Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Summer Recap: Take 2

We hit the road the morning after the wedding to make it home for my baby sister's high school graduation.  Sweet D is the last of the nine to graduate and I'd made it to every other ceremony, so missing my goddaughter's wasn't happening!  We made it home about an hour before the ceremony and LB and I headed over while Hubby kept SP home for a nap.

Enjoy a scroll through her graduation....keeping in mind I'm alternately thinking, "isn't she so pretty?!" and the song "Sunrise, Sunset".  I grew up in a musical kind of house :)

Sweet D and the family:

A surprise bear hug from brother #3

Numbers 8 & 9

D and two or her nieces

Numbers 7 & 9

I'm telling ya - homeschooling WORKS! :)

Numbers 6 & 9

My brother and his wife with D

Numbers 2, 9, 3 aka her godparents with D :)

Goofing around

D and her boyfriend

Pinterest Party with Bobbi!

This morning, I looked up a recipe on Pinterest to make granola.  I'm trying to use up some of our pantry so the things are actually getting used instead of wasted.  Two of things I have quite a bit of right now are oats and honey.  I knew I had all the makings for granola, but just needed quantities, time, temp.

Enter this pin from Like Mother, Like Daughter!

Simple Granola
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup canola oil
4 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt

1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
2. Combine brown sugar, honey and canola oil in a small sauce pan over medium heat.
3. Cook, stirring often until sugar is dissolved.
4. Pour brown sugar mixture over oats and add cinnamon and salt. Stir until oats are evenly coated.
5. Spread granola mixture over a cookie sheet (sprayed with pam) and press mixture down.
6. Place in oven and bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15-20 minutes.
7. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before breaking apart and into pieces.
8. Store in a ziplock bag or other air tight container.

While I used the quantities and baking time, I changed out the canola oil for coconut oil and cooked the brown sugar mixture longer, until it bubbled and caramelized.  While I haven't tried it according to the recipe, I say do it my way.  Especially if you want coconut caramel sauce on your oats...which I think you do!

The recipe
How mine looks!

Now, I'm doing my best to let it fully cool so I don't burn myself eating it.  So far, delaying tactics have included linking up with Bobbi.  Next, I think I'll go shower.  If it's not cool by then, I'm just going to eat it warm!

Go visit Bobbi for more fun!  And stop by my Pinterest if you'd like to see what I'm working on :)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Summer Recap: Take 1

The normal homeschool schedule will be commencing in the next couple weeks.  It's hard to believe summer is closing out!

We started our summer with a trip to Wisconsin Dells, which included a stay at Mount Olympus (not a sponsored post, just sharing the link in case you like the sound of the place!) and a cousin's wedding.

Crammed to the gills

Powdered donut, anyone?

Vacation is exhausting!

For everyone :)

Captain LB

On the rollercoaster!

Child-sized coaster

Child-sized go-kart

My spot in the shade to watch my go-kart driver

Waiting for Mom and Dad to get ready

Passed out at the wedding

Dainty lady ready to go!

Enjoying the reception
The lovely couple

LB decided to start photographing

Hubby's aunt had a fantastic time with SP

Caught in a sneeze

While my eyes are closed, SP looks so cute :)

The wedding was beautiful and we had a great time.  It was at my favorite kind of venue - a hotel.  Our room was right upstairs so I was able to sneak off when SP lost her goodness.

Now, about Mount Olympus.  We knew we were attending a wedding in the area, so we planned to go up a few days early and take a "kid's vacation".  We stayed at Mount Olympus and enjoyed the water and theme parks.  I would recommend this destination if it's not too far from you.  It's definitely worth a few hours drive and 3 or 4 days.  After a few days, you'll be ready to go.  The rollercoasters were fun and there were rides for little ones and bigger ones.  The rollercoasters are the wooden kind, so if that's not your gig, it might not be as much fun for you.  We loved them all.

LB was able to drive her own sized go kart, which was the highlight of her trip.  We were also able to drive go karts with Hubby and I each taking a kiddo, so go karts were definitely a highlight for all.  I was worried SP would be unsettled by speed, but she hooted and hollered her whole way through!

We stayed at Hotel Rome, which is closest to the rides and water.  I recommend staying there, or you're in for a hike.  That wasn't really clear when we looked at the map of the grounds, but we upgraded for a few bucks to the main hotel and didn't regret the decision!  Staying at the hotel gets you admission to all the rides and the different parks on the grounds. 

It was definitely the highlight of the kids' summer.  I would definitely plan a return trip.  Next time, I think we'll be getting one of the cool bunk bed rooms :)

Monday, July 21, 2014

AMT {Vol 11}

Easing back into a regular routine with Answer Me This - hosted weekly by Kendra over at Catholic All Year.

1.  What's something you won and how did you win it?

I won high marks in lots of music competitions in high school (vocal and flute).  I won a scholarship to college for vocals and academics.  I was a good student and had many awards in high school and graduated magna cum laude from college with my bachelor's.  

Recently, I "won" a contract to do some work in Germany for a few days.

My blogger friends have hosted some nice giveaways.  There was a little streak for a bit where I won several things in a row. 

Jenna at Call Her Happy hosted a giveaway with Designed by Chloe on Etsy.  I won 30% off my order. 

One of the things I ordered

The very sweet way Chloe wraps her orders

Bobbi at Revolution of Love hosted a book giveaway and I won!

Jenna at Call Her Happy also hosted a Project DIY box giveaway - and I won!

Kelly over at This Ain't the Lyceum hosted a knitted mitten/glove giveaway - and - I won! (Incidentally, she's hosting another giveaway today, so go over and try your luck!)

2.  Do you save old greeting cards and letters, or throw them all away?

I save greeting cards and letters.  My desk is an episode of Hoarders unto itself.  I have whittled away most of my pack rat tendencies, but this one is still pretty bad. 

Ok, really bad.  My apologies to every organized person that just had a panic attack!

3.  When you're at home, do you wear shoes, socks, slippers, or go barefoot?

Barefoot.  Until we get to the really awful half of the year that is the Midwest winter.  Then it's socks or slippers.  Not shoes.  Please don't wear shoes in my house.  I hate it.

4.  Who's the most famous person you've ever met?

I met our state senator when I was 8.  I met Mother Angelica when I was 13.  I've met some Fortune 100 executives.  When I was at Behold this spring, I met some fellow bloggers/speakers.  It was my first in real life meeting with fellow bloggers and it was wonderful to sit around the dinner table with Kendra of Catholic All Year, Molly of Molly Makes Do, and Bonnie of A Knotted Life

You all should go to Behold next year.  It was amazing.

5.  What has been your best work of art?

The first, most obvious answer seems to be my girls, but I didn't actually have as much to do with that as I'd like to think. 

Unless marrying cute counts, then I guess I had something to do with it :)

Not sure if it's the best, but my most recent is this embroidery project:

6.  What's your strongest sense?

Common sense.  I'm a very pragmatic person.  Other than that, I have pretty good senses, maybe my sense of touch and taste are near the bottom, but sight, smell and sound are all pretty high.