Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Superintendent's Award

Dee received another wonderful honor for all of her hard work and accomplishments at high school.  She was gifted the Superintendent's Award for her academic and community service success.  We were invited to a wonderful banquet where students from around the state came from their respective school to accept their award. 

She never stops amazing us.  This week she has been asked to interview for a scholarship and we received a letter that she will be receiving another honor on Awards Night. 
Congratulations Dee!  We love you!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Adventure to Horseland

Over Spring Break, a teacher at my daughter's school who owns her own horse was kind enough to invite my girls up to the stable where she keeps him for us to have a visit. 
The drive up was almost as much fun as meeting the horse himself.  We made sure to stop whenever we saw an interesting place.  This tree was massive and so beautiful.  We immediately pulled over and were excited to find a special nook where we could spend time.
 Along side of the trees was a river that the girls practiced skipping stones into. 

When we arrived at the stables, the girls were SO extremely excited to meet the horse.  They were able to groom him and feed him apples that we brought along.
Maia in particular has had an obsession with horses since she was very small.  She has been begging to take lessons.  Something we may consider in the future. 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Diondra's Senior Prom

This past weekend was Dee's Senior Prom.  It was such an emotional and exciting time.  I know it is just the beginning of the "letting go" I will need to do this year. 
She looked beautiful and her boyfriend is such a great guy. We are so very lucky - they are just such great kids.

We had his parents here first and his Dad was kind enough to help Dee with the pinning of the corsage after a little bit of trouble. 
A little while after came a bunch of their friends and parents.  We offered to host the before-party photo shoot at our home.  Just simple snacks and tons of pictures outside. 

The weather was absolutely perfect. 

Dee has a great group of friends.  Everyone looked so nice and you could see how excited they were.

They had a great time and were super responsible.  Dee was home at a reasonable hour and I was able to go to bed knowing my girl was safe and sound.   I can't believe we have three more girls to do this with... my heart may not take it. 


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Head, Heart and Hands

This  Mother's Day, I wanted to help the children create something new and beautiful for their mommas that could be kept forever.  I came up with an idea to do a simple hand craft idea but using felting techniques. 

 The children each picked out the colors of wool roving they wanted to use for their background and carefully helped me to lay the roving underneath and on top of a piece of jute.  We then traced each little ones hand out of a piece of flat felt and added a simple needle felted heart to the center.
 After the children filled up the jute canvas with their wool roving creation, I needle felted each one using a four-pronged needle holder until the wool was firm and strong. 
 I then carefully needle felted the hand on with one needle, making sure all edges were secure to the background felt. 
 We added a pretty string of wool yarn and were so excited to give these to the mommas when they arrived at pick-up time. 
Enjoy this simple way to treasure your child's little hand as they grow. 


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Encampment Weekend

At the end of every school year Girl Scouts holds their annual Encampment Weekend.  Each year it is at a different location in Connecticut for us.  This year is was very convenient and at the closest Girl Scout Campground to our home. 
The older scouts are able to spend one or two nights camping out while the younger ones come up for the day on Saturday and then return home.  I currently lead three troops so it was a bit challenging figuring out how to organize my time.  Brianna's troop is very young so we decided not to send them up this year.  It is a fun but very long and tiring day and the young girls often have a hard time especially in bad weather.  Maia's troop came up for the day on Saturday and two other leaders stayed with the girls on the bus ride up.  I let Maia drive up with me and some of Keira's troop Saturday morning.
 Keira is in 5th grade and this year we decided to stay one night.  We were assigned the cabins you can see in the background of this picture.  They had bunk beds inside which made things a little more comfortable.
It was so nice to let Maia see what she will be able to do in another few years.  I think she is really excited about being able to one day camp out like her big sister. 
During the day, we had a parent volunteer stay with the older girls and my co-leader so I could go spend some time with my Brownies and Maia.  The girls were excited and for most of them it was their first time coming to Encampment. 
 We enjoyed fun activities including hiking, making God's Eyes, playing a game of Eye Spy and judging the cabins that the older girls decorated for a contest. 

 These are all of the different patches for Encampment over the years. 
For lunch, we went back to meet my Junior Troop where we treated the Brownies to Girl Scout Stew and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches.  I think the girls were amazed at how well you can eat off of an open fire :)

I was totally in my element this weekend.  I slept the best I've slept in years and love nothing more than being outdoors with children in nature.  I spent most of my time tending the fire and loved singing Girl Scout songs and watching the girls learn new things. 

During the day on Saturday, the girls enjoyed the long time tradition of sharing SWAPS with other Girl Scouts.  Maia was so excited to get this cool hiking stick one of the older scouts made.  It completely made her day. 
Brian met me up at camp since it was so close and picked Maia up and showed Brianna the campsite so she could get excited for next year.  The rest of the Brownies returned home on the bus tired but full of beautiful memories. 

And we spent the rest of the night with the older girls roasting marshmallows, singing songs and playing games. 

Can't wait for next year!

Any other Girl Scouts or Campers out there?  I'd love to hear your memories or experiences in comments.


Monday, May 7, 2012

Kale Chips

We made Kale Chips for the very first time the other day as I've heard how yummy they are.
Remove the leaves from the Kale into chip sized pieces.  Wash thoroughly and dry Kale well in paper toweling.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Drizzle olive oil on Kale and LIGHTLY sprinkle salt on Kale.
Do not over-salt... we made this mistake!  Kale is naturally salty and you do not need much.  Bake the Kale until the edges are brown - approximately 10-15 minutes.  Keep an eye on them.  Let cool and enjoy!