Sunday, October 31, 2010

halloween happies

I had grand intentions of getting our teachers a little happy about a week before Halloween...but October just kind of got away from me.  So on Thursday night, we cranked out several of these...


Chocolate covered pretzel sticks with a little Halloween sprinkles for good measure.  We bagged them up and paired them with a kitchen towel from the Target $ Spot [love that section]...


A quick and easy treat to let our teachers know how much we love them!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

family favorite: gingersnaps

We have a new favorite cookie recipe at our house...gingersnaps!  They taste just like fall.  After making these, you will never want a store bought gingersnaps again.

Cream together a stick of butter with a cup of sugar...


Add a tablespoon of ginger...


I use this ginger that you can find in your produce section.  It beats grating fresh ginger and I like it way better than ground ginger.

Then you add and egg and ¼ cup of molasses...


Sift 2 c. of flour, 2 t. baking soda, ¼ t. salt, 1 t. cinnamon and 1 t. ground cloves...


I scoop mine out in a ½ T. measuring spoon...


...and roll them in sugar...

Then bake them at 375˚ for 9 - 10 minutes...


This is the first batch I made by this recipe and used shortening...


I like my cookies better when they are Paula Deen Approved [made with butter].  The ones made with butter seem to flatten out more and get a little darker in color.  They are still crisp on the outside with a chewy center...delicious & delightful!

2 c. flour
2 t. baking soda
¼ t. salt
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. ground cloves
½ c. butter [or ¾ c. butter-flavored shortening]
1 c. sugar
1 T. minced ginger
1 egg
¼ c. molasses

Sift flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and cloves.  Cream together butter and sugar.  Add ginger, egg & molasses to butter/sugar mixture.  Mix until incorporated.  Add the dry ingredients into the butter/sugar mixture.  Roll into small balls then roll in sugar.  Bake at 375˚ on parchement paper lined cookies sheets for 9 - 10 minutes.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

backyard barnyard = 1st field trip

Mary Reese went on her first field trip to the Backyard Barnyard on Friday.  She was excited about her first ride on a school bus with her classmates...


[Jody was off from he decided to join them.  He was the official photographer of the day.]

Ms. Lowery's class in front of the Wizard of Oz pumpkin scene...


I think they had a fabulous day doing all the activities at the Backyard Barnyard.  They played...


She posed with one of her new friend, Halla...


They took a hayride...

BBHayridetoPumpkin a pumpkin patch...

BBPumpkinPatch pick the perfect pumpkin...


They also visited the petting zoo...


Mary Reese wasn't impressed.  All she was concerned about at that point was eating her lunch!

One last class picture with Charlie Brown & the gang...


It was a great field trip, Charlie Brown!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

peace, love & fall

We have offically been in fall for a few weeks now....we have even felt a few days of fall weather!  We are slowly getting geared up for all things fall.

We headed to the farmer's market yesterday on our "day off" to pick up a few heirloom pumpkins...


The pickings were slim...everyone must have bought them up this weekend.  We still managed to find a few fun ones.

On Sunday, Mary Reese, Aunt Stacey, Debbie and I worked on a little Halloween project involving this table full of stuff...


We hit the Halloween aisles pretty hard at Tarjay.

Mary Reese came home and washed all our pumpkins...


Then she started to decorate...


She took it very serious.  She wanted everything placed perfectly...


Here are the finished products...


Mary Reese's Princess Pumpkin, Aunt Stacey's Clown Witch Pumpkin & Debbie's Vampire Witch Pumpkin.  [There are some Mr. Potato Head Create-a-Pumpkin Kits at Tarjay...but we added additional things like wigs, eyelashes, skeltons & bugs.]

We have been doing lots of fall baking.  A few Apple Spice Cakes [one disaster], a batch of Apple Butter...


...and some delicious & delightful gingersnaps...


Recipes to come.  Until then...


Peace, Love & Fall!

Friday, October 8, 2010

fall frenzy 2010

Banks had his Fall Frenzy on Friday afternoon.  The whole family was in attendance.  I gave Banks his allotment of tickets and barely saw the rest of the night.  He did let me know early on that he dunked Coach Albert in the dunking booth...


All that baseball practice is playing off.  But he might not have such an easy time in P.E. next year when he gets to Leon Sheffield.

The hit game of the frenzy was the ping-pong-ball-toss-into-a-goldfish-bowl to win a goldfish [Yea].  This was the line most of the night...


Mine played it a couple of times before they walked away with a goldfish each.  We are the proud owner of 2 new pets...just what I needed!

Each class in the school is responsible for a booth.  Ours happened to be the "hairspray booth"...


Mary Reese opted for pink with green polka dot hair.  She was thrilled to have it done by one of Mrs. Hughes' daughters.

With her new cool hair, Mary Reese probably spent 99% of her tickets at the toy walk...


Done just like a cake walk...only you walk away with a toy!  She won a barbie doll and some jewelry.  Banks won a monster truck.

We also loved getting our face painted...


A butterfly on one side and a heart on the other [thanks Missy]!

Owen even managed to snag enough tickets for one of these...


Since he is a pig pen...we opted to skip the red syrup.  He didn't know any better and it was a whole lot neater!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

fabulous friday: rockets

Banks has Fabulous Friday every Friday at school.  At the beginning of the year, they choose 8 activities from a long list.  Rockets is for 2nd Graders only and was top on his list!  He was thrilled to have rockets for his first FF of the year.

On their first Friday, their group divided up into 3 teams.  His team was made up of Ben, Jack, William & himself.  They named their rocket BBJM [all their initials].  They thought they were so clever!

Friday was their launch day.  I took off early to help set up with Fall Frenzy, so I ran by the school in time to witness the big event!

First Mrs. Cagle went over all the rules...


...and they listened intensely!  Each team member had a job - a safety cap person, an alligator clip person, a launcher and a chaser.  Then the teams carefully carried their rockets out to the launch site.  [They were like celebrities walking down the hall...everyone thought the rockets were so cool.]

The safety cap person [William] took off the cap, and then the alligator clip person [Ben] connected the rocket...


Then Team BBJM waited patiently for their turn...


Finally it was time for lift off.  They counted down from 5 and the launcher [Jack] pressed the button...



When it was safe, Mrs Cagle sent the chaser [Banks] after the rocket...


It was super cool to watch the rockets and the excitement on the children's faces.  Mrs. Cagle did a fabulous job teaching them all about rockets.  I am not sure any other Fabulous Friday choice will top this one!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

apple butter measurements


In my original post about my Apple Butter, I left off the measurements.  Here they are:

16 apples [i use a variety...granny smith, jonagold, honeycrisp, whatever is at the farmer's market]
1 ½ c. white sugar
1 c. brown sugar
2 T. cinnamon
½ t. cloves
½ t. nutmeg
½ t. kosher salt

Core and dice the apples.  Mix with the sugar and spices.  Place in a crock pot on HIGH for 2 hours.  Turn the heat down to LOW and continue to cook for 6 more hours, stirring occasionally.  Use an emulsion blender to blend to the desired consistancy.  Seal in jars.

***You can refer back to the original post for step-by-step pictures.***

Apple Butter

Several people have asked for a tutorial on the stickers.  I promise I will get it together one day and do one!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

snap, crackle & pop

Owen is my "climber"...we are constantly finding him on top of tables.  I found him in the kitchen, standing on the stool surrounded with rice krispies...


I love this picture of him shoving them in...


Thank goodness for my build in vacumn cleaner...Camp!