Tuesday, August 28, 2012

free...and the not so free family day!

Saturdays have become our family days. After football practice is over of course.

Finding free, or very inexpensive things is my goal for family times now. Not because we are cheap (well... I am), but because we don't need to spend a lot of money to do something as a family. The kids don't see it as, so today was better because we spent more money? So why should I limit my thinking and searching skills? (that's what Midwest Living magazine did to me. It made me a master of searching and scouring the internet. For a whole 3 months, I had to plan and find activities for the editor-in-chief to do on his family trip for the mag. I've got to find ways to use those skills...)

So, last Saturday, we did the free Homemakers 'carnival' day. Ok, so I didn't use my skills on this one. I saw it on a commercial.

The only problem, it rained. We decided it would still be worth it to grab a cookie and look around the store. Fortunately, they still had the balloon artist there (and yes, he was a LEGIT balloon ARTIST) and FREE SUBWAY for lunch! SWEET!

So here is our wonderful time at Homemakers...

 Nevaeh's dolphin. We waited an hour for these balloons. The kids did AMAZING. We played games and colored and ate cookies. 

 Gray's lion.

 Eating our free sandwiches! Not only did they give us free sandwiches, they gave us 8 free 6 inches because not as many people showed up. 

Then, that night we had a movie night snuggled up on our bed. There was popcorn everywhere, but it was worth it. Although, the movie night didn't go as planned (Gray sat for 2 minutes then was done with it), it was still fun. 

On the flip side is our expensive family day. 

The one and only Iowa State Fair!!!

Although, this year, wasn't a break the wallet day. Thanks to the Cunninghams, they passed my name along, to be in the commercial for next years fair. We got free tickets to get into the fair. Talk about a dream come true... I LOVE THE FAIR.

Also, we found a food vendor that has $1 fries, $2 hotdogs and $1 drinks. So thats what we get the kids. I ended up not eating because we didn't have time. The commercial took 1 1/2 hours to do and by the end, the kids were cranky and ready to go. So we didn't really enjoy the fair this year.

On top of that, Jason had to wait in line for an hour for the bacon corn dog so I was fed up too with the kids by myself for that long, on one of the busiest days of the fair. Which, by the way, he did not like. 

But here are some photos, before the chaos ensued. 

 Papa Steve, my dad. 

This is in honor of my cousin, shantell doornink. AKA Punky.

These are so bad... but sooooooooooo good! Deep Fried oreos. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

before and after

I finally have a full before and after picture (other than the kids' rooms) of a room to share!


I don't know why, but it has been really hard finishing rooms and decorating. But I can say, with the exception of some touch up paint, the half bath on the main floor is DONE!

And I love it!

There are two things in the bathroom that has some sort of sentimental value. One is the picture above the toilet. That was one of the first art pieces (well, wall pieces, some may not call it art) Jason and I bought together. It has been hung in every bathroom, of every home we have lived in. So I had to hang it somewhere for all to see!!

Second is the oil lamp on the middle square shelf. That was my grandma's (she collected beautiful oil lamps) and I received it when she passed away. That is one of my favorite things in the house. I just love it.

So here you go. One little room, the smallest in the entire house, is done!

Please ignore the truly bad pictures. There's only so much you can do in a space so small with no lighting.



Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Daddy appreciation day!

School has officially started for Jason, and coaching, well coaching never ended. 

Usually I am pretty self centered and thinking about how I feel like a single parent until spring time. I know, how selfish. 

But my eyes opened to how busy Jason really is. I see how is NEVER sits during the day, being a P.E. teacher and all. Also, how is LONG his game days are. 

Yesterday he came home and he had a bad day. I wanted to do something for him for a little while, but since he was home more last week, I couldn't be sneaky. Do you have a husband who catches onto EVERY little surprise you have for him? Well, I do! and it's annoying. 

Anywho's, so I decided today we would do something. We went on an epic adventure to the new Hy-Vee to get a few of Jason's favorite things, made some videos for him, and painted a big sign.

Then we had fun all day thinking of things to do for daddy. 

I had fun today and i think Jason was surprised for once!

Don't worry, I wrote this on after he left. 

 We needed a few notes from the kids. These are their own words. I think Gray said, "I love you". If he didn't we will just go with it. 

 A fun poster.

Some yummy food for his favorite dessert.

 The Kiddos helping me cut the fruit.

 Can you guess? Yeah, it's not that hard. 

Yay! They are both looking and smiling at the camera!

 What Jason saw when he came in. I also had a sign with my phone below that said, "watch these 3 videos we made for you." We were outside when he said this for him.
He also loves trail mix.... hint, hint, family (christmas present). 

 Daddy, the kids and his surprise. We love you Daddy!

Nevaeh and Gray's video for daddy. 

Thank you, honey, for your hard work and love! We truly appreciate what you do for us, please know that! Love, your little family. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Double Take on PB&J

Most kids love simple foods.

Mac n'cheese. Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches. Spaghetti. Grilled Cheese sandwich.

And for lunch the mom doesn't want to make an elaborate meal, since that is what she does for dinner. So she gives into those likes, having almost the same 4 or 5 meals for every lunch.

I don't mind it. The kids eat those and I have left overs. We have great lunchtime relationship.

But I feel like they are getting tired of just PB&J sandwiches. So I decided to do a different take on the classic. I just have to clarify, these were from my OWN ideas, though I'm sure the same things are on pinterest, or online somewhere.   ;)

Actually, here are 2 different takes on the Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches! Enjoy!

PB&J mexican style!

Tortillas, Peanut Butter, homemade Jelly (or store bought)


 Roll, place with edge down otherwise it will unroll as they cook. Bake at 350 for a few minutes until golden brown. 

 My second take
Refrigerated buttermilk biscuits, PB and J. Flatten out biscuit, spread and fold over. Do not fill too full or it will break open while baking. I would say, a spread of PB and a teaspoon of Jelly. I never measure

 Crimp. Careful not to puncture a whole, or the jelly will bake out. 

 Bake until golden brown. 375 for 15 minutes or so. 

 See... I'm not perfect. Obviously I didn't not crimp hard enough. They are PB&J clams. 

Kids absolutely loved them!! Definitely kid approved! 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Cherished Memories

My kids are growing up too fast. I'm tearing up just thinking about it.

I feel like I have not cherished enough of the little moments and tried thinking of too many big family events to do.

Let's go to the zoo. Lets pack a picnic and find a fabulous park. Lets do this, lets do that.

Lately we have not done many things because, well, financially we can't afford it. Buying a house kinda does that, but I'm not complaining. I absolutely love our home, so I don't mind making sacrifices. That just means we just have to do little things, and you know what? They are more fun.

Tonight was simple and took maybe a half hour, but it was so wonderful.


 He didn't like the stickiness on his hands, he wanted it off his fingers!

 He was fascinated by seeing on the phone screen. 

Showing you her s'more. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

easy ice cream cake!

Ice cream.

For me, those two words are enough. I love ice cream. Even in the dead of winter with below 0 temps and six feet of snow, I will go to ice cream. Always.

So when I saw this on pinterest, I was in love.

I have made this for a couple different events and it has gone in less than five minutes.

So what is better than ice cream itself? Ice cream cake of course!!!!

So please, copy and make your own.. this dessert will be a hit!

Ice Cream Cake

This recipe is for an 8x8 pan. For a 9x13 pan, double the box of ice cream sandwiches and tubs of whip cream.

Also, every ingredient is Aldi's brand... so off brand and it still tastes AMAZING!

  • 1 box of 12 ice cream sandwiches
  • 1 8oz tub of thawed whipped cream
  • 1 jar (use about 1/4-1/2 of jar) caramel
  • 1 bag of bite size candy bars, any kind, cut into smaller pieces

 Cover the pan with foil so the food doesn't freeze to the glass in the freezer. 
Layer ice cream sandwiches and spread whipped cream on top. Strategically place the candy bars on the whipped cream, so that every bite gets some yummy candy-barness. ;) 

You really don't have to, you can throw them on if that floats your boat.

 Drizzle, spread, or plop the caramel on all that. Repeat layer again. 

 Freeze for at least a couple hours before serving. Let thaw for a few minutes so it's cuttable. 

  • 1 box of 12 ice cream sandwiches
  • 1 8oz tub of thawed whipped cream
  • 1 jar (use about 1/4-1/2 of jar) caramel
  • 1 bag of bite size candy bars, any kind, cut into smaller pieces

Cover the pan with foil so the food doesn't freeze to the glass in the freezer. 
Layer ice cream sandwiches and spread whipped cream on top. Strategically place the candy bars on the whipped cream, so that every bite gets some yummy candy-barness. ;) 

                           Drizzle, spread, or plop the caramel on all that. Repeat another layer.

ENJOY this deliciousness!!!!!