Thursday, June 23, 2016

Summer Fun 2016- The Nature Center


At the beginning of each summer, I usually come up with a list of things I want to do with the kids and call it the Summer Fun Challenge.   We then try do as many things as we can on the list to have a summer full of fun activities.   We are doing it again this summer, but with a little twist.  This past year I became friends with another mom around my age.  I have recently found out that she did not  have the opportunity to do a lot of the activities that we do every year.   So this summer we will still be doing things that we normally do, but with someone who will be experiencing many things for the first time. 

This week she asked if we could go to the local nature center.  My daughter and I had not been there in a few years, since we went to the Global Village Experience, so of course we wanted to go.  There are different parts to the nature center and this time we were going to go to the wildlife park.  All of the animals in the wildlife park were rescued.  They have been rehabilitated, but for various reasons can not be released back into nature. For many of the birds, like this gorgeous bald eagle, it is a wing injury where they have trouble flying. 


When you first arrive at the nature center you are greeted by the Sharing Tree.  This tree was an art project by a local artist that I know. It was entered into a large art contest several years ago. The first version of the tree caught fire, while it was being installed at the venue. It was rebuilt back to its former glory in time for the contest.  It used to have a lot more leaves, but weather over the years have caused them to fall off. He also used to hold a kaleidoscope that kids could look in. I'm not sure where that is now   Once the art contest was over, it found a permanent home at the nature center. There is something really cool happening with this tree if you looked close enough. 



Can you see it?  In several of the branches there are little holes where many birds have made their homes. It was quite beautiful to see all the little birds flying around and sitting on the branches. 


This guy was quite a beauty.  It was a large fluffy red fox named Copper.  He was one of our favorites, and one of the easier pictures to take. 


In the Butterfly Garden there was this wonderful butterfly bench.  When you sat it in the wings would make you look like a butterfly.  We tried to get my daughter to sit in it, but the best we could get was a picture of her stuff. She is still in the anti- picture phase.  


While you could see the animals really well during our visit, with the shade and cages it was hard to get good postable pictures of them.  We also stopped by the large tree house play land, and an inside building with more animals.  It ended up being a nice, relaxing afternoon. 

Do you have a nature center nearby? It is a great place to take the kids to learn and have fun at the same time. 




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Friday, June 17, 2016

Dare to Share #218



It is Friday night, and you know what that means..
It is time to Dare to Share!




Our school year finally ended on Wednesday.  I think this is the latest we have ever gone to school.  In the afternoon we did are annual End of the School Year Tradition, which we started when they were just little ones.  We only have a few years left before they all graduate. 



I chose No Bake Cheesecake Squares by Lemons for LuLu as this week's feature.  The mixture of chocolate, cheesecake and nuts look amazing.

Now it is time for this week's party. You are welcome to share anything that you would like to share.   If you are chosen as a Dare to Share feature, you post will be featured on the blog and social media.   This party is also  seen on Kandy Kreations  for double the exposure. My co-host Kim also chooses post to feature on her blog and social media.  

Link up and HAVE FUN! 


   
   
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No Bake Cheesecake Squares - Dare to Share Feature

No bake dessert, cheesecake bars

Do you need a yummy dessert to bring to your summer parties, and pot lucks. These No Bake Cheesecake Squares by Lemons for Lulu could be the perfect treat to bring along. Who could resist this chocolately, cheesecake and nutty goodness. I know I couldn't.  Be sure to stop over at Lemons for Lulu to get the full recipe. 
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Thursday, June 16, 2016

End of the School Year Tradition





Do you have an end of the school year tradition?  We do.  We started it many years ago when my oldest was in first grade, my son was in preschool, and my youngest was just shy of 3.   On the last day of school we go to our local Dairy Queen for ice cream and then walk around the local pond nearby.  They loved it so much that first year, a yearly tradition was born.  



This year was a bit bittersweet. My oldest no longer lives at home, so she did not participate in the tradition this year.  My son is no longer a sweet faced preschooler, he is now about to be a Senior. This will be his  LAST year of school. How did that happen?1   That little cherub baby has also grown up, she is about to be a Sophomore. She also now dresses in black and makes faces in almost every single picture. 



I don't have all of our last day of school photos on my computer. Some are on USBs, some are on CDs. There also  might be some years where I did not remember to bring my camera for a pic. Do you remember when we would have to bring our cameras instead of taking out our phones?  I think my youngest was in first grade or second grade in this picture.  



This picture was taken right after they got off the bus on the last day, and before we went to go get our ice cream.  I think my oldest was finishing 4th grade, which means it was the last day of kindergarten and 2nd for the other two. 


Some years we had bad weather.  I remember on this day it was raining and cold outside. We went and got ice cream anyway, we just did not walk around the pond.


This was the last year I have a last day picture of all three of them.  They were in 7th, 9th and 11th.   My girls pretty much look the same, but my son has sure changed!  At least he promises to shave his facial hair and get a hair cut before his Senior pictures. 



Last year, my son did not come with us.  I don't remember why.  Sometimes he is funny about eating ice cream, while the girls take after their mom and love it ANYTIME.   This was technically not6 the last day of school for my oldest.. She has graduated a week before the other two got out of school.  Of course she wanted to go get ice cream anyway, she loved the tradition.  

What types of traditions do you have? .  Now that my kids are almost finished with school, I know that we will only be doing this a few more years.  Knowing that makes each that more special..   


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Friday, June 10, 2016

Dare to Share #217


It is Friday night and you know what that means.. 
It is time to Dare to Share!  

This week was the last full week of school (only finals left next week) and I was busy with work. If you have been following me for quite awhile you know about the online classes my oldest daughter used to take and how the final few days of the course was very hectic.  She may have graduated, but now both of her siblings have a course they are working on and today is the last day. It used to be very stressful when my oldest waited to the last minute,  it is much worse with two waiting to the last minute.  It looks like both have finished enough to pass though.. Whew.. There will be a lot more time for projects and blogging now that school is pretty much over.. 



While I did not have the chance for any new  posts this week, my co-host Kim from Kandy Kreations did.  Need a Father's Day idea, how about A Fathers Love printable quote that Kim recently shared on her blog.  

Now it is time for this week's party. You are welcome to share anything that you would like to share. If you are chosen as a Dare to Share feature, your post will be featured on the blog and social media.  This party is also seen on Kandy Kreations for double the exposure.  Kim also chooses posts to feature on her blog and social media.  

Link up and HAVE FUN!! 

   
   


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Friday, June 3, 2016

Dare to Share #216



It is Friday night, and you know what that means.. 
It is time to Dare to Share!! 



Things are still a bit hectic here. We have 7 and a half days of school left before summer vacation.  One thing that I love about this time of year is the yummy strawberries that are in season.  This week I shared my favorite Summer Strawberry Recipes



I have two very different features this week but both are perfect for a party.   This yummy Avocado Bacon Egg Roll by Home Cooking Memories would make a perfect appetizer. 


As the Bunny Hops  shared this  Shopkins Wendy Wedding Cake Pinata, which would be the perfect party game at a Shopkins themed party 





My co-host Kim from Kandy Kreations shared this Angry Bird Pennant Banner Free Printable, that could be used at an Angry Bird themed party.  With the new movie out now, Angry Bird parties will most likely be popular once again.  

Now it is time for this week's party.  You are welcome to share anything that you would like to share.  This party is also seen on Kandy Kreations for double the exposure.  If you are chosen as a Dare to Share Feature, you post will be featured on the blog and social media. Kim also chooses posts to feature on her blog and social media.  

Link up and HAVE FUN! 

   
   
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Dare to Share Features


I love tasty appetizers, and these Avocado Bacon Egg Rolls are something I would love to serve at one of my parties.  The mix of the different textures look amazing!  You can find the full recipe on how to make them at Home Cooking Memories




Do you have a little one who loves Shopkins?  My kids are too old and missed the craze, but. I have seen some of my students have them though.  If you are planning a Shopkins themed birthday party,  As the Bunny Hops, shared how you can make your own Wendy Wedding Cake Pinata. If you are having a wedding shower or celebration you could even use this idea for a more elegant occasion just by leaving off the face.  Be sure to stop over to her page to see the full tutorial. 

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Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Summer Strawberry Recipes



One thing that I love about June is it means that strawberry season is here. Over the years, I have made several strawberry desserts that are still family favorites. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do. 



Every summer while growing up, I looked forward to my grandma's special strawberry jam.  A couple of years ago I was thinking of her jam and how much I missed it. She has been gone several years, and no one took over the jam making.  I asked my mom if she knew the recipe, and I was shocked to find out that it is actually pretty simple. Here is the full Strawberry Jam recipe if you would like to try some of your own. 


Every time I make my family Strawberry Bread it disappears very quickly.  When I originally made this post I had to make it twice, because my son  ate almost an entire loaf by himself. Just looking at these pictures makes me want to go pull out my pans and make it again. 


While technically this is not a strawberry recipe on it's own, there are strawberries in it  I made these Banana Split Pudding Parfaits for special pudding company post last summer, and they turned out amazing!  They tasted just like a real banana split but lighter since they are not made with ice cream. 


Last year I wanted to try something new. I love strawberry shortcake so I wondered if I could make a Strawberry Shortcake Cake.  Adding strawberries and glaze to an angel food cake, I come up with this light dessert cake. 


One of our favorite 4th of July traditions is the Easy 4th of July Strawberry Pie.  Underneath that white whipped cream and blueberries. is a delicious strawberry pie that is perfect for parties and holiday get-togethers. Every time I make it, it disappears right away. I am sure we will make it again in the next few weeks. 

Enjoy! 



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Friday, May 27, 2016

Dare to Share #215


It is Friday night, and you know what that means..
It is time to Dare to Share! 

Are you out of school for the summer yet?  We are not, but we are getting close.  We go for a couple more weeks, and it feels like we are limping to the finish line.  The final countdown is on at 12 days.  This week was a tough one for us. The kids still have things to finish up before the last day.  I have been working quite a bit as a lot of teachers have meetings they need to attend. I had good intentions to write a post, it just did not happen this week because of our crazy schedule.  I am hoping to do a few things this weekend that will be able to post about in the upcoming week.  I am having a cook out with friends, and we hope to go see Alice Through the Looking Glass.  We do have some really fun Alice party ideas that we are already working on.

Since I did not have time to post this week, we are going to go directly to the party.  I will be sharing a few posts from the past party this upcoming week. 

You are welcome to share anything you would like to share.  If you are chosen as a Dare to Share Feaure of the Day,, you post will be featured on the blog and social media.  This party is also seen on Kandy Kreations for double the exposure.  My co-host Kim also shares features on her blog and social media. 

Link up and have fun! 

   
   
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Friday, May 20, 2016

Dare to Share #214


It is Friday night, and you know what that means.. 
It is time to Dare to Share!! 

Can you believe that it is almost summer break? This year is flying by!! I have mixed feelings about the end of this school year.  While I will be glad to get a break from school,  my son will soon be a senior!  I am not sure if I am ready for another one to graduate.  On the plus side of summer, I will have a lot more time for blogging, crafts and party planning.  


With all of the movies with animals in them already in theaters, or soon to open, this week I did a round up of several of my favorite Animal Themed Party Food.


The Dare to Share Feature this week was this awesome LEGO Star Wars party by Bombshell Bling. She has a lot of great ideas that all kids would love. 


This week my co-host Kim from Kandy Kreations shared some fun Adventure Awaits Sign Printables.  They could be used for graduation, moving, or a vacation surprise.  She is gettin ready to move across the country, so she is using them for a birthday/goodbye party. 

Now it is time for this week's party.  You are welcome to link up anything that you would like to share.  If you are chosen as a Dare to Share Feature your post will be featured on the blog and social media.  This party is also seen on Kandy Kreations for double the exposure. Kim also chooses posts to share on her blog and social media.  

Link up and HAVE FUN!! 

   
   







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