Friday, July 31, 2009

M.I.A.

Our lives [well, o.k.....maybe just mine] have been a little crazy these last few weeks. I have missed blogging, but haven't had the time or energy to sit and type anything.

SO, I've compiled a list of "Life By the Numbers" as a brief recap of what's been keeping me away these last 3 weeks...

0 = number of blog entries :(
18 = hours I spent in an "Early Literacy for Struggling Readers" class
3 = attempts we made to take the kids to Knoebel's Amusement Park for the day
11 = the number of times I ate out [kind of tired of pizza....]
5 = mornings spent at Vacation Bible School
25 = family members who came to celebrate Ryan's birthday
3 = friends who came to scrapbook for the day
9.5 = hours spent scrapbooking with said friends
28 = words in the first Bible verse Ryan memorized [Philippians 2:10-11]
2 = days spent at the beach [one as a family and one by myself ~ thank you, Mark]
4 = interviewers at my most recent job interview
24 = hours between interview and job offer! :) :) :)
23 = days left before school starts
57 = miles of gas left in Saab until empty [not so much!]
1 = angry phone call to Mark to tell him there's something wrong with the car
1 = embarassed phone call to Mark to admit I did, in fact, run out of gas
3 = dollars spent by car salesmen for gas to help me get to a gas station [thank you Family Jeep dealer! :)]
6 = average number of hours of sleep I've been getting every night
7 = hours I'll never recover watching the "most dramatic" Bachelorette season EVER!

I hope to "catch-up" with you soon :)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Busy, Busy

Here's a photo recap of our adventures this week...I'll post about them all soon...

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Tandy Cake Recipe

If you're from the Philadelphia area, you know Tastykakes
{and their little jingle....Nobody bakes a cake as tasty as a Tastykake...}

They make the best cupcakes:
Butterscotch Krimpets,
Chocolate Cupkakes,
& my favorite, Tandy Kakes: a chocolate & peanut butter covered cake
~ YUM!



I've had this recipe for a long time. My friend, Maureen's mom
gave it to me years ago and I only recently made it for the
first time. These taste exactly like the Tastykake brand
Tandy Kakes ~ hence the name.

Evan, Ryan, and I made them again today for a barbecue we're
going to later this afternoon. I think they'll be a hit!
Here's the recipe:

4 eggs
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup milk
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp oil
pinch of salt
1 sm. jar of creamy peanut butter, approx. 2 cups
2 cups Hershey's chocolate chips

  1. Beat eggs until lemon in color
  2. Combine all ingredients, except peanut butter and chocolate; beat well
  3. Grease & flour jellyroll pan
  4. Pour batter into pan & bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes
  5. While still warm, spread peanut butter on cake
  6. Refrigerate about 45 minutes
  7. Melt chocolate chips and spread on top of peanut butter
  8. Return to refrigerator to set chocolate
  9. Cut into squares and enjoy :)
* Must be stored in refrigerator *

Friday, July 10, 2009

Toothless Wonder

Evan lost his second tooth in as many weeks on Monday.


Now he can stick his tongue out through the gaping hole in his mouth.


Rock on!


Thursday, July 9, 2009

Thursday Tidbits

Hurry...GO NOW.....hop on over to the Cosmo Cricket blog and leave some love. For every comment we make, they'll donate $1 to a local food bank up to $1000! Aren't they generous? While you're at it, I challenge you to gather some non-perishables and donate them to your local food bank. Just be sure to come back here :)

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So, what were you doing on 07 ~ 08 ~ 09 at 10:11:12? I completely forgot to take my photo in the AM and the PM. [Yeah, that's how my brain works....] Couldn't recreate my AM since I took the kids out to Lititz today ~ more on that below.
Then, just as I was ready to fall asleep {at 12:22 AM, mind you}, I remembered that I didn't take my picture. SO, I got up out of bed, went downstairs to find my camera, and "recreated" what I was doing on 7 - 8 - 9 at 10:11:12...

I was scrapbooking and watching tv.

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I've been scrapbooking every night lately. Don't know why. I guess I'm in a creative spurt. :) Here's the page I created last night. I love the clear acrylic letters and buttons, although they're hard to see in my photo. I made the circle tag using a tag from a Life is Good t-shirt and a My Mind's Eye Penny Lane Collection die-cut.


Supplies: solid cardstock, We R Memory Keepers; diecut cardstock, Crate Paper; bingo card & other patterned paper, Jenni Bowlin Studio; acrylic letters, Joann; diecut, MME; buttons, string,other.
And one from the night before:
I got this sketch somewhere [really need to start writing down where I'm picking up these sketches...] and I LOVE the way this turned out. I stitched across the CC Girl Friday paper in the background.


Supplies: blue cardstock, Wasau Paper; lined patterned paper, oh boy, happy day, & number diecuts, Cosmo Cricket; orange & red patterned paper & circle diecut, MME; foam letters, American Crafts.

And the one from the night before that:
This layout was inspired by a sketch over on the write.click.scrapbook. site. I've found that I love using sketches ~ I don't always stick with them completely, but they give me a great jumping off point. Don't you just love this flower embellishment? Thank you, Chrispea! :)


supplies: paisley paper, MME; green dots, We R Memory Keepers; brown flowers, Scenic Route;

daisy embellishment, Creative Charms; blue paper, other.

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Finally, my sister, Megan, and I took the kids on a field trip yesterday to Lititz. We visited Julius Sturgis pretzels, where we took the 1/2 hour tour and the kids got to twist their own pretzels. This was great ~ the kids really enjoyed "making pretzels." Then we went over to the Wilbur Chocolate Company Museum. I do not recommend taking six kids ages 6 and under into what really amounts to a glorified candy store. I had to buy two extra overpriced lollipops because my boys kept dropping them on the hardwood floor and breaking them.


Overall, it was a good trip. It was kind of a trip down memory lane for Megan and me ~ we both remember our parents taking us out there when we were kids.



Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Scrap Share

We celebrated my mother-in-law's birthday this past weekend. I made her a set of notecards, inspired by my friend, Cassie. I love the way they turned out. I bought the Cuttlebug embossing folder and used it on the blue paper. [And I don't even own a Cuttlebug. Too expensive right now on our budget...instead, I used a miniature rolling pin to emboss the paper inside the folder. It worked, and the folder only cost me $6!]

Here's a photo of the card I made for her:



And here's the notecards. Half of them are "Happy Birthday" cards and the other half are "So Sweet of You" cards.


And because I'm in a sharing mood, here's a layout I did a few months ago. I just "found" it and decided I really liked the way it turned out. Love my Cosmo Cricket paper...







Tuesday, July 7, 2009

07~08~09 @ 10:11:12 am or pm


Check out this FUN contest on Elizabeth Kartchner's blog.
I'm playing along.
Will you?

Monday, July 6, 2009

4th of July Weekend

We had a wonderful 4th of July weekend....gorgeous weather, barbecues, family, friends, fireworks, and as Ryan would say, "parklers."

Friday night, my sister, Jill, her hubby, Brian, and daughter, Ava, came out for dinner and stayed the night. Mark bought some fireworks and launched them in the backyard after the kids caught lightning bugs. Ava, Nathan, & Ryan weren't really sure about the fireworks, so they watched from inside the house.


On Saturday, we went to our friends, Marty & Maureen's house, for a barbecue. The kids had a blast playing in the wading pool, riding their bikes, and eating watermelon. Mark finished up his fireworks in their backyard, sending Nathan into a tizzy every time, so we decided we'd pass up on the official fireworks show this year.




On the way home, we caught the fireworks show at Longwood Gardens from the highway. We pulled over and the kids stood up through the moon roof of our car and we saw the show. It was different, but it was fun! I was happy we saw the fireworks there ~ something about 4th of July without fireworks. And BONUS: the show was free!!!!! :) Can't beat that!


One of these years, I'll get a decent shot of the fireworks. I even used the "fireworks" setting on my camera...
Hope you had a happy 4th! :)

This boy....


makes me smile.

Nathan is a happy kid.
Every day, he wakes up in the morning with a smile on his face, singing my name, and he always tells me, "I had a good 'nap,' mom," after sleeping all night.
His goofy personality is adorable.
And the way he giggles and covers his mouth is too much.
Love you, little man!
Thanks for making every day a little brighter :)

Friday, July 3, 2009

Let's Roll


This flag was erected shortly after the attacks of 9/11 on an old building along a busy highway near our house. I've wanted to take a photo of it forever, but never felt comfortable stopping on the busy road. SO, I took a drive-by pic ~ sorry that it's a little blurry....

I LOVE the juxtaposition of the American flag and Flight 93's Todd Beamer's famous line, "Let's Roll" against the stone building that was probably built over 100 years ago.

I think it's a wonderful reminder of the foundation that our country was built upon
~ a foundation of an enduring spirit
~ a foundation of freedom FOR ALL
~ a foundation of a government that is OF the people, BY the people,
and most importantly, FOR the people.

When I think of the current climate in our country's capital, it saddens me:
The PR spin that somehow America owes everyone an apology for being a worldwide bully, instead of the champion of freedom that we've always been.

The granting of rights for special interest groups [lobbyists] that threaten to squash the constitutional rights of freedom of speech and freedom of religion for the majority...that threaten the very freedom of personal conviction and belief ~ all in the name of "protection."

The taxation without representation that is being ramrodded through our house and senate without many checks or balances.

I think our Founding Fathers would turn over in their graves if they saw the mess our government has made of itself.

As we celebrate America's Independence this weekend with our backyard barbecues and fireworks shows, I hope we also remember how precious our hard won freedom is.

I hope we remember the honorable men and women that stand up and fight for freedom throughout our world as members of the armed services.

I hope we remember the spirit of America.

I hope we can snap out of our complacency and stand up to the ridiculousness in Washington and tell them enough is enough.

I challenge you to become more aware of what our leaders are trying to accomplish. I challenge you to independently research pending legislation. I challenge you to write letters, send emails, and make phone calls to your elected representatives to tell them your opinion.

....[stepping down off my soapbox now]
Have a Happy 4th of July! :) America, let's roll!!!


The world is a dangerous place. Not because of the people who are evil; but because of the people who don't do anything about it.
~ Albert Einstein

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Evan, the Organizer

A few weeks back, Evan asked me for paper, marker, scissors, and tape and he disappeared upstairs into his room he shares with Ryan. I didn't really think twice about the supplies he asked me for ~ I can trust him to not draw on the walls or cut up his clothes. And any time I can get my kids to entertain themselves for longer than 15 minutes without the aid of an electronic device, I'm thrilled.

[On the other hand, if Ryan had asked me for the same said supplies and wanted to use them in his bedroom, the answer would have been a resounding, "NO!" But I digress...]

When Evan was finished his project, he proudly dragged me upstairs by the hand to show off his masterpiece: he had labeled his drawers and closet.
Blue dresser, top down:
shirts
gens [jeans]
sock and udwar [underwear]
and my personal favorite, bjomus [pajamas].

Closet: logsl slevs [long sleeves]

White drawers: short slevs [short sleeves] ~ at least his spelling is consistent :)

Mark & I got a big kick out of this and Evan was so proud of himself.