Love Overflowing

Chloe turned 4!

For 10 days, Emily and her cousin Chloe are both 4. Emily thinks that is pretty neat!

Last weekend, we headed to celebrate Chloe’s birthday with the family. This year her party was held at place where she takes dance class. They also do gymnastics there so the kids got to play and have a great time. A lot of time was spent on the trampoline and in the block pit. Even I got my workout in! I was throwing kids into the pit. A great way to relieve your frustrations I might add.

All the kids had a great time. I think Chloe had a really good birthday. I know Emily enjoyed playing with her loot afterwards. The kids had a great time getting to visit back at my sister’s house. It was great to get some time to hang out and have fun.

I didn’t take a lot of pictures. I decided that I wanted to enjoy playing with the kids and visiting with the family. 🙂

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Another patch

Pumpkin patch that is! Stephen took a day off and we headed to a new pumpkin patch with the kids after Emily got out of school. We have been to this place to pick peaches and apples but never pumpkins. Note to self: go in the morning. We went after lunch and the place was full with school groups. Needless to say, we had a bit of a wait before we could get our wagon ride out to pick our pumpkins.

The kids didn’t mind so much because they got to play in the castle, go down the slide and play in the greenhouse. After about an hour, Zachary was starting to get tired. Luckily they were finally ready for us. It was pretty cool because we had the wagon and the patch all to ourselves. The neat thing about Herman’s Farm is that you get to pick and cut your own pumpkin. We have never been to a place like that. Normally they are already picked and sitting waiting. It was a lot of fun walking through the field, trying to find just the right one. Although, I think Zachary’s feet only hit the ground a few times. He was so tired that he didn’t want to walk much. We did find some pretty awesome pumpkins. Stephen even found this a big one for us. We’ve never had a big, big pumpkin before. I swear this thing is 30+ pounds!

Now…What  should we do with all of our pumpkins?!

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More dresses…

Three dresses in about a week. Wow. I promised Emily a Rapunzel dress and I wanted to make her a dress for her birthday as well. Surprisingly, I got Chloe’s dress and the other two finished before the deadline. This will be the last of my sewing for a bit. I am a little behind on a few other things. Whoops!

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Spooky jugs

I love the Family Fun magazine. Every month it arrives in the mailbox, full of ideas to do with the kids. Recently, we received this Halloween issue. Lots of fun ideas.
One project we actually started a month ago. It used empty milk jugs. Luckily, my kids drink a lot of milk so it didn’t take us long to accumulate jugs, even with some recycling mishaps. After we collected all the jugs, Emily and I used a black permanent marker and drew faces. I then took a utility knife and cut a hole in the back where I put some rocks in and then poked some white Christmas lights in.
Super cute and super easy. It also kept Emily busy so that makes it even better.


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Got me thinking…

My last post made me think about our visits to Pumpkin Land. I had to go back and look at photos from past years…….







God is GOOD!


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Pumpkin Land!

I love fall. I love pumpkins and going to pumpkin patches. There are so many in the local area to choose from. One that we have gone to for the past 3 years is right across the river. Pumpkin Land has a huge are for the kids to play in. They have zip swings, a huge pirate ship and a corn maze just to name a few. You can spend a several hours there while the kids burn off energy.

We got there shortly after they opened this past Saturday. After the kids played for a few minutes we headed over to take a wagon ride around the farm. They take you on a tour of their farm and try to explain some of ins and outs of the farm. I think Stephen and I enjoy the wagon ride more than the kids but that’s ok. They get to play and we get to sit for a few minutes. After we were through with our wagon ride, the kids played more. We tried getting some pictures next to the big pumpkins. Try being the operative word here. Neither one of them really wanted to cooperate at the same time. We then decided that we would try the corn maze for the first time this year. It was fun. Took us a while to find our way and I ended up carrying Zachary the last part but we had a good time.

You can’t leave Pumpkin Land without picking out a pumpkin or two! We also left with quite a bit of homegrown produce as well!

PS- We also discovered that Zachary really dislikes the feel of hay. It’s pretty amusing…..

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Wish I invented that…

Ever think of something that would make your life better or easier and wish it existed? Ever kick yourself when you see that same idea in the store later? Enter “Leaf Scoops”.
Last year while raking leaves, I wished there was a better way to get the leaves into the bags. Guess what? There is now.
“Leaf Scoops. The perfect took for picking up: large piles of leaves, pine needles, sweet gum balls, grass clippings, hedge trimmings…”
Perfect is right. So easy that a 5 year old can use them. Makes cleaning up leaves faster and easier. Bummer that you still have to rake them though. And only $5 at your local Ace Hardware. 😉




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MMMMM….. Meatballs.

In case you haven’t realized yet, I love trying new recipes. I just don’t have the time to make anything super complicated since I have to basically prep during nap time because Zachary gets a little possessive when I am in the kitchen and wants my attention. I decided that I wanted to try to make meatballs the other day. I combined a recipe that I found on……Pinterest and from a fellow playgroup momma. They were very delicious. Emily kept telling me how much she loved them. She even ate leftovers the next night. Not that there were many left. I wanted to share the recipe as I made it. In parenthesis are the original ingredients and directions.

1 1/2 pounds ground turkey  (Lean ground Beef)
3/4 cup Panko ( Italian style breadcrumbs)
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 TBSP parsley flakes
1 tsp. salt
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
2 jars spaghetti sauce
2 sticks mozzarella string cheese, cut in chunks
Mix together & shape into golf ball size or little larger meatballs, put the mozzarella chunk in the middle. Put on cookie sheet & bake 350 degrees for 8 minutes then turnover for another 5 or until browned slightly. (Remove to strainer and rinse under water to remove excess grease. Squeeze each gently with paper towel to squeeze out grease and dry. I skipped this step because the turkey was so lean.) Can be frozen in ziplock bag or cook in spaghetti sauce. To cook in sauce…simmer on low 4 hours in the crockpot or on high for 2 or more hours. I followed the original directions and started it out on high for about 45 minutes and then turned down to low.

I served with spaghetti noodles but you can also serve as meatballs subs or just plain meatballs. The meatballs were so yummy with the melted cheese in the middle.

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What me? Sew what.

I have really been on a sewing tear lately. As mentioned before, Zachary and I recently took a trip to JoAnn’s Fabrics while Emily was in school. I didn’t have to bribe him with fruit snacks or anything. We were on a mission. I needed material for a dress that I planned on making for my niece’s birthday and Rapunzel fabric. Emily is 100% totally enamored with Tangled. She loves the movie, the songs and anything Rapunzel. I thought it would be perfect if I could find some Rapunzel fabric to make her a dress for her birthday. Mission accomplished and I found fabric. Imagine Emily’s disappointment when I told her that I would be making Chloe’s dress first since her birthday was first. I think I heard “It’s not fair that everyone’s birthday is before mine.” Ahh, almost 5.

One afternoon, while Emily was at stay n’ play at preschool and Zachary was napping, I took advantage of the quiet and got sewing. I am getting better at sewing these pillowcase-type dresses. It took me about an hour and a half from start to finish. )I will admit that I was on the phone with my sister party of the time.)  I really love the fabric. I can’t wait to see how it looks on Chloe! I will make her try it on for me after she opens it because I never could get Emily to try it on.

I even made a matching headband for Chloe. I got the idea from my friend Julie. Her mom makes some super cute stuff and made a ton of headbands. She saw one in a shop on Main Street and knew that she could re-create it. I used hers as an example and made one to match Chloe’s dress. It’s not as good as the ones Julie’s mom made but still cute. It was pretty easy. I took leftover material and gathered it a bit. Then I took 2 strips of felt and sewed onto the back, making a sleeve type opening that you can slide a headband through. Make sense?

Without further ado… I give you Chloe’s dress.

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Staying busy in the afternoons

Zachary, of course, still naps in the afternoons. I have been trying to do some more one-on-one activities with Emily during that time instead of spending the precious hours cleaning while she watches a show on TV. There are still days where it’s necessary because, well let’s be honest, the bathroom is not going to clean itself and she only wants to help for so long. We have been finding some stuff to do though and it’s been fun.

Flipping through Family Fun magazine a few weeks ago, I ran across “Jar-o’-lanterns”. They looked like an activity that Emily would have fun with and was easy enough to do. Surprisingly, I had no empty jars on hand. During a Wal-mart run one day, Zachary and I found a case of canning jars for $5. The craft possibilities with them are endless. That afternoon Emily and I got to work painting. We did the activity a little different since I couldn’t find the painter’s tape. We painted faces onto the pumpkins and we made ghosts as well. Cute and fun. One ghost resides at Grandma’s house and the rest of our creations have a place of honor on the mantle.

While Emily was painting the jars, I decided to make a ghost. I found an old pillow cover in the basement and painted a ghost face on it. I then used a couple of styrofoam bowls and packing pouch things to give it shape and strung plastic string through it. It is hanging on our porch. We are getting all decked out for Halloween.

Our next activity arrived in my inbox one day, bird seed ornaments. (I’m a little smitten with Hoosier Homemade. So many cute ideas and wonderful recipes.) The best part of this activity, I had all of the ingredients in the house already. Yes, even the bird seed. Emily decided that she had to be fancy while she made yummies for the birds. She did most of this herself as well. My tip- use thinner cookie cutters. If you use thick ones, don’t fill them all they way. Takes forever to dry and impatient mommies little girls cannot wait and tend to break off pieces. Although, those broken pieces were lots of fun to the one year old that loved throwing them on the driveway.

activity #3 actually involved Zachary. Surprise, surprise I found it while surfing Pinterest. This hand art screams fall. Emily did a great job with it and really went to town with the falling leaves. She never does anything half way. Zachary really didn’t care for the paint on his hand and arm. And he didn’t really want to cooperate with the leaves so I was happy with what we got. I am used to Emily, who loved painting and coloring at his age. I know, two totally different kids. These pictures now grace the walls in our living room.

The last activitiy was just something I decided to do. Probably got the idea from Pinterest. I could probably find the link if I took the time to look. Zachary and I poor kid has to run all these boring errands with me were in JoAnn’s Fabrics the other day on a mission when we ran across these 3d cardboard letters. I chose a “J” to play around with. I panted the sides of the letter with some acrylic paint and then traced the letter onto some scrapbook paper that I had in the basement and then used modpodge to adhere the paper to the letter. After it dried, I put another layer of modpodge on and sprinkled some clear beads on it to give it a little depth. Then I sprayed an acrylic coat on it.

Seems like a lot of activities but they weren’t done in one week. I actually did have to do laundry and clean the bathrooms at some point.


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