A Colorful Birthday Party!

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The Wild One recently turned 7 and she requested a COLORFUL Birthday party! She wanted lots of bright colors, painting, games and tons of CANDY!

This was a really fun party to put together and thanks to Pinterest, it was quick and easy to find plenty of ideas! Check it out:

She picked out 4 different types of CANDY to decorate her cake with!

We made to sure to have lots and lots of colorful snacks and CANDY!

We set up for our little artists!

And had plenty of time for yard games and a full fledge silly string war!

Here’s to another year of laughs, giggles, silliness, and most importantly the quirkiness that our Wild One brings to our family!

 

Imagination Station – Save the Toy Store!

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We have a local Toy Store in downtown Franklin that we just love!!! This store was ‘born’ the same year as Miss Bug so it has meant a lot to us over the years! We have shopped, celebrated, partied, and PLAYED at this store for the past 9 years! We love the owners and really enjoy every visit we make to this quaint little store! They are unique in that they allow the kids (and adults) to play with the toys in their store prior to purchasing them! They are super helpful when looking for special gifts and they even gift wrap them in the coolest of papers and bows!

We had the chance to visit our Toy Store in the last week for 2 different events. The Wild One is having her big 7th BD this week so we got to celebrate with her friends at the store. They planned a terrific themed party complete with games, crafts, activities and of course snacks!

Check out this “Teacher” themed party:

(Note – even though school is out of session for the summer – the Wild One LOVES to ‘teach’ so she wanted a teacher themed party!)

Her little 1st grade buddies! (Well, 2nd graders now!)

Last week, our Little Man got to enjoy a Construction Event at the store and he absolutely loved it!

 

We thought it was most appropriate to eat lunch that day on this awesome construction set that he received a couple of years ago from this very Toy Store – lunch included rocks, logs, mud and gravel!!

And we spent the afternoon playing construction!!

Speaking of construction, this Toy Store has been surrounded by construction for over a year now which has made it a little difficult to get to the store. Their sales have been down and we are sad to say that they are going through a tough time right now. They started a Save the Toy Store campaign a few weeks ago and are wrapping it up this week. We have done our part to try to Save the Toy Store! We have many great memories at this little local store and hope to see it around for years to come! So, here’s to Saving OUR Toy Store!!

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Father Daughter Dance

“She’s pulling at me saying, ‘Dad, I need you
There’s a ball at the castle and I’ve been invited
And I need to practice my dancing, oh please, daddy, please’
So I will dance with Cinderella while she is here in my arms
‘Cause I know something the prince never knew
Oh, I will dance with Cinderella, I don’t want to miss even one song
‘Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight and she’ll be gone…”

                                                                                                  Steven Curtis Chapman

This song was the theme of our recent Father Daughter dance – if you haven’t heard it before – I highly recommend that you take a listen – Cinderella by Steven Curtis Chapman! Awesome song!!

Who doesn’t love to watch little girls all dressed up spinning, twirling, swaying, dancing with their daddies and grandpas – and did I mention twirling?!?

I had the true pleasure of helping with our Father Daughter dance last weekend! Our church MOPS group sponsored this event and we had a fantastic time. It was royal, magical, special and hopefully memorable for all who attended!

 

 
 

The Wild One and Miss Bug got the royal treatment by their daddy! What a special evening for them!

 
 

 

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How to make a Balloon Arch

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Say "OshKosh B’gosh" Video Contest AND $50 Giveaway from Two Maids!

Disclosure: Post and giveaway sponsored by OshKosh B’gosh, but all opinions are  my own. Please see below for additional disclosure.

CONGRATULATIONS TO HOOSIER FARM BABE FOR WINNING THE $50 GIFT CARD!

OshKosh B’gosh, OshKosh B’gosh, OshKosh B’gosh! How many of you remember this famous saying and the adorable commercials that went along with it in the 80’s?!

Our family loves OshKosh B’gosh clothing – especially the bibs! My Little Man has had a few pair over the years and my girls even had the pink and white striped bibs when they were little! My Grandpa has worn striped OshKosh bibs for as long as I can remember – so, when our kids were born, we knew that they needed the same striped bibs to match Great Gramps!

Check out Little Man sporting his:

He’s a cool dude (in case you didn’t notice!) And, not only do they have bibs, but they also have the cutest clothes for boys and girls! Check out these adorable OshKosh skirts on my girls:

They even have built-in shorts which is one of my favorite features for girls’ skirts! You know that OshKosh B’gosh has been around since 1895 and was started in OshKosh, WI. It is now a subsidiary of Carter’s – another great children’s clothing company!

So, this is your lucky day because we are partnering with OshKosh B’gosh on their video contest and sweepstakes AND we are giving away a $50 gift card right here on our own blog to one of our readers!

If you would like to enter the video contest, you can submit a video entry of your b’gosh kid saying “OshKosh B’gosh” for a chance to win the grand prize – a $5000 OshKosh B’gosh gift card.

Entering is quick and easy. You can take a video (30 seconds or less) with your mobile phone and upload it directly to the contest page here!

Check out the short video that my kiddos did:

There’s nothing OshKosh B’gosh loves more than the sight (and sound) of real kids saying “OshKosh B’gosh!” Say it six times fast, say it with a silly dance, say it slow or fast…. have fun with it!

Once you enter, you’re eligible for a chance to win!
One Grand Prize Winner: $5000 OKBG gift card
Four Runner’s up: $500 OKBG gift cards (total $2000)
Fifty Random Winners: $50 OKBG gift cards (total $2500)

 

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. The Say “Oshkosh B’Gosh!” Video Contest and Sweepstakes ends 5/7/13. 18+, 50 U.S./D.C./P.R. only. Go to www.facebook.com/oshkoshbgosh for Official Rules and complete details.

If you would like to enter to win a $50 gift card to OshKosh B’gosh – all you need to do is leave a comment below and tell us your favorite style on the OshKoshBgosh website.

Please also leave an email address you can be reached at.

THIS GIVE-A-WAY IS NOW CLOSED – MAY, 6, 2013.

(This giveaway ends at midnight EST on Sunday, May 5th and the contest winner will be picked at random and be announced on Monday, May 6th.)

OshKosh B’gosh partnered with bloggers such as me to help promote the Say “OshKosh B’gosh Video Contest and Sweepstakes. As part of the program, I received product or gift cards. OshKosh B’gosh believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words, and therefore did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about the products I used. OshKosh B’gosh policies align with WOMMA Ethich COde, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations. The winner of any prize in this program will be chose in accordance with the program’s Official Rules and gift card fulfillment will be handled by a third party.

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Amish Country

My mom and I got to take a few days last week and enjoy Amish Country – one of our favorite things to do together! I have a few posts that I will be writing about our trip but I wanted to share some photos as I was downloading them tonight. I hope you enjoy the view as much as we did!

 

 

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Little House on the Prairie Birthday Party

A few weeks ago, I was talking to Miss Bug about her upcoming 9th Birthday (ugh!) and she had been thinking about a “Little House” or a pioneer themed party. I was surprised by this idea but absolutely loved all of the possibilities! She read the entire Little House series last year and we rent the TV series from the library quite often – so we talked it over and thought why not?!

 
 
 
 
 

She LOVES to sew and to craft, so we decided to make this the theme of the party! We looked through some books and made a visit to Conner Prairie and came up with some really fun ideas. She definitely wanted to create a Mercantile for the kids to ‘shop’ at! She helped me sew satchels for each one of them and she made the prices so that everyone would be able to purchase one of everything! They each started with $.10. The funny part (and probably not want we anticipated) was that throughout the party, the kids were running around asking adults for pennies so they could ‘shop’ for more things! It turned in to quite the hit and the kids just loved being able to buy special things!

 
 
 

In order to save some money, my girls wore dresses or skirts that they already had, but we did purchase bonnets for them and I made them each an apron. We also made pennants to decorate with and LOTS of cornbread and lemonade for snacks!

 
 
 
Little Man and his cousin! Doesn’t she remind you of Carrie?!
 

I had big plans for a ‘quilted’ cake but Miss Bug quickly reminded me that the cake would’ve been much simpler back then – so we decided just to ice it and add a few blueberries to the top!

 

Another big hit was making the rag dolls and bead necklaces. In the books, Laura Ingalls loved to play with her rag doll. Her older sister, Mary, would sew her dresses for her doll for her birthday. I found a no-sew pattern for a rag doll and we decided that this could be a quick and easy craft for the kids but lots of fun! Laura also like to hunt for Indian beads and would make beautiful necklaces out of them so, we had beads for sell in our Mercantile and the kids could make necklaces or bracelets!

 

When visiting Conner Prairie, we found copies of the McGuffey reader and speller – the SAME books that Laura would’ve used in school! We wrapped them in a brown sack and gave them to Miss Bug before the party. Needless to say – she LOVED them and has already spent hours reading them!!

To top off the party, we downloaded some fiddle music along with the theme song from “Little House on the Prairie.” This was so much fun! Simple, home-made and certainly affordable! The best part came at the end of the day when Miss Bug gave me a big hug and told me it was her best birthday party ever!!!

Happy 9th Birthday to our ‘half-pint’ Miss Bug!!

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A New Chapter – The 4-H Years!

As we celebrate National Ag Day today, I couldn’t be more proud than to watch our little Miss Bug begin a new chapter in her life! AND in ours (as parents!) She has become a 4-H member! This is a year that I have been anxiously awaiting – well, for almost 9 years now!

I LOVE the 4-H Youth program more than any youth organization in the world! My hub and I were both 10-year members. I grew up in a strong 4-H family – our ‘family’ time typically revolved around some type of 4-H activity. Not only was I a 10-year member, I was also a county 4-H Intern, a State 4-H Intern, a 4-H Youth Extension Educator (for those of you not familiar – I worked for 4-H), and now I serve as a 4-H volunteer. Even though I feel like I have held almost every 4-H position possible — now I get to be a 4-H MOM!!!

So, Miss Bug will begin her own 4-H experiences this year. She has signed up to take projects in Sewing, Arts/Crafts, Cake Decorating, Fashion Revue and in showing Dairy cattle! This 7th generation future dairy farmer has been working with the 4-H Dairy Judging team since January, helped her daddy build a small barn out back for her calves, and has picked out a couple of heifers to take to this year’s county fair. Here’s a look:

 
 
Stay tuned for many more pictures of the kids and calves and this New Chapter in our lives!
 



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March is Agriculture Appreciation Month

While our nation will be celebrating National Agriculture Day on March 19th, our state and local counties and communities will be celebrating agriculture this entire month!

What a great time of year to celebrate Ag – the weather will be getting warmer soon, the days will be getting longer, and hopefully we will all start to smell fresh tilled soil (one of my favorites!) this month!  While we have calves born at our farm every day – there is still something about springtime and baby calves! They often get a little ‘frisky’ and tend to jump and kick in the sunshine! AND with the onset of Easter weekend – it’s baby chick time! We always make a trip to see them when it’s Chick Days at our local TSC or Rural King! Keep in mind that our Little Man is obsessed with chickens and ducks!

So in celebration of March and Agriculture Appreciation Month – I thought I would share a few of my favorite photos taken around our farm!

  

 

 

 
 
 

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Homemade Pancakes

It’s that time of year again when we celebrate Maple Syrup in Indiana! The National Maple Syrup Festival will be the first two weekends in March and as you know, our family loves it! So, I thought I would share one of my FAVORITE foods!
I love to eat pancakes anywhere and anytime! My favorite meal to eat out at a restaurent is usually breakfast / brunch and much of this has to do with great big, yummy, plate-sized pancakes!
At our house – we have pancakes for dinner quite often! Miss Bug definitely has her momma’s genes on this one – she is up for pancakes any time of the day too! Last year, she even requested pancakes for her Birthday dinner!

This is my favorite recipe for homemade pancakes! I grew up on these pancakes and my momma used to serve them for dinner too!! The BEST thing about this recipe is that you should have these 7 ingredients in your kitchen at any given time – they are all basic BUT put together – they make fabulous pancakes!

Here we go:

Combine egg, milk and oil.

Add dry ingredients to this and stir JUST until moistened. This is key – do NOT over-mix!

Make sure your griddle is nice and HOT – I usually spray with non-stick spray or add a little oil to it to keep that first batch from sticking.

The key to a great pancake is knowing when to flip! How do you know…? When they look like this!!!

Fry up some ham, warm the maple syrup and it doesn’t get much better than this – if you ask me!!

Homemade Pancakes
1 1/4 c. flour
3 t. baking powder
1 T. sugar

1/2 t. salt
1 egg, beaten
1 C. milk
2 T. vegetable oil

Combine egg, milk and oil. Add dry ingredients. Stir JUST until moistened. Bake on a hot griddle. Makes 8-12 pancakes.

Remember that we are giving away 2 tickets to the National Maple Syrup Festival right here on our blog! Tomorrow is your last chance to sign up!!

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President’s Day School Project

A few weeks ago Miss Bug came home and informed us that she had 2 weeks to complete her 3rd grade President’s Day project! She was to choose a President, do some research, write a report, make a puppet and give an oral report to the class — pretty big assignment if you ask me!!

Anyway, we have had some GREAT conversations over the past few weeks about past Presidents in our house! Since my hub absolutely LOVES this type of thing – he was all about discussing numerous Presidents with her – strategies, votes, decisions, politics, parties… And we also decided to check out a few books from the library including:

Three Presidents Died on the Fourth of July —- Great book for elementary students! It is full of interesting and quirky facts about our first 25 Presidents!! Do you know which 3 died on July 4th??

So, long story short – Miss Bug decided that she wanted to do her project on President Martin Van Buren. Who???? Yes, he was the 8th President of the United States and in Miss Bug’s own words “He did something special for our family!”

We learned that President Van Buren was the first President born in the US – the seven before him were born before the US was separate from Great Britian. He was born in Kinderhook, NY and many of his friends called him “Old Kinderhook.” Over time, they formed an “OK” club (for Old Kinderhook) which is where the term OK came from. He served as a US Senator from New York, Governor of New York and then as Vice President with Andrew Jackson. Later he served as President from 1837-1841.

So, you may be wondering what he did for our family that was so special! Here is Miss Bug’s last paragraph from her written report:

In the early years of the United States, people moved west because if they farmed land they could own it. The land was given to them from the government.  My ancestors moved to our farm and President Van Buren land granted us 80 acres of land in 1837 that we still farm today. I am the 7th generation on our Kelsay family dairy farm. I think he was a good President because he made good decisions and helped to start our farm. I think President Martin Van Buren was OK!

 

 There you have it! Although many people don’t know much about President Van Buren – he was very important to our family and what an awesome experience this school project has been with our 3rd grader!!

Oh, and the answer to the question above… The 3 Presidents that died on July 4th were Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and James Monroe!

Happy President’s Day!!

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Happy Valentine’s Day!!

It’s beginning to look a lot like V-day – Everywhere we go,

We have plenty of red and pink – candy bags and great crafts we think,

And lots of games and heart-shaped cookies to show…

My Little Man gave me a Valentine today…

It just melts my heart!!! (Truth is – I love this more than anything!)

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Gramps turned 90 years old!

Last weekend we celebrated my Grandpa’s 90th birthday! Can you imagine – 90 years old?!? This is the conversation I have been having a lot lately with my kiddos – 90 years is a long time!

Here he is – 90 birthdays later…

 
 

Gramps is doing great for 90 years – he is ornery and can’t hear a thing BUT he still gets out and about every day! He loves to read and really enjoyed the cards that each of the kids made him. We went back and found information about 1923 and had so much fun sharing – he especially liked to tell the kiddos about the days back then!

For Example:

In 1923, a loaf of bread was $.09. It is $2.45 today! A gallon of gas was $.18 and $3.50 today. A gallon of milk was $.56 in 1923 and $4.09 in 2013. All in all, we agreed that food prices have not gone up that much in 90 years – especially considering inflation and the costs of some other goods.

How about a first class stamp going from $.02 to $.45 and a newspaper from $.05 to $5.00! Probably the largest change we saw was a movie ticket – it cost $.15 in 1923 and $8.00 (at least) in 2013!

I can’t help but think about all of the things that he has seen in his lifetime – really amazing! So, here’s to my Gramps and his 90 years!!

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The GREAT Pumpkin!

We are about one week away from opening our farm up to Experience the Farm 2012!! Everything is buzzing here – we are starting to set up, training new employees, finalizing musical acts, and confirming field trips! BUT – today I took the time to walk the pumpkin patch with our neighbor (and grower) – Taylor’s Farm Market!

Let me tell you – we will have a HUGE selection this year! We have everything from munchkins, to pie pumpkins, to gourds, to squash, to carvers, to the GREAT pumpkins!! Despite the drought, the pumpkins look really good! I’m not sure that I’ve seen this many in the 6 years that we’ve been creating this fall experience!

Here’s a sneak peak:

 These are gourds but we have the bumpy pumpkins too! (AKA knuckleheads!)

 These are the biggest Butternut Squash I’ve ever seen! The Cushaw are huge too!

 New this year – Goblin’s eggs – they are adorable!

 The vines are full!

Stop by this fall for ALL of your pumpkin and gourd needs!!

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Baby Shower for the Maid

Many of you probably know that the other “Maid” of our Two Maids is expecting a new bundle any day now! We have always joked (being dairy farmers) that she was the heifer and I was the 3rd lactation cow BUT she is about to join the lactating herd or the cow herd!! Sounds great – huh?!?!

We had a blast a few weeks ago celebrating with her and throwing a cow-themed baby shower!

Check it out:

This baby is going to be welcomed by lots of cousins and quite a few Aunts that can’t wait to love on it!

Going back to the dairy farm terms, we would say that she’s in the ‘close up’ pen now!!!

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Highlights from our Summer Break!

Today was our first day back to school and all I can think is “Where did the summer go?!?” The time just flew by! Even though it went quickly, we did have lots of fun over summer break and I’m really grateful for the special time that we got to spend with the kiddos!!

So, here are some highlights from our summer break:

Swimming and playing with friends!

Vacation Bible School

Two (hot!) weeks of Tennis Camp

Seeing LOTS of cousins!

July 4th in St. Louis

Visiting friends in Columbia, MO

 (My BFF since 1st grade!!)

More swimming…

Riding bikes – without training wheels!!

And the County Fair!

Mini 4-H projects

The fair parade

Showing pigs – She won for 6 year olds in Pee Wee showmanship!

Pedal Tractor Pull – She won again!! It was definitely her night!

So as you can see, we had a full summer with LOTS of memories!

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Shoe Party for Little Girls

My Wild One had her 6th birthday this summer and she (of course) wanted a SHOE party! This girl is absolutely crazy about shoes! She will change her shoes an average of 6 times on any given day!!

Considering that I also love shoes – this party was a blast to plan! So, here’s to a girl and her shoes!!

She’s ready for the party! Check out these shoes!!

What is that hanging from the tree?! This was an awesome suprise for her! A SHOE full of candy – WOW!

She got NEWshoes and OLD shoes! The shoes in the photo below were her Great Grandma’s. What a special treat!!

We even celebrated the day after by decorating cookies!

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Back to School Fall Fashion Giveaway

I absolutely cannot believe that we are just 3 weeks away from “Back to School!” Our corporation is switching to a balanced school calendar this year  – so our kiddos go back on August 1st. So, even though it’s been 100 degrees outside, it’s time to start thinking about Back to School – Fall Styles!

I was checking out the Wear Now Fall Styles from OshKosh B’gosh and found some terrific fall fashions for my kiddos! These clothes are comfy, stylish and great for school! My girls and I went through the styles (They can be found here) and found some awesome school outfits!

 Miss Bug loved this outfit! All of her favorites – butterflies, skirts and headbands!

My girls love wearing skirts to school, so this is an obvious choice for us! Considering we start back to school the beginning of August, they will have a good couple of months to wear this!

This choice is perfect for my Wild One! It comes in pink which is her favorite color and the leggings are perfect for her! This entire set is SO affordable and looks perfect for back to school!

They have so many great styles for kids including – graphic t-shirts, jeans, hoodies, and even uniforms if your kiddos need them this fall!

Of course they have a complete line for boys too, check it out! The short sleeve polos and graphic tees are great for school along with lots of denim choices and their famous bibs! (My personal favorite for little guys!) These styles are awesome and versatile – great for warm weather and can be layered up for Fall styles in chillier months!

So – back to school – here we go!

Now, it is your chance to win a gift card to get some fancy new clothes for your crew!
Enter below (readers via email/feed must visit blog to enter) to win a $50 Carter’s gift card. 
Go on over to the OshKosh B’gosh homepage and let us know what your favorite back to school outfit is in the wear now fall styles collection! 
Interested in finding a store near you? Visit here!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclosure: OshKosh B’gosh partnered with bloggers such as me to help promote the Wear Now Fall Style promotion. As part of the program, I received product or gift cards. OshKosh B’Gosh believes that consumer and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words, and therefore did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about the products I used. OshKosh B’Gosh policies align with the WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC  guidelines and social media engagement recommendations. The winner of any giveaway in this program will be randomly chosen and gift card fulfillment will be handled by a third party. 

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Blessing in Disguise

As many of you know, it has been severely dry here in Indiana. Our entire state is way below average precipitation levels and for us here in the central part – our last measurable rain was back in May! The corn is drying up, the yards are completely brown and the gardens are only hanging on with regular daily watering. So, for the past month, our prayer (like most of the midwest) has been for some rain. My girls even mention it quite often in their nightly prayers!

Well, our blessing in disguise came 2 nights ago. A ‘downburst’ thunderstorm hit our farm and traveled straight East for a few miles. It was the strangest thing ever seen. The storm chasers reported up to 70 mph winds and extremely heavy rain. Power outages, trees down, property damage – in fact – our neighbor lost an entire barn. BUT everyone was okay! Nobody was hurt and our little part of the world got a 2.5″ rain!!

Here are some photos from the other Maid’s house:

Here comes the clean up crew!

As we clean up the trees and fix the barns, we are truly grateful for the rain and for our safety!

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Field Day

Although we are planting corn today on the farm, I was referring to Elementary School FIELD Day!! Do you remember the one?

We had a great day today full of games, relays, tug-of-war, beach ball volleyball and popsicles!!

Check it out…

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Kids and Easter

I love to do Easter activities with my kiddos to help them remember the true reason we celebrate this holiday! It’s easy to get wrapped up in egg hunts, coloring eggs, and the Easter bunny (all of which we enjoy) but we always try to spend some time reflecting on Jesus!

We made the Easter Story Cookies last year and while the kids loved making them – they didn’t taste as good as they would’ve liked! So, we went back to the Ressurection Rolls this year! These are by no means an original – in fact, we did these at church years ago but they are such a great way to remind your kiddos of the Easter message and they taste great!

Ingredients
One can of crescent roll dough
Large marshmallows
Melted butter
Cinnamon sugar
Bible

Read John 19 while the oven is heating up. Unroll the crescent rolls – these represent the cloth that they wrapped Jesus in. Give your child a marshmallow and explain that it represents Jesus – pure and white because he was without sin. Roll the marshmallow in melted butter (symbolizes the embalming oils) and then in the cinnamon sugar which represents the spices used to prepare the body for burial. Then wrap it in the crescent roll making sure to pinch it together tightly. (No need to worry about the shape of the roll.)

Put the rolls into the tomb (oven) and bake according to the package directions. While baking, read John 20: 1-18.

Open the tomb when finished and let them cool. Then break apart and discover that the body of Jesus (marshmallow) is gone! Jesus is risen!

Happy Easter!

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How to Make a Fake Bread Loaf

I had the opportunity last week to make 24 FAKE loaves of bread! It may sound strange but it turned out to be really fun and a great project to involve my kiddos with!

The story behind the fake bread loaves – our church had a fire last fall in the children’s wing and thankfully nobody was hurt, but the entire wing had to be shut down for a few months and overhauled. In this process, the rooms were painted, upgraded and ‘themed’. So, we needed some fake loaves of bread for the market! These are actually quite expensive to purchase, so our Children’s Director found a recipe online to make fake bread loaves and I got the chance to make them!

Check them out:

Don’t they look real???!! They are so simple to make and you already have the ingredients in your kitchen.
Recipe for fake bread loaves
4 C. of flour
1 C.salt
2 C. water
Stir and shape into loaves with hands
Cut a slit in the top
Bake at 300 for at least an hour
*In order to get them to ‘brown’ properly, we brushed melted butter on them!
Once they are cooled, you can shellack them and even add sesame seeds to make them look more real.
I watched so many people pick them up, smell them, look them over, and tap them on their fist (they get hard as a rock) this past Sunday at church! They couldn’t believe that we had actually made them!!
I can see this being a GREAT project for your child’s play kitchen or even for table decorations!
What have you baked lately?
Can’t wait to see!!
Link your recipes below!!
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A Sparkling Birthday Party!

It’s March Madness time!!! Not so much basketball but birthdays! See, in our family – we have birthdays on March 18, two on the 19th, 22, 23, and two on the 24th! Crazy – huh?!?!?

So, Miss Bug and I celebrated our birthdays last week! I was content NOT to celebrate but she on the other hand was SO excited all week and thrilled to death when her big day came!

See, 8 years ago I went into labor on March 21 – my birthday came and went on March 22 – and she decided to make her grand entry at 12:43 AM on March 23!! That was definitely a birthday that I will never forget!!! We always laugh that she just had to have her ‘own’ day!

Anyway – she had requested a SPARKLE Birthday Party this year! So, we put together sparkles, jewels, rhinestones, sequins and glitter and we had ourselves a Sparkling Birthday Party!

She had a fun party with a few friends and another one with her family and cousins! So, needless to say – we partied all weekend!!

She asked for a canopy for her bed this year. I lead her to believe that it wasn’t possible since the girls have bunk beds BUT I went ahead and made her one and completely suprised her!

 Here we are crafting with friends! I’m still cleaning paint and GLITTER out of my rug!

And, her special birthday meal – PANCAKES! My kiddos get to choose their birthday meal and she loves pancakes – so we have plain, blueberry and chocolate chip! Check out these stacks!!

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How to make a simple bed canopy

Do you ever get those gift requests from your kiddos that completely take you by surprise??!!

Well, my oldest daughter, Miss Bug, recently had her 8th birthday and she asked for a bed canopy! I wasn’t even sure where she had gotten this idea and of course, she told me that she had seen in on TV. Since my girls have bunk beds in their room, I kind of dismissed it at first – letting her to believe that it wasn’t possible.

But – the more I measured and looked into it, I decided that it could be done! This is a REALLY simple design that was fairly inexpensive and only took me a couple of hours to assemble. (It might have taken less time but I was doing this between the hours of midnight and 2:00 AM and probably wasn’t thinking real clearly!)

Here’s what you need:
1 small hula hoop
5 spools of ribbon (each 30 feet)
12 yards of tulle (or more if you want it really full)
1 hook to hang it from the ceiling
flowers, butterflies, etc. for decoration
no-sew fabric glue

How to make it:
1) Cover the hula hoop by wrapping ribbon around it
2) Cut the tulle in to 8-10 foot pieces (depends on your ceiling height)
3) Wrap them around hula hoop and glue
4) Glue two pieces of equal length ribbon across the top to form a cross
5) Cut your other ribbon pieces and glue them around top of hula hoop so they hang down against tulle
6) Glue flowers around the top (could also use a feather boa here for fun)
7) Clip on butterflies, glue sparkles, etc.

Check out the final product and the HAPPY girl!!

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Mac & Cheese #3

Here we go! This is the BEST Mac & Cheese that I have made yet! Thanks to Paula Dean – she knows how to put together a super tasty batch of mac & cheese!

We had the chance to visit The Lady & Son’s restaurant last year and after eating her Mac & Cheese, I knew that I just had to have it again. So, I purchased the recipe and have enjoyed it thoroughly! If you like your dairy foods – butter, milk, and cheese – then this one is for you!!!

The Lady’s Cheesy Mac
4 C. cooked macaroni, drained
2 C. grated cheddar
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 C. sour cream
4 T. butter, cut into pieces
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1 C. milk
Cook macaroni and drain. Place in large bowl and add cheddar. In separate bowl, combine the remaining ingredients and add to the macaroni. Pour into casserole dish and bake. Can top with additional cheese if desired!
Bake at 350 for 30-45 min.

Link those recipes below!!
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National Maple Syrup Festival

We had so much this past weekend at the National Maple Syrup Festival down in Medora, IN!! Along with the 5 of us, we took along 3 in-laws and 2 cousins! Although it was a little cool outside, we had such a great time – eating pancakes, tasting syrups, learning about syrup making, taking horse-drawn wagon rides, and lots of playing! 

 Here’s our crew along with their cousins!

Chris Cakes was flipping pancakes all morning! Needless to say – he flipped them at me so quickly that I dropped 3 right in a row! The kids absolutely LOVED his performance!

 Tim Burton of Burton’s Maplewood Farms explaining how to make syrup!

My Little Man’s very first radio interview! He said “yes,” “yes,” and “no.”

 Twisting rope – perfect job for The Wild One!

The good news is that this festival is still going on this coming weekend (March 10-11)! It’s such a fun experience if you are looking to get out and enjoy the weather and enjoy some pancakes!! 

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Happy Birthday to the Kittens!

Our 3 little kittens are turning 1 year old!! What a year it’s been – from playing and more playing, to chewing things up, to dumping over things, to climbing trees, to almost getting on the school bus, to being scared of the grass, to running through the grass like little fire balls – we’ve had so much fun with them!

Mr. Wilson then and now:

Gabby then and now:

Daisy then and now:

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SUPER week in Indy!

I am SOOO proud to be a Hoosier and what a great week last one was! The Superbowl festivities were a blast! The city (and state for that matter) pulled off a tremendous party and it was an honor to be a part of it!!

Although I didn’t get to do the zipline, I did get to participate in The Today Show – which I have always wanted to do!!! Even though it wasn’t NYC, it was awesome! Jenna Wolfe was really great and so genuine when she talked about Hoosier Hospitality!

Here are some of my memories from the week!

 4:30 AM – the morning of The Today Show

 Look closely and you’ll see the rain just pouring down on us! It was SOOO cold and wet!

This was directly before she ran in to pull up her hair and throw a hat on!!

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When You Wish Upon a Star…

Dreams come true!!

I had a dream come true a couple of weeks ago! We completely suprised our kiddos with a long weekend trip to Disney World!

It was their first time to go and they had absolutely NO CLUE until we got to the airport! It was fantastic – lots of smiles, laughing, tears (on my end!!) and just pure excitement!

I have been planning this for a couple of years but wanted to wait until our Little Man was old enough to enjoy it. So, we took off over MLK weekend and had a really, really great time! The kids were perfect ages (3, 5 and 7), the weather was cool but nice and the crowds were not bad at all! For you Disney moms out there – we only had to get 2 fast-passes and our longest wait was about 17 minutes! We spent two days at Magic Kingdom and one day at Hollywood Studios.

Check it out:

Little Man’s favorites = Airplane ride getting there, seeing Bullseye and Woody (from a distance – was scared to death of the characters!) and the Buzz Lightyear ride

Wild One’s favorites = Rapunzel, the Pirates of the Carribean ride and playing in the web at Honey I Shrunk the Kids

Miss Bug’s favorites = Meeting Belle, Aurora and Cinderella, the Snow White ride, the Tiki bird house and swimming in the heated outdoor pools

Mom and Dad’s favorites = The electric parade, fireworks, family-friendly atmosphere and making unforgettable memories with the kids!

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Mac and Cheese #2

If you remember back a couple of weeks ago, I posted about my quest to find the best Mac and Cheese – one of my favorite foods!

So, here we go – this is a super simple recipe that only calls for 5 ingredients. It’s easy to make, tastes great and this is MY family mac and cheese! It doesn’t matter who makes it for family dinners – my mom, SIL or I – we always make it this way!!

Just a few simple steps:
1) Boil macaroni, drain and put into casserole dish

 2) While it’s boiling, chunk up your cheese – although you can choose any kind, we always use COLBY!

 3) Add milk to your cooked macaroni. No measurement here – just until it comes up maybe 1/3 of way from bottom. You can look at the side of dish to measure!

4) Add salt and pepper and stir it around a little.

5) Add your cheese chunks – mix them in. I usually poke some down to the bottom and the sides.

6) Bake at 350 for 45 minutes covered with foil and then 15 more minutes without the foil to brown the top! Enjoy!

My Little Man saying ‘cheese’ for Mac and Cheese! This recipe gets great scores for being easy to make, simple ingredients and tastes great. Although I really like this mac and cheese and was raised on it – I’m still working on that one that is out of this world! Stay tuned!!

Link up your recipes below!

Can’t wait to see what you link up this week for 2 Maids a Baking!!

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