Saturday, June 15, 2013

Rhubarb and Strawberry Crisp {and a little experiment with the kids}

     I love how Heavenly Father gives us little gifts...the one I am grateful for currently is that rhubarb and strawberries grow in the same season.  I find it incredible that this happens over and over again within the growing season that things that go together beautifully are ripe at the same time. 

     Anyone that knows me knows I like to experiment in the kitchen.  I rarely follow a recipe. I often will look up several recipes of the same thing, look at the ingredients and the processes and then make my own version.  I don't know if that is cheating but that is how I work in the kitchen.  

       Today I am sharing my version of Rhubarb and Strawberry Crisp and my kiddos left their comments at the end of the recipe...ENJOY!!!  

The Topping

1/2 Cup Butter Softened
1 Cup Flour
1/2 Cup Oats
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon of cinnamon

Combine above ingredients in a bowl and set aside

Turn on oven to 350 degrees to preheat

The Filling

3-4 stalks washed rhubarb cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1 quart(roughly a pound) rinsed strawberries hulled(taking the leaves off) and halved
1/2 Cup Sugar(you can cut this amount down if desired)
1 Tablespoon Flour

Place those 4 ingredients into a 2 quart baking dish and stir in the sugar and flour to coat the strawberries and rhubarb.  Place Crisp mixture over the top and place into the 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes, the crisp should be golden and the juices from the fruit should be bubbling at the sides.

If you have picky eaters like I do(I will say it is getting a ton better...perseverance is the key, don't give up) this is a good way to get a new vegetable into them!!!

THE EXPERIMENT:  My younger children have never had rhubarb before and so it was time for them to try it(my kiddos are great now at just trying something).  I gave each of them a half of a slice of rhubarb and the cute little sour faces that proceeded were priceless.  I then gave them the other half I had mixed with some sugar, still sour but they all ate it.  Then we talked about how they thought it would taste cooked with strawberries and sugar...they all thought it would be great...and here are their words about the crisp:


NaBelle: (lets start by saying she licked the bowl clean and she is not one of my picky eaters)
it was delicious because we all helped make it!

Jens: I loved the crisp!(he gave it a big thumbs up)


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Jewels and Her Gem

Conversation in the car while we are running errands:

Me: my period is weird

Him: I always thought the semi colon was odd

Me: (with the exasperated wife look)

Him: (with the look of the little boy in third grade who is going to pull your pigtails) but what has always interested me is the ampersand but it never really comes up in conversations

Me: (still with the look) perks up and says we need to blog these deep conversations

Monday, June 10, 2013

{simple} Teacher Gifts

 I so LOVE this idea for teachers gifts.
I happen to read with all of the children in all of my children's classes 5 times a week and I can tell you the books in the classroom take a beating for sure. 
 When I was thinking about what to get the teachers for an end of the year gift my mind went immediately to the tattered pages of those loved books.
 I  bought 2 of my children's favorite books from that school year and tied them into cute little bundles using bakers twine(about twice a year they have a fab deal on it at so worth following them on facebook). 
I added a gift card to our local book store onto a piece of cardstock with glue dots with a little saying on the top: {Some books for the kids/A book for you/ Just saying thanks for all you do!!!}
Then I just put a hole in the top corner using a hole punch and tied it to my bundle of books!
Closer look at top of tag:
So simple and I wish I would have taken a picture of my children's faces when I told them they were giving these books they so love to their teachers....
it was priceless and such a genuine joy filled their souls!!!

End of School Year Treat Bags


     I volunteered to make treat bags for the 4th grade End of School Year party.  With 27 students and the desire to keep the cost to a minimum and to encourage them to read over the summer I came up with this little note to the children:

You spent all year becoming a SMARTIE
and maybe a little NERDy(in a fabulous way).
Summer is no time to become a DUM DUM.
Take time this summer to grab a book and a drink.
POP down under a tree and take a SIP before
you take your mind on a wonderful adventure,
MARKing your path as you go on amazing journeys
to the most awesome places!!!
     I printed them 4 to a page in a word document with a simple font so the younger children would be familiar with the text.  I then cut them out along with colored cardstock a bit larger to create a frame.
     Oh and remember what I said about 27 children that rapidly grew to 96 because if you do it for one child around here you do it for all and so we made a little assembly line:

Here are the items we put into the bags:
SMARTIE= smartie
NERDy= nerds
DUM DUM= dum dum suckers
POP= a frezzy pop(unfrozen)
SIP= smoothie straw
MARKing= a bookmark

     I made the book marks by simply cutting cardstock 2X5.5 inch strips.  I use the clear stamp blocks to add stamps too so you can see precisely were you are stamping and Michaels has several to choose from that are fabulous for $1.00. then stamping the word read onto each one and then stamped on the series of arrows.  I did this separately because the two stamps were different thicknesses.

Once the bags were filled I simply stapled them shut with card stock and little note to the top.

The thought of doing 96 bags including making 96 bookmarks seems like a daunting task but to be honest it was a fabulous time spent as a family.  To better understand, this is how this project went down:  While I cut the first several pages of bookmarks my hubby was doing the dishes and so we were chatting and the kids were picking up their toys.  Once David was done with dishes he came over and finished the cutting while I began to stamp and then he cut the little notes out too.  We finished at almost the same time and then we set up the table for an assembly line while the kids got jammies on.  Then the assembly line began and we soon found out that my job took longer than everyone elses so whenever I got backed up by 10 bags they would stop and run and tidy up a room in the house until I was caught up.  This continued until we were done.  The whole project probably took about a hour but in that time the dishes and toy area were picked up and every room on the main level of our home was picked up.  The kids were excited to get the bags done for their parties, I was happy I wasn't up all night and that the house was picked up as well.  I think so often as moms we do get so overwhelmed by life and kids and things we need to do or feel we need to do or want to do but if you really think out of the box and go with the flow of things you can accomplish so much if you work together!!!


Friday, June 7, 2013

Summer Bucket List - 2013

I am one of those mom's that can't wait for school to get over with and am getting super excited to see the end getting closer and closer.  My children have requested we skip the rest of the school year and I am right there with them. 
When they woke up this morning and came downstairs all their papers they are so proud off were gone and in their place was the.....

I printed off a list of things my children love to do from a word document onto plain old printer paper and then cut out the words and then glued them with a glue stick onto leftover scrapbook paper.  Then I cut that out leaving a small frame.  Like so....
(sorry for the pics, no natural light down in this area of the house) This is where I have the kids put their school work they are most proud of during the school year.  I removed that and added all the cards for our bucket list and added a bucket too.

I wrote the list first and then asked the kids what they would like to do this summer...guess what I nailed the list...high fives for me!!!  We need them as moms sometimes, whose kidding all the time!!!
Parts of our bucket list are very specific for our area and my children so if there are park days on Monday that is on the card as well.  I will put the entire list at the end of the post so those that do live in our area can take a looksy and join us if you want and so can everyone else if they need some ideas.

I have three very different younger children and so to make this work without tears or fighting or hearing, "I never get to do what I want to do" can hear that right moms, please tell me it is not just me!!!   We will rotate who is picking(they will NOT forget it is their turn believe me) and we will pick one card per day during the week and place it in the bucket.  When we run out of cards we will put all the cards back and start again. 

This is a great way for us to do something fun everyday after we accomplish our lists and school activities and I am hoping I will not hear, "I'm Bored!" all summer long!!!
Bucket List 2013
Science Experiment
Art Project
Dow Gardens(picnic Wednesday)
Whiting Forest
Bike Ride
Farmers Market(Wednesday morning)
Play a Sport
Outdoor Movie Night with friends
BBQ with friends
Go to the Track(yes we have runners0
Cooking School
Walk to get Slurpees
Fun Zone
Chippewa Nature Center
Center for the Arts
Pool Day
Park Day(Mondays)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Water Wall

 It is hard to believe that for us school will be out in one week and so I  started getting ready for that blessed event about a month ago. 
Writing down ideas, coming up with plans, doing some research and ordering a couple of items to enrich our summer days.
 We live .1 miles away from the city park and diagonally from a church with a cute park, which is what attracted us to this neighborhood in the first place was all the fun things we could walk or ride our bikes to.  This being said I don't feel like we need to have a big play structure in our yard, I promised a friend long ago I would never get a trampoline(his brother broke his neck on one), and having a membership to a pool crosses that off the list.  I love out yard being open for games of tag, croquet, the kids gardens, kicking a soccer ball around, etc....
I do though want some fun things for our children to do in our own yard so I let them go through my board on pinterest and pick something fun to add to our yard and they chose a water wall!!!
I had 2 pallets and I could see how I could make them work for the water wall and then headed to the dollar store to get some lemon and lime containers and tubes to add to our water wall, we also used some recycled containers as well. 
Onto the how to via pictures:


and viola a water wall has been created and ready for some summer fun: