Friday, September 30, 2011

State Park Adventures

We've been studying tree identification lately. The local state park has a path where it has identified some of the native trees. Our latest field trip took us along this path for a relaxing hike.

We are also studying ornithology for our Science Club, so we decided to visit the nature center where they have a very nice exhibit of native bird species' feather. We also viewed some birds in action at the bird feeders and on our nature hike. We were able to see some wild turkeys about 20 feet from us, thanks to a wild life viewing blind set up along the trail.

It was a really nice day and the kids had a great time exploring the park's wildlife and native habitat. They even got to pet the oxen at the pioneer village. I think that made their day. These are the kind of days that make home schooling worth all the trouble!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Great Granola Bar Recipe

This is a fantastic recipe for chewy granola bars. I've stopped buying granola bars and started making these instead. These cost at least half the price of store-bought bars. I'll warn you, these are way too good! These don't last long at my house.

Chewy Granola Bars


2 cups rice cereal

2 cups dry oatmeal (uncooked)

1/2 cup raisins, dates, or your favorite dried fruit

1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

1/2 cup light corn syrup

1/2 cup peanut butter

1 tsp. vanilla

Cooking spray


In a large bowl, combine cereal, oats, and raisins (or dried fruit of your choice). In a small pan, mix brown sugar and light corn syrup. Heat and stir until boiling. Remove from heat, and stir in peanut butter and vanilla. Pour over cereal mixture and mix well. Spray hands with cooking spry and press mixture firmly into a 9x13-inch pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Cool in refrigerator about an hour, then cut into 16 bars. Store in an airtight container.

Each bar provides: 165 calories, 3 grams protein, 27 grams carbohydrates, 5 grams fat, 79 milligrams sodium, and 1 gram fiber.

Alterations to try:

*Add one scoop of vanilla flavored whey protein powder---to get more protein

*Substitute one cup crushed Total brand cereal for the crisp rice cereal---to add more vitamins

*Add a 1/4 tsp. cinnamin for a different flavor combination

*Use colored sprinkles to make them more festive

*Shape them into balls, squares, triangles, or rectangles while they are still warm

Monday, September 26, 2011

More Pictures From the Day of the Baptism

D's Baptism

The day after E's 2nd birthday, D was baptized. We were so blessed to have many of our family and friends in attendance to witness such a joyous event. For those who couldn't attend, here are some of the sights you missed. I am sure you didn't miss all the noise! Even little D put his lungs to work and cried nearly the entire ceremony. The poor little guy was hungry and tired; that's not a good combination for a baby who can't be nursed right then and there.

We were able to get a picture of most of the kids who attended the bapism. We had more than 30 children, including two sets of twins. The kids ranged in age from 11yrs. old to 6 weeks. I was pleasantly surprised that they all played very well together. Balloons were the key to this successful party! I think the $2 investment in the balloons really payed off! They kept the kids entertained the entire reception and our little guests were so excited to take one home. Win-win situation. We are so fortunate to have such great friends and "church" family. It was a very blessed day!

E Turns Two!

The original cake I made for E's 2nd birthday. The tractor and wagon are made entirely of cake and frosting.

Small piece of cake E ate on his actual birthday.

Second cake that I made for the real birthday party. The first cake was destroyed when my mom turned on the oven to pre-heat it. She had forgotten the cake was still inside. We had to scrape off all the frosting and redo the cake entirely. I didn't have enough cake or time to make a new tractor made out of cake, so we put his toy tractor on it instead. E didn't seem to mind.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Been Way Too Long!

I've been way too busy to update the blog. It seems that time is slipping by and I am barely keeping up with the kids, school, dishes, laundry, play rehearsals, science club, and home school outings. Here are a few of the things that have happened the past few weeks.

We went camping over Labor Day weekend with Ma and Pa. This was D's first time camping. We was four weeks old. It was one of the craziest weekends weather wise ever! It was the hottest day of the year on Saturday, then rained all day Sunday, then was very chilly and cold (high 50's) on Monday. These trips are always so much work, especially coming home to do all the laundry! All the extra towels, sheets, bathing suits, muddy clothes, and smokey jackets. I was finally done catching up on laundry about a week later. The kids seemed to really enjoy themselves and I guess that makes it all worthwhile.

D has been growing so fast. His looks are really changing as he puts on weight, and I do mean weight! He has really bulked up. He was up to 10 lbs 1 oz. at six weeks old. He is looking more and more like his big brothers at that age, though he still looks more like dear hubby's side of the family and like M.

A beautiful sunrise I was able to enjoy because I was nursing D on the couch. This picture doesn't do it justice. It was simply awe inspiring!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

More Visitors and Mischief

Aunt Anna and her kids (the cousins) visited us last Saturday and met Dominic for the first time. The kids were so happy to see their cousins again. They enjoyed playing kickball and swinging on the swing set together. The girls also played dress-up with cousin Ava. I think everyone had a nice visit.
Here is the latest result of E's mischief. He got into the markers again and this time decided that Dominic was his canvas. He even managed to color with orange marker all around D's left eye. Poor little guy didn't know what hit him, but he didn't even cry about it. Thank goodness they were washable and most of it came off with baby wipes, although the red stained his "peach fuzz" hair pink for a few days. D had better get used to being picked on, I foresee it happening quite often with mischievous E around the house!