Monday, August 31, 2015

2015 Blue Jeans Week 35

And summer is officially over!  School has started!  We have a senior, a sophomore, an 8th grader and a 5th grader!  Crazy!  School started on Wednesday for Mr J and on Thursday for the 3 girls.  So here is a look at our week--the last few days of summer and the first day of school. . .
We had some wonderful company over the weekend.  This amazing girl served as a missionary in our area a few years ago.  She brought her mom back to visit and took our family pictures and Miss A's senior pictures while she was here.  Awesome!  Will share soon.  They turned out great!  We love you Jenna!

Mr J and Miss E enjoying a last lazy summer morning and playing some chess.

And we had an official end of summer swim party which everyone loved with lots of great friends!

First day of school breakfast!  Mr J was the only one who had school today so he got his favorite chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast.  He diligently was studying his schedule as he ate them :)

And here is my 5th grader ready for his first day of school with his brand new glasses!  

Thursday morning we had a crazy rain and hail storm.  We got 3 inches of rain today, so no outside pictures for the girls.  Miss O is a sophomore, and Miss A is starting her senior year--so many emotions as I think about that.  Time just goes by way too fast!

And last but not least, Miss E starting her 8th grade year!

It is going to be a great year!  Thanks for joining us!  

Friday, August 28, 2015

Friday thoughts

The one thing that is constant in the world is change.  I am entering a different stage of life lately.  It used to be that I went to a lot of baby showers and planned them often for friends.  Haven't done those lately.  Lately it has been graduation parties for children of friends, and most recently a wedding for the child of a dear friend.  Wow.  Changes.  This school year I will be planning my own daughter's high school graduation.  Oh my.  College applications are the topic in our household.  Life changes.  You can't stop that.  Time marches onward.  My goal this year is to pay more attention.  Take a minute each day and enjoy my senior daughter and other kids more.  She leaves in less that a year.  Today is the last day August 28th that she will be living at home.  This is her last cross country season, her last marching band season, her last fall homecoming.  I am going to really try and enjoy and relish these "lasts" and try not to cry too hard too!  Life is good, but it is sure full of change, but that is ok.  We wouldn't want it any other way.  The world is waiting for this amazing daughter of mine, and she is going to do great things.  I want to love and support and cheer for her as she takes over the world :)  This last year home. . . here we go!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

What's up Wednesday--cupcakes and pancakes

First day of school for Mr J today, and Miss A and Miss E were at school to be helpers.  Miss A is a senior and a freshman mentor, so today was just a special day for the freshman.  Miss E is an 8th grader and was there to help the 6th graders.  Miss O gets one extra day of summer until school starts tomorrow.
So for her group of freshman Miss A made these adorable cupcakes.

Aren't they cute?  The "sand" was crushed graham crackers and the life preserver is a wintergreen lifesaver with red frosting piped on it.  Too cute!  

And what was our back-to-school breakfast today?  Chocolate chip pancakes.  Mr J's favorite!  Recipe here

Yum!  Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

2015 Blue Jeans Week 34

Last full week of summer, here it is. . .
Enjoying some family time on a beautiful evening and playing with ribbon wands.  Lots of fun!

One of Mr J's summer jobs has been to water the plants.  He has done a good job!

Locker check out day and this guy got his glasses!  Crazy that this kid is going to have a locker this year!  He opened it on the first try and got it all decorated :)

And Miss E and her big 8th grade locker getting already for school next week.

Mr J being a great helper and folding the towels for me.  Love his new glasses!

Miss A and Miss O didn't have much of a summer week this week.  They had band camp M-F 8-5.  Friday night was a family BBQ, and they showed off some of what they had been doing.  It was pretty impressive.  Miss O is in there on mellophone and Miss A was directing them as the drum major this year.  Band season here we come!!

And a sign of the times--Miss A getting her senior pictures taken!  Ahh!  I have a senior!  When did that happen?  Our amazing friend came all the way from Utah to take them and did a fabulous job!  Excited to show you in a few weeks!  

And school starts tomorrow, so I better get to bed.  It is going to be hard for everyone to get used to getting up early--especially when early morning seminary starts Thursday morning at 6 a.m.  Ugh.  
Good-bye summer.  

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

What's up Wednesday--Mexican sheet cake

 Today I wanted to share the recipe that I made lots and lots of last week for one of my best friend's daughter's wedding reception.  It is basically a Texas sheet cake more than a brownie, but it has cinnamon in it.  Someone there said they were called Mexican sheet cake, but I don't exactly what to call them except for Good!  They were super moist, very good, and loved by everyone that tired them.  They were the groom's request and his favorite, and I can see why after making them and eating, um, way, way too many :)  I used a 12x18 cookie sheet pan to make them in. Enjoy!
Mexican Sheet Cake

Combine in a glass bowl and microwave 1 minute:
1 cup water
1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
1/2 cup cocoa powder

Combine in a large mixing bowl and mix well:
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs

Add cocoa mixture to the above, mix well then add:
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon

Pour into greased 12x18 cookie sheet pan.  Bake 350 for 20 minutes.  Let cool about an hour and then frost.


Put in a glass bowl and microwave 30 seconds:
1/2 cup butter
2 Tab cocoa powder

Put cocoa mix into mixer and add:
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar

Mix together and add if needed:
1-3 Tab milk (I had to add milk each time because it was too thick) to make thinner to spread or more powdered sugar in need thicker.  
Spread on cooled cake and enjoy!

Monday, August 17, 2015

2015 Blue Jeans Week 33

Our "re-entry" week after vacation was a little crazy.  Our "to-do" list was a mile long.  School starts in a week and a half, and we are trying to come to terms with that, but still have some summer days, so we are going to enjoy them.  Had lots to do this week and ended the week on a wonderful note with one of my best friend's daughter's wedding reception.  Crazy!  Take a look at our week. . .
Trying to adjust to life after vacation, we needed to do some puzzles to remind us of our great time in the mountains.  Fun family puzzle time on a Sunday afternoon!

One to-do item was get Mr J to the eye Dr.  He needs glasses, and he picked out this pair.  Looking good!  He will get them right before school starts.  

Miss E has been working on organizing different things this summer for a Young Women's Value Project for church.  This week she worked on our music CD collection.  

I got roped into making alterations to 70 high school band uniforms.  oh. my.  Lots of sewing and sequins going on around here!  First game is Sept 3, so wish me luck that I get them all done!!!
Miss O and Miss A went to a 3 day Band camp this week.  They had a ropes course.  These are my 2 girls 35 feet in the air on the Jacob's ladder.  Ahhh!  I could never do that.  I am so scared of heights.  Proud of them for doing it, though. It was hard work to get up there!

One more house project after we got the house painted.  We bought these big pots and painted them the color of the front door to help bring out that color.  Finally got them planted and in place tonight.  Love the way they look!

Friday and Saturday I baked for my friend's daughter's wedding reception.  We made over 350 mini cheesecakes and then I did these six pans of brownies.  Yummy!

After we got the house done, we have been working on the summer house.  Love how the girls crowd around Ben to help him with things.  They are good helpers!

And Saturday was the wedding reception.  Here is the beautiful bride with Miss A.  It was a beautiful evening.  Have known this girl since she was 3.  Crazy to see her married, but so happy for her!

Thanks for visiting!  I have recipes this week so come back Wednesday!  Life is getting back to "normal" whatever that means :)

Thursday, August 13, 2015

2015 Blue Jeans Momma vacation

We did not fall off the face of the earth, even though it seems that way.  We just went on a family vacation and getting back into the swing of things--or "re-entry" as I call it, has been kind of rough.  School starts in 2 weeks, and we have had "to-do" lists a mile long since we got home.  But life is good.  We had a wonderful vacation.  We went to the cool, beautiful Rocky Mountains.  We had a glorious week.  The temperature when we left was 44 and no humidity and when we got home it was 100 with 80% humidity.  Ugh!  We all wanted to turn right around and drive back.  Before we left we picked up Miss A from the airport as she returned from her Girls Nation trip to Washington D.C.  She had an amazing week--met with both our state senators and President Obama.  Made some amazing friends and really experienced how government works.  The bill she and her co-worker wrote was "passed" into law, and that made her really happy.  She was so tired after that week,  though.  We picked her up and she slept the 10 hours it took us to get to our vacation spot.  It was so nice to be together again after 2 weeks of having at least one of the kids gone.  Now we are back, and we have 2 weeks of band camp and school prep before things get back to school "normal" or whatever that is :)  Take a look at our past few weeks. . .
This was the view from our condo for the week.  Amazing!  

We spent a lot of time doing puzzles and playing games.  So nice to have relaxing family time!

There was a walking/bike path and this mountain stream right by our condo which we really enjoyed.  We took our bikes out with us which was a very good thing!

Views were amazing!

Ben's Mom and Dad joined us for a few days and that was wonderful!  This day we dropped these bikers off to go down a 12 mile all downhill path. 

There was a beautiful lake there which we enjoyed visiting.

We went down the 12 mile bike trail a few times because it was gorgeous and so easy.  

And we even found some snow left at one of the ski resorts.

Mr J and a scenic area along the bike path.

We enjoyed playing in the mountain stream by the condo but as you can see by Mr J's face, it was a little cold :)

And went on lots of bike rides.

And one day we tried Supping--stand up paddleboarding at the lake.  It was fun!  Miss E and Miss A get a hang of it.

Miss E and Ben 

And I did go out and stood up for this one second and they got a picture

but that only lasted for a second because I came right back down again and did it like this the rest of the time.  I was too scared to fall in, but it was really fun, and nobody fell in :)

Mr J was a pro

And Ben's dad even tried it.

Lots of fun on the lake! Mr J, Ben and Miss O

There was a smaller lake close to the condo we enjoyed visiting.

There were lots of ducks and geese there we liked to feed.

Found a cool disc golf course close that we played.

Did a little hiking

And just had an all-around relaxing and great time together as a family.  So glad Ben Mom and Dad joined us!  We all loved it!

Thanks for visiting!  Come back soon!