Tuesday, July 29, 2014

2 week hiatus catch up!

I don't know about you all, but this summer has been keeping us incredibly busy.  I like it!  The past 2 weeks have been full of everything but blog posts.  It was nice to take a break and spend time with my family.  If you follow me on Instagram, you probably have an idea of what my last 2 weeks looked like, but if not here you go.

The first week was filled with Vacation Bible School at our church.  This year we did Group's Weird Animals and it was a blast.  Both of my boys came home with smiles!  I came home exhausted because I was in charge of snacks for all the preschool, elementary, and volunteers.  Make that between 400 and 500 snacks made daily.  CRAZY, right?  It was so much fun!  I had a wonderful crew of helpers!  One of he days we made happy faces. . . because Jesus loves you even if you are different!  You should have seen the looks when I went to pick up 600 sugar cookies from the local grocery store.
VBS ended and our family vacation started.  It was quite relaxing!  We spent the week pretty close to our home doing all sorts of fun things and getting some work done on our kitchen re-do project (It's coming a long nicely!).

I made these muffins. . . they were a big hit! And great for munching on the road to Monterey!.
While in Monterey, we enjoyed the Aquarium and Pacific Grove and then came home.  It was a fun day!

ooh, and I found some super cute fabric at a cute shop in Pacific Grove.  It had the best lighting ever!  If I ever opened a fabric store, I would want the lighting in this one.  But, I think you have to be close to the beach. . . which would be awesome!  The kids played golf on our phones while I did some shopping!  If you are ever in Pacific Grove go visit Back Porch Fabrics!
We came home from vacation and were surprised to wake up with a sick little.  But thankfully that was short lived and by lunch time he was running around like he had never been sick.
The Hubby and I even got to sneak away for a quick date.  Our planned spot was already full so we headed to BJ's for some handcrafted rootbeer.  My hubby is quite the rootbeer lover!
This week, I made this and it has been keeping the boys busy as we get back into our summer routine (for a few more weeks, that is!).
And, we had some celebrating to do last night, so we went out for slushies!  Talk about a pre-bed sugar high!
I hope to get pictures off my camera and start blogging regularly this week!  Hope you are having a fun summer!

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Recent Recipes that we LOVE!

It's been awhile since I've shared some of the recipes that are keeping us fed and alive over here.  I thought that today would be a great day to do it.  So, just a warning. . . this is going to be a picture-less/boring post.  But, I promise if you click the links to the recipe, you will find delicious pictures that you will want to go and make this second.

This non dairy pasta was amazing!  It's even easier if you have a immersion blender (which I have now added to my wishlist!)

This orange chicken was absolutely amazing!  It is completely worth the effort (and the cornstarch!).

I have now made this multiple times and it even as a side for Father's Day.  It was a hit!

This 5 minute marinara was a huge hit!  Plus, not pricey at all and I can now make on a moments notice!  Even better with Italian sausage!

These have quickly become one of our go-to meals around here (in fact, we are having them tonight for dinner!)

We also have really enjoyed these and turned the leftovers into taco salad!

We just love this sweet corn pasta, especially with some of the fresh local corn that comes from the FSU Farm.

So, these are just a few of the fun and delicious things.  

Hope you are having a great summer!  Have you tried any new recipes that I should add to my list?

Monday, July 07, 2014

Summer Survival - The Klassen way

I can't believe we are in July already! Honestly, we are having so much fun around here that our vacation is just zooming by!  And to think that after Christmas vacation, I was dreading the summer.  So, over the months between Christmas and June, I researched.  I spent a little bit of money.  I planned.  I knew that we needed to have some sort of plan/schedule/routine because my kids need it or else they go a bit on the crazy side.  

Our daily schedule looks something like this (all times are approximate):
7-8:00 - sleep in/TV time.
8:00 - breakfast 
8:30 - get ready for the day, make beds, etc.  
9:00 - outdoor play (splash pool)
10:00 - Literacy fun (we have done some activities and crafts around space, 4th of July, and next week we will start our Beach unit).  
11:00 - chore time (we have a jar of sticks that they get to choose from). 
11:30 - "Shhh! time"  They have to play quietly and choose their own activity. 
12:00 - lunch and a movie
1:00 - naptime (for Weston)
1-4:00 - rest time for Ethan (movies, video games, etc)

It has been really effective for keeping the kids busy, and has really combated the arguing that was going on at Christmas! 
The boys one day at "Shh! Time."  Ethan was working on mastering a simple loom bracelet and Weston was having some Ipad time (he's playing with a Lego Duplo app).  
Ethan is also working on reading independently for 10 minutes a day.  We are reading for prizes at the library and also using this really fun printable that uses a BINGO card and fun places to read. . . like the bathtub! You need to suscribe to How does She?  But, it is soo worth it and free! Ethan sits where he wants and sets the timer on the Ipad and reads Level 1 readers until the time is up.  Then, he draws a picture.
We've also been keeping busy with kinetic sand.  The only way I would even think to let sand be played with at the kitchen table.  It is really fun! If you are not familiar with it, here's a fun video.
We have also designated every Wednesday our movie watching day at the theater.  Our local Regal Theater has some great movies for only a buck each!  Ethan is super excited for this week's showing of the Lego Movie.

Here's one of our crafts from the Space Unit.

And here are the boys working on water coloring their space ship. 

Here are some other activities that we are doing:
Rainbow Loom (Ethan).  He's following this guide for learning new patterns.  
Perler Beads - you can buy these at JoAnns for super cheap with a coupon.  Ethan plays with the small ones and Weston plays with the Biggies.  
Library events - we haven't gone yet because of sick kids and other happenings, but we hope to finally get there this week. 
Zoo trips - One day, it will be cool enough to venture outside and go to the zoo.  Maybe.  
Drawing and Coloring
Movies - some days are just meant for staying in your Pajamas and watching movies all day.  I am okay with that!  
Fort Building
Backyard camping - we did this at the beginning of Summer (before School was out) because it is just too hot here in the summer at night.  We are hoping to get another night in before Labor Day.  
Swim Lessons - These are keeping us busy!
World Cup Soccer - it's a big thing over here at our house!

I am sure there's more, but I won't bore you anymore.  What kids of things are you and your family doing this summer?

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Strawberry White Chocolate Chip Muffins

It is so hot here.  I need a beach day.  Maybe I will stow away in by best friend's car when they go. 

I honestly can't believe how quickly summer is going.  I have this strange feeling it's going to be over before I know it.  I mean really.  Back to School stuff at Target will be appearing any day now (my favorite time of the year!) and soon, I will be taking Ethan on our annual back to school shopping trip.  Yikes!
Until then, we are enjoying summer and trying to stay cool.  I will confess that there hasn't been a lot of baking going on and the heat just leaves me a tad unmotivated.  However, I do have things to share with you, so I promise you won't be too bored. By the way (and completely off subject, aren't' these cupcake liners super cute?!  I picked them up at Sur La Table. . . they always have a good selection of sale liners).
Remember this post? These muffins were a huge hit.  I mean, they were just amazing!  The combination of white chocolate and strawberries was great.  They were also super moist. . . which is great, because who wants a dry, crumbly muffin? You might want to go to your nearest fruit stand and pick some strawberries up. . . you are going to want to make these soon!

Strawberry White Chocolate Muffins
Source: Will Cook for Smiles

1 1/2 sticks of butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
1/2 a cup of milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup sour cream
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup chopped strawberries
1 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line cupcake pan with some fun liners.
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.
Add the vanilla, sour cream and milk.  Beat until combined.
Sift the flour, baking powder, soda, and salt.  Stir until combined.  Don't overmix!
Fold in the strawberries.
Scoop batter into cups and sprinkle with white chocolate chips.
Bake for 25-30 minutes.
Eat.  They are sooo yummy!


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