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Front Yard Fun

5 Nov

Our good friends from Swim Team gave us this play set.  I’m so happy about the hours the kids spent piling up leaves and then sliding into the pile.

April Fools

21 Apr

For the most nasty and creative April Fools prank ever, Pumpkin Pie and Tamale Pie made “orange juice” from water and the cheese powder from a box of Mac-n-cheese.  They totally tricked the Resident Captain into drinking a big glass when he got home from work.  

Additionally, they made fake cat feces with some wet cardboard and told me that the cat had made a mess in the laundry room.  They then transferred the mess to Blueberry Pie’s room and got him as well.  

You might ask, if you know us well, how on earth we came to have a cat?

George is a stray cat that adopted us. He is an OUTSIDE cat, but Baby Bean sneaks him into the house pretty often.

He puts up with a lot of silliness–I’m often surprised that he stays around.

Some days I wonder if I’m only fooling myself when I call him an outside pet.

Vintage Metal Dollhouse

13 Jan

Is there anything you can’t resist, even when you *know* you don’t have room for it in your house?

My Aunt Jodie gave this doll house to my girls. 

It was her dollhouse when she was a girl. She saved it for her girls, but neither of them wanted it. 

I admit, it’s kinda big, about 48 inches long and 18 inches high.  

But I LOVE doll houses.  So even though we already had 2, a Barbie dream house and a Melissa & Doug castle, I said I would be happy to have it.  

At first, I admit, I didn’t love this house.  It is made of tin and I stressed out about the younger kids bending or breaking it. But I decided to chill out.  It’s sturdier than it looks, and I think already past the point of use that would make it attractive to collectors.  

There are 2 things I just love about this doll house.  

First, it came with tons of furniture. All the furniture isn’t to the same scale, but a lot is. The older girls spent hours arranging  it. And they don’t care about scale.

Second, I love all the pretty painted details.  (Check out the landscaping!)

  This is the second story patio.


 This is the nursery. 

The horse is my favorite thing about the whole house. 

The bathroom provides all necessary appointments, including “his” and “hers” towels. It also has a mystery stain in front of the toilet.  Just like my house!

The master bedroom is luxurious.  Seriously, that carpet looks plush! 

 Downstairs is a cheery utility room.

The kitchen has red checked curtains!

Check out the cherry wallpaper in the living/dining room!  I have it on good authority that back in those days, if something was “cherry” that meant it was the best shiny new cool totally tricked-out thing.  Sort of like “fine” or “sweet” when I was a kid.  I do believe the current equivalent is “sick”.  Go figure.  

Last is the den.

It’s so cozy!  Also, I looked up metal dollhouses online, and while I found many similar houses, none of them had a den.  So that makes this house pretty unique!

Lots of fun for the girls (and me).  

After some more internet searching, I’ve found that this doll house was made by Marx and is the Marxie Mansion, first made in 1961 and the biggest of all the tin litho houses.  Most of the furniture is original!  Cool.

I think the family is a smaller scale than the furniture, probably 1/16 or 1/18.


Last Days of Preschool May 2014

30 Apr

All of 2013-2014 school year, I did a preschool in my home for Key lime Pie and about 10 other children of friends.  We had a great time.  I used a music curriculum from Kindermusik and free online lesson plans from BYU’s Education Program

Those lessons were so great.  The kids always loved them.  Each lesson kept the children so active that even though they ranged in age from 3-6 and in ability from no letter recognition to already reading, they all learned and stayed engaged.  

This particular day was so nice, we spent extra time outside playing.  Play time is important in preschool. 

counting with hopscotch 

Science in the sandbox

Well maybe we are just playing

Popsicles for snack

Sometimes Cinderella doesn’t get to go to the ball.

11 Jan


Because even though she is invited, it still costs fourty-hundred dollars to get in.

Because even though she has a dress, and a coach, the food to feed the horsepower is a hundred-hundred dollars.

Cinderella does not have all these hundreds dollars

It will be okay though, because Cinderella is nothing if not resourceful.

Cinderella and her six mice will have their own ball.  Cinderella will even invite the pretty step-sisters.

The food will be good, and the dancing will be great and the clothing will be spectacular.


Cupcake Wars

15 Jun

One of the girls’ favorite things to do is watch Cupcake Wars with their Grannie on Sunday evening.  The problem with watching a show about cupcakes on a Sunday evening is we all get really hungry for cupcakes.  They’ve been begging me for awhile to have our own cupcake wars.

So on Memorial Day we did.

I went easy on myself and bought 2 cake mixes rather than making the batter from scratch.  I listed the “pantry” choices on the fridge and the girls each planned their cupcake.  For the filling, I made a cream cheese & sugar base and let them stir in their flavor of choice.  For the frosting, I made vanilla buttercream and again, let them add the extra flavor of their choice.  They were thrilled.

Cupcake: butter or chocolate
Filling: cream cheese, chocolate (cocoa), peanut butter, strawberry jam
Frosting: vanilla, chocolate, caramel, lemon
Decorations: twizzlers, silver dragees, colored sugar sprinkles, gummy bears, star shaped marshmallows

Our theme (chosen by Grannie) was Girl Scout Camping.
Cherry Pie made a butter cupcake with chocolate filling and vanilla buttercream, topped with a twizzler camp fire.

Pumpkin Pie made a butter cupcake, no filling, with vanilla buttercream, topped with a smiling girl scout face made with twizzlers and silver dragees

Tamale Pie made a butter cupcake with peanut butter filling and vanilla buttercream, topped with twizzlers and marshmallow stars.

No one chose gummy bears, much to my amazement.

We made Uncle Eddie & his friend Kaitlyn be the judges.  Everybody won and everybody was happy.

I made 2 dozen chocolate cupcakes with chocolate filling and salted caramel buttercream frosting.  (Salted caramel seems to be the fad in desserts right now; it shows up a lot in cupcake wars.  I’ve been dying to try it.)

I got the delicious recipe I used here at  (That’s right, sisters, I didn’t just pin it on Pintrest it, I actually made it.)

Many people who commented on Chow complained about the ratio of butter to powdered sugar.  I personally prefer buttercream that has more butter than sugar, so I knew I would like this one!  I did end up adding a little more sugar, but it was because I heated up the house with all that baking, and the butter was too soft.

Go make some cupcakes.  You know you want to.

Gingerbread Houses

22 Dec

Okay, so technically they are Graham Cracker Houses.

For the first day of Christmas Vacation, the kiddie pies and I made Gingerbread Houses. They have been begging to make them since December 1st, but I put them off because

A: I knew we would have a new baby and be unable to visit friends. We would need fun things to do during those days before Christmas. (Hopefully all the new toys keep them busy after Christmas.)

B: The lazy part of me hoped Aunt Amanda would be here to make the Gingerbread houses with them.

Sadly, Aunt Amanda doesn’t get to visit. But reason A was enough.

Last year, the houses kept collapsing during construction, causing my kiddie pies much frustration. So this year, I braved the danger of serious burns and melted sugar to glue the pieces together first.

I escaped with only one small blister! Yay! My prefab houses did restrict the creativity factor, but I think that was worth it because we skipped the weeping and wailing caused by runaway roofs and wayward walls.

Here are the kiddie pies creating their art. Cutie Pie was happy just because there was candy all over the table. Tamale Pie and Pumpkin Pie were jazzed about having multiple colors of frosting.

**Speaking of frosting, I found a Royal Icing recipe that called for lemon juice. Best tasting royal icing ever. (Which isn’t saying much. I’ve always hated royal icing. But this was tolerable.)
1 egg white, beaten until stiff.
3 1/2 cups (1 pound) powdered sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 tsp cream of tartar.

Cherry Pie spent so much time creating a garden around her house that she forgot to decorate the house itself. I like how she thinks. Check out her rose bushes and the sand box:

Blueberry’s decorating rule of thumb seems to be cover all surfaces.

More houses:

Seconds after I took these pictures, all the houses met with violent ends. Who knew butter knives could be so deadly?

New Dress, Random stuff

6 Oct

I love love love to watch Project Runway. Since we don’t get cable TV (or any TV) I either show up at a friend’s house to watch it, or my sisters get a hold of a whole season at once and we marathon it. Now my daughters occasionally design fashion outfits and have runway shows. Tamale Pie designed this new dress for me. I thought it was a giraffe at first, but she explained that the “spots” were actually apples and that it was a dress. Then it was all so clear-including the spacious allowance for my growing baby bump. One thing I can say about my girl, she knows how to design for real women. Something those kids on Project Runway don’t always know how to do.

Also, I bet you have all been wondering what we do at our house on a rainy Saturday Morning besides design high fashion. Here’s the scoop.

Bubba likes to make armor and weapons. Cutie Pie likes chase him, screaming, “kill, Kill!” in true warrior princess form.

The rest of the Pies like to make things with play dough. My super cute nephew, CandyBar, was visiting us while his mother was in the hospital bringing forth a new little brother for him. When he wasn’t on the table, CandyBar was playing with the toy horses we have in the animal box. Those horses kept him busy all day.

Monday was a no school day (teacher meetings or something) The girls have wanted to have a “Tangled” day–a day where they get to do all the things that Rapunzel does during her song. So Monday we invited a few friends over and had our Tangled day. We made pottery with bake-able clay, painted, read books, baked apple pies, had lunch, ballet, and painted faces with makeup.

Surprisingly, the girls all voted to skip mopping, sweeping, polishing, clean-up and laundry. I got to do all those ones, myself. And they wondered why we ran out of time and didn’t get to do chess, ventriloquy, candle making, more painting, and sew a dress…

Now they all are begging to have home school. I think they think home school would be like Tangled Day. I’m afraid it would be too….

And if you are looking for cute Halloween ideas or cute things to make for boys, check out my new favorite blog to read: The Train To Crazy Don’t you just want to go get a crochet hook right this second?!!

Happy Father’s Day

7 Jul

Okay, I know it has been nearly a month since Father’s Day. But I want to share what we did, cause it was AWESOME!!

Copying this idea from, which I first saw on homemade by jill, we made SUPER SNACKS for our very own SUPER HERO.

My Printer is broken–as in, it makes a terrifying shreek when I turn it on and then comes up with ERROR 5#@$^)%3582#$)(@#&$91802q1 and refuses to print.

Actually, my printer has been awesome for 4 years. I just miss it alot now that it doesn’t work.

Anyway, because of the printer malfunction, we couldn’t use the already made printables (origionally made by Jordan of O Happy Day), so we had to make our own. I think we did a pretty amazing job.

The best part was the Happy Father’s Day cards that Bubba and Magpie made up all by themselves. My kids are awesome.

Hopefully, these snacks have kept our SuperHero happy and full of energy while he is off fighting villains and stuff so we can have food to eat and a roof over our heads. He isn’t perfect, but he does his best for us every day and that is all a woman can reasonably ask for, after all.


13 Apr

Sometimes If I just click on tabs on the side of blogs, I end up somewhere cool.

This lady did a blog last year-12 crafts til Christmas and shared what she did.

and she made a PDF file of how to make a Pillow Buddy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I love her forever.

and my children will love her forever once I’ve purchased fabric and created these for all of them.

They’ll love me forever also.

Now, do I make them for Easter, Birthdays or Christmas??? (listed in order of nearness in time. Probably Christmas is the only realistic choice–but not the fun choice.)