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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Summer Vacation...

I think this may be one of my favorite pictures.  One, it just captures Miller to the T!  And two, I love how somehow I miraculously caught the very first splash in a very smooth lake.

This week looks a little different than we thought it was going to.  We were supposed to spend the week at the beach, but with the threat (which that turned out to be all it really was where we were going) of Tropical Storm Debbie, we decided to stay at the lake.  We decided it made more sense to stay where we knew the weather was beautiful than take a chance of being stuck inside for days with three very stir crazy kids.  So, we will save the beach trip for next summer.  But, I think so far we have made some pretty good family memories.

It does not get much cuter than this, a little boy and his dog fishing.
No fish were caught.  It is probably a good thing.  I don't know if Miller could have handled Sage's 
reaction to seeing a fish pop up out of the water in the net.
 Sara Wells is now swimming like a fish (even without her float).
 And let me tell you, she knows she is a big girl and hot stuff!
 We found a new rope swing.
 Ella and Miller thought it was the coolest thing to watch their Daddy swing out over the water!
 Miller was the brave one this time.  Climbing high up the tree
 and swinging out over the water (I could not snap the picture fast enough).
 Ella was not quite as sure about the height, 
 but she did not let that stop her from loving the rope swing!
 Miller's favorite new skill that he has gained this week is driving the boat.  These pictures are not posed, he drove (and continues to drive) us around the lake.
 And he loves it!!!
 We will leave the docking (and driving when there is another boat within a 1/2 mile of us) to Murray, but give Miller open water, and he is H-A-P-P-Y!
Needless to say, we have worn the kids out!
I hope y'all are enjoying your summer!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Swim Lessons

Last week The Lee Kids had swim lessons.  
They were not alone in their swimming endeavors, 
They were joined by their cousins and Ella's "best friend" Lucy.
With all those kids together for a week, 
we had a surprisingly good week
 with no major meltdowns.
 Even the 2 year olds got along pretty well!
Even if no one improved in their swimming abilities, 
(Which they did!  Sara Wells is now a little fish!)
the week would have been a success.
We had a great time and made lots of fun, summer, family memories!

Happy Swimming!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Gooey Butter Cookies

I have a yummy yummy recipe for y'all today!

The best deal of the Lemonade Stand were the "FREE"


I have not made these cookies in some time, chocolate chip cookies are usually the main request from the Lee Kids.  But when I was trying to think of a cookie that would not melt in the Alabama Summer Heat, I immediately remembered these yummy yummy cookies.

What you need:
1/2 cup butter, softened
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 box 'butter recipe' yellow cake mix
1 cup powder sugar

These cookies are great cookies to make with kids.  There are enough steps to make them feel like they are actually doing something, but not too many where it is just a headache for Mommy!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Beat the butter, cream cheese, egg and vanilla 
until it is light and fluffy.

Stir in the cake mix.

Chill, covered (no, I did not cover mine and I should have!) for at least 30 minutes.

Drop the dough by teaspoon full into a bowl of powder sugar and roll into balls

Place on a cookie sheet that is lightly coated with cooking spray, because it is more "cakey," it sticks a little bit more.  Bake for about 12 minutes or until the bottom of the cookies start to turn golden brown.  Cool on wire racks.  
This batch I made the cookies a little too small.  
They are best if they are a little bit bigger than this.

The hardest part about making these cookies is that I could not just keep popping them into my mouth because they were actually for Ella and Miller.
That is not to say I did not sneak a few when they were not looking or "get rid" of the ones that had a bad spot :)  But I will warn you, it is hard to stop with just one!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Free Lemonade

This summer Ella and Miller have been very serious about making money.  We got everyone piggy banks for Easter or Valentine's Day (I cannot remember) and they have been collecting change around the house every since.  A few dollar bills have been added here and there for extra things they have done around the house to help.  But the real concept of money had not really clicked.  

All that changed a couple of weeks ago.  When we were at the lake with Murray's parents, Papa paid Ella and Miller for helping with all the yard work.  Of course they immediately wanted to spend it!  However, they found out very quickly that $2 is not quite enough to purchase what they want to buy.  

Including his $2, Miller had saved up enough money to buy a Power Ranger's costume.  But Ella's heart's desire was tap shoes;  all we have heard about for the past month are tap shoes!  The $2 plus the money in her piggy bank was not enough to purchase her tap shoes.

When Ella realized she still needed more money, she decided to make and sell chocolate chip cookies to earn the rest of the money she needed for tap shoes.  Ella's hard work paid off.  From those two days of hard work (one day making and one day selling) Ella earned enough money to finally buy her tap shoes.

And boy did she wear those tap shoes out!  She tapped and tapped and tapped.  She danced in the garage from 11:30 to 6:00.  I promise you I am not exaggerating!  I made her come in for lunch and she took a few quick breaks for water, but other than that she was outside the entire time, tapping way!  Needless to say, Ella loves her tap shoes and the fact that she worked hard to pay for them makes them even more special.  
So now, Ella and Miller are all about earning money!  

We decided our venture this week would be a Lemonade Stand!  All week we have been looking forward to and preparing for our Lemonade Stand.

Ella made the Rice Crispy Treats.
 Miller made the cookies.
Ella put all the cookies and rice crispy treats in bags.
With our goodies packaged
and lemonade made, we were ready for business.
 We walked up to the end of our driveway, turned on Pandora and waited for our first customer.
Their first customers were actually friends from church (unsolicited).  They were driving by to go swimming with some friends.  Ella and Miller were thrilled to offer their friends some snacks to give them energy for swimming. 
 Rachel loved Ella's Lemonade.
Even though the Lemonade Stand was VERY successful (Murray and I are thinking about opening our own lemonade stand!),
Ella and Miller eagerly awaiting their customers

there were still times of

disappointment when a "customer" did not stop,
arguing over who would fix the next lemonade,
and a few distractions (finding crickets).

And don't worry, Sara Wells did not miss all the fun.  After about 45 minutes, Sara Wells bee bopped her way up the drive way to join the fun.  She woke up from her nap, put on the "appropriate attire and joined the party outside all on her own!  She is not one to miss out on any fun.

I have a feeling that a few more Lemonade Stands are in the future of our summer!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

How Does Your Garden Grown?

What have we been doing lately???

Picking green beans!
 Our garden is finally starting to produce.  
 I say finally because I feel like we have been waiting for this garden for 3 years. 

One way to get the deer to stop eating your garden is to wave a white flag and just 
move away from the deer.

We tried everything we could think of, but it seems like the only way to really get 
deer to stop feasting on your garden is just to leave them.  

That is one positive thing about all this moving we have been doing, we finally 
found a place for our perfect garden:)