Sunday, August 14, 2011

August Theme Dinner-Elvis!!!

The month of August has arrived so it is time for our August theme dinner. I really struggled with which theme to go with this month. The obvious choice would have been a "Back to School" theme. However, it would have been difficult to decorate and cook for that kind of theme. After a lot of thinking, I was at a complete loss about what to do for August until I saw the evening news. They were talking about it being Elvis tribute week which is when Graceland honors Elvis during the week of his death. How perfect!!! I have a little Elvis fan here at my house. It was about two years ago when Elia took a real liking to Elvis. We even had to take her to Graceland, and she soaked up every minute of it.

I was not able to buy our decorations at the Dollar Store because I needed something with a rock and roll theme so I had to spend a little extra money on decorations at the party store.

The menu for our Elvis theme dinner included:

* Fried Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwiches
* Peanut Butter Pie

To make the peanut butter and banana sandwiches, I started with butter, peanut butter, bananas, and bread.

First, you mash the bananas in a bowl.

Then you spread peanut butter on one side of your bread.

Next you spread the mashed banana onto the other side of your bread.

While you are doing this, you can heat up and melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet.

Once the butter is melted, you put your two slices of bread together and cook it like a grilled cheese sandwich.

Last, dinner is served!!!!

Elia, even though an Elvis fan, was not a fan of his favorite meal. She did not want her picture taken with such a frowny face about what she was eating. On the other hand, Ava loved her dinner!
I think the dessert was the best part of the night. I was not sure what Elvis' favorite dessert was so I assumed it had to be something related to peanut butter. I wish I could say I made this yummy pie, but it was purchased at the Kroger bakery.

Of course, Elia loved the dessert! (Still no picture!)

Now that dinner and dessert has been eaten and the kitchen is cleaned up, it is time for a movie night with none other than a collection of Elvis movies!!!

Stay tuned for September's theme dinner!

1st Day of School

It is hard to believe but the summer is over, and it time to go back to school. It is even harder to believe that I have a 1st and a 3rd grader. The girls were just babies, and they are growing up WAY too fast.

I always take the girls' pictures by the same stop sign on the 1st day of every new school year. The idea is to see how much they grow and change over the years. I am sure they will just love the idea when they are in high school! Ha! Here is Elia's stop sign picture for 3rd grade:

Here is Ava's stop sign picture for 1st grade:

The girls were so excited about their first day. They had their new supplies all neatly labeled and a new backpack as well as a new lunchbox. Elia chose UT Vols for hers and Ava chose Justin Beiber. Ava is in Mrs. Foreman's first grade class this year.

Elia is in Mrs. Henrikson's third grade class this year.

My babies are growing up too fast! I try to cherish each and every day I can while they are still little! I love my girls!!!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Back to School Cake

I took Elia to the grocery store with me today, and she said she wanted to make a "Back to School" cake since we start back on Monday. (Is the summer really over?) Anyway, we picked up a cake mix, icing, and icing tubes and sprinkles to decorate. Kevin ended up baking the cake while we played outside with Dalton, Cami, and Carol. The cake was cool and ready to decorate by the time we came in from playing outside. The kids decided it would be a good idea to draw out what how they wanted to decorate their cake before they got to work. Elia and Dalton teamed up and decided to put a heart and write "Back to School" on their cake. Cami and Ava decided to make a rocket ship and fireworks on their cake. Here are the kids making a rough draft before they started their masterpieces:

Let the fun begin!!!

Here is Dalton and Elia's finished product: (It really does say "Back to School". It was just hard for their little hands to push the icing tube and write neatly at the same time.)

And here is Ava and Cami's cake: (It sort of looks like a Smurf pooped on their cake! LOL!)

Of course, you can't let any leftover icing go to waste!

School may be starting Monday, but I am sure our fun is not over yet. We love having our sweet friends living right next door so we always have someone fun to play with and decorate cakes!!!

Teaching Responsibility

Elia will be 9 in October, and Ava will be 7 in November. It is time these girls start having more responsibility around the house so we created a chore chart. I cannot take full credit for the idea because I saw a chore chart similar to this one at another Arlington mom's house. However, I changed it up a bit to fit us and our needs. Of course, I had to color code mine so all the sticks in the Monday pocket match the writing on the Monday pocket and so on. Here is a picture of Elia's chart:

And Ava's:

Some of the chores include:

* cleaning up their bedroom
* cleaning up the playroom
* vacuuming their bedroom
* vacuuming their playroom
* wiping down the countertop in their bathroom
* make their bed
* do their homework

Once they complete a chore for the day they move the stick to the "DONE" pocket until all their chores have been done. At the end of the day, they move the sticks back to their original pocket and start all over the next day. They do not have any chores on Saturday, and they are given a chance to earn "Bonus Bucks" throughout the week. They can earn an extra dollar for things like feeding the dog, walking the dog, dusting the furniture, etc. The girls earn $6 every week so that is $1 a day since they do not have any chores on Saturday.

Both girls have a 3 drawer compartment where they keep their money. The drawers spell JOY going down. The J stands for "Jesus" since He comes first. The O stands for "others" because we should think of others next. The Y stands for "you" which means them. They put $1 in the "Jesus drawer" so they can take that money to church to put in the offering plate. They put $1 in the "other drawer". They save this money up for other people. For example, they had saved up about $25 for others so they used the money to buy a stuffed animal for a child in Guatemala. They put $4 in their drawer. They can spend that money or save it. Most of the time, they are pretty good about saving it up for something they really want to buy.

The chore chart and the allowance drawers have worked great and I hope they continue to so my girls will keep learning responsibility.