Halloween Fun

The Statler girls definitely enjoyed Halloween this year, all three of them!   Since the public schools around here are not allowed (???) to really celebrate the holiday, I knew we had to make up for it at home.  I think we did a pretty good job:

Two trips to the pumpkin patch (well three including Ls field trip), hosting a pumpkin painting party with neighbors, lots of Halloween crafts, pumpkin baking, pumpkin carving and of course the big event “trick or treating”.  

    
    
    

  
As for costumes, that became a slight challenge.  Earlier this fall I fell in love with a cow costume idea for Emaline.  Wanting all three to match,I thought the older girls could be cowgirls!! Nothing better right?! I mean a cute polka dot cow with her cowgirl sisters (all decked out in tutus of course)😍😍😍. WRONG! Liesel and Moira were having none of this idea.  I even tried the “but you get to wear a pink cowgirl hat and boots” approach— nada. They can be tough.  

I quickly surrendered.  Some battles just aren’t worth a fight.  So, Liesel decided on a dancing ballerina and Moira, well, she had her heart set on something much more specific.  Yes, ms. MJ insisted on being a fairy-princess-mermaid-ballerina😂.  Points for creativity perhaps? 

Lucky for me Emaline is too young to have a say, so a polka dot cow for her🐮💗. Thanks to the girls cousin, Lydia, Liesel had inherited a beautiful ballerina dress.  I only had to add ribbon to her ballerina slippers to make them more “authentic”✔️.

Emalines cow costume was farely easy.  I used a long sleeved white onesie and ironed on black patches from hobby lobby.  

 For ears, I hot glued felt to a head ban.  

And of course, I couldn’t let my little Emaline escape without a tutu.  So using my Tutu template from previous years, I made her one out of white shimmery tulle. With her “milk” jug in hand she was ready!! 

   
Now for the fairy-princess-mermaid-ballerina.  I found a costume (with tulle of course!!!) on Pinterest.  It was very similar to last years Princess dresses. The entire dress took two nights worth of work, not bad.  A little wine helped too🍷.  

 
Thanks to hobby lobby and the dollar store, we added some wings and a crown. And voila-a fairy-princess-mermaid ballerina was born! 

 

We had a fabulous Halloween night. The rain held off and we enjoyed my homemade Chili before the girls headed out for trick or treating.  We ended the night with some Pumpkin Pie while watching Charlie Brown and the Great Pumpkin! Another great Halloween for the Statlers🎃👻 

    
   

Apple Breakfast Bars

One of the hardest meals these days is breakfast!! Getting three girls up+dressed+packed for school + fed+bathroomed and out the door ONTIME is quite the feat! I feel that some days I am amazed we got anything done😅. Breakfast is so important.  Especially since Liesel only gets lunch and zero (that’s right 0) snacks at school!!  

I wish I had it all together and was cooking them eggs or making them porridge (what the girls call steel cuts) everyday.  But, let’s be honest, some days there.just.isnt.enough.time.  So when I came across an amazing recipe for protein packed and zero refined sugar-filled bars I was ecstatic! 

I whipped them up Sunday evening once the girls were in bed and they were cooked and ready to go in the am🙌. The girls loved them (well 2/3)-Moira ate them but then said “these are not my favwite.  Tomorrow I want granola again.”   Liesel however reported “those were amazing!!”  The bars lasted the whole week and made for one happy (and less drained) momma!!

Enjoy!!

Ingredients

* 3/4c skim milk

* 1/2c peanut butter

* 1 tsp vanilla 

* 1/4c applesauce 

* 1/4c honey

* 1c grated Apple (squeeze water out)

* 1 egg

* 1.5c rolled oats

* 1/4c white whole wheat flour

* 1 tsp baking soda

* 1 tsp cinnamon 


Mix the first seven ingredients in a mixing bowl until blended.  Add the remaining ingredients and stir until just moistened.   

 

Spoon into a 9×9 pan and cook at 350 for about 30 minutes.  Or until golden brown on the top.


Allow bars to cool completely before cutting and eating. 

 
I hope they make your mornings easier too!!

Nap time Curtains

So, ever since we moved into our house (2years ago) I have been dreaming of making curtains.  But things got in my way- no sewing machine, having babies, potty training kiddos, other projects- the list goes on and on.  Finally enough was enough, well that and the fact that our blinds in the front room broke…

Long ago we decided that when we got curtains they would be floor to ceiling drapes.  We both love this look and feel it would show off our 9ft ceilings! However, 108″ panels are hard to find and when you do they are either a) a hideous pattern or b) ridiculously expensive.  So making them ourselves was the only option.  

Lucky for us Joann Fabrics was having a 50% sale so we scored our fabric for $4 a yard!  Since the curtains were for our front room (which has gray horizontal stripes ) I decided to go with a white linen material.
However, we still had a problem-I do not sew nor do I have a machine.  I was excited to find tons of how tos on no sew grommet curtains.  After seeing and hearing rave reviews we thought it seemed simple enough.  I bought the grommets off of Amazon for under $7 and the no sew heavy duty iron hem tape was from hobby lobby for $2.50. Now we were ready to go!!

After I put the girls down for their afternoon nap, I laid the first panel down on my floor.  I then ironed it.

 
Then I marked where I wanted the hems to be.  I did 1″ hems on each length side, 1.5″ hem on the bottom and a 4″ hem at the top where the grommets would go.  After each side was marked, I ironed in a crease this made the taping go fast and easy.  Once the crease was made I laid the tape inside the hem and ironed it on.   

 Having used the no sew tape to make the girls curtains black out, I was already a huge fan of the stuff!  It is extremely easy to use and super durable!

Now for the grommets.  Following the directions on the box, I laid out the grommets on my top hem.  Marked them, cut them, and snapped them in place.  

    
 
Boom👊. And that is how you make curtains in one naptime for a total of $44( which includes the curtain rod)!!
And did I mention how amazing they make our front room look?!  

  

 Loving them and already dreaming of the curtains I will be making for every other room in our house…once the fabric I want goes on sale🙏

Strawberry Jammin’

Strawberry season is a favorite over here!  Something we look forward to every summer. This summer we anticipated it even more because it was one of the activities on Liesel’s summer to dos that could be done with a broken arm.  

  

  

    

  

We picked a total of 17lbs!!🍓🍓🍓🍓. On the ride home I began dreaming of all I would make with these delicious berries…muffins, pancakes, shortcake, smoothies and of course JAM!  Little did I know how much my three little fruit flies would consume!  I had none to freeze for smoothies!!  Luckily We went right to work on jam.

The past few years I made freezer jam and have never been satisfied.  It always lacked the rich sweet berry flavor the stovetop kind had.  This year I came across a Crockpot jam recipe and could not wait to try!!   It turned out great!!! So much flavor and easy easy easy✔️

What you’ll need

* 2lbs fresh strawberries ( I used about 4lbs)

* 1cup sugar

* 1/4c lemon juice

* 1 package of pectin


Spray or grease your crockpot.  Place ingredients in a large bowl.  Using a potato masher, mix until combined.   

    
   Place mixture into crockpot and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4.  Stir occasionally.  

 
Once my just mixture had thickened, I placed it in the food processor for a bit to get consistency smooth.  

Then pour jam into mason jars.  You can put jar into fridge for upto two weeks, or into freezer. Enjoy!!

   

Holy Week Activities

Our Lenten season is almost over.  Hosanna has been ringing from our lips, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!  HOSANNA in the highest!” Matthew 21:96

This year I was challenged by a dear friend to give up sleep for lent.  *chuckle* can a mom of three-under 5 have sleep to give up?😉. Yes, yes she does.  It has truly been one of the most challenging, strengthening and rewarding Lenten seasons for me.  My morning alarm goes off at 6am and I slither out of bed trying desperately to make it downstairs without the pitter patter of little feet behind me.  Once down I have about an hour to myself.  To complete my bible study, pray and spend alone with my Lord.  There are days the girls wake before I am finished, but they have gotten in the routine of either snuggling close to me as I finish or begin looking at books alone.  It has been a great way to begin our days.  One I hope to continue after our Lenten season. 

The girls and I have been busy with activities and crafts focusing on Easter and Holy Week. We have enjoyed some new ones, like these tissue paper stained glass crosses 

   

 

But the majority of our crafts and activities have been repeats of last year.  Starting with Palm Sunday,  

     

Each year the girls understanding of Holy Week and Easter deepens. I pray our Lord reveals himself more with each passing year to my girls and myself.  

Here is my post from last year with all the activities we have been enjoying.  I hope they will be enjoyed in your home!

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Give Me Jesus 

The Easter holiday is tricky, especially when you have kids. Everywhere you look there are bunnies and eggs and spring fluff! Don’t get me wrong I love a good Reese’s peanut butter egg and egg hunt, I just want more Jesus. It’s so important to Eric and I that our girls have a firm grasp on what this holiday is all about. Last year we talked some with Liesel but this year I wanted to go deeper. For the past two weeks the girls and I have focused on the true story. We have spent everyday reading through the Easter story in their Beginner’ s Bible beginning with Palm Sunday and ending with the resurrection. They have been loving our devotional time each day, asking such great questions, that I’ve decided to start setting aside this time every day. We have always read a story from the bible to the girls each night before bed. But why do I have my devotional time while they are asleep? Don’t I want my girls to learn how important bible reading is? Don’t I want them to learn from my example? I’m excited to implement this time each morning. A time where they can get out their bibles with me and spend time alone with our Lord! 

Here are a few of our activities from the past two weeks. 

Palm Branches after reading about Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey in their Beginners Bible (pgs 427-432), we made our own handprint branches. We then had fun role playing, taking turns being Jesus on the donkey while the other two yelled, hosanna hosanna in the highest!


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20140416-204919.jpg  The Washing of Feet after reading pgs 437-439 in the Beginners Bible the girls took turns washing each others ( and my feet). We talked about serving each other, loving each other and how dirty the disciples feet must have been 😉

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20140416-220803.jpg  Tomb Rolls death, sin, persecution, resurrection. These are all extremely hard terms for a 3 year old and 2 year old to grasp. Last year a friend of mine wrote about these rolls she made with her boys to explain the death and resurrection. I loved the idea and immediately tucked it away for this year! After reading pgs 446-458 in Beginners bible we made these to help the girls understand. ingredients 1 pkg jumbo crescent rolls 1 bag lg marshmallows 1/4 c melted butter 1/2 c sugar 1 TB cinnamon Cover Jesus ( marshmallow) in blankets ( butter and sugar/cinnamon). 

20140416-224334.jpg Next, place the crucified Jesus in the tomb ( crescent roll). Cover marshmallow completely with crescent pinching all sides. Then place tombs 

20140416-224705.jpg in a 375 degree oven for 13 minutes. Once rolls are cool, enjoy an empty tomb roll. Jesus is ALIVE

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20140416-224851.jpg  Tissue Paper Crosses 

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20140416-230057.jpg  Watercolor Crosses have kids paint over masking tape crosses. Once dry, carefully take the tape off. I loved how they turned out. 

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20140417-142751.jpg  Pretzel Crosses Ingredients Pretzel rods White chocolate melted Sprinkles Break pretzel rod so that you have one part shorted then the other. Dip long end it chocolate then dip shorter end. Place on top of one another and add sprinkles. Let sit until chocolate is hardened and enjoy!

20140417-143442.jpg  I hope you all have a blessed Easter! He is Risen, Indeed!! 

In the morning when I rise Give me Jesus You can have all this world But give me Jesus! – Fernando Ortega

Go-to Meal: Whole Roasted Chicken

I cannot believe I never posted this recipe before!! This is a family favorite and we have been loving this recipe for over 3 years now.  I hope this will be a great addition to your meal rotations.  

I found this recipe from the Pioneer Woman. It is so simple, cheap and turns into fabulous leftovers. 

Ingredients 

Whole chicken

2TB of fresh chopped herbs

1TB salt

1tsp pepper

1 TB olive oil

1/2 lemon

1/2 yellow onion

1 garlic clove

After you have rinsed your chicken and taken out the innards, rest it on a paper towel to dry.  Mean while pick your desired herbs and begin chopping. I love to use Rosemary, thyme, and sage. 



Add your salt, pepper and olive oil. Mix well. Using your hands rub the mixture generously, all over your bird. 



Heat oven to 450 degrees.  Place the chicken in your pan and stuff with lemon, onion and garlic.  



Bake for 1hr to 1 hr 15min.  Or until breast temperature reaches 165.  

Once your chicken is fully cooked have it rest for 15-30 minutes.  This step is crucial! No one likes dried out chicken!!



Serve with your favorite sides and enjoy!! 

 

Full of flavor, juicy with a perfect crisp to the skin.   As left overs I love to chop up the light and dark meat and use in my homemade Chicken Pot Pie.  

Love Day

I love valentines day! Maybe it’s because it eases my Christmas blues with lots of pink and new decor, maybe it’s because I’m a sucker for all things romantic, or maybe it’s because it gives me an excuse to indulge in Reese’s chocolate hearts…

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This year I celebrated the holiday with even more excitement. I had recently found out that valentines day was becoming obsolete in the public schools around here. Now referred to as friendship parties, kids are no longer allowed to pass out valentines or partake in fun parties filled with heart shaped everything. Waahh. Because of this I decided I really need to live up our preschool holidays!

Liesel and Moira school was filled with Heart crafts, valentine books and everything pink you could imagine!

Liesel and I had a blast making, creating and putting together her valentines. “Owl Be Your Valentine”

IMG_0593. Click here for instructions.

I also was in charge of the snacks for Liesel’s preschool party and had a blast creating a few! The first was heart shaped rice crispy treats, dipped in white chocolate, covered in sprinkles (artistically places by L &MJ) and placed on Popsicle stick. Easy, delish and fun to create!

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IMG_0587. I found some cute heart bags in the dollar section at target and placed the treats inside

IMG_0589. In an attempt to get something healthy in the kiddos amidst all the candy, I put together fruit kabobs. Heart-shaped strawberries and purple grapes. Easy and at $2.50 a carton for strawberries, it was budget friendly too.

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For teacher gifts I put together a little gift bag full of tea. Wanting to show our appreciation for all they do! So thankful for Liesel’s teachers this year!

IMG_0597. They surely are “TEArrific”!

On the actual holiday itself, Eric and I had big plans of a family date day. Filled with exploring our children’s museum, and getting dressed up for dinner out! But illness struck and both Eric and Moira were not 100%. Instead we opted for a relaxing day at home. It was perfect! The day started with a yummy breakfast- equipped with heart shaped bacon

IMG_0609 and ended with a trip down memory lane. Talking to the girls about our favorite love story-our own! We decided to show our wedding video and the girls couldn’t have been more excited!

IMG_0625. A few of my favorite quotes included : daddy can you dance with us like that?
Isn’t this great, Moira?
and can we watch that again, tomorrow? I really love that movie.

Heart exploded! Valentines Day 2015-you really were full of love!