Tuesday, June 28, 2011

72 Hour Kit Camp-Out

I have been thinking a lot about our 72 hour kits lately. The food in there was about 2 years old. The clothes for the kids were too small. They needed to be revamped...but that takes a lot of effort and expense. Our solution: we used only the food from our 72 hour kits on a family camp-out. (Well, that's not completely true...we splurged and had some smores one night.)
By doing this we were forced to eat and not waste the food, we discovered what we liked and what foods were still edible after 2 years, we used the money that we would have spent on food for those two days to replenish our kits with new food, and we learned what we needed to add to our kits to be able to cook the food.
We pigged out on processed, pre-packaged, stale food for 3 meals.

As disgusting as that may sound...it was GREAT! The kids loved being able to snack on whatever was in the box. I was pretty excited to have fresh food when we got home, but we discovered what works and what didn't for our 72 hour kits and they are now restocked and ready to go for the next 72 hour kit camp-out...or a disaster (heaven forbid!).

Here is what we packed for our meals:
Breakfast - instant oatmeal, hot chocolate, canned fruit
Lunch - Cup of Soups in the envelope
Dinner - Ritz crackers with tuna pouches, canned chicken, and peanut butter. (one protein per day)
Snacks - granola bars, fruit snacks, nuts, and crackers.
Water and Power-Aid

Our 72 Hour Kit Camp Out was a success!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Top Pop

Fathers Day was a success thanks to a little personal touch from Our Best Bites (thanks Cathy). So tuck this idea away until next Fathers Day...or you could really use it for anything...party favors, teacher gifts, birthdays....
Here's what I did:
get a can with a pop-top lid and open it from the bottom...leaving the pop top part untouched.
Wash out the can.
Fill with personal items...a note, favorite candy, a gift card, whatever you want.
Glue the bottom back on to the can so that it looks unopened. Super glue worked the best for me.
Cover the can with cute paper to go along with the occasion.
The saying on mine says "A Pop-Top for a Top-Pop"

I am so glad that my kids have such a Top Pop!

Monday, June 20, 2011

If You Give a Kid a Crayon

If you give a Mom a minute this is what happens:

If you give a kid a crayon, she will want some paper to go with it.
You will give the kid some paper which will keep her occupied for only 5 minutes.
She will scribble a beautiful picture which you will hang on the fridge for all to admire.
Coloring will remind her of the markers stored by the crayons.
When the mom is gone for a minute, the kid will want to use the markers.
She will see a nice plain wall that needs some redecorating.
She will then create a masterpiece on the wall.
When the mom returns she will grab her camera to capture the moment for her crazy blog.
The mom will then get a rag and water to un-redecorate the wall (thank goodness for washable markers).
Seeing the water will remind the kid that she is thirsty.
She will open the fridge to get a tasty beverage.
As she opens the fridge she will stop to admire her beautiful picture.
Seeing the colorful creation will remind her that she is ready to color again.
And if she is going to color, she will need some crayons to go with it.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Super Easy Bread Sticks

These bread sticks are SO EASY with only a few ingredients and they only take about an hour start to finish...including time to rise. No more of those bread recipes that take all day. Just whip these babies up as you are making dinner. These make a great side to my slow cooker spaghetti and easy lasagna.

Super Easy Bread Sticks
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 Tbsp yeast
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1/4 cup melter butter
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Parmesan cheese
Mix flour, yeast, sugar, and salt. Add warm water and mix for 2 minutes. Let rise for about 20 minutes. Combine butter and garlic powder. Brush about 2 Tbsp of butter on the bottom of a cookie sheet. Roll out dough to the length of the pan. Cut into sticks and stretch to fit the pan.

Brush the rest of the melted butter on the bread sticks, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese (I added some parsley as well) and cut bread sticks in half. Let rise for about 20 more minutes. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes, or until lightly brown on top.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Life Is Not Measured...

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take,
but by the moments that take our breath away.

Monday, June 13, 2011

I'm In A Father's Day Fix

I have been wracking my brain for ideas for Father's Day...and I am coming up dry. Eric is easy to buy for because he bought his present a month ago. It came in the mail, I gave it to him and said "Happy Father's Day"....I know, I put in a lot of effort on that one! I have no idea what to get for my dad and father-in-law though...any ideas???

I'll share an idea that I did last year...if all of you out there will please share your Father's Day ideas....PLEASE!

This Breakfast Daddy will probably make a reappearance on Sunday morning:

Ok, now it's your turn...send me some ideas to help me get out of this Father's Day Fix!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Parenthood Pay Day

This picture says it all:

This is why we had kids...it is finally paying off!
Now I just need an indoor hammock to lay in while my kids clean the house.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Nap-time, Then and Now

Nap-time then:
A peaceful, blissful, much anticipated 2 hours of quiet during which I can be productive and get things done...ok, let's get real...I usually just relax, read, watch TV, and if I am lucky take a nap myself. It is my favorite time of day! Aren't they cute when they sleep?

Nap-time now:
A hectic, crazy, dreaded 2 hours in the afternoon during which I bribe, force, plead, and beg Nathan to stay in his bed so that I can have some peace and quiet. I know that he is getting old enough to not need a nap...BUT I NEED HIM TO NAP!!! I know, I sound selfish...but I am! I need that break to recuperate and have the energy to tackle the rest of the day. I just can't give that up yet. Nathan's nap-time agenda includes jumping on his bed, playing with Travis who is trying to sleep, putting underwear on his head, coming out of his room and running around the house, and kicking his walls.

How am I going to survive the summer without a break in my day? Sigh, goodbye peaceful afternoons, sigh again bring on the crazy non-stop days of summer.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

I Choose Joy!

I read a scripture that I really needed to hear. I don't know if I am interpreting it correctly - but this is what I got out of it in this particular time in my life:

John 16:22 - And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.

And your joy no man (or whiny, loud kid that knows every trick in the book to sap joy out of you) taketh from you. Despite the hard and sorrowful days, I can still rejoice...no one can take my joy away from me. I need to follow my own advice that I tell my kids...I can choose how I react to things, no one can make you sad or mad. I choose joy!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Strawberry Freezer Jam

Every year I try to make two batches of strawberry freezer jam. It has been two years since the last time I made it and my poor family about gagged when I brought home store bought jam...there is a HUGE difference! This stuff is SO GOOD, it is about 1/3 of the cost, and it just takes about an hour to make. Give it a try and you will never go back to the store to buy jam again! One year I made about 3 batches, froze them, then gave them as neighbor Christmas gifts with a tag that said "Have a Berry Merry Christmas!" One less thing to worry about during the busy season, and a different, fresh treat.

Strawberry Freezer Jam
recipe from MCP Fruit Pectin
  • 3 1/4 cups crushed strawberries (about 3/4 big carton from Costco)
  •  1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 box of MCP Fruit Pectin
  • 4 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • about 8 (1 cup) freezer jam containers
Wash strawberries and remove stems.

Crush strawberries using a potato masher...don't puree - it should be a little chunky.

Combine 3 1/4 cups crushed fruit and lemon juice. Gradually stir pectin into the fruit. Mix thoroughly. Set aside 30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes to dissolve pectin.

Pour 1 cup corn syrup into the fruit mixture. Mix well. Stir in sugar gradually. Stir constantly until sugar is completely dissolved and no longer grainy. Pour into clean containers, leaving 1/2 inch space at the top for expansion.

Let stand at room temperature 24 hours until set. Refrigerate up to 3 weeks or store in freezer for up to 1 year (if it lasts that long). 


Thursday, June 2, 2011


Here's an activity that will really bring your family together....literally...like squished together in tight spaces. We had so much fun playing sardines together. It kind of turned into a competition to see who could find the best hiding spot in our house where all of us would fit. I won...the best place was in the crawl space :)

Sardines is like playing hide and seek backwards. One person goes and hides while everyone else counts. Then the counters split up to look for the hider. If someone finds the person hiding, they quietly and secretly hide with them until everyone is hiding together. The last person to find the group is now the hider.

Have fun!