Monday, July 30, 2012

Homemade Rootbeer

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There is just something about a good batch of homemade rootbeer.
The taste is great but making it is just as much fun.
Dry ice is I mean LOOK at all that steam, smoke, whatever. Yeah, the boys had a great time too.
So here is the recipe I used....
1 bottle rootbeer extract
5 pounds sugar
5 gallons water
5 pounds dry ice.
Mix it together and let it 'cook' for a couple of hours. Careful not to spill any, all that sugar makes it very sticky. Doing it with little boys clamoring about wiggling fingers through the steam is a must!
What a fun, simply, family activity.
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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Camp food tips and menu

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Although part of the fun of camping is the food, I don't want to spend all the time prepping. We wanted to be relaxing and hiking and such. I also run into the problem of the ice melting and turning the food to soggy mush. So here are some of the tips I have discovered to help during meal time in nature.
We prepped most of our food for camping before we went out. Grape Kabobs...
Meat and cheese kabobs for snacking
Orange slices for easy munching.
Then I put it all in containers. They stack nicely in my coolers, stay cool and most importantly DRY. Somehow my baggies always seem to leak.
Here is the rest of our menu.....

Lunch on arrival day:
Sandwiches made ahead. Just leave off the wet condiments and add at the picnic table. Pull out the orange slices and enjoy. 

We planned to have tacos in a bag so I browned the hamburger and froze it. I figured it would be just about thawed when we were ready for it and all I would have to do is reheat it. The lettuce, cheese, and tomatoes were already sliced and in containers. 
Once we realized we could roast hotdogs dad made a quick trip down the canyon for some. Mr. Matthew loves his 'dogs'. lol
All the prep really paid off. We didn't use everything but it was still intact and not water logged when we got home. I didn't have to worry about fixing something quick when we arrived home. Just use up what we pulled from the coolers. 

Pancakes from the mix and shake Bisquick containers. These are wonderful.
Eggs were cracked and placed in a empty peanut butter jar. Easy to pour out and scramble.

Lunch for day 2
Sandwiches again. We just made them at the campsite. We also planned to use a lot of the snacks we had left over. 

Pop just makes you MORE thirsty so mom declared a "No Pop" weekend. We took our 10 gallon water cooler filled with fresh ice water. It worked lovely. We refilled our water bottles after each of our hiking adventures and always had fresh cool water. I love that we didn't eat so much junk food. I felt better with all the physical activity and healthy foods. I enjoy junk food, don't get me wrong, but I LOVE how I feel when we eat healthy.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Family camping

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Little Mill Campground was a great place to camp. As you drive up Timpanogos Hwy there are several campgrounds along the way. This one is the closest to Timpanogos Cave. We tend to do things last minute so there were no more reservations to be had. We decided to take our chances.
As luck would have it we got there early enough to pick one of the 1st come 1st serve sites. It didn't take long for the other sites to be filled as well. Lots of trees, the mountain on one side and the American Fork Creek River on the other side= PERFECT!
We took a little walk along the old camp road. It followed the creek along. Although we didn't get much snow this last year there was still plenty of water with some spots moving quite fast.
Each of the boys had to have their own walking stick....just like dad. I absolutely LOVE this picture. I decided camping and hiking is a great way to practice your photo skills.
Well, at least for me....Dad just gets the shot done. lol
In the middle of the path was a big boulder. I am not sure if they put it there to stop cars and such or if it actually rolled down the hill. Either way it became a perfect place for 4growingboys to climb. Matthew wouldn't wait for mom to finish yet another photo!
Even though loads of fire restrictions are in place you can still enjoy a campfire in the developed campgrounds. We enjoyed smores and hotdogs, always a must when camping. We had planned other, non-fire meals but when we realized we could still do some roasting, yep, we were all over that.
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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Hiking fun...Timpooneke trail

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My mini scout troup. We enjoyed hiking this little trail so much. It was peaceful and relaxing.
We hiked for about 45 minutes and came to this beautiful meadow. It was just like the meadow in Bambi. We sat down to enjoy a sandwich and listened to the stillness, the whisper of the waterfall further up the trail and watched the clouds roll by. Yeah, it really was that nice. Surely some part of this scene has been in the seemed to be taken straight from a picture....only better.
You can't see it because of the mountain shadow but there is Scout Falls. We didn't make it all the way. We will have to go back and make that our main hike. Dad was a bit tired after hiking Timpanogos. ;-)
What a great way to burn all that energy from the boys. Another fun activity marked off our Summer list.
If you haven't taken your family on a hike this summer DO IT! Ranger stations are great resources for maps and planning what hike will fit your family. It doesn't have to be long or hard. Sandwiches and water are a must! You will get up the trail and want to just sit a bit and enjoy all that God has created. After that, you will know of the Divine Creation that brought all this to us.

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Monday, July 16, 2012

Industrial boys decor

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We finally got the railing put up in Mr. T's room. I love how it brought the room together. I was always nervous of the boys climbing up the ladder to get to the loft. Now they have a little more protection. They love LOVE! this little nook. They plan, imagine, read, and if mom doesn't catch him, naps up there. It has been great to burn some of that never ending boy energy.
Check out what we did with the rest of the room HERE.

Home Depot has become my second craft store. I am always looking for fun and creative ways to use something different to decorate the boys rooms. You never know what you will come up with down the plumbing aisle.
My next Home Depot inspired project is the deck....Gonna build and tunnel and slide into a relaxing and function outdoor retreat. You'll have to be patient to see it though. It won't be until fall. ;-)
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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Pasta and Bean Mosaics

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I had to work the night of the 4th so we kept things a bit low key around the house. We enjoyed the parade then went home for activities with just the boys and their dad. I got to help plan the activities then take a nap while dad spend valuable time with his boys.
We picked items off our 100 Activities of Summer list. There were so many choices to chose from!
Dad was excited to see the pasta and bean mosaic idea.
Take a few white beans, red beans, and black beans....add some bowtie pasta, elbow pasta and rigatoni pasta.....
You'd be amazed at what you can create.
We are not big artists at our house but I was impressed when the older 2 boys came up with this portrat of our puppy.

Not too bad if you ask me.
They had great fun! The best part was just quiet 1 on 1 time with dad!
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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Hiking Timpanogos

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We did it! All 6 of us! Including little man!
Yep, we hiked that 1 hour....straight up to heaven!
Then 1 hour in the cave and another hour back down.
We were wiped and needed the brief break when we got to the cave but it was all worth it.
We took breaks on the way up.
Enjoyed the view as we caught our breath.
Of course the 3 older boys didn't have too much trouble.
If the walking didn't take your breath away the view promised to.
The hike was steep....don't get too close to the side and don't stop in the red zones...they are warnings for falling rocks.
Some of it was shade....some more sun than not.
We climbed up, up, up....then down, down, down....
Mom got the best workout. Mr Matthew couldn't walk the whole way up. He would have loved to have a piggy back ride the whole way but we had to make a deal 50/50. Mom is just not in THAT good of shape yet.
He was thrilled when mom let him ride the whole way down though. By then he was tired and HUNGRY!
Take your family and enjoy the views. Find a hiking trail and enjoy nature.
But don't forget your water, neck coolers (gonna post this later), a jacket (thecave is 50ish degrees year round), and a little trail mix. My boys would have loved to have a snack along the way. We were in a bit of a hurry and didn't grab a snack. They were certainly ready to eat when we got back to camp.
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Monday, July 9, 2012

Fluffy Cheesecake...

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This lovely delight is all thanks to Pinterest.
Easy to make.
Lovely to enjoy!
Fluffy Cheesecake
1 package cream cheese
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
whip together, pour into graham cracker crust and chill 3 hours.
Top with your favorite cheesecake topping and enjoy!
I like cherry but dear hubby likes blueberry....oh shucks, that means I have to make 2.
Give it a try. Betcha can't eat just one piece. ;-)
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