Let’s Have a Party, Proceed to Party!

2 Feb

Fun night at the Rutledges!  After Jerry and I both had long, crappy days (other than a fabulous time out for comfort food and girl time with the hotties I had lunch with!), I decided to make dinner yummy and simple.  I knew we had all the ingredients (all of which the kids enjoy).  But of course, you know, the best laid plans….

So for dinner, I made Strombolis (adapted from http://www.laurenslatest.com/how-to-make-stromboli/)


1/2 lb. pizza dough (I used two cans of crescent dough sheets)

1/2 cup pizza sauce ( I did not measure how much sauce I put on, I spooned it out of the jar and lightly covered the    dough, since we are a light on the sauce kinda family)
shredded mozzarella cheese ( I used three different kinds of shredded cheeses – colby jack, pepperjack and the italian blend – no measured amounts, just covered the sauce)
9 slices salami ( I used mini pepperonis left over from my pizza muffins from the weekend)
7 slices deli honey ham (omitted)
1 egg, beaten (no need when using crescent dough)
dried parsley & parmesan cheese {optional}
extra pizza sauce for dipping {optional


Preheat oven to 500 degrees (375 if you use the crescent sheets like me). Line large rimmed cookie sheet with parchment or spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray. Spread pizza dough out on baking sheet to be approximately 10×16. Spread pizza sauce over 2/3′s of the dough lengthwise, leaving a 3×16 rectangle of plain dough along one of the edges. Top sauce with half the grated cheese, salami and ham. Top with remaining cheese. Brush the plain strip of dough with the egg. Fold in the sides about an inch and brush them with egg. Roll up like a jelly roll lengthwise starting along the long edge of dough topped with all the fillings and ending with the plain strip of dough on the bottom of the roll. Brush the entire stromboli with egg and gently cut slats in the top of the dough every 1-2 inches (I skipped the slats). Sprinkle parsley and cheese over top and bake 8-10 minutes ( I baked 14 min) or until bubbly and golden. Remove from oven, cool 5 minutes and slice into pieces. Serve with more pizza sauce.

This came out of the oven smelling “magically delicious”!  I was so excited I knew the kids were gonna LOOOOVE it.  I even made a section that did not have pepperonis for my Kenmeister who “says” she doesn’t like them (although I made her eat two as we were cooking…to “try” it again”.

We started strong, both kids said “yummy”.  Then, neither proceeded to finish their plates.  Kole picked out all of the pepperonis and ate them.  Kennedy said her tummy hurt, but that she would be back later.  Do you think that happened?!?  Even Kinlee had to have an alternate meal.  It was just too cheesey for her to handle.  So Jerry and I gobbled up our slices, both really enjoying them!  Kole is not really a big fan of the crescent dough, while I think it makes any dish awesome, if he can taste too much of it, he tends to quit eating it.  I am not sure whose child he is, but no kid of mine would ever turn down bread, especially of the cresent variety.

All in all, this is a super easy dish, which should be a crowd pleaser (unless you have my children).


Craft Time!!

Okay, so tonight we had a Red Solo Cup tourney for the kids (and I have now officially been singing that song for two hours!).

We set up a pyramid with the cups and 10 “guys”.  Kole and Ken each picked 5 figurines to stack on the cups.  Then each child chose their weapon (okay, they chose which nerf gun they were going to shoot with). We played three rounds (and Jerry played too).

Kinlee just watched.

Round one…they each had 1 shot to knock down as many guys and cups as they could – Kole took home this round.

Round two…they had three shots to see how many they could knock down – Jerry won this one (geez, Dad, haven’t you ever heard of letting the kids win?)

Round three…they each had twelve shots to see if they could knock them all off the table, which no one did.  But Kole only had two cups left and was declared the winner!

This was a riot!  They got to choose their weapons, pick guys for the pyramid, had a little friendly competition.  Another great Pinterest hit!  We love you Pinterest!!!!


Last, but not least, we finished the night repeating the same exercises as last night, only adding one more of each – 6 push ups, 31 sit ups, and 26 jumping jacks.  Kennedy cried during the sit ups and Kole was the jumping jack energizer bunny.  He just kept going and going and going.


OHHH!  And I totally forgot to mention that Jerry is in the kitchen right now as we speak, making a Pinterest dessert – the Brownie Cookie Dough Sandwiches.  He brought me a taste of the batter while I was typing and it was sinful!  I cannot wait to try these little pieces of heaven.  I told him to take pics, so I will review tomorrow!!

Triple the Fun!

1 Feb

Wow, it has been three days since my last post and it feels like FOREVER!  (and my mom keeps giving me trouble about not having anything to read)

So, things didn’t go exactly as planned, I got the flu, stayed in town, so Jerry still had to help out with the activities, but everything went pretty well.

They tried three new dishes, three new activities and, tonight, even added a little exercise to the routine.  We have decided to round out the new eating habits and creative juices with a little moving our butts – working on the fam’s minds, bodies and spirits!  It is amazing, after one month of trying new foods, my kids have already broadened their horizons completely.  They have tried so many vegetables, new sauces, ingredients they have always turned their noses up at, and have actually liked, no LOVED, some of them.  They have also gotten into the habit of asking, every day, what we are doing for craft.  I realize that not all of, or even half of, our activities are crafts, but that is exactly the terminology they use, “Mom, what are we doing for craft today?”  I don’t care what they call it, as long as they are enjoying the extra family time together, doing things that we would normally never do, during a time of day when, previously, we would all be doing separate things (such as watching tv, playing video games, facebooking, etc).  We are experimenting together, being artistic (or as artistic as we unartistic people can be), having fun, but most importantly, building new memories (whether they know it or not :)  ).

Okay, enough with the cheesey, sappy stuff and on to the goods.

Monday was Turkey Enchilada Night from http://www.recipe-diaries.com/2011/05/23/bubble-up-enchiladas-weight-watcher-recipes-part-2/

This was one of the first times that I followed the directions to a t!


1 pound lean ground turkey
1 (10 ounce) can enchilada sauce
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 16 oz can reduced fat refrigerator biscuits
1 ¼ cups shredded low fat Mexican Cheese


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brown turkey and drain if needed. Mix in a can of enchilada sauce and tomato sauce. Cut the refrigerated biscuits into fourths and stir them in the meat mixture. Then you just dump it all in a greased casserole (I use 8 X 11) and bake for 25 minutes until the biscuits are cooked through. Usually I use a tooth pick to see if the biscuits are done. Take out of oven and sprinkle cheese on top. Bake an additional 10 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

( In the notes on this site, they suggest you can add black beans or corn to the dish, we added corn, also we tore the biscuits into smaller pieces like 6-8 per biscuit.  Okay, so maybe we did not follow the recipe to a t, because we did not use reduced fat biscuits, we used the full fat content kind😉 )

These turned out great.  It was easy-peasy.  Everyone liked it, with the exception of Kennedy.  She wasn’t a huge fan of the turkey, although I am proud of her for trying it.  She mostly just ate the sauce covered biscuits.  Kole said, “This isn’t just good, it’s great!”  Thanks, Tony the Tiger.  He had doubles and wanted more!  Kinlee of course eats everything and this was no exception!  Overall, a pretty positive result and we will be making this one again!


(yes, I know the weirdo is wearing camo!  But it is the face of a boy who just earned all 50 points, which means…PLAY DATE!)


For craft on Monday, we made a family Valentine decoration.  We used different colored construction paper and traced and cut out each of the kids’ hands, glueing one on top of the other.  We then glued the hands to another piece of paper and the kids wrote “A Rutledge Valentine” on it.  I have to find a frame, so we can hang it up!  I guess with me being sick and dad in charge, pictures went by the wayside.  So, as soon as I frame it, I will post some pics.

They did, however, really enjoy this.  They loved seeing how small and chubby Kinlee’s hand was compared to theirs.  It continually amazes me just how much they love and adore their baby sister!

Tuesday – Baked Cheesy Chicken Penne ( adapted from http://realmomkitchen.com/1505/baked-cheesy-chicken-penne/)


  • 6 tablespoons butter, plus more for baking dishes
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 pound penne rigate
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • half of a rotisserie chicken, shredded
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
  • a few dashed of garlic salt
  • 6 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups shredded italian blend cheeses
  • 1  cup shredded italian blend cheeses for top


  1. Preheat oven to 400. Butter 40r5-quart baking dish.   In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta 3 minutes short of al dente; drain pasta and set aside.
  2. While pasta is boiling, heat oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Season chicken with salt and pepper.
  3. In a 5-quart Dutch oven or heavy pot , melt butter over medium. Add flour and garlic; cook, whisking, 1 minute. While whisking constantly, gradually add milk; bring to a simmer.  Keep whisking frequently as sauce thickens, about 1 minute more.  Take the pan off the heat and and gradually stir in 2 cups cheese.
  4. Add chicken and pasta to pot; season with salt and pepper to taste. Place pasta mixture between baking dish.  Sprinkle cheese on top.
  5. Bake, uncovered, until top is golden and bubbling, about 25 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving

A few notes,

 1) we shredded the chicken, where the original recipe calls for chunks.

2) the recipe calls for putting half of the mixture in a pan to bake and half in a pan to freeze, we just made it all – it was a lot.

3) the recipe called for sun dried tomatoes and mushrooms, which we  omitted.  It really was pretty bland and the mushrooms and tomatoes probably add good flavor to the recipe.

This was so-so.  As I just mentioned, it was pretty bland, edible, but not fabulous.  Kinlee ate hers all up (go figure).  Kennedy finished hers for all five points and Kole only at some of it.  If, I were cooking for me and not the kids, I would probably add in some cayenne pepper and some chopped red peppers (the sun dried tomatoes also sound good, but Jerry is not a fan).


While my little chunky monkey is loving it, this dish was kind of a lot of work for very little satisfaction, so we probably will not be making this one again.

Craft time…Cosmic Bathing!

So, super easy and so, so, so, SO much fun!  In the dollar section at Target, we bought packs of 15 glow in the dark bracelets.  I put 15 in each of the kids’ tubs, added some bubbles and created the same effect of the hot tub in their baths!  We turned out the lights and they enjoyed play time in the glowing tubs!  They absolutely thought this was THE coolest thing ever, and I have to admit, it kinda was!

I highly recommend giving this a try…pure enjoyment for no effort and less than $2.50.


Tonight – Mexican Chicken Ring (adapted from http://jennasjourneyblog.blogspot.com/2011/05/mexican-chicken-ring.html)


3 cooked & shredded chicken breasts ( I used the other half of the rotisserie chicken from last night)

1 cup grated Cheddar cheese plus some for sprinkling on top

1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese

¾ can of Rotel & all of the juice ( I substituted a can of red enchilada sauce, I thought the rotel would be a bit too spicey for Kennedy and Kinlee)

3/4 cup light sour cream

1 package taco seasoning

2 rolls of regular sized crescent rolls

1 lime (juice) ( I omitted)

2/3 cup finely crushed tortilla chips


Combine chicken, enchilada sauce, tortilla chips, sour cream, taco mix, and cheese.

Unroll and separate crescent dough. Arrange triangles on a baking sheet making a circle with wide ends overlapping in the center and points toward outside. Spread chicken mixture evenly into the center of the ring.

Fold the points of the crescents in and over. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and tortilla strips ( I did not put strips on top) and bake at 375 for 20 minutes.

Omiyummy!  This was soooo easy and everyone, yes EVERYONE, loved it.  Enchilada sauce, sour cream and taco seasoning – are you kidding me?!?  My kids turn their noses up at this stuff all the time, but they ate it all up!  Kole had seconds, Ken ate all of hers, Kinlee giggled with joy!  Crazy!  I don’t traditionally like sour cream, but I promised the kids that I would not make them try anything that I wouldn’t try and it was deee-liscious! I guess everything tastes good in a crescent roll!


Craft time – Hearts Galore on the Door!

I adapted a pin where you surprise your kids with hearts all over their door for Valentine’s Day.  The kids started by tracing hearts and cutting them out.  For each day in February until Heart Day, they are going to write on three hearts.  One for both of their siblings and one for mom and dad.  On each heart, each night they will write one thing that they love about the members of our fam. On the 13th, after they go to sleep, I am going to decorate their doors with the hearts.  They are really excited about this, which made me excited.  I can’t wait to see the things that they come up with, you never know what is going to come out of their mouths.  Tonight, Ken was so cute.  On all three, she wrote ” I love at you…”  It was so precious, that I couldn’t tell her it should say ” I love THat you…”  I will tell her tomorrow.  Or maybe I won’t and we can laugh about them on a few years….


And FINALLY, the last chapter in tonight’s saga…

I decided to incorporate some exercise each night.  I want to round out their experiences here and create good, healthy habits.  I have already seen what can happen with food and creative activities in just a few short weeks.  If we can create some good exercise habits too, we can set them on a great path for well-rounded and healthy lifestyles (okay, so I am getting a little ahead of myself, but it IS good for them!).

I pinned a few different exercises for kids and tonight we started VERY easy.  30 crunches, 5 push ups and 25 jumping jacks.  Simple, right?  Well “crunches are hard” says Ken.  And if you can’t do a jumping jack correctly, they are not easy either.  So we, slowly, learned how to do them and finished all of our exerices.  Their faces were priceless.  Kole also had to add an additional 6 push ups to show me how tough he is!🙂


And I will leave you with the new jumping jack queen!

Weekend, What Weekend?

29 Jan

So, I am not sure where the heck the last two days went, but the weekend is over and I am off to DC tomorrow morning for the next few days.

This weekend was such a struggle to get our Pinterest Parties in…and today was pretty much a wash.

I have planned a few activities and recipes for Jerry to attempt while I am gone, so the next few days should be interesting! :) 

An update on the Pinterest activities for the last two days…

Yesterday, I made two recipes for a school fundraiser, an easy appetizer and a heavenly dessert!

Pizza Muffins (adapted from www.plainchicken.com


3/4 cup flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
3/4 cup whole milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
4 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 1 cup) 
4 oz mini turkey pepperoni, (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup finely chopped green pepper

1/2 cup pizza sauce


Pre-heat the oven to 375°. Grease a 24-cup mini-muffin pan. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, garlic powder and baking powder; whisk in the milk and egg. Stir in the mozzarella, peppers and pepperoni; let stand for 10 minutes.

Stir the batter and divide among the mini-muffin cups. Bake until puffed and golden, 20 to 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, microwave the pizza sauce until warmed through. Serve the puffs with the pizza sauce for dipping.

These are so delish and I completely forgot to take a pic of the finished product, but here is what the batter looked like…not such an appetizing shot, but I am sure we will make them again soon and I will post a pic.

Kennedy actually tried one before I left for the fundraiser, but the “green things” freaked her out!  I, however, sampled quite a few and they go mighty fine with a nice cold beer!

Butterfinger Blondies (from http://www.sixsistersstuff.com/2011/08/butterfinger-blondies.html)


1 cup butter
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp coarse sea salt
2 cups coarsely chopped Butterfinger Bars (approx 16 “Fun Size” bars)



Preheat oven to 350°
Cream butter and sugars in mixing bowl.
Add the vanilla and eggs and mix until incorporated.
On low add your dry ingredients (flour, salt and baking soda) until just combined.
Stir in your chopped Butterfinger.
Spread in a 9×13 baking dish and bake for 25 minutes until center is JUST set.
Remove from oven and cool completely.

Butterfinger Buttercream:


1/2 cup room temp butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
2 1/2 – 3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup chopped Butterfinger Bars (approx 4 “Fun Size” bars)


Cream the butter and shortening together until smooth.
Add in you powdered sugar on low speed.  Turn speed up to medium and mix until smooth
Stir in your chopped Butterfinger. (I sprinkled mine on top and stirred them in!)
Spread on your cooled blondies.


(Note:  I put the butterfinger bars in a gallon plastic bag and beat them with an ice cream scoop, yes ice cream scoop, to crumble them.  I have in the past used a meat tenderizer, but, ummmmm, that created holes in the bad and didn’t work so well.  I have experimented with other kitchen utensils and found that the ice cream scoop works the best!)


These little treats are pure happiness!  And, if you are anything like me and a sucker for tasting (okay flat out eating) the batter, you will not be disappointed here!  The batter is soooooooo yummy!


Today, due to some unforeseen circumstances, it became a very lazy day around here.  We did not cook, nor did we craft.  However, I did use my Pinterest boards for dinner.  I found some greasy fries and Culvers pins, and thought we could test those out.  Test, yes that’s it, because we have never, ever had Culvers before😉

Hopefully, Jer and the kids will have some good quality time together eating and crafting the next few days.  I am 105% positive that he will not blog about it, sooooo I will update everyone on Wednesday!

Off to sleep, my 6 am flight is going to be here way too soon.

I hope that none of you have a case of the Mondays tomorrow!

NO Leftovers!!

27 Jan

Last night was a blast….right up until the time that I tried to blog about it and wordpress would not let me add the pics.  Sooo, here I am doing it tonight.

Work has been so crazy this week, that I have been completely unprepared for dinners and crafts and have been totally winging it as dinner time approached.  So, last night I went through my pins to find something simple and that I new I had all of the ingredients for in my cabinets.  The choice was simple:

Surprise Pancakes from 2makeendsmeet.blogspot.com


2 tbsp butter

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup milk

2 eggs


Preheat oven to 450*
Put 2 tbsp. butter (or margarine, I guess) in an 8″ square pan.
Place the pan in oven, until butter is melted.  (I just microwaved for 40 seconds or so, until melted.)

1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
Pour mixture into the pan.  Sprinkle with cinnamon (or nutmeg).  I used cinnamon.
Bake for 15 minutes at 450*.  Remove from oven and make sure your kids see how fun it looks right away!

(I actually doubled the recipe and used a 9X13 in pan)


These smelled yummy!  They quickly deflated and ended up being very thin, but immediately out of the oven, the dish was bubbly and looked pretty cool.  The kids giggled and ooohed and ahhhhhed as I removed it from the oven.  We added powdered sugar and syrup.  Both kids, okay all three kids had seconds and the entire dish was finished within minutes.  A huge success! 


Immediately following dinner, we started our project for the evening – ABC Picture Books.

I gave each of the kids a piece of paper with the alphabet on it.  They had to go through the house and take a picture of something that started with each letter of the alphabet.  When they found an item, they would come and tell me, write it on the paper and then they would proceed with another letter.  Soooo fun!  They enjoyed this as much as the scavenger hunt.  This weekend I am going to print the pics and we will assemble the books one night for an activity.  


I love nights like this one, happy, quality time together with NO TEARS!  Yes, no tears during dinner or during project time.  It was heaven, if only we could do this a bit more often.


Tonight was kind of a shamble.  Koley had a party with his teachers for three hours.  Kennedy grabbed some food at grandma and grandpa’s when we went over there to chat.  She did continually ask about her craft, so we started making a book.  She didn’t quite get it finished.  It is illustrated, now we are just in the process of adding her text.  It is called PacMan Party.  Nooooo, my kids do not play too many video games.  This title and subject of her book exemplifies the reason we need to take time out each night for a family craft, project or experiment to get away from the video games and the tv.  I have some pics of her drawing, but the camera is in the other room and, frankly, I am too tired to go and get it.  I was so enthralled with “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest” that I stayed up until 2 am reading last night.  So now, sleepy time, and pics will be posted tomorrow!

Happy Friday!

Tears, Tears and More Tears

25 Jan

Major Migraine from hell, so here are the cliff notes…

Dinner consisted of an Italian Chicken and Rice Casserole from eatathomecooks.com.

  • 2-3 cups cooked, chopped chicken
  • 1 cup rice, uncooked
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • handful of chopped fresh parsley ( I omitted)
  • 1 cup Italian blend shredded cheese
  • 2 cans (15 oz) chicken broth
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1/2-1 tsp. oregano ( I omitted)
  • 1/2-1 tsp. basil ( I omitted)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced or crushed
  • black pepper to taste ( I used garlic salt)

Put the chicken in the bottom of a 9×13 casserole dish.  Sprinkle the rice, red pepper and parsley over the top.  Spread the cheese evenly over the top.

In a small bowl, combine the broth, chicken soup,, oregano, basil, garlic and pepper.  Pour evenly over the top of the other ingredients.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour – 1 hour and 15 minutes.  Let it stand for a few minutes before serving.


Kole ate about half of his.  Kennedy cried and cried because she didn’t want to eat the peppers.  She eventually tried a bite to earn her point.  Kennedy now has reached her goal of 50 and will get a playdate or toy.  Yay, Ken!  Kinlee ate hers all up – surprise, surprise.  Again, she cried when hers was all gone.  Jerry loves this kind of dish – he has a version that substitutes hamburger and cream of mushroom and calls it “slop”.  Yuck.

Craft time was super fun.  We created a little explosion.

I found these fizzy, explosion bags at http://homeschooljournal-bergblog.blogspot.com/2011/07/summer-fun-43-fizzy-explosion-bags.html.

Directions from the site:

Tear a paper towel into a square that measures about 5 inches by 5 inches. Put 1 1/2 tablespoons of baking soda in the center of the square, then fold the sides of the square in toward the middle, and then the opposite sides in toward the middle, with the baking soda inside.  This is your “time-release packet.”

Pour into your plastic bag, 1/2 cup of vinegar and 1/4 cup of warm water.
Now here’s the tricky part. You need to drop the time-release packet into the vinegar and zip the bag closed before the fizzing gets out of control. You can zip the bag halfway closed, then stuff the packet in and zip the bag closed the rest of the way in a hurry, or you can put the time-release packet into the mouth of the bag and hold it up out of the vinegar by pinching the sides of the bag. Zip the bag closed and then let the packet drop into the vinegar. One way or another, get the packet in the vinegar and zip the bag closed.
Shake the bag a little, put it in the sink or on the ground, and stand back! The bag will puff up dramatically and then give a satisfying pop sound.
I had asked the kids what they thought would happen when we mix the ingredients, neither of them predicted an explosion and they were very pleasantly surprised at the response.
Kole’s fizzed, but there was a tiny portion of the bag that was not sealed, so the air escaped and did not “pop” the bag.   Kennedy’s worked perfectly.  Kole wanted to give it one more try.  His bag slowly expanded as the kids eagerly watched.  The reaction took a few minutes, so neither one was prepared when the bag exploded.  This, of course, scared Kennedy and she started crying.
Lots of tears tonight.  Food was okay, kids loved the experiment and I am sure they will be asking to do this one over and over.
Head is pounding, so I am signing off!

Ooey, Gooey and Messy!

24 Jan

Finally, after a week long hiatus, we plunged back into our Pinterest Parties with a wonderfully, easy new dish I found at http://realmomkitchen.com/9947/italian-crescent-casserole/.

I made an Italian Crescent Casserole, which I called Spaghetti Pie.  I figured that the kids LOVED the braided spaghetti bread, so if I named this something similar, maybe, just maybe, they would give it a shot.  As usual, I altered the recipe to cater to my little picksters!


1lb cooked ground beef

1 cup spaghetti sauce (the original recipe called for white sauce)

1 package crescent rolls

1 package shredded cheese ( I used a four cheese blend)


  1. In skillet, mix cooked beef and red sauce. Heat over medium heat until warm. ( I seasoned with a few dashes of chili powder)
  2. Separate crescent dough into 8 triangles. Place dough in ungreased 9-inch glass pie plate in spoke pattern, with narrow tips overlapping rim of plate about 3 inches.
  3. Press dough in side and bottom of pan to form crust and cover the pan. Sprinkle with 1 cup of the cheese over dough in the pan.
  4. Spoon meat mixture evenly over cheese.
  5. Bring tips of dough over filling to meet in center; do not overlap.
  6. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese over the dish. Bake at 375°F 15 to 20 minutes. (original recipe calls for basil on top as well)


This recipe was quick, easy and delicious.  It would be perfect for a night when you don’t have a lot of time.  Kole dug in right away.  First, he said, “it’s not that good, but it’s okay.”


Then he started eating, and eating and asked for seconds.  He also started making fun of Kennedy, who was crying because she “doesn’t like hamburger”.

As she cried, Kole said he was going to tell all his friends that Kennedy cried over a little hamburger.  He begged us to get out the video camera cheering, “Come on, this will get at least a million hits, maybe two!”  Even after a gentle reminder of how he lost his mind over a green bean, he still continued to taunt her.

Then, she tried it.  Apparently, it wasn’t so bad because she kept eating.  After she finished about half of her portion, she asked to be finished.  We gave her permission, and told her she earned one point for trying her dinner.  This brought on more tears.  “I want to get my five points!  wahhhhhhhh!!!”  With tears running down her face, she continued to eat.  Several times, I told her that she could stop, but she refused to leave the table.  She  really wants that play date, so she sat crying and eating until she had cleaned her plate.  Magically, the tears stopped and just like that, she was ready for craft time. 

Kinlee thoroughly enjoyed the Spaghetti Pie.  She ate and ate and ate.

And then….

Not because she didn’t like the food, but because we wouldn’t give her ANYMORE food.

One crying because she has to eat it for points, the other because we refuse to give her more…I am hoping one day soon to find a perfect balance of happy, well-fed, sweet, compliant children.  It’s going to happen, it’s going to happen, IT IS GOING TO HAPPEN!

(By the way, Jerry and I both really thought it was delish!)

Craft time!

Since my little second grader is studying matter – solids, liquids and gases,  I found an experiment at http://blog.austinkids.org/2011/04/09/from-a-liquid-to-a-solid/ which changes liquid to a solid.  This flopped BIG TIME.  I was beginning to think that Pinterest had changed me into some super woman who can make magic happen with her kids every night (or at least that I can follow directions and give the kids the illusion that I am this alternate being), then this stupid experiment knocked me back into reality and reminded me that I can not follow directions, nor am I Bill Nye the Science Guy.  I am going to give you the directions, and maybe you can make it work, but I can not get milk to curdle over heat.  If you make it happen, please tell me how the h you did it!

All you will need is:

  • 4 ounces of milk
  • 1 teaspoon of vinegar
  • a small pan
  • a small, clean jar

First, you will put the milk in a pan and heat it on the stove until it curdles. This happens when the milk begins to form lumps. Next, you will slowly pour off the runny liquid. Then, put your lumps in the jar and add vinegar. Let it stand for about an hour.

After an hour, you will notice the milk has turned into rubber! Finally, you can shape the lump into a ball or some other simple shape. Be sure to pour out any excess liquid before playing with the rubber. After doing this, let it sit on a paper towel for a few more hours. Once it is completely dry, you will now notice the milk has finally turned into plastic!

Okay, here are our pics…notice Kole’s face.  He is like what in the world is this crap?!? (By the way, I asked each of the kids whether they thought that the mixture would a) stay a liquid, b) become a solid or c) become a gas.  They each said a solid, until they found out we were boiling the milk and changed their guess to a gas.  So they were a bit surprised about the semi-weird solid state that it became.)

We are going to leave it out overnight and see if by some miracle the plastic forms.


Good Luck, maybe you can follow directions, unlike my uncrafty self!!

We’re Baaaaaack

24 Jan

After a much needed and awesome vacation, we are finally back in the real world.  Jerry kicked it off with a bang by having an 8:00am meeting and I walked back into a hornets’ nest of a contract that is losing ass.  However, we did get to see our kids, who whined very little and genuinely seemed happy to see us.

Since I basically need a vacation to recoup from vacation, I had planned absolutely nothing for today.  This is partly due to the face that I left my ipad at home during our holiday and spent zero time on Pinterest (I did mention at least once in Mexico that I was having some Pinterest withdrawals, which is nice to know my obsession with Facebook has lessened in favor of a site that actually inspires me to actually DO something.  It has gotten me to cook on a daily basis, which Jerry has been trying and failing to do for about 10 years.)

Anyway, with no groceries or crafty supplies (or time to prepare), we decided to just order dinner, but make a Pinterest dessert.   And tonight, Jerry made the dessert.  The kids were a little cranky about not having a project tonight, so Jerry asked, “Do you guys want to help me make dessert?”  They both said yes. 

“How about  making that your craft tonight?”  Jerry asked.

Kole snickered and said, “That’s pretty weak.”   Ahhhhh, how I have missed my Koley.

Anyway, Jerry whipped up some Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars, and they were spectacular!  (http://www.the-girl-who-ate-everything.com/2009/03/peanut-butter-chocolate-bars.html)


  • 1 (18.25) package plain yellow cake mix
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 (12 oz) package semi-sweet chocolate chips
    1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
    2 Tablespoons butter
    2 teaspoons vanilla

1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2) Combine cake mix, melted butter, peanut butter, and eggs in a large bowl using a mixer or spoon. Press this into a 9X13 pan reserving 1 1/2 cup of the mixture to crumble on top.

3) In a small pot, melt chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, and butter. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and coconut.
4) Spread chocolate mixture over the mixture pressed in the pan and then crumble the 1 1/2 cups of reserved cake mixture on top evenly.
5) Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool completely before cutting into bars.
Jer said they were extremely easy and they were fan-freaking-tastic!  I think these will become a new staple or go-to dessert in this house!  (We even took some over to my dad to bribe him to take a girl scout cookie sheet to work and SELL, SELL, SELL for Kennedy.)
Here are some pics….and tomorrow night, we start with dinner and projects again.  I am pretty sure we are going to make elephant toothpaste, so stay tuned!   Whooooo-hooooo!