Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Almost Wordless Wednesday--My Loves!

My Loves! What more can I say?

Bedtime stories with Daddy!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Making Thunder Cake!

Buggy and I get a few moments of just the two of us right before her nap time. Boogie is in school, and Mr. Bananas is down for a nap. We've been taking advantage of this special time by reading a story before nap time. She gets to choose the story and get ALL of Mama's attention. It's been good for both of us.

Last week we read Thunder Cake by Patricia Polacco, every single day before nap time. If you don't know the story, it's about a little girl who overcomes her fear of thunder storms while visiting her grandmother.  During this visit, her grandmother declares that it was a good time to make Thunder Cake. Throughout the story the little girl gathers ingredients around the farm while counting between claps of thunder and flashes of lightning.  Buggy has loved reading this book everyday, and it is one of my favorites to read.  

Last Friday we were due for some thunder storms and when Hubby went to the store, I sent him with a list of thunder cake ingredients. Buggy was so excited to make Thunder Cake for real!

It was so nice to take a break from regular chores and to do something for fun. To be able to make a cake and eat it all by ourselves. The big kids enjoyed helping me add the ingredients and could not wait for it to finish baking.  I put it in the oven before their baths and by the time they were done, the cakes were cooling on the racks. While they were cooling my brother called, and while I chatted with him, Hubby put the cake together.  We let the kids stay up later than usual to enjoy our tasty treat. Why not? Isn't this where memories are made?

I am so grateful for this time together. As the kids grow, I realize that it's now, the present, that I must relish. Too soon, they'll be grown and want to spend time with friends and not make cakes with Mama. Now is the time for making memories and enjoying ourselves. Who knows what the future will hold, but I know the present is pretty awesome!

My trusty Kitchen Aid Mixer 

Thunder Cake!

The inspiration behind it all :)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Last Day for Simplify Your Family Life Book Sale

This is the last day for the Simplify your Family Life Book sale. You get 35+ books for just $29!  Not too shabby.  In looking over the book list I was most interested in the books on "Marriage" and "Minimalism for Families." Is it TMI if I tell you that I look forward to reading Buck Naked Marriage? Probably, awkward? HA!  Which books do you look forward to reading?

The sale will go on until 8am Friday, April 20th. You won't want to wait.

Enjoy and happy reading!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Wild Kratts Birthday Party

Party-goers in their Creature Power Suits
My 6 year old son is a HUGE fan of the Kratt Brothers.  Chris and Martin Kratt are brothers who created a television program aimed at educating children in biology and ecology. They have a show on PBS called Wild Kratts.  My son often speaks of the Kratt brothers and he brings home writing assignments sharing how he wants to be an animal biologist and work with the Kratt brothers some day.

I made Wild Kratts the theme for Boogie's 6th birthday. I was having trouble coming up with some ideas until I looked on Pinterest. Are you on Pinterest? It's become my #1 "go-to" for birthday party ideas. Thank goodness! Piecing ideas from various websites and blogs I created a Wild Kratt party that Boogie and his friends went wild over.

Boogie modeling a creature power suit

I dusted off my mom's old Kenmore sewing machine about a week and a half ago and committed to making 10 Wild Kratt t-shirts. I wanted to make vests, but the price of the felt was way more than I was willing to spend. Fortunately, a local crafts store was having a sale on t-shirts and I was able to make the "creature power suits" for a lot less than I originally thought. Now, my sewing isn't great, but it doesn't seem like anyone noticed. I made the design using felt I found at the craft store. I was able to make two t-shirts worth of designs out of one piece of felt. Awesome!

Polar Bear Creature Power Disc
After making the trademark paw on the t-shirts, I glued a bit of velcro to the main paw and made creature power discs that I could velcro on the front front of the shirt depending which animal we were featuring.  With a bit of card stock,  clear contact paper (left over from all that elementary school teaching I did back in the day!), and a printer I was able to print out creature power discs.  And to give credit where credit is due, this is the site where I was able to get the creature power discs.

I made cheetah tails using leopard print duct tape from the craft's store. I just doubled up the tape and we had the kids place the top part of their cheetah tail in a back pocket to play a little cheetah tail tag. Think flag football without the football. We had kids running around trying to pull each other's tails. Loads of fun and a little bit silly.

We played "platypus egg hunt" and I hid candy filled plastic eggs in the backyard. Afterwards the kids played "platypus egg race" by putting plastic eggs on top of spoons held in their mouths. They had to race around on a course and drop their eggs in a basket without using their hands. Again, silly but a lot of fun.

We made beaver dams out of pretzel rods and chocolate frosting. No pictures, because watching my son eat like a beaver just ended up being super gross. But again, loads of fun.

The Wild Kratts "Tortuga" Base
I made a pull apart cupcake cake shaped as a turtle. My decorating needs work. It didn't help that the red gel frosting pen I used didn't set and it looked like my turtle was bleeding from it's mouth. Oh, well. Nobody noticed or were too kind to say anything and I have to stay doing the cupcake cake was totally the way to go. No cutting slices for the kiddos. They each got a cupcake and they were happy.

We ended with kids answering animal trivia questions in order to earn their next creature power disc. I loved putting this party together for my son. I was able to use my crafty side and make shirts that I never thought I would make in a million years.  Another benefit of being a stay-at-home mom. I have time to pull together my creative ideas and make them work!  It did my heart good to see Boogie's friends wearing their creature power shirts to school this week and hear them talking about creature powers and the fun they had.  Yay!  Boogie loved his party and I was so happy to pull it together for him.

Party Favors: Animal crackers with animal facts printed on them
Cheetah Tails
Hubby demonstrating how to play the Platypus Egg Race

And they're off!

Monday, April 16, 2012

2nd Annual Simplify Your Family Life Book Sale!

For the last few years I have been following Mandi from Life...Your Way. As a discombobulated mommy I love following her posts on home/life organization, motherhood, blogging, technology and so much more. How excited was I when she contacted me to be a part of her Simplify Your Family Life book sale?!? So excited! 

Corey from Simple Marriage and Mandi from Life...Your Way have brought together some of the top authors on family life with 38 ebooks covering a variety of topics that we face daily.  It's everything this discombobulated mommy needs to streamline her life. I'm always looking for ways to organize and minimize our stuff, strengthen my marriage, and improve my parenting. I thought this was a great opportunity to dive into all of these topics.  Won't you join me in this awesome offer?

When purchased separately, these ebooks are worth $375, but for four days only, you can purchase the entire collection for only $29! However, it is only available 8 a.m. today, April 16th through 8 a.m. on Friday, April 20th.

The Site is now closed

When you purchase the Simplify Family Life collection, you get instant access to each of the ebooks listed below:

Entrepreneurship & Blogging

Blogger Behave by Laura @ 10 Million Miles ($4.99)

How to Have Your Cake and Eat It, Too by Mandi @ Life Your Way ($12.00)

Make Money Blogging by Tara @ Feels Like Home ($4.99)

Tap Into Your Unique Creativity and Self Expression Webinar by Lisa @ WellGrounded Life ($39.00)

Tell Your Time by Amy @ Blogging with Amy ($4.99)

Your Blogging Business: Tax Talk & Tips from a Bookkeeper Turned Blogger by Nikki @ Christian Mommy Blogger ($4.99)

Food & Cooking

Get Lean Recipe for Success by Nisha @ Healthy Mom's Kitchen ($37.00)

Got Dinner? by Susan @ The Confident Mom ($4.00)

How To Cook For Yourself: A Complete Beginnerís Guide by Rachael @ Kitchen Courses ($35.00)

Plan It, Don't Panic by Stephanie @ Keeper of the Home ($4.99)

Real Food Basics by Kate @ Modern Alternative Mama ($6.95)

Real Food, Real Easy by Erin @ The Humbled Homemaker ($9.95)

Smart Sweets by Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship ($9.95)

The Everything Beans Book by Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship ($9.95)


2012 Confident Mom Weekly Household Planner by Susan @ The Confident Mom ($9.00)

Clean Start: Your Guide to Natural Home Cleaning by Michelle @ Open Eye Health ($4.95)

Complete Printables Download Pack by Mandi @ Life Your Way ($7.00)

Food on Your Face for Acne & Oily Skin by Leslie @ Crunchy Betty ($7.99)

From Debtor to Better by Barry @ Debtor to Better ($15.00)

My Buttered Life {Summer + Gift Giving Editions} by Renee @ MadeOn Hard Lotion ($10.00)

Not a DIY Diva by Melissa @ The Inspired Room ($3.99)

One Bite at a Time by Tsh @ Simple Mom ($5.00)

That Works for Me by Kristen @ We Are THAT Family ($8.00)

Marriage & Relationships

A Simple Marriage by Corey @ Simple Marriage ($4.99)

Buck Naked Marriage by Corey @ Simple Marriage ($2.99)

Entangled by Amy @ Permission to Peruse ($4.99)

The A to Z Guide: 26 Ways in 26 Days to a Happier, Healthier Marriage by The Dating Divas ($9.97)

Minimalism for Families

101 Ways to Simplify Your Life by Laura @ Journey to a Simple Life ($9.95)

321-Stop by Lori @ Loving Simple Living ($9.97)

Inside Out Simplicity by Joshua @ Becoming Minimalist ($11.99)

Simple Ways to Be More with Less by Courtney @ Be More with Less ($9.97)

The Minimalist Momís Guide to Babyís First Year by Rachel @ The Minimalist Mom ($9.95)

Parenting & Kids

4 Moms of 35+ Kids Answer Your Parenting Questions by the Moms @ 4 Moms, 35+ Kids ($7.99)

Flourishing Spring by Michele @ Frugal Granola ($5.95)

Mindset for Moms by Jamie @ Steady Mom ($4.99)

Nurturing Creativity by Renee @ FIMBY ($3.00)

Parenting with Positive Guidance by Amanda @ Not Just Cute ($9.00)

Truth in the Tinsel by Amanda @ Impress Your Kids ($6.99)

The Simplify Your Family Life Sale is brought to you in part by Plan to Eat, an online meal planning app that makes eating at home simple. Receive an exclusive coupon code on a one-year membership with your purchase!

The sale ends at 8 a.m. ET on April 20th, and there will be no late sales offered, so don't wait.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Easter 2012

Family Picture on Easter
I've been so busy I haven't had two seconds to check in and post.  I've been prepping for Boogie's birthday party. This is the first year that we have decided to do a separate "friend" party and I've been working hard on that. I will write more about that on another post and sharing my crafty side.

First, I have to write and share pictures from Easter.  He is Risen!  Alleluia, Alleluia!

As I've posted before, the kids have become very involved in Lent this year. They willingly gave up television and video games all through Lent and meat on Fridays.  I have to say we haven't missed television. Even though we can go back to watching it, the kids haven't asked for it, and I'm finding that I am getting more done because I'm not turning it on to "relax." It's been good.

My kids with my parents
Easter was a little chillier than I would have liked, but still sunny and bright.  We picked up my Filipino relatives and headed to Church a little earlier than usual so that we could be sure to sit together. With it being Easter, it was suggested we arrive earlier because of the expected number of people attending Church.  However, I found that it did not seem as crowded. Hubby reminded me that we were sitting this year and not standing in the back...maybe that was it. And when you fill an entire pew with just your family, you get a little more wiggle room.  My parents joined us this year and it was really, really nice to attend Church with them. We attend different churches and don't often get to sit through a service with them. I liked that they were there and the kids loved being with Lolo and Lola. I hope we can make this an annual occurrence.

We finished church with an Easter egg "hunt" for the kids.  The Knights of Columbus put this on every year and they continue to do a fantastic job organizing it.  This year Boogs actually came home with candy. Last year an older kid snookered him and traded Boogie pencils for his candy. No candy for him last year...not that it was an entirely bad thing...

Picture with my Filipino relatives
I love Easter. I love the promises it holds and the promises of new life. I love the hope it brings and how it strengthens my faith. It is a wonderful time and I am blessed to be able to spend it with my immediate and extended family.

To each of you I wish you blessings of new hope, eternal life, and new beginnings. Happy Easter!

1 Peter 1:3
Praise be to the God and Father our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead... (NIV)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Almost Wordless Wednesday: Mama with her Kiddos

I don't have many pictures of me with my children. I love this picture because it is totally us, in our natural setting, taken on my 34th birthday.  My kids and my husband make me who I am. I am humbled to be a part of this wonderful family!