Spring Color for your Kiddo’s to Explore

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Whether your a mom, a grandmother, an aunt or simply a woman who loves little children you might be interested in this little spring  project to do with those sweet ‘littles’ in your sphere of influence.

We did this last spring and the boys loved it.  I took empty crepe egg cartons and painted a variety of colors in them.  The boys assignments were to go find something in the yard that matched the color in the egg carton.  It was so fun and I was amazed at how many bright, rich hues were actually growing in our backyard!  Why would I be surprised? Our God is such an amazing artist!

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I loved the creativity of the boys because while they had some similar color options they both chose different items to put in there trays.

It is a simple project but a great way to get them outdoors to explore in a different kind of way!

IMG_6772Camden took it to another level and though he could not write at this point he got his little red book out and was jotting notes down about his discoveries!

IMG_6773CJ on the other hand was just monkeying around climbing trees!

IMG_6791I kept these egg cartons and it will be fun to see what they come up with this year when they go out to explore.  We can’t wait to get home and see what spring in Virginia looks like, we will be home soon.  We are currently on a 4 week Choice Books assignment in Texas. Spring here has been so gorgeous.  Everything is green, the bluebonnets are beautiful and the spring sun has warmed more then my skin.  It has awakened something in my soul.

  Being in Texas has been such a great opportunity for our family.  I have been able to catch up on some reading, some journalling, and Merv and I have been spending extra time just playing with the kids and doing things with the kids  that we don’t always take the time to do.

CHEERS!

Dawn

$1.99 ebook

If you have been waiting to find a great deal on the book.  Here’s your chance.  Now through tomorrow you can purchase it from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Christianbook.com.

Again, this special is for all of you out there who have the electronic devices to download it to.

Thanks for your support.  We really are humbled and grateful!

Cheers to a great Friday.  We are in Texas enjoying the gorgeous Blue bells.  Such pretty flowers they are!!

Dawn

Homemade Soft Pretzels

Homemade Soft Pretzels

IMG_1353This winter it has been fun to introduce my boys to soft pretzels.  If we have a Sunday night at home, it has become the thing to do; make some homemade pretzels. We love ours with cheese sauce, pure and simple, oh wait that’s a boat load of carbs isn’t it?  Not quite as simple as I had hoped.  But cheers to great memories and a recipe!

SOFT PRETZELS

1- 1/2 cup warm water

1 heaping tbsp yeast

2 tbsp brown sugar

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

2 cups bread flour (you don’t have to use bread flour or white wheat, you can use all purpose for the whole recipe if you want)

1- 1/2 – 2 cups white wheat flour

1 tbsp baking soda dissolved in 1 cup warm water

coarse pretzel salt

2 tbsp melted butter

Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water.  Mix in the salt, baking powder and flour.  Knead until smooth and elastic, not more then 5 minutes.  Let rise 30-45 minutes.  Prepare the soda and water.  After the dough has risen, divide into 7 or 8 pieces.  Using both hands roll the dough out to a 1/2″ rope.  Place the rope in a U shape and then twist the ends and seal at the bottom of the U.  Pinch the ends at the bottom of the pretzel.  Dip in soda water.  Arrange on a cookie sheet and sprinkle with pretzel salt.   Allow the pretzels to rise 15-20 minutes and then bake at 400 for 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden on top.  Drizzle with melted butter.

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Cheese sauce:

1/4 lb white American cheese

2+ tbsp milk or half and half

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Heat cheese and milk on low heat, stirring often so it won’t burn. If it is too thick for your liking, add more milk.  Serve with warm pretzels.

Cheers to a great weekend, loving well the ones in your

sphere of influence!  Spring is coming! Dawn

Do you feel a road trip coming on?

Do you feel a road trip coming on?

Has winter taken it’s toll on you and your feet are itchy to hit the road?  I am always ready for an adventure but ‘oh wait, these days I have little toddlers to take with me’.  Road trips don’t look quite as simple as they once did.

Road Trip Bags

Here is a creative way we have found to make these adventures a bit more fun for the kids.  It works like a charm.

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There is a bit of prep before you leave but it’s so worth it to me to have the kids content and happy as we spend the long hours in the mini van with the wheels going round and round!  I often pick up extra or special things when I am out grocery shopping and stash them away for rainy days.  I always pull from this ‘rainy day’ stash for the road trip bags!

IMG_9805This particular trip my husband had a business meeting in Harrisonburg before we could hit the road to Ohio so  going into this day I  knew we had a long day ahead of us!  We left early in the morning and didn’t start for Ohio until about 1:00 that afternoon.  I took 9 post it notes and taped them to each boys window.  The 1 & 2 were for the first 2 hours, the meeting destination. And then we started all over with our counting when we were actually headed to Grandma’s 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7!

This is how it works: after every hour they can take 1 post it note off the window and with eyes shut put there little hands into the gift bags and pull out a surprise.  The surprises are simple.  A box of animal crackers, a lollipop, a ‘new’ dvd I picked up at Good-will, color wonder sheets, a granola bar and a fruit snack package and/or a piece of paper and a sheet of stickers.  Since counting is a part of our everyday lives these day I packed a bag with a little dixie cup and M n M’s in it.  On the ziploc were instructions to count the candy before the boys could eat them.  For you, your kids might be past this stage but think thru what they are learning in school and maybe you can apply something educational to their little treat surprises.  This last time I added a bag with 8-10 pipe cleaners, all I asked of them was that  with the pipe cleaners  they come up with something creative. As you can see, anything works for your bags!!!

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I usually have a few more options other then just the exact amount of hours we are on the road because you never know what unexpected obstacle you may encounter while traveling.  My babies are 6, 4 and 1 and they don’t conceptually understand delays like you and I do. It’s always better to have more then not enough.  If your super organized you can even do enough packages for the return trip.  Your kids will adore you. For me most times on our return trip, my kids are so exhausted that I only need a few goodies to occupy them.

I don’t do these Road Trip Bags for every trip.  For example when we went home for Christmas this past year, I decided that the anticipation of Christmas was enough and that they were already receiving enough goodies so we did not take them.

Whenever we arrive home from a trip where the Road Trip Bags have went with us, I always take the bags and tuck them in my closest for the next road trip adventure.

Until next time, it doesn’t hurt to at least dream of where you might want to adventure to!!

Dawn