Friday, July 4, 2014

Weekend Happenings, Snickerdoodle Blondies, Pinterest Stuff (FREE Dates Your Wife Will Love), Way Back When... (30 Things To Do in July)

Hey, Guys...

Things didn't turn out exactly as I thought "posting-wise" on Tuesday, so for that I apologize.

RANDOMNESS #1 - Since we participated in Basketball Camp this past weekend, of course the pictures are of Roxie and other Lady Rockets.

Of course!

I have a million pics like this one. The girls always look like "graph bars" for some reason.

Kelci, Roxie and Sabrina.

Look at that fancy footwork...

It never stops.

The Official Basketball Ponytail.

Sabrina and Roxie waiting to go into the game!

I think we're going to have a really good team this year..

And I don't think it is just the "Mother" in me talking either.

I heard other people saying the same exact thing.

Non-parent-type people!

Enjoy the basketball pics while they last because this will probably be it until November.


I bet you thought I forgot, didn't you?

Not a chance!

Here are some 4th of July pics of our Family 4th Celebrations from 2012 and 2013...

I made these Brownie Kabobs in 2012.

They had something for everyone... fruit OR sweets OR both.

We played card games in 2012 and if you won, you got to pick a prize out of the bag.

Roxie wasn't too happy with her "pick."

Brad and Stephanie.

Uno was one of the four games we played that day.

Unlike Roxie, Melia liked her prize.

Zac got a little intense.

Katie and Josh.

We tried something different for Grandmother's birthday cake in 2012. We had a Fruit Tort from Klingler's Bakery. It was good, but my family still prefers traditional chocolate.

We met up with Monica at the movies later that night to finish off a pretty great 4th.

And last year (2013), we did the Slip and Slide thang!

Yep. That is me with my flag. Let the party begin!

Roxie was all grace and poise...

And then something went horribly wrong.

She made me promise to never show the end result.

Josh was a bullet...

And he always ended up three or four feet OFF of the tarp.

Melia's goal was to make it to the bottom.

Brad and Austin racing.

Brad won.

This was such a dirty, dirty sport.

Stephanie made it to the bottom...

And so did Melia.

Stephanie, Grandmother and Brad.

This was Josh when the 4th was finished.

Tired, but happy.

I've got a bunch of totally different activities for today, and I'll share those pics with you Tuesday!

Snickerdoodle Brownies

2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup butter, at room temperature
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9" x 13" baking pan.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

3. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla until smooth. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and beat until well blended.

4. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan.

5. In a small bowl, combine the white sugar and cinnamon.

6. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the batter in the baking pan.

7. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the surface springs back when gently pressed. Remove from oven and let cool slightly on a wire rack. While still warm, cut into squares with a sharp knife.

No surprises here, Folks. Very, very good!

Pinterest Stuff

FREE Dates Your Wife Will Love

1. Have A Photo Shoot - Grab your digital camera (the best point and shoot cameras) and start driving around town together and stop at scenic locations and start taking pictures of each other. Be goofy. Be creative. Think like an artist. Don’t just take the same old fake smile centered pictures. Get out of the box and take some weird pictures! Take 100 to 200 pictures and go home, download Picasa, pick your favorites and stretch your creative muscles even more by adding various effects to each picture.

2. Go House Shopping - Even if you aren’t in the market for a new house, just browse anyway. There is just something fun about the home-browsing process. Pick a developing area and check out a few of the display homes. Make a list together of the things you do and don't like. This is also a great way to get some design ideas and to find layouts you may want in the future.

3. Go Play a Free Sport Together - Play basketball, tennis, soccer, catch, ride bikes together, rollerblade or anything else. It is fun, you get to breathe some fresh air and most of them are great exercise as well. How is that for multi-tasking?

4. Plan A Vacation - As I write this I am counting the days to my next vacation. You could almost argue that the anticipation up to a vacation provides as much enjoyment as the vacation itself. Why not start planning one? Even if it will be two years away, it is still something to look forward to and will get here sooner than you know it. There are a million vacation-related sites to get your brain churning and help you get ideas. Once you figure out where and when, start budgeting for the trip!

Way Back When...

This item was posted in July of 2009...

30 Things To Do in July

Are you wondering what to do the rest of the month because you have already done EVERYTHING ELSE two or three times in the month of June? Well, here's a little list taken from Family Fun several years ago that might be helpful. As far as being considered a Seasonal Tradition, you could put this list up on the fridge every July 1 and check off what you have done, and try to complete the rest of the list by the time school starts. (Of course, make the list fit your family... and make it FUN.)

1. Brainstorm a long list of family trivia questions for a game night with relatives.

2. Go out to eat at an ethnic restaurant and order a new dish for everyone to try.

3. Start a family journal and encourage everybody to contribute at least one entry a day.

4. Throw a pool party and ask your guests to bring a dish for a potluck picnic.

5. Hide pennies around the yard for a scavenger hunt. (Or if you really want some enthusiastic hunting, hide quarters!)

6. Invite your children to document a typical summer day by taking photos with a disposable camera.

7. Pick up a botany guide and see how many plants and flowers you can identify at a public garden.

8. Pack trail mix and thirst quenchers and pedal along a local bike path or scenic roadside.

9. Spin a sequel to your kids' favorite bedtime story by taking turns adding one sentence at a time.

10. Use colored chalk to transform your driveway into a giant family comic strip.

11. Introduce your kids to a classic game, like backgammon, cribbage or charades.

12. Visit your town's historical society and look for old photos of your neighborhood.

13. Take a hike locally or at a nearby state park.

14. See who can create the most new words using only the letters in your family name.

15. Head to the bowling lanes with another family and compete family vs. family and then kids vs. adults.

16. Have a make-your-own-sundae party for your kids and neighborhood friends.

17. Make your own concentration card game using two photos of each family member.

18. Have a backyard campout and roast hot dogs and marshmallows on sticks.

19. Start a card game tournament. (Pick your favorite game.)

20. Transform plain white t-shirts into tie-dye sensations.

21. Organize a neighborhood video, puzzle or game-board swap.

22. Check out the newest exhibit at the nearest science or art museum.

23. Teach your kids your favorite childhood jump rope jingle, marble game or hopscotch.

24. Come up with a secret code and leave cryptic messages around the house.

25. Pick up some fresh ripe garden tomatoes and try out a new salsa recipe.

26. Plan a summer supper of all your family's favorite hors d'oeuvres.

27. Photograph local landmarks, then use them to make postcards to send to out-of-state relatives.

28. Make a home video of your kids lip-synching their favorite tunes.

29. Help your kids and their cousins stage a talent show for the family.

30. Use sketches and magazine cutouts to create a collage that depicts your family's summer fun.

You could start this today! Change it to fit your family. Mark off the things you have already done, and then get busy. Keep the list, and add to or delete from year to year as the kids get older and their interests change.

Weekend Happenings

Since the 4th is TODAY, I'll go ahead and give you a list of how we're going to celebrate...

1. My sister's family and Grandmother are coming over around 5:00 for a festive dinner. We are having the traditional fare... barbecue, potato salad, deviled eggs, baked beans and birthday cake.

That's right. Birthday cake.

We always celebrate Grandmother's July 1 birthday on the 4th, and this year will be no exception.

2. The grand-adults will be participating in THREE surprise activities which I will describe in detail in Tuesday's post.

3. The plain ol' adults (there is nothing grand about us any longer) plan on sitting around visiting and reminiscing about holidays gone by...


I have some fun planned for us, too.

4. I think Saturday includes working for Austin, Josh and Roxie. Mike and I will be keeping the homefront safe and sound while all the others are away.

5. Sunday is church day, Sunday dinner day and all around "do what you what you want to" day. Basically, it is just about my favorite day of the week at this stage of my life.

And that's it for our family. I hope you and yours have a spectacular 4th of July celebration. Make some wonderful memories and enjoy the ones you're with that day!

Take care, and I'll talk to you next Tuesday!


The Enchanting Belinda

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