Sunday, March 23, 2008

Our Easter Weekend

I'm sitting here in a nice sugar coma from all the candy I've stuffed myself with, but I thought I'd give a little recap of our Easter Weekend.

It started yesterday morning with our neighborhood association holding an Easter Egg Hunt & Coloring contest for all the kids. At least for the little ones, it was more of a "we'll toss a bunch of candy out on the grass, and they can pick it up" than an actual egg hunt, but it was still fun. They divided the different events up by age group so you didn't have the 6 yr olds slide-tackling the 2 yr olds, which was nice. We neglected to previously hold an at-home "Egg Hunting Boot Camp" complete with time trials with Kyra, as I thought this might be going a little overboard, but David mentioned to me that he'd been teaching her WWF moves, in his spare time, to get her ready. Thanks Honey!

When they said go, Kyra watched all the other kids, 3 yrs old and younger, duck under the tape, and looked over at me, as if to say, "Now what do I do?" So Super Mommy to the rescue. Flinging kids aside, left and right...No just kidding. We ran over to where there was an explosion of candy on the grass, and then started loading up her bucket. Then when all the candy had been found that hadn't been stomped into the ground, they called time, and announced the winners of the coloring contest. Our sweet girl took 3rd place in her age group!!! She received a purple ribbon (which, bonus! purple is her favorite color), and some Play-dough. Needless to say the whole event was a little overwhelming for her, but I think she enjoyed it. I've posted some pictures below of our morning.

Kyra's in the middle of the pack with the red coat

Just one piece Mom!

Then later on that afternoon we tackled the age-old tradition of dyeing Easter eggs. Kyra was a natural, and had a ball giving the eggs a colored bath :-)

We ended our day with several rousing games of CandyLand, which was a first for Kyra, as she'd never played a board game before. However, she did relatively well, and seemed to have a good time. Then it was time for brushing teeth, bath, reading a book with Daddy, and bed. Unfortunately, due to all of the day's hype and SUGAR, sleep was not quick in coming, and there were many, many crying fits, not all of them Kyra's, I might add.

Kyra was up bright and early this morning, as usual (she's her Daddy's girl!!) even though she got to sleep quite late, and there were yet more new things to experience--her Easter Basket that Mommy went overboard with, and a real Easter Egg hunt--this time inside, as it was pouring rain. She loved every minute of that, as evidenced below.

The saddest part about our weekend was that we didn't make it to church to celebrate the real reason for Easter--Christ's death on a cross & triumphant resurrection on the 3rd day. That's because in between, and probably because of all of our running around the past couple days, Kyra picked up a cold, with an extremely runny nose, so no church for us. But we did have my Mom & Dad, and our friend Lena over for Easter lunch/dinner, and ate yummy roasted lamb, potatoes, fruit salad, rolls & cupcakes for dessert.

All in all, it was a great weekend spent with family & friends & of course, you can't go wrong with chocolate & Jelly Belly jelly beans :-)

Happy Easter friends! He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Chocolate Lovers' Brownies

As a self-proclaimed Chocolate lover, I'm always on the lookout for all things chocolate. So when Kyra asked to make cookies the other day, I decided brownies would be a better choice--less work, and the pan was clean :-)

I need to preface something however. I'm very picky when it comes to brownies. Most homemade, from scratch, brownies I've met, or made in my life, are more cake-y than I prefer, and I had pretty much come to the conclusion that I just couldn't beat the ones made from the Hershey's mix. It seems the difference was the Hershey's syrup packet that came with it.

But then, Costco stopped selling that particular mix (GASP!), so I decided to try homemade brownies, completely from scratch, one more time. With a little trepidation, I went to a new cookbook I got recently called Oregon Sampler: Resorts & Recipes, and whipped up a batch of their "Favorite Brownies", with my own little twist--the all-important Hershey's syrup :-) Oh my gosh!!! I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. My husband, who can take or leave chocolate, thought they were just OK, but I could have easily eaten the whole pan in one sitting.

So, if you are looking for the ultimate in chocolate treats, look no further--those on a diet, steer clear!

Favorite Brownies
Makes 1 dozen


4 oz unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon Hershey's chocolate syrup
1 cup flour
1/2 cup walnuts (optional--I left these out as I'm allergic to them)
powdered sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt chocolate and butter in large saucepan over low heat. Add sugar and eggs, one at a time. Stir well. Add vanilla & Hershey's syrup. Add flour and nuts (if using), and stir until well combined. Pour into a greased 9-inch square baking pan. Bake for 25 minutes; center will not be completely set. Cool before cutting. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired.

Enjoy, and Happy Wednesday friends!

Monday, March 3, 2008

A great Rainy Day Project for Kids

Yes, it's another one of our famous Liquid Sunshine Days in the beautiful Pacific NW!! That means today we needed to find something fun to do Inside, and At Home, as I'm still getting over the latest batch of creeping crud that has lived in our house for the last month!

So, what to do? While thumbing through one of our favorite cookbooks called "Alpha Bakery Children's Cookbook", I found a recipe for making Finger Paint that looked fairly simple, and we had all the ingredients. Whoo hoo! A few minutes later, and lots of stirring, and we had 6 beautiful pots of finger paint :-)

Before we could begin painting, however, I realized even though this was washable, non-staining paint, I didn't really want it everywhere. So I put an old beach towel on the kitchen floor, threw an old T-shirt of David's on Kyra, and we went at it.

We had so much fun, and the best thing was, because we had made the paints ourselves, I knew if some happened to get in her mouth, it wasn't going to hurt her :-)

So if you're looking for something fun to do with your kids, and you don't mind a little mess, try calling up your inner artist--you never know what you might create!

Finger Paint
Makes a lot!


1/3 cup of cornstarch

3 tablespoons of sugar
2 cups of cold water
Food coloring

Muffin tin


  1. Mix cornstarch, sugar and water in 1-quart saucepan.
  2. Cook and stir over medium heat about 5 minutes or until thickened; remove from heat.
  3. Divide the mixture by pouring into muffin tin depressions--Be careful as mixture is really hot!
  4. Tint mixture in each depression with a different food color by adding a couple drops and stirring with a toothpick. Stir several times until it's the color you desire and the paint is cool.
  5. Time to paint!
  6. When finished, you can store the paints in airtight containers, although it works best if you use them the same day as you make it.
I've also included a short video of our painting fun. Be sure to turn the sound up on your computer so you can hear Kyra's comments too. I also apologize for the graininess (sp?) of the video--I took it with our little digital camera, and it isn't the best...

Happy Monday friends!