Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Driving Lessons

A sweet family in our ward called right before Calvin's birthday and asked if we would like their old truck that their kids had outgrown. When Calvin came home from his party, it was sitting by the front door waiting. I told him it was a surprise present and he was so thrilled!
The truck is old and faded. It no longer goes in reverse and travels at a speed of about 4 miles and hour. Calvin could not be happier. He is obsessed with it. Thank you Fairchilds - easily Calvin's favorite birthday gift!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Recipe - Banana Pancakes

I made these for breakfast this morning and reactions were mixed. Max and Sophie and the babies gobbled them down and have been eating them cold all day. The older boys and Calvin turned up their noses.


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  1. Combine flour, white sugar, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together egg, milk, vanilla, vegetable oil and bananas.
  2. Stir flour mixture into banana mixture; batter will be slightly lumpy.
  3. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Cook until pancakes are golden brown on both sides; serve hot.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

School Picture Day

I sent the kids off for school picture day looking like this:

Guaranteed they will not look like this by the time their school photos are taken.

A Party for Calvin

Calvin talked about his birthday party for six months straight. He was going to go to Chuck E. Cheese, Wise Swim School and The Blast as well as Pump it Up and Grand Slam. He also wanted to go to Luke's house, Johnny's house and Ryan's house because they all have cooler video games than we do. In the end, I had to explain that he could choose one place to go for his birthday - he chose Grand Slam.

Yes, his birthday was at the end of August. I've been busy. On the day of his birthday, we had three soccer games, made a trip to Sam's Club for groceries and a birthday cake for the party and another trip to Target in the middle of Max's game when I realized I had not thrown shoes in the car for Calvin to change into and I needed to pick up another cake for a child with allergies. It was crazy.


The party was a ton of fun and little work for me (hooray!). The kids played mini-golf, played in the ball pit playground, took a turn in the batting cages, went on the bumper cars a dozen times, played arcade games and ate pizza and cake. My job was to not lose any of the 10 children (the place was busy).

I don't like to think of my little man being six years old. It makes me a little sad that he is growing up so quickly. I love this age - of course I have loved all of Calvin's ages. He is the youngest and is supposed to stay young.

This guy lost his tooth while eating pizza. A big thank you to Josh who came to the party and helped each of the 10 kids in the batting cages!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Kool-Aid Playdough

Calvin's teacher asked that I make a batch of this stuff for his class and so I did. It was so simple to make, that I made it again with the daycare kids.

2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup salt
2 packages Kool-aid
3 T. oil
2 cups boiling water

Combine and stir.

Dump out onto the table and knead until smooth - dough will be warm.

Enlist friends to help.

Divide into equal parts and create!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Recipe: Chocolate Frosted Marshmallow Cookies

I made these on Sunday morning to serve to my class and they were a big hit. The only complaint I have is they cannot be stacked which makes transporting 4 dozen of them to church a little challenging. Max cut up all of the marshmallows for me and the kids ate the leftovers for breakfast.


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 (16 ounce) package large marshmallows


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F(180 degrees C). Lightly grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
  2. Melt butter and chocolate in small heavy saucepan over low heat; stir to blend. Remove from heat; cool.
  3. Beat egg, brown sugar, vanilla and baking soda in large bowl until light and fluffy. Blend in chocolate mixture and flour until smooth. Slowly beat in milk to make light, cake-batter-like dough.
  4. Drop dough by teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart onto prepared cookie sheets. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until firm in center. Cut marshmallows in half.
  5. Immediately place halved marshmallow, cut side down, onto each baked cookie. Return to oven 1 minute or just until marshmallow is warm enough to stick to cookie. Remove to wire racks to cool. (when I pulled the puffed cookies out of the oven, I squished down the marshmallow to make it flatter for the frosting)
For the frosting, I just whipped together softened butter, sour cream, powdered sugar, vanilla and unsweetened cocoa powder - you want a thinner icing in order to cover the marshmallow. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

First Day of School

Our first day of school was windy and cold. All of the kids walk to school so we bundled up, pulled on the rain boots and set out for a new school year.

Max and Sophie are excited for the new year. Max's teacher also runs Destination Imagination and Math Olympians, so Max knows her really well. Sophie's teacher seems nice and half of Sophie's soccer team are in her class so she has good group of friends.

Little Calvin had orientation the first day of school. I attended with two other daycare children in tow.

Which child pictured below has not slept for two days and has a double ear infection?!

This little girl comes to my daycare and is in Calvin's class. They sit a the same table and share snack.

Speaking of snack, Calvin is supposed to bring a non-peanut snack each day to school. Why he needs a snack when he eats breakfast at 8:30 and comes home at noon is beyond me, but whatever. You tell a kid there is snack time and suddenly it becomes very important. So, I put a handful of granola bars in Calvin's backpack to get him through the week. After the first full day of school, his teacher came up to me and told me Calvin was taking too long eating his snack. Evidently he decided that because I put three granola bars in his backpack, he needed to eat all three that first day! He was still finishing the last one when I picked him up at noon!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

First Day of School Craft

I got this idea from my friend Mercedes who did the same for her daughter on the first day of school. Super easy little craft and the kids love to give gifts to their teachers. Max is my only child who knew his teacher last year (he had her for reading and Math Masters).

Friday, September 10, 2010


We are slowly carving out a new routine for the new school year. This past month has felt rushed and out of control - so many things happening that I felt like I was just reacting and trying to keep up. A lot of changes have come to our home in these past few weeks.

My Mother ended her visit and returned home after witnessing first hand the craziness that is our life for a week. I'm sure she went straight to bed to recover.

Our weather took a dramatic turn from humid and in the 90's to chilly, windy and in the 50's and 60's. Fall has arrived and we have been digging out warmer coats and and warm blankets for snuggling on the couch at night. I need to get the garage cleaned out for the winter and the yard weeded and mulched down for the winter.

The kids have started school - Max is in 5th grade, Sophie in 3rd and Calvin in 1/2 day kindergarten. I have been walking them to school every morning this week and then walking back at noon to pick up Calvin. We started the week with Calvin fighting a double ear infection which made his first two days of school rather miserable.

I have a minimum of 9 kids here every morning for breakfast - sometimes 12. I have another interview next week for a new family with three young boys. More kids means more work and mess, but it also means more security for our family. We are transitioning back to earlier bedtimes and earlier mornings as we try to fit in time for practicing the trombone and piano, homework and silent reading as well as getting out the door on time for school. Max is a crossing guard this year.

Bryan has moved to New York for a new job. The kids were able to spend a few hours with him before he left and are now trying to figure out how to keep in touch without the every other weekend schedule they were enjoying. Each child has weathered this new change differently with Sophie having the hardest time. She spent the first few evenings in tears, climbing into my bed late at night for reassurance. As with so many things, they will adjust with time and lots of love and hopefully will see their Dad again soon. As for the divorce, it is still limping along and has not been finalized at this point.

Our weekends are packed with soccer games and birthday parties and trying to fit in all of the errands needed for a busy family. Life is busy, but busy is good. We are carving our a routine that makes the days go by quickly and keeps our minds focused on all of the things that need to be done day to day.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Meet Our Ward - Kid Edition

I just brought the point and shoot to the ward picnic. There were others there taking photos with super nice cameras, so there will be some great photos soon. In the meantime, you can enjoy these - mostly photos of the kids in the ward who tend to ignore me when I start snapping photos.

We came to the picnic straight from our little hiking trip so we were a little tired but we still had a great time. Our ward is awesome!