Random Ramblings

Friday, May 20, 2016

MILTON HERSHEY AND THE LAST FIGTH GRADE BAND CONCERT



Jacob's 5th grade class has been working on the Living Museum projects at school.  His person was Milton Hershey.   Wednesday night they had to go to the school to perform their in character person to parents and students.  
They could choose to do a poster, or a slide show.  Jacob chose a slide show.  They also had to dress the part of their characters.  Since Milton Hershey just wore "regular" clothes we decided to just dress up his shirt with a little decoration.  So I make him a Hershey bar necklace.  I just stapled a string to a Hershey Bar and he wore that.  :)  



How the Living Museum worked was you walked up to the person you would like to learn about and they had a little presentation to say and then shared his slide show.  
This was his presentation part:


Hello I am the first man to invent the Hersheys chocolate.
I was born September 13, 1857.
I died October 13, 1945.
I was born in Derry Township Pennsylvania.
My parents were Fanny Hershey and Henry Hershey.
If you have not figured out who I am, I am a Milton Hershey. 
I have a wife named Kitty, hope you enjoyed and have a good day. 


He did good and can't wait to see who he picks next year in 6th grade.  


The next night his band class had thier end of the year concert.  I love hearing them all play.  The kids have worked really hard to get to this point.  
We thought Jacob was going to switch instruments next year, but he has decided to move on to intermediate band and stay with his baratone.  

In the concert they played 

Apollo Fanfare - Robert W. Smith
Star Wars Main Theme - J. WIlliams, Arr J. Bullock
Theme from Symphony No. 1 - J. Brahams, Arr.J. Kenyon
March from the First Suite for Military Band - G. Holst, Arr. Michael Story
March of the Love Field - Andrew Poor
Chillaxin' Featuring the Trumpet Section - Matt Conaway
Rock your Bones Featuring the Trombone Section - Michael Story
Junk Funk - Kevin Mixon

Until next year!






Next year will be his last year at this school in band. After that he will be moving up to 7th grade at the junior high school. OMG I don't even want to think about that right now. It goes so fast!

~NICOLE

Thursday, May 12, 2016

THE BEST CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES - EVER



Recently I wanted to make some homemade chocolate chip cookies with the kids.  I remembered back in high school my mom got those free recipe cards that came in the mail on cards.  Well there was one that called for milk in the recipe and you stored the dough in the refrigerator overnight before baking.  So I thought with all the resources on the internet maybe I could find that one.  


Well I never did, but I came across THIS recipe over on THE GIRL WHO ATE EVERYTHING blog and they looked so good and not flat so I thought we would give that one a try.  



OMG these are by far the BEST and I mean BEST chocolate chip cookies I have ever had in my life.  They were not flat, and they were not hard, and they were the perfect ratio of cookie vs. chocolate chips.  OMG I think I want to make some again this weekend too!  

So let me just get right down to the recipe for you.  


INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon. If your butter was still hot when you added it your dough may be really wet at this point. Let it rest at room temperature for a couple of minutes if this is the case and then it will be cool enough to scoop into cookies.
  4. Roll a scant half-cup of dough into a ball. Holding dough ball in fingertips of both hands, pull apart into two equal halves. Rotate halves 90 degrees and, with jagged surfaces facing up, place formed dough onto cookie sheet (Or just put a dang ball of dough on the cookie sheet and roll it taller than wider!). Bake, reversing position of cookie sheets halfway through baking, until cookies are light golden brown and outer edges start to harden yet centers are still soft and puffy (approximately 11-14 minutes). Do not overbake.
  5. Cool cookies on sheets until able to lift without breaking. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

I think part of the trick for them being so thick and full was the jagged surface.  We didn't rotate the halves, we just made them jagged on top of the balls and put them on the baking sheet like that.  

Enjoy them with milk, right out of the oven or store them in a container or cookie jar.  I made them and sent them in the kids lunch all week as their lunch dessert.  
I am serious my mouth is watering for them right now!.  


Do you have a go to chocolate chip cookie recipe?  Do you ever add anything else into your chocolate chip cookies?  

Let me know if you try these and what you think!  I promise you won't be disappointed.  

~NICOLE

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

CHLOE'S LAVENDER AND MINT BEDROOM

I have to say that one of my very favorite rooms in our entire house is Chloe's room. She is 6 and I think her room is so pretty.  

When we moved I already knew that we were going to change her room into these colors. I was over the zebra long before we moved, but it was much easier to change everything after the move.  So that is what we did.  

So when we moved here the only thing we had left for her room was the bed and her dresser.  This room she didn't really have many wall to put furniture up against.  So I put her brown dresser in her closet to help save space out in the actual bedroom.  

The first thing we bought was the new comforter.  I did some looking and online window shopping before we moved and I thought about making her a new comforter but when we found this one at Target I just fell in love with it and knew we had to get it.  I ordered it online and picked it up at our local store the next day.  

One of my most favorite elements in her room are the lights on her bed. I think it gives such a magical glow feeling to the room.  
I found them on clearance last summer right after we moved in the house and they have been in the closet since then. I never had an exact plan for them, until I was working on her room and I found them in our closet and knew they were meant for her room. 
I think I paid $3.00 for the set.


She loves the glow of the lights too.  I think for her they are like a bunch of small night lights right on her bed. 
This her the other night, seeming much to old for her age.  She was writing in what she called her diary, and watching my little pony on my phone while doing so.  TOO OLD I tell ya!!  

I then found the desk on one of the local yard sale pages.  It started out brown and I sanded the heck out of it and then Jacob painted the entire thing white for me. I spray painted the drawer knobs a dark purple color - because that is what I had on hand.  
I still want to paint her chair and I think I will do it a mint color.  Just for added fun and color.  
The chalkboard is the one that I made for her room back in California, which I do still want to paint the frame white eventually, but I don't think it looks bad in black though.  

The lamp on her desk I found at a thrift store that had an ugly shade, so I got rid of the shade, and found this one at another thrift store, but it doesn't fit the lamp so I have to figure out how to make it work.  
The little cups on her desk came from the Target dollar spot.  



I got the lavender curtain panels on clearance at Walmart for I think it was $6 each.  Maybe $9?  I am not positive.  
Behind the lavneder panels are some layered white sheers.  They are the ones that we have in our bedroom and after the move we didn't have as many windows so it worked perfect to use them in here.  
The cat poster came from the school book fair. I was actually pretty excited she picked a poster that matched her room.  :) lol.

I needed somewhere to store all the tons of stuffed animals she has. So I built her a shelf to go above her closet.  We have raised ceilings so it is nice to be able to use up some space up high.  


I did buy this cube cabinet new at Walmart right after we moved in, because we needed a place for some of her things.  She likes to just stuff random things in those colored bins, even thought I had a purpose for each one of them.  Oh well... 

I got the white shelf at a local thrift store for $1.29!!  It was dirty and faded and had some yellow discoloration on it. I just took a can of white spray paint to it and it is like brand new. 

I got the mint hello at Target in the dollar spot. I made the purple sign for her room. It says "Always kiss me goodnight".  I got the purple jar at the dollar store.  
I got the lavender frame at a thrift store right after we moved in for like $1.00.  I know what pictures I want to put in there, I just need to print them.  

I got the glass lavender lamp at a garage sale the last time we went out to California.

I used a big glass jar I had on hand to store all of her crayons.  She always had crayons in a ton of places, and I like the way it looks all of them together in one place and it makes a fun decoration piece for her room too.  
The flower hook my mother in law bought at Kirklands the last time we were in California as well.  





Right before the kids Spring Break I got this book case and it was my project to get it painted white for her room.  Her books used to just be in this corner on the ground.  I had been looking for something for this spot but didn't want to have to pay over $30 for a new tall bookcase from Walmart or Target that didn't even come in white and then have to paint it after that too.  So I found this bookcase/cabinet at the thrift store for $15.  I couldn't pass it up.  
But it was such a pain to paint.It is that fake wood stuff so it was the shiny like stuff so it took I swear a million coats of paint.  It took me so long to get it all done.  But ya I finally did and I LOVE it so much in here.  It just adds that last touch that the room needed.  



It fit all her books and I added some of her favorite stuffed animals to the top of it.  
The rocking chair that is falling apart was mine when I was a little girl, so I can't get rid of it. I just need to fix it already.  I want to add the letters READ to the wall above the small rocking chair in mint and lavender to match the room too.  Like her own little reading nook.  

Here is a progress photo I shared on instagram of me and Chloe painting the bookcase.  
 Here was the corner before the bookcase.  Man it used to drive me nuts and if you tried to grab one book the entire thing would just fall all over the groud. 


Oh and of course I made the wood signs for her wall above her bed.  My plan is to fill this space with all signs that match her room.  This is just the start.  Writing this though makes me want to go make another one to add to the area.  


I just love her precious little room, but it does make me sad at the same time.  It isn't a baby room anymore, and before I know it I won't have much say to her room anymore and she will not let me have any say what it looks like.  But for now I love her special space and I hope she loves it just as much.  I think it is just so her.  The colors, everything.  

What is your favorite room in your house?  What does your daughters room look like?  What colors are in her room?  

~NICOLE

Sunday, May 8, 2016

HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!!



HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!!

It is crazy being a mom.  You know before you become a mom, that you will love your kids so much, but you really do not know how deep this love is until you look into the eyes of your child for the first time.

I am very blessed to not only have had 3 children that I birthed, but 3 bonus kids as well.  I was first a mom to Ryan and Marcus many years before I ever had little Jacob, Caleb and Chloe.  Then last year I was blessed with a daughter in law as well.  

I love all these kids so much and I do not know what my life would be like without any of them.
I get up each and every morning to just make my kids proud.  I hope that if nothing else in my life they will know how much I love them and how hard I work and everything I do is for them.  

I LOVE YOU ALL!! 
Ryan, Marcus and Megan, little Jacob, Caleb and Chloe

Thank you for being such great kids and I feel so honored to be your mom!


I hope everyone had a great day.  I sure did. 

I laid around in bed all morning watching netflix on my laptop.  
Jacob made me a most delicious breakfast (nothing new here, he is always cooking breakfast on the weekends for us- and it is always delicious)

He made us sausage, bacon, hashbrowns, fried eggs and pancakes with fresh strawberries and whipped topping.  OMG SO GOOD! I didn't finish all this food that he put on my plate and I was so full.  



After breakfast the boys helped Jacob clean up the kitchen and they made me some chocolate covered strawberries.  That is all I told Jacob I wanted for Mother's Day.  He later told me that he already planned to make them for me before I even asked.
He got fancy with some red gel on the strawberries too.  OMG they were soo good!!!




I got fun gifts that Caleb and Chloe made me at school.
Caleb made me this flower pen pot.  I love it.

Chloe made me this super cute laminated heart with her hand prints and a little poem.  It has a picture of her holding up the sign language I LOVE YOU too.  OH I love it so much.


After the strawberries were done we sampled them of course.  I did share with the kids because he made a ton.  
Then we relaxed and watched some movies on the couch.  

Later that night he bbqd us some super yummy dinner too.  
We had pork riblets, noodles and salad.  SO GOOD!  

My day today was wonderful and I hope yours was too.
What did you do today?  

~NICOLE




Friday, May 6, 2016

TEACHER APPRECIATION GIFTS


This year Teacher Appreciation Week fell on a 4 day school week.  The PTA sent out some suggestions and they asked for donations because they were doing raffles and prizes and gifts for all the teachers that week.  

I decided, like usual to do our own thing and send Caleb and Chloe's teachers each something myself everyday of the week.  


Since last Monday they didn't have school for a teacher work day, we only did 4 gifts.  

Tuesday we started with a box of hand lotions.  I found these at the Dollar Tree.  They were perfect and as soon as I saw them, I knew that is what I had to get for one of the days.  

I printed a tag I found HERE at eighteen25.com .I just did an online search to get some ideas for a tag, and came across this one and just fell in love with them.  So I printed the sheet and cut two of them out that matched that box of lotions.  I then mounted the tag on a coordinating color of cardstock that matched the lotion boxes.  
I distressed the edges of the colored cardstock, just for fun and tied the tags on with some twine.  
I had each of the kids sign their names at the bottom of the tags. 


Wednesday we sent some apple cinnamon mini muffins in a tupperware.  I found a printable tag that was perfect for this too.  I found these tags HERE at Big Ideas little Cents .  They were designed as a Valentine's Day printable, but I used them for this.  I just printed the tags again and tied them to the tupperware with more twine.  The twine kept slipping off so I just used a little scotch tape to hold them in place.  

I just had the kids sign the back of these tags. 


On Thursday they took personalized tumblers.  I made these and added each teacher's name to the apple side of the cup.  I love gifts like this that are personalized.  It is just an added little touch to let each teacher know how much we love them. 
I finished off each tumbler with a big red ribbon tied into a bow on the top of each. 


Friday was the last day, and I knew that this was the day I wanted to send a potted flower for each of them. 
I knew I wanted a tag of some kind on a stick in with the flowers, so I just designed this one and printed it out.  I used glue dots to attach it to the dowel and added it to the pot.  I had each of them sign their names before I attached them to the stick . 




I always love to show our love for my kids teachers.  They spend all day with them, teaching them, loving them and being their in your place while they are at school.  They are guiding our children and that is no small task, so I think they deserve to be treated more than just a week out of the school year.  

It doesn't even have to cost alot, it is always just the thought that counts.
Most of everything I got was from the dollar store, or around a dollar.  If I didn't already have it on hand.

Do you send your child's teacher gifts?  

I have some ideas for the end of the year gifts as well.  I will share when I decide for sure.  

~NICOLE