Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Mini Corn Dog Muffins

This was the other "kiddie" item I made for the church picnic.

Makes 48 mini muffins

Corn bread recipe adapted from


1/2 cup melted butter (or 1/4 cup butter + 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce)

1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 cup buttermilk

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup cornmeal

1 cup all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

8-10 all-beef hot dogs, cut into 1″ bites


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine butter and sugar in a bowl, and whisk to combine. Add eggs and whisk to incorporate. Add buttermilk and whisk to incorporate.

2. In a separate bowl, combine baking soda, cornmeal, flour, and salt, and stir to combine. Whisk into wet ingredients in two batches.

3. Spray a mini muffin tin with non-stick spray, and spoon 1 Tablespoon of batter into each mini muffin cup. Place one hot dog bite into the middle of each cup.

4. Bake for 8-12 minutes (oven temperatures vary), or until cornbread is golden brown. Cool in mini muffin tin for 5 minutes before serving. Store leftovers in the refrigerator, and re-heat for 20-30 seconds before serving.

Applesauce Aliens or Robots

For our church picnic last Sunday, I decided to make a few food items for the children. The food table is always filled with mounds of heavy, casserole type dishes and my children leave those functions starved, as do some of the adults ;). So I decided to make applesauce aliens/robot treats. I found the original idea on pinterest, of course, does anyone think for themselves now a days?, but I always try my best to NEVER replicate it to a "T". I like to make it my OWN creation. Instead of pretzel sticks for the arms, like pinterest had, I used smarties. Not quite as healthy, but the kids were happier :) I also added a hershey kiss to resemble a hat. Other cute robotic/alien like ideas could have been rolos (for a hat) or starbursts (for a neck). I bet someone really artistic, like my friend Erin, could make this even cuter by drawing a nose and a mouth or something. Erin, don't try it. I don't want you to out do me :) HAHAHA.

These were a ton of fun to make. My kids even joined in on assembling them. Not too time consuming. Oh and the biggest plus, ALMOST every item cost $1.00
Smarties: $1.00
Raisins: $1.00
Hershey Kisses: $1.00
Applesauce: $1.00
Spoons: $1.00
Google Eyes: $1.00
"Half" Pretzel Rods: $1.00 (If you want to use pretzel rods, you need the half ones. These are sold at the Dollar Tree.)
Juice Boxes: $1.99 (on sale, normally $2.99).

The individual thank yous I received, from the kids, on their own, really made all my work worth it. They seemed so excited to have something, on their level, to enjoy/eat/play with. HAHA.

I used a hot glue gun to assemble everything. I highly recommend using a hot glue because they are easier to transport and there is less of a chance they will become disassembled. Be sure to use your lowest setting, to ensure the hot glue doesn't melt the chocolate or seep through any of the other food items or worse your finger. Yes, I burnt myself :( My finger got stuck to the hot glue on the juice box. OUCH! Days later it still hurts.
One other tip, be sure that your juice box's weight is primarily all on top of the raisin box or the robot will NOT be able to stand on it's own.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tough Day!

After a long fun-filled day between church and the church picnic, look how Ashely and I ended our Sunday... with laughs! Both Lilah and Cohen fell asleep, in the car, on the way home, naked and DIRTY, with "blankie" in hand. So sweet!

To my surprise, Lilah appears dirtier than Cohen, who fell in the pond.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Church Picnic

Our Church had it's annual picnic on Sunday. We were fortunate to be able to go this year. In the past two years, we have haven't been able to go because the twins were too young and would have never been able to make it through the day without a meltdown. This year, they did awesome!

The Cannon's hosted it. They live on a huge property of land. Their home is gorgeous and they were so accommodating. They had a small pond that the kids LOVED to catch things from. They found a turtle, salamanders, and crawdads. Volleyball, cornhole, and horse shoes was present. The guys and Kendal had a blast challenging each other in a game of volleyball. We even had a cake bake off contest. Unfortunately, only two people participated. I was NOT one of them, but I was a judge. LOL! Most everyone else just relaxed, enjoyed the beautiful weather that God had blessed us with, ate, AND/OR chased our children. I was ONE of those people :) so I was unable to snap a ton of photos.

Spending time, outside of church, with our family in Christ is not taken for granted because all of our lives are so busy and we don't get to accomplish this, as a group, that often. I am thankful to God for His loving kindness in blessing our family, with West Salem Baptist Church and those who attend.
Everyone lined up for food.
Lilah and Anna catching STUFF!
Jax and Anna catching STUFF!!!!

Best buds!
Jax getting into NO good!

The tough guys and Kendall playing volleyball.
Ty and Gabe created a volleyball game of their own.
This is my dainty, little, princess daughter's outfit after the church picnic. I about died! She is the prettiest Tom Boy I know. Doesn't mind playing in the dirt, BUT, she must have a bow in her hair :)

Friday, August 24, 2012

"Ready or NOT, Here I Come!"

Lilah and Jax played hide and seek. Lilah was the counter. Jax was the hider.
The photo is not very good. I ran as fast I could and grabbed the closest camera. This was my iphone's camera. Anyway, I just thought it was hysterical that Jax hid his entire body, behind the curtains, in our master bedroom, but failed to hide his feet.

Talk about a DEAD GIVE AWAY!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

An Undeniable HANDSOME Baby Gift

This is my NEW, favorite gift to give out, to any mommy of a newborn baby boy! SO... if you are reading this post and you are pregnant with a baby BOY, expect to receive one of these ;) Lucky YOU! I purchased these (2) onesies and matching knit hats from a shop called "Antsy Pants" on Etsy. The quality is awesome and the creativity/mixing of patterns is so happening! The tie is adorable, but the new addition of the suspenders, which I had never seen before, is insane clever and handsome.

Check out the Antsy Pant's shop here.
Baby Hank and Baby Daniel Joseph were the proud receivers of these sets.

Welcome Hank Michael Fernandez

Drum roll please...........
Here he is, the little guy we've all been waiting for! HANK MICHAEL!!!!!!

Lisa gave birth to him on August 8th and that same night, after church, the "Sensational 6" headed up to Roanoke Memorial around 9:00 pm to see mommy and baby. Lisa looked so beautiful. NO sign of just giving birth or exhaustion. AND Hank.... well.... let's just say he's pretty much flawless. He looks exactly like his daddy.
We were able to spend a good 1.5 - 2 hours with Lisa. We heard the story of her labor and delivery, what her sweet daughters thought of Hank, and as usual, we had a lot of laughs. Congratulations Lisa and Aaron on 'creating' another beautiful baby! God is so good to you BOTH.

Us girls will look for ANY excuse to be together.
This brings back a ton of memories for me X 2!

Erin snagged baby Hank first.
Jodster prepares to hold the baby!
You can dress these ladies up, but you CANNOT take them out. They are always up to no good. Meet Dr. Harris and Dr. Carroll.
"Mom, can you get these ladies out of here? I'm tired. It's been a really long day!!!" ~ Hank

I'm slightly late in getting these photos out. I switched memory cards, in my camera, and even as much as I have had to blog lately, I am still, somehow behind on a few things. Sorry Lisa! Please do NOT think for one moment that I would have ever let this one slip. You will see, life with 3, is a whirlwind.

Lunch Box Fun/Ideas

I have made it my mission to make this year's lunches fun, different, healthy, tasty, and creative. I am also not opposed to providing my children with a little "pick-me-up" or "sweet treat". After all, doesn't everyone enjoy an iced coffee, a handful of m&ms, or a donut in the office once in a while? Here are a few things that I am excited to include in my kiddos lunch boxes this year. Nothing over the top, just fun, different, healthy, tasty, and/or creative.

Fun Napkins: Affordable, Fun, and Enticing to Use.
Like my collection ?
This napkin craze started last year.
Pepperidge Farms Goldfish Bread: Easier than Cookie Cutters, NO Crust, Fun, & Thin.
I don't buy these often. Maybe once a month. There are so many different ways to make a sandwich fun and this is just one way. I also enjoy using crust and cookie cutters.
Jokes, Notes, Facts, Memories and Scripture: They look forward to it. It educates. It makes them laugh. It reminds them of your love for them. It encourages them to think of their God throughout the day.
The FACT below is what I included in Tyson's lunch box today.
Nabisco Honey Maid Grahamfuls: I'm sure yummy. Different from a boring old graham cracker. Not overly junkie.
I was super excited when I spotted these because MOST filled items are filled with cheese, peanut butter, vanilla, or chocolate (which Ty despises). SO... when I saw that these were banana filled, I snagged them. I hope Ty enjoyed this in his snack bag today.
Single Serving of Pistachios: Easy, Healthy, Fun to Eat, and Impossible to Overeat Due to It Being Prepackaged.
Anything prepackaged is always a little more expensive, so I don't normally buy prepackaged stuff, BUT these were on sale (10) for $10.00.

Kraft String Cheese that Looks Like Crayons: It Educates. It's Creative. It's Creates Enthusiasm to Eat It.
The latest hype is to market and promote foods geared towards children. These string cheeses look like crayons. What a great way to teach the younger ones their colors and get them excited about which color cheese they want to eat.
Perdue Lightening McQueen Chicken Nuggets: A BOY'S DREAM COME TRUE!
I have YET to find this product, but spotted it in a magazine recently. Please let me know if you find these anywhere. MY ONLY CONCERN is that my boys will decide to use these as toys, instead of as nourishment (as nourishing as they can be). Of course, if I find them, I will only be serving them for lunch at home. I don't trust chicken nuggets in a lunch box. Would you?
I enjoy visiting different stores throughout the Roanoke Valley because I am always finding items that one store carries, but other stores do not. Target and Food Lion, believe it or not, are great for new finds.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


I did this last year, but it never stuck. Ty would complain about doing chores, I would be aggravated about having to fight with him, I was never satisfied with the outcome and it just didn't seem worth the battle. That's until I read an email, from our children's director, at church, on how important it is that every child contributes to caring for what God has given to them.

I allowed Tyson the summer off from chores, that's bad, I know, but it was just easier and looked nicer if I made his bed. Haha. I am not sure I'll ever make making his bed one of his chores. I like beds to be made with hospital corners and karate chopped pillows. Have no fear though, Tyson is INDEED going to be contributing to the needs of this home from now on.

Ty is doing his chores but sadly to report it is accompanied with much grumbling, which, i's not going unpunished. He, hopefully, will learn one way or the other that he's NOT going to win this battle. The worst part is that the chores are not even difficult. He's just always been the child that likes to wage war against me :)

So far here are day 1 and day 2's chore lists.

Ashely, please do NOT be offended that I had to remind Tyson to write you a thank note. He is still 7 and needs to be taught these things, especially since his mommy is the world's worst about getting thank you notes out. I hope you still appreciate the thank you. I promise I refused to tell him what to write.

I am making a daily, conscious effort, to hug and kiss my kiddos more often. Please don't judge me that I have to remind myself to do this. It's easier to do with the twins since they are still "babies", but I still don't do it enough. I guess I am such a task oriented person that I am just always going or doing and I don't stop for a moment to smell them, hug them, or kiss them. SO.... I am now forcing Ty to make that same conscious effort with me. He laughed yesterday when I said, "You didn't do chore number 4." LOL! And I did get some extra snuggles.

Okay, well off to do some chores of my own :)

Mmmmmm Mmmmmmm Good!

A dear friend of mine gave birth to a little boy named "HANK" on August 8th. I have yet to post his sweet pictures. I will do that SOON, I promise. I signed up to bring her dinner this past Sunday. Prior to cooking for them, I gave them a list of 8 dinner options and 8 dessert options. I wasn't sure what their taste buds were craving. Momma bear and Papa bear chose, surprisingly, the same dinner selection, but it didn't work out as smoothly when it came time to select dessert. Lisa chose my famous "Ooey-gooey bars" and Aaron wanted the Bananas a la mode Peanut Butter, dipped in chocolate, and frozen. I guess another way to say that is "Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Bananas". I didn't have the heart to satisfy one parent and not the other so I made both. Take a peak.

I like this dessert for so many reasons
a. It's relatively healthy, especially if you dip the bananas in dark chocolate.
b. You keep it frozen and eat it frozen, so it doesn't ever go bad.
c. It's cheap.
d. It's refreshing.
e. They are BEYOND delicious. I had two bite sized pieces today. OMG!

The ONLY downfall to this dessert, is you'd think it is EASY, but the dipping part is
a. Messy.
b. Difficult.
c. Not overly presentable.

I have a few ugly ones left over if anyone wants to taste them. I refuse to serve ANYTHING ugly, EVER. I am all about presentation.


TOP'EM With Peanut Butter

Be sure to freeze them for AT LEAST 6 hours. The chocolate will solidify fairly quickly, but you want the bananas to be hard. The frozen banana is what makes this dessert scrumptious.

2nd Day of 2nd Grade

Tyson is on day 2 of 2nd grade. He wasn't as anxious to get out of bed this morning, but he wasn't difficult or ugly either. He had football until 8:00 pm, the night before, so we were unable to put him to bed until 9:00. Poor kid has a jam packed schedule.

The morning was smooth. The bus was on time. Tons of things to praise God for.

I am doing my best to come up with some fun ways to make his snack bag and/or lunches exciting & fun. I am willing to share, so keep on reading :)

In Ty's snack bag today, I blended a snack to represent smores. Okay... not really because one of smores main ingredients is chocolate and Tyson despises chocolate. So... instead of chocolate, I added chocolate look-a-likes aka raisins. I am happy to use raisins anyway because obviously it is healthier, but for those of you who's children love chocolate, chocolate morsels would be a great alternative to really help replicate the yummy camping snack.

What does the snack include?:
1. Golden Grahams Cereal
2. Marshmallows
3. Raisins or Chocolate Morsels
For lunch, I included a joke that I thought was funny, but also, incase he's TOO COOL to receive notes from mom in his lunch box, it wasn't lame either. I actually stole this joke idea from the website I received an email, from their website yesterday, with lunch box ideas. Perfect timing. I will step this up a bit when I run out of clean, funny jokes and maybe do a "Did you know...." fact about my life with his daddy or an "I love you because..." thoughts of Tyson. The list is endless.
Sadly, Tyson is unfazed by this stuff. Maybe my little princess will appreciate it more when she is in school. Either way, I am having more fun packing his lunches. HAHA!