Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Homemade Indoor Obstacle Course

A couple weeks ago Morgan and I were working in her Preschool Playroom magazine when we came across the project pages and it showed us how to make an Obstacle Course. I wasn't sure if I wanted to do all that it different little projects to make it at the time, but then I realized that Morgan could help me out with most of putting it together....

She cut out the flags for the cones...

....painted the number plates and both her and Blake scrunched up the aluminum foil balls....

....colored the stepping stones that we made from the pieces I had cut out from the paper plates...

...and the last thing we had to do was set it up and tape a string to the floor for the wiggly walk.

Then it was time for the race!

We made a few changes to the obstacle course:
  • The cones were all suppose to be made of paper towel tubes, but I made them taller by using a wrapping paper tube and vacuum attachments. They were also suppose to sit on empty plastic water bottles, but that wasn't going to work with the vacuum attachments, so I put them in glass jars from our recycling box. (The tubes were also suppose to be colored/painted.)
  • The stepping stones were suppose to be newspaper that the kids were suppose to walk around by moving the stones/newspaper, but I just made it so they jumped from one to the other. And, as you can see, the stones weren't made of newpaper, but it was a good use of the pieces cut from the paper plates!
  • The kids were suppose to try to get a certain number of points with the paper plates, but the ball kept bouncing out, so we made it so they only had to get the ball into one of them.

I can't tell you how many times the kids ran the obstacle course. It was definitely worth putting it together! :-)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Hershey's Better Basket Blog Hop

Wendy at Money Saving Mama in Michigan was super sweet to pass this wonderful Easter basket on to me. Wendy is a fellow Michigander who blogs about deals on the web and in Michigan as well as hosts some awesome giveaways! She also has another blog where she blogs about her family and life at A Day in our Life. Try to stop by and visit either (or both) of her blogs if you have a second! :-)

**I also received this from Alesha at The Jacobsen Family a little later in the week and wanted to say a big THANK YOU! Alesha was on a bit of a blogging break, but is back now (YAY!), so if you have a chance please stop by and say hi! :-)

Here is some information on the Hershey's Better Basket Blog Hop:

This Easter season Hershey is all about helping you to create Better Easter Baskets with their special limited edition Easter candies found at Walmart.

More importantly, Hershey wants to promote the idea of going good in our own communities. The Hershey Company is committed to making a difference in the communities where we live in, and has a heritage of giving back to the community."

Thanks to Hershey's and 20 different bloggers looking to blog for a good cause, baskets like the one above were created and given to charities of each bloggers choice to spread Hershey's ongoing message around: We are ALL working together to do good in and out of our own communities!
I chose the following bloggers to receive this great basket:

Marissa at Mama Sparkles
Michelle at Michelle's Goofy Life
Caroline at The Croley Gang

If you would like to take part in the blog hop, here are the rules:

Copy and paste these rules to your blog post.

Create a blog post giving a virtual Easter Basket to another blogger – you can give as many Virtual Baskets as you want.

Link back to the person who gave you an Easter Basket.

Let each person you are giving a Virtual Easter Basket to know you have given them a Basket.

Leave your link at BetterBasket.info/BlogHop comment section. You can also find the official rules of this #betterbasket blog hop, and more information about Better Basket with Hershey’s there.

Hershey’s is donating $10 per each blog participating to the Better Basket Blog Hop to Children’s Miracle Network (up to total of $5,000 by blog posts written by April 4th, 2010).

Please note that only one blog post by each blog url will count towards the donation.

Make Something Monday: Baked Oatmeal

Make Something Monday

Alexia, at The Mommy Rambles, posted this recipe a few weeks ago and it sounded so interesting that I had to give it a try! We made it for breakfast one morning and we all loved it! Though Morgan did say it would have been better without raisins-the little stinker! LOL!

Baked Oatmeal

  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries (both Alexia and I used raisins)

1. Mix oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder and salt.

2. Beat in milk, eggs, butter and vanilla.

3. Stir in cranberries.

4. Spread in 9x13 baking pan and bake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Odds & Ends

Just a little over a week left of lent and I'm still pop (soda) free! I've noticed the hardest times to avoid it are at restaurants, because I'd still like to order my diet Coke/Pepsi and at my parents' place! They have cans of pop easily available at any time, so that's tough...not as bad as it would have been at the beginning though! I hope that giving pop up for lent will kick-start healthier drinking and hopefully healthier eating! :-)

So did anyone else notice that I tend to spell 'refrigerator' wrong? I didn't even realize it until after posting the St. Patrick's Day activities with the kids....and I couldn't even change it, because it was spelled wrong in the picture too! Needless to say, I was quite embarrassed! I now know that 'refrigerator' does NOT have a 'D' in it....and I'm pretty sure I'll never forget-LOL!


I went for my first run this year last night! The kids went to bed early because they hadn't had a nap and Rich was home and suggested I run for my workout. It felt SO good to run again! I've been trying for the last couple years to get back into it, but my knees tend to start hurting and I have to stop for a while, then I don't start up again. Hopefully I can make it to a doctor soon and figure out what's up with my knees...I never had problems with them before having kids! Anyway, I made it 2 whole miles non-stop! I'm so excited! A little sore, but my knees are okay...so far. :-)

So Rich gathered our chickens' eggs last night and brought them in to me saying he had 2-1/2 eggs for me. I could not figure out what he was talking about, until I saw this....
*The bigger of the eggs is actually a normal size egg*

We don't have little chickens to lay little eggs, yet somehow we ended up with a little egg! (Isn't it cute?) We haven't had chickens long enough to know all the little oddities about them and the eggs, so maybe this is common? Anyway, I thought it was neat and wanted to share! :-)

With Easter coming up, I wanted to show you a couple things that Morgan has done.
She entered her first coloring contest through a local newspaper!
She painted this a while ago. I don't think she was trying to make anything in particular, but I like how it resembles an Easter bunny...sort of ;-)

Both Morgan and Blake saw the Easter bunny at the mall yesterday too. They were so excited to go see him, but when they got to him, all they would do is stand a good distance away and wave-LOL! They were still given bunny ear hats for visiting the Easter bunny and they loved wearing those bunny ears! :-)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Enchanted Princess Ball

A couple of local schools got together to have a company come in that does an Enchanted Princess Ball. After hearing about it, Morgan's Grandma really wanted to take her, so they went to one of the performances this past Saturday.

Morgan wearing her Daddy's baptism blanket for her shawl.

Waiting to go in, she did some coloring.

Then got her hair done.

All done and feeling special! :-)

Checking out the pink scepter.

The back/side of Morgan's hair.

In front of the castle...looking a little like Cinderella when she lost her slipper.

Posing by the wishing well.

Had to get a picture by the spinning wheel since Mommy spins.

"Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?"

Crossing a little bridge.

Part of the performance with Belle and the Beast.

Tinkerbell was even there!

Watching intently.

Playing guitar....like a little rocker princess! LOL!

Drinking from her lighted pink glass.

Meeting Sleeping Beauty.

Morgan with her Grandma.
Both Morgan and her Grandma had an amazing time! I'll admit it really looks like it was a ton of fun and I wish I could have been there. Maybe next time! :-)

Gooseberry Patch's 'Circle of Friends' Cookbook: Download the First Chapter for Free!

Gooseberry Patch just reached 30,000 fans on Facebook and to celebrate they are giving away the first chapter of their new cookbook. Follow the link to download it, but you only have until the end of the week! If you would like, you can fan them on facebook so you will know when they reach their next milestone and give away the next chapter. Sounds like a lot of yummy new recipes to try!!! :-)

25 Mac & Cheese Recipes by Gooseberry Patch

Monday, March 22, 2010

Make Something Monday: Spaghetti Dinner

Make Something Monday

Our electric company always sends us a recipe with our bill and the recipes always sound delicious, but I had never made them...until a couple weeks ago....then I made this one twice plus another one! LOL! Anyway, this Spaghetti Dinner turned out a lot better than I expected and it was super easy! (I didn't get a picture before dinner, so the picture is actually of the leftovers that had been in the fridge for a while.)

Spaghetti Dinner

  • 1 lb hamburger, browned
  • 1 cup spaghetti, broken into 1 inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1 Tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups tomatoes (I used tomatoes that I have frozen-worked GREAT!)
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • pinch Italian Seasoning

Mix all ingredients in skillet with a tight lid. Turn on medium heat until steam appears, then turn heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes.

See! Super easy! :-)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

St. Patrick's Day Fun Finale: Pot of Gold Hunt and Irish inspired food! :-)

We started preparing for St. Patrick's Day on Tuesday by making some Leprechaun binoculars (binoculars to find a leprechaun with his pot of gold.)
I made sure there was a 4 leaf clover on it to give Morgan some extra luck in finding the pot of gold.

Then, after getting the kids to bed (which was easy after several hour of playing outside), the little leprechaun and his pot of gold hid out in the fridge to wait for the kiddos....after putting out a bunch of clues of course.

In the morning Morgan snatched up her binoculars and looked for the clues, which were laying around the living room, to finding the leprechaun with his gold.

These were the clues:

A bunch of coins with numbers on one side and letters on the other spelling out where Morgan could find the pot of gold!

We decoded the clues and Morgan found the leprechaun hiding in the refridgerator with his pot of gold (gold foil covered peanut butter cups).

The kids tasted their 'gold' then we made some special shamrock shaped pancakes for breakfast. I, of course, had to make them green too with some green and blue food coloring. ;-)

Lunch was green eggs made from the green eggs that our chickens lay. (The white ones are store bought and one of our chickens lays brown eggs, but the rest are green.) Of course I used food coloring again to get the insides of the egg green ;-)

Snack time was more gold! This idea came from the Disney FamilyFun magazine website, but I changed it up a little.

And finally, for dinner, we had a delicious Potato Soup and salad. I would have done Corned Beef and Cabbage, but I was trying to use what we already had in the house (because I'm cheap-LOL!)

Potato Soup recipe:
2 Tbsp butter or oleo
5 cups water
1 small carrot, chopped (I used a quart jar I had canned last fall, so there are a ton of carrots)
3 tsp bacon bits
1 small can cream of mushroom soup
1 med sized onion, chopped
8 med sized potatoes, cubed or chopped (we're still using the ones from our garden!)
1/4 cup celery, chopped (didn't have any, but I think I made up for it carrots!)
1 cup milk or condensed milk
In a large kettle, place all ingredients. Cook until well blended. If soup is runny, thicken with a little cornstarch mixed with water. Makes about 5 servings. (Or 10, because is sure looks like a lot!)
Our St. Patrick's Day was full of food and activity. The weather has been beautiful, so we even made it outside for quite a while plus I dried clothes on the line for the first time this year! It's so exciting! Too bad there is more snow in the upcoming forecast :-( I hope everyone else had a great St. Patty's Day as well! :-)

*The idea for the hunt for the pot of gold came from education.com.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Cool Shades!

For more Wordless Wednesday, check out 5 Minutes for Mom, Go Graham Go! and Healthy Moms.

I also want to wish everyone a Happy St. Patrick's Day! I'll be posting tomorrow about our fun filled day today :-)

May God give you...
For every storm, a rainbow,
For every tear, a smile,
For every care, a promise,
And a blessing in each trial.
For every problem life sends,
A faithful friend to share,
For every sigh, a sweet song,
And an answer for each prayer.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

St. Patrick's Day Fun #7: St. Patrick's Day Parade!

Saturday we went to a local St. Patrick's Day parade to get into the spirit just a little more. I'll admit it was hard to get into the spirit though with all the rain...not so much fun. :-/

Waiting in the car until the last minute to stay dry.
Blake doesn't usually smile like that middle picture and I kept trying to figure out who the smile reminded me of and it's Alexis's little guy Caden! I've always loved Caden's smile!

The traditional start to the St. Patrick's Day parade.

Blake peaking around his hood to watch.

I just love the excitement in Morgan's face! She's been waiting for another parade since the beginning of December!

Just thought these little girls were cute trying to stay dry :-)

The guy with the flag is a very distant relative of mine. LOVE his hat! ;-)

I liked how this was a float where all you could see (mostly) was umbrella tops and a Celtic cross :-)

Neat pot of gold float.

Dog: "Get me out of this rain!"

Proudly wearing her parade hand-out.

My favorite float-an Irish thatched-roof cottage. Too cute!

We also watched Ladder 49 this last weekend, which was quite fitting between the St. Patrick's Day celebration in the movie and with the recent loss Rich's Fire Chief. Plus Rich grabbed some Lucky Charms cereal for breakfasts that we've been enjoying. We only usually eat cereals like Cheerios, so having some 'kid' cereal around with an Irish theme has been fun! :-)
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