Friday, July 31, 2009

Strawberry Freezer Jam

This past Wednesday, the kids and I drove up to visit my family for a couple days. While we were there, Laci, my nanny and I made strawberry freezer jam. I had been wanting to make some jam or jelly and I thought who better to make it with than my nanny and Laci. She used to make this a long time ago when they had a strawberry patch. I remember being at her house watching her can and freeze all kinds of things. What sweet memories. That's something I want my daughter to remember as well. Not to mention that it's so useful to preserve food.

This recipe for freezer jam couldn't be easier.
1. Start out with fresh cleaned strawberries. Cleaned and hulled.
2. Mash strawberries. Measure 2 cups of mashed strawberries and pour into large bowl.
3. Stir 4 cups of sugar into mashed strawberries. Let stand for about 10 minutes. Stirring occasionally.
4. Stir 3/4 c. water and one box of pectin into a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Stir mixture into strawberry/sugar and stir for 3 minutes or until sugar is dissolved. Immediately pour into freezer containers.( I got about 8 pint plastic freezer jars out of this)
Store in freezer for up to 1 year or the refrigerator for 3 weeks. Thaw in refrigerator.

This was our finished product. (not a great picture) It turned out really good! I'm excited to have my freezer stocked with it. We all love peanut butter and jam sandwiches. This is much better than the store bought stuff. It is yummy strawberry, sweet jam goodness.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Hair Bow Hangers- Super Easy

Today I thought I'd share a super easy and very useful craft with you,especially if you have girls.
You've probably seen these hair bow hangers or even made some for yourself. I thought I'd show those of you who haven't made one yet just how simple they are. They are great for holding all those bows and clips.

First, cut a length of wide ribbon to the length of your choice. I used a chocolate ribbon with polka dots on one side so we can flip it over if we want. Slide the ribbon through a binder ring or you can use a large key ring.

Fold over 1 to 2 inches of the ribbon on top and hot glue it . You're finished. How easy is that! You could add an embellishment on top if you wanted like a wooden flower , butterfly, etc.

I used my friend Tammy's idea of hanging it on the inside of my girls' closet with a command adhesive hook. I'm also planning to hang up a second one beside it. It's the perfect place for these. Laci loves that she can now see all of her bows and clips hung on this little hanger and easily make her selection. Now if I could just get Ivy to actually keep the bow in her hair longer than 10 minutes. I'll keep working on that one.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Cotton Candy Shirley Temple

Thirsty? How about a Cotton Candy Shirley Temple.

My kids got to order this cute little drink a couple weeks ago courtesy of their Nana & Grand dad when we were eating at O'Charley's restaurant. They thought these were just the greatest things ever. Can we say - SUGAR! I have to agree they are cute and taste pretty good, too. I decided to recreate it at home because it's soooo simple. However, this is not something I would make very often just now and again to surprise them. You know the whole sugar factor thing. Anyway, just pour up some sprite or 7-up and top it with a mound of cotton candy and stick in a straw. You're done! I think my kids liked eating the cotton candy off the top and stirring in just a little of the cotton candy. Try it and see what you think.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Today I want to share a few pics of the kids on our vacation. As I said yesterday, they had such a good time playing with and getting to know their cousins better. One night last week Laci was whimpering in her bed so William asked her what was wrong and she said,"I miss my cousins." Awww. How sweet and sad , too. Our kids look forward to playing with them again.

Rayla, Laci and Kiana had a "slumber" party every night. They all slept in the same bed all bundled up. They were so cute.

Madison and Ivy weren't to be left out. They had their own little slumber party right next to the big girls' bed.

Those girls sure do stick together. Here they are enjoying a bite to eat after swimming.

Trent was so excited to see Ramius. Another boy for him to hang out and play with. He doesn't get that much being surrounded by girls. They were like best buds the whole time.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Our Vacation/Mini Family Reunion

A few weeks ago our family traveled to Louisville, KY for a summer vacation. Now, you might be asking 'Why Louisville? ' I know it's not exactly THE destination spot of the U.S. Our vacation spot was kind of a collaborative effort with two of William's sisters. One of them lives near Detroit, the other in Kansas City and then us down here in AL. Louisville was the perfect central location for all of us to meet and have a good time. We were thrilled to meet our new nephew, Dax, who just turned one and nieces Kiana and Madison whom we'd never met as well as Ramius and Rayla whom we hadn't seen in a very long time. All those cousins had a blast!

We realized after we got home, of course, that we didn't take very many pictures. I guess we were too busy having fun! We did get a few of the Louisville Zoo .

This was so cool. This orangutan was right up against the glass. It was huge! I've never seen one of those get that close before so I had to take a picture. The kids were lovin' it. Okay, the adults too.

We also enjoyed a trip to an Art Museum on the campus of the University of Louisville, go-kart riding on the longest track in the U.S. (That was so fun!),science museum and IMAX movie(for the boys), a family home evening, church, swimming, dinners out and in, and just spending time and getting to know each other better, which was probably the best part. I know William loved having time to catch up with his sisters and so did I. The kids, well they didn't skip a beat. It was like they'd always been together even though they hadn't. As for Louisville, it was great. I think KY is such a pretty place. We can't wait until we can get together again. I'll show you more of all these cousins tomorrow.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Space & Rocket Center - Part 2

Today I want to share some more of our fun at the Space & Rocket Center. This ride was the best part according to the kids and Will. I'll have to agree since they were all so happy doing this.

This is a picture of Will and Trent (the two in the middle) riding the Space Shot. It shoots you straight up really fast. Will loved it, of course. Trent liked it, too, but didn't want to keep doing it.

Laci wasn't tall enough for the big Space Shot ride so she rode the smaller one. It was just right for her. She's the one on the right end. Laci thought this was great. I think she rode it three times!

Another one of their favorites was the climbing wall. They both had a lot of fun with this. It was fun for me to watch them, as well.

Here is a shot of Trent(in the middle on the wall) and , who is that big kid coming down from the top? Yep! That's Will. He couldn't pass up the chance to have some fun on the climbing wall. He did make it all the way up to the top, but he's had more practice than the kids. He just had to do it twice like the kids. We had a great time and look forward to going back again.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Space & Rocket Center - Part 1

A couple weeks ago we traveled up to Huntsville, AL to visit the U.S. Space and Rocket Center with my parents. I have been there a couple times, but the kids haven't ever been, so I was anxious to see what they thought. We had a lot of fun and saw some interesting things. Tomorrow I'll share the rest of our fun time.

Laci is posing in the museum with one of the Apollo air crafts. Not sure which one. It's fascinating to see how far the space program has come since those days.

"We are go for lift off." --- Trent and Laci sitting in yet another Apollo aircraft.

We might just have to go again next year. Starting in 2010, their will be some sort of Star Wars exhibit. Trent was all about that as he is a major Star Wars fan. ( He was pretending Darth Vader had used the force on him.)

On of the huge rockets outside the Space Center.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Like Little Fish

Just wanted to share a few pictures of the kids finishing up swim lessons. They were all done with their lessons the last week in June. Trent mainly worked on different strokes and diving since he's already a good little swimmer. Laci, however, was working on the basics. She started lessons last year, but had to stop them because a cut on her hand had to be medically super glued and she couldn't get it wet. We loved having our friend, Laura, from church be their instructor. She was great with the kids!

Laci went from just bobbing her head under water to jumping off the diving board by the end of their two week lessons. She loves swimming now and does a great job. Just like a little fish!

Here is Trent doing freestyle. Laura commented that he is quite the freestyle swimmer and has a very good stroke. I don't know if we'll be on any swim teams in the future, but I'm certainly glad my kids have this skill.

I kept trying to get Trent actually diving in, but with the delay on my camera this is what I got every time.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Baby Boy Name Frame

I'm finally back from vacation and ready to blog. We had a great time with my husband's sisters and their families. Especially the kids who got to visit with their cousins. It was a blast. I'll share more about that next week.

Today I wanted to show you the name frame I made for my sister's co-worker who will be having her baby soon. We knew the colors for her nursery were blue and brown, so I picked out some coordinating paper, buttons and ric-rac and put it with a chipboard "C" that I covered in chocolate chip paper and this is what I came up with. I think it turned out adorable. I just hope she likes it.

(My pictures are very blurry. Must have had a dirty lens??) I used my SU! scalloped punch to create a background for the baby's name, Carden. Love that name.

I used my handy dandy scalloped punch again for a strip along the bottom and accented it with the brown ric-rac and buttons. I like the dimension and detail it gives. The finished product was framed in an 8x10 brown frame. I hope it goes well with the rest of her nursery.
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