Friday, July 31, 2009

cooking with kayla, part two

This weekend I'm heading out of a town with a group of women that are a part of our local MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) leadership team. Each of us will be bringing a snack (in addition to buddying up and bringing a meal) and I thought that the Chex recipe "Muddy Buddies" would be a yummy late night treat!

I was actually in a relaxed mood today despite my always growing "to do list", so I thought I might as well let Mikayla help out in the kitchen. She's a whizz at baking and it's a fun way to spend a little one on one time together, but still get some stuff done in the process.

Together, we read the ingredient list and I had Mikayla search for all of the ingredients with a few helpful hints from her momma, of course. (Ladies, going to the retreat...stop right here if you don't want to know everything that goes into this delightful treat. And, I will say that it is addicting, so don't say I didn't warn you.)


your choice of Chex cereal, chocolate chips, peanut butter, butter, vanilla, & powdered sugar

Measure 9 cups of cereal. I let Mikayla tell me when to stop once I reached the line I had pointed out to her. We ended up doing 5 cups Corn Chex and 4 cups Chocolate Chex.

Measure out 1 cup chocolate chips. I filled a small bowl of chocolate chips and let her scoop them into the 1-cup measuring cup.

Add 1/2 cup peanut butter and 1/4 cup butter to the chocolate chips. Even letting kids do simple tasks like peeling the paper from the butter teaches them the art of cooking. We talked about how slimy it felt (and then she proceeded to wipe it off on herself...good thing she was wearing an apron!)

Microwave for 1 minute and then stir until smooth. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla.

Pour Chex cereal into a large bowl.

Pour chocolate mixture over cereal and stir until covered.

Place chocolate covered cereal into gallon-sized Ziploc bag, add 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar and shake, shake, shake. She loved this part!

During this cooking adventure, don't forget to give your (almost) 2-year old a little snack...

...and some measuring spoons and cups to keep him distracted, I mean entertained.

Place finished yummy goodness on a wax paper-lined cookie sheet to cool and then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator (the freezer is even better!)

As it was cooling on the counter, Mikayla kept asking me, "Just one more, Mommy. One more." And how many times do you think I heard that?

*FYI: You might notice Mikayla has a black eye in these pictures. She had a little run in with someone else's head last Sunday, so it's her first official black eye. She looks kind of tough, don't you think?

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

Thursday, July 30, 2009

create a little something

Guess who got their act together (finally) to do something a little crafty!?

Yep, that would be me. Are you shocked?

I suppose Xazmin's monthly Mod Podge Mania party helped light a little fire under me.

So, what can you do with six ABC blocks bought from a garage sale for 10-cents...

Some coordinating paper...

And a bottle of the "magic stuff"?

Why, CREATE something, of course!

Now I have another fun little decoration to add to my craft corner that will hopefully inspire me to keep creating!

By golly, this little creative corner of mine will one day look the way I want it.

Well, that or we'll just have to move.

Head on over to This is the Year for more fun Mod Podge Mania!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I scream, you scream...


My sister and brother and families came over on Monday night for an impromptu BBQ (my sister and family were in town for a week). Of course to round out the evening, the kids all got to splurge with some ice cream sundaes!! Can you say "sugar high"?!

*This one's mostly for you, Grammy & Papa. Miss you!!*

Jacob - 8 1/2 years

Noah - 3 1/2 years

Mikayla - 3 years
Hunter - 2 years
(it was his actual birthday on Monday!)
Austin - 22 months

Hailey - 13 months

Of course, we attempted the group photo, but you know how that goes. This was the best one of the bunch...

Oh, well! At least they were all in the photo this time unlike our last attempt.

Check out 5 Minutes for Mom for more Wordless Wednesday.

Monday, July 27, 2009

simple thoughts

It's H-O-T today!!

While hanging out in the garage, Mikayla found the directions to our "shark pool" (as she calls it).

Which, I find funny that there are even directions to read, but anyway...

She began reading them out loud.

Put in water.
Then hop in the pool.

Oh, if only life really was this simple.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

catching you up to speed

I'm so behind.

There's no beating around the bush on that one.

We have had some fun times over this last month, so I thought it would be fun to share some collages all in one post (thanks to my friend, Leanna, who shared with me awhile back how to make the collages using Picasa from Google). It's kind of like killing 5 birds with 1 stone. Although I would never actually do that... (Click on each collage if you would like to view it larger.)

So, if you've been wondering what we have been up to, here you go...

Summer Birthdays!!

~Kenneth Caldwell turned 3 years old celebrating with a firefighter themed party!
~Cousin Riley turned 4 years old & Cousin Parker turned 2 years old celebrating with a carnival themed party!
~Allie Edinger turned 3 years old celebrating at the Wilsonville Murase Plaza splashing around with water.
~Cousin Hailey turned 1 year old on the 4th of July and the cousins were all able to be together when they came down from Washington for a visit.
~Jilian Sommerville turned 2 years old with a fun Elmo party!
~Ryan celebrated his 29th birthday on July 22.
~And coming up on Sunday we'll be celebrating Cousin Hunter's 2nd birthday with a farm animal party!

Tis the season of birthdays!!


Water Fountain Fun!

My sister and family came down for a visit over the 4th of July, and it was also cousin Hailey's birthday. We decided to hit the water park and let the kids beat the heat on Friday, the 3rd. Later that night, we celebrated Hailey's birthday with pizza and cupcakes.


4th of July

Like I had mentioned in an earlier post a couple of weeks ago, our 4th of July was a little low key this year. In the afternoon after our pool time extravaganza and dinner at Buster's Barbecue, we let the kids play with "pop-its". Then later in the evening, after PJs, we pulled out the sparklers and let the kids have a little the light. Then 8:00 rolled around and the kids headed to bed. Yes, that is it. That was our 4th of July. Maybe next year we'll attempt letting the kids stay up until 8:30. I know. I walk on the wild side sometimes. If nothing else, I will at least dress my kids in patriotic gear. I was so jealous seeing pictures of little ones in red, white, and blue. Not sure why I was such a scrooge this year.


Robin Hood Festival Parade

Just last weekend, we met up with our good friends, the Newtons, and watched our town's annual parade. Mikayla and her best friend, Ellie, enjoyed the parade and picking up candy while Austin and baby Claire (4 months old) were content in the arms of their daddy and mommy. Austin did like yelling "truck!" with almost every passing vehicle and after the parade the girls got their faces painted with matching butterflies.


Ryan's Birthday

Last Sunday we celebrated Ryan's birthday a little early with family by meeting up at his favorite dinner spot...Buster's Barbecue. On his actual birthday (Wednesday), we surprised Ryan at work with cupcakes we made for him and his work buddies. Later that evening we headed to Red Robin for a free burger and then afterwords sang him happy birthday, ate more cupcakes, and gave him his presents.


So, there you go! Fun times in a nut shell. There are lots of other things that have been keeping us busy like park play dates, backyard water fun, playing in the yard, and anything we can do to enjoy the awesome weather we're having! I've been pretty much succeeding at avoiding any form of responsibility. I guess you could say I'm kind of in the rebellious phase of keeping everything organized and running smoothly. (Which, I suppose some of my friends are laughing at me right now because you know I would actually never be able to do this for an extended period of time.)

Today, we met up with Ryan and his work at lunch time for their annual company picnic. The kids each got to take a whack at a pinata. I was this close to taking the stick myself and enjoying a little stress relief of my own. But I refrained after I realized I have nothing to be that stressed about!

Seriously, I think I'm in love with these carefree, summer days. That's probably why you haven't really been seeing much craftiness or creativity coming from me. But, just you wait, I know it's in there somewhere and it will start exploding soon!

In the meantime, leave me a comment letting me know what crafty creations you've been up to! I think I need a little inspiration. I bet there are some good ones I'm missing out on in my lack of making my rounds in blog land!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Have you been a bit puzzled why you haven't seen much of me lately? I kind of took a bit of a blogging break there for awhile...unintentional, of course! I almost went a whole week...what's up with that? I haven't really been into the groove of my usual blogging self. As a matter of fact, my crafty self either (besides making cards). I guess it's true that the summer sure does open itself up for some outside fun and there's a lot more motivation to be out doing things when the weather is gorgeous! I'm actually really far behind in sharing all of the fun things we've been up to. I hope to make my rounds to come visit and check in...don't count me out quite yet!

(If you're interested, head on over to my Stampin' Up blog to check out the card we made at my open house last night.)

And speaking of being puzzled...

Need a quick, sentimental, and crafty gift idea?

I already had a couple of things that I was giving Ryan for his birthday, but there was one more thing I wanted to do for him. I always like to do something a little creative for him. (Although it's getting harder and harder trying to come up with something I haven't done before)

I printed out an 8x10 picture of the kiddos on cardstock with a little birthday greeting. I laminated it for extra first time with our new laminator we found at the Joe's closeout sale for $2.00!!! More about that laminator later, I'm sure. Hello!? Awesome find!!

I cut it up into squares approx. 2x2-inch...

Wrap the pieces up in a cute little box ready for daddy to open...

And now, you have a puzzle that the kids and daddy can do together! Mikayla couldn't wait to put it together. She's a whizz at puzzles!

Happy Birthday Daddy!

Today is Ryan's 29th birthday (such a young buck!). I am so blessed to have such an awesome husband who I adore and love more than anything.

Thank you, babe, for the amazing person you are. Anyone who gets to know you is extremely lucky! You are a thoughtful, considerate, funny, caring man who has so much to give. You are the best daddy two little ones could ask for. Hope you have a very special day!!

I thought it might be fun to ask Mikayla a couple of questions she could answer about her daddy as a special little birthday surprise for him...

*Mikayla's answers are in red.

How old is Daddy? 4 (only off by 25 years)
What is Daddy's favorite color? black (not sure...I think it's blue)
What is Daddy's favorite food? pizza
What is your favorite thing to do with Daddy? wrestle
What does Daddy say when he comes home from work? let's go outside
What is Daddy's favorite dessert? ice cream
Where does Daddy like to take you? at the park
What is Daddy's name? Ryan
What color of eyes does Daddy have? green (oops! they're actually blue)
What color of hair does he have? black (actually, brown)
What does Daddy like to do? play games with his friends
What does Daddy do at work? eat lunch (nice)
Who is Daddy's best friend? me, I'm his best friend
What does Daddy wear? "back to work" clothes
I love my daddy because I like him

Sidenote: After I was done asking her these questions, she said to me, "I want more magic words." Which, after asking her what that meant...she said she wanted me to ask her more questions. How cute!

And, just for daddy, here is a special birthday greeting from his little songbird...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

put a smile on your face

We've been having a few *new* issues lately with Mikayla throwing some major fits out in public. I haven't yet had to deal with this much with her, so it has taken me a bit by surprise, and I have found the need to evaluate the best way to "handle the situation". I must admit that I'm not too good with this sort of thing (if you know me, you know I'm a stress case!). My quick fix is to just stay home and never go anywhere. Obviously, that would mean admitting defeat, and I'm not willing to go there.

So many emotions arise out of this struggle between mommy and daughter (and many days, mommy and son). But, I know that every day there will always be something that will challenge me as a mom. How else would I grow? So, in dealing with those "no good, horrible, very bad days" I will not give up and admit defeat, but instead I will put a smile on my face, and figure out how we can help each other learn from the experience. Because truly Mikayla is really good with talking with me about the reasons she acted the way she did and how we can fix it for next time. Sweet and sour, I tell ya!

Now, I know this might sound all sugar-coated, but for me to work through this, I have to remind myself that this sweet baby girl will not be little forever. If I'm "wishing away" these toddler years, I will surely want them back when she is older. So, for now I'm holding onto each day, even those that are filled with tears.

When I hear that "3 is now the new 2", I have no other choice, but to embrace it.

And how can you really stay mad at a 3-year old who leaves this on the dining room table?

Or that makes her own little smiley-face pizza...

And when giving her good night hugs and kisses after a long and trying day, says to me... "Mommy, you're my best friend."

No, I will never wish these days away...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

slip, sliding away!

3 different parks

3 different slides

1 happy little boy!

Monday, July 13, 2009

the truth is written all over her face

On Friday morning soon after I woke up, I baked four dozen chocolate chip cookies for our local MOPS Rummage & Bake Sale that was happening the next day. While the cookies cooled on the cooling racks, and I had set up a video for the kiddos, I jumped in the shower. While putting on my makeup, Mikayla walked in and it was then that I noticed a tiny (but still noticeable) hint of chocolate on her face...

When I asked her if she had eaten a cookie, she stopped, grinned, tried to lick it off her face, said no, and ran away. Hmmm...seems a bit guilty to me.

Throughout the morning, I tried to get the real truth out of her, just for curiosity sake. I thought it was more comical than anything, but she continued to say that she hadn't eaten one, but every time I asked, she hid her face and said no.

Still a bit suspicious.

At nap time, after our usual routine of reading a book, singing our songs, and kisses, I decided to try one more time and I asked her if she had eaten a cookie. She looked at me with a little glimmer in her eye and said, "I don't think so?"

At least we're getting closer to the truth...


And, speaking of chocolate...Austin decided to partake in some generic Cocoa Puffs the other morning after a trip to the Dollar Tree. (Mikayla insisted on choosing this for a snack and passed up on a princess coloring book. Seriously!?)

Note to self: Not a good idea. Way too much of a mess. You should have seen his hands.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

teddy bear, teddy bear

Our new neighbors who moved in this last Spring just had their baby on July 5th. I wanted to give them a little something to say congratulations on their new arrival! We knew they were having a little girl, so I wanted to buy her a sweet little outfit. I love the chance when I get to shop for little babies, especially girls!! Since when did my own little baby girl get so big? How cute is this little summer dress!? (Shh...don't tell, but it was only $2.99 on Target Clearance!)

Of course the dress needed something else added with it to make it a complete baby gift, so I looked in my little gift container that I have on hand for just these occasions and I found this cute little {brand new, but stored away for awhile} teddy bear. Obviously, it instantly screams BOY with the blue bow around the teddy bear's neck. Nothing that can't be fixed, right?

I took the blue bow off and changed it up with a new one. I do wish that I had something that was PINK, but I had to make do with what I had. So, this was what I went with. I love the green and purple, but hopefully the blue doesn't overpower it.

Of course, to finish off the gift I had to make a card. And, how about a teddy bear to match!?

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