Saturday, May 31, 2008

Camp Hideaway Countdown

We've got a really fun old cabin in the mountains that a family of cowboys built in a sort of "jimmy-rigged" way, with a piece added here and there over the 25 years that they owned it. It's really crazy, and even crooked (grandpa got the measurements mixed up so the whole thing slopes just a bit!) - but we love it.
Now it's time to get everything set up for Camp Hideaway, a special time with my two girls and their friends. These pictures are from last year - thanks to my friend, Janae, who came along to help. It's really neat to plan special times with teenage kids. We have so much fun!

Here's the cabin - where everyone sleeps. I have 14 fully outfitted beds with comfy bedding. I've really kept things simple as far as decorating. I don't want to have to clean so much when I'm there to relax. :)

Each year we have a theme, and I structure things around it - but we keep everything pretty easy going.

We do several crafty things. Here you see my examples of the mailbox (made out of paper plates), a pillow, a magnet board with magnets, button bracelet, and a photo holder.
Easy and fun. The girls also made a mini album (with all the usual yummy paper crafting elements).

I give the girls a camp kit. Everyone got a CD of songs that went with the theme, a great little book, and some beauty stuff (we did pedicures one evening).

One of the most fun activities are the dinner parties. We're there for three nights. Each group gets to give a dinner party for everyone. The first night, the adults do it - to give an example of how it can be. The girls then have a drawing to see which night their group will be hosting. Last year we had a restaurant theme - cute signs that Grandpa helps to create, place settings, and party favors. The girls prepare the meal (with my help), set up and decorate, and host a fabulous party! They really learn a lot doing it...

The smudges on their faces
are their little mustaches!
Italian waiters....
We did a service project for one of the crafts. We made 100 refrigerator magnet memo clips that we gave to the home bound seniors who receive "meals on wheels". That was fun -the girls felt really happy to do that.

Every one's "art-your-heart" photo rock...
The memo boards and magnets...
Hiking and picnicing at the near-by lake...
Watching movies at night out on the deck...

I think Camp Hideaway is more fun for me than anyone! It's a bit of work - but very rewarding as I think of the memories that I'm creating with my daughters - and their friends. They realize the effort that I'm making for them, and they're so sweet and appreciative. These are good times.
This year, our theme is "Lucky Girl". We're focusing on feeling grateful, saying thank you, and moving beyond luck to goal setting! We have so much to be thankful for, and so much that we can accomplish in life. We really are lucky girls!
9 days to Camp Hideaway!!!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Rice Krispy Treats. Love Them.

Rice Krispy Treats have got to be one of my favorites. Let me tell you about these....
I worked at a coffee shop years ago where the owner made these at home and brought them in every morning. They would sell out within the first hour every time! I was lucky enough to get the instructions before I left for my summer job in the theater. I worked in professional summer stock theater for five years at the Jackson Hole Playhouse in Jackson, Wyoming. I actually managed the theater during the day, and was in the shows at night. Well, I started making these for the concession stand at the theater, and people would come in the next day and ask if there were any more that they could buy! Crazy - but they are just so perfectly soft and yummy. Addicting. I've had several (I never count) today.

I like to wrap them in individual squares - maybe it's habit, but I think that it keeps each serving softer, especially if they're just for an anytime treat. The wrap also provides a handy way to hold them (they should be called "rice krispy 'n sticky treats"). Paper napkins and krispy treats really don't get along! I also like to put a thick popsicle stick in them for a special look - parties or bake sales.

Famous Rice Krispy Treats
Jelly roll pan - makes 24 summer day squares, or 48 perfect little party treats
Large bowl that fits in your microwave - you could use a smaller one, then use a separate bowl for the final mixing if you have a really small microwave (where there's a will, there's a way).
Wooden spoon
Cooking spray - to coat your pan and fingers


One large size box Rice Krispies - you can make your treats as gooey or as krispy as you like.
One 16 oz bag mini marshmallows - this has to be exact. I even prefer this brand marshmallow.
One cube butter or margarine - margarine treats stay softer longer, butter tastes a bit better.

How to make them:

These instructions are for a standard high wattage microwave. If yours is not so powerful, just make slight adjustments.
Melt the cube of butter in the large bowl. I put mine in for 1 minute. Dump the whole bag of mini marshmallows into the bowl and stir, completely coating the marshmallows with butter.
Take a moment to spray your pan with cooking spray.
Microwave the marshmallows for no more than 1 minute 30 seconds.
This is important! Less cooking time is what makes a soft treat.
The marshmallows will not look melted. See the picture below.

Just give them a vigorous stir and they'll become creamy.

Now gradually add the cereal to the marshmallows. I try to be careful so I don't crush up the Rice Krispys while I'm stirring. Use as much cereal as you like.
What's your Krispy treat style? I'm kind of a traditionalist - I like them best plain.

The beauty of it is that the whole batch just falls out of the bowl into the pan. Hardly anything to wash out - it just takes a second with hot water.

Done! So fast and easy! Yummy, too.

Daniel is enjoying a treat.
So much that with his mouth full, he was only willing to squish his eyes up for a smile.

The End
p.s. Because our internet was down today, I've was not able to blog. I'll have to tell you about Camp Hideaway tomorrow. No time now - it's midnight. I think I need a snack...maybe another Rice Krispy Treat...

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Back on the Blog Train

Boy, is this true. But sometimes it seems that there is never enough time! It flies when you're having fun, that's for sure. And we've been having fun these last couple of weeks. School ended in a flurry of activities - awards assemblies, science fairs, performances, and parties. Somehow I ended up with kids doctor appointments scheduled as well - not very good mommy planning! :)

On the holiday weekend we managed to have some yummy dinners out with our kids.

Because we experienced a crazy cold snap, it rained for about three days. The kids engineered a fabulous fort in the playroom loft - it was very cool.

On the beautiful sunny Saturday we all went to the zoo. Here's the whole crew...
I did manage to do some crafty work at the beginning of this week. My crafting life has also caused a flurry of activity. I'm so excited to share my announcement...uh, no, there's no baby on the way! Stay tuned for the news... I'll be blogging every day for the next few days with details about my June teaching schedule and classes, Camp Hideaway, and my exciting endeavor.

A little something for the Camp Hideaway girls...

These "adopted" jeans have a new life as...

Backside Bags!

The casual design and frayed seams remind me of cut-off shorts and summer time.

Just the backside... this time it's okay to stare... :)

Fun little fabric charms made out of the lining fabric.
Nice seat pockets ready to be embellished with button pins, embroidery, or just a Sharpie!


We're looking forward to a great summer vacation.

Here are some pics from last year to get us all in the mood...

Stay tuned for more fun projects and my famous Rice Krispy Treat recipe... summer yum.
p.s. the embroidery at the top was stitched by my mom. thanks, mom!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Apron Strings...

Look at what I got! This is the darling apron and goodies that my vintage apron swap partner sent to me!! I just love it. Thanks so much, Sondra!!
Speaking of apron strings, my little boys are growing up! Gosh, I love 'em.

This guy is so cool.
Daniel is singing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star".
So sweet, my little troubador...

Self portraits are never that good - Daniel was laughing just seconds before I snapped the camera. Now he looks upset! Oh well, he wanted to use the camera SO much...

Have a great weekend!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Wonderful Day

It was a wonderful day!
I had a very nice time at church early in the morning - I directed a women's choir that sang a beautiful song with cello. It turned out so nice! I really enjoyed the sweet fellowship with other women as we sat in our classes and had great discussions. We munched on the chocolate yummies that all the moms got for Mother's Day. I'll always be glad that the "Mother's gift" tradition switched from a flower - to chocolate!
We spent the afternoon creating little tag books for the Grandmothers. It was so much fun! I had already made a William Morris print clipboard for my mom. My parents live in, and love the craftsman style - so I had saved our 2006 William Morris print calendar and we cut it all up and used it for Mom's gifts! Here are a few of the neat pages that we created...

This is Dawson's painting of a beach sunset.
We go the beach in Mexico, and it's one of the fond Grandparent memories that my kids have.

I'm so thankful for my family. My children are fantastic - all of them, my birth kids and my bonus kids! My husband is the love of my life. I am really blessed.
Every day is a wonderful day!


I have another Mystic Paper class project finished! This framed mirror is for the class based on the book, "Princess Academy", by Shannon Hale. I really like how the flowers turned out! I want to make many more projects using these flowers - it was so fun!

The words on the bottom were at the end of one of the chapters in the book. Very poetic, don't you think? :)