April Fool’s Day Dinner

I’m planning an all new April Fool’s Day dinner for this year, but wanted to share last years for now:

My kiddos love a good prank. April Fool’s Day has been one of their favorite days as long as I can remember. We usually try to do at least one thing to make the day memorable. Last year I fooled them into thinking they were eating an undercooked lasagna, when it was actually a yummy dessert. This year, I pulled off a Crazy April Fool’s Day Dinner which was actually breakfast for dinner. It definitely takes some advance preparation and quite a bit of work (at least with as many people as we have in our family) to pull it off, but it is so fun! I’ve done a dinner menu like this before and I feel like breakfast items are a lot easier. I used the basic idea and the menu course printables from Dixie Delights. I made some changes, but the general idea came from her site.

To do this, I gave my family a menu of 16 items with funny names. They also had 4 different menu course sheets. On each sheet they had to put four items that they wanted for that course. Each item has to be picked once so that all items are ultimately chosen. They had to pick for all of their courses before I even started cooking; because I didn’t want to give them any hints with the smells in the kitchen.

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I had one more trick up my sleeve. Number 9 was the CAFD Special. It looked like an egg, but was really just whipped cream and an apricot.

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I pulled out a few Christmas plates to serve this. I also found some “Welcome to 2000” napkins that had never been opened in my party stash. We used those as the Mini Magic Carpet.

Overall, we had lots of laughs. April Fool’s Day is just another good excuse to have a little fun together.

I printed out my menu using Waltograph font from DaFont 

Crazy April Fool’s Day Disney Dinner

1. Mickey Mouse                                         2.Gaston’s Tavern Treat                        

 3. Dinoco Motor Oil                

4. Sugar Rush Icing component        

5. White Rabbit’s Tale                                

6. Three Little Pigs                                      

7. Capt. Hook’s Plank                                

8. Mike Wazowski                                      

9. CAFD Special

10. Pluto’s dinner

11. Merida’s hair

12. Elsa’s bad day

13. Rafiki’s staff

14. Cruella’s hair

15. Dinglehopper

16. Mini Magic Carpet

Here’s the real deal menu:

  1. Mickey Mouse waffle
  2. Cinnamon Roll
  3. Syrup
  4. Powdered Sugar
  5. Whipped Cream
  6. Sausage
  7. Bacon
  8. Egg
  9. Apricot in whipped cream
  10. cereal
  11. orange juice
  12. ice
  13. straw
  14. salt and pepper
  15. fork
  16. napkin

Change of Plans {Hurricane Matthew}

I am so incredibly sad for all those affected by Hurricane Matthew. I pray that the cleanup will be quick and that those affected will be able to recover from their losses. I’ve heard that there has been loss of life. I pray for healing and comfort for the families of those people.

While our fall break was interrupted, we really can’t complain. We tried to make the best of the change of plans. The drive out of Hilton Head took about twice the time it should have, but the state officials did a GREAT job moving people out!

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We had to break the trip into two days due to the fact that we are traveling with a small child, children who get extremely carsick, and two sets of grandparents. When we finally arrived at our hotel, it was mid-afternoon. We ate an early dinner at a restaurant called Farm to Fork in Ringgold, GA. I’ll have a full review of that place soon (hopefully). Later, once the grandparents arrived, we met up at Gateway Antique Mall. They had lots of Civil War items. None of us bought anything because the prices seemed a little inflated. The next day, we headed out early to Chattanooga, TN. The first thing we did was head to the Tennessee Valley Railroad. We took the Missionary Ridge ride. It was extremely short, but I think everyone enjoyed riding a train and seeing the way it worked. imageimageimage

Later, we traveled on to the Chattanooga Aquarium. They were so nice to offer people who’d had to evacuate due to the hurricane, 50% off admission. We enjoyed the aquarium. We were a little disappointed that there weren’t any dolphins, manatees, or any kind of whale. There were several touching stations, which we thoroughly enjoyed. I could have stayed in the jellyfish exhibit forever! I actually think we will be getting an aquarium with some of those amazing creatures come Christmas time. Chattanooga is a cute city and I could probably visit again over a long weekend and really find lots to enjoy!

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Before the Storm {Hurricane Matthew: Hilton Head}

The storm is on its way in; so we are on our way out. It’s a sad way to end what was supposed to be a week of a relaxing fall break before the madness of school activities and the holidays started. The evacuations started yesterday, but we are heading out today. Here’s what it looked like yesterday…

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We had the whole beach to ourselves yesterday. It looks like we have the whole city to ourselves as we drive out.

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We are hopeful that all those in the storm’s path stay safe and that Matthew will be downgraded before it does any more harm. We are on to the next place for now and will see if we can find some fun adventures along the way.

Photography

I have to admit and I am sure that you can already tell, I am a terrible photographer. My oldest child, makes fun of me all the time because  I take such awful photos. Two years ago,  I bought a course on how to take better pictures. It is taught by National Geographic photographers. I still haven’t even watched one lecture. I also signed up to be reminded when See University registration opens again so I could do that. It is a series of lessons from world-class photographer,  Jeremy Cowart. (If you have 25 minutes, he has an amazing video about his life. I have literally told everyone I know in “real life” to watch it!)

So, I have the ability to begin learning how to take better pictures.  Why I haven’t I started? Sure, I’m busy, but that’s a really awful excuse because honestly, who’s not?!

Here are some of my terrible excuses for picture-taking and not picture taking.

I’m hardly in pictures because I always think I should look better, prettier, thinner, cuter, more polished, fill in the blank with an excuse.

I take pictures with my iphone because I don’t want to haul around a big camera and I truly don’t really know how to use it.

I don’t take pictures because I want to be “in the moment”. Let me tell you right now, that with five children, if I don’t take a picture, I’m likely to forget that moment.

I’ve already written about The Freckled Fox. She has her blog and thousands of pictures that she has taken or that others have taken of her, her husband, and her children. Now, that her husband is gone, these pictures are even more of a gift than she probably ever could have imagined. I’m so glad for her and their children that they have these moments captured. But, it got me to thinking about our family. I’ve been making excuses for not doing something that I will regret NOT doing later. Capturing these moments is a gift and I have got to step up to the plate to do it for the people I love so much!!

I don’t want my children to be looking through pictures when I’m gone and only be able to find a few. I don’t want them to miss out on remembering those special moments because I either didn’t take the picture or I took such a bad one that they can barely tell what’s going on.

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Look at this adorable subject: Imagine what I could do if I was actually good at taking pictures!

 

So, I’m going to watch a lecture and pick up my “big girl” camera and see what I can do. Wish me luck!

Bubble Birthday Party

Last year, bubbles were the baby’s favorite thing.

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I ordered a birthday shirt from Etsy shop, boutiquesewunique.

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We had bubbles as the theme for his second birthday party. We had lots of bubble gum, actual soap bubbles, bubbles made from gelatin, and bubbles made from slime, bubbles made from food. We had bubbles made of everything.

I tried to make the foods as circular as I could to resemble bubbles. I made a fruit tray and balled all the fruit. I made cake balls. I got cream puffs. I made cheddar balls covered in bacon. I made rice krispy treat-like balls out of Trix cereal.

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We made a slimy bubble solution out of glue and liquid starch. We then raced to see who could make bubbles out of it with a straw. This was hilarious because it was very challenging. Most of the children quit and then adults just kept going and going.

I can’t remember where I got the recipe originally, but this site has one.

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Nana was the first to get a bubble.1923

Lillian got one too!

We then made bubble art. I placed bubble solution and washable paint in several different cups. The children had to blow into the solution to make bubbles and then place their paper on top of the bubbles. Several of them looked amazing. It was very messy and definitely requires an adult nearby.

We also had a bubble blowing contest. We went two at a time. Then we got to a small group of winners and had a contest between them.

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Blowing a bubble under pressure is hard!

We had a huge bubble pool in the back. I got a kiddy pool. Placed lots of dish soap, glycerin, and a little water  into the pool. I used about a cup of Dawn, 4 tablespoons of glycerin and turned on the hose until it looked like enough water. A child would carefully step inside (it’s VERY slippery) and then two children would stand on opposite sides of a hula hoop and gently life up the hula hoop up the top of the child. If it worked out, the child was enveloped in the bubble. It was my favorite activity. When everyone had done it that wanted to, we then just made huge bubbles. I bought a huge pack of different shaped wands. There were bubbles everywhere!

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I didn’t get a single picture with the kids inside the bubble, because I helped every single one.

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We had a bubble trivia game (of course)

 

                       All kinds of BUBBLES Trivia

  1. How many sticks of gum does the average American chew each year?

(A) 200  (B) 300 (C) 400

  1. If all 5 piece packs of Bubble Yum ever chewed in the U.S. since its introduction in 1975 were laid out end to end, how many times would it circle Earth at the Equator? (A) 2 (B) 5 (C) 7
  2. What is the official bubble gum of Major League Baseball?

(A) Bubble Yum  (B) Bazooka   (C) Topps

  1. When was the first successful bubble gum invented? (A) 1891 (B) 1906 (C) 1928
  2. True or False: Soap Bubbles are always elliptical.
  3. Soap bubbles are “minimal surface structures”. This means that they always hold the gas or liquid inside them with the least possible surface area. The geometric form with the least surface area is ____________.
  4. True or False: If three soap bubbles get stuck together, they will have one common wall at 120 degrees.
  5. True or False: A soap bubble gets its color from the light waves reflecting between the soap film’s inner and outer surfaces.
  6. Susan Mont”gum”ery Williams is the Guiness Record Holder of the World’s Largest Gum Bubble. How big was it? (A) 19 in. (B) 23 in. (C) 27 in.
  7. True or False: Bubble Wrap was originally designed to be a wallpaper.
  8. About (A) 200 (B) 300 (C)400 Million dollars worth of bubble wrap is sold each year.
  9. A painting by Hanneman showing children playing with bubbles is from the year (A) 1730 (B) 1630 (C) 1530

13 True or False: Youngsters who blow bubbles are most likely to find learning language easy.

We had bubble cake. We made bubbles to place all over the vanilla cake. This was done by mixing gelatin, water, and food coloring together. The ratio is 2 parts cold water to 1 part gelatin. Mix until dissolved. We then took balloons that we’d blown up. We dipped them into the solution holding onto the part you blow. We then placed them into muffin tins mouth part down. We let them dry for about two hours, then dipped them again. Any part that was too thin, we used a paintbrush to put on more gelatin solution. We let them dry for 48 hours. Then we popped the balloon and handled them very gently and placed them on the cake. I thought they turned out so cute!

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We had a great time at LBD’s second birthday party!

Something to Smile About

I love being a mom! I have found a different joy in being a boy mom which I had heard about but obviously never experienced until 2 years ago.  It seems like LBD came out loving all things superheroes. He asks for every mask he sees at the store and pretends to be one or more superheroes at a time all day long. I came across a video that made me laugh so hard. The joy in the Video makes me smile and it is the same joy I see on my boy’s face everytime we pretend.

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I hope you’ll watch the Video and laugh and smile too. Everyone needs something to smile about!

May the 4th be with you Breakfast Dinner

My girls really enjoy Star Wars. After I had the baby boy, they went over to my niece’s house and they watched all of the episodes over the course of a couple of weeks. I think they genuinely enjoyed the movies; but they also have that special feeling of being cared for to go with them. Since The Force Awakens came out, I think they have become even bigger fans.  May the 4th was just naturally a day I wanted to do something fun. I looked over Pinterest for ideas. I wished I had gotten an earlier start because I saw lots of cute ideas that needed cookie cutters and other equipment that I just didn’t have on hand.

We ended up with breakfast for dinner. This is not unusual. We usually do this once a week on our more hectic nights.

The eggs were the Twin Suns.

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Cinnamon rolls were naturally Leia’s Buns.

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We had bacon and hashbrowns, which were a pretty terrible looking  “Chewbaccon”. At least we got a good laugh out of it!

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The sausage links were Light Sabers.

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I made Yoda Soda which was basically just a lime sherbet float.

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I made Chewy cookies from Little Debbie Star Crunch cookies and added candy eyes and a frosting mouth and nose. I got that idea from Pinterest.

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I purchased Star Wars plates and napkins. I also got some Star Wars fruit snacks for little treats. The children all thought everything turned out really cute and I think they love a themed dinner as much as I do.

I made all the signs and the framed “May the Fourth Be With You” sign using DaFont’s Star Jedi font.

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Next, Cinco de Mayo!!

April Fool’s Day Dinner

My kiddos love a good prank. April Fool’s Day has been one of their favorite days as long as I can remember. We usually try to do at least one thing to make the day memorable. Last year I fooled them into thinking they were eating an undercooked lasagna, when it was actually a yummy dessert. This year, I pulled off a Crazy April Fool’s Day Dinner which was actually breakfast for dinner. It definitely takes some advance preparation and quite a bit of work (at least with as many people as we have in our family) to pull it off, but it is so fun! I’ve done a dinner menu like this before and I feel like breakfast items are a lot easier. I used the basic idea and the menu course printables from Dixie Delights. I made some changes, but the general idea came from her site.

To do this, I gave my family a menu of 16 items with funny names. They also had 4 different menu course sheets. On each sheet they had to put four items that they wanted for that course. Each item has to be picked once so that all items are ultimately chosen. They had to pick for all of their courses before I even started cooking; because I didn’t want to give them any hints with the smells in the kitchen.

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I had one more trick up my sleeve. Number 9 was the CAFD Special. It looked like an egg, but was really just whipped cream and an apricot.

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I pulled out a few Christmas plates to serve this. I also found some “Welcome to 2000” napkins that had never been opened in my party stash. We used those as the Mini Magic Carpet.

Overall, we had lots of laughs. April Fool’s Day is just another good excuse to have a little fun together.

I printed out my menu using Waltograph font from DaFont 

Crazy April Fool’s Day Disney Dinner

1. Mickey Mouse                                         9. CAFD Special
2. Gaston’s Tavern Treat                          10. Pluto’s Dinner
3. Dinoco Motor Oil                                    11. Merida’s Hair
4. Sugar Rush Icing component             12. Elsa’s Bad Day
5. White Rabbit’s Tale                                13. Rafiki’s Staff
6. Three Little Pigs                                       14. Cruella’s Hair
7. Capt. Hook’s Plank                                 15. Dinglehopper
8. Mike Wazowski                                      16. Mini Magic Carpet

 

Here’s the real deal menu:

  1. Mickey Mouse waffle
  2. Cinnamon Roll
  3. Syrup
  4. Powdered Sugar
  5. Whipped Cream
  6. Sausage
  7. Bacon
  8. Egg
  9. Apricot in whipped cream
  10. cereal
  11. orange juice
  12. ice
  13. straw
  14. salt and pepper
  15. fork
  16. napkin

Daddy Daughter Dance

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One of the things all of my girls have enjoyed is the annual Daddy Daughter dance our church hosts. (I don’t have any pictures on my current computer of my oldest daughter when she was going to these dances; but she went from kindergarten through fifth grade.)

Sometimes they are themed, like 50s or 80s, or even a cowboy theme, but many years they are just a dressy occasion.

No matter what theme, the best part of the night is getting to spend special time with their daddy. They love getting dressed up and having him see them and telling them how beautiful they look. They love riding in his car. They love receiving the little gift he always gives them before they head out to the dance. He loves taking them.

I’m so happy that they all get to spend these special evenings together.

 

Snow Day

Most of the south is covered in snow. Where we live is no exception. I got up this morning and it was snowing and it hasn’t stopped so far. We have about 9 inches of snow on the ground. This is definitely the most snow most of my children have ever seen. The day is still young, but they have made snow cream and done some sledding. They came in to warm up and now they’re bundled up again and playing outside. This is just the kind of day I like. Everyone is home and everyone is looking for fun and no one expects us anywhere.

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