Catching Up

Life has gotten really busy lately. Even though I am in the midst of project as always, a lot has been left undone. The kids are growing fast and it seems that this just goes so quickly that if I  get too preoccupied with things that are fun but not as important, I feel I will be missing so much of these short, busy years with them. A lot has happened in The Family Fun Spot Family.
First, if you are reader of this blog you know that I blog a lot about my home country of Uruguay. Well, this past month I became a United States citizen. I used to have conflicting feelings about this because I used to think that I was sort of betraying my country for doing this. After some “emotional work,” I realized that those thoughts were not true. I will probably live here for the rest of my life, and even though it is true that I was not born here, my family was. My husband, our wedding, the kids…all american. So I call Uruguay my home country and the U.S.A my “adoptive” country that I love so much. I love everything about America and I am proud to be an american citizen. I just wanted to share this with you. If you are unaware of the naturalization process, it requires passing a government, history and civics test and doing an oath.

Me and the hubby in the oath ceremony
We celebrated important milestones in our family.
Our middle son turned 8! He got baptized and became a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

(Got this free printable from Pinterest)
We had a luncheon at church with our friends. My son shared his baptism with another friend, a girl born only two weeks after him.

Cupcake toppers from Etsy (Tamy Ray Cards and Print)

We also had the Pinewood Derby. A little bittersweet since it was my oldest son’s last one and my younger son’s first one!
They got 2nd and 3rd place!
 My cute little princess had her dance recital
And many, many more things! We are also in the middle of planning our vacation. I am so excited about that! To top it off, we are switching the kids’ rooms so you know what that means…makeovers! Stay tuned for that. Each child will have his or her own bedroom. For now, feast you eyes upon the inspiration for the changes (and yes, they will not look EXACTLY like this but kind of similar (the thrifty way)
And for the boys something like this:
Stay tuned!

4 Year-Old Frozen Party

My little princess turned 4, and of course she wanted a Frozen party. Last year she had a Rapunzel party, so I wonder what princess will come next 😉 I am ok with that, having two older boys I am quite enjoying this stage in my daughter’s life where we can do all these things together.
I researched for about two months in all the things for the party. My daughter picked the cake and most of the decorations. I really enjoyed when I was setting up the decor for the party, her face lit up and she felt so excited. It was worth it…all the work and time spent in making her day special.
I wanted something simple, and we also wanted it to be in the early afternoon since where we live October can be quite cold at times. And yes, it turned out to be a cold day!
The decorations
The food buffet:
I took advantage of some Christmas ornaments I had and some lights. The snowflakes are from the Dollar Tree! 

 The boys and dad made a streamer garland so it would be easier the hang the snowflakes. I got them on amazon and hang them with Christmas ornaments hooks.

For the table, It had a simple Dollar Tree tablecloth and some fabric I got from Walmart leftover from my daughter’s Elsa dress that I am making for her…(coming up soon….)
The plates and the napkins are from Party City, and the straws are from Hobby Lobby. The foam cups from the Dollar Tree

 I created a garland of balloons by inserting thread with a sewing needle. Pretty easy. The balloons are from Target, clearance section!

 Of course you cannot have a Frozen party without Olaf…The favors were simply a ziploc bag with three big marshmallows, a candy corn, two stick pretzels, three chocolate chips and two mini chips for Olaf’s eyes. I printed the “Do you want to build a snowman” from HERE

We had a welcome sign at the entrance, and yes, I misspelled it…LOL!

 For the dining room decor, I made a tassel tissue garland and the paper rosettes. The “Keep Calm and Let it Go” was printed from HERE

 The number “4” can be printed from HERE

 On this table we had crowns for the girls and antlers for the boys to decorate. I got some foam board from Walmart and I made the crowns and antlers using THIS template.

They had tattoos and  gems to decorate them.

More decorations from Party City.
The Food
 We did a hot chocolate buffet, so the kids could play outside and then warm up with a yummy cup of hot chocolate. We also had punch for those that do not like hot drinks. I found this cheeseballs at Walmart and they were perfect!

We also had rice krispies, white cheddar cheese crackers, pretzels, chex mix, cookies, powder sugar little doughnuts, and toppings for the hot chocolate which included whipped cream, chocolate chips, marshmallows and Yorks.

I decided to make an individual cake for her, and put an ornament snowflake on top. The kids got to decorate their own cupcakes with blue frosting and sprinkles.

The punch was made from 4 packets of Kool Aid plus a bottle of 7 Up
It is all in the details…
The games
We had snowball toss, pin the nose on Olaf, bubbles, and snowman bowling. At the end we had a pinata.

 For the pinata we always use a simple gift bag…we had the experience before that the kids could not break the pinata because the cardboard was so hard to break! So for the little ones this is perfect!

She had a great time even though she got five stitches in her forehead two days before her party!
For her hair I did a messy side braid and hot glued snowflake buttons on hairpins..
She had lots of fun! The clean up wasn’t very fun but to see my daughter’s happiness made everything worth it! 
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Peanut Butter and Jelly Shortbread Cookies

Summer is over now for us and so are our cooking lessons with the kids. We still love to cook together but we will not be doing this as often. My middle son loves the Christmas “Linzer”cookies, and since he also loves peanut butter and jelly he decided to combine these together and this is what came out! They were really good!

He melts my heart!! 
Sorry the pictures are not very good, but after we were done he asked me “Mom aren’t you going to take some pictures to put these in your blog? He really wanted to see his cookies here!
Ingredients:
  • 1 1/3 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup of softened butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • powdered sugar for dusting
  • Peanut butter
  • Strawberry jelly
Directions:
 Place dry ingredients in a bowl and combine. In another bowl beat granulated sugar and butter until creamy, add vanilla and egg. Gradually add flour. Divide dough in half and refrigerate for two hours.
After the dough is chilled, roll out not too thick and cut first the bases. We used stars cookie cutters. Then roll out again with the leftovers and cut the bases again but this time use the smaller cutter and cut in the middle as well. Repeat this with the rest of the dough. You will also be left with yummy little “snack” cookies. My oldest son  does not like jelly so we left those for him, plain. Bake @ 375 for 7 minutes be sure they do not brown too much. If you cut them really thin they will. 
Let them cool completely.

After they are cooled, spread a little peanut butter on the base and then top with the jelly. Put the top cookie of the cookie sandwich and there you have them! It is kind of fun to do this with the kids! You can dust with powder sugar if you’d like but my son did not want to…
You can see here the little “snack cookies” that were left plain. I tell you, they lasted only one afternoon…

Give them a try and tell me if you liked them. Involve the kids in the kitchen and they will have sweet 
memories for a lifetime!
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What we Have Been Up to Lately…

Summer is almost over! I can’t believe it! We are enjoying as much as we can together! Here are some things we have been up to:

My kids are obsessed with forts. This time we kicked it up a notch. We used 3 boxes and inserted leftover Halloween lights inside. They even ate lunch in there!

It was a blast!
3 boxes + twin sheet+ clothes pins+ lights= hours of fun!

They even colored the fort inside!
We had a sunny day with rain! Perfect opportunity to sing in the rain!
We refinished our deck
Finished baseball season
Played in the pool
Played our version of Mario Kart…
Went to Michigan

And Wisconsin
We can honestly say we indeed had a great Summer! Next week school starts and the craziness begins!

Easy Science for Kids: Making Rain Drops

If you hear the “mom I am bored” way too often in your house or if it is raining outside, this is something that might keep the kids entertained for quite some time. My 3 and 7 year old loved this, my 10 year old was not too impressed, so this experiment works better with younger ones.
All you need is a glass container, water (not all the way through) shaving cream (we use the cheap Barbasol or Walmart brand) a dropper or a small spoon will do, and water with food coloring, we chose blue.

Put some shaving cream on top of the water, and slowly add the colored water to the top of the shaving cream. The dropper works better, we used a Wilton Decorating tube actually works wonders. The key is to slowly incorporate the colored water to the shaving cream.

Wait a little while…

Take turns putting the “rain” into the “cloud”…

Look at their faces of wonder…what will happen next?…

As the water is heavier, it will slowly travel all the way though the shaving cream, finally getting to the water and voila! We made “rain drops”!!

Also, if you get tired of waiting, you can try looking at the other side of the glass and see how funny our faces look!

Yay!

Warning: after they were done, they decided to spray shaving cream all over their arms and they made a mess. Better to do it outside 😉

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Peanut Butter Blossoms

My oldest son is continuing with his cooking classes. This time he wanted to try one of his favorite cookies, so easy to make and super fun! He even requested the help of his little brother and they had a good time together!

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup of Peanut Butter
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/3 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3 TBSP of milk
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1/2 tsp of baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • Cinnamon sugar
  • Hershey’s kisses
Preheat the oven to 350.  Beat peanut butter and shortening until well mixed. Add the sugars, beat well. Add egg, milk and vanilla and beat until fluffy. In another bowl, add the flour, baking soda and the salt and add the the butter mixture gradually. Shape into 1/2 inch balls, roll in cinnamon sugar. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 6 minutes. Insert a kiss on top and push it in a little bit. Let cool.

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