Samuel, my first born, the child that wasn't allowed to watch Scooby-Doo until he was five, the child that wasn't allowed to watch a single PG-13 action packed adventure movie until he turned 13, the child for whom I sanitized everything, the child who endured my rookie mistakes and turned me from a sometimes wishy-washy girl into a sometimes authoritative mother, graduated this week -- from the 8th grade.
Down South, that's a big deal, and I don't mean that in a deprecating sort of way. In The South, most everything deserves proper celebration, and this was one of those occasions. Eighth grade, the end of the road at our little school, marks the parting of ways of decade long friendships.
I was so proud of these character-filled young men and women as they stood together to receive their accolades and diplomas. Before me stood the future leaders of the next generation.
Theses cupcakes topped with chocolate-scripted toppers were an elegant and festive addition to the reception table.
Each graduate received a take home box with an individual, 4" personalized graduate cake.
Are they not adorable? You can find the candy molds to make these yourself HERE, or you could just hire a really talented professional and just take the credit yourself. Wait. Did I really say that? Out loud?
Here's a few more shots of the graduation tables for your enjoyment.
I can take no credit for these. They were done by my fabulously creative friend, Deanna.
If you're thinking we made these for a camping expedition or a cookout, think again.
We made these S'mores on a Stick for - a Bible story!
Arielle had the opportunity to be teacher for a day and she was well prepared for her lessons.
Her Bible Story? Exodus 16: The Story of Manna.
During the time in which the Israelites wandered in the desert, God provided food for them in the form of manna. While we don't know exactly what manna was like, Exodus 16:31 says, "It was white like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made with honey." Well, marshmallows are white and graham crackers are made with honey, so .... S'mores seemed like the perfect visual for a class full of kindergarteners. And since the Israelites did a lot of camping and hiking around the desert, I'm sure the sticks would have come in very handy!
To make your own manna S'mores on a Stick, just put a stick in a large marshmallow and dip it in melted chocolate. Immediately, spoon graham cracker crumbs over the chocolate and set on parchment paper to dry.
It's sure to be a hit no matter where you're gathering!
Water Balloons, Shaving Cream, Tug of War, Popsicles .... A whole school day dedicated to fun. Did you ever have "Field Day" as a kid? I never did. We had "Track and Field Day" which was a serious, grade school olympic-type competition, but never a complete "fun" field day. Track and Field Day came with mandatory participation. I tried to avoid any event that involved running. Instead, I somehow managed to break the girl's grade school record on my first ever attempt at a discus throw. Beginners Luck I tell you! I guess I have more strength than speed. It's the only Track and Field medal I have ever received. I have no desire to ever try it again.
In case you are wondering who ended up winning the Tug of War pictured here, it was Arielle's team. Of course, after winning, she immediately joined the losers in the shaving cream pile up. I'm so glad that sort of thing is fun when you're only four feet tall!
I'm a week behind - getting this photo posted just minutes before the Week 18 Glimpses Project closes over at Chic Critique Forum! So one of these weeks, I'm going to get my act together and you'll see two photos posted in the same week. One of these weeks.... but maybe not anytime soon!
I'm also limited to photos I've taken with my iPhone, since I'm visiting my mom for Mother's Day! (I brought the big girl camera, but I forgot the computer adaptor!)
So here's a photo I snapped just today as the family (minus myself and my baby) were pulling into the dock during our neighborhood fishing tournament.
Can I just take this time to insert that this is just one more reason why I love my (7-year old) baby, Ella? She doesn't like to get up at 5AM to fish! What's a mom to do? I'm just forced to stay home with her and sleep in and have a leisurely breakfast while watching the Pioneer Woman on Saturday morning. It's simply my motherly duty!
We did, however, welcome the fisherpersons at the dock at noon, as well as take advantage of the free hotdogs.
The gang came home with three trophies: 2nd place for biggest catch for Samuel (Ages 11 - 17), 2nd place for biggest catch for Arielle (Ages 10 and under) and (drum roll, please!).... First place for Biggest Catch for The Hubby (Adult Category).
I am so glad I could be there to cheer them on! Have a Great Weekend!
My kids don't always want to eat breakfast. Sometimes that cold bowl of cereal just stares them back in the face. So I find myself getting creative out of necessity...... (Zucchini) Muffins... Berry Banana (tofu) Smoothies ... (Turkey) Bacon Sandwiches...... Sometimes nutrition is all about the disguise. This week I came up with a breakfast that everyone loved - Breakfast Nachos!
Just start by lining an oven-proof dish with multi-grain tortilla chips.
Add some turkey breakfast sausage......
Add some scrambled eggs.......
Add some grated Manchego Cheese
(or whatever else you have on hand, but Manchego is really yummy!!)
Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.
Top with diced tomatoes, green onions, cilantro or whatever else you can get away with!
Watch this satisfying, protein rich breakfast disappear!
(It's way better for you than a pop tart!)
by Rachel @ Simple Girl
1 10 ounce bag whole grain or multi-grain tortilla chips
(I used Snyder's Eat Smart Naturals)
1 14 ounce package Jennie-O breakfast sausage (removed from casing and browned)
8 eggs, scrambled
4 ounces shredded Manchego or your favorite cheese
1 tomato, diced
2 green onions, sliced
1 handful of cilantro, roughly chopped
Layer about 1/3 bag of chips in an oven-proof dish.
Layer 1/2 of the sausage.
Layer 1/2 of the eggs.
(You'll have extra chips)
Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.
Top with tomato, green onions, cilantro and any other toppings your kids will eat!
I love the third grade State Projects. Not only do I get to learn valuable tidbits of information that I might not have already known, but I get to spend seemingly endless amounts of quality time with my 9-year old while sitting around the dining room table using my favorite school supply - rubber cement. Seriously. It's so much better than glue sticks!
In years past I have learned much about Ohio (Rock 'n roll Hall of Fame) and Kansas (Biggest Ball of Twine). Now that my third child is in the third grade, I am learning much about Massachusetts. Did you know that Dr. Seuss is from Massachusetts? How about YoYo Ma the famous cellist? Or Duff Goldman the Cake Artist? (If you're an HGTV fan, this last one was sort of a trick questions since his show takes place in Baltimore.)
Did you know that Massachusetts produces 50% of the cranberries grown in the United States?
It was this fact that inspired our Cranberry Oatmeal White Chocolate Chip Cookies, because everyone knows that the addition of food makes any presentation more interesting.
The sweet, white chocolate compliments the tart, dried cranberries..
And the oatmeal made these chewy cookies quite palatable at the 9 AM hour.
But you don't need to be from Massachusetts to enjoy these delicious bites!
They are delicious anytime.... anywhere!
Cranberry Oatmeal White Chocolate Cookies by Rachel @ Simple Girl
1 cup butter or margarine
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (or white, whole wheat flour)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups oats
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup white chocolate chips
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Beat together margarine and sugars until creamy.
Add eggs and vanilla; beat well.
Add combined flour, baking soda and salt. Mix well.
Stir in oats, dried cranberries and white chocolate chips.
Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.
Bake 8 - 9 minutes. (I prefer to slightly under bake until the tops just turn slightly brown.)