Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Craptastically Miserable

That's how I'm feeling tonight.  A touch of the tummy yucks, but I'm sipping some D.C. and watching old Veronica Mars episodes until I'm back to normal.  Hope it's sometime soon, though I'm not sure where it came from. Maybe stress induced?  Nah, that can't be it, I'm so stress-free!

Speaking of stress-free, school is almost over.  Just over a week until my little sweeties are home for the summer.  I'm not sure if I'm ready.  The amount of arguing that goes on around here is epic, and that's when they're apart most of the day!  I've been looking for some ideas for the summer to keep the kids busy AND to keep them from losing everything that they learned this year. I think I'll reinstate S.Q.U.I.R.T. (Super Quiet Un Interrupted Reading Time).  It can be a 1/2 hour reading time, and maybe earning going out for an ice cream cone once a week, or some other such outing or treat.

Crystal & Co. has a list of inexpensive things to do during summer break.  We already go to the library once a week, so we'll keep doing that.  We have tons of puzzles, so having one going for quiet time might be a good idea.  Maybe a Day Camp for the little boys with Sally as their counselor on the afternoons I'm at work.  I'll have to bust out the old Family Fun magazines for fun crafts, projects and games.

Gas has gone down to a still not very palatable $3.85 here.  Sad when that sounds good, though.  So we'll still keep the driving to a minimum.

I just hope they don't eat me out of house and home.  How am I going to keep that from happening?

What are your plans for the summer?  Let me know if you've got any cheap and easy ideas for the kiddos!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Something new...

This is a family blog.  Most of my writing and posting is just a little of this and that, and I've stayed away from giveaways (not that I wouldn't want to give anything away to ya'll!  I love everyone that takes the time to read anything that comes out of my scattered brain.)  I haven't taken on sponsorships or really done reviews or anything else, and the only advertising links I have on here are for a Pre-Paid Legal and Identity Theft Shield service since we are affiliated with the company.

And of course, there's my little Etsy shop, where I justify spending time creating stuff.

Now I'm so excited to find Broadcast Bloggers, which is a company that will match bloggers with brands or businesses who want honest opinions written about their products or services.  I'm really psyched about it.

Is "psyched" still a word?

Anyway, here is an example of a blogpost done by one of the Broadcast Bloggers, Tara from Dandy Giveaways.  She reviewed these nifty KidSwitch glow-in-the-dark light switch extender.  What a great product idea!  (Must have been invented by a mom.)

So go check out Broadcast Bloggers and let me know what you think!  I'll let YOU know what I think, too.  Here's hoping it's something great!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Feast your eyes on this...

I've been busy making some new things and putting together new kits to list in my shop.  You can tell it's my shop by the name, Annie's Shop.  Pretty creative, eh?

It's been raining off and on these past few days, so I'm cranking up the music, doing a little bit of deep cleaning, (blech!) and "taking care of" Monkey, who was up in the middle of the night chucking up his dinner, which was all the proof we needed to verify the suspicions that he doesn't chew his food.  He's currently using his fancy duck tape to decorate the bottom of his skateboard.  In other words, he's feeling just fine.  It's nice to get a cuddle or a hug from him whenever I want, though.

While I'm finishing up my cleaning, laundry, and creating, (and I've talked about up-chucking!) I'll leave you with pictures and recipes for the desserts the two oldest made for the dessert and service auction to raise money for Scout and Girl's Camp.

First of all, the lovely Cookies and Cream Cake baked by the equally lovely Natalia.  She wasn't so much into holding the cake for the picture, but here she is on the table in all of its Holstein glory.

Cookies and Cream Cake

For the cake:
1 package white cake mix
1 1/4 cups water
1/2 cup canola oil
3 egg whites
1 cup crushed Oreos

Combine the cake mix, water, oil and egg whites using the instructions on the cake mix box.  Fold in crushed cookies.  Pour into 2 greased and floured 9-inch round baking pans.  Bake according to cake mix instructions.  Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

If you're OK with canned frosting, use your favorite brand of cream cheese frosting or here's a recipe for homemade:

For the Frosting:
6 ounces cream cheese (3/4 of an 8 oz brick)
1/2 cup softened butter
2 tsp. vanilla
4 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Beat together cream cheese, butter, and vanilla til light and fluffy.  Gradually add 2 cups powdered sugar, beating well.  Beat in enough of the remaining powdered sugar to make frosting spreading consistency.

Spread frosting over the top of the bottom layer, then stack other round on top.  Frost the top and sides.  Decorate the top with cookies, and crush the remaining cookies and smoosh them onto the sides.  That's how the cookie crumbles.

Next up is Brian's Peanut Butter Cup Brownies.  There's nothing better than peanut butter and chocolate.  Put those over brownies with some cream cheese in between.  Oh. My.

Peanut Butter Cup Brownies

1 package of Brownie Mix made according to package directions. 
1 8 oz brick of cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup chunky peanut butter
1 cup of miniature peanut butter cups, chopped

Bake and cool brownies.

Mix cream cheese, brown sugar, and peanut butter until fairly smooth and spread over cooled brownies.  Sprinkle chopped peanut butter cups on top of the cream cheese mixture.  Refrigerate leftovers.  If you, by chance, have any leftovers.

Linking here:

Friday, May 13, 2011

Like the Bees...

We have been as busy as bees around here with baseball and softball season.  With usually 4 and sometimes 5 games a week, we've been running around trying to fit everything else in around them.  School is 3 weeks from coming to a grinding halt.  I shouldn't say grinding halt since it will be here faster than I can say "School's Out" five times fast!  I'm not going to even think about what we're going to do this summer.

Mother's day was lovely; we started out the morning trying to get the kids boys little boys motivated enough to get ready for church.  30 minutes before church started they were in bed and negotiating the terms for going to church.  "But it's not our ward, why do we hafta go?"

Amazingly enough, I kept my cool and explained that we don't go to church because they are "our People", but we go to church to take the sacrament and show Heavenly Father that we are obeying His commandments.  I walked out of the room, and Joe got up and quietly started getting ready for church while his brother continued to bellow.  Monkey finally showed wearing a lovely ensemble which consisted of his blue church pants and a green T-shirt.  Rather than argue, we told him to get in the car and put his shoes on while we were driving.

When we arrived at church we discovered that his "shoes" were a pair of Heelys. Oh, yes, tennis shoes with wheels in the heels.  Add to that the hair that he refuses to cut and you can just imagine.  LOVE-ly!

We stopped at the cemetery on the way home since we hadn't been there in a while.  That always makes for interesting conversation and brings up stories and questions, too.  Like "Why did Nonni burn Nonno?" since Nonno was cremated.  It's times like these when I really appreciate and rely on my testimony of Heavenly Father's plan.  "Nonno's body didn't have his spirit in it anymore, and we'll be able to see Nonno again in Heaven."


Highlights from the baseball game last night:  The boys played 3 innings and they both hit every time.  Joe hit a double, a single, and a TRIPLE, and made three outs in one inning playing first base.
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