Thursday, July 31, 2008

Butterfinger Cake

Butterfinger Cake

1 box Devil's Food cake mix
10 oz. cola or diet cola
1 egg white
7 oz. sweetened condensed milk
2 T. peanut butter
8 oz. frozen whipped topping (such as cool whip), thawed
7 Nestle fun-size Butterfinger candy bars

Combine cake mix, cola and egg white. Bake according to cake mix instructions in a greased 9x13 pan.

A few minutes before the cake is to be done, combine sweetened condensed milk and peanut butter in a saucepan. Cook and stir on low to make creamy and warm.

When cake is done and still hot, poke holes in top of cake with a knife and pour peanut butter mixture over top of cake. You may have to spread the mixture a little to help it go down into the holes. Sprinkle top with half of the chopped Butterfingers. Cook cake completely.

Cover with Cool Whip and sprinkle remaining Butterfingers over top. Keep in fridge until ready to serve.

Yum, and double yum. I'm also thinking a substitution of caramel for the peanut butter and some heath toffee bars might be exceptionally yummy as well.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

What's On My Nightstand ::: July 29

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This month, I'm taking part in a new book lover's carnival over at Five Minutes for Books. I love the idea of peeking in to everyone's current pile o' pages and I fear that my Amazon wish list will suffer from all the book suggestions! :)
What's on My Nightstand ::: July 29

My current pile ... which doesn't actually reside on my nightstand, but on the side table in our family room ... is above. I'm currently reading Along Came a Cowboy which was sent to me for review. The first few chapters had me questioning whether this was going to have enough "meat" to make it worth my time, but the characters are winning me over. Apparently this is also the 2nd book in a series, but I haven't found myself lost even though I haven't read book #1. House of Wolves is also a review book that I hope to get to shortly - I've not read anything by the author so I have no idea what to expect on this one!

I'm currently using No Other Gods by Kelly Minter as my summer Bible study. So far, I've been more than challenged to look for different idols that I've put up in my life instead of the true God. (Not to mention this book comes with some seriously delicious recipes in it. I'm going to try out the Butterfinger cake and will report back!)

The last two books are ones that I haven't started yet, but are ones I want to get to soon! For the Children's Sake is one that has been recommended to me over and over - I've only heard good things about this one! And Five Little Peppers and How They Grew is one that I want to read/preview as a possible read-aloud book with my girls down the road. I don't think they are quite ready for it yet (it's a pretty big book), but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy it more than once. *wink* :)

If you want to play along, head over to Five Minutes for Books and post your nightstand reading list! I'm planning to be back next month!

Shepherd Fish Fry ::: Yum


More pics up over on Flickr, but we had a yummy good time tonight eating fried fish that Daddy caught last week at Lake Texoma. All the girls pronounced it good, although admittedly Elizabeth with most enamored with the hush puppies! :)

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Simple Woman's Daybook ::: July 28

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Do visit Peggy's to see all the other daybook posts this week!

FOR TODAY

Outside my Window ... hot, steamy, summer. Welcome to the south!

I am thinking ... about how much I am looking forward to this week! Minimal errands, our family is back together, and, as far as I know, I am just watching my own children this week. :) (We had a GREAT time with the cousins in our six days of day camp, but we need to get back on our routines and do a little catch-up on some things around the house).

I am thankful for ... Some new clothes ... my Dad took my sister shopping for a few new birthday outfits and I also benefited with a few goodies. A very unexpected blessing!

From the kitchen ... I need to have a grocery and menu plan by mid-week, but I think we will be having a fish fry tomorrow night to cook up some fish Travis brought home from his guys' trip last week! Yum! I also have to make a snack for my last summer Bible study get together on Wednesday and can't decide what to make. I'm torn between a new recipe for a Butterfinger cake or this yummy fruit salsa that you eat with cinnamon tortilla chips that I've made before.

I am creating ... some scrapbook layouts - I did three last week while Travis was traveling. :) This week, I hope to do some more, as well as make a notebook for Christmas planning. Yes, it's early, but I have some things I want to make this year and need to make a plan how I expect to get it all done.

I am going ... to make haircut appointments for all us girls this week (minus baby E). N1 especially wants to get her hair cut, and we DO need to trim it up so it's little less tangle-y.

I am wearing ... black sleep pants and t-shirt.

I am reading ... Along Came a Cowboy (a review book I recently received). While Travis was gone, I read three books (I have a hard time going to sleep while he's away): The Shack by William Young, The Jewel of Gresham Green by Lawana Blackwell, and All Through the Night by Davis Bunn. I think it's about time to pick up something non-fiction. :)

I am hoping ... for a quiet week, lots of time to settle back into just us at home since it seems things have been a little upside down since our family vacation at the beginning of the month.

I am hearing ... E tottering around and being extremely cute. :)

Around the house ... Laundry day today! Otherwise on the agenda this week is a needed mop of the kitchen and bathroom and a plan to go through my closet and dresser and clean them out.

One of my favorite things ... my journal, writing things down, and taping little memories in there.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week ... other than scheduling haircuts and women's Bible study on Wednesday, we have nothing. However, this coming weekend is another story. The girls are going to the grandparents and my sister's, respectively, and T and I have a kid-free weekend here at home for our anniversary. :) I'm looking forward to sleeping in past 6:30 a.m., maybe going to see a movie and eating out, and just hanging with my favorite person. I'm a little sad my girls will be gone (especially E since this is her first time away from me overnight *sniffsniff*) but I really need this recharge.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you... I think this was my favorite pic from our "day camp" trip to the zoo. N1's first time on a carousel by herself riding one of the animals. I love the laughing expression on her face here!

Shepherd Day Camp ::: Zoo

I think this is cool

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Starting School

Several weeks ago, I shared a few plans for our pre-K that we would be embarking on at the beginning of July. Plans have been derailed just a bit over the last few weeks ... vacation took us a little further into July and we need several days of re-entry from that; that was followed by "day camp" with the cousins for six days. Our schedule and planning sort-of went out the window so, with a little reshuffling, we are starting up this Monday!

Our theme this coming week is going to be the United States. I was able to find some nice sized wall maps at Target (in their $1 section) and bought both a US map and World map to hang in our learning area. Some of the activities we will be doing this week are:

  • locating our country on the world map, locating our state on the USA map (and where our Ohio grandparents live), and locating Washington D.C. on the map

  • talking about symbols of the United States (the flag, the White House, the Liberty Bell, the eagle, etc.) Using information from Ben's Guide to the U.S. Government website for this.

  • a bald eagle lunch bag craft (I want to start having a craft time on Thursdays this year ... more on this later).

  • listen to the National Anthem and the Pledge of Allegiance. N1 hears the pledge every week at Awana and I want to work with her on officially committing it to memory this fall.


We'll also be working on our letter of the week ("w" in our Explode the Code books) and some dot-to-dot pages that have larger numbers in them (not just dot-to-dot to 10, but 30 or 40+). Lastly, we made a HUGE trip to the library on Thursday and so lots of reading is in our future, along with several books about the US. If any of those are winners, I'll post later on which ones we really enjoyed!

Anyway, this is our humble beginnings. My plan for the following week, Lord willing, is to spend a week on the Olympics and China. I always look forward to the opening ceremonies and the games and I couldn't pass up this opportunity to tie in to this big event. We'll be using material put together by Candace at His Mercy is New ... I probably won't do as much as she has laid out since her girls are a little bit older, but I thoroughly appreciate the head start that she is giving me here! :)

Hope you all have a great weekend! We are expecting Travis home from a fishing trip any minute and are ready to hang out and play with him this evening. :)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Friday Felicities ::: 7/25

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Things that make me happy...

  • this book - The Jewel of Gresham Green - a continuation of a story that I have been hoping would be written for years and it did not disappoint!

  • anticipation of seeing The X-Files Movie next weekend (hopefully!) Yes, there is a little bit of the science fiction geek in me, as long as it is not too creepy. :)

  • breakfast burritos

  • a freshly vacuumed floor

  • a huge stack of books from the library

  • Proverbs 15:1 - a verse that has been at the front of my mind continually the last couple weeks


Hosted by Becky - link up if you play along!

I am probably biased...

But this video cracks me up. If you have a Wii, and you have gotten a decently high school on any of the games, then you have seen the little happy dance performed by your Mii. Well, this is Noelle's version. And it makes me laugh every. single. time. she does it. So, indulge this mother and tell me that my baby is pretty darn cute. :)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Clipboard Fun

Clipboards

So, Travis is having a little R&R right now and I had the house to myself last night. I was a little too wound up to sleep so I started a project that has been percolating for a few weeks. The girls are always stealing my clipboard so with them on sale at Wal-Mart for .97 cents a piece it was time to act. :)

This took a little more time that I thought it would, but the girls love them. I cut out everyone's name and an accompanying piece of clip art and then used my Xyron to adhere it to the clipboard. (Travis bought me my Xyron machine either the Christmas we were engaged or our first married one - I have used it a ton!)

I will confess that once I showed them to Noelle she decided that she needed Hello Kitty like I had so we took her sheep off ... not recommended since Xyron adhesive REALLY sticks! But we made her a cat and covered where some of the paper was stuck to the clipboard with a piece of pink cardstock. Lastly, I covered it all with a piece of contact paper so that any loose edges that might eventually stick up were not too tempting for little fingers.

A final touch, if you want:

Clipboards

Ribbon on the little clip. What would a girlie clipboard be without a bow on top. (Also good for covering that sometimes sharp hook-thing to protect little feet). I think these are going to get a lot of use !

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Simple Woman's Daybook ::: July 21

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Do visit Peggy's to see all the other daybook posts this week!

FOR TODAY

Outside my Window ... cloudy with a chance of meatballs. No. Wait. That's the library book I read about 1/2 a dozen times last week! :) It is cloudy though. I think we're supposed to get rain several days this week.

I am thinking ... about helping with a baby shower for a friend. I *love* baby showers.

I am thankful for ... Weekends. My husband. Morning coffee. Little girls that are sleeping through the night *almost* EVERY night!

From the kitchen ... a low-key week in the kitchen. Dana is coming to lunch tomorrow and I think the plan is to have something fun like black beans and rice and then to adorn it with yummy goodness like avocados, bell peppers and such. (I'm hoping for lots of leftovers from this for the rest of the week!)

I am creating ... some wish lists of homeschool stuff I want to get for the girls. I am eye-ing some manipulatives from My Father's World (these and these), and I want to get the next books in Explode the Code for Noelle (she is almost done with the first three pre-K/K books!).

I am going ... to run errands with the munchkins (all 5). I survived, but ... I asked my husband to run by Sam's on the way home for what I didn't get. I was so done.

I am wearing ... denim skirt and white t-shirt.

I am reading ... No Other Gods by Kelly Minter. On week 2 and am still VERY excited about this book/study. I've also started the first Miss Julia book by Ann B. Ross - Miss Julia Speaks her Mind.

I am hoping ... for a looooong nap time today. :)

I am hearing ... my niece play on the girls' computer ... her rest time.

Around the house ... I need to pick up toys that are scattered on the floor. It's not bad, but I need to get moving. There is also laundry to be out of the dryer momentarily. Can you tell my rest time is almost up? :)

One of my favorite things ... I had forgotten how much I enjoy little Hello Kitty things (and how much they remind me of being a little girl) until I saw this post at Margaret's. We have a girlie-girl turning five in just a couple of months and I'm thinking some Hello Kitty goodies might be in order.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week ... I mentioned that Dana is coming for lunch tomorrow, along with her girls. :) If Wednesday isn't rainy or unbearably hot, then the Shepherd Day Camp is going to the zoo. Then Thursday, when it's back to just us and our regular routine (of sorts), we are diving head first into Potty Boot Camp. N2 is Very! Excited! About! Our! Own! Dora! Underwear! over here!

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

Shepherd Day Camp ::: Baby Lambs

Been Thinking on This

Worth reading.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Ideas & Organization

Organization

When I haven't been keeping up with the kids, I've been working on a system to contain the paper ... long-term. Right now, it's contained - just not very well. :) The three binders on the right are for each of the girls. They are for medical info, extracurricular stuff (which right now is just N1's dance), etc. We were keeping all this stuff in Travis' filing cabinet, but I'm really the one that needs in and out of it and the fact that everything was just piled in a folder was getting to me.

My Idea Notebook

Totally proud of this idea ... and I don't think I stole it from anyone that I know of either. (If I *did* steal this from you subconciously, please let me know so I can give you credit!) :) Anyway, I get so many good ideas about school from those that are ahead of me in the homeschooling journey. This is my notebook to jot those ideas. For example, someone recommends a book that their 4th grader is reading and loving ... I can just jot it on a piece of paper and tuck it behind the 4th grade tab and it's their waiting for me, archived somewhere that makes sense.

Idea Notebook (inside)

At the front of the book, our state's homeschooling laws.

Idea Notebook, Tabs

This punch has been one of my BEST scrapbooking purchases ever (well, or actually one of the best things I've ever asked for for Christmas last year!) (I also have this larger one.) As long as I have cardstock, I can make my own tabs for binders and never have to buy them again

Thursday, July 17, 2008

My Freedom ::: Inspiration

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This week's assignment (the first half of it) was to journal and make a layout on what inspires me creatively. I had fun with this. Some photos are pulled from pictures I had, and others I took just for this layout.

My Freedom ::: Inspiration

My Freedom ::: Inspiration, pp. 1 My Freedom ::: Inspiration, pp. 2

[You can click on any picture to see it bigger in Flickr.]

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

In Comparison

We may have one that looks like me ... finally. :)



8 Months - Elizabeth

Or maybe I'm just being optimistic. The eyes are there, though. Those are mine! :)

I could eat her up!

I could eat her up!

I've got two extra kids the rest of this week and the fleeting thoughts I've had of blogging have left as it is now 10:25 p.m. However, I did want to share this little picture of my middle munchkin - she is talking so so so much and is just utterly adorable. Yes, she is two, and yes, sometimes she is not a happy two, but 95% of the time she is my buddy. And now that her hair is long enough for pigtails, I can hardly stand it!

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Simple Woman's Daybook ::: July 14

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Do visit Peggy's to see all the other daybook posts this week!

FOR TODAY

Outside my Window ... the munchkins are in the backyard playing with chalk and it is HOT!

I am thinking ... I'm glad we have our morning errand out of the way. (Quick run to Target for a birthday present for one of N2's friends.)

I am thankful for ... cabinets full of groceries and a husband that goes shopping on Saturday with me - makes for a MUCH easier trip.

From the kitchen ... leftover BBQ, corn pudding and no-bake strawberry cheesecake from yesterday's family lunch. Yum! Also, lots of fresh fruit since we just went grocery shopping - bananas, watermelon and blackberries!

I am creating ... a poster on the seasons for N1's pre-K. We are going to have a summer theme this week in what we do and read about.

I am going ... to make sure to take a quick rest this afternoon. Late night + early morning combo today.

I am wearing ... denim capris and a blue shirt

I am reading ... No Other Gods by Kelly Minter. I am VERY excited about this book/study.

I am hoping ... for a wonderful (kid-free) anniversary weekend with Travis in a few weeks. We're still working out the details. :)

I am hearing ... E & N2 wrestle and giggle.

Around the house ... I'm working on our school area some today. I bought two maps at Target in their dollar section - a world map and a USA map. For $1, I'm not going to feel bad about poking holes into them and marking them up over the next year and we learn. Want to do some restraightening of the shelves this week and clean off our bulletin board.

One of my favorite things ... Dunkin' Donuts coffee. I was able to buy a small bag of it this weekend and I think it is going to be my Monday morning coffee until it's gone so I can make it last longer. Definitely my favorite brand (as are their donuts!)

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week ... kind of crazy this week. Tuesday: we'll run our errands for this week by taking care of renewing tags for both cars, hopefully eat lunch with Grandma and Aunt Kathy, and get N1 registered for next year's ballet. Wednesday through Friday: cousins Jordan and Bubby are here for the rest of the week since their sitter is going out of town. I'm sure I'll be up to my eyeballs making chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter sandwiches in bulk, and I'm thinking about a trip to the zoo on Friday with everyone. Then, I will collapse on Saturday. :)

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

Natalie

Saturday, July 12, 2008

My Freedom ::: Week One

A glimpse at my first week's work for the class I'm taking with Shimelle. We were walked through prompts to create a layout on time and travel. The one on time has prompted some heavy thinking on my part this week ... how I'm managing my time and where I'm squandering it. It all points to some selfish (dare I say sinful?) behavior on my part, and changes must be made in order for me to bring glory to God in this role I serve in my family. My priorities need a shake-down :) and I'm going to be pulling back from a few good things to make room for some better things.

My Freedom ::: Time Layout

My Freedom ::: Time Layout, p.1 My Freedom ::: Time Layout, p.2

The 2nd layout (on travel) was fun to make as I pulled some pictures from some past trips. The journaling talks most about how much I look forward to doing more travel some day. Right now, much of our travel involves spending time with extended family. While we most definitely enjoy these trips, I look forward to planned trips with Travis and the girls to visit specific places: the Grand Canyon, Washington D.C., and dream of trips overseas. Someday ... :)

My Freedom ::: Travel Layout

My Freedom ::: Travel Layout, p.1 My Freedom ::: Travel Layout, p.2

All pictures can be viewed larger in Flickr by clicking on them.

Monday, July 07, 2008

The Simple Woman's Daybook ::: July 7

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Do visit Peggy's to see all the other daybook posts this week!

FOR TODAY

Outside my Window ... it's quiet, a few cars are going up and down the street as folks head in to the office after a long weekend.

I am thinking ... it is good to be home! :)

I am thankful for ... safe travels, good memories with our family, and watermelon!

From the kitchen ... not much as I did a really good job cleaning out the fridge before we left town. Travis did a quick run to the store for me last night so I now have eggs for breakfast and milk, but we will need a plan and a grocery list for after that.

I am creating ... some scrapbook pages for a new Shimelle class that starts today. Hopefully more on this soon... :)

I am going ... to enjoy being home today, do LOTS of laundry, and decide whether or not a grocery trip is a must for today.

I am wearing ... sleep pants and a big t-shirt

I am reading ... a series of books by Karen Kingsbury that a friend loaned me, quick and fun reads for vacation. I also finished Mission of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson and it was excellent. I know this is a resource that I will be returning to over and over for encouragement and reminders.

I am hoping ... that E and I are not catching a cold. We both came home somewhat stuffy.

I am hearing ... E puttering around behind me and N1 watching Between the Lions. N2 is still snoozing.

Around the house ... it looks pretty good thanks to a quick clean before we went out of town. Now, to keep it up. :)

One of my favorite things ... the screened-in porch at the cottage we stay at on Lake Erie. On our last morning there, I was able to sneak out of our room before everyone woke and had about 30 minutes out there with the sunrise and my journal. *sigh* A highlight of vacation for me.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week ... I believe I've mentioned laundry and groceries, right? That's top priority. After that ... Wednesday night I will be going to my church's summer women's study on Proverbs and Friday, as far as I know, I get to go out to dinner with a few girlfriends. (I didn't realize I had so much *mommy* time this week, but since Travis is getting to go on a guy trip with my Dad and brother-in-law in a few weeks, I think I'll take while I can!)

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

Sandy Toes