Tuesday, August 1, 2017


The Easter bunny had to hide eggs inside the house because it rained the night before and outside could have been a little damp and muddy.  For some reason the adults kept the kids waiting from discovering their Easter baskets and then hunting eggs.  Marcie and I looked back fondly (?) on our holidays as kids when our present/stocking opening at Christmas was delayed because all of Dad's siblings would call right as we started and we would have to wait patiently (?) for their conversation to be done.  Marcie and I apparently love to torture our children so Marcie secretly called Mom and Dad and asked them to call her house in a few minutes just as the kids were about to start diving into their Easter baskets.  Here are the looks we got as the phone rang:

We then passed the phone around to all the kids to talk to Grandma and Grandpa on the phone.  Let me tell you how extensive their conversations were!  Ha ha!

Finally it was time to find out what the Easter bunny left them!  All the kids ended up with similar items (way to go Easter bunny making sure that presents were coordinated between families!).  Favorites of my kids were mini beanie boos and mystery Harry Potter figures.
 Then it was time to hunt eggs.  The Easter bunny assigned each kid a color to look for.   Some hiding spots were tricky!

Mom and Dad had sent Marcie packages of presents for the kids which they all loved!  Thanks!

Then it was time to get the picture of all the cousins together.  I only had to photoshop one face on this picture!  We always let kids take silly pictures at the end which they have fun with.

Thanks for hosting us Marcie.  We had a great time!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Dying Eggs

Before I get to the dying eggs photo I wanted to share this picture of Natalie and Nathaniel.  Natalie apparently wanted to play with the store at Marcie's house but the other older kids were doing other things.  Natalie found a great shopper to play with her!  They were so cute playing together.
After we got back from the coloring robot party, we ate lunch and then went to the zoo.  I don't have any pictures of the zoo.  After that we dyed eggs (at least I think that's what we did).  Nathaniel was napping while the older kids were dying eggs but we saved some for him to dye.

I don't have any pictures of the finished eggs but we did have some interesting ones. Brian ended up taking most of the eggs home as he is the only one who eats hard boiled eggs!

Sunday, July 30, 2017

A Visit to Madison

I decided that I really should sort through pictures and start blogging again so that I remember what we did!  I have a ways to go and many pictures to sort though.  I randomly decide to start with the April 2017 folder so our first post is going to be about Easter weekend.  We decided to spend Easter with Marcie and her family in Madison.  On Saturday we attended a free program that was sponsored by some department at the University of Wisconsin.  Apparently these classes are offered regularly!  This class was making a coloring robot.  The kids got the following supplies (I took this picture at the end of the project).

They were tasked with making a robot that would color on the page.  The first step was to tape the markers on the cup so that the cup would balance.  Most of the kids taped their markers on the outside but Natalie taped hers on the inside.  Then you had to tape the battery and the motor to the top of the cup.  Then it was time to connect the wires.  There was a rod that you had to put the mini clothespin on so that the cup would move.  The kids thought this was great fun and loved watching the cup rotate.  Some rotated in small circles and some in large circles.  Others would skip a little and others moved smoothly.  Some moved faster than others.  It was neat to see how they were all different and how little changes could impact the movements!

Here are what the robots looked like as they moved.

They certainly had a lot of fun!  There was a small space museum right next door that was open so we went inside to see what they had.  There was a large Morse code lever that the kids enjoyed.  They would type their names in and do various letters for us to guess.
 More to come later!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Natalie's 7th birthday party

Before N2 turn 8, I figured I should blog about their 7th birthday parties which were almost a year ago!  Oops!  Sorry long post and lots of pictures!

Natalie had a cooking party since she loves to cook and bake.  I bought small aprons at Michaels using 40% coupons and a big pack of colored Sharpie markers and let the kids decorate the aprons however they wanted to.  I had written their names on the aprons beforehand.  It was interesting to see how the kids decorated.  One kid started to put math problems on their apron so then other kids followed suit.

Once the kids had decorated their aprons, we made chef hats using poster board for the band and tissue paper for the puffy hat part.  The tissue paper had to be accordion folded and then taped to the inside of the band.  It was a little more complicated than a 7 year old could do.  Luckily we had a lot of adult helpers who could assist but the hats turned out really cute!

Prior to the party I bought various kinds of sprinkles that the kids could use to decorate cakes.  I split them up into small bags.  Then I cooked a ton of dollar store spaghetti and buried the bags in the spaghetti.  Then each kid had a turn to be blindfolded and search through the spaghetti to find their decorations.  I think I gave each of them a minute or two.  It was funny to watch!

Once all the kids found their decorations, we had them make their own pizzas.  Brian had already made the dough and gave each kid a piece on parchment paper to spread out.  Then they put sauce and whatever toppings they wanted on their pizza.  Since it was all on parchment paper, we just wrote their names on the paper so we would know whose pizza was whose.

While the pizzas were cooking, it was time for kids to decorate their cakes.  I had made several cake mixes in small loaf pans (I bought disposable pans just for their size) and then dirty iced them in white icing and put each one on a cake rectangle (I bought large ones and cut them in half).  This process took several days.  I froze the cakes in between and that worked fine.  I made a whole lot of icing and made various colors of icing with different piping tips.  We didn't change any piping tips while they were decorating so the green was always with the leaf tip, etc.  I showed the kids how to keep the bag twisted and then how to using pastry bags.  I'm pretty sure I had one pastry bag per child there and then the kids had to trade each other for the colors they wanted.

Their cakes were covered in frosting and sprinkles when they were done!  Charlie and Noah
 Noah had a round cake because there was a Cub Scout cake decorating contest for a banquet we were going to the following day.  I helped Noah make the trees.

 Megan and Sydney
 Natalie and Autumn
 Yasmine and Amelia
 Here are their cakes.  The one in the top left corner is one I decorated to show how to use the tips.  Noah ate off that one because the cake he decorated was for Cub Scouts.

We still weren't done by that point!  Then it was time to make the rest of their lunch (the part was from 10:30-12:30).  We had a lot of fruit and let the kids make their own fruit skewers and make a dip to go along with it.  I had fluffy peanut butter, cool whip, vanilla yogurt, chocolate pudding, and marshmallow fluff  Most of them mixed all of them together for their dip!

Then it was time to eat.  I had bought a variety of juices and let the kids make their own flavor of juice.
Here is our group of chefs.
While kids were finishing up eating and while the table was being cleared off, the kids played a game.  I had a cooking item or food in an empty Kleenex box and they had to reach in to figure out what it was.  I can't even remember what I put in there!

Then it was cake time.  Each kid go their cake back and they got to choose which part of the cake they wanted to eat.  We wrapped the rest up and they got to take it home (along with the rest of their sprinkles).

Natalie opened presents and then it was time for the kids to go home and the rest of us to get ready for the next party!  I appreciated having 6 adults there (Marcie, Lisa, my mom and dad, and Brian and I).  Thank you all for your help! Natalie's party was a success!

I didn't do traditional goody bags-their aprons, cake decorations, and cakes were their goody bags.  I also printed some recipes that Natalie really likes that are easy to make and made a small cookbook for the kids to take home.