Positive Behavior Jars

Mia and Owen have been busy learning what positive behavior is.  We've been using a reward program for a few years now.  We started out with sticker charts, and both Mia and Owen filled a few charts.  Mia's usually filled up at least twice as fast and got twice as many rewards.  We switched to "bead jars" recently and the kids love filling their jars.  I saved some peanut butter and jelly jars and washed them up to use. Owen could live on peanut butter and jelly so he is quite proud of his peanut butter jar :)

These are the type of beads we use....
Our beads were actually something I picked up at Wal-Mart on clearance.  It was $5 well spent.  Mia and Owen sort them, count them, thread them on strings and tonight while I was making supper they were threading them on spaghetti noodles. 

Positive behavior in our house can be: doing a job without me asking, doing a job I ask with no complaining, being nice to their sibling, answering questions, helping mom with Dylan, asking how they can help, being polite, using good table manners and so on.  If one is not nice to the other, one of their beads goes into the other's jar....and they dread that!!

I will put these labels on my Design blog and you are free to download them to tape/paste/glue them onto some jars of your own.  Your kids will love it and you'll be surprised at how fast the catch on and want to help out willingly.

Here is a picture of my cuties ... (I can't ever get them to look in the same direction at the same time).



Astronaut Owen's Birthday Wrap-up

Owen received an astronaut suit for Christmas last year, and has worn it almost every day since!!  I've even caught him in the sandbox with the astronaut suit on. I asked him what he wanted for his birthday a few months prior.  It was a BIG decision... he had a hard time getting off farming themes.  Mia suggested a "monster truck pulling a wagon birthday" I was quick to discourage that one. The Party 101 store doesn't have many options for that! Finally he came to the decision to have a space birthday. It was a fun and easy theme.  My dad even built a super-sweet rocket for him to blast off in.  Here are some highlights of the party:

Astronaut Owen and Mission Specialist Darren

Getting ready for Launch

Rocket Cake

The Super-sweet Rocket from Grampie

Rocket Power!!  

Moon Cookies.  (Oreo's dipped in blue tinted Almond Bark)

These cookies are so easy a recipe isn't really needed!  I took Almond bark and added food coloring until it looked "moonish"  then stuck a popsicle stick in the oreo and dipped it in the Almond bark.  I used the end of one of the sticks to add "craters" to the cookies.  I let them harden and stuck them in the freezer until the birthday!


Butterfinger Bites

What does left over candy corn, peanut butter, and chocolate make?  Butterfinger Bites.  

I had this recipe pinned on my board on Pinterest, and decided to try it out.  
Melted candy corn??? Really?  

Here's what you do.

Melt 1 lb of Candy Corn
Add 2 cups of Peanut Butter 

While these were warm I rolled them into balls.  I thought I'd let them chill in the refrigerator and stick popsicle sticks into them to make Butterfinger pops.  After about an hour I pulled them out and found they were too hard.  When I tried putting the stick in they cracked in half.  So I melted 4 squares of chocolate almond bark and 3/4 cup of semi sweet chips and dipped them to coat them.

These are delicious and taste almost identical to Butterfinger candy bars!

I think next time I will stick the popsicle sticks in while they are warm for a fun treat.


Dylan's Room {Part 3}

I really know how to drag out a room re-do/reveal!!  Yesterday the guys finished combining for the year *hallelujah song plays here* so maybe sanity can return to our lives.  Oh wait... was it ever here?
Here is the ceiling fan that used to occupy "Joe's old room" aka "the mouse room"...

She's a beauty!!  I don't think I ever remember this thing with a globe... this is how it hung in the bedroom for the first 8 years of my married life.  

Then the day came that my sister and I decided to paint it!  What do we have to lose?  If it doesn't work we'll just get a more attractive light fixture for the room.  We raided the basement for some spray paint and set to work.  We took it apart labeling which screw came from which part of the fan and stuck them into a styrofoam plate to easily spray paint the tops.  After searching high and low around the house I couldn't find anything that would work for a globe.  I found this one at Menards for $7.  Not too bad for $7 and a can of spray paint....!



Pumpkin Caramel Rice Krispies

Yesterday my to do list included a fun activity with Mia and Owen and make treats for the guys in the field.  We tackled both projects at once.  Owen could only spare a few minutes... he was un-loading his tractor on the go and had to get back to business.  He's got a few more fields to combine this fall before he can relax.  Here's a picture of my farm boy before we get to the recipe....

On to the recipe...

You will need:
6 cups Rice Krispies
1 bag Pumpkin Spice Marshmallows
3-4 T Butter
7 oz. {half a can} of Sweetened Condensed Milk
Half a bag of Kraft Caramels {the wrapped kind}
2T Butter
1 cup miniature marshmallows
Spray Butter Flavored Pam

Spray 2 round cake pans with cooking spray and set aside.

Begin by giving your kids the caramels to unwrap....  Place the caramels, sweetened condensed milk and  2 T of butter in a microwaveable dish.  Microwave in 45 second increments, stirring to melt the caramels.

Place the 3-4 T of butter in a pan on the stove top.  Melt and continue to cook until just starting to brown be careful not to burn!  This gives these bars a richer taste.  Add the Marshmallows and stir until melted.  When the marshmallows are melted add the 6 cups of rice krispies.  Divide the krispie mixture into the 2 cake pans and pat smooth.

Using one pan of pumpkin rice krispies sprinkle 1 cup of marshmallows and pour the caramel mixture over top.  Smooth it around and take the other pan of rice krispies and place on top.  Pat it down to smoosh all the goodness together.  Refrigerate until cut-able.  We placed a candy corn pumpkin on the top when we sent it out to the guys in the field.

The recipe looks long but it's basically rice krispies with a few add-ins!  It's a kid friendly fall dessert your kids will love to help make!


Mia's Flip Flop Birthday

A year ago Mia decided she wanted a "flip flop" birthday this year.  She didn't change her mind either!  Mia would wear flip flops 365 days a year if she could! 

We broke out the birthday wreath for the week and got to work!  Friday night, Mia had a "girls" birthday with some of her best friends.  She made 7 pairs of flip flops {picture 1} for her friends to wear.  We went over to Prairie duChien, WI to do a little swimming {picture 2} and then ate supper at the Corner Shoppe in Garnavillo.  It was a fun and delicious evening! 

We dipped Nutter Butter cookies {picture 5} in pink tinted almond bark and added the strap with gel frosting.  Mia's birthday cake was 2 round cakes frosted with beach blue butter cream frosting and topped with "sand" finely chopped graham crackers!  We placed a few of the Nutter Butter flip flops on the top.  Mia wore a pink headband that had flip flop stickers on it for her party! {picture 4}.

Here is the invite....

If you would like to make Nutter Butter flip flops all you need is Nutter Butters, White almond bark and food coloring.  I dipped a few in white at first and then added some pink dye since I wasn't sure if tinting Almond bark would even work!  I did a few light pink and then added more dye to make the darker pink flip flops.  I stuck these in the freezer when they were set and the day of the party pulled them out and added the straps with gel frosting.  You could do the straps while the cookies were still wet and use licorice or sprinkles.  The possibilities are endless!!  I think for Christmas we are going to make Nutter Butter snowmen!

We have a GIVEAWAY going on now!  Check it out here


Birthday Mission

Yesterday my buddy turned 4 years old!!  I remember the day he was born... how can he be 4 already!!?? He hit the ground running at 9 1/2 pounds.  Today he's about 50 and mistaken for a first-grader most of the time!  He brings much joy into our lives.  He's always there to make sure I'm driving the speed "lemon"..... He's always checking up on daddy to make sure the pigs are doing OK and that no corn is being picked without him knowing....  Owen is a spunky, mischievous, energetic, sweet little boy.  I love you little buddy!  

Visit my Design Blog 

I have a GIVEAWAY going on HERE


Mia Joy


1. A feeling of great pleasure and happiness.
2. A thing that causes joy.

Never has there been a little girl more appropriately named...... :)  My little Mia Joy is just that..... a joy.  After losing her big brother, and being told while I was pregnant that she "may have downs syndrome" a healthy baby girl was a blessing and gift from God.  Yesterday {9.1.2011} she started preschool.  She is so excited and happy to be going to school.  Her brothers and I miss her those few hours she's there.  We're so thankful to have her in our lives.  Love you "joy joy"


Air Show

This past weekend we travelled to Waterloo, Iowa to see the Thunder in the Valley Airshow.  We had never been to an airshow and didn't know what to expect.  When we arrived there were long lines and thousands of people.  We found a grassy spot near the runway and set our chairs down.  Soon the show started and the first event was the black daggers that jumped from an airplane and landed on a target on the ground.  The skill and precision was amazing.  The airshow continued with stunt flying and jumping.  It was a great day to be an American.  Everything was very patriotic and well done.  The Thunderbirds flew last.  It was awesome to see the precision they fly with.  They are 24 inches apart and are flying at speeds of over 1000 miles an hour!  My kids are still talking about it and daily watch this YouTube video of the entire Thunderbird performance.  If you get a chance to go to the show next year I'd recommend it!


My boys...

Does it look like there is mischief brimming out of those eyes or what?? :)

Welcome to my shirt-less, shoe-less, dirty little boy.  Lately because of the electrical work being done around here, the house looks like it's been teepeed in red white and blue electrical tape.  I wonder what tricks his baby brother is picking up on?  Looks like he's taking note!

Since it's Wednesday, there is a new print available over on my Design with Life blog... go take a look :)


Dylan's Room {Part 2}

Last week my to-do list included finishing Dylan's room.  While I didn't accomplish it totally we did make progress!  I had been thinking of the space above the changing table.  And when I saw this sign on The Corner House blog I knew what I wanted to do....

First we started with a 24x36 - $7.48 clearance canvas from Target and covered it with a couple layers of burlap fabric.  Enough so that the green and blue print did not show through.   {I failed to take pictures of every step.}

Next, I designed the words {you are loved} in a word processing program on my computer.  I made my document 24x36 so I would have an accurate idea of the size of words needed.  I then tiled the words on 8 1/2 x 11 paper and printed them.

Once they were printed I took an exact-o knife and cut out the letters.  This was the most time consuming part of the project.  Using a pre-made stencil would be easier, but I couldn't find the size and font I wanted.

After all the letters were cut, we took our burlap covered canvas into the garage and laid the stencil on, covering the edges with newspaper.  We taped it down lightly and taped the centers of the letters into place.

The next step was to lightly spray the letters.....  and repeat.

It didn't take long for the letters to dry since the burlap soaked in most of the paint.

Here it is hanging in Dylan's room!

Since this project was so easy we made one for the kitchen as well....


Count the Waves {Printable}

With summer and beaches on my mind I've come up with a summery printable to share with you.  Two summers ago we were in South Carolina and I added this saying to a photo which hangs in my office.  The only problem is that our youngest isn't in that photo... so today I made it into a cute graphical saying you can easily print and stick in any 5x7 frame you have laying around!  Please see my ETSY store to purchase the pdf.


Zucchini Pizza

Good morning!  It looks like a beautiful day here...  finally temperatures that we can actually go outside without dripping sweat the minute we walk out the door!

We were away last weekend and while we were gone these monsters invaded my garden....
I was just telling my husband that I didn't think I'd get sick of eating zucchini....  after picking zucchini after zucchini, I think I'm changing my mind.  BUT with a little creativity maybe we can manage it :)  Here is our latest zucchini recipe.  Even my kids will eat this one and ask for seconds!

Zucchini Pizza!

We've tried these pizza's with pepperoni, italian sausage, ham and green peppers and mushrooms.  So far my favorite is the pepperoni.  What toppings have you tried?

I found these adorable printable recipe cards over on The Small Object Steno Pad's blog!  Thank you!

Have a great weekend!


Old T-Shirt Inspiration

Do you have any old T-shirts in your drawer?  I know I do.  I'm getting ready for a garage sale and have dug lots of unworn shirts out of the archives.  Lately I've been loving Pinterest, here are three t-shirt ideas I've found and have pinned waiting for me.  Maybe these will be your weekend craft inspiration!

Gorgeous Rosette pillow

How about turning your old shirt into a scarf?

Check out this amazing t-shirt transformation...Wow!
You can read the tutorial here 

Have a great weekend everyone!


Guest Post Today

We are guest posting at Kammy's Korner today!
Thanks Kam for having us!  Visit Kammy to check out her Kreations :)

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