today was an extra special day - finally got to use my pizza stone! i bought it in the fall and shoved it in the closet. i wasn't allowed to test drive it until i had lost 50lbs. so i'm down 50lbs now and can make yummy pizza!

i was looking for a whole grain pizza dough recipe, but didn't find one that i had the ingredients for before it was time to start cooking dinner. i ended up using the whole wheat pizza dough recipe and subbing 1/3 c. milled flax seed for 1/3 c. of the all purpose flour. i also used honey instead of sugar. and half the oil. so it was:
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 2 tsp yeast
  • 1/2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup milled flax seeds
  • 1 2/3 cup all purpose flour

and it actually seemed a whole lot easier to stretch out - though i dont know if that's because i was using a pizza stone instead of a cookie sheet? but it was pretty good and added some extra fiber.

now i just need to figure what my next prize will be!

play date

oscar had a fun little play date on monday


twin lakes

last weekend i went on another LLL leader retreat! we went to the twin lakes camp and conference center just south of jackson, ms. as soon as i saw the places i was super bummed that oscar and jeremy didn't come along... it was gorgeous!

denise may kill me for posting this photo, but i think it's great! in the background is the lodge that we stayed in.

and this is the walk to breakfast. there were lots of cute walkways and bridges across the lakes.

a post-breakfast swing - these swings were super fun.. i love it when people make playground equipment that fits grownups.

the beginning of our great adventure to hammock land

pulling our way across the lake to hammock land! you can see the hammocks in the upper right hand corner of the picture.
i had a great time and would love to go back there.

uncle chris would be proud

oscar got his first fishing rod for his birthday! while i was away at the LLL leader retreat, the boys went out fishing. here's oscar with his fishing backpack on.

here he is fishing off of a bridge.

and here he is with his very first fish! this is actually the same bridge where jeremy caught his very first fish - isn't that sweet? jeremy asked oscar if he wanted to throw him back and let him live and get bigger - oscar said, "no!" jeremy asked him why not and oscar said, "cause i wanna eat him!" so jeremy cooked oscar his first fishy for dinner.

thank yous

i was so impressed by the great job that the kiddos did with their volcano craft that i took pictures of all of them. after the party i decided they would make a good little thank you card.

they each got their own picture in a card that they can stand up somewhere

and of course they each got their own envelope, because it's so fun to get mail!


dinosaur decor

some decorations from oscar's party. i always do cheap decorations.. paper, ribbon, balloons...

paper, ribbon, balloons
paper and ribbon


lots of balloons. it's not a party without balloons!


dino dinner

it's not a party without some yummy foods - so we had lots! carnivore cuisine (meatballs), dinosaur bones (pretzels), stegosaurus plates (potato chips), dinosaur eggs (easter candy), dino-dig cups (pudding cups), triceratops treasure (fruit salad), herbivores delight (veggies w/ dip), and dinosaur cookies. gramma and grandpa were a huge help with food prep and set up!

here is a better look at the dino-dig cup. it's really just a dirt cup with the addition of these rocks and some candy bones i was fortunate to find at the party store.
the food must have been good because the kids were very quiet for awhile!

birthday boy

after eating his breakfast, the birthday boy got to open one of his presents:

a special party shirt! doesn't he look thrilled?


oscar's cake was definitely a process this year.. i started out with some instructions for a 3D dinosaur cake and some tips on working with fondant and went at it.

the fondant tips were very important because otherwise i would have tried to make the plates the same day as the cake and they would have flopped over. so if you're making a stegosaurus cake definitely do the plates a few days ahead of time.

here is the cake in progress. at this point we all went outside to fly the kite while i let my butter soften for the frosting.

the boys are always ready to help with clean-up (well.. clean-up that is frosting related anyway...)

the head flopped over at some point but i was ok with that. i also had some troubles with the moisture in the frosting softening the big plates until one of them snapped. also needed to prop the spikes up while the frosting around them firmed up. it was a bit scary for awhile there but after a few operations he pulled through.


oscar was very excited about all the people singing to him and blowing out the candles.
and then he got to pick the first piece of cake - he requested the head. the tail spikes were a huge hit and the kids all fought over them.


each of oscar's buddies got a little bag of goodies to open when oscar was opening presents. they had a sheet of stickers, a dino puzzle to paint, plastic dinosaurs

their volcano erupting kit with instructions

a cookie with their name on it

and some dinosaur eggs (how nice of the stores to be full of easter candy already!)

crafty time with the kiddos

we had more kids at oscar's party than we usually do, so i thought it would be fun to have a craft planned. i figured making volcanoes would be a good way to go, so each kid got a plastic plate, a small bathroom-size plastic cup, and a chunk of air dry clay.

the kids did an awesome job on their volcanoes and only the youngest ones needed a bit of help from parents. they used some rocks, gravel and moss to decorate them.
tada! i took a picture of each kid with their volcano and they were sent home with a supply of volcano explosives. thanks again to grandpa for making the demonstration volcano and helping instruct the kiddos!

volcano game

well the dino bean bags from the last post really did get tossed in a volcano - and i didn't even need to make it! since gramma and grandpa came down to visit this past week, i put grandpa to work making a volcano out of a box. luckily grandpa is awesome at building cool stuff and made this:

all i had to do was paste on some tissue paper and paint!

we added some special effects to make it more interesting (special effects = buzz lightyear flashlights)

jeremy helped the kids play the game and they seemed to enjoy it. this is a picture that was taken right as lexi was celebrating getting all 10 bean bags in.

thank you grandpa and jeremy!!


dino bags

this weekend i decided to whip up some dinosaur bean bags as party favors for the kiddos coming to oscar's birthday party. this project took care of my bean surplus. while i was working on them i thought maybe i could incorporate them into a party game. like throw the dino bag in the volcano. of course i'll have to make a volcano to do that.. so who knows what i'll actually end up doing. any ideas?