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Friday, August 31, 2012

Car Wash!

It has been HOT HOT HOT this summer in Iowa!
One of our favorite things to do in the mornings (before it got too hot) we went outside on the (shaded) driveway  and had ourselves a little carwash.

First we got them good and dirty with some shaving cream.

He was totally digging the "Whov-el Dac-tor" in the shaving cream!
(that's a "shovel tractor" according to Preston.)

Then we had a great time washing them off too...but I seem to have missed a picture of that!

Good thing we got out early 9:30 we were hot in the SHADE and went back in to do some cooking!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Zucchini Jam

Out of control zucchini makes me google things to make with it!
I came across Zucchini jam on and thought it might be worth a try.
And it uses FIVE cups of shredded zucchini!!!!!

Mine doesn't LOOK like strawberry jam because I already had a bunch of shredded zucchini in the fridge (just waiting for me to do something with it) and it was not peeled first.
So the green skin is still on it.
Doesn't really bother me.
It's pretty good considering it's made with zucchini!!!
I think it would make a yummy panacke topping.
Zucchini Jam
5 cups shredded zucchini
5 cups sugar
3 T lemon juice
2 packages (3 oz) strawberry jell-O


  1. Stir the zucchini and sugar together in a large pot over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture begins to boil, about 10 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and gelatin, and continue simmering 5 minutes more, stirring constantly.
  2. Ladle the hot jam into 6 hot, sterilized half-pint canning jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe the rim and jar threads with a clean, damp cloth. Center lid on jar and screw the ring down firmly. Place into a boiling water canner covered by 2 inches of boiling water. Process for 10 minutes. Remove from the canner, and allow to cool to room temperature, and refrigerate any jars that do not seal.                

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Nutella banana bread

This recipe combines two of my favorite things.....banana bread and nutella!!!!
I whipped it up and pulled it out of the oven just before Preston and I walked out to get Peighton off the bus!
She is always starving when she gets home from school so I knew this would be the perfect after school snack.
And I was pretty sure Preston and I would enjoy it too!
I found the recipe at Chef In Training .
Nutella banana bread
2 cups flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup butter softened (I used 1/4 cup greek yogurt)
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 cup milk
3/4 heaping cup Nutella
On her site there are detailed directions of exactly how to mix it up.
I'm a "dump, mix and bake" kind of a gal and that's exactly how I did it!
I dumped everything together, poured it into my greased pan and baked at 350 degrees for about an hour.

It did not dissapoint!
And it put a big smile on Peighton's face when she got home!

This may be our new favorite recipe to make when the bananas get too ripe to eat!!!!!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Day one of the babies

Last week Preston lost his buddy, Peighton.
This week he gained two new buddies:
Hayden and Lane.
("Hay-Zane" according to Preston)
I won't say he LOVED the first morning....
The first meltdown happened when we had to walk Peighton to the bus.
I pulled the double jogging stroller over to load the babies up.
Preston sat in one of the seats and would NOT get out.
Eventually he did decide he would like to walk and gave his seat to Lane.
Then he didn't want to walk back to the house so I had to carry him and push the babies.
I should have let him back in the stroller and carried little Lane!
When we got inside it was time to feed Hayden and Lane their oatmeal.
I have two booster seats that Preston USED to use and hasn't sat in for at least 3 months.
Well, today, he didn't want ANYONE else to sit in them.
So, the second meltdown took place when I put Hayden in the highchair that clips onto the counter.
He had real tears for this one.
Cried the ENTIRE time I fed them.
Good times.
They had a little more playtime and we put them down for a nap.
I decided to make something new for Preston and maybe he wouldn't be quite so sad!
I mixed vegetable oil, water and a little paint in a clean mayo jar.
I also super glued the lid shut!

He thought it was pretty cool.
I told him it was only for big boys.
He keeps turning it different ways to watch it seperate.
I think we need another one with glitter!

Love it when something cheap and easy and quick makes my boy happy!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Upcyled "Corn Fed" T-shirt!

I love it when I make somthing cute for Preston!

It doesn't happen nearly as often as the cute stuff for Peighton.

I found an XL Mens shirt that said "Corn Fed."
Perfect for my little farming man.

I am choosing to ignore the fact that this shirt is in black and gold and a bit hawkeye-ish.
We're just going with it.

I did pull out my pattern for the Made by Rae skinny T, but then just grabbed a shirt he had that I knew fit him and used that instead.
It was much faster.

It really only took me about 10 minutes to make.
I used the neckline from the original shirt and the sleeves as well.
The only part I had to hem was the bottom!

He cracks me up.
I asked him to sit and show me his shirt....instead he tried to see himself in the lens of the camera...

He calls it his "Zorn" shirt!

Love it when I make something he likes!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Her first day of Kindergarten...

I cannot believe the day finally came.
Peighton has been religiously counting down ever since we went to the "meet the teacher" afternoon.


Today was the day.
She is officially a kindergartener.

And oh my was she EXCITED.

This was her first day of a little Kids Day Out program and the first time she went to "school."

And here is her first day of kindergarten:

She was just bursting with excitement.

She put her bag away and sat down and got to work like she owned the place.

Pretty sure she's going to like school.

I probably should have taken a few pictures of Preston from today.
He sat in the backseat of the car and whined for "Issy" for about 20 minutes after we left the school.
Then about every 10 minutes after that he must have remembered she wasn't with us...because he would ask for her.
So sad.
Maybe tomorrow will be better for the little guy.
Or maybe we'll just buy a new tractor.


Monday, August 20, 2012

Another great weekend at the fair!

Oh how we love the fair!

At the top of Peighton's list is "Little Hands on the Farm."
You get a Pioneer hat each time you go through...we came home with FIVE.

Preston likes it because you get to drive a tractor and go feed the cows.

Milking "Bessie" the cow was fun too!

These were all over the fair this year and Peighton thought it was hilarious.
She insisted that I took her picture at each one.

Preston loved watching the baby chicks.
I think he could have sat there all day.

Little Hands on the Farm...again.
( And I forgot the change the ISO setting back on my camera and this picture is WAY too bright!
But it's one of the few of the two of them together...)

Just hanging out in the cattle barn.

These two couldn't get any cuter.

We found the Iowa State ice cream cone but I could NOT get a picture of the two of them together!

Although Preston did like to hug it.

Preston being a pig farmer!

We saw so many fun things and had lots of great agricultural experiences.

We can't wait for next year!
Peighton is already planning the things she wants to do again or try next year!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Too many zucchini to count...

The kids and I planted a garden this spring.

Just a few things...cucumbers, peas, tomatoes, peppers, and of course zucchini.

Everything has done pretty well....except for the has done EXCEPTIONALLY well.

We have made more zucchini recipes than I can remember.
Most have been pretty good and the kids have eaten it.

I have shredded and frozen somewhere around 20 cups of zucchini for future recipes.
I've even given some away and yet there are still....more...zucchini.

So, the kids and I decided to use a few for some art!

I cut them up and used them for stamps.

I used my  mini cookie cutters to make a few shapes and we also used the flat part of the zucchini too.

Preston LOVES to paint.

He was very intrigued by the shape on the zucchini.

And this is Preston becoming a smurf...

We had a messy, fun afternoon!

Peighton asked if we were still going to eat it when we were worries, kid, we have plenty!

Now, we have to go check the garden....I bet there's a few more waiting for me...

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Pizza Dough Mix for the Pantry

Another GREAT mix to keep on hand for quick meals is a Pizza Dough Mix!
We love to make homemade pizza.
Peighton and Preston do the toppings which is always fun!

I tried THIS RECIPE and it was really good!
I will be keeping the dry mix in my pantry from now on.

I cut the recipe in half because if it was bad I didn't want to waste 12 cups of flour and all the other ingredients!
But now that I know it's good I will make the whole recipe next time.

Pizza Dough Mix
12 cups flour
1 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
3T salt
3T baking powder

Mix all ingredients together in large bowl and store in airtight container.

To make Dough you'll need:
1 cup hot water
 1 1/2 t fast rising yeast
 3 cups dough mix
2 T olive oil

Add yeast to hot water in a bowl and set aside for a few (five-ish) minutes. Then, combine with dry pizza mix and oil kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic. Place in a greased bowl and cover with plastic. Let it sit for a 30-60 minutes. (We usually go for the 30 minute time line and it comes out fine.)  Punch the dough down and then roll out to the size and shape you need.

I like to bake the crust alone for about 10 minutes then take it out and put toppings on.
Then I bake it for about 15 minutes more with toppings.
I"ve found that if I don't bake the crust by itself for part of the time the middle doesn't always get done.

This recipe is a great timesaver and is yummy too!
I think next time I make it I might replace some of the flour with whole wheat flour and see how we like that!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Iowa State Fair - Round One...

We had a fun filled long weekend in Des Moines!

Adventureland, Blank Park Zoo and The STATE FAIR all in one weekend!!!!

I love seeing it through Peighton and Preston's eyes.

Peighton is old enough that she is starting to have things she "Must do" at the fair.
The Giant Slide is always at the top of her list.

We always find the little dairy calf to pet.

Giant ice cream cones are scattered throughout the fair this year.
Preston was trying to take a bite here.
Peighton jumped out of the stroller for  a picture with this one because it was COVERED in rhinestones.

Dustin, Peighton and Preston took a ride on the giant slide.
Preston didn't know what was coming...

Be sure to take note of Preston's face and hand position in this picture...
I'm not sure if Peighton will get him up there again!
Peighton on the other hand...she now carries her own mat up the stairs and just meets us at the bottom!

Preston LOVED eating a funnel cake last year.
So, we had a little snack Friday afternoon.
He wouldn't take his eyes off the funnel cake long enough for a picture...probably thought Peighton would steal it!

We went back Saturday and caught one of our favorite shows, the "Thank a Farmer Magic show."
Peighton loves it.
And it's educational too!
Did you know every time you eat a turkey sandwich at Subway you are supporting Iowa's poultry producers?
We learned that at the Thank a farmer show!

I'm pretty sure their favorite part of the whole weekend was hanging out in the pig barn with our friends, the Heillers.

Preston liked being in the pig pens.

Peighton said she would show a pig...."IF she could have this... in pink."

And she was even working on herdsmanship keeping the aisles clean!

We can't wait to go back next weekend!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Glazed Doughnut "Muffies"

Preston LOVES "Muffies" (aka muffins).
He also loves "no-nuts" (aka doughnuts).

When I saw the recipe for doughnuts muffins I knew I had to make them!

We tried out this recipe for Glazed Doughnut Muffies and it tasted as good as it sounds!

I usually let the kids help make them.
Preston loves to mix.

And this is what happens when it's no longer his turn to mix...


(AKA No-nut Muffies according to Preston)

    1/4 cup butter
    1/4 cup vegetable oil (I replaced the butter and oil with 1/2 cup applesauce)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
Mix everything together and bake at 350 for about 15-17 minutes.
Ours had to bake about 17-18 minutes.
For the Glaze:

3 tablespoons butter; melted
1 cup confectioners’ sugar; sifted
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons hot water-(I added 1 T and thought it was runny enough.)

Dip the cooled muffins into the glaze.

They were both licking their fingers while we ate them!

My Muffie-loving boy!

We tried to let them cool enough so the glaze would stay on but we just couldn't wait.
If they had cooled a bit longer ours may have looked like the original picture!

Monday, August 6, 2012

A tote for me!

I decided I "needed" a new tote bag for some upcoming weekend trips.

I pulled out one of my favorite books:
Amy Butler's Style Stitches: 12 Easy Ways to 26 Wonderful Bags

And found the "Reversible Shopper" pattern.

I started out using it but then made quite a few changes and ended up with a bag that only slightly resembles the pattern!

I love how mine turned out and it's quite big.
Very useful for outings with my two kiddos!

I ended up chopping about 4 inches off the length of the original pattern-it seemed so tall!
I am fairly short so the bag looked way too tall for me.

There was also a large pocket on the outside but it hid my super cute fabric so I put the pockets on the inside.

I love it and can't wait to use it!