Camp Kickoff…

I’m the camp director for my church’s girl’s camp this year – its an added bonus that Hallie is twelve and gets to come along! (For girls ages 12-18)

When we first sat down as a committee to discuss theme ideas, we couldn’t help but jump on the Greatest Showman bandwagon since the girls sing it non-stop. Not to mention all the great themes woven throughout the movie that we could build on.

We had our camp kickoff a couple weeks back where the girls were introduced to the theme, we gave instruction for camp, had the girls race to set up tents, fill out waivers and make their payment, as well as vote on different things for camp including camp shirts.

The invite was Barnum’s animal crackers. (I love any calling that I get to design for!)

Girls Camp Kickoff

Girls Camp Kickoff

Girls Camp Kickoff

Girls Camp Kickoff

Girls Camp Kickoff

Girls Camp Kickoff

Girls Camp Kickoff

I’m not sure who had the brilliant idea of dressing up but I tried getting out of it a number of times. Which is funny because I love Halloween and dressing up. I was just looking at the long list of things to worry about and costumes weren’t high on the list. Luckily, there was someone who insisted we dressed up because it made a huge difference for the girls. We made a surprise appearance, with a special and dramatic entrance which included the lights out, a spotlight, Greatest Showman song and a choreographed little number. I was totally uncomfortable but we had such a great time. Camp is going to be fun with these ladies!

Girls Camp Kickoff

 

 

 

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Phone life…

Here’s life according to our phones. Its not very often that I’m found in front of the camera. Steve’s intimidated by our nice camera and rarely picks it up, unless I get all the settings just right and then pose everyone and then hop in the picture and have him take it for me.

However, I downloaded pictures from his phone and found a few on there I’m in. He’s much more comfortable with his phone camera and he sees the need for me to be in a few pictures even if its me sleeping – or with a unicorn head!

phone life

Steve, Hunter and Bennett attended a large scouting event where the kids got to participate in a number of activities. In the target practice, Hunter was consistent and much better than Bennett. But little brothers don’t go down without a fight and although Bennett’s shots were all over the board. He did manage somehow to get one right in the middle. You can see the pride of beating his brother written across his face!

phone life

This is Steve’s special place – early in the morning, on the patio, studying the scriptures. It’s his “me” time.

phone life

Steve took the kids skiing – and it was Bennett’s first time. Even with ski school there was some frustration. I’m loving his new found love of emojis!

phone life

phone life

phone life

Steve came home for lunch. I already had the kids down for a nap and I was in work mode!

phone life

Poor Sylvia (Steve’s car) had a little accident. Someone backed into it while it was parked (more coming on that story). Sad day.

phone life

Steve takes Sunday morning breakfast to a new level. The kids love every bite of it.

phone life

Not sure what this picture is but can best be described with one word – shenanigans!

phone life

Hallie and her friend (and all the girls her age in our church) went to an etiquette night with boys the same age. They also learned how to dance with boys – quite the eventful night!

phone life

These four boys – can’t wait to see what life is like when they’re all in junior high!

phone life

Our chalkboard art for February which turned into March and now April.

phone life

Not sure how much longer we’ll have towel babies, but they’re the best!

phone life

Greatest Showman for camp kickoff featuring the bearded lady, tattoo queen, ringmaster, albino and strong woman. We had a great time.

phone life

That’s a wrap!

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Lettering practice…

I went back to the Crayolas this week. These are the markers I learned on and they’re the cheapest to practice with. They’re easy and forgiving – but they don’t blend like the Tombows. Unleash the inner kid!

Live with Courage

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The smirk…

This smirk is something I see daily. Sometimes he does it when he is trying to make a point. Sometimes he does it when he thinks he knows what is going on in a conversation but he really doesn’t. Sometimes he does it when he’s trying to hide something. Sometimes he does it when he’s caught you eating cookie dough out of the fridge. It’s his universal smirk – the smirk that says everything.

The funny thing is this smirk usually goes along with a number of hand gestures. When he’s caught you doing something his hands are on his hips. When he’s trying to make a point he moves his wrist in a rolling motion – he’ll stop talking but his wrist keeps rolling as if to note that his thought still continues. When he’s trying to hide something, both hands come up in the air as to indicate confusion.

He is our most animated child and has distinct mannerisms (like every kid) that make him unique. I love when I capture them in photos.

Nikon d750  |  85mm  |  ISO 320  |  1/250  |  f2.8

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Potato Knot Rolls…

WARNING: IF YOU LEARN HOW TO MAKE THESE ROLLS – YOU WILL BE ASKED TO BRING ROLLS TO EVERY FAMILY FUNCTION…FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE! ALTHOUGH THAT MIGHT SEEM LIKE A LONG SENTENCE – THEY ARE TOTALLY WORTH IT!

Potato Knot Rolls

My friend Shellie is amazing and her cooking skills are far beyond my comprehension. I asked her a few years back to teach me how to make her rolls. She hosted 5 women in her home and walked us through step by step how to make them and I’ve not made another roll recipe since. Here’s the recipe in it’s entirety – I’ll then walk through the process with pictures.

POTATO KNOT ROLLS (yields 48 rolls)
1  1/2 T Yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1/2 t sugar
3 cups milk
3/4 cup butter
1 cup instant potato flakes
3/4 cup sugar
1 T salt
5 large eggs
7 to 8 cups flour
Additional cube of butter for spreading on dough before forming knots

Heat milk in microwave for 5-7 minutes. Add butter, potato flakes, sugar and salt. Combine and let cool to lukewarm.

Mix yeast with 1/4 cup of water and 1/2 t sugar to activate yeast.

Beat eggs and add the lukewarm milk mixture. Add 4 cups flour and beat until smooth (at least a minute or two). Add yeast mixture and slowly add more flour until sides of bowl are clean(ish). Dough should still by sticky. Put dough in bowl and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.

Divide dough in half and roll into large rectangle. Take soft butter (1/4 cup) and spread all over the rectangle. Take the top of the rectangle and fold to the middle and take the bottom and fold on top. Use rolling pin to flatten a little bit. Cut dough into 1 inch strips and tie in a knot. Place on greased baking sheet and let rise for 2-3 hours. Bake at 375 for 11-12 minutes. Brush with butter.

Here’s a picture tutorial:

Heat milk in microwave for 5-7 minutes. Add butter, instant potato flakes (or potato pearls), sugar and salt. Combine and let cool to lukewarm. This will look like runny mashed potatoes after it cools a bit.

Potato Knot Rolls

Follow the directions to make the dough. This dough is sticky. Do not add too much flour – as you can see from the picture, it would not form into a loaf. In fact, it’s hard to get out of the mixing bowl its so sticky.

Potato Knot Rolls

After the dough has doubled in size you’ll divide the dough in half. Roll out one half of the dough into a large rectangle. With softened butter, cover the entire rectangle. (I use the back of spoon to spread it around)

Potato Knot Rolls

Potato Knot Rolls

After the butter, you’ll fold down the top 1/3 and then fold up the bottom 1/3. Then use a rolling pin to roll it out just a little.

Potato Knot Rolls

Potato Knot Rolls

You should get 24 rolls out of the first rectangle. Using a pizza cutter – cut the long skinny rectangle in half and then cut the two halves in half again. You should have 4 sections. Take each of the 4 sections and cut so you have 6 strips.

Potato Knot Rolls

This step takes a little practice to get them to look good, but start making a knot out of each strip. You literally tie the dough in a knot. The first batch may look a little sad – but my 12-year-old can make these (after some practice) – after one batch you’ll be a pro.

A little tip: I make these for a lot of family functions – and I love a fresh roll but it never works out to make them the day of. Instead I make them the day before. Once I tie them in a knot, I place them on a cookie sheet right next to each other and freeze them. After a couple hours, I put them in a ziploc bag. The next morning, I pull them out and place them on cookie sheets to rise. They take 6 or 7 hours to rise and then I cook them. I’ve kept them frozen for several weeks before cooking them, but I’ve found they’re best within a day or two.

Potato Knot Rolls

Potato Knot Rolls

Potato Knot Rolls

They are soft and buttery and oh so good!

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