Wednesday, June 27, 2007

WFMW: Road Trip Tip

This past week my boys and I returned from a road trip to Florida to visit family. (I know, I know! I have to get the pictures up!) About a half hour from home I made a final "pit stop." Everyone went to the bathroom and got a drink. And I took a quick opportunity to freshen up the van. We emptied the trash, picked up stray toys, and put away all the electronics. (Game Boy Junkies!) When we pulled into the drive way nobody had to run to the potty and we could all work together to unload the van. And the clean up was faster since we had already straightened the van. So, that's my tip... stop and do a quick van clean up on the before the end of your road trip.
Leave a comment and wander over to Shannon's for more Works for Me Wednesday tips.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Honey, We're Home!!

The kids and I got back from a short trip to Florida. We spent time visiting my brother and his family, my dad, and a few friends. This was a quick trip, so there was minimal visiting, but once I post pictures you'll understand that it was a BUSY trip.
I'm off to load some pictures...

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

WFMW: Banana Treats

My boys love bananas, but sometimes they get tired of them before the whole bunch is gone. Sprinkles are the secret to getting kids to eat more bananas! I peel the banana and hand it to a hungry child with a small cup of sprinkles for dipping. Yum!

Head on over to Shannon's for more Works for Me Wednesday tips!

Monday, June 18, 2007

I Won!!

I am so excited because I am the thrilled winner of the contest over at Amy's blog! I am looking forward to working with Amy and showing off a new header or button. Thanks, Amy!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day

God's blessings to all the Fathers in my life.
Today the boys and I took DH out for lunch after church.

I hope to spend some time with my dad soon.

I love you guys.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Remind Me...

To do something cool when I post my 100th post!

I was just over at Amy's blog, "Experience Imagination" and she has a cool 100th post. Check it out.

(I'm off to figure out how to do the whole "linking" thing better...)

The Summer of Mediocrity

Toward the end of the school year when all the focus of conversations was, "What are your summer plans?" I was feeling kinda sorry for myself. Besides a quick road trip to visit with family, we don't really have any "plans". Or the funds to make any fantastic plans happen. I gulped a bit each time I told people we would be mostly staying home doing "whatever" while they went on about trips to the beach, Disney World, or NYC. Truthfully, I felt bad that I was going to give my kids The Summer of Mediocrity instead of The Summer to Remember.

As I look back on this week, though, I'm amazed at all the stuff we did. Sure, it was full of pretty mediocre, ordinary stuff. But, it was also fun, great memory-making stuff. In just one week...
  • The kids and I went to a playgroup "water fun" at one family's house, complete with blow-up water slide and Popsicles.
  • We attended a terrific puppet show at the local library and won a free book.
  • The kids were excited to cross off chores on their very own Chore Lists.
  • We ate fresh SC peaches and hot boiled peanuts with lunch one afternoon.
  • We baked chocolate chocolate chip cookies.
  • We met friends at McDonald's and The kids played on the PlayPlace after eating hot fudge sundaes.
  • We spent an afternoon at a friends' house. The kids played outside on bikes and scooters while I played cards with a friend. (This afternoon was complete with S's discovery and presentation of dead-driven-over-squashed-sun-baked-flat frog.)
  • We ate pocket-fulls of candy while watching the movie at the movie theater's free movies.
  • We swam at a friend's pool.
  • Plus, we celebrated A's 7th birthday. (More birthday pictures to come!)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

WFMW: Kids' Soap Refill

I love the sudsy kids' soaps. By "sudsy soap" I mean the soaps that pump out soap already in a foam. The kids use less soap because one foamy squirt fills their little hands and they don't pump and pump and pump the soap right down the drain.

Currently we have a bottle of Kandoo foaming hand soap on the bathroom counter in the boys' bathroom. Well, the bottle is Kandoo. After we used up the Kandoo soap I frugally refilled it with a cheap soap refill. The secret to refilling the sudsy soap dispenser is to add water. I usually fill the dispenser about a fourth of the way to the top with liquid soap. I then fill the dispenser to the top with water.
Wander over to Shannon's for more Works for Me Wednesday tips!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Banana Cake with Caramel Frosting

My friend Kymberly's mom recently visited my blog, so I'm posting a recipe for her.

This is a yummy cake that I was treated to a few times when we were on vicarage in Florida a few years ago. I've made it a few times since then and it is always a huge hit. So, Momma Ruthie, get baking!

1 pkg yellow cake mix
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 c mashed bananas
1 cup water
1/2 cup oil
3 eggs
2 tsp banana liqueur

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease and flour 2 cake pans. Mix cake mix, sugar, cinnamon. Add the rest of the ingredients and beat for 2 minutes. Pour into prepared pans. Bake 25-30 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes on wire rack. Remove from pans and cool completely.

(I've also baked this in a bundt pan for 50 minutes and I've baked it in a 9x13 for 35 minutes)

1 stick butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup milk
2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
pecan halves for decorating

Heat butter and brown sugar in saucepan until bubbling. Add milk and bring back to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and beat in vanilla and powdered sugar. Beat until smooth. Work quickly to frost cake... if the frosting starts to harden warm it a bit. Decorate with pecan halves.

If you aren't sure what to do with all that leftover banana liqueur here is a bonus "adult beverage" recipe. (Ironically, also a recipe from our vicarage days. :)) (Yes, I'm a pastor's wife, but we are Lutherans and Lutherans are OK with alcoholic beverages... all within moderation, of course. :))

Tokyo Sunset

1 ounce banana liqueur

1 ounce peach schnapps

2 ounces rum (coconut rum is good in here, too.)

pineapple juice and ice

And, finally, a picture of Kymberly and me for Momma Ruthie!

Saturday, June 9, 2007

God Cares about the Little Things...

Some people view God as some far-off, distant being that is really only concerned with the big things in life. Many people don't bring their concerns to God because he just has "bigger fish to fry." Well, not the God I know. He cares about the little things that are important to me.

Almost two weeks ago I was stripping beds and washing laundry when the doorbell rang. It was mid morning and I opened the door to find A's first grade teacher. She was on her way to the school to finish cleaning (school had only been out a week or so) and could we use a swing set? I busted out laughing. I said, "Mrs. S. do you know how long I've been praying for a swing set?"

Every time I bring up the idea of buying a climber or swing set for the boys my husband protests. Oh, he has a valid reason for not wanting to buy one, but I still want them to have one!

Not only did Mrs. S give us the swing set that her nieces had outgrown, but she and her dad brought it to our house and set it up.

What a gracious God we serve! Not only is God concerned about the "biggies" in my life, but he also cares for me and provides me with the little things, too. Little things like a swing set for my boys!

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for God's will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Mrs. S... Thanks! We love it!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

WFMW- The "Mom, I'm Bored" Edition

This week, Works for Me Wednesday, is all about ways to inspire your kids to Bust Boredom!
At our house we are particularly fond of these two words... "Treasure Hunt!"

We received this book of treasure hunts just about two weeks ago and we love it! (Here is the link to that blog entry:

If things start to go the way of Boredom all I have to say is, "Anybody want to do a treasure hunt?" I've even shamelessly been heard saying things like, "After you guys put away your laundry I'll hide some treasure hunting clues."

The book contains clues to do several different treasure hunts. (Some of the hunts are even geared for pre-readers.) Each clue has directions on the back of it and the book has handy pockets to keep all of the clues ready for frequent re-hunting.

It amazes me that the same brothers that moments before were almost inciting a riot are now happily working together to decode clues. I've even heard them encouraging each other and taking turns. (Yes...)

Our next Boredom Buster will be to come up with some of our own treasure hunts.

Don't forget to leave a comment before you find other Boredom Busting Tips over at Shannon's !


I haven't really worn perfume in quite some time. I avoided perfume while I was nursing my babies. (I wouldn't want to snack right next to an aroma point, KWIM?) Once the babies were no longer babies I was so busy that the thought of smelling good was pretty far down the list of to-do's. (Shower? Check. Perfume? Not right now.) For an occasional event or an evening out I might dig around the cabinet and find an old bottle.

Just recently I was talking to a coworker about her lovely fragrance and I decided it was time to get a new perfume. And my Dh and children thought 'fume would make a good Mother's Day gift.

A little perfume history... White Shoulders was my first perfume. In the past I've worn Halston, Anne Klein and White Diamonds. My mother always wore Beautiful and Estee, both by Estee Lauder.

I like floral, fruity, citrus-y, and woodsy smells. I don't smell good in musks. I wanted to keep it "light."

On Mother's Day I had a yucky cold and decided that shopping for perfume with a stuffy nose was a bad idea. A few days later, with clear nasal passages, we were off to buy a new scent for Mommy. I armed myself with a list of "recommended perfumes" courtesy of some pastor's wives that I know in cyberspace and a few recommendations from friends.

My pockets were full of spritzed cardboard. My arms were full of "spritzes." I smelled LOTS of perfumes. My boys smelled LOTS of perfumes. Then they knocked over a display of sunglasses. We left the store. When we came back to the store I started at the Estee Lauder counter. (Opposite side of the cosmetics area...)

As I mentioned, my mom was an Estee Lauder fan and often, when I miss Mom, I will go to the perfume counter just to get a whiff of the fragrances she wore. I thought I had smelled all of the Estee Lauder collection. And then the sales lady brought out a different bottle, Pleasures Exotic. She actually had to open a new box. Apparently, this perfume is frequently stolen.

I knew instantly that it was the perfume for me. Fruity, floral and light. Tropical and yummy. Just what I was sniffing for.

But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the FRAGRANCE of the knowledge of him. For we are to God the AROMA of Christ among those being saved, and those who are perishing. 2 Corinthians 2:14-15

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Speak Spider?

Are these not the coolest Spiderman cell phones you've ever seen? Whoo-hoo.
I found this picture (and about 25 more similar photos)on my camera. I'm not sure when A would have had the time to sneak off with all three cell phones and my camera to the closet to take these pictures, but that is his foot, friends! Of course, I'm still a bit amazed that I bought them, but seeing how much the boys love them...

One of the fun things about visiting old friends is that you get to participate in a "slice of daily life". Even though Kymberly was here we had to do the things we had to do. Laundry needed folding, dishes needed washing, stinky boys needed bathing. You get the picture.

Kymberly's a load of fun and looks at every task as a potential game with the boys. Piling the boys in two carts at Stuff Mart gave us a reason to race and dash through the store, for instance. Picking out shorts for A was much more fun with Kymberly. I bet he thinks so, too because he now has a pair of camouflage shorts that I'm not sure I would have selected without her input.

At the checkouts we had our carts piled high and were waiting in line. The boys immediately spied ("with my little eye") a box of little Spiderman toy cell phones. And, wouldn't you know it? There were three different designs! Each boy was loving a cell phone. I let them hold the toys with no intention of purchasing said toy.

Yea, I don't have to tell you that I bought them.

The boys were so excited about them. They beep and light up and look so cool! When you push some of the buttons Spiderman talks to you. D was showing me the buttons and he asked me what Spiderman was saying. I didn't know. I said, "Don't you know?" He replied, "I don't speak Spider!"



During Kymberly's visit we left my boys with a babysitter and Kymberly, Diane, and I went to a local place that sells "stuff." I don't know how to explain the place. It isn't a flea market, exactly. It is more like a place that sells antiques, although most of the stalls were selling cutsie new things (fabric purses, printed napkins, kitchen gadgets, etc.) rather than antiques.
One item that caught my eye was a pretty floral apron. I love the idea of wearing an apron. "Suiting up" for my work as meal maker has a certain appeal. ("Chef" or "cook" doesn't really work when lately I've been serving meals of hot dogs, pizza, macaroni and cheese, pancakes or grilled chicken.)
While going blogging today I found that Nan (Life Is Like a Lunchbox) is hosting Apronpalooza. So, I might just win a cute apron. ;)

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Hot Air Balloons

During Kymberly's visit we went to a local hot air balloon festival. It was so neat! There were booths and food, rides and games, and, well, wouldn't you know it- hot air balloons!

We walked around the booths and each boy did one "thing". Here, D and Kymberly are whipping around on the Spider. Poor kid, he couldn't convince me to go in circles on that thing! He absolutely loves a "thrill."

Here is S enjoying a trip on the funky vehicles. Gotta admit that a 6 seater with 6 steering wheels is a funky vehicle.

Finally, A found a fun fishing game. He got to "fish" as long as he wanted to and at the end he selected a prize. He picked out a bright orange tiger that he later named, Ty and something else that he has since forgotten.

We ended our time there by sitting in the grass and watching the launching of the balloons. It was quite a sight.

The one funny from the evening occured during the balloon launches. There was a large orange balloon being filled. We could see large white letters. When the balloon was about 2/3 of the way inflated, D announced, "Mommy, look! There is a HOOT balloon!"