January 5, 2011
Recently Little Monkey has been given the chance to show love and concern for some friends.
First up was a little boy in his class at school. The boy has been in and out of the hospital. The teacher sent home a note because some had asked if there was anything we could do him or his family. They decided to put together a care basket and send it to his family. Little Monkey picked out a Christmas playdough from our gift closet and then we also went to the Dollar Tree to get him a puzzle. Little Monkey brought his own money (his choice and decision) and used it to pay for the puzzle for his friend. I was not expecting this at all but was quite proud of him for making that decision. He was so excited to send in the playdough and puzzle for his friend.
The next time was just last week. Our friend from church, Mr. Fred, works close by our house and we always say hi to him if we go to his store. Last week we stopped in and asked if he was there. (I thought I saw his car in the parking lot, so I was thinking he would be there.) We asked but they told us that he wasn’t there. I tried calling his cell phone but there was no answer. A few hours later, I received a text from his phone asking if I had called and if everything was okay. I responded that I did call, everything was fine, we were just trying to see if he was at work since we stopped in. Come to find out, Mr. Fred was not feeling well when he arrived at work (about 45 minutes before we were looking for him). They ended up needing to call an ambulance and he was taken to the local ER. Big Monkey went to check on him and see if there was anything we could do for him, his wife or their girls. Everything seemed to be handled for now. Mr. Fred ended up having to spend the night in the hospital so they could run some tests. The good news is that he seemed to be okay. He just needs to get healthy with his diet and exercise. I went to visit Mr. Fred and his wife the second day that they were at the hospital. Little Monkey made him a get well soon card for me to take to him. I helped him with some of the letters by showing him an example of how to write it or also to make little dots for him to connect. Then he also drew a picture of him (red guy) and Mr. Fred (orange guy). It was really sweet and Mr. Fred really liked it. Mr. Fred (and I) wondered why Little Monkey was so much bigger than Mr. Fred. Definitely not the case in real life!
Front of Card
Inside of Card
December 26, 2010
While browsing some Father’s Day craft ideas, I ran across this Father’s Day Cloth Napkin idea. I knew that Big Monkey and Pops would probably both not care for this idea but I was pretty sure my Grandpa would like it. Grandpa spends his summers in Maine, so he hasn’t received this gift yet. I recall Grandpa, almost always, tucking his napkin into his shirt when we ate. It didn’t matter if we were at home or out at a restaurant. I thought this napkin would be fun for him.
One night when I was waiting for Big Monkey to get home, I decided to work on this project. It seemed to be a pretty quick and easy one. I did not use a big tie like in the tutorial, but rather a smaller tie pattern that we used before for another project. I had one leftover napkin from making my mom’s gift, so I used that here.
Grandpa got his tie napkin finally for Christmas. He loved and it and Grandma thought it was perfect for him. He modeled it for us all. I hope he enjoys using it. (He said he would take it to the dining hall to use too!)
Grandpa loved his tie napkin!
December 19, 2010
Evidently, we do.
We came home the other
night, morning (2am) to find our mailbox strewn across the yard. It appeared to have been hit by a car, as we found tire marks across the neighbors driveway and right in front of their mailbox too. Since there was nothing we could do about it at 2am, we went to bed. The next day our neighbor came over to let us know that he heard the accident, cleaned up our lava rocks that were all across the road and collected a side mirror that was left. He had also talked to a witness who had an address and tag number. The witness claims the driver was swerving all down the hill and hit our mailbox with her car. She hit the neighbor’s mailbox (but didn’t destroy it) and almost hit a car. All of this happened just after 5pm!
After getting all the information from the neighbor, Big Monkey headed down to the address to see if anyone wanted to admit to destroying our mailbox. Unfortunately, there was no answer at the door. Big Monkey decided to call the police. At least that way we would have it documented and the person would likely at least get a ticket. (Of course it appears they are likely getting away with a DUI.) While we waited for the police to show up, the hit and run driver’s father showed up at our house. He had a very different story about what supposedly happened but was trying to help make it better. He got his daughter on the phone (who was supposedly at work) and the three of them worked out a deal that she would pay us $75 to get a new mailbox. The police showed up in the middle of it all but Big Monkey sent them away, saying we appeared to have things handled but if it didn’t work out, we’d call them back.
In the end, the father paid us $75 and took the side mirror home. Big Monkey headed off to Lowe’s to get a new mailbox, some concrete and rebar. If anyone hits our mailbox again they will be in for a surprise with way more damage to their vehicle. While Big Monkey was gone to Lowe’s, the daughter showed up and apologized again. Her story also didn’t match the witnesses story, but whatever. I decided to just let it all go. It wasn’t that big of a deal since she was taking care of the cost of getting a new mailbox. She gave us another $20 and a 6pack of cupcakes from Publix.
Big Monkey then spent a good portion of the afternoon installing our new mailbox. Lucky for us, we also had a coupon to Lowe’s to save $10 on the mailbox and supplies. Hopefully no one will hit our mailbox again!
December 15, 2010
Stephen Foster State Park
Over the weekend we headed up to Stephen Foster State Park for some camping. When we got up to the park, we hurried to set things up before it got too dark. We had a fire going and our friends arrived. Most of the evening it was spitting rain on us. We enjoyed some cake balls around the fire and stayed up way too late. (Little Monkey and Little Monkette too!) The third family in our camping group didn’t arrived until 10pm, so after helping them set up and hang out for a bit, we didn’t go to bed until 12:30!! It was VERY cold, but thankfully we have a heater in our little camper. The kids slept in the same bed this time (Yay for not needing the pack and play to go camping anymore!!!) and Roland slept near us.
Hanging around the campfire.
The next morning, everybody starting waking up at 7am!! Not what we wished for when we went to bed after midnight! We got moving and had breakfast. We checked out some of the park and found the blacksmith was open. A few of the kids got to make little hooks in the fire. The boys had planned a bike trip for some trail riding and the girls had planned some geocaching. (Of course the other girls had already camped at this park and had found all the caches. They went along to help me out!) We ended up finding five caches. Little Monkey was excited and found a few trinkets in the caches. Little Monkette stayed back at the camper with the teenagers for a nap. We had a long day but it was fun. The kids did a lot of playing around the campsites and at the playground (which was right across from our sites!).
We had a very big dinner with all three families and a few extra friends that came for the day. During the process of getting dinner ready, we discovered that our gas tank was out of gas. This is NOT a good thing when it is going to be REALLY cold at night. Thankfully we moved the grill over to another camper and cooked dinner while Big Monkey headed out to find a gas station that had refill tanks. He was back by the time dinner was ready and we didn’t have to freeze in our camper that night! After dinner we headed back to the park to check out the huge Christmas lights display. The park does this every year and people pay to come check them out. We didn’t have to pay for entry since we were camping. The lights were amazing. They also had free smores and hot chocolate and Santa was there to visit with the kids. Little Monkey talked to him, as did Little Monkette, but she was not too sure about him! We also had some fried oreos. Pretty good, but not something I HAD to have.
Little Monkette and me with the gingerbread girl!
After seeing all the lights, we headed back to camp to hang out. I was surprised with a cookie cake for my birthday! I had no idea it was coming and it tasted SO good. (I even had some the next day for a snack!) We hung out by the fire for awhile and then went to bed by 11:30pm. The next morning the kids slept in until after 9am (which meant so did we!). It was raining when we got up, so we mostly hung around the campers getting things packed up and trying to stay dry. We had a great time, even with the very cold weather and the rain. It is always nice to get out of the normal and head out with friends for some calm, relaxing, out in nature time.
December 10, 2010
I found this recipe in an ad in my ReadyMade magazine (and several others since then) and pulled it out. Big Monkey loves mint chocolate chip ice cream…so I imagined that he would also love these cookies. I decided to make them to bring along for camping trip. Since this was an advertisement, they recommended using Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Mix, but since I’m cheap and Betty Crocker isn’t paying me to tell you about this recipe, I bought the store brand sugar cookie mix. The cookies taste great, so I think it is fine of course!
Recipes makes 36 cookies (ours made more, but I make little cookies!)
1 pouch Sugar Cookie Mix
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon mint extract (I made them with 1/2–not too minty, it was good.)
6 to 8 drops green food color (I used 8 and they came out as you see in the photo above.)
1 cup creme de menthe baking chips
1 cup semisweet chocolate chunks
Mix cookie mix, butter, extract, food color and egg in bowl, until soft dough forms.
Stir in creme de menthe baking chips and chocolate chunks.
Using small cookie scoop or teaspoon (I use the Pampered Chef Melon Baller. Works great and makes nice but small cookies.), drop dough 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 8 to 10 minutes.
Cool 3 minutes; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.
Serve warm or cool completely.
Store tightly covered at room temperature.
When making cookies, be sure that your dog is not left unattended. Roland managed to snag NINE uncooked cookies off the cookie sheet that were waiting to go in the oven while I was in Little Monkette’s room!
We give these cookies a thumbs up for sure. I plan to make them again. They are yummy and definitely festive for Christmas time.
December 1, 2010
As soon as Thanksgiving was over, Big Monkey was ready to set up the Christmas tree and decorate everything. (Heck he probably would have done it at the beginning of the month if I would have let him!) I wasn’t much in the decorating mood but I did help out some. It just seems like SO much stuff to get out…only to have to put it all away again. Big Monkey got everything down from the attic and went to work. Once the tree was up and he put the lights on it, Little Monkey and I decorated it. We only put ornaments on the top 2/3s of the tree, anticipating that Little Monkette would mess with the ornaments. (For the record, she has only messed with the tree twice. Once with the lights and once with an ornament Big Monkey made many, MANY years ago.) She is doing pretty good with the tree! Little Monkey got to help Big Monkey put the star on top of the tree. The picture below is actually the second attempt. The first attempt ended with the star falling off the tree!
Big Monkey helped Little Monkey put the star on the tree.
While decorating the house and getting things from the garage/attic, we found a little fiber optic tree that GG&GG P had given us last year. I decided to let Little Monkey have a tree of his own in his room! He was SO excited. We picked out ornaments that wouldn’t break and he did all the decorating himself. He kept saying, “My tree is SO cute!” All the ornaments that he has made for the past two years are also featured on his tree. (We have yet to make this year’s ornament but the plan is in the works.) After it was all done, we decided it needed a star. I cut out a star and we taped it together and he fit it onto the tree. It has a switch to turn the fiber optic lights on and off. He loves it. The morning after he set it up, he came out and let me know that he needed “one of those” and pointed to our tree skirt. We have yet to put a tree skirt around his tree, but I told him that we could work on it. Maybe I can make him one.
Little Monkey's personal tree
November 28, 2010
Lately we have been buying bananas by the bag from Aldi (Our local Aldi finally opened!!! Yay!!). Some weeks we end up not eating all the bananas, so I make banana bread. I have been using a recipe that I found online and we like it. Big Monkey would like it if we put some nuts in it, but the recipe does not call for any. You can do as you choose.
- 3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed
- 1/3 cup melted butter
- 1 cup sugar (can reduce to 3/4 cup-but we don’t!)
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Pinch of salt
- 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
With a wooden spoon (Luckily I still have one…Big Monkey hates wooden spoons!), mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large bowl.
Mix in the sugar, egg, and vanilla.
Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in.
Add the flour and mix.
Pour mixture into a presprayed 4×8 inch loaf pan.
Bake for 1 hour.
Cool on a rack.
Slice and serve! Enjoy!! This doesn’t last too long in our house! It is yummy!
November 25, 2010
Now through Saturday, November 27th, you can get a free 8×10 collage print from Walgreens.
When you check out, enter code: THANKSGIVING to get your free print. (Choose in store pick up and pay nothing!!) Christmas is coming up and these collages can be a great gift with a frame!
I’m printing up a collage for Big Monkey of the golf tournament that we just helped put on!
November 21, 2010
Did you think I disappeared? I promise that I did not. I have had a crazy busy week and writing a blog (or seven) just never found its way into my schedule. This weekend we had the first ever Memorial Golf Tournament for Big Monkey’s previous work partner who passed away from injuries he got in a car accident. As the past week was happening, the golf tournament went out of control. Tuesday morning we had 12 teams. By lunch on Wednesday we were up to 22 teams! We had a lot of work to do during the week, prepping team lists, stuffing goody bags, making awards, preparing raffle prizes, you get the idea. Every night last week we did something for the tournament. The tournament went pretty well, especially considering we had never put on an event like this before. We learned a lot of things and next year will be better because of it. We had a great turnout (WAY better than we had expected).
I hope to be back to blogging this week. I have plenty to share with you (I think!).
November 10, 2010
So, recently I realized that I had written some posts about Little Monkette’s birthday party but never really posted any pictures from her party. Since everyone doesn’t have Facebook…everyone didn’t get to see the pictures that I posted almost immediately. Check out these pictures.
Giant Cupcake Cake Mimi made for Little Monkette
Little Monkette LOVED digging into her mini cake!
The aftermath! Thankfully it all came out!
It was a fun day with just family over and Little Monkette LOVED her cake. It was fun to see her go at it. I think she would have eaten the entire thing if we let her! Little Monkey helped to make some sugar cookies before the party. They were Little Monkey diet approved and everyone loved them.
Did you miss the other birthday posts? You can still check them out!
Birthday Dress #1
Birthday Dress #2