Ashasbecometradition, my mom made Easter outfits for the kids this year. Aidin picked out the pattern, fabric and trim for her dress with help from my mom and me. And thank goodness the trim was on sale, because it took a lot of trim. Eliot got a shirt out of Heather Ross Gnome fabric (which I looked for two places to link to and couldn't find) and some khaki pants that mom started for him last year but they were huge. If at first you don't succeed, wait until he grows into them. And then add a cuff because they are too short.
And if a cool 70's look dress wasn't enough, my mom made Kit a matching one. My goodness, Aidin was over the moon.
The only thing I made for Easter - cupcakes. 40 of them. We didn't even dye Easter eggs. The kids colored eggs at my mom's earlier in the week and by the time we got home from the grocery store with the eggs after a birthday party on Saturday night it was time for the KU game. Come on. I have my priorities. Oh, yes. It is full on March Madness at Chez L'aeroport.
But colored eggs or not, the kids still got in two Easter egg hunts. And now have enough candy to last until Memorial Day. I hope what I've got won't last the week. Ugh!
Hello, my friends! I am so excited that I can finally share with you our end of Mini-swap 3. We had a great time gathering things to send to 5 1/2 year old Ella and 3 1/2 year old Mia and their mom, Kristy in Australia. Instead of wrapping a pile of presents for each girl, we divided our packages according to topic and mailed them all back in the same box that they had mailed to us.
Wear: embroidered patch appliqued t-shirts. Ella is horse crazy and Mia's favorite animal is the koala. I was really pretty excited about how these turned out. I used a coloring book picture for the horse embroidery and an image from the internet for the koalas.
Cook: aprons made from bandannas and ric-rak. We included two of our favorite recipes.
Read: The Snowy Day is a favorite and seemed fitting after the winter we've had. Meet Felicity is an American Girl book that features a horse. The two sunflower book marks were made by Aidin and feature our state flower.
Draw & Color: Sketch books and coloring books. Black Beauty, again, for the horse-lover, and The Wizard of Oz since we are from Kansas.
Create: craft supplies included fun foam door hangers (Eliot got to one before it was mailed! Yikes!), wooden Easter crafts and a button/felt bracelet kit.
Explore: We printed some information about our town and the Univeristy of Kansas off the internet and complied it into a booklet. We also included some fun printables from the KU website.
Listen: We sent a CD holder with some favorite tunes.
And for the Mama: Kristy had requested I send her a copy of Matha's Good Things, as she couldn't get ahold of one Down Under. I was happy to oblige, and also included a copy of Wondertime and two fat quarters.
This swap was great on all counts. Thanks, Kristy, Ella & Mia for being so patient! We had a great time swapping with you! Aidin and Eliot are excited about having new friends half a world away.
And happy birthday to my dear friend, Jules, in England!
Awww... thank you guys for your sweet comments after my whiny post. I know everyone is busy. What is it about life continually speeding up? Whatever it is, it is making me crazy.
So crazy, in fact, that life just shut me down over the weekend. I'm not sure if it was food poisoning or some strange stomach virus but, oh my! From about 9:00 Friday night until about 4:00 Saturday afternoon I was ILL. A little acidolpholus, some Gatorade and bananas and I'm mostly back to normal. And hey, what a great way to jump start some weight loss - I was down six pounds in eight hours.
Last night sitting in front of the TV, bored because my husband was out playing with an Irish band in some pre-St.Patty's Day festivities and my children were at Grandma's (thank you, grandma!), doing a little embroidery, I came upon this fella who claims he can make you thin. To his four golden rules, I kind of thought "Well, duh!", but do I follow through with them? Uh, no. But I'm willing to give it a go. So I'll be putting my fork down. I hope it is really that simple. And my stomach is growling, so I guess I'll go eat.
But I'll pass on the green beer this year. I don't think my stomach is ready for that.
During this Lenten season, Kelli issued an invitation to perform some Calculated Acts of Kindness. Many acts are not so picture-worthy - like plugging the meter when I see someone parked an an expired one, but the project has definitely made me think about my actions more and more.
My regular readers may recall that my Grandma Jean fell several weeks ago and cracked her pelvis in two places. I'm happy to say that she has mended beautifully and is pretty much back to her old self.
I had wanted to do something for her while she was recovering, but with living in different towns and chasing after my own family, that was kind of tough, until a few weeks ago when an appointment made it possible to take the kids by and make her dinner.
My mom and dad came over, too. We made pork chops and stuffing, broccoli and salad. And since my mom still had buttermilk left, she made (my other) grandma's brownies again. It was such a good time, cooking and talking and remembering with my grandma and sharing that time with the kids as well. We have to do this more often. In fact, I have another appointment in Topeka in April, so we'll do it again then.
And since Vallen requested the brownie recipe, here it is.
1 stick butter
1 cup water
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 cup oil
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla (I love vanilla so I double this)
Combine butter, water, cocoa and oil in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over low heat. Combine flour, sugar, salt and soda in a large mixing bowl. Pour chocolate mixture over dry ingredients. Add eggs, milk and vanilla. Mix well. Pour into a jelly roll pan (12 x 18) sprayed with cooking spray. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes. Frost while warm.
FROSTING FOR BROWNIES:
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 stick butter
1/4 cup cocoa
1 lb. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla (again, I double this)
dash of salt
nuts of your choice (I use pecans, my mom uses English walnuts)
Bring buttermilk, butter and cocoa to a boil. Pour over powdered sugar and salt. Mix. Add vanilla and nuts. Pour on brownies and spread while warm.
I don't add the nuts into the frosting because Aidin doesn't like nuts. Instead, I sprinkle the nuts on half after I've frosted them. You can add or omit the nuts as you please. I made them this weekend for a family thing and oh, my god! They are good. And they are such a good remembrance of my grandma. Why have we not made them for the past ten years?
Alright, without further ado, the fantastic mini-swap package we received from Kristy and her girls, Ella & Mia.
Wind sock for Eliot. It arrived on the perfect windy day.
A friendly monster from the Softies book. Eliot has named him Starry and will not go to bed without him.
A book of Australian animals, a crocodile making kit and a peg doll kit, also for Eliot.
And for the girl, A treasure bag and felt necklace. The necklace went on immediately and has been worn almost continually since.
The treasure bag included a gel pen, two little note pads, a peg doll kit, the cutest froggy needle book, some beads and bells. Aidin also received one of my all time favorite Australian books, Possum Magic.
Kristy didn't leave me out - she sent a lovely Australian magazine and a string bag that can't wait to go to farmer's market with me. The fact that it has been snowing steadily here all morning makes farmer's market seem like a distant dream, but it opens in just over a month!
And here's a sneak peek at what we've been working on. My "new" sewing machine is not cooperating so I had to break out old faithful. I SWEAR, I'm mailing our end of the mini-swap off tomorrow!
And speaking of Good Stuff, this week has been all Dr. Seuss all of the time in honor of the great man's birthday last Sunday. Today Aidin's class got to dress like a Dr. Seuss character. She was pretty excited to haul out the blue wig. And you should have seen the looks on her classmates faces when she walked into school. Too much fun!
But by far, the best thing this week has been the arrival of our niece, Arya Rebecca to Tim's sister Paige and her husband, B.J. We can't wait to go down over spring break and meet her in person!
I am in a bit of a slump. Not to say that I'm not busy. Oh, I'm busy all right. It just feels like I haven't been able to complete a single thing of late.
I still haven't finished packing up our mini-swap. Yes, it was supposed to go out by the 22nd of February. We received our lovely parcel from Kristy and her girls (with a brand new blog), all the way from Australia on Saturday. Oh, the excitement it brought! Photos to come. And then there are some baby gifts that need finished and mailed. And then those 300th post prizes.
But I did manage to mail out one parcel, to my good friend lla, a.k.a. cookie. She left my 2,000th comment. About 400 comments ago. And I just want to say that her comments always make my day. Sweet cracker sandwich, that woman knows how to craft a comment. :) So I finally posted her a prize - a squid t-shirt each for her and her son Schecky (oh, how I love this kid!). Why a squid shirt? Well, she left me a comment (more than once, sweet woman!) saying how much she liked the one I made for my nephew for Christmas. I had such fun making these and keeping them a secret. Wear them in good health!