Thursday, August 30, 2012

Making Snake Teeth a.k.a. Random Things I Do To Keep My Kids Happy


A number of weeks ago I bought my kids "snake chompers" on a trip to the Dinosaur Park in Ogden.  Kimball's snake was an Indian Cobra, while Stan's was a Rattlesnake.   Kimball seemed happy with his choice until he realized that the cobra had smaller teeth than the rattlesnake.  Do you think the 2-year-old would trade?  Of course not!

So Kimball started asking me to "make bigger teeth" for his snake.  Really?  Do I look like I have a magic wand?

But I do have a glue gun!  So I managed to create teeth with hot glue that when dried was clear but significantly longer.

Mission accomplished.  Happy kid.  Amazing Mom.  Yeah, I'm bragging a bit.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake

I wanted to wait to post my pumpkin chocolate chip recipe until I could put up more pictures of the cakes I have made with it.  It makes a great wedding cake, you know.  But all my cake pictures are on our iMac and I use my laptop for most things.  I guess what I'm saying is that I'm too lazy to give you more cake pictures.  But in my defense I have had a sick 2 year old.  


Here is another picture of the 2 year old's cute cake.  Just ignore the lame background.  It's hard to take a good picture when two kids are about to stick their fingers in the cake and keep grabbing the train.

On another note, I have been working on making some recipe cards for a little project.  Hopefully I get around to posting that too.  I'm pretty excited about how the cards are turning out.  Just click on the picture and you can download a copy.  It's in the right size to have it printed on 4x6 photo paper.  Just send it to Costco or Wallgreens (or wherever you like to go) and then you can stick it with your other recipes.  What do you think?


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Butterfly Mobile


The other day I needed something to distract my kids from wanting to watch more TV.  So I scoured all my pins for toddler things and on the website for one of those pins for something like a gazillion toddler activities I saw something for a butterfly mobile.  I didn't bother following instructions.  I just cut out a bunch of butterflies from old scrapbook paper, let them color them and then hung them from string on two hangers. 


Nothing too exciting, but we did manage to avoid more TV.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Happy Birthday Stany!

Last week we had a birthday around here.  My little guy turned 2!  I can hardly believe it.  Here he is answering the question "How old are you?"


I made him a train cake.  The tracks are mini Kit-Kats.  Ha ha.  So cute.  And the cake was pumpkin chocolate chip.  I'll have to post the recipe soon.


We celebrated with cousins.  Yay for cousins!  Thanks for celebrating with us, guys.


Friday, August 17, 2012

Bedtime Monsters


My kids are really good kids.  That is until bedtime.  Then something snaps and they start doing the opposite of what I tell them to do.  "Stay in bed."  Nope.  "Don't throw your blankets and pillows in the floor."  Not a chance.  "Go to sleep!"  Don't even think about it.

At our house the monsters aren't in the closet, they are in the beds!

It is not unusual for them to clear their beds of blankets (and sheets if possible) and turn their beds into trampolines.  They also love to empty the bookcase of all books making it nearly impossible to open the door and tuck them back in.  Stan likes to shake the water from his sippy cup onto his bed.  One night we had to strip both beds because somehow they were both sopping wet.  I still don't know how it happened.

Consequences have no effect on them.  "If you don't stay in bed then I will turn out the light."  Five seconds later and it's lights out.  "If you get out of bed one more time then I'll close the door."  You would think this threat would work because they HATE having the door closed.  But eventually the door gets closed, the kids cry for a half hour or until I'm heartbroken from sick of all the sobbing.  Then they get tucked in again and sleep eventually ensues.  It seems like tears must precede sleep or sleep doesn't happen.

The other night the presleep escapades escalated to another level.  After we went through the entire bedtime routine, tucked them into bed and went upstairs, they got out of bed, turned the light on, piled all their blankets on one bed, topped it off with a box of shoes they had outgrown, and another box of clothes Stan had outgrown, both of which were in the closet and only accessible by climbing on top of the Ikea dresser.  Oh, and they broke the drawer to said dresser in the process--probably by jumping in it.  (It's irreparable.)  I found them happily giggling at the mess oblivious to how angry Mommy had become.

As much as I would like to blame my two monkeys, I know that some of this is my fault.  You see as soon as they are tucked in, Mom wants to punch out on the time clock.  So sometimes I play on the computer or watch TV while the two of them (noisily) concoct another scheme to drive Mom nuts and make her punch that time card once again.  And somehow I let them because I am tired.

What can I say, parenting is a little more than a full time gig.  Where to I submit my overtime?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Iron-On Flannel Board Scripture Stories

This project has been about 8 months in the making.  Ever since a neighbor shared with me this idea for making flannel board scripture stories I have been anxious to put this together.  It's so easy, but did take me some time to save up for the supplies.


List of supplies:

  • Iron on transfers.  I got mine on Amazon.  It was the cheapest I could find without driving all over town, which I hate.
  • Pelon.  This you get at a fabric store.  It's the stuff you use to reinforce fabric and comes in about a zillion thicknesses.  I chose one that was mid range.  Sturdy but not too expensive.
  • Ink for your ink jet printer in both black and color.  I add this to the list because I used about 2/3-3/4 of a color cartridge for 24 sheets printed.
  • Downloaded files of scripture stories already colored.  Get them here (this woman went to a lot of trouble so we can all benefit.)
  • Iron.
  • Hard surface.
  • A pillow case or fabric to cover hard surface.  

Here is my ironing station for this project.  You need hard surface in place of an ironing board which isn't flat enough and might not take the kind of pressure you'll need to apply.  You'll also need to get your iron HOT as in as-hot-as-it-will-go.  So you can let this heat while you move on to the printing part.



Here is the basic procedure.  Go and get the files for the scripture stories here.  Then print each one in "mirror image" on an iron on transfer sheet.  This means that you are printing it backwards.  It doesn't matter much for the pictures, but some have captions like the picture below.  You can see that I printed it backwards.


Next you will need to iron the transfer sheet to the Pelon.  The iron should be really hot and you have to apply the heat while slowing moving the iron for 3 minutes.  It feels like an eternity.  It's best to but a timer on.


After that, let it cool and peel off the backing from the transfer paper and cut out the figures.


Here are my kids watching the printer go.  I'm not sure why this is entertaining.


Each group of figures has a story with scriptures you can print too.  I did this on regular paper and then placed it with the figures in a folder.  And the folder goes into a hanging file box.  I printed 24 sheets.  I think there are twice that if you do all the Old and New Testament, Book of Mormon and Church history.  It might be a while before I can purchase enough stuff to do this again.  So I was selective on the stories I choose.


I haven't made a flannel board yet.  I'm just draping the flannel over our easel.  (Do you you think I should iron it?)


This has been a really fun project because the kids love it.  They like the scripture stories and love putting the pictures up.  Now if I can just get them to stop fighting over them.

This post is linked up at House of Hepworths, Momnivore's Dilemma, and Something Swanky.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Fruit Rollups with Applesauce and Jello

Yesterday I posted a pin for fruit rollups made with applesauce and jello and I couldn't wait to try it.  (The original recipe can be found here.)  

These were so easy and they were seriously the best fruit rollups I have EVER made!  Considering I have lots of applesauce from last years canning haul, this may become a favorite at our house.


1. Mix 1 quart of applesauce with one small box of jello.  I used red raspberry because that was what I had in the pantry.

 2. Spread the mixture in a dehydrator.  Mine is a pretty inexpensive one.  I have the plastic inserts for fruit rollups, but it would be nice to place the applesauce on parchment so the rollups would be easier to store when done.  I think I might have to invest in some precut parchment rounds like these.  All I would have to do it cut a hole in the middle for my dehydrator.

If you don't have a dehydrator, you can do this in your oven (see this article).  I might try this next but I am waiting until I can stand to have the oven on for more than 30 minutes.  As in, maybe in November?

3.  Dehydrate for approximately 6 hours.  Mine might have got left in too long because I went shopping with my mother-in-law and my kids LOVE going to grandma's and grandpa's so we were a little late getting home.  Don't judge. 

They were still SUPER DELICIOUS.  Seriously, better than store bought.  I can't wait to try other flavors of jello.  I should go to the store right now.

Monday, August 13, 2012

My Favorite Food Storage Pins of the Week

I love it when I find pins that inspire me to get working in the kitchen.  Check these ones out:

This pin for bread is salt-rising bread.  It's an old, old pioneer recipe that uses a cornmeal mixture in place of yeast.  I can't wait to try it.










I love the idea of using applesauce to make fruit roll ups.  Jello is the flavoring.  How easy is that?












Maybe you have had the problem of getting crackers thin enough?  How about using a pasta roller?  I totally want a pasta roller now!











This is an interesting canning recipe to use up zucchini.  It's called pineapple zucchini and can be used in place of crushed pineapple in recipes.  This could make a super healthy sweet and sour sauce.









And who doesn't need these cool storage boxes for jars?





Saturday, August 11, 2012

Montana Road Trip July 2012


Our family vacation this year was a road trip to Montana where we met up with some of Bryce's family in Missoula.  It was a great trip.

I have fond memories of family vacations as a kid and I want my kids to have the same experience.  So I try and capture everything in a photo book.  Someday I may have to order extras so they can have their own, but for now I love having a small book to read with them and relive the memories.



Click here to view this photo book larger
Click here to create your own Shutterfly photo book.

Monday, August 6, 2012

The Best Banana Bread I Ever Made





I had a few nasty brownish bananas sitting around this weekend.  That left me with only two choices: make banana bread or throw them out.  The outcome was totally dependent on how much energy my pregnant body had available.  So, I made my decision.  Skip the dishes and make the bread.  My kitchen is a mess but the bread was a.maz.ing.

Want to know my secret?  Lemon cubes.  (To find out what a lemon cube is just follow the link or this one.)

You see my recipe for banana bread calls for lemon juice.  I decided to throw in a lemon cube in its place.  With the extra zest in with the lemon juice it made the bread zingy.  Oh, it was delicious.  And because I was in a healthy mood I threw in flax seeds.  This made the bread a bit chewy.  Even my husband commented on how good it was.  Here's how I made it.

1 c. white flour
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
2 T. flax seeds
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. butter melted and cooled
1 c. brown sugar
2 eggs
2 brown bananas
1 lemon cube or 2 T. lemon juice with a little zest
2 t. vanilla

Mix it all together and throw in the oven for baby and me!  I mean, place it in greased and floured mini bread  pans or muffin tins or a cake pan or whatever you have.  Bake at 350 until a toothpick comes clean.

This post is linked at sixsistersstuff.comsweet-as-sugar-cookies.blogspot.com and Me And My Sweets

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Random Crock Pot Pins

After discovering you can make granola in the crock pot, my mind began to wander.  I wonder what else you can make in the crock pot that I've been completely unaware of?  Below are some pins I found to answer that question.  Not to mention all the dinners that are possible!

I'm feeling a bit inspired to use the crock pot a little more often.  If you want to check out my new crock pot pin board, you can find it here.


Caramel from sweetened condensed milk.





Breakfast

Friday, August 3, 2012

Granola in the Crock Pot

Thanks to Pinterest, I have discovered that there are a few unusual uses for my crock pot.  Yesterday, I saw this pin for granola in the crock pot and decided to give it a try.





I used my own recipe which you can find here (but I did add the salt to the syrup).  It filled the whole crock pot.  After reading the instructions I found by following the links in the pin I was a bit overly concerned about burning it.  I left it in for 2 and a half hours and guess what?  It's chewy!  Sure it taste's delicious, but who likes chewy granola?

So here's the verdict.  My recipe needs more time in the crock.  I do think I'm inclined to try this again because it means I don't have to wash two large cookie sheets and one big bowl, none of which fit in my dishwasher and usually sit on my counter for three days before I get around to washing them.

Oh, and I did take a picture of the granola in the crock but it looked so much like the one above I didn't bother uploading it.  Just picture a cream colored crock and no holes in the spoon and then you'll see what mine looked like.

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