Graham Crackers! NOM

Today I knew we had to cook something simple because I haven't gone grocery shopping yet and was low on ingredients, so somehow I decided on graham crackers. We've made graham crackers before (with a different recipe) but I think I failed to write a post about them...well forget about those because this recipe is way better! The recipe comes from Smitten Kitchen and can be found here. I have to say, I didn't quite follow the recipe exactly though, I skipped a few steps in the process and mine weren't nearly as cute.
Charlotte always asks to pose with the ingredients before we begin

We used light brown sugar instead of dark
Charlotte blending the ingredients with a pastry blender, the recipe said to use a mixer but I'm lazy and only get the mixer out when I making a few things in a row.

Daddy helped!

The dough is very sticky!

Wrap it in plastic wrap and stick it in the fridge

Go ahead and let the kiddos snack on the dough, there are no eggs!

Cinnamon sugar! Not needed though, the crackers are quite sweet without it

Cut your dough in whatever shape you'd like, I used a pizza cutter but cookie cutters work great too 

Keep an eye on them, they burn easily
 I didn't get any pictures of them separated or anybody eating them because they disappeared fast. They were so good warm that nobody could wait for them to cool, there were burnt tongues all around. For an even yummier treat, try them warm with vanilla ice cream. Not kidding, these will not disappoint you and you'll probably never buy boxed graham crackers again!
All baked, took about 25 minutes for slightly chewy crackers. It's hard to decide whether chewy or crispy is better, I like them both!


Girls' Pick

Alright, I lied. 

Tonight was mommy's pick at the library. I managed to go in by myself, something that I hate to love...I KNOW you know what I mean. I was able to go in and browse without having to chase a two year old around the shelves or listen to a four year old tell me she's bored and doesn't want to look at the books for mommy. It was about 10 minutes in Heaven, hubby was out in the car waiting for me, lol.
I managed to grab these two books and the girls really enjoyed them.
Bird & Birdie in A Fine Day by Ethan Long. I've never seen this book before, I'm glad I found it. It is perfect for a beginning reader (IMO) it's just a simple conversation between two birds throughout the morning, afternoon, and night. The conversations are short but get the point across, you know what's going on, how the birds feel, etc. The words repeat just enough that after a couple times reading this your child will probably be able to read it by themselves with confidence.

The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown. When I saw this book on display I had to grab it, normally I come to the library with a list in hand, the girls will pick a few that aren't on the list as well but there are sooo many books out there that some get passed over, like this one. This book is quite near and dear to me (and I'm pretty ashamed I haven't bought it yet) this book is one that I very distinctly remember my mom reading to me when I was younger. Not only do I remember the story but I remember the pictures, they always intrigued me. The little runaway bunny turning into a fish, a bird, a sailboat with big sail ears (which sounds silly but it doesn't look silly) and the mommy bunny always one step ahead of the little bunny. It's a great book and you really get a sense of the mommy bunny's love for the little bunny, it always gets me teary eyed reading it, though not as bad as Love You Forever, I can't even finish that book.
Have you read these books? I'd love to hear how you feel about them. If you haven't read them be sure to put them on your list for the library!


Make Something Monday: Writing Center

The writing center is done! I'm so excited to share it with you!! I love when things turn out exactly the way I have them imagined in my mind.

The whole project spurred from making a mailbox for Charlotte. She's been getting a lot of mail recently and I wanted her to have her own little spot to check. The mailbox is just made out of a saltine cracker box covered with tissue paper.

The writing center is a cardboard box leftover from moving

Double sided tape helped cover it with wrapping paper

I used the flaps I cut off from the box and made little boxes to stick on to the writing center. I later wrapped them with wrapping paper as well

There is an about me page with all of Charlotte's information, including our address so she can address her letters. There's her mailbox with a letter from mommy waiting for her.

A small calendar I got from Target and two boxes (made like the one above) filled with notecards and envelopes.

A few printables (from Persnickety Pickles) with how to's for writing a letter, making a card and writing a postcard. The index cards have addresses for the people Charlotte interacts with most. A plastic lid from a box of cards holds stickers.

I printed this alphabet chart off from abcteach.com

I wanted to buy a pad for making lists but had a hard time finding one for the price I was willing to pay, so I made my own with regular lined loose leaf paper, with a cardboard backing. The index cards have different items that Charlotte can make lists of such as colors, types of candy, different animals, etc. Last is the story section, there is a box with a pad of writing paper, a printable (that came with the other Persnickety Pickles printables) about writing a story and on the index cards are writing prompts.

Most writing centers I've seen also have crayons, pens, pencils, markers on them. Since this is low enough for Lexi to reach I keep the writing utensils in a different location that's high enough that Lexi can't reach but Charlotte can. There is also blank drawing paper (of various sizes) in the bins on the side of the desk this is on top of. This writing center is designed for Charlotte to sit down and explore by herself without me there unless of course she asks for me. I can't wait to read what she creates!


Where Have I Been!?

Sorry all for the recent lack of posts lately. I've been focusing all of my energy on trying to get a head start with curriculum this year.
Last year I was always playing catch-up on the weekends and I didn't want to have to do that this year, especially since Lexi isn't an immobile baby anymore. I have to be prepared!
Even though we didn't finish our A-Z units from last year, you can find completed units here, I've decided to scrap those and start fresh with A. This year we're doing an ABC World Tour, I am so excited to tell you about it every week, I will be keeping to the weekly blog schedule, Monday craft, Wednesday food, etc.
I've also been working on a writing center for Charlotte since I really want to encourage her interest of reading and writing, without pushing it.
We will officially be starting "school" after Labor Day, in the mean time enjoy these sneak peeks of what I've been up too!

Pancake Sunday 8.28

Apple and Sausage
Oven Pancake

We went fishing in the morning so we didn't have time to make pancakes before going, so we had pancakes for dinner. My husband grumbled at this because usually he sleeps through Pancake Sunday and doesn't have to eat the pancakes, he "doesn't like pancakes." I offered to make him eggs instead which means more pancakes for me and the girls! I made an oven pancake today, one big pancake cut into squares. Turns out it was a perfect dinner pancake, very filling!

Slice up some apples and layer them on the bottom of a 9x13. 
This is 3 red delicious apples.
Next time I make this, I will be cutting the apples into chunks.
Warm up some butter, brown sugar and maple syrup.
Pour it over the apples.
Brown some sausage. 
 Layer it on top of the apples.
Add your favorite pancake batter.
I used this recipe.
Bake it at 350 until the top springs back.
Ours baked for 30 minutes. 
 We sliced it into 6 squares and served it on the plate upside down.
Add a dollop of butter and more syrup if desired.

I'd like to add, my husband made his eggs AND bacon to eat, but ended up eating 2 servings of this pancake, then he asked me if I wanted his eggs...


Blended Banana Split

I heard a rumor that if you freeze bananas you can blend them into a fluffy ice cream like treat.
So, I froze some bananas. 
Here's a tip: take the bananas out of their peels before you freeze them, and to make things even easier for your blender, chop them into little pieces.

The peels turned a dark golden color

I started blending one banana at a time in the Magic Bullet but it proved to be too hard. I have the cordless Magic Bullet and it doesn't seem to have as much juice as one that plugs in, so in order to help it out a bit, I added some strawberry yogurt.

The strawberry yogurt and frozen banana tasted delicious blended together and I probably could have stopped at this step and the kids would have been happy.
Freeze the yogurt first if you want ice cream consistency
 I took it a step further and added some sliced strawberries! I added a sprinkle of sugar to help draw out the juices a bit.

As soon as I added the strawberry yogurt I knew I was pretty much making a banana split, so I added some chocolate syrup

 and then topped it off with whipped cream!