Monday, October 29, 2012

A surprise party with lots of treats.

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My dear sweetheart turned the big 40 this weekend. He isn't a 'needy' kind of guy. Just simple. Rather content to play Lego's with his boys. What do you do for this guy? Well, you invite all the friends over to just visit and enjoy their company. Of course Halloween is also his fav holiday so we'll make it a costume party.

I didn't know if I would be able to pull this off but it was worth a try. My sweet hubby never questions all my crazy projects. Between work, PTA, scouts, crafts, gardening, etc he just goes along with it all.

So I made these invites....

 When I said, "Honey, I am taking Josh to help me deliver these." he just smiled and said be careful.

Then when I bought loads and loads of goodies, I said they were for the PTA carnival (some of it was). He never questioned why SOOO much.

When I spent all day Friday cooking, he just helped out by doing whatever I needed done.

When I agreed to work an extra shift Friday night, he just sighed and said, "ok, we will miss you".

Little did he know.

The party that would await his arrival home.... My oldest called to give me a heads up.... Dad wondered who he was talking to but he covered well. Nicely done son.
We enjoyed Halloween crunch, Poisoned apples...
Mummy dogs, broomsticks, spider deviled eggs...
Goblin fingers, and yummy Cream of the crop cupcakes. Oh my oh my if these babies aren't tasty.
We had Key Lime and Pumpkin Spice, dear hubbies favs. Thanks so much Shelly!
Add a few Monster Munch meatball subs and Voila. Yummy!
We all dressed as the Avengers: Hulk, Black Widow, Hawk-Eye, Captain America, Iron Man, and Thor. We had so much fun.

And best of all...he didn't suspect a thing! He really did think it was all for the PTA carnival.
Happy Birthday Honey, I love you!
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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Pumpkin Rice Krispy

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OK, so what is big krispy and orange all over? A pumpkin rice krispy treat! That is what has been made this time.

What you do first is you melt butter then add the 1 bag of mini marshmallows and stir 'til melted.
 After melting marshmallows you combine 6 cups of rice krispies and the marshmallows and stir.
 Here I smashed the mixture into a hand sized ball made a impression and put a tootsie role in for part of the stem.
 Now you add small candy strips for the stems and vines I used Rips.
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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Colors of fall

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Mr Matthew and I traveled up the canyon for some branches for my latest project. I couldn't help but share some of the beautiful colors we saw.
The day was cool but still warm enough to not need a jacket.

I loved how all the colors came together. Fall is so beautiful. Reds. Greens. Yellows. Oranges. All against a clear blue sky. *sigh*
And the beautiful scene was topped off with the grin of a very helpful little man. I cherise these little day adventures. All too soon my little man is gonna be going off to school then with friends and leaving mom behind. A little 1 on 1 time soothes the soul!
And here is a little peck at our project.......
The final pictures coming soon!
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Monday, October 22, 2012

Deck building 101

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We are creeping along on the last stages of the deck. We managed to put up a couple of the cross beams only AFTER which did I realize it would have been easier to paint them BEFORE going up...ahh, the learning curve. So with the next ones I made sure to at least get a coat on them so we only have to do a bit of touch up.....
While I work, the boys enjoy the dirt..... You know, the noise with dirt on it....
See the trees? Yep, right there....and there....we got those a while back but waited to put them in until we finished (or almost finished) the deck. It was a good thing because I ended up putting them somewhere different. They are Autumn Blaze Maples. They grow fast and provide great shade in the summer and brilliant color in the fall. Just thinking about the shade makes me smile.
Give us a couple of years and the back side of the house won't be quite so hot anymore. Lovely shade over the lovely deck.
And now we are still waiting for the composit.......
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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Chef-in-training posts

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We have a chef-in-training in our house. Mr Josh dreams of winning "Chopped" or perhaps a great desert competition. He may not like helping mom cook dinner but he never turns down an opportunity to make a yummy new treat for the family to try. So I decided to build on this. Each week he gets to try a new recipe then post about it for you all to enjoy.

Want in on  a bit of a secret? It was educationally motivated. ;-p I figured he could test his prowess and desire to be a chef; he can put his typing skills to work; learn how to use the internet as a tool and not just a toy; and increase his writing skills. The family gets to taste the yummy goodies. Yeah, I thought it was a win win too. ehehehe

So each week Josh will try something then post for you to read Thursday mornings. Stay tuned. Watch all the good bad and ugly as our nearly 13 yr old tests his skills at cooking. No holds bar. All the oopses and successes will be there.

It's gonna be a "Sweet" adventure.

Oh, and someday his roommates, mission companions and eventually sweetheart will be able to read back on his baby steps to becoming a great cook. No mac-n-cheese or Ramon noodles for this boy.
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PTA Fall Bulletin Board

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I actually put this up at the beginning of the month but just haven't been able to get it blogged.
Each fall we sponsor a Halloween carnival. It is our biggest fundraiser but you wouldn't know it because we just have so much fun! I have always looked forward to school carnivals. They are crazy but the boys always have so much fun. I think it is one of those memories of childhood.
Anyway, I found this on pinterest and decided to go with it. Remember our last one HERE? I just recycled part of that. By October the leaves are all falling so the green tissue paper fell as well. Then we just have brown branches made from twisted paper. The paper bag Owls have moved in on the branches, watching all the tricksters with their big bright eyes. I thought of putting googly eyes on them but didn't have any that would have been big enough.
The kids and teachers all really like the new board. Kinda makes me feel good to see them ooohing and ahhhing over the change each month.
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Thursday, October 18, 2012

No Bake Nutella Cheesecake

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(This is part of the new weekly series posted by our chef-in-training, Josh)
I saw this recipe on Pinterest and thought it looked fun because it is easy and simple. This is a no bake nutella cheesecake recipe. We love nutella at our house, as in we, put it on every thing from toast to sandwiches. If you don't know what nutella is then let me tell you, nutella is a hazelnut spread with some chocolate in it. 
When I started to make it I thought we were out of cream cheese so I thought I could substitute 8 ounces of cream cheese with cream butter (P.S. not so good it is to buttery with 3 tablespoons more).

 Try this Yourself

For the Crust

12 Oreo Cookies, crushed into crumbs

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the Filling

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened

2/3 cup Nutella

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 (8 ounce) tub frozen whipped topping, thawed

1. In a medium bowl, stir together the Oreo cookie crumbs and melted butter. Evenly divide the crumbs between your individual serving dishes and press into the bottoms of the dishes to form a crust layer.
2. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and Nutella until smooth. Add vanilla and mix to combine. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the whipped topping until well blended and no streaks remain.
3. Evenly pipe or spoon the filling into individual serving dishes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
4. If desired, garnish with additional whipped topping, chocolate shavings, and/or toasted, chopped hazelnuts.
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Monday, October 8, 2012

Moving Right Along- deck building 101

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The past month has been taken up with finally getting our deck on. In our Idaho home we spent the summers having dinner on the deck in the evening shade. It was a great way to unwind from the day while the boys ran off the last of their abundant energy. Dear hubby and I would relax with strawberry lemonade and just chat over the family events of the day.

The past few years however, I have increasingly missed those cool summer nights in Idaho. Our back yard now faces the west...DESERT! Yep, it gets quite hot. The boys are less likely to be running around outside and more likely to be pushing mom and dad the the brink of insanity with cabin fever. We decided we couldn't put it off any longer! We needed the deck on and hopefully the return of summer dinner/BBQ's on the deck.

We plan to have a pergola over the top to help with the summer heat and add some lovely shade. We also want to add a mister to the west side. That should help to cool it down a bit while we relax. 
We saved our pennies through the summer so we could do composit flooring with vinyl railings.
I have pictures...on my phone of the beginning but I can't get those uploaded. So this is what you have. We didn't have a clue about starting so we hired a handy friend to help us out. Now we are just waiting for more composit to come in. We shorted ourselves not figuring in the treds for the stairs. Oops. lol
Step-by-Step, Inch-by-Inch we are getting it done. We are all so excited to get it done. We have missed those cool nights out on the deck. We'll have to fit in as many as we can before the cold finally drives us inside. It's gonna be great!!
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Friday, October 5, 2012

You've Been Boo'd Treats

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It's that time of year again. When ghosts and gobblins come 'round leaving tricks and treats. Our family loves this little Halloween tradition. I make the treats and the boys love to "doorbell ditch"! They sneak up and ring the doorbell then run like made before getting caught. It becomes a family afair with dad driving.
This year I made a couple of treats.....How about some edible eyeballs?
Tasty huh!!! Actually they really are!
Powdered mini donuts. Red gel icing. Gummy lifesavors. Mini M&M's or chocolate chips. Just assemble and you are ready to release the gobblins.
We are usually the ones to start the Boo-fest so I like to make several treats to get it kicked off really well. It is so much fun to see the ghosts start to appear on doors letting any future ghosts know the house has already been haunted. hehehehe. Too much fun for the kiddos. Hopefully by Halloween every door in the neighborhood will have a ghost hanging up.

Here is the link for the poem so you can join in the fun.
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Thursday, October 4, 2012

PTA Bulletin Boards

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I am in charge of the PTA bulletin board at our school. We are really trying to improve communication with our parents and teachers. Last year we sent each class on a field trip. This year we are hoping to do that again plus help the principle purchase laptops for each of the classrooms. We also play to improve the playground and landscaping. Our school is an older one and there are various repairs and improvements that keep getting pushed to the bottom of the list. Hopefully we can change this. We have some great activities and goals set. Each month I will be changing our board. Something new and excited to let our parents and teachers know what we are doing and how we are coming on our goals. We have some amazing people at our school. We are gonna accomplish great things for our kiddos!

So here is my first board. Yeah, not much. I was still trying to get my mind in gear for some great ideas.....
I have been using fabric to cover the back. It works great. Plus I can take it down and reuse it.
This month we have been working on a flower bulb fundraiser. I saw this idea and loved it. Each of the apples has a little tidbit about members of our PTA. We wanted to let others know that it is not just stay at home moms. Most of us work part time or even full time. Everyone can play a part in PTA. Each of us working together to help our kids.
The leaves of the tree are tissue paper. I love how it gives a 3D effect. The staff have really enjoyed it as well. So fun to have something well recieved! We keep the folder available for handouts.
So have you got a PTA board? Got any great ideas you can share? Let me know. I would love to see them!
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