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Monday, February 28, 2011

More St. Pattie's Day Treats!!!

This pregnancy has definitely brought the sweet tooth out of me. I just can't get enough sweet treats to make. On that note, here are a few more St. Patrick's Day sweets that I will be trying this week. They are both quick and easy and minimal baking required. (For those of you who don't have the time to be a true Martha Stewart...like me...lol.)


This first recipe I found from Munchkin Munchies. These little treats are easy to make, very little baking, and minimal ingredients. They're even easy enough for the little ones to help. Make them for St. Patrick's Day or even April Fool's Day.
 "Irish Potatoes"

4 tablespoons softened butter
4 ounces softened cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
6 ounces walnuts, toasted cooled and finely chopped (in food processor) plus extra for garnish
1 pound confectioner’s sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon for rolling
Cream together butter, cream cheese, vanilla and salt on high speed until lightened. Beat in walnuts and sugar until smooth. Refrigerate 1 hour until firm enough to roll. Roll about 1 tablespoon in your hands and shape to look like mini potatoes. Roll in cinnamon and brush off excess with a pastry brush. If you would like to create “eyes” stick a few pieces of walnut in some of the potatoes using  tweezers. Chill 30 minutes. Serve.




This next recipe is so simple and takes minutes to make. St. Patrick's Day Marshmallows. All you need:
large marshmallows
green edible marker
green sanding sugar or sprinkles
cup of water
lollipop sticks

You can find green food writers in the craft store, Americolor Gourmet Writers are the best! Find the sprinkles (go for sanding sugar or very fine sprinkles) and the lollipop sticks in the craft store.

For shamrocks, simply draw a shamrock and insert stick, if desired. For glittery marshmallows, insert a lollipop stick into a marshmallow. Quickly submerge the marshmallow in a cup of water. Immediately sprinkle sanding sugar or sprinkles over marshmallow to completely coat. Tap off excess and set aside to dry.

These are great for parties or just a treat for the kiddies! I personally love marshmallows, so these are on my favorites list!!


This last recipe I found from Tip Junkie. Its called Lucky Leprechaun Cookie Bark. The main ingredients are....Thin Mints....you know, those addictive Girl Scout cookies. Green M&Ms, pretzels and chocolate....yummy!!!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Dancing Baby

video
I thought I'd share this quick video of Lizzie. Any time she hears music, she starts to dance. Too cute!.
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Friday, February 25, 2011

Enforcing Organization



After careful thought and discussion with Sean, it was clear that we needed to establish some new rules and organization in our household. With homeschooling and managing  a family of 8, (and another new addition coming in late June) I really need some help around here. We discussed hiring a maid service, but I need someone pretty much daily. That's not something we can afford right now. My two older boys have chores that we assign to them, but have never really enforced them. Taking a long look at my daily to do list....lets face it, I need to establish some order and assign chores, and hold them accountable. An example: Declan, our 8 year old is in charge of clearing and cleaning the table and sweeping after every meal. He is also in charge of feeding the dog. He does pretty well with the cleaning, but I have to remind him to feed Wookie after dinner. Well, apparently he hadn't fed the poor dog for the last two days and he began eating all the cats food. The poor pooch was starving. Sean was pretty livid, which was part of the motivation to enforce the chores.
One of the advantages to blogging are all the great mom blogs out there. Lets face it, we're all just looking for a little support and advice. One of my favorite sites, orgjunkie.com had a really great idea for a chore chart. We needed something that was simple, customizable and had a daily/weekly checklist. She made a PDF version for both boys and girls that were also age appropriate. I spent hours looking online for the perfect chart, when this one was right under my nose.
Declan and Cian are the only two really old enough to do chores. I can handle the bathrooms, laundry, dishes, and vacuuming. What I really need help with is the dining room, classroom, backyard and living room. That's where the boys come in. Daily chores for Declan consist of clearing and sweeping the dining room after meals and feeding the dog. Cian picks up all the toys and trash in the living room before bed. Weekly chores for Declan, cleaning up all the dog poop on M-W-F along with cleaning his and the baby girls room with Cian after school on Fridays. Saturdays the classroom needs to be cleaned. The chore chart is organized by chore per day and a box for them to initial after they complete each chore. At the bottom of each day and week, is a box for me to initial as well.  Its not much and simple enough for both of them to handle together. As a reward on Sunday, after I have signed off that all chores were completed, Sean will give them each $2 for something they really want. Its teaching them to save as well. We just started this today, so I'll post an update in a few week.
Another problem we've been dealing with is Declan sneaking cookies, cakes and candy early in the morning. He has been punished for this in the past and it hasn't seemed to make a difference. We caught him sneaking conversation hearts a few days ago. (Actually he would have gotten away with it, but Cian ratted him out at breakfast...lol.) Since punishing him doesn't seem to work, Sean came up with the idea to set out a snack basket. Each morning, the basket will contain one fruit item and a breakfast bar of some sort. There are 5 of each, for each of the older children. The idea is to hold them off until breakfast, since I refuse to get up before the sun does. We are also hoping this will discourage Declan from sneaking unhealthy junk. He's getting older now and needs to be able to make a few decisions for himself. We've given him the option to keep his hair longer, even if it makes him look like a Chia Pet...lol, now he has the option to choose a healthy snack or nothing until breakfast. Again, this is something we're just starting today, so I'll give an update in a few weeks.


 OrgJunkie 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

St. Patrick's Day Treats and Home Decor!

One of my familys' favorite holidays is St. Patrick's Day. Since my husband is pure Irish, (On both his Mother and Fathers sides) its important to him that our children learn and celebrate their heritage. Besides the usual class activities I have planned for them. I wanted to find a fun and tasty treat that we could all make together. I thought to myself, this is going to be easy. I'll just do a Google search for St. Patrick's Day treats. HA!!!! Boy was I wrong. After hours of searching blogs, cookbooks, and cooking sites, I found NOTHING I liked. Finally I resorted to an old standby...Kellogg's! Lucky Shamrock Treats, a simple and fun recipe that even my 2 year old can help with. You can even dye the rice crispies green with food coloring! I have a box of 101 cookie cutters that I have never used. Three different sized shamrock shapes. Thee're great for cutting down on the fighting...lol.

With the new living room set coming next week, I decided the walls needed more pictures. Lets face it, we have no family pictures on the walls, at all. I can't even remember the last time we had pictures professionally done. So, I wanted something that would go with the new furniture and look sharp. I found the perfect collage frames on Amazon for only $25 each, with free Prime Shipping. (I bought the last two) Each collage holds 10 4x6 pictures. The photo doesn't really show it, but each little frame is 3D. Its the perfect accent for the bare wall next to our front door. (We have lived here for 2 years and have never put anything up there.) That was the easy part, picking out the perfect pictures from our sea of a few thousand, not so much. I spent hours trying to find 20 pictures. I didn't want to have too many of each child, so I hope the 21 I had printed from Snapfish will work.

Sean didn't want the living room to look too girly, so he added a few accents of his own, to remind him of home....In case you didn't notice, he's a huge sports fan. He loves all the Boston teams, ie. Red Sox, Celtics and Patriots. Since he was already spending loads of money, why not go on an Amazon shopping spree. I don't really mind. I love all the teams too, even though I'm from AZ, my heart is with the Boston teams.

Monday, February 21, 2011

A Buzz of a Problem....


So, as I was in the middle of class this morning, Declan noticed two bees on the slider. I quickly sprayed them with bug spray and continued with class. A few minutes later, two more bees started flying around the classroom. Ok, this isn't good. I went out back to look around, on the side of the house, right above the classroom door, I could see a few dozen bees swarming around. LOVELY, I called our pest control guy. His dad called back and said they didn't deal with bees, but gave me two companies to call. He said it would be pretty pricey, so call them both. So, I sent Sean a text to see what to do. He said call them both and get estimates. Its going to cost between $155-225. The guy should be here within an hour.

I just looked out my kitchen window to see all the bees, and they were gone....Ok, that's weird, so I went out to investigate. There was one or two still flying around the roof, then I saw it, a square opening in the roof just above the classroom door. The bees were flying into that. WONDERFUL!!! I guess these bees are called scappies. (I know I spelled that wrong, but u get the idea) They seek out a destination to bring the entire hive, which consists of thousands. They stick around for about 72 hours. If they like the area, they come back. If not, they move on. Since I am allergic to bees, I'm not taking any chances. Lets just hope these guys can fix the issue quickly.

Update: The guy came and treated the hole where the bees were and stuffed it with insulation. We have to keep an eye on it for the next 72 hours. If we see any more bees or a swarm of thousands in the area, we have to call ASAP. Here's a picture of what he did.

Enough of the bee talk. Here are a couple of photos of Elizabeth that I touched up with Picnik. Its a software offered by Picasa. Not sure if I like it yet. I am not a professional photographer like my Grandfather was, but I definately have it in my blood...lol. Let me know what you think. (Especially you Michelle...heehee)






Sunday, February 20, 2011

Our New Living Room Set!

I forgot to include this in my last post. Sean went to one last furniture store today and finally found a living room set we both liked. I know, I said I didn't want something brown or earth toned, but lets face it, that's what's "in" right now. So here it is, our new sofa and love seat. (We didn't purchase the tables) It won't be delivered for a week or so, but it's ours!!! Sean said it's very comfy and the arms are tall. It will look nice in our living room.....I hope.
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Playing with Pictures

Out of pure boredom, I decided to download Picasa 3.8 onto the laptop. Let me tell you, I had no idea how many pictures were on this computer. Over 120 folders were found, some dating back to 2002. In fact, its still uploading photos. This is a picture I took of Mary yesterday, after we made chocolate dipped marshmallows and strawberries. She just looked so cute trying to stuff that big marshmallow into her little mouth. I played around with the coloring a bit, and came up with this picture. Its not perfect, but not bad for my first attempt at editing.
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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Mission: New Couch...IMPOSSIBLE!!!

After four years with the ugly "green monster" (aka- our couch), the kids and Dee-du the Cat managed to rip the stuffing out of the seats. So, my very cheap husband finally gave into the notion that we need a new couch! Ya!!!!!! Thanks to our wonderful Uncle Sam, we will be spending our tax refund on new beds for the boys and a couch.

Sean and I both agreed we didn't want an ugly earth toned couch. Something bright and colorful, like red or navy blue. We wanted a sectional, since we have a lot of butts that need to sit, lol. We also wanted one that included a recliner!! Oh, and a pull-out bed would be nice too, for when my Mom comes to visit. Lastly, it had to be comfy. None of the trendy Ikea, hard-as-a-rock crap. This was going to be easy, or so we thought. Sean started shopping online, to get an idea of what was available in the price range we were willing to spend. Suddenly, this didn't look so easy. All the sectionals we were looking for were over $1000. Sean was looking for something more along the line of UNDER $1000....sigh. Another obstacle we ran into, EVERYTHING IS EARTH TONED!!!! YUCK!!! HOW UGLY!!!! If I wanted my living room to look like something out of Leave it to Beaver, then I would have painted the whole room gray. That's the problem with people today, they don't have enough color in their lives!!!LOL. The photo is an example of what I'm looking for.

We tried looking on an old stand-by, Amazon. No luck there either. There aren't any discount furniture stores near our home, so now we're stumped. Here we have all this money to spend, and can't find anything to spend it on. So I guess we'll just keep looking.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Lizzies' First Corn on the Cob

This is as big as my head!
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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Crazy Domestic: Valentine S'more Bites

Happy Valentine's Day! Here's a fun recipe to make with the kids. I talked Sean into picking the ingredients up for me after the Celtics game. They were a big hit!!!!
Crazy Domestic: Valentine S'more Bites: "Every holiday, my mom sends my kids a package, FULL of clothes, toys, candy, etc. corresponding to that holiday. I'm not gonna lie, my m..."

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Michael Jordan of Math!

I took this picture of Cian in Math class today and thought I'd share it. He sticks his tongue out whenever he's colors....too funny.
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