Sunday, May 29, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend

In honor of Memorial Day weekend, the kids are playing military. It is actually very cute. They got dressed all by themselves. Ethan gave Aubrey his camo shirt to wear. Ethan was very concerened when I wanted to take his picture that I would put it on Facebook, so I promised I wouldn't. The blog however counts.

You can not really tell by this picture, but our kitchen chairs were in need of recovering. I think Derek covered these when we first got married, so that was almost 10 years ago. The kids have been hard on them.

We did some shopping in Daytona today before hitting the beach (I forgot my camera) and were in luck with a sale at JoAnn Fabrics.

Derek recovering the chairs.

The finished product!

Random Things

Derek made some wonderful chocolate covered strawberries and he made the kids wear bibs to eat them!

This just cracked me up when I was the picture! This could be some serious blackmail for Ethan down the road.

I made some graduation cakes for two girls at our church. They wanted individual cakes, an owl and a duck. The owl was my first time really using fondant.

I also made vanilla and chocolate sheet cakes for the guests to enjoy.

While I was laboring in the kitchen, Derek was laboring in the garage. Our garage needed a major cleaning out! We can now fit a car inside. We will see how long it guess is a week.

My Kindergarten class went on a field trip and I got to hold a baby alligator. Notice his mouth is taped shut. I got a picture of all my kids holding him. He is about a year and a half old and will grow to be about 13 feet. It was a very interesting field trip.

Friday, May 27, 2011

New Pool

Derek brought back a new pool from his trip to NC. He got it at Big Lots for $35 and it was well worth it. The kids just love it and will spend hours in it.

Derek bought this little canoe at Walmart and Ethan was so funny inside it. It is a popular item in the pool. Derek told them it was $8, so they are saving their money to buy another one.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Girl Time

Papa had his appendix rupture and had to have surgery, so Derek and Ethan went up to help out. He is home from the hospital and recovering. This left Aubrey and I with a few days of girl time. She was very excited to sleep in the bed with me!

Chocolate chip pancakes that would not be complete without whipped cream.

We went out to dinner with Ms. Anne. Aubrey chose our outfits. She wanted to take a purse and carry it like I hold mine. Such a sweet age!

She loves to bake with me, so we made some S'mores cookies. I taught her how to pack brown sugar into the measuring cup.

Crushing some graham crackers

First attempt...not so good. I would classify myself as a pretty good baker. So when I did not think the cookies looked done, I put them in for another two minutes. Bad idea- the marshmallows went EVERYWHERE and were a big gooey mess. When the recipe says two minutes for the marshmallows, it means it.

Second attempt- much better. These are my new favorite cookies. I made them for my parent helpers at school and also for our Life Group and they were a big hit. Here is the recipe:
S'mores Cookies
adapted from Make and Bake
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 dash of cinnamon
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 cups miniature chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
2 Hershey bars, chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a medium bowl combine the flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking soda, salt, and dash of cinnamon. In a second larger bowl beat together the butter, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract until creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Slowly beat in the flour mixture until smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake for 8 minutes, and remove from the oven. Push 3 to 4 marshmallows and a few pieces of Hershey bar into each cookies. Return to the oven and bake an additional 3-4 minutes until fully cooked. Cool cookies on a wire rack.

Makes approximately 4 dozen cookies

Aubrey is graduating from preschool and it is quite the event. She is very excited, as they have been practicing for it and talking about it for some time. She has a blue hat and insisted that she needed a blue dress to go with the hat. However, it had to be a fancy dress, because her teacher said they could wear a fancy dress. Aubrey picked up on that right away, as this princess never misses an opportunity to dress up fancy. So, we hit the stores looking for a dress to her specifications and my price range. Remember, we live in a small town, so our options are limited.

We found this bargain at Target. It was on clearance for $12. She loved it and so did the lady in the dressing room. She was in all her princess glory, but one was white and not blue.

I got the brilliant idea to dye it. And so the process began....

This was the color we were going for to match her hat. I thought I would mix royal blue and navy blue together to get that color. Well...not so much.

We got a lovely shade of purple! It was a beautiful dress, but Aubrey still really wanted blue. So, I tried two more navy packets of dye. Nope, just a deeper shade of purple. I then bought the stuff to remove the color and just did blue dye. Drum roll please....we have

a blue dress! Not quite the shade we were going for, but blue none the less. Aubrey was happy, so I was happy. However, there was still one slight problem. The tulle on the skirt was still in the purple family and it still gave the overall appearance of a purple dress. So, the dress saga continues.

I cut off the tulle and a back part of the dress and replaced it with a pretty sparkle ribbon we found. That was another requirement for the dress, it had to sparkle. Now, I am not a seamstress by any means. About four hours later, the dress was completed! The inside of the dress looks pretty sad from my hand sewing, but the outside looks good so that is all that really matters.

I even lined the bow to the dress with the ribbon. However, I sewed closed the last button hole by accident, so I replaced it with a hook instead. I even made a matching headband with the leftover materials. A friend recently told me that "love is in the details," and that was so true for this dress. I lost track of how much money I actually spent on all the dye and ribbon and probably would have been better off just buying a dress online! Oh well, it is finished and in plenty of time for her graduation.

Aubrey had her last soccer game and actually went after the ball some. She almost scored, but just missed

This was her favorite part of soccer. She would run really far back and then come running and kick the ball.

Pizza party after the game.

Aubry kissing her trophy like her coach told her to do. Ethan missed his last game, but I got his trophy for him. He was sort of bummed that he did not score this season, but he really improved a lot from last year. He is a better defender, so he does not get the chance to score that much. We will see if we play soccer again next year. Basketball is his first love. Aubrey will probably stick to dance and cheering for Upward. She was much more into the social part of soccer than actually playing, so we will see how next year pans out. But for this year, soccer season was fun and has come to an end.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Q and U Wedding

The letters Q and U got married in my class on Friday. I made my first wedding cake for the big event. I also made my first balloon arch, with the help of a parent. Ethan did this when he was in Kindergarten and I thought it was so cute I just had to do it with my class.

Aubrey came and joined us for the festivities. Here she is dancing at the "reception."

Here is a link to my school blog that has even more pictures.

Grandma's Visit

Grandma came in town to help me with the Q and U wedding in my classroom. Grandpa got a job assignment and could not make this trip. We gave Grandma her mother's day gift a little early.

We got her some long necklaces that she was wanting.

In classic Aubrey fashion, she tripped going into Kohl's to pick out the necklaces and scraped her knees up pretty badly. They were bleeding and she was crying, but I was determined to get the necklaces.

Much happier after we got home and put some bandaids on them.

Small silly things excite me and this was one of them. I saw these at the store and just had to get them. How fun!

Great excuse to make smores!

We had game day at school after the wedding on Friday and Mom was playing with some of the kids. She really enjoyed coming in and helping and I sure enjoyed the help!