Wednesday, August 31, 2011

~School Days~

Another year of new beginnings....This picture seems so weird without Amanda. 

Zachary (8th grade), Nathan (1st grade), Sarah (8th grade), Nicholas (4th grade) and Anthony (Senior Year)

For years...I've been getting up early on the first day of school, mixing up a batch of pancakes (blueberry, chocolate chip, banana - whatever kind the kids want).

Since Amanda first started school, I made it a point to drive to school and walk the kids to their classrooms the first day of school.  During the high school years, there has been mixed reactions to year they want me to drive (just drop off) and the next they don't...This year, Anthony actually asked me if I was going to drive them to school.

Yep, sometimes traditions never get old.

 Nicholas with his teacher, Mrs. Schifko

Nathan with his teacher, Mrs. May

This picture looks much better and happier than the one from last year or the year before that (when he was four and thought he should be able to go to school too).

And of course, what's a first day of school tradition without a sweet afterschool treat.

Traditions....Wonder what traditions my children will pass down to theirs?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Got Hungry Kids?

I don't know about you but if I don't have some sort of snack prepared for my kids after school, they start raiding the cupboards the minute they walk in the door.  That's why I love Farm Rich Snacks.  They are so easy to prepare, even on super busy days....all you have to do is open a bag, toss the snacks in the oven or better yet microwave and viola...easy after school snacks in an instant.  It's so easy that the kids can even do it.  And they are so wholesome and delicious, that I'm not worried about  them being hungry again until dinner time.
We also love to serve these tasty appetizers on family night.  We buy a bunch of different snacks and let the kids dig in.   There are so many varieties to choose from as well....mozzarella cheese sticks, quesadillas, mini bacon cheeseburgers, even pizza slices and philly cheese steaks.   They are so affordable that we can even serve everyone's favorites.  I swear my kids get more excited about the snacks than they do about the movie.

Farm Rich has given me the opportunity to give away 2 coupons for a free product to 2 of my readers (one coupon for each winner).

To Enter:  Visit Farm Rich, check out their products and leave me a comment saying which one you would love to try for free.

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Winner will be chosen via Random Number Generator on Monday, September 5 at midnight EST.

* Disclosure: I received a coupon for a free product to try from Farm Rich.  The opinions herein are my own and were not influenced in anyway.

This giveaway is now CLOSED
Thank you to all who entered, winners will be posted soon

Sunday, August 28, 2011


Someone has been a busy girl......

Just trying to catch up on some stuff around here.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Who Knew Weeds Had Such Pretty Names

Queen Anne's Lace?

The boys and I decided to try a little experiment using Queen Anne's Lace and food coloring.

We took some "weeds" and 6 cups of water and added food coloring to each cup


Then we waited....and waited......and waited.....

Days went by.

We actually forgot about them, because I put them outside.

Guess what?

It worked....the food coloring turned the weeds to their designated color




Yellow (if you look closely)

Not all of them turned colors, but it did work for the most part. 

The boys thought it was cool and that was good enough for me!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Back to School Apple Garland made from Paint Chips

Using paint chips for crafts is all the rage right now, as are "Back to School" crafts.  I don't know about you, but when I think of going back to school, I think of apples.

I used
Candy Apple (red)
Granny Smith Apple (green)
Fresh Pineapple (yellow)

Glidden has large sized paint chips which is perfect for this craft.

Using my apple cookie cutter, I traced and cut out the apples on the cards.

Then hot glued the chips to a cute ribbon for a fun little back to school decoration.

Adorable, right?

*Linking to.....
Tip Junkie handmade projects

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Rumble In The Jungle

Rumble in the Jungle written by Giles Andreae is a clever tale of animals that live and hide in the jungle.  The story is told in rhyming verse and the illustrations by David Wojtowycz are bright and colorful.  Traveling through the book you will see jungle animals in their natural habitats and learn a few details about each one...such as the Crocodile "When animals come to the river to drink.  I watch for a minute or two.  It's such a delight.  To behold such a sight.  That I can't resist chomping a few."

Since the book is about finding the hiding animals, Nathan's craft for the day was to make a jungle and hide some animals.

For the craft we used construction paper, glue and wooden animal cutouts that I found at The Dollar Tree.  If you can't find the cutouts, then I would recommend using printables and coloring and cuting those out to glue instead.  Or perhaps, cut pictures of animals from a magazine...A great resource for that would be some old National Geographic magazines if you have any.

We used black and green paper.  We glued one of the edges of pages to the other and then cut the green paper into strips (to the glued edge).

Then Nathan glued the animals to the paper.

And now Nathan can look for jungle animals too....

He also made a jungle scene using foam stickers (I think I found them in Target's Dollar Spot).

*Disclosure: I received the book Rumble In The Jungle from Tiger Tales for review purposes only.  The opinions herein were not influenced by Tiger Tales in anyway.  The craft ideas are mine.

*Linking to....
Shibley Smiles

Saturday, August 20, 2011

One Little Birdie Flew From The Nest

Amanda is all packed up and moved into her new dorm room...ready for the "real" world to begin.  I think Rich put it best when he posted this on her facebook page - "Hold on tight pumpkin head, your life is about to begin, just remember you have a family who loves you, and God will be there to protect you when I'm not'.

I've been pushing this post to the back of my head for days now....Damn these kids for going and growing up on us.   If we did our job right, then she will be fine.  But a parent never stops worrying, the job is never done.  I pray that God watches over her, keeps her safe and helps her make the right choices, decisions and may the consequences of any mistakes she may make not be too harsh. 

We went shopping the other night to finish up any odds and ends she may need.  She actually did a pretty good job of getting everything else on her own, she even used alot of her own money to purchase things for her new room.  On the way we chatted and I snapped a pic or two and she said "Mom, please don't make me cry." 

Only a mom of a college freshman would cry over a stack of towels.

I think I did remarkably well myself and didn't shed any tears when we moved all her things.....of course, I've been teary eyed over the last few weeks anyway (maybe I'm all cried out?).  As for all the walking we did...well that just about killed me LOL!

We moved her things and then went home to rest and got a call for Anthony about a job.  I swear the kids have plotted against me...if it wasn't enough to help Amanda pack up and move, then Anthony had to go and get his FIRST job!   Yep, he's a working man now - busing tables at a local golf club/restaurant.

Later, after dropping off Anthony at HIS FIRST JOB (can't say that enough, I'm so shocked by it), I took Sarah, Nicholas and Nathan to visit with Amanda.  The kids wanted to see her new "house" and where she was going to live.

Girl.......has lots of unpacking to do.

Time to say goodnight or goodbye rather.

These two are really going to miss each other....

Fly away little Birdie...but don't forget who loves ya best !