Thursday, August 30, 2012

Hurricane Season Kinda Stinks

If you live anywhere near the coast {especially the Gulf Coast, since we seem to be the target of all these tropical systems} you know that hurricane season can be a pain in the behind. After a major hurricane like Katrina I think everyone is a little more cautious about any storm that rolls in...which was the case with Hurricane {though it was a Tropical Storm the majority of the time} Isaac. Just to be safe {and because Jason had to go to work and stay overnight}, the boys and I loaded up and headed to my grandparents' house which is a little further north and a little further east than our house....but not before making sure that everything in our yard was secured.
 Jason strapped down the trampoline and moved a bunch of stuff up close to the house and out of the wind. We also turned over the picnic table and moved all of our patio furniture inside the house just in case a big gust of wind came though.
 Jason also had to anchor the Airstream down.
 Then we packed up and loaded my car...
 ...with all kinds of hurricane stuff!
 We spend a little more than 24 hours at my grandparents' house {Tuesday morning through Wednesday afternoon} playing games, watching the weather, and pretty much having a fun hurricane party. Yesterday the storm seemed to finally be moving out so I headed home with Grant and Eli {Henry went to stay with my mom since the boys were out of school again today} hoping that Jason would be home before dark. 
However, Isaac had other plans! Jason ended up stuck at work until around 10 pm, and then he had to drive through terrible weather to get home! We had worse weather last night and this morning that we had during the first two days of the storm...flooding roads, tornado reports all around us, and the power went out {though thankfully it was only out for about an hour}!
Thankfully we haven't had any damage...just a bunch of rain and wind! But it looks like today will be another day stuck inside watching the weather and hoping that this darn storm finally decides to move somewhere other than here!


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Monday, August 27, 2012

How to Plan a Surf Party

Birthday parties are big deal around here! I love to put together a fun themed party with all the bells and whistles...but I usually don't have a lot of time or want to spend a lot of money. This year we decided on a Surf Party for Grant complete with a fun inflatable water slide and fish tacos {aka surfer food}.
 The first thing I nailed down for Grant's Surf Party was this inflatable water slide! We got a great price from some people that go to my parent's church...and even though it cost a little more than what I would normally spend on a birthday party, it was worth it to have this fun slide at our house ALL weekend long. {And yes, Jason and I tested it out with the boys a few times Saturday morning before the party!} If you didn't want to spend as much on a rental, you could always do a couple of slip n slides, sprinklers, and kiddies pools!
 To decorate, I picked up a couple grass table skirts and some cute wave scrapbook paper. The table skirt came from Hobby Lobby and with my 40% off coupon it only cost $6! I spend about $5 and a little over an hour with my Silhouette to make the cute Surf's Up banner that I hung on the boys' skimboards.
 We has some yummy surf themed food:
delicious fish tacos {I just baked up a couple of boxes of frozen fish sticks and served them with flour tortillas, lettuce, tomato, cheese, and couple different sauces},
starfish sandwiches {PB&J cut out with a star shaped cutter}, 
pretzel goldfish {served in cute blue and white party cups},
 fruit kabobs,
wavy chips,
and gummy sharks!
 We also had a snow cone station under the Airstream awning complete with a grass skirt and a couple of surfboards! 
Plus a yummy cake with a surfboard and palm tree:)
 All the kiddos wore their swimsuits and I picked up this cute swimshirt for Grant to wear mostly because it said "Hawaiian Surf Legend"...and because I got it on clearance at Target for less than $5!
{Silly boy was tired of saying cheese I think:)}
 We sang Happy Birthday and he blew out the candles...
 ...then opened a bunch of presents:)
 The party went on for a couple of hours...it was hard to drag the kiddos away from that fun inflatable water slide. But when they did finally head home, they all took a cute box of Swedish fish with them as a party favor!
And that is how you plan a surf party!
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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

7

Today this kiddo turns seven years old!
It seems like he should still be a toddler running around the house following his big brother. We were looking back through some old pictures yesterday, and it is so hard to believe how fast they grow up...it seems like yesterday he was this cute, chubby faced baby: 
 But he's not...he's growing up {way too fast}! 
We are celebrating with a Surf party this weekend. So to go along with the surf theme, I made some shark cupcakes for him to share with his class today. They were SUPER easy to make except that I learned the hard way why the package of almond bark says not to add food coloring:) Let's just say these shark fins spent a little time in the freezer before they could go on the cupcakes.
 I also made a fun surfboard cake for us to eat tonight after dinner...because every birthday boy should be able to blow out candles on their actual birthday:)

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Friday, August 17, 2012

Eli's First Day of Preschool

It is so hard for me to believe that Eli is old enough for preschool...but his first day of preschool came and went and he had such a good time! 
 My other two only went to 4 year old preschool, but because of Eli's wonky birthday {His bday is Sept. 5th and the cut off to start school is Sept. 1st, which means he will basically be a whole year older than a lot of kids in his class!}, I really didn't want him waiting until he was almost 5 before he started preschool. So we are venturing into the new world of 3 year old preschool this year:)
  He is SUPER excited...and I'm half excited/half sad! What am I going to do with myself two days a week without a least one kiddo at home with me!?! It's been more than eight years since I've been kid-free, so it's going to take a little bit of adjusting on my part...but I'm sure I will find some way to entertain myself:)

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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Shark Week Waffles

Apparently this is the week of waffles around here:) On Monday I shared our fun Back to School Apple Waffles and today it's fun shark waffles in honor of Shark Week! My boys have been SUPER excited about watching all the educational {and scary} shark shows on the Discovery Channel this week, and I thought it would be fun to make some waffles to celebrate:) The great thing about these Shark Week Waffles is that you don't even need a waffle iron to make them....you can make them with plain old frozen waffles!
 Start with one waffle per person plus an extra waffle {you'll need 1/4 for each person} to make the shark fins. I made some crispy Belgium waffles, but again the frozen kind would work just fine here too!
 Cut your extra waffle into quarters. Your waffles need to cool off a little before you assemble them, so set them to the side to cool while you work on the next step.
 Take a container of Cool Whip {I used about 8 oz. and it was plenty for four waffles} and add in some blue food coloring. Give your Cool Whip a good stir until you get it to a blue color that resembles water.



Slather a couple tablespoons of the blue Cool Whip onto your cooled waffles.
 Trim down a little bit of the quarter waffles that you cut earlier so that it will sit on you waffles without falling over, then place it in the center of of all the blue Cool Whip water.
 These were SUPER simple to make and so much fun for the boys to eat...they didn't even need syrup with all the "water" on top of their waffles:)
 {WARNING: Your kiddos will end up with a lovely blue smile for a while after eating these...but that just makes them more fun!}
Have you and your kiddos been watching Shark Week?
Linking up here..
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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

I Must Ask You a Question

....or
 I
 {MUSTACHE}
 you
 a
 question:)
 A few weeks ago, Jason found these fun stick-on mustaches for $3 in one of those cheesy gift shops at the beach. We broke them out last week and the boys had a ton of fun posing, smiling, and trying out different mustaches...Jason and I even had a little fun with them too:) They were a whole lot of fun for just three bucks!

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Monday, August 13, 2012

Back to School Apple and Caramel Teacher Gift

My boys have been in school for a full week now. It doesn't seem like the summer should be over yet, but it is and we are slowly getting back into the groove of school and homework and lots of school papers. If you have been around my blog long, you know that I love to send little happies to my boys' teachers throughout the year just to let them know how much we appreciate all they do. So the boys ended their first week of school by taking their teachers these cute and {oh so simple} Back to School Apple and Caramel Teacher Gifts!
I looked all over the internet and Pinterest trying to find a quick and easy recipe for caramel dip. There are a ton of recipes out there, but the best one I found came for the adorable Alisa at The Sweet Life. It is so simple that it only calls for two ingredients: store bought caramels and a can of sweeten condensed milk!
The original recipe called for a bag of caramel bits, but our local grocery store didn't have them so we improvised a little. We used two small bags of caramel squares, and I'm pretty sure one big bag would be fine in this recipe too. I got a little assistance unwrapping all those caramel squares from two very excited helpers:)
Then I opened up this can of deliciousness and tried not to eat the whole thing with a spoon before it made it into my recipe!
I put the two ingredients into a microwave safe bowl, gave them a little stir, and then heated it in one minute intervals until it was melty and combined.
I poured the caramel dip into cute half pint mason jars. One batch of this caramel dip was just enough to fill four of this size jar.
I let the caramel cool a little, then I placed it in the bottom of a clear gift bag. I topped it off with a pretty red apple and tied the whole thing off with a little bit of raffia. You could tie on a cute tag, but we were running out of time and I thought it was plenty cute enough even without a tag!
This is a fun way to say thanks to your kiddo's teacher for all their hard work, and it's a great way to give that quintessential apple gift to the teacher without being just a boring old apple!

Linking up here..
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