Tomato Soup Cupcakes!

Now that fall is officially here I’m thinking of delightfully disgusting foods to add to our Halloween gross-ology menu!!  These aren’t gross-tasting at all, but I think the name will make some people squeamish.  Maybe I could bake them in soup cans or something?

 From scratch recipe: HERE!

Quick and easy recipe: HERE!  (replaces oil with soup)

Surprisingly you can’t taste the soup at all!

Of course my grandma’s homemade cream cheese frosting helped, but the cupcakes are moist and yummy.

  Hope you are having lots of fun baking up GROSS (and not-so-gross) Autumn goodies in the kitchen.



Kissy Cheeks!

Happy Cheeks!

Sweet Cheeks!

Irresistible Cheeks!

Mischievous Cheeks!

Happy Tuesday!

 Hope you find some sweet cheeks to kiss today!!


Name Practice

Blaise in turning THREE soon!

For his birthday I filled this vintage tin with recycled manipulatives to encourage a little NAME practice!  I think he’ll get a kick out of the mini activities.  My favorite name “tool” is the tape measure with his name underneath.  Scrabble tiles are tucked inside the orange mint container.


Time to

Time to kiss SUMMER goodbye!!

No more tree huggin days!!

Goodbye hot hot nights.

Farewell first moments of learning to ride a two wheeler!

Ta-ta ice cream truck delights!

So long

pink tutu swimsuit

tiny pool splashin

popsicle lickin

days of summer!

WELCOME FALL!  So glad you are at our door step!


Off to Preschool

TODAY was her special day!  First day of preschool is a pretty big deal around here.  Emerson was so excited last night.  She had her outfit carefully selected and wanted to to make sure we would wake her extra early for her BIG (2 hours and 15 minutes) school day!!

These moments are so precious.

Yes, I even snapped a picture of her dirty little sneaks.  Maybe she’ll appreciate this in 20 years!  I know I will!

We are immensely fortunate to have loving and amazing teachers for our kiddos.  I absolutely believe that teachers are true heroes in our world.  I am so thankful that my children have the opportunity to learn in such beautiful environments.  Perhaps the real heroes are HIGHSCHOOL teachers!  I can’t even imagine.  I once substituted in a highschool physics class and it was an experience to remember.  Lets just say my teaching tricks didn’t work so well with 17 year olds!

I got Mason’s back to school shots today too!!  Who said we have to get “the shot” on the FIRST DAY!?  My goal is to get a back-to -school within the first month of school.  :)  He is LOVING first grade.

Of coures this little fella didn’t want to be left out of the picture action!  If big brother or big sister are up to something he has got to give it a try too.  I can’t believe he is going to be a “BIG BROTHER” so soon!!!

I hope your back-to-school days are going GREAT!


Celebrating the big 4-0!!!!

[Blessing Bag]

Kind readers, friends and family— would you like to help me celebrate my birthday this month?? 

You know I need all the help I can get! 

 Instead of sending a birthday card or gift how ’bout you whip up a BLESSING BAG for someone in need?!  Idea via Kids With a Vision— HERE!  “Blessing Bags” are small emergency kits that might offer a bit of help to someone in need.  You can give your bag to a homeless person on the street or donate it to a local homeless shelter, church or food pantry.  

Last week I asked the kiddos if they would help me make 40 blessing bags to help ring in my 40th this month!  We set up a little family style assembly line and filled gallon sized zip lock bags with our hygiene and food items.  I really can’t imagine a more lovely birthday treat!  Some of our bags were child friendly and others were geared for homeless adults.

Blessing Bag Filler Ideas (for adults)

Mini Cereal Boxes


Hand Sanitizer/Soap



Granola Bars/Energy Bars

Wet Wipes

Pen & Small Note Pad

Breakfast Cookie

Gift Cards (Starbucks)




Note of Encouragement

Peanut/Almond Packs


For kid friendly bags you might consider including stickers, toys, arts & crafts supplies, kiddo shampoo, bubbles, and other little treats!  I found that full size items from “dollar” stores were sometimes less expensive than trail size items at traditional stores.


A soon to be 40 year old!


May she always know…

“I am a child of God.

 I am a beautiful and powerful human being because God not only made me,

but has shared something of His precious divinity with me. 

I am good enough.”

Leo Booth

{Fun with} Alligators

 Snackin’ Fun!

[Alligator Chomp]  Kiddos feed an alligator to spell words or practice letter recognition.  Idea via Education.Com

Alligator Hunting is also known as HIDE-N-SEEK!

 [Reading is a Snap!]

 For our 52 SMILES  project this week we are going to tuck these bookmarks into alligator themed books from the library!  The next child that checks out an alligator book will have a little surprise to remind them that, “READING IS A SNAP!”

Craft to accompany “The Lady with the Alligator Purse” by Nadine Bernard Westcott.  Idea via Kinder by Kim.  Template via “Bookmaking Bonanza” by  Kimbery Jordano.

Waiting for “THE HUNT”— I love Blaise’s expression here!   Emerson spotted the alligator (Mason) climbing a tree.

[Alligator Math] Another fun Bonanza Books idea!

[Alligator’s on Display]  Alligator Spelling (#7) idea via Family Fun!

Tomorrow is Family Trivia Night—Alligators VS. Crocs.  Did YOU know that… Alligators go through 2,000-3,000 teeth in a lifetime?  …the gender of baby alligators is determined by the temperature of their nests?  God must have had so much fun creating all of His creatures!