Thursday, March 26, 2015

Recipes and catching up

This is going to be a fairly long post to catch up, so grab some tea or coffee and snuggle up with a blanket on the couch or your favorite chair. Some quick, easy delicious recipes are mixed throughout the post. :-)

First of all we finally got to watch the mounds of snow slowly melt away over several days..... And with it our 7 foot snowman we've had in the yard since February! Was a little sad to see him go. The girls had named him Charlie Juan. :-)

This soon was all that was left of him as we had a few warm days, which we welcomed!!!

Couldn't resist adding this adorable picture of Kathleen and Jerry as she loves giving big hugs before he goes to work each day.

Hayley dressed up for her induction at school into the national Beta club, for academic honors! So very proud of her and all her hard work! Especially with her concussion and all the challenges she's had to face.

Kathleen had her first father and daughter dance at her school and she was so very excited! Lots of preparations and she looked beautiful! I remember it wasn't that long ago Hayley was going with Jerry as well.... they grow up too quickly!

Of course we have to have the special, sparkly shoes! ;-)

A beautiful little girl!



And off they go!

The dance was a jungle theme and everything was put together really well. They had a wonderful time!

A local lady handmade all the cupcakes with the candies on top! She did an amazing job and they were delicious!

While they were at the dance, Hayley and I hung out together going to Starbucks and buying an older movie to watch, one of my favorites!

In other news.... Kathleen enjoyed reading to service dogs at one of the libraries near us on a Saturday and wants to go back each month.

Our local theatre did a special where they brought in cosmetologists to do the girl's hair, makeup and nails. Jerry and I took Kathleen and she had a blast! Then we watched the premiere of Cinderella, a great movie!

The even gave them a crown and a wand to be a princess for the day!

Popcorn and a drink was all included, plus her movie ticket for only $15.00!

After the movie was over she won a stuffed animal from the claw machine. Her favorite thing to do, lol.

After the movie we went to a nice dinner and picked Hayley up from the house, she can't watch movies in a theatre yet with her concussion issues. :-( We went to a local restaurant in town by the water and it recently thawed and it was so pretty seeing the water rushing!

Jerry surprised me and bought me a beautiful yellow rose, my favorite! I kept it in my window sill to see each day. After 25 years together he still shows me how much he cares. :-)

Of course we can't forget St. Patrick's day! Kathleen designed an awesome trap to try to get our Leprechaun this year.....

It was a pretty elaborate set up....

But unfortunately he still outsmarted the trap.... on a good not he left Kathleen some tricks, gold chocolate coins and some $!

He sure does like to rearrange and leave a mess when he comes!

Something even more special... she left play dough out to see if there was any evidence of him and he did leave his foot prints behind!!! So exciting!!! ;-)

We also read books about St. Patrick's day each year. This is a fun one to enjoy!

I always like sharing new recipes I've tried and this next one is fast, easy and delicious! It's a banana and chocolate frozen treat :-) Jerry finished these off rather quickly!

So simple, all you need is Vanilla Wafers, a banana and chocolate pudding (premade pudding works best, a thicker consistency). Spread chocolate on the flat side of 2 wafers. Slice bananas and put it in between creating a small sandwich. Freeze at least 2-3 hours then enjoy!

Another delicious recipe that's healthy and great for breakfast or a snack is these mini banana, chocolate chip muffins. So yummy and actually quite filling! They freeze really well too.

1 cup light vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 cup quick oats
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 large beaten egg
1 large banana mashed
1 1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees, coat mini muffin pan with cooking spray. In large mixing bowl combine yogurt, milk, oats, vanilla, and egg. Set aside for 5 minutes for oats to soften, then stir in banana. In separate bowl, stir flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir flour mixture into yogurt mixture to moisten ingredients. DO NOT BEAT, dough will be thick. Reserve 1 tablespoon chocolate chips; then stir in remaining chips. Spoon batter into tin, sprinkle with reserved chocolate chips. Bake until golden brown about 15-18 minutes.  ENJOY!

Another great recipe, good for a snack or even entertaining is Crispy Tomato and feta phyllo tartlets!

30 mini phyllo shells
5 medium plum tomatoes
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 tablespoon fresh dill chopped
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place baking shells on baking sheet and bake until crisp...about 5-7 minutes. Cool to room temperatures.

Halve the tomatoes length wise, scoop out seeds and pulp; dice tomatoes and place in a medium bowl. Add other ingredients, toss to mix and coat. Fill shells with 1 tablespoon of mix, Can garnish with more dill on top and enjoy!

Since moving to the country we get to see all types of wild life. I caught this red eyed hawk on the girl's swing set the other day. He sat there for the longest time!

We have also been busy getting our seeds ready to plant in our garden this year. As a family we all work together to get it done and we can't wait to enjoy fresh foods from our own yard!

Our dining room table seems to be the go to place for all our projects so I keep a protective cover on it that's easy to clean and padded to stay resistant from heat, scratches on the table, etc.

This was something else Kathleen was super excited to be a part of. Hayley being a teen has mixed feelings we think, lol. We explain to them how important it is to learn the skills to rely on yourself in this world. Too many uncertainties...
Not to mention the money you save and especially the health benefits.

We planted vegetables as well as sunflowers and other assortment of flowers. Can't wait to have another flower garden to cut fresh flowers for the tables.

We bought an indoor mini greenhouse at Lowes to set up the seeds.

As of now the seeds have really taken off, I will be posting more updates soon.

Jerry had an awards meeting for his work and Kathleen made him his very own trophy. She is always so thoughtful and giving.

I think that's quite a long post for now :-) Will be catching up more soon. Have a wonderful weekend!



NanaDiana said...

Wow-That is a whole lotta life going on here! YOur daughters are both adorable. Your youngest is just SOOOO smiley. Love the pictures of her and Dad off to the father/daughter dance. AND...the Princess "adventure". Congrats to your oldest daughter,too, on her induction.

Thanks for finding me. I followed your link back. I am your newest follower and will put you on my sidebar right away. xo Diana

Camille said...

You have been up to A LOT of life and living my friend!!! What a blessing to see your smiling faces and read about all your happenings. Welcome Spring!! Hugs, Camille

Billie Jo said...

Well, I am indeed on the couch with a throw and some tea...and have loved getting caught up with you!!!!
Love all the wonderful family life I'm your home. : )
Our snowman looks exactly like that!!!!
Have a nice evening with your beautiful girls and hubby! : )

McVal said...

Wow! Your whole family has been busy! Thanks for the recipe. As soon as things die down a little around here, I'm going to try one of them! Have a great weekend!

Julie said...

I love everything here. I love that Jerry does so much with the girls and lets you take pictures. I wish.... well it didn't happen in my life but so happy it is in yours.
You are such a wonderful mama.
I will be planting my seeds this weekend. I don't get to plant our garden until after Memorial weekend so we wait a bit longer.
Take care Jill. Thank you for stopping by and your sweet comments.

Sonya Ann said...

Your family sure keeps you busy. The girls have gotten so big since I started reading your blog. I have enjoyed seeing them grow and become quite impressive young ladies.

~ Noelle said...

I love how sweet and close your family is. It makes my heart so happy! Love all the photos and can't wait to see the growth on all those seeds!

CelestinaMarie@SouthernDayDreams said...

Dear Jill, so nice to catch up with you and all the activities going on with your darling family. The girls are growing up so fast and learning so much.
Congrats to both on all their accomplishments. The are both beautiful and I know you and your dear hubby are so proud.
Loved your photos and thank you for sharing your recipes too.

Wishing you a wonderful Easter Week and Blessings to you always.
Hugs, CM