Friday, July 31, 2009

Growing Corn Out Of My Ears!

It all started with 10 dozen sweet corn. My friend Nancy invited me over to learn how to freeze corn. We started over to her house around 10:30am this morning and didn't get back until 4:00pm. Wow, I'm exhausted. We ended up with a grand total of 23 dozen ears of corn. Holy Cow! It took forever! I'm so glad to be done. We are going to get close 20 dozen for ears of corn next week and do it all over again.
Ten dozen ears of corn equals 60 cups of corn!
It doesn't seem like a whole of corn but its going to be so good tast'n over the winter!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Engineer It!

After camping for three days at Crater of Diamonds State Park we decided to head up to Hot Springs! It only took us about hour and half to get to Hot Springs. A real nice and fast drive! For the past several years, I have been wanting to take the kids to Mid-America Science Museum! I was really happy we're finally able to take the kids.

The science museum is very much designed for children and lots of hands on learning exhibits. The theme of the museum this year is Engineer it! Seriously, its a place where a kid can be kid and a grown man 35 yrs old can be like a kid as well. Leroy loved all the engineer exhibits. Leroy is a hands on kind of guy and had just as much fun as the kids.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Setting The Example...

I just received my Bow-Flex select tech weights. I couldn't wait to use them! I decided to try them out with my ChaLEAN Extreme video! I kid you not, Leah my 2.5 year old got down on the floor and was trying to do push ups! I was shocked! She was really trying hard. She even pickup some two pound weights and was doing some shoulder work. Wow, I felt so honored watching my daughter trying to workout. I'm so glad that I'm setting the example for my kids.


Homemade Playdoh

The neighbor kids have left to spend the next two weeks in Texas visiting their grandparents. Which means my kids have no one to play with. They decided they wanted to play with play-doh this afternoon! Leah was so cute! I found her at the table signing "Happy Birthday" to herself. Don't ya, just love the glasses. I decided it would be a good time to make a couple batches of play-doh. Now, that the neighbor kids are gone. The kids need something to do to pass the time.

This is my famous play-doh recipe! I have been using it for the past couple of years. It's awesome! The play-doh feels great and soft. I'm not sure where I found this recipe but I have tweet it over the years. The kids love it and its some much more economical than buying store bought play-doh plus no chemicals.

Lara's Homemade Playdoh

2 C. Flour

1 C. Salt

4 Tsp. Cream of Tarter

2 C. Water

2 Tbps Canola Oil

Food coloring or Kool Aid Mixes
Combined all ingredients and cook over medium heat. Stir constantly until soft, lumpy balls forms. Dump onto a floured counter top. The dough will be slightly sticky to touch and lumpy. You will need to add about 1/2 c. more flour. Knead the dough until get a soft and smooth feeling play-doh. Play-doh will last for months in ziplock bags!

Photo Directions:

Mix all the ingredients in one pot and makes for a fast clean up!
Just out of the pot! Be careful! It's hot and needs to cool off but don't let it sit too long on the counter just a few minutes!

Kneading the dough!
Final product!

On The Hunt...Again!

After spending two days searching for diamonds. We decided to head over to the Ka-Do-Ha Indian Village to search for Arrowheads. I wasn't expecting to much but was very surprised how wonderful it was. We learned about the Indians that use to live in this area over 1,000 years ago. They had several burial mounds unearthed. It was a little on the creepy side looking down into the holes seeing the old bones of former Indian Chiefs! After viewing the mounds we headed out to this huge field that was plowed. They allowed you to search for arrow heads. They called it finders and keepers. It had rained the day before. The plowed area was extremely muddy but fun. It really made me feel like a little kid again. I ended up finding an old arrowhead over 1,000 years old. Leroy bought a case to put it in. We didn't want to take any chances losing it. Also, they have a small museum with a trading post. The boys ended up picking out some arrowhead necklaces and Leah selected a nice beaded necklaces.


Monday, July 27, 2009

Diamond Springs

The best part of Crater of Diamonds state park is the kids water park! It's located right next to the visitor center! We decided to spend the afternoon at the water park instead of the diamond mine. The weather was super hot but the water park was nice and cool! Note to myself is to bring the kids life vest next time. The water goes all the down to 3 feet. Leroy and I had to be literally in the water with the kids the whole time. We were very worried about their safety. The two little ones wanted to go down the water slide but they were turned away because they were too short. Landon only went down the water slide two times. The first time, he was practically in tears! I told him I would catch him at the bottom of the slide but I was late getting to the slide. The life guard managed to get to him right before I did! The poor kid! He was sitting on the bottom part of the slide and another kid came crashing down on him. The nice part of the water park is the water starts out like a beach gets gradually deeper. I really wish Bella Vista had a water park!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Diamonds are Girlfriend's Best Friend

Crater of Diamonds State Park, is the only diamond mine in the USA! Yes, this is a true fact. Everyone should try to make a trip to this state park and dig for diamonds. Talk about once in a life time opportunity to dig for diamonds. I was very surprised to find out people come all over the United States to dig for diamonds. It was a quick drive to the state park. Well, maybe not super quick less than 4.5 hours to drive to the park. We pulled into the park late in the afternoon. We didn't waste too much time setting up the camp. The kids were so excited about searching for diamonds.

A couple of notes! If you decided to make a trip to the state park make sure you bring your whole tools for digging for diamonds. The state parks charges the most outragvoues prices to rent their equipment. They charge close to $45 to rent a bucket, two screens, and shovel per day! That's not a typo! $45! You can go to Lowe's you purchase everything you need and make your own screens. Also, I didn't realize they charge money to enter the diamond mine to dig for the diamonds. If you purchase your tickets after 6:00pm they are good for the very next day.

So, we purchase our tickets for the diamond mine. Down below they have a small visitor center which talks about how to mine for diamonds and how diamonds happened to be found in Arkansas. The diamond field is very close to the vistor center. They even have a person who will identify your finds: minerals, rocks, and diamonds. They also have a wash station where you can spray yourself off. It can get really muddy!

We walked out into the mine and Logan discovered Diamonds right away. They turned out to be quartz but not in Logan's mind. Landon ended up finding some more quartz that very first day!

The second day of mining. I thought I discovered a diamond. I rushed it right over to Leroy to hold on to safe keeping. I'm really bad about losing things. Well, Leroy was headed over to have it identify at the desk. He accidently dropped it. He wasn't able to recover it. I wasn't too happy with him. So, I had a diamond and lost it. It was very tiny!

Also, the second day it decided to down pour. We took the kids out to pan for diamonds. Oh, you should of seen the boys. Completely, covered in mud from head to toe. Leah even go into it but that's no surprise. She isn't too girly she like getting down in the mud. The rain started to come down in buckets we headed back to camp. We did manage to go back out later night and dig for diamonds. We didn't find anymore diamonds but lots of jasper and quartz. Leroy and I concluded that searching for diamonds is like looking for a needle in a hay stack!

Check out the slide show to see more pictures from the diamond mine. Also, tomorrow if I get a chance. I will post pictures from Diamond Springs water park which is located at the state park.


Sunday, July 19, 2009

Gone Camping!

We are headed out of town...

Our first stop will be...

Diamond of Craters State Park

Next stop will be...

Mid-America Sciene Muesum

Final stop will be...

Mount Magazine State Park

So, were hoping to finds some diamonds, do some fishing, lots of hiking, and hands on sciene experiences!

I will post pictures when we get back in town!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Yellow Watermelon

I decided to play a trick on the kids. After shopping at Walmart, I decided to stop at the state line to pick up a fresh watermelon from South Texas. The guy selling melons had a try a slice of yellow watermelon. I was really surprised how good and sweet the yellow watermelon tasted compared to red watermelons. To be totally honest, I had never heard of yellow watermelon. I decided at the last second to get a yellow watermelon.
I didn't tell Leroy about my surprised. You should of seen the looks on the kids faces. Landon was really grossed out about it. He thought the melon looked orange.
Yellow or Orange? Logan had to get up close to check out the yellow melon!
Look at Leah's face! Priceless!
Yummy! The yellow watermelon contents less sugar than red!

How to make a Watermelon Smoothie!

Watermelon Smoothies

6 c. coarsely chopped seedless watermelon

1 c. lemon or pineapple sherbet

12 ice cubes

Place half of the watermelon in a blender; cover and process until smooth. Add half of the sherbet and ice; cover and process until smooth. Repeat. Serve immediately in chilled glasses.Yield: 6 servings

Friday, July 17, 2009

Sports Camp 2009

I'm all about free community programs. Too bad more people don't take avantage of them. This year they had half the amount of kids they had last year. I felt really bad for the organziors. I know what it feels like to put a lot of effort into something and have a poor turnout. The kids still ended up having a blast and they ended up getting a lot of attention. Lots of tennis and basketball pratice. Logan didn't care for the Bible lesson. He decided to stand by himself for the first part with his ears covers. This is one of the reasons why he isn't ready for school. The poor kid is a little bit on the different side. I ended up bringing the nieghbor kid, a church kid, and my three kids. I had too explain that they weren't all of my kids. I can't wait to take the kids back tomorrow for so more sports fun.


Her New Do

Logan left a pair of his scissors on the floor and Leah discovered how to cut her own hair. She ended up cutting out a big chunk of hair in the back. She was so proud of herself. I didn't know if I should cry or laugh. She had her long blond hair all over the table. I rushed her over to Walmart for a quick haircut. The hair stylist did a okay job. Leah kept moving her head and the lady finally gave up. I decided to try some gel in her hair and it worked. It's starting to grow on me. I just hope people don't think she's a boy.

Also, she definitely takes after the Scheele family. Thin, straight, and fine hair. She doesn't have my thick head of hair. The hair stylist kept on complaining how hard it was to cut. I still don't know why she didn't wet her hair first. Anyhow, she's starting to look more like her daddy's side of the family than mine.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Pat of Silver Bush

Pat of Silver Bush and Mistress Pat are the two novels in the "Pat series" by L.M. Montgomery! I accidentally read the second novel first not realizing it. Once, I had finished Mistress Pat I went online and order Pat of Silver Bush. Wow, I love the "Pat series"! If you loved the "Anne series" you will love the "Pat series". Pat is very real and has to deal with "change" all the time throughout the two books.

Pat starts to realize at a young age that change happens all the time and it can be painful. Pat loves her home, her family, and friends.Change is never easy and Pat loves her home so much almost too much that she starts to question her love for her home over life. She finds it very painful whenever change happens. She wants to live at home for ever. The one thing that doesn't change is her home.
Pat is very real not quite like the "Anne" books where Anne is a little bit to prefect but Pat is not prefect. Pat is very sensitive to her environment and to change. I did feel that Pat was a little bit obsessed with her home at Silver Bush.
So, if your looking for a good read, than make sure to read the "Pat series" too many people stop after the "Anne series" not realizing they are missing out in a great series of books.

Oh, Pat is so lovable. I will also have a little spot in my heart for Pat!

The next book on my reading list is "The Tangle Web" by L.M. Montgomery!

Tanyard Creek 2009

One of the best kept secrets in the area. Tanyard Creek! This is one of my favorite places to take the kids. I decided at the last minute to take the kids plus the neighbor kids to the creek. We ended up staying for 3 hours. It was hard to get the kids to leave. Leah ended up getting her shorts wet and she decided to go bare bottom. I swear I can't seem to keep clothes on this child. Logan and Aaron love to collect things. They ended up gathering a ton of clam shells. The boys had so much fun swinging on the tree vines over the creek. They also discovered this fallen piece of limestone in the creek. The prefect spot for jumping into the creek. The kids also loved the suspension bridge. Leah and the kids were running back and forth on the bridge. Oh, what a way to spend a hot, lazy, and humid summer day.


Potty Training 101

This is where I discovered Leah and Joseph this morning! They were busy in the bathroom potty training their babies. Leah doesn't normally play with her babies but her friend Jo-Jo loves to play with the babies. They were busy having their babies poop on the potty and they loved wiping their bottoms. They even jumped into the bathtub to wash off their babies bottoms. They eventually put their babies down for naps which included Leah signing to the babies in her rocking car. I really think Leah and Logan are going to make great mommy and daddy.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Creek'n Fun!

Two things I love to hear is cheap, free, and fun activities for the kids. I decided it would be fun to take the kids to the creek by Bella Vista Walking Trail with some friends. I'm sorry Emily wasn't able to join us but hopefully she will be able to make next time. The kids had sooo much fun.
I still can't believe I have never taken the kids to the creek to play in. I never realized how much fun it is to play in the creek. The water at first was icy cold. It didn't take to long before the heat started to really heat up and the water felt refreshing.
The immediately decided to go look for Crawdads! I decided to join in the search with the kids. Violet decided to grab the camera and snap a few shots of me trying to catch a crawdad. She thought I was nuts trying to catch them with my hands. I finally decided an empty bucket would work better. We finally managed to catch two Crawdads. The kids went crazy. The kids spent a long time trying to catch baby crawdads and minniows.
Logan and Aaron managed to make their own fishing poles. They didn't catch anything but it was so cute watching the kids trying to fish.
So, if you're looking for something to do this summer that's free and fun. Check out the creek. I'm thinking we might try to go again in two weeks.

It was just like being a kid again trying to catch Crawdads with all the kids.
I even had a Crawdad pinch my foot but I didn't give up!
Ta-dah! Crawdad! Gross but fun to catch!
Here are the toddlers trying to fish together!
Here's Dallin having fun shooting water in the air!
Almost done! The kids were starting to get really hungry!

Group picture! We tried to get the kids to flex their muscles but Dallin was the only one willing to. The kids were beat and ready to go home!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Pancake! Pancake! by Eric Carle

From Publishers Weekly

As portrayed in Carle's familiar, colorful collages, cornflakes just won't do for a determined lad who goes to great lengths to procure his favorite breakfast.

Product Description

The barnyard rooster crows and Jack wakes up -- hungry, of course! What does he want for breakfast? A big pancake! But first, Jack's mother needs flour from the mill, an egg from the black hen, milk from the spotted cow, butter churned from fresh cream, and firewood for the stove. Will Jack ever get his pancake?

Wow, I feel'n real good about myself today. I finally did something educational and fun with the kids. I need to do this more often. It's hard when all the kids are home for the summer.

Well, just like in the book. The boys didn't want cereal but pancakes! I picked up this book called "Pancake! Pancake!" by Eric Carle last week at the library. I had a light bulb moment. I decided it would be fun to read the book and teach the kids how to make pancakes.

Who doesn't love Eric Carle books. This book will not disappoint you! The kids love it. After reading the book I asked Logan which part of the book was his favorite part and he said the whole book. He finally agreed that he really liked the part of the book where the boy goes to the hen coop and finds an egg.

I decided not to use a pancake mix. I decided to try out a new recipe called Truck Stop Buttermilk Pancakes! Wow, the most amazing pancake mix. I was really surprised how awesome these pancakes turned out. Light, fluffy, and just great!!!!!!!! The boys were so eager to help out. It was a little bit hard to get the kids to take turns with collecting ingredients.

I decided to teach the boys how to make a pancake in a frying pan. The boys are getting old enough to learn how to cook. Landon was first up, he did a really good job pouring in the batter and flipping! Logan came up next and did a great job as well. Leah ended up being a complete disaster. I really didn't want her to try but she's so determined to be just like the boys. When I had my back turned she tried to flip the pancake but it wasn't ready. She ended up with a huge mess. Oh, she still ended up eating for breakfast.

So, proud of himself! Doesn't he have the most beautiful eyes!
Final verdict! Delicious!!!!!!!!!!!!!