Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Eye Candy

Just some pages...just for grins...just to take my mind off waiting for the counteroffer on our house to be accepted!  Hahahaha!

Dare to Dream digital scrapbooking layout by Chanell Rigterink Credits Digital Kit: Art and Soul by Holly Designs and Sahlin Studio; Font: Waterfalls

Pink Flamingo Party digital scrapbooking layout by Chanell Rigterink Credits Digital Paper: 300 Days of Summer by Lauren Reid, Summer Minimalist Papers by Fruitloop Sally; Digital Embellishments: Frog Luau Add-On by Raspberry Road Designs; Font: Caitlin

Hoser digital scrapbooking layout by Chanell Rigterink Credits Digital Kit: Water Park Add-On by Sahlin Studio; Template: June 2011 Challenge Template by Amy Martin for The Lilypad; Fonts: Cry Kitty, Century Gothic

Aloha Halloween digital scrapbooking layout by Chanell Rigterink Credits Digital Papers: 300 Days of Summer by Lauren Reid, Summer Minimalist by Fruitloop Sally; Digital Embellishments: Beach Break by Amber Clegg; Fonts: Digs My Hart, Century Gothic

Touch the Sky digital scrapbooking layout by Chanell Rigterink Credits Digital Papers: For the Boys by Karen Funk; Overlay: Mist Vol. 4 by Gennifer Bursett; Photo Corner: Gunhild Storeide; Stitches: Stitch It Up 3 by Crisdam Designs; Fonts: Sponge Job, Traveling Typewriter, Ampersand

Blessings digital scrapbooking layout by Chanell Rigterink Credits Damask Paper: A Story of Friendship Add-On by Sahlin Studio; Paper and Butterfly: Art and Soul by Holly Designs and Sahlin Studio; Word Art: Small Blessings by Sahlin Studio; Stitching: 2011 NSD Collab by Design House Digitals; Fonts: I Love Derwin, Traveling Typewriter

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

I have a batch of these babies in the oven right now.  While I was mixing them, Pup came up and exclaimed, "Oh, those are my FAVORITE muffins, Mom!"  I figured that was a good enough recommendation for a blog post...

I got this recipe from a forum where someone else had apparently gotten it from the "Mad About Muffins" cookbook.  Just givin' props.

1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini
2 cups flour (I use 1 cup AP and 1 cup whole wheat)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbs. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 cup baking cocoa
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
1 cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk

Heat oven to 375.  In a large bowl, sift together dry ingredients.  Toast nuts in oven for 4 minutes.  Stir nuts and chocolate chips into flour mixture.

In medium bowl, mix together wet ingredients.  Add into flour mixture and mix well.  Stir in shredded zucchini.  Fill muffin tins and bake 20 minutes.  Makes 18 muffins.

Monday, June 20, 2011

I Heart Faces: Let's Hear It For the Boys Challenge

The challenge of the week at I Heart Faces is Boys.  Yeah, I have three of choosing just one photo was agonizing!  Don't even ask how many times I changed my mind over which to post...

In the end, I've decided on this shot of my youngest.  If I recall correctly, this was the only image from the whole shoot that turned out well at all...and it's a perfect glimpse into his personality.  The twinkle, the smirk, just daring you to ask what's going on inside that three-year-old imagination.  All boy, this child is, from his spikey cow-licked hair to his bare toes!

Thanks for looking (don't forget you can click the photo to enlarge it)!  And be sure to check out the other fab entries at I Heart Faces!

The ORANGE Party

Pup has a great imagination.  And a total obsession with the color orange.  So, when I asked him what kind of birthday party he wanted when he turned four, no silly cartoon character would do.  He wanted ORANGE.

So, we ran with it!

Orange plates.  Napkins with a candle and a giant orange flame.  Orange tablecloth.  Every orange toy we could find to use as decoration.  A complete orange menu of his favorite foods: corn dogs, spicy chicken tenders, mac and cheese, cantaloupe, carrots and orange bell peppers, and jello with little mandarin oranges.  To drink?  Orange pop.  And for dessert, a carrot cake with bright orange frosting carrots.  I even managed to find a candle with orange polka dots!

Pup was in heaven.  It was orange as far as the eye could see.  Even his presents were orange.  An orange lunchbox, orange outdoor toys and a huge box of orange snackfoods from Auntie H. 

It was a great party.  I think that smile says it all!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Living the Dream

It seems the boat still floats, the kids still like to fish, and the dog likes to sun himself from the bow.  We're living the dream...

P.S. Would you believe Hubs took this picture with his cellphone?!?

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Starting a Collection

I'm not much of a collector.  First, I have four children...and the quantity of "things" they treasure and insist on keeping is always growing.  I'm forever purging their belongings, and the thought of bringing more unnecessary things into our house (especially while we're trying to sell it) is really ridiculous.

Second, I'm incredibly cheap.  I mean thrifty.  No, I mean cheap.  I love shopping, but I hate spending more than a couple dollars on anything.  In fact, that's kind of how this new collection of mine has started...

I love the look of vintage cameras.  Can't shoot 'em, but I think they look cool.  Don't have a place to keep them, but something about them just speaks to me.  Maybe it's that I can imagine all the places they've been and things they've seen. 

Nonetheless, I've toyed with collecting them before and never started.  I found one a few months back at a Goodwill, but they were asking a whopping $5 for it, still in the case, and I couldn't pull the proverbial trigger.  But, I've thought about that camera a million times; I've checked back at that shelf in the store every time I've been there since.  So, when I ran across this Kodak Instamatic 314 at another thrift store this morning, I didn't hesitate.

Of course, it helped that it was only a dollar.  It doesn't have a case and it's definitely broken, but I bought it anyway.  Broke the ice, so to speak.  I've discovered that this particular model is older than me, selling for $38 between 1968 and 1971.  Something totally nonsensical about that makes my heart go pitter-pat...

So, I still have too many things in my house, and it's still silly of me to start collecting anything (let alone broken relics of cameras).  But I'm gonna do it anyway.  Because it brings me joy.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Summer Reading for the Kids

Hubs and I are trying something new this summer.  We're finding the current ages of our kids (roughly 10, 8, 6 and 4) a little challenging, and our house is still on the market, so we've decided that a good, concrete schedule is necessary for family sanity.

We've provided lots and lots of Free Choice time every day, but we're also including time for Creativity (drawing, inventing, pursuing musical interests), Exercise, Chores and Gardening.  Hubs will be working with each of them on Math skills and Science experiments, and I have time set aside for Read Alouds, Personal Reading and Bible Study.

Last year, we proposed a Reading Challenge for the boys.  They both earned their first level reward for it, but we had to nearly force them to "give up" some playtime to fit in their reading.  So, we're mixing it up.

Twice a week, I'll do Read Alouds with the big boys.  We've decided to start with Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator by Roald Dahl, and then an age-appropriate adaptation of Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson.

On the opposite days, I'll read with the younger set.  We're starting by working through my vintage set of Sweet Pickles books from my own childhood.  I'm hoping that the language is basic enough for Banana to begin to sound out words, too!

While I'm reading with the littles, the bigs are going to have Personal Reading time.  They'll be able to read books that interest them, but they're also be doing a lesson from the devotionals they've chosen for the summer.  They're both very excited about their picks, and I think they will each gain greatly from them!  C chose Devotions to Make You Stronger by Ed Strauss, and E picked Mission Possible: a 40-Day Adventure with Jesus by Chuck Swindoll.


And, what I'm probably most excited about, is the group Bible Study I'm doing with all four of them.  They expressed interest in learning about miracles, so after some searching, I landed on this workbook by Bill Johnson: Here Comes Heaven.  They were thrilled when I explained that it will teach us about using our power as believers to actually perform modern-day miracles!  I can't wait!

I'll let you know how it all goes!  Wish us luck!

(P.S.  All book graphics are linked, if you're interested in checking them out!)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Cowboy Caviar

I got this recipe from my sister-in-law, who probably got it from someone else, and on down the line.  Someone, somewhere, brilliantly invented it...but it wasn't me.  I do, however, really enjoy eating it.  And you should, too!

(2) 16 oz. cans black-eye peas
16 oz. can black beans
16 oz. can white corn
2 oz. jar pimentos
8 oz. can waterchestnuts
1/2 cup green pepper
1/2 cup onion
1/2 cup celery
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup sugar

Empty peas, beans, corn (you can use regular yellow corn, too) and pimentos into collendar and give 'em a good rinse.  Dice up the waterchestnuts, pepper, onion and celery, and mix it all together.  Dress with combined vinegar, oil and sugar.  Serve with tortilla chips or Frito Scoops for a fabulous appetizer!

I Heart Faces: From a Distance Challenge

Football is a huge part of our lives.  Hubs has coached on and off for years, and with three sons (and a daughter who adores poms), it's likely to stick around for a while.  Son #1 was finally old enough to play in the rocket program last fall, so I have about a million pictures of his six games. 

In the absence of a better zoom lens, the shots all look start to look I had to get more creative with the composition.  I liked the way this turned out: framed by his teammates and the crisp fall foliage, the opposition intensely waiting for the snap of the ball.

Seemed like a perfect choice for the From a Distance challenge this week at I Heart Faces.

Waiting for the Snap