Saturday, June 28, 2008

1 2 3 4 Mac and Cheese

I just spent a week at Girls Camp as a cookie's assistant and a fill in adult leader. It was one of the most fun and exhausting weeks of my life. One neat recipe I learned from the head cookie was this super easy homemade baked macaroni and cheese. It is the creamiest mac and cheese ever. I had three helpings the day she made it. Cookie said you could use 1/2 a stick of butter if a whole stick scares you. She sure did love her butter, she put it in everything at camp. 

I think next time I try it I will use 1/4 c butter and Cabot 50% fat sharp white cheddar. What I love about this recipe is that you don't have to boil the noodles or make the roux and cheese sauce separately, it all gets thrown in together and bakes up real nice. Doesn't the title sound Sesame Streetish?

1, 2, 3, 4 Mac and Cheese

1 stick butter
2 cups dry elbow macaroni noodles
3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
4 cups milk

Put all in a casserole dish and bake in the oven at 400 F for one hour. Stir every 15 minutes so a hard crust does not form on the bottom of your dish. 

Those Summer Ni-hites


We kicked off our first week of summer by going to the Point Drive In Movie Theater with some friends of ours. I swear Ian had a great time, he just happens to wear a permafrown constantly these days. We got all the kids dressed in pajamas before heading over to the Knight's for dinner. It was a BYOM (bring your own meat) BBQ. Afterwards, my friend popped a bunch of popcorn and we all drove over to the Point. We saw Kung Fu Panda, followed by Indiana Jones. (Two movies for the price of one!) We sat on chairs and blankets for the first movie and the kids caught fireflies and pigged out on candy and popcorn. The air was warm and breezy. Only Danny, Sandy and the marching candy and hot dog from Grease were missing.

Once Indiana Jones started, we put blankets and pillows in the back of our car and the kids went to sleep. It was kind of a bummer to have to wake them up to buckle them into their car seats, but hey, it ain't the 70s or 80s anymore. I'm sure our parents would have left us sleeping the back seat and thought nothing of it to drive half an hour without us all buckled.  

You could buy cotton candy, popcorn, regular candy, hot dogs and FUNNEL CAKE at the concessions stand and after the first movie everything is half price. We didn't buy anything because my friend kindly packed us a bunch of her delicious candy bar cake that has 10 candy bars mixed into the frosting. I am going to ask her for the recipe and post it later.

The only cons were that the sound wasn't great since it was coming from a radio station and out through our car speakers and the movies started really late at night to begin with so I dozed off a few times during both movies.

The drive in movies get a big thumbs up from our family, a really fun way to start our summer. I highly recommend it, especially if you are a night owl.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

For sympathy

I'm not sure if any of you know this besides Katy, but Alyssa has a really entertaining blog. I thought I'd put a link to it here so you can check out her latest post. I think all of us moms can appreciate it. Hope you don't mind Lys. :)

www.familiabarlow.blogspot.com

Monday, June 23, 2008

Chemical Toxins and Processed Foods...

My 7 year old daughter has ADHD. She was diagnosed about 18 months ago. We ultimatley decided to put her on medicine, which has helped her tremendously in the school setting. My husband, Ryan and I have gone the rounds many times over whether or not this is best for Maddi. On one had, I see that she was top 3 in her class this year with nothing below an A all year, but on the other hand we struggle with putting what is considered to be a highly regulated "narcotic" into her body everyday. I feel like although it helps control her symptoms, it masks her personality. She doesn't seem the same. Along with this, it is very expensive. With every dosage increase, the price tag goes up. Right now, it is $112.00 a month, that is with our insurance covering only 50%.

So, yesterday Ryan and I were talking once again about whether this is the best choice for her. It is summer time and a prime time for me to try other alternatives. I have heard of some herbs that may help that I thought I might check out.

Now on to my point. :) I use to enjoy watching Good Morning America in the morning, but I just don't usually have the time anymore to sit down and do that. This morning for whatever reason I flipped it on just in time to see this interivew:

http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/OnCall/story?id=5221554&page=1

I feel like it is no coincidence that I saw this just after the day I had yesterday. I have heard a little bit about red #40 and it's reaction in some children. What startled me was that Great Britain (pretty sure thats what the video said) has a ban on all these kinds of chemicals becuase of some studies that they have done. So, Mars (the candy co.) have taken these chemicals out of there starburst and skittles candy that they sell there. The woman in this video goes on to talk about how she had taken all the processed food out of her kids diets and all the positive things that have come from it.

I was wondering what you guys take on all this was? Have you heard about any of this? Have you done any of your own research? I am considering trying this. I know its not a cure, but I figure it may help her symptoms and promote a more healthy lifestyle.

What to do?

This weekend we helped our neighbors move as well as worked on our house. They were moving because, Jan the wife has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's, I realize that this is the worst thing to do for a newly diagnosed patient, however the couple are in their 70's so who am I to tell them what is up? So, a readers digest version, their daughter and son in law live kitty corner from us. They helped out as well. We were invited to go over for a BBQ and swim, thank you dinner at 5:00 pm. The couple that we moved didn't attend because they were exhausted, but their Daughter and son in law, overtook their pool and newly empty house. We didn't want to go, but we wanted to be hospitable. While we were eating I witnessed the worst verbal abuse towards the 10 year old son (of the daughter and son in law) from his father. He swore at him and barked orders and told him to do it this way with lots of profanity. I had to bite my tongue, I am not fond of this gentleman already from previous incidents. I felt uncomfortable so we left shortly after this occurred. Then, we met our friends Paul and Julie who came over with their 5 kids to help us install the A/C unit in our house. While this was happening their adopted son and real son were outside shooting the air soft gun at things, trees, cats, the fence. Anyhow, the daughter of our neighbor saw this and came over running and yelling at this child, we knew that she was drinking (hence the can in her hand) but Mario and I just left their parent's house, she said she hadn't eaten anything. Anyway she was yelling and ranting and raving. Julie and I didn't go outside, because I told Julie, she was probably Drunk because she hadn't eaten anything and had been drinking, since 10:30 that morning! I didn't want to fuel the fire while she was inebriated! So she yelled for about 5 minutes at this adopted child, who was removed from an emotional abusive and physically abusive household and placed with Paul and Julie. This drunk neighbor called the cops on this little 10 year old adopted kid saying that he was shooting cars with a "BB" gun.

I want to say something to this women, but I don't know if it will go anywhere or will have any positive influence or impact on her. I lost sleep over it because I was embarrassed for the yelling woman, her son and Julies' adoptive son. I want to tell her that my heart was broken from listening to her husband yell at her son that way and how dare she allow that to occur! That maybe that was how she talked to her son (doesn't make it right) but that is not how she talks to other children. That, if she has a problem with my guests kids, she needs to take it up with me and the parent of the child. I want to tell her that she may not come onto my property again drunk and yelling or I will get the appropriate authorities involved. I want to tell her that if she needs a friend to talk to or help, that I will help her out.

What do you think, should I leave it alone, is it a moot point?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Few, The Proud, The Righteous!


So, this is what has kept me busy the last couple months or so. I planned and put together a primary activity for my ward. I actually am not that creative and totally took this idea from this really great website, http://www.sugardoodle.net/. This website is an excellent resource for all the church auxillaries. You should check it out!

So the theme was B.O.O.T. Camp, meaning, Building Our Own Testimonies. The kids had such a fun time making there way through the obstacle course full of physical as well as spiritual obstacles, doing three legged races, making cards to send to those in our ward who are serving in our military and learning to march to fun "primary chants."

We had a bandana for each of the kids. This is Cole wearing his. Don't you love the barf/slobber covered shirt?

This is Maddi running the three legged races with a girl much older. She was almost drug the whole way. :)

My friend Alison lead the Primary in how to salute and march to fun chants. We even had a couple roudy ones that we had drop and give us "5." (We really had a good time with this theme!)

Ryan here is helping Caden on the pogo stick in the obstacle course.


Fun, but glad it's over!

***Okay, so I totally thought I was posting on my family blog...oops!! I hit "view blog" after I published and was suprised to see "Supermommies" staring back at me. That was a first! Sorry to those who don't know me, and probably wouldn't really care about this. :)***

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

F.Y.I. about E.L.F.

F.Y.I.- The email and story about E.L.F. make-up getting bought by Nordstrom has been like a three year old urban myth. I had some friends post it like a year ago on their blogs with the same story. Here is what she said:
Alexis said...
Hey! I just wanted to let you know that I got this e-mail a long time ago and they really aren't going into Nordstrom, everything always is $1, but I like their lip gloss & eye liner. their mascara isn't that good. So partially true, still pretty good stuff, at least the few things that I have tried.



So, the product and price are legit, but the story is false. Maybe it helps motivate people to buy more sooner rather then later. I like that you can read customer reviews about the products.

For you other make-up lovers today is M.A.C. Friends and Family. You get 15% of everything (which is great because nothing is ever on sale) and free shipping. The checkout code is MACFF8. If you love their brushes this is the time to get them!

good, cheap makeup

Hey ladies, thought you might be interested to know that Nordstrom is
buying E.L.F. makeup and repackaging it so they are selling ALL of
their products for $1 each! If you spend $15 you can use the coupon
code CAROLINA that will subtract $7.50(which will cover your shipping and
a little bit more). I just spent $28 and got 18 products including
mascara, lipgloss, concealer, eyeliner, nail polish, and a set of makeup brushes. So here is the link for anyone who is interested:

http://www.eyeslipsface.com/default.asp
ELF Website: http://www.eyeslipsface.com/default.asphttp://www.eyeslipsface.com/default.asp>

ENJOY! I know I did!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Just for fun!

http://transformationteam.net/video/perceptual_experiment_tc

Click on the web address and follow the directions.  Some of you may have already done this before, but here it is anyway..

Saturday, June 14, 2008

HAPPY BIRTHDAY STEPHANIE!!!



I hope you have a wonderfully happy day today. You are queen and rule supreme -make sure everyone treats you right.

We love you!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Banoffee Waffle

I think this would make a nice Father's Day breakfast treat if anyone wants to try it. We lived in Cambridge, UK two years ago and it was one of my favorite treats. We would eat them at the Coton Orchard near our kids' school. You can leave out the Heath bits and mini chips or sprinkle them on top of the finished product. I took the easy way by using Bisquik for the waffles, but when you have little kids you kind of have to take all the short cuts that come your way. These are pretty fantastically fatty and rich so I can only eat about 1 and a half before I start to feel sick. But they taste so yummy . . . it is totally worth it. I think this can be a breakfast or a dessert.

Here is my version of:

Banoffee Waffles

waffle batter made using recipe on Bisquik box, add 1T sugar and 1T lemon juice to batter
bananas, sliced
whipped cream whipped with 1 T sugar and a drop of vanilla
Heath bits
mini chocolate chips
Smucker's Caramel ice cream topping
Hershey's syrup
chocolate bar 

Pour about 1/3 c batter in hot waffle iron, sprinkle sparingly with Heath bits and mini chocolate chips. Cook waffle for about 5 minutes or however long it takes for a crispy exterior and soft interior. Top immediately with whipped cream followed by bananas. Drizzle with caramel sauce and chocolate syrup. Shave a little chocolate over the top with a microplane grater. You're welcome;)


Monday, June 9, 2008

Smooth Frosting and other Cupcake Tips

Here is a video clip of how to make your cupcake frosting really smooth and pretty, pictures of how to make mini-marshmallow flower petals and a link showing how to make a basket weave pattern with frosting.

All for one, one for all... or evey man for himself?

I have been thinking a lot about chores lately, I don't know if it's because I am still on bed rest, or just the simple fact that things are not getting done around the house... The obstacle I have run into is:

Do you make sure everyone is in charge of their own stuff, i.e. the kids book bag, shoes, socks, dishes, mail, etc.... their own responsibility, or make it universal, if you see it lying there... pick it up, it doesn't matter who's it is, we are a team and with that, we all need to work together?

Or are there limits to what we should be expecting our children, and I'll say it, our husbands to do? Maybe Because I've had to do it by myself for 5 years, I might be more aware now, but come on.... Do I really have to be in charge of EVERYONE'S stuff?

Is it wrong to give our Kids and Hubby's chores, and at what age is it OK for our children? My daughter is 6 going on 7 and I expect a lot from her.... but with the new baby coming.... can I give her more, should I? And what about Hubby, does his load increase too?

~Help!~

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Yoga For Kids



In case any of you are interested...

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Once, shame on you. Twice, shame on me.


Ok, so I don't post. However, I need to vent and I saw that there is actually a label created for venting, so I thought great.


The first time: I sometimes shop at the Target, it is less then two minutes from my house and I can just run and grab stuff. My beef is not with the stuff they sell or their prices, I have a raging problem with the whole check out situation. My question is do they bag it and put it in your cart or are you responsible for doing it? I went to Target for the "day after Thanksgiving sale" and I was putting my bags in the cart and the checker was like, "your total is... you can swipe your card now". So, I stop and return to the card machine to swipe, pin , enter. ( you know the drill) The checker finishes putting my bags in (or a least she acted like it), so I get my cart and push it out. It is not until later that I notice two bags are missing, because she bagged them and then just set them on the low counter at the end of the check out. Ok, I call and I tell the story and the customer service manager actually had a log with items left and paid for, so I brought in my receipt and got my stuff. I left not feeling bitter.

The second time: Two days ago I went to Target at night to get some gifts for my son's birthday the next day. I go to check out and I start loading things as they are being scanned. Same story, I go to pay and she continues to put stuff in the cart (I think). As I get my reciept, the next shift cashier takes over and my girl walks away. I check the little counter at the end of the check stand and everything is packed up. I go out in the dark parking lot (9:00 pm) and hurry to my car with my keys. I throw everything in the back seat and go home. As I unload the bags I go through and there is a bag missing again! I searched everywhere because I don't want to look dumb if it rolled to the back of my van while driving home. I yell to my husband that I have to go back to Target, and leave. I check the parking lot for my cart and it is gone I talk to the "cart guy" and he hasn't seen anything. I talk to customer service and the new shift checker (who doesn't remember me from five minutes ago) and no one saw an extra bag of stuff. Here's what I think happened : I think she must have put the bag under the cart when I was paying. I was in a hurry and it was dark and I didn't look under the cart because I didn't put anything there! I was very bitter this time because I know someone took it when they saw it in the parking lot.


My vent: Ladies, what is the deal, do you bag and tell them not to touch your stuff. Do you look like a snob and make them do it and then check their work right in front of them? Most of the time I'm trying to keep my kids for opening up the candy in the check stand instead of keeping track of what the checker is doing. I don't know, I'm sure now that I have typed this out I sound psycho, but that is what venting is about. Maybe this random stuff only happens to me.

Just a note: I have liberty to say what I want about checkers, because I worked retail for ten years:)

Corker bows!


These bows are super easy, and super cute! I made them with my friend Natalie & we are obsessed! Just wrap ribbon around a wooden stick, place in the oven for 20 min to curl the ribbon, cut 30 strips of 3" curled ribbon. Place them all together and tie an elastic around the middle & hot glue it to a clip! Whalaa you have a cute corker bow!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Check out these Chicks

Witness the return of the Cupcake Queen. Ian had a preschool program with a barnyard animal theme and his teacher asked me to make some animal cupcakes. See pigs, horses and sheep on my craft blog. How do people you have never met find out about blogs? Mine is relatively new and I had a random stranger leave a (very nice) comment. I am sorry the pictures won't load here for some reason, but they are all on the She's Crafty Blog.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Maternity dresses

Looking for a great maternity dress to wear for a wedding in a few weeks. Any good ideas where to look?  I haven't seen anything that is wearable with the "g's." I am open to any suggestions. Thanks! :)

Monday, June 2, 2008

Pacifiers

When is the best time to take the "Pacifiers" or as we call them shosha's (Portuguese for pacifier) away? As you can see, my little one is attached to them, she is only 15 months old. She will swap two if she can find them, she will rotate them in her mouth. I have them stashed away in my kitchen. Normally, she doesn't have them at all during the day, only when she takes her nap and or goes to bed? Do they mess up kids teeth? Her two front teeth already poked through but they are not all the way grown out yet? When is the best time for the seperation? How bad will this be?

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Sleepover Kit

I saw this on my Joann's coupon and I really want to try it. Ollie is totally into forts and I think he would love this just to play in at home. Unfortunately I don't know how to sew, so I may have to recruit some help. I also couldn't get the instructions to open (maybe I need to update Adobe Reader?) so if anyone else has better luck, let me know.

Confessions of a Camping Virgin






I have major anxiety about wild animals, weirdoes with guns, and being outside in the dark and getting lost. So much so that every time anyone asked us to go camping, I always had many excuses not to go. A friend of ours invited us to go camping with a bunch of other families this past weekend. We had been kayaking and fishing the weekend before which segued beautifully into our first family camping trip.

The State Park we camped at is about 1/2 an hour away so it is perfect for newbies who might want to go home in the middle of the night. There is a lake with a beach and concession stand and bathrooms. The lake water was brainfreeze cold, but Collin went in all the way anyway. The kids played water tag, caught minnows and periwinkles and built sandcastles. At night we had a potluck and everyone brought great food: pasta salad, rice salad, filled chicken and shrimp, crackers with pesto and tomatoes, pita with melted cheese and onions cooked on a skillet, hummus and veggies. I brought pasta salad and rhubarb muffins. 

We all sat around the fire and some of us sang and played the guitar and made s'mores. (BTW, Marshmallow Peeps make the best toasted marshmallows because the sugar on the outside caramelizes similar to the top of creme brulee.) One of the dads is a local singer. During once of his songs one of my roasted marshmallows caught on fire. Like a true greenhorn I started shaking my stick to put out the flames and one of the marshmallows flew through the air and landed on my sleeve still flaming. Surprisingly, no one panicked, not even me. I blew it out and ate it off my slightly singed sleeve. The singer, a true pro, finished his song without a pause and thanked me for supplying the pyrotechnics.

I did a little Mythbusters Camping Edition. Did you know you can make biscuits in a campfire using a stick and Bisquick mixed with water? Did you know you can boil water in a paper cup? The only thing I didn't get to try was frying an egg in a paper lunch sack with two pieces of bacon, but I am not going to let the grass grow under my feet. I think I will go camping again when my mom and sister are visiting this month.

I also got to eat mountain pies which are made using a cast iron pie iron, bread and canned pie filling. That was a thrill since I had read all about mountain pies the week before. Collin says I can't have a pie iron until I go camping 6 times. With all the campfire cookery I tried, I neglected to make a single tinfoil dinner. I will definitely try it next time. I didn't want to run before I figured out if I could walk the camping walk.

I did have a couple camping mishaps that interfered with my newfound camping lurv: I thought Emma was lost and had a heart pounding 15 minutes running around trying to find her and at the same time not scream her name and demand that everyone allow me to search their campers (she was at the beach playground with all the other kids and dads, I knew she was going with them, but didn't actually see her go). On our way back from the beach, Aidan took us on a short cut which turned out to be a long un-scenic trek through the woods in the dark. I was carrying Ian on my back and holding Emma's hand  while she thought she saw burglars, bears, and wolves. We walked past our campsite and made a 20 minute loop in the dark before we finally found it after stumbling over rocks and roots (yes, this unseasoned Camping Virgin forgot to carry a flashlight). My final and most potentially embarrassing mishap was when I woke up in the middle of the night because my bladder was ready to burst. I couldn't find a flashlight and was too scared to try and find my way to the bathroom in the dark so I went pee a little ways from our tent out in the open with tons of other tents full of people I had met close by. Luckily I think they were all asleep, but the whole time I was peeing I kept picturing bears, wolves and weirdoes sneaking up on me.

Aidan loved burning sticks, leaves and pine needles and managed to start an unauthorized fire with another kid while our backs were turned. Ian's definition of camping: when you get to sleep in your clothes in a tent and you don't need pajamas. Emma loved catching minnows and eating marshmallow after gooey marshmallow.

Our family was slightly out of place in terms of granola-ness. We were probably the least crunchy family there. I think I was one of the few women wearing a bra and I'm almost positive I was the only one who shaves her legs and armpits. I think our kids were some of the only non-homeschoolers too. But with kayaking and fishing one weekend and camping the next, I think we are well on our way to crunchiness. I did actually make and bring my own toffee granola which was as big a hit as the camping itself. 
video