Sunday, August 28, 2011

Odds and Ends

Last weekend, I celebrated my 40th birthday. DH bought me a new camera as my gift, so I took a few photos around the house/property last night. The above is a shot of the forest behind our house. I didn't see any interesting creatures out though.

Black Eyed Susans

Perennial Geraniums

The steps that will lead to our new brick paver sidewalk.

It's that time of year! I returned to school last Tuesday for four days of in-service and training. Students start tomorrow. Our children start on Tuesday. H will start 7th grade and Miss M will start first grade. I'm hoping for a great year for all of us!

Thank you for stopping by!

~peace and blessings~


Monday, August 15, 2011

Christmas in July Goodies!

I won a Christmas in July goodie box from Lana at I Luv Cooking and Crafting! The box was filled with lots of goodies including ornaments, recipe cards and books. a candle, a mug and other goodies! Thank you Lana!



Crayon Wreath for My Classroom Door

Crayon Wreath


3 boxes of 24 crayons or one box of 64

(since crayons are on sale for 40 cents a box at Walmart, the smaller boxes were more economical)

1-8 inch embroidery hoop

1-10 inch embroidery hoop

ribbon of your choice

hot glue gun and glue

1. Line up the smaller hoop inside the larger hoop on a flat work surface.
2. Lay all crayons on the hoop in the desired color order. This helps with placement when you begin to glue them all down.
3. Glue down each crayon. I made sure they were all facing the same way, but that isn't that important unless you are a crazy crafter like me.

4. Thread a piece of ribbon through the top hoop, between the crayons, to use as a hanger.

5. Create a bow and tie it or hot glue it to the wreath.



Reunion 2011

The annual Grata-Gelesh reunion was held on Saturday. Above is a poor photo of the centerpiece. It was a bit breezy.

Here's the pavillion decked out in the American West theme decor.

Aunt Vera turned 80 on the Fourth of July. Here she is wearing the necklace we bought says Happy 80th Birthday!

This is our niece, our nephews and our son.

The kids are lined up for the three-legged race.

J and Miss M are partners for the race.

A good time was had by all. It was nice to catch up with family!

~peace and blessings~


Menu Plan Monday 8.15.11

Welcome to Menu Plan Monday, hosted by Laura at I'm an Organizing Junkie. This is my final week of summer vacation. Where did the time go? I have several evening events going on this week, so dinner will be light on a few nights.

Sunday~Dinner Out

Tuesday~Crockpot Rotisserie Chicken, Tortellini Pasta Salad, Roasted Veggies

Wednesday~Ag Progress Days at Penn State

Thursday~Back to School Party at a friend's

Friday~Pigs in the Blanket (stuffed cabbage rolls)

Saturday~Dinner at my favorite Italian Restaurant

Have a great week full of blessings!


Friday, August 12, 2011

Gummy Candy Skewers

We made Gummy Candy Skewers today for the Family Reunion. We used five different candies, but I think next time I'll use 6-8 varieties.

Here's one of the first skewers we made...

...and here it is wrapped in a cello bag.

The candy skewer bouquet. I just filled a glass cylinder with paper shreds in red, white and blue and arranged the skewers in the vase. Then I tied a red, white and blue ribbon around the vase. I think it looks pretty cool!

~peace and blessings~


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Family Reunion Centerpiece

Our family reunion is on Saturday. This year's theme is The American West. Above is one of the centerpieces I made for the tables. We'll have the red and white checkered tableclothes on the tables and top them with the centerpiece. I'll sprinkle each table with some red, white and blue star confetti.

~blessings and peace~


God's Girl Basket

I made this "basket" for a basket party to benefit a family who just lost their 23 yo son to cancer and complications. The basket is a lunch tote from Thirty-one Gifts embroidered with "God's Girl". I thought it was the perfect size to carry a bible to bible study. I filled it with a book light, a note pad, and two devotional books for women. I hope it does well at the party.

~peace and blessings~


Monday, August 8, 2011

My 700th Post and Art for the Classroom

I'm working on decorating/decluttering/organizing my new classroom. I found this subway style art at Restlessrisa . I printed it and framed it in black three dollar frames from Wal-mart. One is for boys and the other is for girls. I think they'll be perfect for middle school!



Menu Plan Monday, 8.8.11

Welcome to Menu Plan Monday, hosted by Laura at I'm an Organizing Junkie. Not much cooking went on last week at our house, because we were at picnics, baseball games and museums. It was a fun week! This week is another busy one, but I'm planning on eating at home as much as possible. I'm also using lower fat and sodium ingredients to help with weight control and hypertension. Here's our plan:

Sunday~Spaghetti and Meatballs

Monday~BBQ Chicken Burritos, Oven Fries and Fruit Salad

Tuesday~Grilled Ham Steaks, Twice Baked Potatoes, and Salad

Wednesday~Sloppy Joes, Tator Tots and Baked Beans

Thursday~Slow Cooker Roast Pork with Sauerkraut, Mashed Potatoes and Veggies

Friday~Pizza with Homemade Crust, Salad

Saturday~Family Reunion

Have a week filled with peace and blessings!


Saturday, August 6, 2011

Curtains for my Classroom

Here's the print that I picked. The dots don't come through on the camera very well, but they really go perfectly with my dot theme.



Visit to the 'Burgh

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We visited the busy city of Pittsburgh for 2 days. We had a great time at the Pirates game, despite their loss, and at the Carnegie Science Center. It was a trip filled with firsts...Miss M's first Pirates Game, her first trip to the Science Center and a first memorable night in a hotel room. She was quite fascinated with the hotel room. It was so fun to watch her discover things in the room! It was also our first trip to the Science Center as a family. We visited the Science Center, the USS Requin (a submarine), and the Planetarium as well as saw the IMAX movie, Tornado Alley. If we lived closer to Pittsburgh, I would buy a yearly membership to the Science Center. It would be a great place to take the kids year round because there is so much to do and see. We were wiped out by the end of our two day trip, but look forward to returning to the city again for some more adventures!

Thanks for stopping by!

~peace and blessings~


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Zucchini Gobs (Whoopie Pies) with Cream Cheese Filling

The whole gob

The inside...YUM!

I made these Gobs today to use up some zucchini in a new way. The recipe is from Tasty Kitchen. They taste really great and rich! The only adjustment I will make in the future is to use only about an 1/8 cup of batter for each half. My cakes spread and were huge using the 1/4 cup measurement.

2 cups Coarsely Grated Zucchini
2-½ cups All-purpose Flour
1-¼ teaspoon Baking Soda
1-½ teaspoon Cinnamon
½ teaspoons Nutmeg
½ teaspoons Salt
¾ cups Buttermilk
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 stick Unsalted Butter, Softened
1 cup Light Brown Sugar
1 whole Egg
8 ounces, weight Cream Cheese
½ sticks Unsalted Butter
1-½ cup Confectioner's Sugar
1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
½ teaspoons Rum
¼ teaspoons Salt



Preheat oven to 350°F with racks in upper and lower thirds. Butter 2 large baking sheets.

Squeeze handfuls of zucchini that have been wrapped in a kitchen towel in order to remove moisture. Set aside.

Whisk together flour, baking soda, spices, and salt until combined. Set aside.
Whisk together buttermilk and vanilla in a small bowl. Set aside.

Beat together butter and brown sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add egg and beat until combined well. At low speed, mix in flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture and mixing until smooth. Mix in zucchini just until incorporated.

Spoon 1/4-cup mounds of batter 2 inches apart onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake, switching position of sheets halfway through, until tops are puffed and golden and spring back when touched, 18 to 22 minutes. Transfer with a spatula to a rack to cool completely.


Beat together cream cheese, butter, confectioners sugar, vanilla, rum and salt with cleaned beaters at medium-high speed until smooth, about 3 minutes.

Spread a rounded 2 Tablespoons of filling on the flat sides of half of the cakes and top with remaining cakes.

~blessings and peace~

Monday, August 1, 2011

Our Weekend at the Lake

A beautiful day at Lake Raystown. I love the blue skies!

Miss M and J on the tube

J doing what he loves the most....skiing!

H loves being in the water. He's too big to call him my water baby! ;0)

My little sweetie pies!

Thanks for stopping by!

~peace and blessings~


Menu Plan Monday, August 1st

Welcome to Menu Plan Monday, hosted by Laura at I'm An Organizing Junkie. Can you believe that August has already arrived. August is a busy month for us...back to school prep of my classroom, back to school shopping for the kids, my 40th birthday, a family reunion, a trip or two and of course, camping and boating! Here's our dinner plan for this week:

Sunday~Grilled Lemon Basil Chicken, Rice Pilaf and Fried Zucchini

Monday~Beef Patties in Gravy, Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans

Tuesday~Steak and Veggie Kabobs and Baked Potatoes

Wednesday~Work Picnic

Thursday~Going to see the Pittsburgh Pirates! Go Buc-o's!

Friday~Pizza and Salad

Saturday~BBQ Ribs and Macaroni and Cheese

Have a super week!

~blessings and peace~