Monday, July 28, 2014

Greensboro Science Center

Every summer I take the boys down to Greensboro to spend a fun day with my aunt and uncle, Pam and George.  This year, they took us to the Greensboro Science Center.  It had some new exhibits since we were there last year.

Like penguins!

And stingrays.  And a tank of sharks with a real diver that the boys just loved.  

But what was really cool was the new pirate exhibit.  The boys got to look through telescopes to try to spot the pirate ship.  And I enjoyed looking at cases filled with various treasures brought up from sunken ships.

They also had those hurricane machines, where you go in and shut the door and it creates hurricane winds.  I thought the twins would be a little scared.  But nope.  The boys went in the hurricane machines over and over and over again.  I think they would've been happy to just do hurricane machines all day long.

Pierce learned how to work a robotic arm, and used it to pick up a coin and deposit it in a bucket.

Outside, there was some leap frogging.
And I fell in love with the smartest cockatoo.  He came right over to me and when I whistled, he whistled back.  Cort and I played with him for a while, but when we went to leave he threw a terrible tantrum.  I have never heard such a racket.  In the end, we stayed for a while longer because we felt too guilty to walk away.  If you go to the Greensboro Science Center, be sure to visit the cockatoo!  He's a real charmer, and he seemed desperate for attention.

The boys groomed the little goats for a while.

And took one last shot as pirates before heading out to lunch.
What a great time we had with Pam and George!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Plum Organics Mighty Tots Prize Pack Giveaway

Disclaimer:  This is a sponsored post written on behalf of Plum Organics.  The opinions below are entirely my own. 

A big box came in the mail last week.  The boys were very excited to see what was inside.

They were so delighted to find it stuffed full of snacks from Plum Organics.  We have long been fans of their organic snacks for children, and it is a brand that I buy regularly at the grocery store.  Full of flavor, easily portable, and completely healthy (with added vitamins, minerals, and omega 3s) -- they are snacks that the boys and myself approve.  Plus, they are the perfect addition to the well-balanced school lunch. 

My boys need snacks like these, because they are always so active.  They were excited to see a new purple cape from Plum to add to our three (!) costume drawers.  When we run errands in town, I never know if I might have a superhero or a knight or a frog (or all three) along for the ride.  Our costume drawers see more action than all of the toys in our house.

I'm also happy that Cort has a healthy snack to eat in lieu of other things.  The other day, I caught him with a bouncy ball in his mouth.  He knows he is not supposed to do this.  When confronted, he quickly popped out the ball and hid it behind his back.  His response?  "Mom, you just dreamed I had a bouncy ball in my mouth." 

The boys unanimously decided that they liked the strawberry Mighty 4 Bars the best.  I don't think they realized they were stuffed with 11 essential minerals, chia, and yogurt.  They just loved the strawberry flavor.  But truly, all of the snacks were enjoyed by all!
Check out this adorable video from Plum Organics (Pierce, Cort, and Reid could totally relate to the desire to have their own pirate ship):

One lucky reader is going to win the same prize pack that we received!  Pictured below, it includes Mighty 4 bars, Mighty Puff 'ems, and Mighty 4 Pouches.  And let us not forget the fabulous mighty cape!  This is just in time for adding to your back to school healthy snack stash!
To enter to win this fabulous prize, just click on the Rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Easy Peasy Summer Squash Pot Pie

The past couple of summers, I've had no squash.  It has been depressing.  I just love summer squash.  Fortunately, in January my blogging friend, The Texan, emailed to let me know I should plant my squash with radishes to prevent those destructive squash bugs that have caused me so much garden misery the past couple of years.  Do you know what?  It worked!  And now I have the happy dilemma of summer squash everywhere!  My mom suggested I try my aunt's summer squash pie recipe.  She told me the basics (not having a copy of her recipe) and I came up with my own version. 

2 summer squash, cubed
1 onion, chopped
3 tbsp. butter
1 12 ounce bag frozen mixed vegetables
1 can cream of celery soup
2 refrigerated pie crusts
Salt and pepper, to taste

Steam mixed veggies in the microwave, as directed.  Cook squash and onion in butter on medium heat until tender.  Mix squash, veggies, and cream of celery soup. Put one of the pie crusts in a pie pan and prick a couple of times with a fork.  Pour squash mixture into crust.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Layer second crust on top.  Bake at 425* for 18 minutes. 

This was really easy to pull together, and very tasty.  I'm going to try to make a few for the freezer.  After all, I have twelve more summer squash to use up....

Just a note to my regular readers - I will be posting on Thursday instead of Friday this week, so be sure to stop by tomorrow if you have time! 

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Fourth of July

For the Fourth of July we decided to head to a balloon festival in Lexington, on the campus of the Virginia Military Institute.  It kind of ended up being the balloon festival that wasn't, because the day was too windy and they couldn't put up the balloons.  Nevertheless, there was some fun to be had.  The festival was on the parade grounds, and the surrounding architecture seemed like castles to the boys.  We have been studying the Middle Ages and the Renaissance all summer, so it's no wonder they imagined castles.

The boys were decked out in fun gear.  The twins decided to wear superhero capes, Pierce was wearing "spy gear" and all three boys had some festive glasses given to them by one of Pierce's previous teachers.

The glasses were really funny.

The highlight of the day was meeting Ginny, from Let Your Let Shine blog.  We have been blogging friends for ages.  Ginny takes the most amazing moon and sunset pictures around.  She and her husband, Phil, delighted the boys.  Pierce enjoyed a chess game with Phil and was amazed by his magic tricks.  The boys were kind of wild that day, but luckily Ginny and Phil didn't seem to mind.
We stayed until after dark to watch the fireworks show, which did not disappoint.
It was a fun outing, and much better than our July 4th activities the past couple of years.
Perhaps, we'll be back for more next year, and the balloons will get to go up.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Sculptures at the Library

Recently I was driving by a library, and noticed they had some neat sculptures outside.  I was working at the time, but later I made it a point to drive back and walk through them.

The are so serene.

Love this quote.
As someone who loves reading and libraries, I couldn't resist these sculptures.
I'm glad I took a few minutes to go back and see them.
Readers, is there some sort of landmark you've been meaning to go check out?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Speedy Summer

This is a picture I took of the boys at Highland Park. 
Summer is going much too fast. 
In just a few weeks, it'll be time for back to school.
The boys completed three reading programs this summer.
Now we get to reap the rewards - free ice creams, hamburgers, water park tickets, baseball games and the transportation museum.
I doubt we'll get all that done in the next few weeks.
Especially since Pierce has robotics camp still, and the twins have Knight in Shining Armor Camp.
But we can try!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Mocha Mini Trifles Recipe with International Delight Iced Coffee #IDelight

~~It's deep summer and the perfect time for light chilled desserts. This creamy trifle is a cross between tiramisu and a bread pudding. It comes together easily, is kid-approved, and is perfect for sharing delight with friends on a lazy vacation morning at the beach.


1 cup milk
1 cup International Delight mocha iced coffee
1 package (3.4 ounce) instant vanilla pudding
8 oz. frozen whipped topping (thawed)
1 package Ladyfingers*
2 1/2 tsp. instant coffee granules
1/2 cup boiling water
squirt whipped cream (optional)
sprinkles or toffee chips (optional)

Mix the pudding with 1 cup of milk and 1 cup International Delight mocha iced coffee for 3 minutes on medium. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix boiling water with coffee granules and stir until dissolved, then pour over the ladyfingers. Set aside. Once pudding is prepared (it will not set up completely) fold pudding in gently with thawed frozen whipped topping. In mini trifle dishes or mugs, layer ladyfingers and pudding mixture. Chill in the fridge for an hour. Just before serving, top with whipped cream and sprinkles.

*Ladyfingers can be found in the bakery of your grocery store. They are not in stock all the time at my grocery, and I often have to ask for them from the baker. Sometimes, I will buy extra when I see them and freeze a package. If you cannot locate ladyfingers, you could substitute small chunks of sponge cake.

Paul and I really enjoy the International Delight iced coffee flavors. I especially love it as a early drink after I've been outside feeding the horses in the early morning humidity. I've also discovered that they are perfect for mixing into recipes and bringing new flavors to your creations. Like them on Facebook for other inspiring recipe creations.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of International Delight. The opinions and text are all mine.