a stinky, dirty city.  It has a lot of neat history things to see though.  The weather is awful.... it is about 100% humidity.  You just drip when you go outside and when you've been out for about 5 minutes, you feel suffocated.  I would take Vegas heat over that any day!
Here we are one night before a reception dinner we went to:

We went on a walking tour of the French Quarter one morning with some others from the conference.  The French actually settled New Orleans and that is a neat history in itself.  The buildings they built were beautiful and most are well kept today:


Another day, we went on a bus tour of the city.  That was really fascinating and we really enjoyed that.  Since New Orleans is below sea level, all of their cemetaries are above ground.  They have really neat cemetaries and so many of them.  Some of the graves have many people buried in one thing, they are stacked on top of eachother.  There are even waiting boxes to put corpses in until they can be buried in their tomb.
We also were able to see some of the hardest hit areas during Huricane Katrina.  So much has been done to rebuild homes and clean up the city.  But, there are still a lot of empty lots where homes once stood and had to be torn down.  There are also areas where debri still sits in piles and empty homes that people may never come home to.  Most of the city was underwater and it's hard to believe this is what is once looked like:
The hubby and I explored one of the oldest cemetaries one day.  Most of them were falling apart, but it was very interesting.  Some of the graves had X's on them indicating that that person was into Voodoo.  Here is a picture of hubby at the grave of Marie Laveau, the queen of Voodoo.  People have thrown all kinds of stuff on her grave (I guess to show respect??):
One night, we went aboard the Natchez, a steamboat and sailed down the Mississippi River.  That was really neat and then we were able to have dinner onboard with the company:
We flew home Father's Day morning and I was really happy to get back to my kids.  They had a lot of fun with grandparents while we were away and they had made so many cute things to give to hubby. We had a good day spending time with our fathers and our family. 
We drove back home the next day and it is good to be home!  I'm grateful for the memories that were made and for the great time we all had!

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Monday, June 10, 2013

A Pink And Gold Themed Baby Shower

A little while ago, my sisters, mom and I threw a baby shower for my sister.  She adopted a baby girl, although at the time, we were still waiting for the little one's arrival.  We are SO thrilled for her and this special blessing in her life.  We decided to throw her a Pink & Gold themed baby shower.  I love those colors together and we all had fun celebrating and seeing what fun gifts she received.

When the guests came in, we had them sign a baby book with a little message for the mom to be.  We also had them guess how much each baby item cost in the basket.  The closest guess won a prize:

We played a fun game with ALOT of packing tape!  A bunch of candy is rolled up in tape with a tiny plastic baby in the middle.  Players took turns rolling two dice.  They have to keep undoing the ball of tape until a double is rolled.  All of the candy that falls out in the mean time is theirs.  Whovever gets to the baby in the middle wins.  I LOVED this game.  I would highly recommend it for any party/activity!

This is kindof a blurry pic. of some of the gifts and the cute garland my sister made:

Look at this cute ombre window hanging my sister made for part of the decor.  She made it using plastic tablecloths.  She used different shades of pink for an ombre effect.  I love how it turned out!  It did take some fancy work to get it put up though :)  Sorry for the dark pictures.  It's hard (for me) to take decent pictures with the sun facing you.

We had yummy food, of course!  On our menu we had:  fruit and veggie platters, chips and dip, pink popcorn, pink bundt cakes and pink lemonade:

We had a great time and I can't wait to meet this long awaited special little niece of mine!

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Friday, June 07, 2013

Fun At The Pool

I have to give props to the Rio pool in Las Vegas.  I heard that they let the locals swim for free, so I thought I'd take the kids there one day and check it out.  We went yesterday and it was awesome!  There are three seperate pools, but the coolest pool has all the pool chairs in the sand.  There is a beach entry to the pool which is really shallow, so the kids can easily play right there in the water in the sand.  It gradually goes off into a little deeper water, which most of it is only 3 feet deep.  So, my 5 year old could touch bottom.  We had a blast and Monkey #3 is such a fish in water.  He loves it and just kicks his way around on his own in the water when he has his life jacket on.  Monkey #1 went up to Utah with his Grandpa for a week, so he wasn't with us.

I came across this quote that is so befitting for the day.  It was such a nice day that I could spend with my kids.  Most days are uneventful and seem pretty monotonous, but that is my life and I wouldn't have it any other way.  Cherish the normal days of life and the small things that fill our buckets each day.

Have a good weekend!!

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Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Cream Cheese Brownies Recipe

I made these a few weeks ago and boy, are they heavenly!  I got the recipe from my Sister in Law years ago.  They are a special treat because they contain so much sugar and eggs.  But they are scrumptious and moist and worth every calorie!

Cream Cheese Brownies:

2 cubes butter
10 Tbs. cocoa
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups flour

Cream Cheese Filling:

5 Tbs. butter
1/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 Tbs. flour
1 tsp. vanilla
8 oz. cream cheese

Melt butter in saucepan.  Turn off heat and add cocoa.  Stir well and add sugar.  Stir again and add eggs, then flour.  Grease a 9X13 pan; pour in 2/3 batter.  Mix cream cheese filling ingredients well with beaters.  Pour on top of 2/3 batter and spread evenly.  Pour rest of brownie batter over and swirl.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

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Monday, June 03, 2013

Fun At The Splash Park

Last week we went to the splash park to cool off.  We brought lunch with us and had a great time.  This week it's supposed to be in the 100's all week!  I plan on doing a lot of swimming this summer to stay cool and to keep the boys entertained.


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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Heads Up!! Blog Change!!

Pretty soon my blog is going to be going back to a blogspot instead of .com.  I'm not sure when it will happen, but if you can't access my blog, that is why.  So, the new URL will be:

Not much to change but the end. 

Thanks to my readers!!

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Memorial Day Weekend

We had a nice long weekend together and it was really nice to spend so much time with my little family.  I soak up the time we have together and love it!

It started off as a very sad weekend.... Monkey #1's hamster died.  He was very distraught and our hearts broke for him.  We could see the little hamster was looking thin and having a hard time breathing.  We warned Monkey #1 that he might die.  He didn't want to leave his sight after that.  It was all he could think about.  The next day, we found he had died.  Monkey #1 decorated a cute little box for her and we had a little burial ceremony for her in the backyard.  It was a very sad time.....

After that, he seemed to move on and we could have a better weekend.  We took the boys the the Wetlands.  It is a huge wetland area with different walkways, bugs, creatures and little ponds to look at.  Perfect for little boys!

We also went to a park we have never been to before.  It had a huge playground, splash pad and a trail up a small mountain side you can hike.  We will definitely be going back there for more fun!

I hope you had a nice long weekend and were able to relax!

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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Family Home Evening Lesson: 7th Article Of Faith

This past week for Family Home Evening, we had a lesson on the 7th Article of Faith.  In Primary each month, the kids work on a different A of F and try to memorize it.  Here is what we did.
I found a cute idea for our lesson at LDS Living.  It had an idea for a thought, scripture, song, lesson, activity and treat. 
I then showed the kids this chart to help them memorize better.  We now have it hanging on the fridge.


You can find the link to download a copy for yourself here.  There are also the rest of the A of F posters you can download too.
I made this little booklet of all the A of F on small cards for the kids.  They can carry it around and work on memorizing. 
You can find the link to make your little cards here.

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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Necklace Organizer Craft

I have some long necklaces that I just didn't know how to organize.  They would just lay out on my dresser and I didn't like that.  I found an idea here that I really liked.
So, I got started with a piece of 2X4 that I had laying around.  I painted the board, sanded the edges and modge podged cute scrapbook paper onto it.  I then found some cute drawer knobs at Hobby Lobby and had hubby's help to screw them into the board.
I really like how it turned out and it solved my problem about what to do with my long necklaces!

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Monday, May 13, 2013

Mother's Day Weekend

I had a really nice Mother's Day yesterday.  I love Mother's Day because my kids really try to be nice and kind.  They were all really sweet and we enjoyed the day together.  I was also able to talk to my mom and mother-in-law.

It began super early with Monkey #3 waking up the neighborhood by setting off our two car alarms.  He has been waking up with the sun lately, which is about 5:30/6:00 am.  He'll climb out of his crib and go downstairs.  He'll scoot a kitchen chair to the counter and go snooping around looking for gum and such.  We need to figure out some sort of remedy to this issue....
        Since we were up so bright and early :), Hubby made me a nice breakfast in bed.  (I always love that!).  We spent the morning hanging out together and then headed off to church.  I was asked to give the lesson in Relief Society.  I have never taught in RS before, but I think it went well.  A lot of people made comments which really helped the time go by.
After church, Hubby made dinner for us.  He made: Pesto Chicken, a Tomato & Mozarella side dish, ceasar salad and carrots.  It was all very delicious!  We then had a Caramel Apple Pie with icecream for dessert. 
It was a nice day and I'm grateful for my husband and kids and the happiness and joy they bring me!  Here are the recipes for the Pesto Chicken and Caramel Apple Pie.
This is a pic. from the website he got the recipe from:  Kalyn's Kitchen

Baked Pesto Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and fresh ground black pepper for seasoning chicken
1/2 cup basil pesto (I used my homemade Basil Pesto with Lemon, but you can use purchased pesto.)
2 oz. (1/2 cup) grated low-fat mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 375F/190C. Trim all visible fat and tendons from chicken pieces, then cut each chicken breast lengthwise into 2 or 3 pieces. (I cut the larger ones into 3 strips and the smaller ones into 2 strips.)

Spray a 9" x 12" (or 8.5" X 12.5") baking dish with non-stick spray, then spread 1/4 cup basil pesto over the bottom of the dish. Lay chicken strips over the pesto, then spread 1/4 cup more basil pesto over the chicken.

Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil (or use a baking dish with a tight-fitting lid) and bake the chicken for 25-30 minutes, just until chicken is barely firm and cooked through. (Don't cook too much at this point, or the chicken will be overcooked by the time the cheese is melted and browned.)

When chicken is barely cooked through, remove foil and sprinkle chicken with 1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese. Put dish back into the oven without foil and cook 5 minutes more, just until cheese is melted. (If your broiler is separate from the oven, start preheating it when you take the chicken out.) After I melted the cheese for 5 minutes I switched my oven to broil and broiled for 5 minutes more, just long enough to get the cheese lightly browned.

Serve hot. There will be some flavorful juice in the bottom of the dish when this is done, so you may want to serve with rice, couscous, or quinoa to soak up the juice, but if you're eating this for phase one, just spoon the juice over the chicken.
**Hubby actually doubled the recipe for our family

Yummy Crunchy Caramel Apple Pie from the site Blogark

pastry for single-crust pie  (I got my recipe from here)
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 cups thinly sliced peeled apples

Crumb Topping
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
1/2 cup butter

Final Topping
1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping
1/2 cup chopped pecans

1 Prepare pastry for single-crust pie, being careful not to stretch dough too much.
2 Place in pie plate and trim and crimp the edge.
3 In a large mixing bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt.
4 Add apple slices and gently toss until they are coated well.
5 Transfer mixture to pie.
6 FOR CRUMB TOPPING: Stir together brown sugar, flour, and oats.
7 Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until topping resembles coarse crumbs.
8 Sprinkle over apple mixture in pie.
9 To prevent over-browning while baking, cover edge of pie with foil.
10 Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes.
11 Remove foil and bake 25 to 30 minutes more, or until top is golden.
12 Remove from oven.
13 Drizzle top with caramel topping; sprinkle with pecans.
14 Cool on wire rack and serve!
I hope you had a nice weekend!

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