Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Snapshot Storytelling - Volume 2: Watercolor Shapes

Monet, Picasso, Seurat, Van Gough
Did they paint as children? I'd like to know.
Did they happily dive into art supplies?
Did they have that sparkle in their eyes?


Monday, June 22, 2015

Ditching the Suburbs for An Inspired Adventure

     Yup! This is for real! 
     My husband and I have decided to sell everything we own to buy a trailer and travel around the United States for a few years. 
     It's been an extraordinary aspiration. The idea didn't sound real at first, but something kept telling us it could be a reality.  When the concept first came up, we joked about it. But each time it came up, it seemed more feasible. Each time we discussed it, the idea seemed to benefit our family.  Somewhere along the line, it felt like a spiritual prompting. Now, it is the first thing I think about when I wake up and the last thing I think about before I go to sleep.
     After some research, brainstorming, and heartfelt prayer, we have decided to go for it.  We are currently planning and preparing for our big launch!  

     We've looked around at several types of RVs and trailers, but when we stepped inside an Airstream, it was love at first sight! In this photo we are trailer browsing with the family (No, we do not own this Airstream...yet).  But look at how big the trailer looks next to my tiny pigtailed Dylan!
  We had fun just hanging out with the guys at the dealership and talking Airstream.  Haha.

     In the midst of some research, I came across this adorable My Travels Map by Children Inspire Design.  It comes with star stickers to place on the map.  The banner says "Where Our Adventures Take Us."  How fitting! ;) This shop believes in encouraging global responsibility and instilling a love for the earth in young children.  I love the philosophy and the products!  I just purchased this map and I'm so excited to put it up in our trailer to accompany our journey!  The girls enjoy pointing out places they would like to visit.

     While perusing the website, I also picked up three of these adorable Explorer Journals (one for each of my babies).  My Marley is a natural born explorer, so she couldn't wait to go outside and start scribbling in her journal about all the things she observed.

     Marley can't wait to see the world, meet people, and travel.  She is more excited than any of us about the big trailer adventure.  She talks about it literally every day.  When I handed the Explorer Journal to her, the first thing she said was, "This can be for the Airstream momma!"    
     Now I'm getting pumped! I look forward to seeing the country and to experience a new lifestyle. I'm also thrilled to work side by side with my family to make this incredible adventure happen for us. Wish us luck!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Snapshot Storytelling - Volume 1: Banana Cake

Once upon a time, not long ago,
Two playful sisters, sought to learn and grow.
Heads filled with intrigue, radiating with glee.
It's the little things they treasure, just wait and see...


Preheat oven 350 degrees.
Melt 1 cup butter in a saucepan.  Add 1 cup hot water.  Mash 2 very ripe bananas and add to butter and hot water.

Mixing with a whisk, add:
2 Cups sugar
2 Cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ cup sour cream
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking soda

Butter the bottom of a pan and dust with flour.  
Add cake mixture and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean
Remove from oven and let it cool, top with frosting when cool.

Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting
16oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 ½ cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup heavy cream, cold.

Beat the cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth and fluffy. In a separate bowl, beat the heavy cream to nearly stiff peaks, then fold the whipped cream into the cheese mixture and stir until combined. Do not over stir. Frost cake when cooled!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Getting Crafty at Snack Time

     Here is a perfect example of planting the seed of creativity and letting it grow. ---

     As per our usual daily routine, the baby went down for nap and the girls sat down for a snack.  Cheese crackers were the snack of choice.  As they crunched on their crackers, Marley started a series of curiosity questions.

"Why are the crackers square?"
"Why are they orange?"
"How do they make them?"
♫"How do they maaaake these crackerrrrs?"♫ (And Marley sang this question to the tune of "That's How You Know" of the movie Enchanted will know why this is hilarious) ;)

     I LOVE when my kids ask questions! It's a wonderful sign of enthusiasm to learn.  I try to answer them to the best of my ability, but we often have to research online to find the answers.  Researching makes up a big part of our homeschooling.

     Then she asked "Why is there a hole in the middle of these crackers?" All of the sudden she lit up and said, "Mommy, I have a great idea!" Lets get some string and make cracker necklaces.  Um, brilliant!  How could I argue with this eureka moment she was having? Haha. Done!
     I brought out the fishline and scissors and the girls had a lot of fun making cheese cracker jewelry together.  

     Then, as always, after the activity was over Marley sat down at the table and wrote about it in her Learning Journal.
     I am so grateful to witness these moments and to see my children's thoughts flourish.  I hope they always feel empowered to express their ideas and feel supported in their creativity.

     FYI, this is the best video we found to watch about how cheese crackers are made:
     - How It's Made: Sandwich Crackers

     And here is an interesting video about crackers that has a more scientific research approach:
     - Crackers by Foodsky: The Science of Food and Drink