Thursday, December 22, 2011

Craft Time-Lamb of God

Draw your hand on a piece of paper.  Color in the fingers black.  Use a cotton ball and stretch it out and glue it on the body of the lamb.  The fingers are the feet and the thumb the head.  Use a small white dot as the eye, and put a little bit of cotton above the eye as the ear.

Write the verse, John 1:29...The lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

Monkey wrote his own, but I wrote it for Bear and he copied it.


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Merry Christmas!

 Incase we missed you via's our Christmas Card.

Dear Family and Friends,
Every year like every day, you wake up and are given a new chance.  A new chance to show love to those around you.  A new chance to give to others.  A new chance to be grateful for what you have.  I hope you are enjoying all these new chances God brings your way every year, better yet, every day!  We are so happy to be able to share a little bit of us with you.
Lamentations 3:22-23  The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
Monkey is currently in the 2nd grade.  He turned 7 in April, and he can't wait until he turns 8 next year.  I think he is wishing away his youth too quickly.  He has earned the nickname Monkey well.  Seriously...he climbs everything he sees.  Sometimes it can be a bit embarrassing when you find him trying to climb the rock pillar wall at the front of a restaurant.  Not saying that happened for real, but did.
Bear started kindergarten this year.  Even though he didn't turn 5 until October!  Yeah, that is a homeschooling bonus.  He was ready to learn, and preschool would not have been enough for him!  He's doing great with learning to read, and math.  He enjoys it all!  I'm not sure if it is just because he's a boy, or because he's copying his brother, but he definitely took a shining to climbing things this summer as well!
TJ is still working at Sage Glass in Faribault.  It is just a little jaunt up the interstate, which is great.  They are a super wonderful company, and we are so grateful to God for providing for our family through this great job!
I am a sat-at-home-home-schooling-foster-momma!  And it is wonderful!  I love being home with my kids all day.  I love teaching them!  And I love the opportunities God has provided for us throughout the year to take in children via the foster system and show them love!  It has been a great experience, and God has taught me incredible amounts through it.
If you didn't already know, I gave myself a photography name, Stephanie's Frozen Moments.  This year, I officially did 12 photo shoots.  3 weddings (1 on my own and 2 as a side kick), 6 families, and 3 kid photo shoots!  This is just something on the side I enjoy doing!  We will see what happens next year.
Besides our annual week-long vacation to Family Camp in July, we took the boys up to Duluth in mid-August.  It was their first time up there, and TJ and my third time!  What a beautiful place.  And apparently the boys didn't need anything more than to sit along the lake shore and play on the rocks, and throw rocks in the water.  We spent a lot of time along that shore line!  Fun Family times.  Well, that is definitely a very minimal glimpse into our daily life routine.
If you want to find out more....You're in the right place!  Scroll through the archive on the right to see more thins from this year!  Also see some of my photos on my photography blog.

With Love,
The Wright's!

 Check out some of the photo shoots here.  (Mitchell Family, Schumacher Family, Sellers Family, Perrizo Family, House Family, Schmid Family, Engagement, Wedding 1, Wedding 2, Wedding 3, and others are on the blog.)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes

 Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes

1/3 cup shortening
1/3 cup peanut butter
1 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cup flour
1 3/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup milk
miniature peanut butter cups

In a bowl, cream the shortening, peanut butter and brown sugar.  Beat in the eggs and vanilla.  Combine the flour, baking powder and salt' add to creamed mixture alternately with milk.  Fill paper-lined muffin cups with 1/4 cup of the batter.  Press a peanut butter cup into the center of each until top edge is even with batter.  Bake at 350 for 22-24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted on an angle toward the cneter of the cupcakes comes out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan.

Don't forget to unwrap the candy! :)



Saturday, December 17, 2011

Air Experiment-4

Air experiment- Cold air!

Are you getting colder?  Here's what you need for this experiment;
crushed ice
plastic bottle, old 2liter bottle will work great.
If you can not get crushed ice out of your fridge, then you have to go old school and put some ice in a baggie and crush it up with a rolling pin first. :)

We got to take the easy way out.  Get a cup full of crushed ice, then let the kids put it into the bottle. :)  Brrr...

Put on the lid and Shake, Shake, Shake!

Watch to see what happens!
The ice cools down the air on the inside, and when air gets cold, it shrinks.

 It makes the bottle sides go inward so there is no empty space left inside.

So cold air takes up less space than warm air.

No wonder no matter how cold it is the air seems fresh and crisp, but stuffy and overwhelming when it's hot out! ;)

Simple and amazing experiments the kids will enjoy.

Did you see what happened when we played with warm air?


Friday, December 16, 2011

Air Experiment-3

Air Experiment, warm air

Here's what you need:
a quarter or  half dollar
a glass bottle
hot water
large bowl/dish

You can use expanding air to make a coin jump. :)  Stand a glass bottle in a large bowl.  Wet the rim of the bottle and set your coin on top.  Next pour in the hot water.  Make sure to keep holding onto the bottle. :)  The warm water heats up the air inside the bottle and that warm air needs to get out so it pushes the coin upward.

It does not make the coin float. :)  lol....but you can hear it tinking on the glass as the air is pushing the coin up and up and up.  I tried taking pictures of it moving, but it's such a small movement and so fast it's hard to see the difference.  Let's see if you can tell which one has the coin flat on the bottle top, and which one twitched a little bit!

Give up?  I guess you will just have to try this experiment out at your own house to hear and see the coin jump!

Ok....the first picture is flat, and the second picture it lifted up ever so slightly on the side closest to my finger. :)  See it now?!  If not, then you better resort to doing it yourself.  The kids thought it was amazing!

Yes, simple and amazing.  Who can beat that?!

If warm air expands....what happens to cold air?  Check out part two of this air experiment, cold air.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

This and That

They say time flies when you're having fun....or busy! 

Maybe they don't say that, but it's still true.

Sorry if there have not been extra blogs these past few days.  We have been graced with 4 foster children as of the beginning of the month.  We will find out the next verdict on if they stay longer or go on Dec the mean time....

This household of 8 has new priorities....putting some other "priorities" on hold.

1.  Me getting up at 5 to shower and feed a baby. (and you know how I love mornings.)
2.  Waking, dressing and getting 2 kids on the school bus.
3.  Getting a 5 year old off to preschool.
4.  Finding a meal that will be enough for all of us, plus a little left over to my husband to take to work.
5.  Doing homework with children when they return from school.
6.  Reading with the kids.
7.  Attending school events for the the winter concert...which is tonight.
8.  Home-schooling my children.
9.  Keeping house....vaugely including everything, cleaning, laundry, blah, blah, blah.
10. blogging.....

Yeah, that's down on the list, and by the time I have all the other things done I barely get a chance to do #9 so you can see why I haven't made it to #10 lately. :)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Toys are Overrated #2-gloves

Who needs toys when you can play with gloves....

Look mom!  We are frogs!

Rib-bit, Rib-bit, Rib-bit, Rib-bit...


Monday, December 5, 2011

Randomness v37

Bear-  Sometimes I wish my fingers were scissors.

Bear-  I never can sometimes get to sleep.

Monkey- Look mom!  It looks like I'm getting ready to run! (see picture)

Monkey-  This is soaking wet, and it's supposed to be soaking dry.

I bumped my elbow and it really hurt so I was sitting there ooohing and ahhhhing.  Bear comes up gives me a hug, then says....come on, Be a MAN!
Hahaha...I tell them to man up all the time.


Immanuel, "God with us"

We are learning this verse,

Matthew 1:23
and they will call him Immanuel, which means, God with us.

So as a word picture, we printed out two little people/gingerbread men. :)  Wrote Immanuel on one and our name on the other, then colored, cut out and glued their hands together.

Immanuel means God with the word picture is GOD, with US!  And now it's taped on the sliding door for all to see, and for us to remember that God truly is always with us.


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Cookie Dough Brownies

Brownie layer:
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla

In a mixing bowl, combine sugar, flour and cocoa.  Add oil, eggs and vanilla; beat at medium speed for 3 minutes.  Pour into a 9x11 pan.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, or until they test completely done.  Let stand to cool completely.

Cookie dough layer:
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp milk
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour

Cream butter and sugars together.  Add  milk and vanilla and mix well.  Beat in flour, spread over the cooled brownie layer.  Chill until firm.

Chocolate topping:

1/2 pkg semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 Tbsp shortening

For glaze topping, melt chocolate chips and shortening in a saucepan.  Stirring until smooth.  Spread over the chilled cookie dough later.  Let stand to harden the chocolate.


**My notes about this recipe.**  I think the brownie recipe is a little dense.  If I were to make this again I think I would use my regular homemade brownie recipe instead of this given one.  Then the cookie dough layer is not thick enough! ;)  I think I might double it next time so you taste a little more cookie dough and a little less brownie. But that is just my personal opinion!

My kids love it, so they will enjoy this dessert for the next few days. lol


Thursday, December 1, 2011

City Map

I made my own map of my town, for the kids to use in the car.

I looked up my address in google....then printed out part of the map, then move it over, and printed it, and so on until I had all the coverage I wanted.  Then I taped it together and used a contact/laminate sheet on just the top side.  Now we bring it in the car and the kids try to follow along to where we are going.  And if we show them where it is ahead of time they will try to map out all the different ways we could go to get there.

 The red dot shows where we live so they always know where to start on the map.  I made it just big enough to read all the street names, but not too big it's not manageable for using in the vehicle.

 The whole city put together.

Now I'm going to mark numbers with the regular places we go, and put a key in the bottom corner.
1= church
2= bank
3= library
etc.. :)


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Learning Cursive

Monkey is in 2nd grade but seemingly interested in learning I made this chart for him.
Plus I put the regular letters next to the cursive letters.  Every little helpful hint is a good thing.

It is collapsible so we can put it in his desk instead of hanging it on the wall.  Seeings as how I do not have ample school wall space.  Oi.
I cut apart a tag board that I had, then drew lines and wrote in the letters.  Taped it together so there are seems where you can fold like an accordion to save on space.

So far we have worked on A, B, C, O and Y.... :)  We started with a....just by itself.  When learning the letter b I had him write boy....and then for c....we wrote cab....  He's doing pretty good.  Apparently he thought it would be easy, cuz he said it's not as easy as he thought it was going to be. :)


Monday, November 28, 2011

Corn Pudding-"Scalloped Corn"

1 can cream corn
1 can whole kernel corn
1 8oz container sour cream
2 beaten eggs
1/2 cup butter
1 box Jiffy Corn bread mix
2 Tbsp chopped onion
salt and pepper to taste

Mix together and put in buttered medium size casserole dish.  Bake uncovered at 350 for 45 minutes.

TJ probably ate half of this whole thing.  He loves it! :)


Sunday, November 27, 2011

StoveTop Dressing Hot Dish

1 box Stove Top dressing
1 lb hamburger
1 onion
1 can french style green beans
1 cup sour cream
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 small can French Fried onions

Mix dressing as directed on the box.  Spread it on the bottom of a 9x13 pan.  Brown hamburger and put on top of the dressing.  Slice the onion and layer on next.  Drain the green beans, to layer next.  Mix soup and sour cream together and spread over top.  Bake at 350 for 45 minutes, uncovered.  Sprinkle French fried onions on top and return to oven for 5-10 more  minutes.


Toys are Overrated #1-boxes

Who needs toys when you have boxes.....

Sometimes I'm amazed what my kids will play with other than their toys.  So here's a little series that I will throw out at you every once in a while with my crazy kids new "toy" :)

Oh what do we even buy real toys for?!


Saturday, November 26, 2011

No Bake Cheese Cake-Tart

I have 2 recipes for this.  They have a uniquely different taste though.  This is the original recipe we've always used in our family.  You will see the difference in the ingredients when you compare with the newer version I found and posted previously.

I say this is the "tart" recipe, and the other is the "sweet" recipe.

They look exactly the same.  But once you bite into it you can sure tell the difference!

Try it for yourself.

1 cup sour cream
1 pkg. cream cheese
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 8oz container cool whip.

Mix together and spread into a graham cracker crust.

Let chill for 2 hours before eating.  Makes 1 tall pie.


Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving Dinner

Things from this years Thanksgiving dinner.  Yum, Yum!



Triple Berry Salad

Stove Top Stuffing

Raspberry cream Cheese Jello

What did you enjoy this holiday?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thankful Turkeys

A new year = a new turkey.

Here's how we did our turkey last time....well, before...I couldn't find last years. Click here.

And this year we chose a different setting.

We cut out feathers from construction paper, and cut along the edges to make it look like a feather.

Cut out a little turkey shape downloaded from here.

Then assembled our turkeys!

Happy Thanksgiving.  Gobble Gobble.

 This is mine, obviously...I didn't color my turkey's face, so you can't tell the difference between his beak and the gobbler.  What is the real name for that thing anyway?  And what's the point of it?


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Paper Weaving

We found a great little paper weaving craft to make Thanksgiving placemats.

Use construction paper.  Fold it in half, the long way.  so it is 4x12.  Draw a line at the unfolded part 1 inch from the edge.  Cut from the fold down to that line, every inch.

 Like so...
 Then open up, like so.
 Now you need to find the other colors you want to use, and cut 1x12 inch strips from construction paper.

Use all one color, or mix it up.  Find your own pattern.  And weave up and down.  Every other one.

 We were having so much fun weaving I said lets make a placemat for everyone for the Thanksgiving dinner table.  So here are all 25 of our placemats!  Monkey made most of them.  He was a quick little weaver.
I also added some contact paper to the top side so they hold up a little longer.  And we wrote everyone's names in the bottom right corner, so they will sort of work as name cards for the dinner table as well. :)

Happy weaving!  Switch up the colors and use at any time, for any holiday, or any regular day!


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