Thursday, October 31, 2013

Trick or Treating

Holy Calories Batman!!

Rat....................Meat Loaf

Just bake them and eat them whole. 
You don't get much meat off of a rat if you try and clean them.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Spider Taco Ring

This is our dinner for Halloween night but, since we are having friends over, we thought it would be best to "taste test" it before hand.  It passed unanimously.  
The idea for this ring came from but we made a couple minor changes to it.  If you want the original, check out their web site. 
  • 1 1/2 pound hamburger, cooked and drained
  • 1 onion chopped 
  • 1 package taco seasoning - I always find taco seasoning spicy so that is why only one pack for 1 1/2 pounds of hamburger. 
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tubes refrigerated crescent rolls - we used the large size 
  • 1 tube refrigerated bread sticks
  • Shredded lettuce
  • 2 large pitted black olives
 Brown hamburger with onion, tip up pan and scoop out grease. Add taco seasoning and water. Simmer until liquid is gone. On cookie sheet, lay out the crescent rolls in a circle with the small point facing out.  Add hamburger mixture around the ring, flip the rolls into the center - if you have ever been to Pampered Chef party do it like they did, same thing. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20-30 minutes or until golden brown.
Spider Legs - Place spider legs on another cookie sheet bent in the shape of a "V". Bake until brown.
Putting it all together - Add lettuce to the center of the taco ring (you may have to cut the hole in the middle bigger just use a glass), then add olives for eyes.  Sticks the legs in.
Serve with cheese, tomato, salsa, raw onion, sour cream, more black olives and shredded lettuce or anything else you would put on your taco.

Ritz Spiders

Taking these to bible study tonight.  Assuming they won't last long after the kids get there.  Update:  The kids didn't get any because the adults ate them.  Good for all ages :)

Halloween Party II

Our second Halloween party this year, the first one was with our 4-H club.  Dancer and her nerd friend (who is anything but a nerd).

A little church lady served toxic slug.  Her costume was awesome.  It was actually her grandmas dress, she wore a black 1960's going-to-church hat, clip-on painful earrings (how did women ever wear those?), a grandma pin, had a little purse draped on her elbow and, to make the outfit authentic - knee high nylons.

Wrap the mummy relay.  In two teams they had to run down to the other end of the room, grab a roll of toilet paper, their team had to wrap them in it without ripping it, then unwrap them and wrap the toilet paper back on the roll and the then free mummy ran the roll back down.  It is a really boring game.................... 
until there are girl mummy wrappers.

Another game was to untangle a spider web.  For 10 kids we had 10 balls of yarn.  We tied a spider ring to the end of each one and then threw them around the room. 

This proved to be quite challenging especially since we told them they couldn't just bring back a mass of yarn, it had to be rolled back up. 
They also played another spider web game, a eye ball relay race, made monsters and eatable necklaces, got a bag of candy and had a yummy game of Fear Factor - did you know kids don't really like canned octopus? 

Happy 13th Birthday Spark!!!

Spark's birthday was a little spread out this year because Dad had to work the night of his birthday.  A couple of days before we went out for his birthday dinner at Pizza Ranch and then he wanted to go to an actual arcade where we were the only ones there.  These aren't near as popular as they were when Dad and I were young,  I am assuming because everyone has game system at home. 
We were leaving for the day but, he wanted to open his presents before we left, hence the bed head and the smoothie.

Lots of Lego stuff and Pokémon t-shirt from Dancer.

Spent the morning with friends.  We were at their house to help with pig butchering.
He still wanted to go out for his birthday so we made a quick stop at a McDonalds.

He picked out a Duck Dynasty cake and when we got it home realized that it isn't a birthday cake.  Candles make any cake a birthday cake.

Blew out every last candle, no girlfriends.

Grandma and Grandpa came for cake and ice cream.  Birthday complete and we have two teenagers in the house.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Spooktacular Halloween Treats

Yummy Mummy
Cut a loaf of French bread in half lengthwise.  Spread Alfredo or marinara sauce on bread.  Cover with thin strips of mozzarella cheese.  If you want other toppings put them under the cheese.  Add two slices of black olive for eyes, place them so they are "peaking out from the mummy's wrappings.  Bake in a 350 degree oven until cheeses is melted.
By some oval shaped cookies, these are Pepperidge Farms Milano cookies.  Break the cookies in half so each half looks like a tombstone.  Dip each piece in melted chocolate almond bark or melted semi-sweet Chocolate chips.  After they cool and harden write "RIP" in the tombstone with white frosting.  To make the patch of ground where the tombstones are planted, make a brownie mix or recipe.  The patches of earth were made on a baking stone so that they would be large and flat.  Push the "grave markers" into the still warm cookies so the will stay there when the cookies cool.  Sprinkle green decorating sugar on the brownie base and gently push in to look like grass. 
Monster Scat
Mix roasted peanuts with more melted chocolate almond bark or melted chocolate chips.  Drop spoonfuls onto wax paper.  Remove from the paper after cool and hardened. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Owatonna Field Trip

Minnesota's only state-run orphanage (1886 - 1945) is today listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Inside the museum there are three halls of artifacts and one of the cottages is open to give a glimpse of where and how the children lived.
Outside is a walking tour of the grounds and the cemetery where most of the children were buried with only a number as a marker.  In recent years, community members have gone back and made grave stones and markers to match names to those numbers.
Built from 1906-1908, the National Farmers' Bank is widely recognized as one of the premier pieces of "Prairie School Architecture" in America.
The most famous of all Louis Sullivan's banks, it is considered "a jewel box of the prairie", featuring gold leaf arches, stained glass windows, and nouveau baroque art designs. It is on the National Register of Historic Places and was commemorated on a United States postage stamp in 1981.

The city is full of great buildings like this one.
There is plenty of what some would call progress.  We thought this looked like the house trying to hold its ground in UP.
Coming back home through the cities, Dancer snapped this picture of the skyline.  It doesn't show well on here but, it was rather surreal with the setting sun illuminating the buildings.

Friday, October 18, 2013

The Pumpkin That Didn't Want To Be Carved

Spark had a two pumpkins he wanted to put together for the 4-H pumpkin carving contest.  The first one, no problem.  The second one, who was quite small, had such a hard rind that he couldn't even get the knife to stab into it.  That is where Ryobi came to the rescue.  Dad got out a saw and got the top off that pumpkin in short order. 
To carve the eye - used a door knob cutter.  The pumpkin is looking like he is having second thoughts about being so hard to carve.  For the mouth they used a regular drill bit.
Their diligence paid off, Spark won first place in the carving contest.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Pinterest Busters - Blow Up A Balloon With Pop and Pop Rocks

Here is the hypothesis:  Put a balloon on the top of a pop bottle filled with Pop Rocks and the combination of the Pop Rocks and the carbonation will inflate the balloon. 
The first hurdle was to get the Pop Rocks in the balloon.  Pop Rocks are by nature a bit damp and they didn't want to slide down the funnel into the balloon.  A little coaxing with a chop stick got them in there.
Put the balloon on the top of the bottle without spilling any of the Pop Rocks into the pop until the balloon is securely on the top.
Lift the balloon up so the Pop Rocks drop into the bottle.
Then sit back and watch the action unfold.
It popped up quite quickly, although it didn't technically blow up the balloon to its full potential.  Also, since Spark's nose is growing here, we can not tell a lie, Spark blew the balloon up a few times to make it less stiff before the experiment.  So would we have had as much inflation on a fresh balloon, maybe.  I wouldn't use this technique to blow up balloons for a party but, as a parlor trick, it was entertaining. 
 The next step:  We have all heard that if you eat Pop Rocks and drink pop your stomach will explode.  Without any hesitation, glasses were lifted and they proved this theory wrong.  We waited but, no guts flew anywhere.  Disappointed or relieved? 

Pinterest Busters - Glow Jars

A jar that glows, pretty cool concept.  I have seen these as fairy jars touted as a great party activity or to make a summer night just a little more magical.  But, here is the big Pinterest busting question, does it work?
The supplies were simple, glow sticks, glitter and glass jar.  Cut off the top of the glow stick CAREFULLY.  These have glass in them that will jab into your thumb.  Also sweep right after you do this activity because we found teeny, tiny slivers of glass on the floor.

Tip the glow stick over into the glass jar and cut the other end of the stick off to release the glow juice.  If you don't cut the other end off it acts as a vacuum and doesn't come out.  For a pint size jar use at the least, three sticks.

Add some magic glitter and swirl it around. 
Did it work?  Yes, it sure did.  They didn't last too long but, would make it through a party or if set on a dresser, long enough for a child to fall asleep. 

The next glow jar pin was to paint the insides of jars with glow in the dark paint.  Make little dots all over the jars and when charged in the light they will work over and over.  Did we bust this pin?  Yes, this one was a flop for us.  The colored glow paint was a total bust.  To try and resurrect this project we covered the inside with white glow paint and that worked better but, the results were still disappointing.  So disappointing we didn't even take a picture.  You can see pictures of our attempt here, the Hmmm.....schooling Mom blog who are our Pinterest Busting pals. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tie Blanket Service Project

Pajama Day was on the docket for homeschool co-op and we couldn't think of a better project to do at the same time than making tie blankets. 
We tied ten blankets and gave them to a chaplain that goes out when tragedies happen.  The kids wore them a little bit to "put some love in them."  

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sculpture Park

Our last stop of the day was a sculpture park.  This place is the definition of cool and these are just a handful of the sculptures to look at and climb on and in.
A boom box tower.  In 30 years, how many IPod's will it take to make a sculpture this tall?
Helmet - appropriate for our Helmets Required boys.

She caught a big one!!
Making a deposit, or a withdrawal?

Leapin' Lizards
Hello, AAA, do you cover meltage?
Skin - this one reminded me of a wart.  The kids are playing on a wart. Yuck.