Monday, March 4, 2013

Mindless Monday, A Mountain Story (Words... No Pics) - Part Three, Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars, Easter Basket Ideas

Good Monday morning!

RANDOMNESS #1 - Sparkle isn't feeling well this morning. Since Josh is out of school and off work today, the two of us are taking her to the vet.

In almost 11 years, we haven't taken Sparkle to the vet because of sickness, so I'm naturally concerned... and I don't want to go alone... because I'm nervous about what they might say... and Josh is a rock and I'm a wimp.

Plus, when you pick her up a certain way, she yelps. I cannot stand to be the one who makes her yelp, so I'm going to let Josh handle her... and I'm going to yell at him if he does it wrong.

I'll let you know how it goes in Friday's post.

RANDOMNESS #2 - BLAST Weekend has come and gone. Roxie was the only Faulkner to attend this year. Austin would have helped with the 10th grade guys, but he had to work in Jacksonville. He loves BLAST, so he was a bit bummed about missing.

One of the highlights of BLAST is the Derby Car Race. Each "house" builds a derby car and they race against another "house." There are rules and regulations, and each "house" is judged according to the Derby Car Official Criteria. The winners are revealed Sunday morning during Sunday School.

It's a big deal.

It's a very big deal.

Last year, Austin's group had a REAL bagpiper enter the gym and the "house" followed. The theme was "Braveheart," and everyone wore kilts.

Austin had the best knees of any guy there.

This Momma was SO proud.

Because he gets his knees from me, you see.

They won Best Car (or Best Presentation) last year.

As Jamin, our fearless Youth Director, correctly stated, "It wasn't just a car. It was an event!"

Roxie's "house" theme this year was The Bride of Christ, and they did a spectacular job.

While the race is going on, the Derby Car has to stop at one end of the gym three different times and perform three different tasks.

Roxie was chosen to bob for apples... in buttermilk... and cottage cheese... and she did an awesome job.

I'm going to share a "bobbin' for apples" story with you Friday. Roxie's "bobbin'" history is long and illustrious.

Mike and I only wish there were "bobbin'" scholarships available, because The Chick would be set for her Bachelor's, Master's AND Ph.D.

She's just that good!

Oh... Roxie's "house" won Second Place for Best Spirit!

RANDOMNESS #3 - I've made several new recipes over the last week, and I'm making Pioneer Woman Crash Potatoes tonight. If they turn out well, I'll share the recipe with you Friday.

If they don't turn out well, pretend you never read RANDOMNESS #3 of the March 4 post on A Simple Life.

RANDOMNESS #4 - Austin's Birthday Celebration was a big hit, I think.

I'll let the pictures tell some of the story, and I'll elaborate as we go along.

Austin wanted a Refreshing Cake, so I obliged. Since a Refreshing Cake has oranges AND pineapple in the recipe, not everyone is a Refreshing Cake fan... so I also made the Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars for "the others." (See recipe below.)

As is my custom now, since the kids are adults and supposedly too old for party themes, I pick a theme anyway.

Since Austin was such a HUGE animal lover in his early years, I went with Animal Planet.

It was a huge, huge hit.

Austin received CDs, money, Gift Certificates and his London, England scrapbook. (I know the scrapbook is a year late, but can I just say he was VERY surprised to receive it at all?)

Josh provided the obligatory photo bomb. I don't know where Zac was, but I know he was disappointed someone beat him to the "bomb."

Whenever The Brothers sit next to each other for any length of time, poking, hitting, jabbing, choke holds, arm twists and all out "wrestling to the death" starts to take place. It doesn't matter if we're at a wedding, a funeral, church, etc.

If they are sitting beside each other, IT WILL HAPPEN.

I broke up this little bout before it got out of hand with a rolled up magazine and a spray bottle of water... and a little bottle of pepper spray.

I'm not just a Mom of Boys.

I am an EXPERIENCED Mom of Boys.

Since Roxie was operating on little or no sleep from the BLAST weekend, I woke her just minutes before the party was to begin.

She informed me she would make an appearance in an hour or so, but I insisted she get up and attend the entire party.

She told me, "If you make me come down, I WILL NOT be pleasant AND I WILL NOT be groomed."

She was only half right. She came down in her pajama pants, but she was very pleasant or funny or whatever you want to call it.

She was our party entertainment as she taught everyone Yoga.

And when Josh became her only student, it became even more pleasant, funny or whatever you want to call it.

These guys know the drill. Why can't they just stand still and smile?

Melia was a little exhausted from BLAST weekend, too. She helped with a "house" of girls. Austin just carried her around for a little while.

We played a very fun game at Austin's party, and I'm going to share the game and details with you Friday morning!

RANDOMNESS #5 - A Mountain Story (Words... No Pics)- Part Three - Let's see. When last I left you, the kids were 32 minutes late for their snow tubing check-in time, I was looking for Mikie, I found Mikie (and he wasn't mad) and I was finally starting to breathe normally again.

I think that's right.

When Mike and I arrived at the snow tubing building, the six cousins were already in line holding their tubes. It was very cold, very windy, but a beautiful, beautiful day. Some might even say EPIC.

The kids stood on a huge conveyor belt with their tubes which took them to the top of the hill. They waited in short lines and when the track was clear, they headed down, down, down.

They loved it.

However, it took almost 15 minutes to complete a run (from bottom of the hill, to top of the hill and back to the bottom of the hill).

I'm not a math expert, but because of our lateness, that meant they were only going to get four runs apiece. And if things had worked out perfectly, they would have had six runs apiece.

I knew it wouldn't bother some of them... but I wasn't sure about Roxie.

So you can imagine my surprise and delight when after her THIRD run, she walked off the track and said she had had a great time, but she couldn't feel her feet... or her nose... or her hands.

And one by one, all of the other cousins came down the hill after their THIRD run and said the exact same thing.

All of the other cousins except for one.

The Boy.

On his THIRD run, he yelled, "Is our time up?"

"No! You still have 20 minutes."


And off he ran.

And because many, many tubers stop at least 20 or 30 minutes before their session is over, not only did The Boy get to go down FOUR times. He went down FIVE times.

And he probably could have gone down SIX times, but he was no longer feeling parts of his body either.

It was all good.

Right now, there are only two more things on our Mountain Bucket List. Zip-lining and horseback riding. I'm not sure which one we'll pick for next year.

But one thing I know for certain. We WILL be on time.

You would think I'd be finished telling the mountain story since we only stayed two complete days, but wait... there's more!

I'll finish on Friday. I promise.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars

I found these on Pinterest and they turned out to be delicious.

You will need the following:

1 (18.25) package plain yellow cake mix
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 eggs
1 (12 ounce) package semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup coconut (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

2. Combine cake mix, melted butter, peanut butter and eggs in a large bowl using a mixer or spoon. Press this into a 9" x 13" pan reserving 1 1/2 cups of the mixture to crumble on top.

3. In a small pot, melt chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk and butter. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and coconut.

4. Spread chocolate mixture over the peanut butter mixture pressed in the pan, and then crumble the 1 1/2 cups of reserved cake mixture on top evenly.

5. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Cool completely before cutting into bars.

I cooled them in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, and they were the right consistency for cutting and serving.

Easter Basket Ideas

Since Easter is in March this year, we'll be going back and forth on the blog between Easter and St. Patrick's Day.

These ideas came from Pinerest.

1. Sidewalk chalk
2. Markers
3. Fun colored paper
4. Notepads
5. Stamps
6. Stickers
7. Hair accessories (barrettes, clips, colored elastics)
8. Small purse
9. Board books
10. Water guns
11. Water balloons
12. Frisbee
13. Beach towel
14. Sunglasses
15. Flip flops
16. Sandbox toys
17. Gardening tools
18. Vegetable seeds
19. Bug catching box
20. Watercolor paints
21. Painting smock
22. Puzzles
23. Travel game
24. Giant bouncy ball
25. Dress-up clothes
26. Lip gloss
27. Bubble bath
28. Bath fizzy
29. Nail polish
30. Small rubber animals
31. Cars
32. Small race track
33. Legos
34. Pool toy
35. Mad Libs
36. Apron
37. Play food (felt or wood is fun)
38. Cookie cutters
39. Fun cup or sippy cup
40. Play dough
41. Gak
42. Glow in the dark bands
43. Swimming goggles
44. Bubble gun
45. Bike accessories (helmet, knee pads, streamers, etc.)
46. ITunes gift card
47. ABC magnets
48. Mini Etch-a-Sketch
49. Colorful socks
50. Kite

I love the idea of theme baskets (spa baskets, pool fun baskets, art baskets, cooking baskets, bike baskets, etc.).

Have a great Monday. I'll be back Friday morning with A Mountain Story (Words... No Pics) - Part Four, a story (Bobbin' for Apples Should be an Olympic Sport), an update on Sparkle, the recipe for Crash Potatoes (hopefully), a new-to-me party game for older kids and so much more.

Take care, and I'll talk to you the end of the week.


The Enchanting Belinda

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