Monday, April 30, 2012

grab a basket

We are a little behind on National Picnic Day, but everyday is a great day for a picnic I say!

Of course what starts out as a picnic can always end in pond jumping, fishing, running through the sprinkler, splashing around in a freezing pool, and great conversations because with a picnic anything goes. 

Part of the fun of picnics is checking out the fun foods that different families pack and to steal ideas for next time. 

 Running from the pond to the pool & swimming in your clothes was a great start to summer fun.

Of course the best part of the day was spending time with our wonderful Sunday School Class that God has blessed us with!
I knew it was a good day when Kase said, "thank you so much for letting my friends come over and have a picnic, I really really appreciate it, this has been a fun day Mom!" I couldn't have agreed more. 

Picnics are a common thing at our house. The boys kind of have one everyday ,all day in a way. I have 2 major snackers, well actually 3 they get it honest from their Dad. If I had a door to my kitchen it would be revolving, I am sure we have worn a path out on our floor to the snack cabinet. It is inevitable that these boys are going to snack it is just in their genes. As long as they eat healthy meals and healthy snacks I am ok with this. However I am not ok with spending 75% of my day helping them pick out just the right snack at just the right time.  I have tried keeping healthy snacks at their level in the pantry where they can help themselves but after I found trails of these snacks I knew this was not best idea.
This is where the all day picnics come into play. If we are going to be home for the majority of the day (which is rare) I pack their lunchboxes with healthy mom approved snacks. They can choose and snack from their lunch boxes but when they are gone they are gone. Also no substitutions are made. We do not make trades in this house so what is in their box is what they get.

 Who knows how long this will work but we will ride it out while it lasts. 
Happy Picnicking!!

Friday, April 27, 2012

fun snacks

I would not say that I am a messy person, or a really neat person. I think I qualify as a middle of the road cleaner. However sometimes I just let things go way to long which leads to a cleaning rampage!! Which then takes me to the other extreme and I begin to throw everything away and am later searching for many items that I recently pitched.
Scotty has tried to explain that taking the time to clean and organize as you go is the way to be efficient, but for some reason that is not my style.
My cleaning rampage spilt over from my closet and bathroom and into my kitchen. I felt like an inspector tearing through my pantry searching for expiration dates, and things we will never eat or that I did not even know we had.
 My weekly menu helps me organize my grocery list and keeps me from standing and staring in the fridge each day searching for 2 or 3 ingredients that I could throw together and call supper.

Side note: I have found that using post it's to write each nights meal is way easier than erasing the chalk pen each week and I tear it off each day.
This week I was determined to cook using things in our cleaned out pantry (another kick I get on often, which makes for some random meals sometimes).
Most of the time I have little helpers @ the grocery which would explain our 3 boxes of chocolate graham crackers, they are good but 3 boxes really?
So this week our snacks consisted of chocolate graham crackers. A couple of years ago a mom brought this snack to school for a party and I loved it. It is easy, and only has 3 ingredients which is my style.

Slap some cool whip between 2 graham crackers shake on some sprinkles, freeze & eat. Doesn't get much easier! My boys can help me make them and most definitely help eat them.
We also dipped graham crackers in some white chocolate that we had stowed away in our pantry, we threw on sprinkles because they make everything better and cuter.

So now we are down to 2 boxes of graham crackers and have fun good snacks for the week.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

earth day

I love everything about flowers, the look, the feel, the smell and the bright bold colors. However flowers do not like me. I teach my kids at school what it takes to make flowers grow, but for some reason I am very negligent in watering them and then act surprised when they die. When I walk through a greenhouse I am jealous when I see people pushing around carts of gorgeous bright flowers that they are going to add to their yard to make it so inviting. I could fill my cart up with those same flowers, but I have learned it would be a waste of time and money. I refuse to throw in the towel so I decided to go with an easier route this year. That is when I saw this sign.

Durable & lasting that is what I need, even though I'm pretty sure the flowers I got are in the cactus family and do not have big bold buds they still add a little life to my porch. The best thing is the very minimum amount of water they take. The lady actually told me they are hard to kill. I kind of laughed and thought I am up for that challenge.
I also chose some lavender. It kind of looks like weeds, with a little tiny purple bloom. Anybody can grow weeds right?

With Earth day coming up it was a perfect time to plant our flowers. I let the boys choose the flowers they wanted. they chose petunias and marigolds.

We enjoyed a book that told the basic needs of flowers and named the parts of the flowers. Knox liked the petals the best.

They also colored their own petals, and used striped paper straws as the stem to make their own paper flower garden.

They each had a their own shovel and I am pretty sure we got more potting soil on the ground and us as they filled up their pots and placed their flowers in just the right spot. Of course every flower needs water, although I think we drowned them.

Poor things this is probably the one and only time they will get water before they wilt away. Hopefully the boys will help remind me.

They showcased their flowers and flower gardens in the corner ledge on the porch.

All that work wore them out. We decided since it was such a nice day and we were kind of having an outdoor earthy day why not enjoy their naps out as well.
So they did.

With Earth Day coming up on Sunday this was fun to do with the boys. Of course Earth day at our house will be talked about through our bible story time, and how God created the Earth, and the plants and the flowers. Just another reminder of the beautiful things that God has made.


Saturday, April 14, 2012

by the fire

Have you ever had one of those "yuck" days.
Nothing is really wrong & you just can't pinpoint why you have that feeling, but it will not leave. Maybe it's just me, but that "yuck" day payed me a visit this past week.
After praying and realizing that sometimes we just get these feelings and that they will pass, I decided to end the day on a good note and to stop focusing on the yuck.
I follow a blog where a mom of 2 talks about sitting by a fire & how it is such a great way to end her day. I thought Why not try it?
I lugged our fire pit up by my favorite chair on the porch and began starting a fire. Realizing very quickly that the fire would have to wait on Scotty because clearly it is harder than it looks.
Then I settled in with a blanket and enjoyed the glow from the fire. Scotty was out with some friends so the boys and I settled on the porch with supper, blankets and a movie.

To top the night off I fixed a Cherry Coke with 3 straws to share with my boys.
They happily indulged.
A movie of their choice kept them still and cuddled up to me.

Well it worked, that "yuck" feeling was long gone.
4 hours later the boys sauntered into the house to visit with Scotty once he returned home. I chose to stay under my warm blanket and enjoy a movie that was not a cartoon.
Now I see what sitting by the fire is all about and I will definitely repeat the events of this night again!

Inspired by Family Magazine

Monday, April 9, 2012

days in the sun

In a recent bible study class I was reminded that we should find our rest in God. I have always looked forward to the rest we get on vacations but of course we come back just as tired. I have learned it is because that rest is temporary and true rest comes from God. So with this new found knowledge my eyes were opened to many things on this trip.
One reason I love vacations and traveling is when I take away the daily tasks and just focus on my 3 boys I fall in love with them all over again. I notice the little things they do that make me smile and I realize again what a blessing Scotty is, he is a leader in our home and such an amazing example to my boys. I would catch myself watching Scotty and the boys playing and being humbled at how God has protected our family & just pray that we can raise these boys to know Christ.
We also enjoyed spending the week with the "Courshees" that is what Kase calls them. The kids enjoyed being together and Scotty and John Matt enjoyed taking a couple of mornings to golf.
We managed to find every playground near by and the kids played their hearts out.

We splashed, jumped,kicked, ran, climbed and swam all over the pools.

The boys preferred the pools over the beach mainly because sand all over everything kind of stresses them out, and when I say boys I mean Kase & Scotty. Knox & I could roll in it & never even know there was sand on us. But we still managed to get some beach time in. Of course when you head to the beach you can't go empty handed!

We found some time to still squeeze in some Easter fun with bunnies, egg hunts, and an attempt in a glow in a dark hunt but we gave up and just pitched the glow sticks on the balcony.

Michele & I must have been thinking alike when we both packed treats for the kids.

Cupcakes by the beach. The hardest part was choosing which cupcake!

Cooking was out of the question so we enjoyed going out each night. Sanda & Brandon joined us a couple of nights for dinner & shopping.

Inspired by Family Magazine