Summertime Rice Krispie Treats

Take your typical rice krispie treat and turn it into a s'more.  Golden Grahams, marshmallows and chocolate chips...couldn't be easier! (Although, full disclosure, I did break a wooden spoon in half during the mixing process)

Recipe via chef in training


I kind of grew up in the country.  I drove 20-30 minutes to get to my high school.  And now, I kind of live in the city.  We walk a couple blocks to Jack's school.  Growing up, our mail was delivered by someone driving in a car.  Now an evening walk often includes a meet-up with our mailman and his wife & dogs, because he lives a block away and knows me by name because he walks his route each day.  It's not like I didn't notice the changes when I made the switch after college.  However, the more summers I spend with my kids in our neighborhood, the more I realize that our neighbors make up a pretty awesome community to be a part of.

This weekend was a lazy one as far as our plans went, but in actuality, it was packed with fun.  A walk to the playground led to Jack spending the next three hours playing kickball and baseball with a group of friends he just happened to run into.  There were cozy car cruises down the front sidewalk and big kids jumping our back fence to play with my crew.  Our neighbors invited us to share in their new vegetable garden so my kids planted and watered for a solid hour or two.  When all that work was done, my kids were passed over the fence to join in some sprinkler fun.  And in the midst of all that, there were some impromptu adult get-togethers (that unfortunately we missed due to previously made plans or sheer exhaustion).  This is a seriously fun place to live!

Work-in-Progress Wednesday 29

This should be a WIP shot of the blanket, right?  Especially because I said I was only working on the blanket until it was completed.  But...a new baby I know (and love) decided to surprise us all and be delivered 4 weeks early, so I have to make the handmade portion of his welcome gift...and fast!  This is just the start...and they are upside down...any clue what they will be? 

These fun shoes!  I need to pick a color for the upper though.  There are just too many fun choices in my stash.

These Kids of Mine...

-are my favorite people in the world
-are spending every second possible outside in the sun
-make me think, make me laugh, and make me see the world in ways I never did before
-love their schools
-drive each other (and their mom & dad) absolutely crazy
-love each other (and hopefully us too) with their whole hearts
-cant wait for summer vacation

Working for Summer

I know you probably think this is a before shot, but I must admit it is the after.  This area is the wall of our office and it holds stationery, paper, all my craft stuff and most importantly, all the kids' craft stuff.  It is used all year long (often abused all year long) and really needed a good sorting.  My biggest focus was to get my craft stuff and all the bigger "raw materials" type of things (egg cartons, milk jugs, etc) up on the top shelves making more space on the bottom two shelves for the things the kids use all the time (pipe cleaners, eyes, pom poms, stickers, beans, tp tubes) to build creations of their own.  It doesn't really need to be pretty, just accessible.  I'm ready for summer crafting!

Work-in-Progress Wednesday 28

More of the same with my striped blanket, so I thought I'd enlist a model to help from being so boring.  I'm about 1/3 through the last repeat of stripes, but am considering going for 5 repeats instead of 4 for a longer blanket.  It is a fast project...when I work on it.

Joining up with Yarn Along at Small Things & WIP Wednesday at Tami's Amis.

Where we stand

It's getting warmer which has equalled lots of outside time for me.  Perhaps summer weather is actually on its way?

Matt completed his last two finals of this semester last night (one was "take home"), so we have him a few more nights a week.  Well, for a couple weeks at least...then he's off to his summer class.

We're getting a new furnace this week.  That sounds weird given my summer weather comment above, but when it goes, it goes.  Of course, furnaces also control air conditioning.

This month is the busy season...Matt's finals, soccer, baseball, end of school stuff, and a million birthday parties.  How is it that all of EJ's friends seem to be Spring babies?

Having back-to-back soccer and baseball practices on a Monday night knocked Jack out cold post-shower.  I'm curious if I'll even be able to wake him up this morning.  All that outside time did not affect his sisters though.  I'm wondering if I'll be able to wake them up too, but it's because they were up talking until about 10pm.

I'm ready for summer.  The kids still have a month of school...except Livie.  Her last day is next Wednesday.  She's not going to be happy!

A fabulous mother's day

We hiked, we grilled, we read quietly & played loudly outside, we napped.  And we ate many treats, took a few walks, and I got some wonderful handmade goodies from my kidlets.  It was a great day!

Lace up

Because sometimes the week starts taking a turn for the absolutely crazy right around Wednesday and you need a little silly to make you smile at it all!

P.S. We're walking for an amazing girl named Ella in ONE WEEK!  Please visit our CF Great Strides page to make a donation...please!

Work-in-Progress Wednesday 27

A little more work on my blanket this week.  I caught up to the point I had torn out last week and even added a few new rows past that point (the 6 colors closest to the bottom of the photo).  I'm happy because I didn't work on it a whole lot this week and still am seeing really good progress.  I might just be on edging next week.  On one hand, very exciting.  On the other, I seriously could have been done with this blanket SO long ago!  Oh well, I guess!

Joining up with Yarn Along at Small Things & WIP Wednesday at Tami's Amis.

Fitnessgram: Teacher Gift...repost

This week is Teacher Appreciation Week and at our school each class is assigned a second teacher/person (those who don't have one set class) so that everyone is showered with appreciation this week.  Jack's class has our wonderful Physical Education teacher, Mr. Hoffman.  You've seen the (super cute) candy gram idea, right?  Enter the Fitness Gram...

In short, it's a bunch of goodies for the health & exercise-minded teacher matched up with some cute cheesy sayings to tie it all together.  Many thanks go to Jackie for sparking this idea (and for some of the sayings) and to Nellie for creating the awesome card!

{custom card design by nellie*design}

The word-gift connections:
propel -Propel beverage pouches
bar - chocolate bar (dark chocolate so somewhat healthy)
trail - trail mix
rhythm - iTunes gift card
stride - Stride gum
burn - sunscreen
bottle - stainless steel water bottle
the home team - something from the local sports team
a perfect pair - socks

This was definitely outside my normal gifting experience to focus on a general fitness theme (and to plan it for a boy too!), but was a lot of fun to put together.  I think it's a nice alternative to a sweet treat and hopefully full of useful items for the recipient.  A fitness gram would also make a great gift for a coach or an active parent (maybe for Mother's Day or Father's Day)!

Waterpark Weekend

This weekend we were lucky enough to get away and enjoy a family weekend at the waterpark.  We love going on this trip every year and really can't beat a great group rate (and a huge "cabin"-styled room with a full kitchen) at a great place. 

We had so much fun!!!

Star Baby Blankets

I posted about this secret blanket project way back in the beginning of March, but had to wait to gift them before I could post them.  Despite losing my hook and having to buy more grey yarn (both blankets used the same grey), I absolutely love this pattern and how the blankets came out!

{Not looking very crisp on the grass, but it was too dark to get a good photo inside}

I love that both blankets are following the exact same pattern using the same yarn, but have such a different look.  I also love that the girls both decided there was just one way to snuggle with a star blanket too.

{red/navy blanket is for Liv's friend Finley, whose baby sister got this blanket, and the green/blue is for my friend Julie's new baby...coming soon}

Pattern - Chromium Star Blanket
Yarn - Vanna's Choice in Scarlet, Navy, Silver Heather, Aqua and Fern

Last week's WIP was the start of this baby cocoon (pattern here) for Julie's baby shower.  It was quick to make and the yarn is so soft.  The kids couldn't quite figure it out and Jack wore it as a gigantic hat at one point.  I figured as long as I wanted to document the cocoon, I might as well show them how it was used.  So I got Curious George nice and cozy, and handed him over to EJ.  She thought I was a little nuts (hence the face).  I was glad I had a camera all ready to go.

Great Strides 2012

I consider my friend Lindsay & her husband Jon to be true heroes. They support their daughter Ella through the myriad of treatments she needs each day to stay one step ahead of Cystic Fibrosis and they hold her hand, and watch her struggle, through the trials each setback brings. In addition to being champions for their daughter, they have become true champions in the fight to find a cure for CF! I am honored to be a part of their team for the Great Strides Walk again this year. 

Ella is not alone, Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is a devastating genetic disease that affects tens of thousands of children and young adults in the United States. Research and care supported by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is making a huge difference in extending the quality of life for those with CF. However, we continue to lose precious lives to CF every day. Right now half of those with CF live to be 37 years old. That's why your help is needed now more than ever to ensure that a cure is found sooner...rather than later. To learn more about CF and the CF Foundation, visit

On May 20th, we will walk in the Great Strides event.  We would love it if you could join us or make a contribution to our team.  Please visit our team page to learn more or to make a donation.  Thank you!

Cause I'm A Freak... (WIP 26)

This past weekend I was home alone (well post-Livie bedtime) and I decided to drag out an old project (versus starting yet another new one).  I started this blanket so long ago that I don't even know when (I asked for pattern advice July of 2010) and as is often the case when it's something for's still a WIP.

At any rate, I added a few color rows on Saturday and the next morning the blanket looked like this...

But...the new rows (plus a few from the last time I pulled it out) were longer than the previous by an inch or two.  I'm not sure if I grabbed a different size hook or if after a year of not touching the blanket my tension is different, but...not so good whatever the reason.

So on Monday afternoon, the blanket looked like this...

And then I got back to work and this morning my blanket looks like this...

Could be worse, right?  Now the trick is that I can't allow myself to start any other projects until I finish this blanket!  Let me just tell you that is much tougher than it sounds. 

Joining up with Yarn Along at Small Things & WIP Wednesday at Tami's Amis.

Reading List Summary, April 2012

Such a sad report for us this month.  Jack is the only one who finished a book for goodness sake!  I'm logging my book this month, but I am not actually done (close though).  I should mention that the girls have read/been read to this month, but I only log library books, so the family list did not exist this month.  Still shameful I tell you! 

Jack's List
Paws Off, Cheddarface! (Geronimo Stilton)
Native Americans (Judy Alter)
Dinosaur Cove: Saving the Stegosaurus (Rex Stone)
Cat and Mouse in a Haunted House (Geronimo Stilton)
Chocolate by Hershey: A Story about Milton S. Hershey (Betty Burford)
My Name is Geronimo Stilton (Geronimo Stilton)
Harriet Spies Again (Helen Ericson)
The Temple of the Ruby of Fire (Geronimo Stilton)
The Secret of Cacklefur Castle (Geronimo Stilton) 
Weird but True Weather (Carmen Bredeson)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Aaron Frisch)

Mom's List
Planting Dandelions: Field Notes from a Semi-Domesticated Life (Kyran Pittman)