Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Summer Ideas for Kids From Around the Web

Have you tried Pinterest??

It's a really fun way to catalog & save all those ideas you find on the internet.

I am totally hooked.

I thought I would share some of the things I have pinned on my "Summer" board.


I love how easy these are to make!

Handmade Checkerboard

So cute!

The kids could save all their summer treasures & make this at the end of summer!

I know a lot of you out there have TONS of fabric scraps!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Our 2 oldest children graduated from High School this year. :(

It happened several weeks ago but I have been having a really hard time.

They both decided to move to San Luis Obispo.

We are a really really close family.

It will be a hard transition but I am really proud & excited for them.

I know that I have said this a million times but we really lucked out and were blessed with the most amazing teenagers on the planet!

They both are so wonderful, I went ALL OUT on their graduation party!

Months in advance I scoured the internet for graduation party ideas.
BLEH!!!! I did not like what I found.
Then a lightbulb went on!

I call our house "The Nest."
We are positioned so we are on a cliff almost, looking down at the tops of the trees.
Most days we sit and watch many many birds perch from the tops of all those trees.
Makes me feel like I am sitting in a "Nest."

So, I decided on a "Flying the Nest" theme!

Definitely different from your typical graduation party theme but it totally suited us & where we live.

We also had TONS of fun with this theme.

Our centerpieces were stacks of vintage books with recycled glass jars filled with flowers from my Mom's yard.

Super cheap! Most of the books I already had & then I borrowed a few from a friend. The glass jars were pasta sauce, salsa, syrup, etc. that I just washed and removed the labels from.

I stamped the little tags with a cute little bird stamp from Micheal's & my dear friend Joni did all the writing. Freehand. Isn't she amazing??!!

Each tag had a different bird related saying. Flying the nest, spread your wings, take flight, etc.

Back deck party area.

I purchased $5 twin sheets in my kids favorite colors to use as tablecloths. (Walmart)

For the table runner Micheal's has burlap in rolls for super cheap.

This was my favorite part.

The dessert table.

I would dream about this. Scary, I know.

I wish we had some close ups of the amazing desserts.

I made Oreo cream filled cupcakes & the cake. My girlfriend Julie made the most beautiful cookies on each of the 3 tiered stands. (Julie totally rocks at making super fancy pants cookies.) We had an assortment of my kids favorite candies in the little cups. Kettlecorn in bird stamped bags. Rice krispy treats went on the empty white plates.

It was awesome!

The cute Congrats banner was made by Oh Buckets. & The 2011 cupcake toppers were made by Little Pumpkin Papers. Gotta LOVE Etsy!

My entryway? Random but cute. :)

Front porch gift table.
They each had a manzanita tree, spray painted black, that we hung photos & little birds from.

Another one of the super cute banners from Oh Buckets & a little clothesline with the words "We're Flying the Nest" clothespinned to it.

Jacob next to his tree.

Baylee next to her tree.

Front porch.

1 of 2 refreshment tables & my Grandparents arriving in the background.
I had 2 separate party areas. The front porch area & our back deck area. I had a refreshment table in each area.

Front porch party!
You can finally see some of the many many feet of pennant banners that Julie & I made.
The rest of the banners stretched across the entire railing on our back deck.

Another cute tag handwritten by Joni.

The cutest graduation gift idea I have ever seen.
Have I ever mentioned that I have some of the most talented, creative & wonderful friends??
These were made by Luke & Leesa.
College Survival Hobo Packs.
Each item in the sack had a functional purpose & a meaningful heartfelt saying that went with it.
Of course I cried while reading but we had a lot of fun with them as well.
See pics below.

And their off..........
on a whole new adventure.

It's time for these birds to spread their wings & fly.

I would like to take just a quick moment to thank every single person who has been apart of our kids lives these past 17-18 years. It takes a village & boy did we have a VILLAGE!!! You are all amazing wonderful people and have blessed our family & our children in so many ways.

Joni, Shauna, Andria, Leesa, Julie, Kari, Mary Jane & Mom - You helped make this party rock! I love you all more than words can say. Thanks for everything!

I am sharing at Today's Creative Blog!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Green Bean Summer Salad

I was sooo excited about this.

I don't know why.

I am a geek.

It's our first ripe red raspberry. Ever!

I have never grown raspberries before & I was screaming in hysterics calling everyone outside to look.

Thankfully, Avers was just as excited as I was, so I didn't look like a total freak.

After I snapped the pic she immediately popped it into her mouth!

I had an abundance of green beans.

I had bought some at the Farmer's Market & then when I picked up my CSA box this week there was more.

I love it!

Here's what I did with all those beauties.......

Green Bean Summer Salad
Steam 1lb. trimmed, cut & washed green beans for 5 minutes.

Immediately plunge into an ice water bath.

Strain, dry & add to a bowl.

Chop 2 large tomatoes & add to bowl.

Chop 1 large red onion & add to bowl.

Drain, rinse & add 1 can white beans to bowl.


In a small bowl add 4 tbls. olive oil, 2-3 tbls. red wine vinegar (I like a LOT of vinegar so I add 3.), 1 large minced garlic clove, 1 tsp. fresh chopped dill or 1/2 tsp. dry, 1 tsp. fresh minced parsley, 1 tsp. dijon mustard, salt & pepper to taste.

Whisk dressing well & pour over veggies.


You can also add 1/2 carton of feta cheese. The cheese is really delicious in this recipe but I was trying to keep it vegan for my "Detox Friends".

I doubled the recipe in this picture because I was taking this to a potluck!

This salad keeps really well in the fridge & it's also great picnic fare.

Enjoy friends!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

FAM JAM 2011

Want to have a really good time this summer???

Get a bunch of families together & host a Fam Jam!

Sooooo much family FUN!!!!!!

Our hosts Da MH Bomb Team!

Also known as the Mullins-Hoekstra family.

They are the creative force & directors of our little Fam Jam.

There was a t-shirt contest this year.

The Far Out Furrer's!

We are totally groovy!

We were last years dominating team & the winner's of the coveted Fam Jam trophy.

Peace Man, Peace!

The Chrisman Crushers!

Serious competitors.

Team Allen!

Amber cut out all those letters! Go Amber!

Team McLovin McDonalds!

1 team member down in this pic.

I am missing pics of The Patino Crew & The Bombdiggity Bartons! :(

But here's the back of their heads! Tee Hee!

Water Balloon Toss!


Go Avers Go!

Family Relay Race!

Crab Walk, Bear Crawl, Lemon Squeeze, 1 Foot Hop, & Somersaults.

Zach McLovin McDonald taking the somersaults to a whole new level!!

Watermelon eating contest!

Patino Crew girls giving it their all.

Again, Zach McLovin taking watermelon eating to a whole new level, mountain style! ;)

Pretty sure I heard banjos playing.

Just kidding.

Winners of the contest with their down to the rind melon!

Go Far Out Furrer's!!!!

Final score board!

2011 Fam Jam Winners........

The McLovin McDonald Family!!!

Congratulations guys & A big shout out to the MH Family!!!!

Thanks for another amazingly fun Fam Jam!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Roasted Summer Veggies with Pasta

I made this recipe vegan for my friends who are on the "Detox Diet" & it turned out really good.

Morgan had 4 joke.

Rough chop some summer squash, tomatoes & red onion toss it into a pan.

Next, mince 6 cloves, yes 6, of garlic. Toss it in the pan.

Drizzle your pile o' veggies with a ton (not an actual ton but I like a lot) of olive oil.

Sprinkle with sea salt & fresh cracked pepper.

Now give that pile o' veggies a good toss & spread evenly in the pan.

Roast in the oven at 375 until veggies are soft but not squishy. :)

Start cooking your pasta noodles, any kind, while your veggies are cooking.

I used 3/4 of a package of spaghetti.

When your pasta noodles are finished cooking, drain them well.

Add them to a big ol' bowl & drizzle with another ton of olive oil & sprinkle with salt & pepper.


Dump the entire pan of roast veggies right on top of your seasoned noodles. Juicy drippings & all.

Then add a big bunch of chopped fresh basil.

Toss the whole mess together & serve.


This was a very light & refreshing pasta dish.

If you aren't doing the Vegan thing you could add some parmesan cheese.

It would be delicious with some parm!

Hang in there Detox friends! I know you can do it!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Snow Cones

I love Target!


$18 for a snow cone maker!!!!

Who wouldn't love that???

I am not loving the plastic straws that came with the paper cups but we washed them in the dishwasher & reused them.

(Makes me feel a little better.)

Who would have know that dye colored sugar ice would make my girls sooo incredibly happy! ;)

They love making them & it's really pretty safe for younger kidos to use on their own.

I am really loving that part!

Years ago we had one but my kids used it so much I think they blew up the motor.

I completely forgot how much they loved it.

Gotta love Target, reminding me of these things.
The day we went to Target I think it was 104 degrees in town.

Snow cones sounded really really good!

The girls made dessert last night!

@ Kirsten - Red totally rocked these chairs!

You were right!

Lovin it!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Aunt Heidi's Oakie Mokie

Yes, we live in Auuuuuberry!

We are Oakies. :) Not really, but what a fun name anyways.

My Aunt Heidi drinks these all summer long & they are GOOD.

She has my entire family hooked on them.

Easy, yummy & refreshing.

My kind of recipe.

Get yourself a big ol' glass.

Add 1 heaping teaspoon of instant coffee.

Add some cool water to just about half the glass.

Give it a good stir until the coffee dissolves.

Next, add 3 heaping teaspoons of Nesquick.
Give it another good stir until the Nesquick is dissolved.

Then add your choice of milk leaving just a bit of room for ice.
Add some ice cubes.

Sip away!

There's nothing like an ice cold coffee drink on a warm summer day.

Well......maybe an ice cold tea drink but that's another blog post. :)

I am sharing at: