Wednesday, February 27, 2013

What's up Wednesday--snow and pancake edition

So we had another snow day this week.  Luckily this snow was good snowman snow.

And good tunnel making snow.


And because it looked like this outside the kitchen windows this morning. . .

We made these to warm us up--mini chocolate chip pancakes.  Yes, it is kind of like having cookies for breakfast, but on a special snow day I think that is okay, and I used half whole wheat flour, so they were a little better for breakfast :)

Mini chocolate chip pancakes

2 1/2 cups flour (I used half whole wheat)
1 cup mini chocolate chips
1 Tbl. baking powder
1/2 tes. salt

1 3/4 cups milk
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1/3 cup packed brown sugar

In a large bowl combine flour, chocolate chips, baking powder and salt.  In a medium bowl whisk together milk, eggs, oil, and brown sugar.  Add to flour mixture and stir until just moistened--batter may be lumpy.  Pour by 1/4 cup onto hot griddle and cook until bubbles begin to burst.  Turn and continue to cook about a minute more or until golden brown.  

Some other yummy things we have made this week. . .

Creamy Swiss cheese bake served over rice--I am not a Swiss cheese fan, but these were really good!

Skillet creamy mac and cheese--move over Kraft, this is to die for, even adults love it :)

Delicious Greek Pastitsio-- I was kind of leery when I first made this last month, but everyone in my family loved it which is saying a lot to please 2 adults, 2 teenage girls, and 2 kids.  So it made the dinner rotation again this month, and will probably next month and the next and. . .

Slow Cooker Italian Beef has already been in my monthly rotation for the last several months.  It is to.die.for.  We had my dad over this past week when we had it, and he has called me twice since to tell me how good it was and how much he liked it.  Made my day.  My dad is awesome, and so is this recipe.  So easy and done in the crock pot, so I love it.  Please make it soon.  You will be happy you did.  Serve them on crusty buns with Monterey Jack cheese--oh my.

Crispy Southwest chicken wraps is another repeat performance at our house.   Yummy! 

What yummy things are you having at your house?

Monday, February 25, 2013

2013 Blue Jeans Week 8

So we are finally getting some winter weather here.  We got snow this past week, enough for them to cancel school two days.  The kids were really excited.  We are expecting more snow this week, so we will see how it turns out.  Here is a look at our week. . .

Sunday:  Mr J is a great reader, but he has been extremely reluctant to start chapter books because picture books are way more fun.  We finally found a series he likes and will read The Dragon Slayers Academy by Kate McMullan.  Sunday afternoon I enjoyed listening to him read.  

Piano lessons night, the kids wait their turns for their lessons and try and figure out a new game on the tablet.  

Snow day!  Went sledding today.

Another snow day, and Mr J enjoys making tracks in the snow.

Got together with some friends for some more sledding.  Most of these kids have been friends since they were born.  Great to spend some time with them!

The girls enjoy a relaxing evening, and Miss A does Miss E's nails while she reads Where's Waldo :)  Can you think of a better way to spend an evening?

Some dear friends of ours moved away this weekend.  We had them over for a good-bye party.  We will miss them!

Thanks for visiting.  How was your week?  Did you get snow?  Have a great week!

I am linking up with The Mom Creative and Kleinworth Co.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Snow Days

We had a snow day yesterday and today and got our first real snow of the whole winter.  The kids were very excited.  They may not be as excited in May when they add on the two days of school they missed, but we won't talk about that now.  

Yesterday we went sledding with some friends.

These were the sleds I bought two years ago that haven't been used since I bought them because we have just not had any snow since then.  The kids were excited to finally use them.


Tag team sledding is always fun.

And today the sun came out, and it is so beautiful.

So fun to walk around in the snow and make tracks.  More sledding this afternoon!  Whee!  We will enjoy the snow while we have it.  

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Daddy Muffins

So on Saturday the kids and I made what we call "Daddy Muffins."  These have a history going back to when Ben and I first met.  We met at BYU right after he got back from serving a 2 year mission for our church in Russia.  We lived in adjacent apartment buildings and were in the same church congregation and weekly 'family home evening group.'  We had just started to kind of hang out and were getting to know each other, when one Friday evening he told me about these muffins his mom made.  I said they sounded way yummy and to please make me some.  Well, early the next morning there is a knock on our apartment door, and remember this apartment is inhabited by 6 females, so of course no one was awake early on a Saturday morning.  But one of my roommates hears the door and drags herself out of bed.  And there is Ben with a plate full of warm 'daddy muffins' for sleeping me.  When I finally woke I was very impressed.  I was hooked and knew I had to marry this early rising, muffin making man (well, maybe not at that exact moment did I know this, but the thought did come pretty quickly).  So, these muffins have become "daddy muffins" in our house because they are the muffins Daddy made to woo Mommy :) and Ben generally makes them.  I think they are officially called French Breakfast Puffs, but if you say that at my house no one has a clue what you are talking about, but if you say "daddy muffins" you have everyone's attention and taste buds salivating.  So enjoy!  See who you can woo when you make them.

"Daddy Muffins"

1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup shortening

Cream the above together then add

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tes. salt
1/4 tes. nutmeg
1 tes. baking powder
1/2 cup milk

Mix well and scoop into greased muffin tins filling about 2/3 full.  Bake at 350 for 15-18 minutes.

Topping:  3 Tbl butter, melted
in a separate bowl combine 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 tes cinnamon.  Mix well.

Take hot muffins and dip the top in melted butter, then dip in cinnamon/sugar mix.  (see picture above, the kids love doing this part)

Makes about 10-12 muffins.

Monday, February 18, 2013

2013 Blue Jeans Week 7

We had a really good week last week.  It was nice the kids only had 3 days of school, and we had a lot of fun celebrating Valentine's Day together.  Trying to enjoy this quieter time of the year before track and soccer get started and crazy spring starts.  Here is what we were up to this week. . .

Sunday afternoon was Valentine working time.  Everyone worked on their school, family, and friend valentines for the week.

Monday nights are family nights.  We have a lesson, sing songs, play games, and have treats.  We switch who is responsible for each activity.  Mr J was in charge of activities tonight, and he wanted to do car racing.  He brought down his hot wheels and let us all choose a car and set up his tracks.  Ben was the official starter.  It was lots of fun.  So glad we have a boy in our house so we can do things like this.  

Miss E has been working so hard on her Colonial Fair project for school which was due this week.  We were very impressed with her finished board over the Massachusetts Bay Colony.  Her teacher was too.  She got an A+--way to go Miss E!

For Valentine's Day the kids had the day off school, so Ben took the day off work, and we went to the city. In the morning we went to the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art which is amazing.  The kids loved it.  

After lunch on Valentine's Day we took the kids ice skating.  Mr J and Miss E had never been.  The older girls had been a few times with school trips, but Ben and I hadn't been in 14 years.  Luckily no broken bones, but lost of slipping and falling especially for Mr J, but he loved it and just laughed and got right back up.  We had a lot of fun.

So fun to spend the whole day with my family and my valentine.  Man, I am sure lucky to be married to him. He is amazing and so cute!  We had a great day!

Saturday morning we like to do different things for breakfast since we aren't rushed to get anywhere.  Today we made "Daddy muffins" which are wonderful!  Mr J and Miss E were great helpers making them.  I will post the recipe on Wednesday, so check back!

Thanks for visiting!  Hope you all had a great Valentine's day, and come back soon!

I am linking up Kleinworthco

Friday, February 15, 2013

Valentine's Day

We had a really fun Valentine's Day.  The kids didn't have school because of conferences, so Ben took the day off, and we headed to the city.

We went to the art museum in the morning.  It is one of the best art museums and very kid friendly.

Miss O loved the knights in shining armour.

Then we grabbed some lunch and went ice skating.  Ben and I figured we hadn't been ice skating in 14 years.  Mr J and Miss E had never been.  

Whoa!  I totally lost track of how many times Mr J fell down, but he laughed and got right back up every time.

Miss O is a pro and has been several times.

Miss A hasn't been for a few years, but she did great.

Today was Miss E first time ever, and she was a little wobbly at first, but figured it out.

Miss O and Ben were good helpers for Mr J

But then he was done with that and ready to fall and go on his own :)

Our fun skating family.  I did skate too, but I was the one with the camera, so no pictures of me, and I didn't fall just in case you were wondering :)

And it was so fun to spend the day with my sweetheart.  Man I love that guy!  He is amazing!  and so cute!!!

So after ice skating so long we could barely walk (at least Ben and I) we headed home and had our Valentine's dinner.  I had got red and white heart shaped ravioli from Costco which were really good.

Then we opened our family Valentine box and enjoyed our awesome cards to end the evening of a fun and very eventful day.   Hope you had a good Valentine's day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

What's up Wednesday

This is what I am up to today--making heart sugar cookies for Valentine's Day class parties, church group, and neighbors.  Yum!  I love sugar cookies!

We had parent teacher conferences late Monday night and Tuesday night.  Managing three different schools is always a balancing act.  The kids are all doing great, though.  It is nice to hear such good things at conferences.  Good schools and great teachers are such a blessing in my life and for my family.

I get so many recipes that I make off the Internet, I thought it would be good to share once in a while.  Here is what I have made lately (with most of them coming from Mel's Kitchen Cafe, of course) . . .

I made these Oatmeal coconut chews this week--so yum!

And we must have been on an oatmeal kick this week because I also made these oatmeal chocolate chip cookies--double yum!

I made this creamy corn chowder last night.  It is so good!  I have made it several times and have taken it over to others for dinner.  Everyone always loves it and wants the recipe.

We also had Hawaiian Haystacks this week, and I used this recipe,

And I did a beef and broccoli that was divine.

Hope this gives you some dinner inspiration!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 11, 2013

2013 Blue Jeans Week 6

Man, what a week.  Highs?  Getting taxes done, making valentine's box, and spirit week at school which is always fun.  Lows?  Our fridge died.  I was not planning on buying a fridge anytime soon (for years actually), but I was left with no choice this week.  Replacing all our appliances was not on our radar this year, but so far we have done one a month for 2013.  I hope that trend stops now.  Here is a look at our week. . .

Sunday:  Enjoying the quiet evening.  Man, I love my little boy who really isn't so little anymore, but still little enough that he likes to cuddle with mom.  I love that!

Monday:  Making our family Valentine box tonight.  It is a tradition we have every year.  More about that in my previous post.

Tuesday:  I got the taxes all done today.  I have done them myself every year we have been married, and the last 10 years or so have been so super easy with the help of the free taxact software.  It is great!  

Wednesday:  Spirit week at school so the kids had different dress-up days this week.  Hat day is always a fun one :)

Thursday:  Our family Valentine's box all done and waiting for treasures to be put inside.

Friday:  Our 7 year old fridge that died and was not repairable (or was for about the same price as a new fridge, so we just got a new fridge), ugh.  Man, they sure don't make things like they used to.  Putting that tax refund money right to work :)

Saturday:  My older two girls were in a church skit night tonight.  Miss A was the nerd, and Miss O the ditch digger with the shovel :)  Fun times.

Thanks for visiting and have a great week!  Happy Valentine's Day!

Chic Homeschool Mama

Friday, February 8, 2013

Valentine's Traditions--the family box

In counting my blessings this week and focusing on our year of gratitude, I am thankful for traditions.  We are big into traditions at our house especially around holidays.
Every year the first Monday in February we always decorate our family Valentine's box.   It is a big deal.   Everyone gets to decorate a side.

Miss O had the honor of doing the top this year.  So cute!

Mr J had one big side, the end you see here is what Ben and I did.

Miss A had the other big  side, and Miss E had this other end.  It gets filled with homemade Valentine's and opened up on the evening of Valentine's Day.  Every day when the kids get home from school they check to see how full it is.  Some family members go over the top and make everyone 4 or 5 valentines each.  We are loved.  It is a lot of fun, and a blessing in my life that I am very grateful for.

What Valentine traditions do you have??