Friday, April 29, 2016

2016 Blue Jeans Week 16

It is getting to be that crazy end of the year school time.  End of the year banquets, awards ceremonies and such.  Busy, busy.  Miss A has 13 days of school left!  Graduation is in about 3 weeks!  Life marches on, and we are just trying to keep u and soak it all in!  Take a look at our week. 
Miss O and these 2 cute girls attended a SAFE conference--Seat belts Are For Everyone--as a part of SADD.  Miss O had a lot of fun if you can't tell :)

Got away with my girlfriends for a day to buy flowers!  love this time of year and being with these amazing ladies!!!

Awards banquet #1 for Miss A--went up to the city where she got her award for the statewide writing contest.  Way to go!!!

In the midst of everything going on, Ben always has his yearly work meetings in Omaha end of April, so we got a way for a few days.  Ben went to meetings and I shopped, scrapbooked in the hotel and just had a very relaxing time!  It was nice to be together.

One fun activity Ben did at his meetings is they took everyone to an art class, and they all got to paint a picture.  Ben is in the orange shirt, front row with his back to us.  Fun stuff!

Then we got back and hit the road running with National Honor Society induction.  Miss A was the president this year, so she conducted the meeting and got to give a talk.  She did a great job!

The senior NHS group!  Amazing group of kids right here!

The new NHS members--Miss O is 3rd from the left.  So proud of these kids!

And then we had forensics open house as this team is heading to the state finals this week.  Miss A is competing in poetry reading and impromptu speaking.  A great group of kids!  Good luck at state!!

Thanks for visiting!  Hope you have a great week!!

Monday, April 18, 2016

2016 Blue Jeans Week 15

Fun and exciting week!  Piano recitals and competitions, track meets, and plays!  Oh my!  Ordered graduation announcements.  Graduations is 6 weeks away!  Agh!  Heaven help me!  Hold on because it is going to be one crazy wild ride until then!  Take a look at our week. . .

These 3 did an awesome job in their piano recital today.  Miss A didn't play in this one because she has her own senior recital coming up in 6 weeks!  

Miss O has a part in the high school musical, and she is working on her costume today.  Making tutus in our family room :)  

Huge track meet today.  22 schools.  Ben and I worked it the whole day.  Miss E running strong during her 200 race.  It was a beautiful day for a track meet!

Every Thursday afternoon this school year I volunteer in Mr J's class.  I get to read aloud to the kids for about 20 minutes then help different ones with their assignments.  I have been reading Where the Red Fern Grows. Such a classic!

Thursday and Friday nights were the high school musical.  They did Seussical Jr. which was a cute musical based on Dr. Seuss books.  Miss O was a bird girl with these two friends she has known since preschool.  Lots of fun!

 Another shot of the play--Horton the Elephant on the nest, Whos in yellow, Miss O and her bird girls on the stairs.  It was so good!  So proud of all the kids and their hard work!

Saturday was piano competition day.  Mr J did a solo and then a duet with his friend.  This was in a practice room before they played for the judge.  Miss E and Mr J did a great job!  They are also very happy it is over!!!

Thanks for visiting!  Have a great week!!!

Monday, April 11, 2016

2014 Blue Jeans Week 14

Busy week, I think every week deserves that description lately, so not really anything exciting then--track, basketball banquet, Miss A was in Denver this week for a National Life Smarts competition, and we got some new baby chicks!   It is time to restore our chicken population :)  Take a look at our week. . .
Miss E and her record-breaking 4x100 relay team.  These girls are going places fast!  Watch out!

Miss O and her basketball coach at the end of season banquet.  These girls worked really hard!

Miss A and her best friend---so glad they can play basketball together!

A beautiful sunrise--love the clouds!

Mr J checking out our 7 new baby chicks.  He was giving them Harry Potter names, we have Fred and George (the black ones), then Harry, Ron (the red one) and Hermione and then Luna and Neville--even though they are all supposed to be girls :)

Miss A and her Life Smarts team representing the state of Kansas at the National Competition in Denver last week.  They tired for 4th place at Nationals which was pretty awesome!

Miss A was super excited that she was awarded a Life Smarts scholarship while she was there!  Every little bit helps with those mounting college costs!  Proud of you Miss A!!!

Thanks for visiting!  Hope you had a great week!  Come back soon!

Monday, April 4, 2016

2016 Blue Jeans Week 13

A beautiful spring week!  We enjoyed Easter--so grateful for our Savior who loved us enough to suffer and die for our sins so we can live again!!!  What a blessing!!!  Got away for a day to the city with my bestest friends, had our first track meet (no pictures, sorry, but Miss E did awesome!), Ben and I had a great date up to the city to see the symphony, and just enjoyed life in general, but as I look at the April calendar I am dismayed--it is soooooo full!  Agh!  Every weekend from now until Graduation May 22 has something!!!  Crazy here we go!
Easter Sunday--what amazing blessings these kids are!  So blessed to be their mom!  Love Mr J's bow tie that Miss E tied because Ben had to be to church before Mr J even woke up!  What a lucky guy to have such talented sisters that help him out (because I sure didn't know how to tie it!!)

Easter Sunday we worked in a local soup kitchen.  We really enjoy that and the people we work with.  It is a blessing in our lives!

These two made this amazing lemon blueberry cake for Easter dessert.  Divine!  Recipe is here

Kind of far away, I know, but I didn't take the picture :)  My girlfriends and I went up to the city today to visit this amazing art museum and eat at its yummy restaurant.  So much fun!!!  

The trees coming out in all their spring glory around the museum were so beautiful!!!  Sure love these ladies and so blessed to have them as my friends!

Went back up to the city this weekend so Ben and I could attend the symphony.  My parents had tickets they couldn't use, so lucky us got to go!  Loved it and so enjoyed the amazing building it was in and being together!

Saturday was our turn to clean our church---our congregation takes turns cleaning it each week.  Miss A doing a great job vacuuming!  :)

Hope you had a blessed Easter week!  Thanks for visiting and come back soon!!!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

What's up Wednesday--Quinoa chocolate chip cookies

It has taken me a while to get on the "quinoa train."  I bought a big bag of it 2 years ago, and it just sat on my pantry shelf for a long, long time.  Finally, I saw this cake recipe that I really wanted to try.  I made the quinoa for the cake, and the cake was divine!  And it looked as good as in the original recipe pictures too which is always a plus.  I have made the cake 3 times now--sooooo good!  Then I saw the recipe for these quinoa chocolate chip cookies.  When I had made the quinoa for my cake I had a little left over and thought, oh I will try these.    
I adapted the recipe a little to fit what I had on hand and what my family likes.  These cookies did not last long.  Yum!  I made them for my Dad (twice) and he also loves them.  Have made them a few times, and they are big hits!  So, I now have 2 quinoa recipe in my cookbook and going strong.  Yes they are both desserts, but that is ok :)  I will slowly branch out--maybe :)  I am very happy with the 2 recipes I have :)    Enjoy!

Quinoa Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup solid coconut oil, melted
3/4 cup aguave (original recipe calls for honey, but we prefer aguave, but both work)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 1/2 cups cooked and cooled quinoa, cooked only in water, not broth
2 Tablespoons ground flaxseed
2 Tablespoons wheat germ
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Heat oven to 375.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or silpat mat or spray with cooking spray.
In a large bowl beat together the melted coconut oil and aguave with an electric mixer.  Add in the eggs and vanilla and mix until combined. Stir in the flour, salt, baking soda until just combined with a few flour streaks left.  Add in the oats, quinoa, flaxseed, wheat germ, and chocolate chips and mix gently by hand.  The dough should be light and fluffy and mix lightly until ingredients are evenly mixed.
Drop by spoon or cookie scoop in about 2-3 tablespoons sized balls onto cookie sheet.  They will be pretty thick, so you can flatten them slightly before you bake if you want a flatter cookie.   
Bake 8-10 minutes or until bottoms are brown but sides and top are soft. 

Adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe recipe here

Monday, March 28, 2016

2016 Blue Jeans Week 12

Big week---I turned 40--crazy.  But that isn't old.  40 is the new 30 right?  It was a fun day regardless of my age :)  We enjoyed a short week because of Good Friday off, and had a very nice long weekend home together.  Here is a look at our week. . .
A few Sunday evenings a month we volunteer as a family at a local soup kitchen.  It has been a good experience for all of us.  We are getting ready to serve here this last week.

Happy Birthday to me!  I got a homemade cheesecake with a lemon curd topping which was divine!  Birthdays aren't so bad with a cake like this!

We have this funny little blue bird that has a nest under our side porch.  It likes to fly up and hit our windows. . . all day long.  I constantly hear tapping sounds at the back windows and look to see the blue bird hitting up against it.  You would think after a week of this it would figure out they are windows, and it can't go through them, but no.  It still taps all day long.

Here is the pretty blue bird as it gets ready to fly up and hit our windows :)  Not the smartest bird out there I guess. . .

Mr J's class had a "Boston Tea Party" this week and I got to be there to help.  We don't drink tea, so he was excited to bring hot chocolate :)  

Good Friday we got to work--got the garden cleaned out and tilled so we can actually plant something this year.  Last year we just never got around to doing anything with it--without hard work nothing grows but weeds--so true!

Saturday we had a quick little impromptu egg hunt with some dear friends.  We normally host a big luncheon and egg hunt but were out of town most of the day, so we just did a quick little one with these friends.  These little and big kids were all about the candy!  It was a gorgeous day for an egg hunt too!  

And what is the best part after an egg hunt?  Going through your candy and trading!

Hope you all had a blessed Easter!  So grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ and that He lives!  
Thanks for visiting!  Come back soon!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

What's up Wednesday--peanut butter no bake cookies

Who doesn't love no-bake cookies?  Divine.  These are especially divine because they are peanut butter--not your typical chocolate no-bake.  Sooooo good!  My girls made these last Sunday.  They freeze well if you have any left over.  We like to eat them straight out of the freezer.  Enjoy!

Peanut Butter No-Bake Cookies

3 cups white sugar
3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups peanut butter--either smooth or chruchy will work, we have used both
4 1/2 cups quick oats

In a big sauce pan over medium high heat combine the sugar, butter and milk.  Bring to a rapid boil and hard boil for one full minute.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and peanut butter.  Mix in the oats stirring until the mixture begins to cool slightly.  Drop batter by teaspoonfuls onto waxed paper and let cool until set.  You can cool them in the fridge if you are in a big hurry to eat them like we normally are :)