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.

Antiquing

My new favorite thing to do on the weekend is going to the local antique stores. I didn’t go this weekend and I felt like I was going through withdrawals. I have found so many wonderful items. I bought a bundle of letters from a couple during WWII.  I also found a picture of a baby that is likely to be a distant relative of my husband. I have a love of milk glass and hobnail glass. I’ve acquired some new pieces for my collection.

There is something wonderful about walking in to those stores and thinking of the days gone by. It makes me long for simpler times. The craftsmanship and attention to detail in those antiques is hard to come by in today’s instant gratification world.

My daughters have also found a new love in those old things. It is an activity that we can do together and that has sparked many conversations about many different topics.

Here are some of the items that we’ve come across on our outings.

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Custom Cups

When we went on our trip to Hilton Head earlier in the summer, I wanted to get each person a customized cup for the trip. I thought it would be a cute and functional gift for each person. I also liked the idea that it would be something to keep and maybe remember the trip the next time it was used.

I found 4 Lilly Pulitzer cups at TJ Maxx. I stored them away for months with the idea to get monogram decals to put on each one. I then got my girls Sigg-like bottles with the idea to do the same to them.

I didn’t want to leave the boys or men out, so I ordered reusable red Solo cups for each of the men with their names on them. The boys got reusable blue Solo cups with their names on them.

I ordered the cups from Etsy shop, Down South Monogram.  The decals were purchased from Etsy shop, Vinylosity.

I think they all turned out really cute. They were definitely handy at the house and by the pool.

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Disney: Animal Kingdom

Taking a little detour from our Spider-Man party, I thought I’d share about one of my favorite parks: Animal Kingdom.

Animal Kingdom is a must-do when visiting Disney World in my opinion. From the animals, to the rides, to the food, it is all incredible. We love the “towns” that you pass through as you walk the park. They offer that authenticity that Disney is always able to provide. We especially enjoy the music provided by people who are actually from the regions of the world represented.

We love Expedition Everest. While I’ll admit I do not like huge and scary rides, I even thoroughly enjoy this ride, as it is just right for me on the scary scale.

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The show, Flights of Wonder (a bird show), is completely worth the time to see. You learn so much about these amazing creatures and get to see them fly and swoop. My parents are true bird lovers and this is a special stop for them to see these more exotic birds in action.

By far, the best part of all is the Kilimanjaro Safari. I could ride it over and over again. I absolutely look forward to it so much for each visit. The tour guide gives all kinds of facts about the animals that you are seeing. The animals are so close sometimes that you could reach out and touch them (but don’t).

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David called these dragons.

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I always love to see how excited my children are to see the animals. They never get tired of it either!

 

Spider-Man Trivia

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My little man is having a Spider-Man birthday party. I always make a trivia game for every party. Some people love them, some hate them, but I think they’re fun and at least you walk away having learned something. I’m going to be telling all about his party over the next few days (hopefully), but wanted to give you the preview of the trivia game. I used Homoarakhn font from Fonts2U. If you need help with any of the answers, feel free to ask. Also, feel free, to cut and paste if you want to use my quiz.

Spider-Man Trivia

 

  1. Stan Lee got the idea of Spider-Man after seeing what?

 

  1. Peter Parker worked for (A) The Daily Mail (b) The Daily Bugle (C) The Daily News

 

  1. True or False: Spider-Man has died a few times.

 

  1. True or False: the Green Goblin was a fan creation bought by Marvel for $220.

 

  1. Peter Parker has an IQ of (A) 140 (B) 200 (C) 250

 

  1. True or False: Gwen Stacy and Uncle Ben are among the very few comic characters to remain dead.

 

  1. Spider-Man is considered the (A) 1st (B) 2nd (c) 3rd favorite Superhero according to IGN

 

  1. True or False: Tony Stark made a stark spider suit for Spider-Man.

 

  1. Peter Parker graduated high school in (A) 1962 (b)1965 (c) 1967

 

10.   Spider-Man’s first girlfriend was (A) Betty Brant (b) Gwen Stacy (c) Mary Jane

 

  1. True or False: Spider-Man’s webbing lasts eight hours..

 

  1. True or False: Spider-Man has been affiliated with the Secret Defenders (Avengers), New Fantastic Four, and the Outlaws..

 

  1. Stan Lee compared his Spider-Man character to ????, the Biblical figure who, in addition to defeating a giant, was also saved from death by the web of a spider according to Jewish tales.

 

  1. True or False: Uncle Ben told Peter, “Remember, with great power comes great responsibility.

 

  1. Peter Parker’s parents were members of what secret agency?  

Meet the Disney Junior Characters

Of all the Disney World parks, Hollywood Studios is ranked lowest on my favorites list. I feel like there are not enough rides and that for our family, there isn’t quite enough to keep our attention for very long. On our last visit, I took the littles with me while my husband took the bigs to ride Tower of Terror ( I’ve done it once and I’m good). We decided to meet the Disney Junior characters. The lines were long, but not horribly long. I loved seeing all the little kids just eager with the anticipation of meeting these characters. It was adorable. My parents were with me, helping me wrangle the children. It was incredibly hot that day and they needed water and cold treats and cold napkins the whole time we were in line so I was so thankful they were there! 465 When it was finally our turn it was magical and memorable and they loved it.

 

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David was a little shy with Jake. He really liked Minnie Mouse. But he LOVED Sofia.

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There was so much laughter at that kiss. He had obviously been thinking it out since he saw her. It was priceless and I’m SO GLAD we got pictures of it.

Meeting these characters is completely worth the trip to the park. You don’t get the opportunity to meet them (with the exception of Minnie, of course) anywhere else. If your little ones are Disney Junior fans, then they will definitely enjoy this experience!!

 

 

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This site has an auction with a lot of different and really awesome stuff up for auction all to benefit the Meyers family (The Freckled Fox), if you want to check it out.

 

Grandmama

It’s been over 20 years since my grandmother, lovingly called Grandmama, passed away. There are lots of things I remember about her, just like it was yesterday.

She always smelled like Dove soap (the original scent).

She had a wonderful laugh. It was quiet but her whole face lit up when she laughed.

Her house was always spotless. Not just clean; there was never a single speck of dirt anywhere and nothing was ever out of its place.

She fed me bologna on white bread with a slice of American cheese and mayonnaise every time I came over.  I craved that sandwich with one of my pregnancies. I just swapped the bologna with turkey.

She loved General Hospital. I was glad I had watched it with her and knew the general storyline and characters because when I went to college, I had to watch it for my roommate and report back what happened (you know, because DVRs weren’t invented back in the olden days).

She was tiny. She was short and probably weighed 85 pounds soaking wet. Her nickname was Midge (I know, not politically correct). I was probably about eight when I finally found out her real name.

She worked at the famous Loveless Cafe as a waitress for my entire childhood.  (I’ve never even eaten there.)

She had 5 sons and 2 daughters. I can only imagine how hard life must have been sometimes. She was kind but tough and you could tell that that’s how she had to be.

She once caught a tree frog  for me just because I wanted it, but was too scared to catch it myself. The funniest part of all is that she was scared too. When she caught it, she screamed like a 5-year-old.

My favorite story she told me about her childhood in rural Kentucky was one in which she was being bullied by another girl. The girl was chasing her and my grandmother spotted a line that was half down (I’m guessing a fallen clothes line) and she stopped , got out of sight, and picked it up and held in such a way that the girl didn’t notice. The girl tried to keep running after my grandmother, but she got caught by the line and thrown to the ground.

Her eyes always watered and she always had a handkerchief in her pocket. I carried one of hers in my bouquet at my wedding.

She held on to this side of life until every single one of her children got to the hospital to say good-bye. I had the privilege of getting to say good-bye as well.

When we were driving from the funeral home to the cemetery, we had to ride part of the way on the interstate. There was roadwork going on (is there ever NOT roadwork going on). As the funeral procession passed, all of the workers stopped their work and took off their hard hats as we went by. It was so touching and sweet and I hope to never forget it!

I wish she had been able to see me get married. I think she would have just loved my husband.

I wish she could have seen me graduate from college. I was the first of her grandchildren to accomplish that.

I wish she could have met my children. I’m awfully proud of them and I know she would have enjoyed them so much.

I wish I had known her in adulthood so I could have been able to get her advice and hear her stories about raising her children.

I was blessed to have had such a sweet woman as my Grandmama. Even all these years later, I still miss her.

 

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This site has an auction to help the Meyers family (The Freckled Fox), if you want to check it out.

Happy Independence Day

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Over the past year, I have learned about so many of my ancestors who lived here in the United States before what is now celebrated as Independence day. I can only imagine how elated many of them were when news finally spread to them that the Declaration of Independence had been adopted and that the land where they dwelled was now declared a new nation. This day brought them a new kind of hope and it changed their lives forever! I know that for most of us we just think of this day as a day for fireworks and grilling; but we should never forget that this date was the official beginning of our great nation. This nation was built by imperfect people, but they had great passion, perseverance, bravery and dedication to a cause that ultimately would change the world.