Friday, October 11, 2013

Pinterest Find: Pumpkin Rice Krispie Treats

The other day Maddie saw Pinterest pulled up on my computer screen and asked me, "Mommy, when can we make something fun to eat?"  (insert mommy guilt here)  "Soon.  Let's pick out a recipe and when we go grocery shopping, we'll make it." (mommy guilt relieved... at least partially)

So I pulled up a list of pumpkin dessert recipes because I recently discovered I actually like pumpkin dessert type things (at least the few I've tried.) Plus, Maddie LOVES pumpkin pie, so I figured she'd like something pumpkin related, too.

So we settled on Pumpkin Rice Krispie treats, which we found over at Sally's Baking Addiction.  I have to say, they turned out pretty well, although they were best the day of.  I think maybe they could have used a little more marshmallows than what the recipe called for, and maybe a little more rice krispies (or maybe I should have used the "real" rice krispies and not the store brand).  The pumpkin taste wasn't overwhelming, but it was a fun twist on a classic treat.

One big difference between our bars and Sally's bars is we used cream cheese frosting instead of the melted white chocolate that she recommends.  I didn't have any melting chocolate, but I did have a can of frosting.  I like it together. :)

Here's how it goes:

 First, melt 3 T. butter.  Then add 1/4 c. pumpkin puree, and 1/8 tsp ground cloves, 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon & 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg.  The original recipe called for unsalted butter and then salt, but I just used salted butter because it's what I had on hand.
All our ingredients.  It really does pay to act like a cooking show sometimes.  Now if I only had a crew to do the dishes for me...

 Then, add a small bag of marshmallows (10 oz) to your pumpkin puree mix.  I think I'd add more than this... maybe a bag and a half to make sure the treats are extra "gummy" - especially since I would also add more cereal.

 Start stirring.  Although, if you're going to add more marshmallows & cereal than what the recipe calls for, you might want to use a larger pot than what I used. :)

 And stirring... make sure you get all those marshmallows coated with your yummy pumpkin mix.

 And stirring....

 Until it's nice and creamy and all the marshmallows have melted.

 The stirring's not so bad if you have a cute assistant.

Then, take a break.  The marshmallow pumpkin mix has to cool for 20 minutes (or until it hits room temperature) before you can add the rice krispies in.  (maybe this is where I messed up... I waited 20 minutes, but soooo did not test the temperature of my mixture.)

Go, take a picture of your newborn napping, read a book, watch an episode of your favorite show on Netflix... whatever. :)
Pardon the glassy-eyed stare, we got shots at our 4 month checkup and were feeling a little under the weather this day.

Okay, back to the rice krispies.

 Once your mixture is cooled, add in the cereal (6 cups... or more...) and start stirring.

 And stirring....

 And stirring.... I'm noticing a theme here, are you?

 Until it's all coated.  Then spread the mixture into a 9x13 (greased/sprayed) pan so that it's evenly distributed.  Let set for about 30 minutes.

Cut into squares and drizzle with cream cheese icing (or melted white chocolate), and top with mallowcreme pumpkins.  Aren't they adorable?!

 MMMMMM.... Enjoy!
(and the mommy guilt is completely relieved... at least for now.)

For a printable copy of the recipe, click here.  And let me know if you try them!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Throwback Thursday

Is it really October?!  I can't believe how quickly the year has gone by.

Bonus today? It actually FELT like Fall.  :) That might have had something to do with being 2 hours north of where we usually are, but it really was a lovely day.

So, in honor of Throwback Thursday, and it actually feeling like fall, here's my Throwback picture:

Check us out. :) (Btw, we're supposed to be MaryAnn & Gilligan.)  And do you see my awesome pumpkin?  That's right.  Mad skills, baby. :)

Here's a better picture of it:

What's the coolest pumpkin design you've ever carved?

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Throwback Thursday

I don't think things are ever going to slow down here, but I'm trying to be better about posting on a regular basis, because who knows? One day I might want to pick it back up again full force. :)

So, while Maddie is finishing up her science activity (post later!), and the babies are down for their "final" afternoon nap, I figured I'd play along with Throwback Thursday.  Today's throwback is a picture.

Christmas 2004 ... I'm not sure who the beardless guy on my shoulder is (lol, just kidding...), but check us out! This is our 2nd Christmas after we got married, and the cute gal with us is my sweet cousin Sarah, who is getting married herself this May!  I can't believe this was *almost* 9 years ago.  Time does fly. :)

Thanks for indulging my bit of nostalgia for the day.

What "throwback" memory can you think of today?

Monday, September 16, 2013

Juggling Act

So today begins week 2 of us having little E at our house every weekday.  He's about Hannah's age and between 2 babies, homeschooling Maddie and trying to keep everything else going, I'm feeling like those guys that spin the plates on sticks.  It's a little nerve-wracking. 

But I have faith that this craziness will pass. 

I am absolutely loving homeschooling this year (although that's not to say we haven't already had our rough spots).  One thing I am very proud of though, is our memory work.  Last year we were kind of hit and miss on the memory work front, and usually only listened to it in the car.  This year I'm being very intentional to download cute songs from CC Connected for the pieces that don't already have songs, and we're practicing our memory work every day.

I still have not figured out how to finish out my theology homework.  I have this block (namely: when I get to a point in the evening where I can sit down to work on it, my brain is so fried that all I want to do is veg.  While I should (probably) be doing the dishes, or laundry, or one of the other bajillion things that don't get done while I'm balancing the day's schedule).  I need to get over it.  I need to pull myself up by the bootstraps and just  I'm giving myself 2 weeks to get a good chunk of it done.  There you go. There's my accountability for it.  (Because, ya know, putting it in a blog means it will get done, right?)

Anywho, just wanted to pop by my little space and give an update for how life is going over here.  If you're reading this, I hope you enjoyed the little window into my craziness. :) 

I'm off to do something productive now.

Monday, August 26, 2013

School's In Session!

I can't believe it's been 6 months since I stopped to write anything!  Things have been busy around here, and (maybe) eventually I'll catch everything up.  Until then, we move forward!

We started our first "official" year of homeschooling this year.  MG is in Kindergarten, and we've got a full week under our belts.  I guess you could probably consider us "eclectic classical" in style (if you had to tag us), as we LOVE our Classical Conversations (CC) group, and all of the things that a classical education has, but also tend toward some "modern" options as well.  With that being said, here's our first day in recap!

We started our first day with breakfast - I let MG pick what she wanted to have, and she chose eggs and bacon.  I threw the biscuits in for good measure. :)  Normally we have oatmeal or cereal, but it's the first day of school!

Afterwards, we took our "first day of school pictures" and had a treasure hunt for our school supplies!  I got the cutest clues here, and the only downfall was I had to read the clues for her, so she had to wait on the last clue so I could go put the bag in her chair! (oops)

After we talked about our school supplies, we did our calendar.  For calendar time, we keep it pretty simple: we add the day's card to the calendar, sing the days of the week & months of the year songs, say the pledge to the flag & Bible, say the date together, add a paperclip to our chain to count how many days we've been in school, and read a poem together.  The poem is my "hat's nod" to classical education - we're doing one poem each month and trying to memorize it.  For August (and probably September since we didn't start till halfway through) we're working on "All Things Bright & Beautiful."

After calendar time, we did Handwriting, Math, and phonics.  I also worked in a kindergarten assessment I did when I taught kindergarten, just to get an "official" status of where MG is.  Not surprisingly, she soared through it with flying colors.  (It's one of the reasons we chose to homeschool.)

Then it was time for lunch - again MG's choice: macaroni and cheese.  She helped to make it, pouring in the ingredients after the noodles were cooked and stirring to make the cheese sauce.  After lunch we opened the water balloons she got in her "back to school" pack and we headed outside to play a geography game.  One of the things I LOVE about CC is their emphasis on geography.  I didn't want to work ahead, but I know continents is part of our memory work at the beginning of this cycle, and we learned the continents last year, so we reviewed them.  I drew a very rough blob map on the pavement and we would run to a continent, name it and then throw a water balloon at it.  It was lots of fun! 

To finish out our day, we read a Magic School Bus chapter book on butterflies.  MG is enthralled with Magic School Bus right now, and I'm inclined to support that!  :) 

All in all, we had a great first day, and the rest of the week went well.  We had our orientation for CC on Friday, and celebrated the end of our first week of homeschool by going to the Glazer Children's Museum and having dinner with friends.  It's going to be a great year!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Classical Conversations Week 17 - Volcanoes!

I think I've written a little bit about Classical Conversations before (but my brain is full of pregnancy hormones right now and I'm snagging this bloggy time while the kiddos watch SuperWhy, so I won't go back to look), but just as a quick refresher, it's been our choice for homeschooling.  One day (maybe this summer?) I'll write up several posts about why we chose it, why we're homeschooling, etc.

This year has been a little bit more of an experiment as we figure out how CC works and how to fit it into our lifestyle/homeschool.  I taught public school for 5 years and so it's a very different method of teaching than what I'm used to.  Also, we're a little overcommitted right now (which is an understatement) so I've tried to give myself some grace and have reminded myself (repeatedly!) that Maddie is only 4 and it's okay that we're not being super strict with schooling right now. 

But I digress.  I'm writing this post to share our fun volcano experiment with you!  This week we're learning about the parts of a volcano, and I found this lovely post on Pinterest that I wanted to try at home.

So I gathered up some wax (totally grabbed it out of the top of the warmer I keep on my stove), some sand (colored from a sermon illustration I did on hearing God's voice), and a glass vase.  I put the wax in, poured sand and added about 1.25 cups of cold water on top.  Then we put it on the stove and turned it on medium heat.

**warning: when I took the vase off the stove, it cracked.  Not sure if it hit some cold water that had splashed on the stove or what, but be warned that this could happen to you as well.**

You can kind of see the golden colored wax shining through the sand.  This might have worked a little better if I'd had wax that was flat on the bottom instead of curved, but it still worked pretty well.

We reviewed the types of volcanoes and the parts of the volcanoes (our science memory work for this week and last) and then drew a picture of the parts of a volcano while we waited for the wax to melt.  It didn't take long, but it did give us a chance to talk about how volcanoes don't just randomly explode, it takes time for the gas to build up.

Here you can see the wax has started to melt and it rises up above the sand.  It was neat how it showed us the way the lava cools (almost immediately!) and forms new "rock" on top.  You can also see how it travels up into the atmosphere, as well as the "vents" that form as the melted wax makes its way through the sand.

 This is Maddie's picture of the parts of a volcano.  The pink at the bottom is the magma, the purple and blue are the vents ("the hot magma is moving really fast and it's purple!" she said as she drew), the yellow is the crater and the red is the lava coming out. :)

 Some of the wax that had cooled.  I pulled it out of the water to show Maddie how the new "rock" looks sometimes.  It was pretty cool, you could see how it had mixed with the sand.

 We had a lot of fun with our experiment today!  If you try it out, let me know! :)

Friday, February 1, 2013

It's a .... Gender Reveal Party!

So .... long time no write!

I've been a little busy ... and tired .... and sick ... but now I'm finally re-joining life, and ready to share with you our gender reveal party!


We didn't get to have our traditional New Year's Eve party (first time in 9 years!) so I needed a good reason to get some friends together now that I'm starting to feel a little better. :)  Enter.... the gender reveal party!

Pictures are more fun, so here's a snapshot of our evening:

 Our refrigerator art, thanks to our "adopted" daughter (who helped make the party AH-mazing!)
 Casting the votes!
 The box with the secret!!

 Playing the Old Wives' Tale game I found at Through Clouded Glass (her gender reveal parties are great!)
 It's a girl!

My good friends who are all moms with daughters! :)

So there you go - we're going to be a family of 4, and poor Jonathan is outnumbered!  He's a good sport about it, though.  We're super excited ... now if we could just decide on a name!