What Stacey Has Been Up To…

I’ve been using new recipes. 

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Spaghetti with Spinach, Garlic, and LemonThis is tasty, but it can’t really be re-heated so I ended up giving away half of it to a very pregnant neighbor. It was tart but fresh and satisfying as a summer dish.

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Sweet Pear and Rosemary Honey Havarti Grilled Cheese–This was super sweet, I would put maybe a teaspoon of the honey mixture on each sandwich.

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 Raisin Waffle Toast—River requested that she be allowed to make this on her own. The kids weren’t the biggest fans but it was fairly tasty. I think with less syrup (she put it on) it would have been better.

Have a surplus of zucchini?? Make this Zucchini Bake! —I highly suggest adding a can of corn in a layer on top of the cracker “crust”. Seriously yummy! Even re-heated. I ate it up for breakfast the next day.

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Deric and I went riding up Farmington canyon on the RZR. It was a great day!
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Bathroom Renovation: Demolition on our bathroom was completed and we moved on to repairing the drywall and   got all the plumbing taken care of. We should be ready to put up the tub surround this week. Then next will likely be painting time.

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First crops from the garden: baby carrots, beets, and a tomato
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Stacey’s 30th Birthday Party : Favorite Things Themed

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gummy bears and york peppermint patties

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bought this cute little owl because it was perfect! Lots of bright colors (orange)!

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My favorite table cloth, watermelon, and chalk signs indicating favorite foods and such. 

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This is the watermelon cake I made. YUMMY!

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I got these gorgeous flowers for my birthday too.

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So, that’s what I’ve been up to. 

~Nostalgic Knucklehead

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Molly’s Mermaid (6th) Birthday Party…

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I cut a corner and purchased high-end cupcakes from walmart. They are filled with corresponding yumminess. Left-right: strawberry, vanilla, and lemon. I had molly put colored “pearls” on each cupcake to make them more mermaid style.

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The invitations…sparkly mermaid tails.

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The kids colored some of the decorations. Foil fish. 

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silly kids…

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Our sea-worthy vittles. We fed all the guests a whole lunch…and I made dinglehoppers.

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pink goldfish crackers

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shell macaroni and cheese (my favorite)

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I also had a mermaid making station for the activity. (inspired by this: popsicle stick mermaid)

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starfish sandwiches…I left them imprinted instead of totally cut out because I didn’t want to waste food.

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Dining in “the sea” to keep them from making a huge mess on my carpet (plastic table cloth).

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Pearlized balloon garland using this simple idea of using a needle to thread them! (took me like 5 minutes to do)

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More decor (reusing my birthday flowers since they are stars).

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Featured vintage wrapping paper. :)

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Present time. :)

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From Mommy and Daddy.

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Books from Mommy and Daddy.

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Cute birthday girl. :)

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Happy birthday to you!

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Good job!

Now I get a break from birthday planning for the rest of the year! Yay!

~Nostalgic Knucklehead

Posted in About the Clan, For the Foodies, For the kids, Kiddie Craftiness, The Crafty Side of Stacey, Up-cycling | Leave a comment

Other Things We’ve Done in the Summer…

We have been up to quite a bit, despite feeling like I’ve been unable to accomplish much of anything. 

Fourth of July– we went and parked on the side of the layton Parkway and watched the fireworks all around us. There had been a storm rolling in so I had put the kids to bed thinking fireworks wouldn’t be happening. Then the sky cleared enough for us to go so I woke the kids and took them myself while Deric stayed back with Wesley who was already asleep. They complained the whole time and Molly made quite the scene forcing me from my seat repeatedly and in the end making me lock her in the van. She set off the car alarm while screaming bloody murder. It was embarrassing and frankly, felt like a waste of effort. If my kids aren’t even going to enjoy the fun things I attempt to do with/for them…why do I bother at all with anything?

The one saving moment was sitting next to Thomas who was just sweet the whole time. He enjoyed every moment with a big grin on his face and looked toward me to see if I liked each of the fireworks like he did. I’m grateful for that moment with him. 

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Per River’s request: we created a volcano

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We made these blocks from a kiwi crate and Thomas spent the whole day enjoying playing with them. He is certainly the kid that loves to figure things out.

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River wanted to make a cake from scratch one day. So we did.

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She even decorated it (after daddy ate a piece).

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Such a cute girl

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Our traditional Toys R Us birthday trip –they are part of the birthday club which gives them a free paper crown, helium balloon, and $3 gift certificate. This is what Thomas found for $3.

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Molly created a river and a dam in the living room out of blankets and pillows.

A warm rainy day meant playing in puddles and making food coloring “rain paintings”.

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Here’s a simple and fun play idea: I mowed the lawn leaving four small round “grass islands” for my kids. They have been enjoying playing on them.IMG_9748 IMG_9750

Even Mya loves them. :)

There have been more things but the photos from my phone’s camera refuse to remain the right way and I can’t rotate them in this program…so…yah. Sorry.

~Nostalgic Knucklehead

 

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Element 11 Art Festival…

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Home Sweet Home

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Art cars

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Colors

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Two story dance structure

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Giant Jenga

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An adult sized playground with a special visitor.

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Solar and wind power

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Costumes

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Amazing hair colors

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Body paint

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The coolest shoes live in the dust.

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Order a specialty hug with a side of…nose rubbing.

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The burn was this tower…in the star shown a bright white light when it caught.

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This glowed at night in many soft colors

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The road into the camp

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This burned the first night.

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The temple. At night there was a white rope light pathway circling round to the front entrance. The lights inside cast a crackled illumination. It was gorgeous, and serene. This burned the final morning.

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This robot moved and threw fire from various parts of him. Two people were inside his chest controlling him. What a show!

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I spent the weekend admiring the creativity of more than fifteen hundred humans in the middle of the desert. The dust was thick, but the love was thicker. I am so glad to have had those moments to absorb the atmosphere that was Element 11. 

~Nostalgic Knucklehead

Posted in Bettering Myself, Lessons Learned | Leave a comment

Big Summer Events/Birthdays…

We went as a family to Lagoon because Weber State Alumni got a discount day. It turned out to be a really great day. The kids did really well with the waiting and the walking. They rode quite a few rides! We found out that Lagoona Beach is really not worthwhile with younger kids. But, it was mostly an enjoyable day. We also enjoyed a lunch that was put on by Weber State too. We won a heavy duty spatula for the grill in their raffle too. IMG_9480 IMG_9483 IMG_9488

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Molly was in Princess Dance Camp for a week (last week of June into July). She loved dressing up every day, crafting, and dancing with all the other princesses. They put on a recital on the last day and did a dance like Olaf from the movie “Frozen”. Molly did really well with it.

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Wesley turned two July 10th! I pulled together a little family party with what I had mostly. I bought dinner and a cake at Smith’s because I was just too worn down to do something more homemade.  But, Grandma Joan and Grandpa Mark did come over too.

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More vintage wrapping papers–Jack and the Beanstalk

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Cake: cookie dough on the bottom, funfetti cake chunks and rice krispies throughout a cheesecake-like filling, topped with marshmallow icing and white chocolate flakes.

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They wanted lots of pictures of themselves with the presents.

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Lots of balloons everywhere too…and a few streamers on the chandelier

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Grandma’s gift fits right in.

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So excited. Thomas has to protect them…

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Grandma’s present

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Daddy puts it together and Thomas ends up playing with it for the rest of the evening.

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River’s 8th birthday was July 12th. She requested a Willy Wonka theme with Pokemon gifts.

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So, this morning I put it all together. I ran to the store and bought the supplies and balloons, made it all, cleaned, and put it on.

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Violet Boureguard needs juiced! –this game is in lieu of a pinata. The balloons are filled with candy and air. The child gets a tack to pop a balloon so they can take the candy with them. Each child got a paper bag to store their treats and prizes.

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The food was all on theme as well.

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I couldn’t find candy dots for likable wallpaper so fruit roll ups were an excellent second choice.

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Nik L Nip was an excellent smaller and more fun alternative to soda.

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Chocolate milk replaced a chocolate fountain. Which worked out well since people were thirsty.

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The golden eggs were just regular deviled eggs but without paprika so they would be only yellow (per River’s suggestion).

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Wesley eyed the food for a long time…

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Gobstopper hot potato game. I found the gobstopper ball at the dollar store and grabbed a bunch of $.50-$.97 prizes (markers and colored pencils, willy wonka lip gloss flavors, and bouncy balls). I found a Willy Wonka radio station on Pandora and played it while they passed the ball around the circle. I would stop the music and whoever had the ball was out. I did this until there were three people left. Each of them got a prize. Then the next round they sat out while the others played. Everyone got a prize in the end. The winners just got first pick.

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SO many presents!

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About half the kids that were there!

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Playing Gobbstopper hot potato!

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Opening the presents

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We got her the whole series of Little House on the Prairie including the journal.

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Happy birthday River!

~Nostalgic Knucklehead

Posted in About the Clan, For the Foodies, For the kids, The Crafty Side of Stacey | Leave a comment

Watermelon Recipe Experiment…

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{Molly helping with fruit leather} I do so love watermelon. I love it so much that when I was able to pick up local watermelon for 2 for $5 I jumped at the chance. I grabbed 4. There was no way we would eat them as a family in a short enough time-frame. So, I decided to experiment with all the wonderful watermelon recipes I had been seeing on Pinterest.

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Watermelon Jelly. Watermelon fruit leather. Watermelon rind candy: The perfect trio of recipes to use the entire watermelon. Waste not, want not, right?

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First: Puree the watermelon flesh

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Second: Put watermelon through a strainer lined with cheese cloth to pull out the pulp.

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Watermelon pulp used in watermelon fruit leather.

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All those foil covered containers and the pot were 4 watermelons worth of watermelon juice.

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Slice the watermelon rind down into fry shaped/sized pieces and soak in a brine for 6 hours.

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Boil a syrup with lemon peel and sugar for the rind candy.

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After the rind candy was boiled down forever and coated with sugar.

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Final watermelon rind candy product.

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Watermelon jelly was a very similar process to making grape jelly.

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I forgot to add the lemon juice to about 7 bottles…so…watermelon syrup was what I ended up with.

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The rolled watermelon fruit leather.

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Packed into jars and vacuum sealed.

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Looks tasty, right? Well…it was mostly just sugar. Not a fan myself.

The process was long and difficult. The yield was not really worth it. I enjoy the watermelon jelly (and syrup–on vanilla ice cream). But, I don’t think I’ll ever do either the watermelon rind candy, or the watermelon fruit leather again. It was mostly just white sugar that made up everything. Bleh.

The syrup and the candy made their appearance in the ice cream social that I put on at Element 11 this year. It was well-recieved.

~Nostalgic Knucklehead

Posted in Bettering Myself, Deal Bragging, For the Foodies, For the kids | Leave a comment

The End of the School Year…

I’m sorry…you are just going to have to look at these photos sideways…

Molly’s Kindergarten graduation portrait:IMG_9047 Thomas’ 3 year old preschool graduation carnival:IMG_9048 IMG_9054 IMG_9059 Molly’s Farm Field Trip (that I went on with her): IMG_9061 IMG_9064 IMG_9067 IMG_9068 IMG_9069 IMG_9074 IMG_9076 IMG_9078 IMG_9084 IMG_9087Schooooooooool’s out for the Summer!

~Nostalgic Knucklehead

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Our First Birthday Week…

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The first birthday that I had been preparing for over the last month was Deric’s Grandma Kimber’s 90th. 

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They set up a place for the kids to play while the adults socialized. I thought that was a brilliant idea.

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hehe, Thomas’ face…

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I was put in charge of photography for the event (no, these are not the only pictures I took).

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I was put in charge of creating a video of photos and stories told by her children (and recorded by me) set to music from her lifetime. It turned out really well, and I felt like she and her kids appreciated it.

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(watching the video)

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For the birthdays at home this week I used vintage wrapping paper I’ve collected over they year.

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Deric’s traditional from-scratch carrot cake with homemade cream cheese frosting. I decorated it with what I had on hand. 

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So excited for the cake!

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Gift time!

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favorites :)

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The kids even made gifts.

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Thomas’ 4th Birthday–Shark themed!

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I bought balloons, and those vinyl sharks for decorations. Used fishing line to hang it all and crepe paper we had on hand.

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Lots of presents makes for a happy boy!

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Sour Watermelon gummy sharks on mini from-scratch orange cream cupcakes with leftover cream cheese frosting tinted blue for water.

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Excited about the cupcakes!

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Handy organization for parties

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I painted this game and made the “chum” beanbags out of a box we had.

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Amongst the food and fun. 

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BBQ food!

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Wearing his shark outfit.

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Grandma Joan and Grandpa Mark were there.

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Thomas got a shark costume and let Wesley model it.

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…Then Molly.

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Finally Thomas put it on.

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Two awesome shark pop up books to learn all about sharks with.

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End of School gifts! Molly didn’t like that hers was so small…

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River got a crayola art set…

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Molly gets to go to Princess Dance Camp!

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Thomas got a fun book to read!

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Finally warming up to the idea…but, sad that she doesn’t get to go until end of the month.

We also got to go to the end of school Neighborhood Dance Party! Woo! So many celebrations…I think I am all worn out until next month’s birthday week!

~Nostalgic Knucklehead

Posted in About the Clan, For the Foodies, For the kids, Home Decor by ME!, The Crafty Side of Stacey, Up-cycling, Yard Sale Finds | Leave a comment

Mother’s Day and a Reading Nook…

Mother’s day was a sweet one. I received many gifts made by my children in school. I got a nap too!IMG_8847 IMG_8876 My mom and sister, Samm made these delicious oreos for me!IMG_8877I weeded my front flower bed and planted hydrangeas (on the right), and two blueberry bushes (on the left –in the tomato cage and next to the two smaller rocks). I then put bark in the bed to stave off some of the weeds, at least. We will see how long that lasts. But, I think it looks quite lovely. That dark little bush on the right is a red rose bush that has been attempting to grow for a couple years. It’s flourishing now. :)IMG_8887 The first harvest from the garden: spinachIMG_8947Home Improvement Project: Kid’s Reading and Crafting Nook

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I created a place where the children can do their drawing and crafting and reading. It was a space going to waste behind our couches. I used a piece of wood shelf and created a flat surface for them. I hot glued it to the brick so it’s fairly easy to remove. Then I added the book case and the baskets. They have been enjoying it. :)

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Having the books upstairs makes them more accessible and interesting. Another boredom buster for my kids this summer.

Now we head into the summertime! Thomas has graduated from 3 year old preschool this week. Molly had her kindergarten graduation. The girls will be out of school next thursday. They are pretty excited to have a break. I am in the process of creating a plan to keep them fairly entertained this summer. Though, I hope they will be able to be imaginative enough to keep themselves mostly entertained.

~Nostalgic Knucklehead

 

Posted in About the Clan, For the kids, Gardening, Home Improvement Projects, Kiddie Craftiness, Up-cycling | Leave a comment

A SPECKtacular Weekend…

Deric, Wesley, and I traveled to Virginia and Pennsylvania this past weekend for my cousin, Madeline’s wedding. It was the most magical weekend! Full to the brim with lovely people, food, and places to experience. We could not have asked for a more perfect visit!

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We had a fabulous little BBQ at my parent’s house Saturday night.

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Watermelon

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Dad, king of the BBQ

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Check out that food!

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Oh…kebobs!

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Smile.

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Sunday was the wedding at my aunt and uncle’s place. They have many birds including this one Tom.

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So dapper. *swoon*

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Chatting with all the Graham family.

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Love these people.

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My sweet, fought over boy. Everyone wanted to take him home.

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<3

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Grandma!

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Dad. :)

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The beautiful bride.

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Uncle Bob and Aunt Laura.

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Dancing with my Dad.

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Wesley had to dance too.

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Wesley’s girlfriend. They danced the night away.

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Everyone was so wonderful to talk to.

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….and dance with!

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When we returned from the east we had a fire out back for Memorial Day family time. We roasted a few packages of our stockpiled peeps from Easter.IMG_9044

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taken by River

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taken by River

It was such a fabulous weekend!

~Nostalgic Knucklehead

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