Sunday, October 30, 2011


Logan decided this year he wanted to join Boy Scouts. His choice was Tae kwan do or Scouts and he choose scouts. I have to say I am kind of glad he did. Yes, it can be a bit time consuming, but it really is a good time and a great learning experience. The scouts have Den meetings, which is just the 10 -14 boys in his grade who meet together, and they have pack meetings, which is every Den together, so a mixture of all grades. In addition to meetings they also have go-sees (basically a field trip), which is for his Den only and they have outings each month for the whole family. (see what I mean about time consuming)

Yesterday was family outing to a farm. They roasted hot dogs over the fire and had a potluck lunch and then the boys played flag football, which earned them a belt loop. Then we all navigated the large corn maze...and we did not even have to call 911...we made it out alive after an hour! What great time for the whole family (minus the 2 little ones who stayed home)!

Logan did a great job playing! He caught some passes!!


Melina found a boy friend to play with...
as usual!

Hmmm....which way to go?

Up and over the bridge.

How do we get out of here???

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Halloween Party

On Friday evening was the big shindig...the Dayton Mamas Halloween Party. I have been working on this party for over a month now (with some help from a committee) and I was a bit nervous when the big day arrived.  I am new to the organizer role and we had never had a party like this before and then when the RSVP's started rolling in, and rolling in, and rolling in...I started to panic a bit. I ended up having the close the RSVP's at 96 adults plus the kids and start a wait list...we were beyond max capacity for the hall. We had some snafu's along the way, but in the end I really think the party was a big success!!! I know my kids had FUN!! They even thanked me for taking them to the party unprompted!!

Here are a couple of pictures that I got, ya know how when you get so busy you forget to take pictures or don't get good ones, that is was happened. Oh well, I know there were LOTS of moms taking pictures, so maybe I'll just steal some of theirs!

Setting up the hall

Meeka still refused to wear any costume, but she wanted a "meow" on her face.

And she sat very still for Sparkle to paint her face!

This is a great picture of 3...while the itsy bitsy spider crawls away!

This was as good as it got of all 4 in the "Photo Booth"

The Pumpkin Patch. Each child got to pick a pumpkin and decorate it.

The spider going for a walk!

The Army guy hiding in the leaves with his camo.

The Princess smiling for the camera.

"meows" like desserts too!

Decorating her pumpkin

Melina's pumpkin. She was very proud of doing it all by herself!

Melina and Logan made picture frames while the little ones played on the playground.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


My mind is Chaos...I am getting ready for a Halloween party that has 96 adults and countless kids who have RSVP'd....

My house is Chaos...Michael has been in Las Vegas all week...

My life is Chaos...figuring out what and who goes where and who brings what to school for which event on which day....

But a mist the chaos there are 4 very big reasons to take a moment and smile!

All the kiddos in their new WINTER jammies watching Halloween Wars on the Food Network!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

More Fall Fun!!

Logan trying on a snake...does it match his outfit?
This may have been the last nice fall we went all out with the Fall / Halloween activities...this stuff only happens one month out of the year, so we take full advantage!

On Saturday after Melina's soccer game we headed to Cincinnati for HallZOOween at the Cincinnati Zoo! It was a beautiful day and the kids had a blast! They got to wear their costumes for the the first time this year (Meeka refused to put hers on though) and Trick or Treat throughout the zoo. We also watched the Monkeys and Elephants play with and eat pumpkins. And by the end of the day Mommy and Daddy were worn out from chasing 3 animal lovers through the zoo (the 4th was strapped in the stroller the whole time...I know, poor guy)! But what to quote the kids, "That was a REALLY FUN DAY!!!"
Or maybe it goes better with the princess costume!

One of their favorite animals was the Owl!

You can see the mud we just went threw!
Today Michael left for Vegas, but that didn't stop the rest of us from finding something fun to do. Our plans for today got cancelled last minute, so on a whim we decided to try this haunted hayride I found on the web. I have to say I was not the cheapest activity in the book (At least as far as hayrides go), but as Logan said, "This was the best hayride of my life!" And now, that may not be saying much for a 7 yr old (although he has been on quiet a few hayrides in his 7 years), but I agree...In my 29 years this was the best hayride of my life; Hills, Mud, and plenty to see!! And I have never seen a tractor go so fast carrying a load of people down a hill called, "Suicide Hill." A VERY FUN  and memorable experience. We followed up the hayride with playtime and some grilled hot dogs and funnel cake for lunch!
And this time about to go through!

Meeka was captivated for the whole 30 minutes!

Checkin' out the pumpkin patch when we stopped.

Look at those smiles! They LOVED it!!

Carson sat so still too! He enjoyed it very much!

Watching the kids pick out pumpkins.

Sliding down the pirate ship.

They all played on the train for about and hour!!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Family Game Night

Friday Nights in our house are Family Game Nights for the "Big Kids." After the younger ones go to bed we let the older ones stay up a little later and have a treat (if they have eaten all their dinner) and we play a game of their choice. Last night we played Uno. The kids really enjoy this tradition and so do I! I hope this is something we can do together for a long time to come!
Melina caught onto Uno very fast! This was her
first time playing this game.

Logan is starting to catch on to the strategy of the game.


I threw in this picture too because it was fun!
The little ones amused themselves by putting the block bucket
on their heads and chasing each other around the kitchen
while I cleaned up dinner.

Friday, October 21, 2011


Logan decided he was going to enter the school yearbook cover contest. He has been working on his design and drawling for 4 days now and he finally finished his final copy this afternoon. I am very proud of his work. He thought creatively and made 4 sketches before the final draft. 

A Day for PLAY!

Yesterday we never got out of our jammies. Melina had a cold so she stayed home from preschool and the 4 of us had a day full of play. We built blocks, did body art, had a tea party, played house, little people and much more...we just had a CHILL DAY on this very rainy and chilly day...and it was NICE!! Sometimes ya just gotta do nothin'!
Meeka has been building blocks for hours each day. "More High," she says!

"I did it!!"

Check out her tattoos!

Playing house and building forts.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I'm Pretty, Oh So Pretty

Melina chose this morning to dabble in make-up. She was so proud of her color choices....what can you say, but, "Yes, you look BEAUTIFUL!"

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Casserole Queen

Michael's new nickname for me is Casserole Queen, but it is not one that I am wearing as a badge of is more to make fun of me. I am NOT a casserole girl by nature, but as groceries get more expensive, my kids are eating more and more, and we are CRAZY busy I have been experimenting with casseroles. I mean who doesn't like cheep and easy? (now don't take that the wrong way...) I have tried a couple versions of tuna, chicken, meatball, spaghetti, just to name a few. Some have turned out OK, some not so much...

But last night was a success (although Michael would say the meatball was even more of a success)! All 4 kids loved it and I thought this one was GOOD. Not OK, but GOOD. So I wanted to share the recipe, because like I said...who doesn't like Cheep, Easy AND Good!! I am not sure where I got the recipe, but it was online somewhere, not Allrecipes or any big site, which is also more the reason to share; since it is not widely publicized....or maybe that should be reason to keep it to myself. Oh well, I am in a giving mood, so I'll share. And I think this would make a nice meal for a new mom too. Throw in a salad and some cookies and there ya go. Anyway, onto the recipe.

Baked Spaghetti

  • 8 ounces uncooked spaghetti
  • 1 pound ground beef (I used turkey)
  • 1 large can spaghetti sauce (26.5 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/3 cup chopped onions
  • 8 ounces cream cheese (I used 1/3 less fat)
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • Fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • French Fried Onions (small can)
  1. Cook spaghetti according to directions on the package. Cook to al dente, drain and set aside.
  2. Brown ground beef. Drain excess grease. Add spaghetti sauce to skillet and heat.
  3. Combine onions and butter in small glass bowl. Cover and microwave 4 minutes on HIGH until soft.
  4. Add cream cheese and milk to onions and stir well.
  5. Using a 10 x 6 dish, assemble in the following order:
  6. Thin layer of meat sauce on the bottom of the casserole dish.
  7. Spaghetti
  8. Cream cheese/onion mixture
  9. Spaghetti sauce
  10. Parmesan Cheese (amount subject to your own taste)
  11. French Fried Onions (added during last 5 minutes of cooking)
  12. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Top with French Fried onion and continue baking 5 more minutes. (This is the secret ingredient--don't let them burn.)
Make this ahead of time and refrigerate or freeze without the French Fried onions. Don't forget to add them 5 minutes before casserole is finished cooking.

Do we really need any words??

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Easy and Healthy Pumpkin Muffins

Pumpkin recipes, pumpkin you see a theme here?

This week we made another Pumpkin Muffin recipe. This time the recipe was much lighter and super easy. Only 2 ingredients. Yellow Cake Mix and 1 can pumpkin.

Mix them together and bake at 350 for about 10 -15 minutes for mini-muffins. That's it.

So try it...I guarantee you will like the results!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Our First Trip to a Pumpkin Farm!

On Friday, Logan was off of school for an in service day, so we took the opportunity to do something FUN altogether; we took our first trip of the the year to a Pumpkin Farm!!! Have I said before that I like Fall activities? Well, in case you have not read that, 

Corn Maze fun!
We didn't get lost and have to call the cops to come rescue us!
The Pumpkin Barn is right up the street from us. In fact we pass it every day taking Melina to school and we bought our sweet corn there this summer. So why not support our local digs?!?! And it was FANTASTIC!! 

It was the perfect place for me to take all the kids by myself...not to big to loose kids! And it was so much FUN for Logan; he could navigate the corn maze himself! And small enough for Carson to climb slide and have a GREAT time!!

Logan was our leader the first time around.
He did great navigating and not loosing any siblings...or mom!
Meeka picked up several ears of corn in the maze and tried to feed them to the pigs.
She was not so sure and kept throwing it in and then it would hit the fence and fall to the ground and she would try again. Each time she got a bit braver and scooted forward a bit closer until she hit the bulls eye.

See what I mean...much braver on the 5th go-around!

Carson enjoyed climbing in the hay and sliding down. He also enjoyed the hay tunnels!

Logan jumping off a haystack. I have to say I think this is a pretty cool picture!!

Melina, Meeka and Sammy Reese coming out from the hay tunnels.

Melina enjoyed petting the mini-horses.

And last but not least what is a farm visit without a hayride. The hayride took us all over the farm and finished by driving right through the middle of the pick your own pumpkin

Everyone got some fresh popped popcorn to go!

     We all left tired and dirty so it was a successful morning!!