cooking (25) crafts (10) Fitness (1) gardening (3) Home Organization (10) kids (68) school (9) sewing (28)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Krohn Christmas

Here is a quick summary of our month of activities!

At the top, you will see that we have learned to celebrate New Orleans style. We arranged to have Santa come visit at our clubhouse and then we had a Christmas parade. We rode in a trailer right behind Santa. Audrey loved it! She was so excited that Santa was so close to her. During the parade we threw candy and, of course, beads.

Jack's Elf of the Shelf, brought activities and treats for the kids everyday. One day, the kids got a foam gingerbread house. Jack had a lot of fun putting it together, and it was much less messy that the standard gingerbread house. Although we did get a real gingerbread train from the homeschool group, so we did have some real mess in the house. Oh, and I made the shirt Jack is wearing.

The kids and Bryan all dressed up for Christmas Eve service. I went too, but someone had to take the picture!

The kids hanging their stockings Christmas Eve. They are wearing jammy pants that I made.

Audrey got baby dolls and a stroller for Christmas. She just loves taking care of her babies!

Crafting Catch Up

Even though I have been MIA in blogland, I have been busy. I made most of the gifts this year. It has been a lot of fun just seeing what I can actually do. If you want more information, just click on the craft name and it'll take you to the site where I got my ideas. Most of my projects are a little altered, but definitely come from the named source.

I made a walker bag for Bryan's grandmother. It is really sturdy because I made it with an upholstery fabric backed with blackout fabric. There is a large pocket in the middle. The front has two small pockets, and the back has three small pockets (the blue fabric). The four straps attach with buttons.
I made tea towels for my inlaws. I found a basic waffle weave fabric for the body and pretty fabrics for the bottom. I also cut out one of the snowmen and fabric glued it to the towels. I would like to make coordinating wash cloths but my time is kind of limited.
I made a monogram taggie for Bryan's friend's new baby, Alexa.

I have also made some fabric coasters for other people. I have pictures of these in an older post. There are also two other projects that I still can't post because, well, the gifts are still sitting in my house.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Praise The Lord!

First of all, it's been a busy week so I have quite a bit of updating to do. And I still haven't started on my Christmas presents yet! I won't be posting them until after Christmas though, because that would kind of ruin the surprise for everyone :o)

More importantly, my mom called me yesterday to give me the results of my step father's scans. I guess you can tell from the title of the post, that they were good! Let me first say, that the doctors were not expecting to see any progress. Their goal was to just keep the cancer from spreading. But God works in powerful ways, thank you everyone who has kept my family in your prayers. Joe has a 25% reduction in the tumor (he only has one) AND a 25% reduction in almost all of the polyps (these are in both lungs, which is why he is considered stage 4). If they do not see a change in those same polyps next time, they will try an oral chemo that has been effective with breast cancer. Also, the chemo that he is on is very aggressive and is known to have many serious side effects--none of which Joe is having! So, they normally do not allow people to take more than 6 doses of this chemo. If Joe continues to do well, they will allow him to have 8 treatments with this chemo. After that, I am not sure what the options are, but he has only had 4 treatments so far, so we still have 4 more treatments left to go (they are spaced out every 3 weeks).

Once again, thank you for all of your prayers! I will try and update more stuff about us in the deep south soon.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Zoo Field Trip

Audrey and Anna

Jack and Michael

Yesterday, we went on a field trip to the Audubon Zoo. It is one of the nicest (in my opinion) zoos that we have ever been to; plus we are members so every trip to either here or the aquarium is "free."

The focus of the field trip was the dinosaur exhibit. They have "life size" animatronic dinos that move, make noises, and one even spits. The kids loved it! Jack was in constant motion and the sun was really bright, so I didn't get any really good photos of the kids with the dinos.

After we viewed the exhibit with the group, the kids and I explored the zoo with our new friends Sarah (mom), Michael, and Anna. Michael is about 6 months younger than Jack, so they get along great. The pictures at the top of the post are the kids digging for Mayan ruins. They loved it so much that we had a hard time getting them to leave. It is basically a huge sandbox with huge"artifacts" hidden in it. There is a picture posted, showing what artifacts are hidden, so it's a neat activity for the kids to unearth part of the artifact and try to figure out which one they found. (The items are so big that it would take a very long time to unearth the whole thing.)

Cookie Week

The kids and I started making Christmas cookies today. I was inspired by the Pioneer Woman's cookie week, to try some new recipes. And of course, I took the opportunity to tie the cookies in with Jack's Elf on the Shelf/ Advent activity. So this morning, he found Tan holding the advent ornament and a piece of paper awarding him with the honor of baking cookies with mom today. Once again, he was sooo excited.

We started our day super early, and had to be at the doctor's at 8:30 for my monthly checkup and glucose tolerance test. Oh, and surprise of the week--I only gained 2 lbs last month! I feel huge, I guess the weight just redistributed itself. I don't think I'm going to get away with that again, especially if this cookie business persists!

When we came home, we played a little, had lunch and Audie took a nap and Jack and I did school. After his lessons, we started on the cookies. He learned how to juice a lemon and to separate eggs, plus his normal job of dumping stuff into the mixer. Of course, he only lasted for one batch of cookies, coming back just to "clean up."

Funny how Audrey's senses work, because she woke up just in time to help with clean up too!

By the end of the day (9 pm), I made three batches of cookies AND cleaned up the kitchen. I really wish I had a self-cleaning kitchen. All of the cookies are really good and I recommend all three recipes. Even my non-sweets obsessed husband is finding them irresistable. Click on the name of the cookie to link to the recipe if you are interested: Christmas Cherries, Molasses Cookies, and Chocolate Peppermint Crinkle Cookies!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wombsday Wednesday 27 weeks

Wombsday #2. Goodness, I feel like I swallowed the entire Thanksgiving turkey! How did this happen? Nothing much new since the last post, except my varicose veins are horrible. It hurts to walk if I don't wear my medical support hose. I think I need to buy at least one more pair! Little Ayden is 27 weeks along. That means we have 13 to go! We have an appointment tomorrow, so I will update with the wonderful stats later.

Since that is such a lovely picture, I'd rather leave you with happy thoughts, so here are my other two lovelies, doing what they do best-- reading books together. (They are almost always side by side, and have books in hand more often than toys.)

Advent Tree/ Elf on the Shelf

This is my version of a procrastinator's dream. I have spent so much time looking at everyone else's amazing advent calenders, that I didn't take the time to commit to a actually make one. I woke up this morning with a great idea-- Tan (our elf on the shelf) would bring and "ornament" and small gift for the kids every morning. . . as long as he was able to give Santa a good report! Here you see where Tan chose his first spot, along with a tree and the first ornament. (The ornament is just a part of a Christmas card from last year.) And the gift that he brought the kids? . . . a small pack of Toy Story 2 stickers. I bought about 12 gifts that all cost around 50 cents. I will intersperse little certificates with things like "make cookies with mom" and "watch a movie." Jack was (and still is) sooo excited about Tan's arrival this morning. He has been singing to Tan and talking to him nonstop. Oh, and Jack made breakfast for the three of us this morning. (He planned to do this last night.) He put on his apron and chef's hat, put plain cheerios on Audrey's place mat, and poured bowls of honey nut cheerios for himself and me. He was so cute, and so proud of himself!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

It finally pays to live in LA!

Yes, it is November, and we are playing outside comfortably without coats! The weather here has been great. The temperature has been ranging from the low 70s to the low 80s! We are getting a lot of wind right now, as there is a cold front coming through, which should bring the temperature to the low 60s. That is a heat wave compared to the PA and MD weather that I am used to :o)
So, the kids are actually getting a lot of use out of the swing set. We have also been spending time outside with friends at local parks too. Yesterday, we went to the library for story hour and then to a park close by afterwards to play with some friends. They don't like it much when kids run around like animals in the library.

Oh, and speaking of reading, I can't keep Jack away from books (or Audrey for that matter). He has even started challenging himself. He picked out 20 books from the library yesterday. And he would of picked more, but I told him he had enough. He is reading level 2's and 3's and even picked out one level 4 that we read together. Right now, he is sitting reading silently to himself. And every night, he reads a chapter in a Magic Treehouse book.

Here is a short video of the kids. I really enjoy watching them play. For NOW, they play wonderfully together, so I am enjoying every minute of it!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Repurposed Shirts

I found an idea to reuse old shirts on one of the many blogs that I follow. Jack has so many shirts, they don't all fit in his drawer, so I went through is drawer and pulled out 8 shirts to turn into 2. All I did was cut the sleeves off one shirt, and cut triangles out of 3 of the shirts. I also cut the cuffs off one of the shirts to create a colored edge on the blue shirt. I zig zagged around each triangle and sewed the long sleeves into the short sleeves. This project was really quite easy, and made a fun shirt! Now I am looking for more ways to repurpose his shirts.

This one looks a little funky because it isn't laying flat, but the triangles are distributed just like the blue shirt that Jack is wearing. The blue cuffs in this shirt were made this way, so I didn't have to sew them in.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Giving Thanks!

We had a very nice Thanksgiving, although it was just the four of us and we wished we could have been with all of our family and friends, you were all in our thoughts. We are truly thankful for all of the loved ones in our lives.
Thanksgiving was actually pretty relaxed because I did so much prep on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, I made a cranberry cheesecake, mashed potatoes, a healthy version green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, and a turkey brine. I also made fresh corn bread, cubed it and added it to cubed french bread for stuffing.

So on Thursday, all I had to do was cook the turkey, make the stuffing, and heat the sides in the oven. It was all quite delicious, although we weren't very pleased with the green bean casserole. So if anyone has any fabulous vegetable sides that they'd like to share, I'd love to hear about them!
We ate a 3pm, had everything cleaned up by 4:30 and later on ate the cranberry cheesecake. As you can see, Audrey loved it!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Wombsday Wednesday

Yes, I realize that today is Thursday, but I keep forget to post pictures on a Wednesday.
Right now, I am roughly 26 weeks. The little guy is quite the mover, and he kicks me constantly. This pregnancy, like my other two, is quite uneventful. I don't have any cravings, or any sickness. I have gained about 10 pounds, and have "popped" as you can see. Jack took the full body picture of me. And if I didn't share, we will be naming him Ayden James, and he is due March 2.

Monday, November 15, 2010


We had a very busy, but fulfilling weekend. We had two major events going on-- Westwego Fest (fundraiser with the homeschool group) and Oak Forest's Jambalaya Cook Off and Fair.

Westwego Fest is one of those carnivals that runs all weekend, so I helped out for bits of time on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. In addition, we had a birthday party to go to on Saturday. And then there was the Jambalaya Cook Off. We have been planning this event for about two months, and our hard work really paid off. If was a great day! We had carnival games, a jumper, and face painting for kids. Jack ran around like a maniac all day!

He got his face painted with a "Penn State Fleur de lis." Leave it to Jack to think that one up! We had 4 different Jambalayas for people to taste. I think for our first time trying this, that it went really well. We also had concessions and the most wonderful cupcakes donated by a woman in our development who runs a small bakery out of her home.

Best of all, we spent the day surrounded by friends. We have such a great group of people, with such great hearts and spirits that it was an all-around phenomenal day! One resident even showed up with a professional sound system, so we had nice music all day. Ahh, now to thank all of the people that helped out, and move on to planning our next event. Doughnuts and pictures with Santa and a parade of golf carts and fire trucks through the neighborhood!

Oh, and sorry about the side ways video. I have no idea how to flip it, so you'll have to flip your computer or your head. I finally got video of Audrey's moves! Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Living Literature

Yesterday, Jack participated in "Living Literature." The kids picked a book to read at home, and participated in a 2 minute presentation about their book-describing their favorite, scene, character, or a brief synopsis. Jack read a book about the Statue of Liberty, and did a great presentation! The amount of information he remembered was great, he looked at the audience the whole time, and didn't hem and haw. Maybe if all kids started public speaking this early, it would be easier for them as they get older. We shall see how Jack does with public speaking as he gets older. For now, I am definitely seeing improvement. When he presented his information about Germany, he was much more reserved and didn't look up a lot--but at least he spoke!

Here is a link to a picture of Jack and the other kids that participated. Oh, and they were asked to bring a snack that represented their book. We brought ants on a log (you, know, celery, peanut butter and raisens). We called them the ships of immigrants!

After Living Literature, Jack participated in PE, where they practiced for Presidential Physical Fitness. They practiced running, and ran in groups by age. Jack tells a very animated story of how he won in his group. They all started out together, pushing, then Jack and another boy got the lead, then the other boy was ahead of Jack. Jack tells of having a pain in his side (that's what happens when you eat right before you run) and he just ran harder and passed the other boy and won. Now he likes running. Lol, he must not be my kid--I hate running :o)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Our Own Place to Play

Last week, Bryan and Hans built the kids a swing set. They did a great job, and Jack had a lot of fun helping. Audrey even got in on the action with Jack's hammer.
I just love the swing set! We found plans online and bought the supplies, and made it "from scratch." It is very sturdy. There is a tower with a slide coming down from it, a sandbox underneath, and a beam off the side with 2 swings, a baby swing, and a see-saw type swing, which the kids are using above.

The kids absolutely love it, they spend a lot of time out there every day. Ahh, an advantage of being in New Orleans- nice weather in November where you can play outside comfortably.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Bugs Bugs Bugs Bugs!

Last week, we went to the Insectarium. It is a very nice museum and it's amazing to see what Jack is retaining and building on with his knowledge! The highlight for the kids was probably eating bugs. Jack loved it. We all ate some bugs--even Bryan. Although I tried to get a picture a picture of Bryan eating a bug but he ran away too fast. I did get a picture of the stamp on Bryan's hand

I ate a bug!

They also had an area where you could pet bugs--you can tell that Audrey loved it! I have many more pictures that I will have to upload to Kodak, I just didn't want to flood the blog with pictures.

A Little More Crafting

I have completed two more quick projects. First, I made another quilt. This one is for Audrey, so that she keeps her paws off the new baby's quilt. The back of this one is "popcorn fleece." It feels just like chenile, although it's a little heavier, and about $5 a yard cheaper! The front is all of these crazy and fun colors--I love it!

Then I had to find a $5 gift for the homeschool holiday dinner (crazy santa thing). I didn't really want to buy something just for the sake of buying something, so I decided to make something. But then I couldn't decide what to make. Thankfully, my mom called and helped me out. She told me about these cute coasters made from 6 pieces of fabric, all 4 1/2 inch squares. The top four pieces are folded in half, wrong sides together, raw edges out. You weave them together like you were closing a box top. Then under that is your bottom color (right side facing up), then on the bottom is a square of quilt batting or fleece. I used fleece since I have a large remnant that I've been using for various crafts. Sew all of the layers together with 1/4 inch seam allowance, leaving a section open to turn. Clip the corners and turn. Last, tuck that open edge in and edge seam around the whole square.

It took less than an hour to make 4 of them and they were a big hit!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

You Must Brine Your Turkey!

Last night, we attended our homeschool Holiday Dinner. Yes, it's early, but I guess homeschoolers like to be ahead of the curve :o). Each family was asked to sign up to bring two dishes. We brought a turkey and mashed potatoes. I recently saw a post by the Pioneer Woman about brining a turkey. I have never brined a turkey, so I decided to give it a try. Now, I have never been all that big on eating turkey, but this turkey was amazing!!! I actually wish I could have brought some home for leftovers. Many people even complemented the turkey! All I did was brine the turkey for about 24 hours, rinsed it really well and then cooked it. I generally followed the Pioneer Woman's directions for cooking (10 minutes for every pound at 275 covered really well with foil, then taking the foil off and smothering the skin with a stick of butter and cooking at 375). But the turkey wasn't cooking fast enough for me so I cranked up the temp to 500 for the last half an hour.

So, please brine your turkey, your guests will love you!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

My family update

A quick family update. My dad has had two chemo treatments, and has handled both well. My parents are doing so good that they left for Florida today. They will be driving back to PA in a couple weeks for Joe's third chemo treatment. They will be staying in Wellsboro until the 4th treatment (3 weeks after the third), because he will be "scanned" again between the two treatments to check the progress/success of the treatments.

Since I was taking a moment to update you on the family, I figured I'd finally upload some pictures from our visit.
This is where Audrey spent most of the week. She loved finding books and laying down at the bottom of the steps to read to herself.
This is the last picture I have of Frisky, in one of his favorite spots- with Joe.

Monday, November 1, 2010


Oh, what fun! Jack and Audrey went trick or treating with Spencer this year. We started the evening at Spencer's aunt's house, where Audrey got to play with some baby dolls. She just loves dolls! Then we walked all over our neighborhood. It didn't take long for Audrey to catch on to things. A lot of the people had music playing, and Audrey had to stop and dance at every one. She was hilarious. I need to get video of her dancing.

Oh, and at the last minute (Saturday), I decided to change Audrey's costume. She was going to be a puppy, but the costume is made for cold weather- definitely not Louisiana weather. So I went to Hancock Fabrics and bought all these crazy colors of tulle and some red and white polka dot fabric. I figured I could make her look like a clown. I'm not sure that she looked like a clown, but she sure did look cute! And Jack was a ninja. He picked the pattern and fabric out.

And by the end of the evening, (we walked maybe a quarter of our neighborhood) we had 2 VERY full candy bags. I sorted it out and kept maybe a third of it. The rest will be going to work with Bryan (about 5 pounds of candy). If it stays here, I will end up eating most of it. I have such wonderful will power!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Yesterday, the kids and I had lunch at Pizza Hut with some of our homeschool friends, so that the kids could redeem their Book-It rewards for October. Jack reads at least 5 minutes a day. Both he and Audrey love books so much, that I usually find them sitting in a pile of books, reading by themselves. After lunch, we headed over to the gym for a Bugmobile presentation. A lot of you ask how many families homeschool. This is a "few" of the families in our group :o)

It was funny to watch and listen to the kids, they participated wonderfully and had a lot of fun. His presentation was about arachnids. He brought a rose haired tarantula, a hissing cochroach, a scorpion, and two other arachnids.

After the presentation, the kids got to come up and touch some of the spiders and ask questions. It was a fun day for everyone!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Busyness Part 2

That other post was getting long, so I decided to split it in two. Here is where we've been for the last 3 days.
On Friday, the kids and I went on a field trip to Oak Alley Plantation. It was really nice, and Jack got to learn a little Louisiana history. Later that evening, Jack went to Boo at the Zoo with his friend Spencer. He had a lot of fun because he got to wear his costume, play games, and get candy. Hopefully Cristi (Spencer's mom) will send me some pictures electronically so that I can upload them.
On Saturday, we went to Lowes for a Build and Grow workshop. Jack made a flapping bat. Then the four of us went to Sesame Street Live. We were in the second row, and both kids loved it!

On Sunday, we all went to a Halloween picnic with our friends from the playgroup. Once again, Jack got to wear his costume (Audrey wouldn't wear hers). Since it was warm and the kids were playing, he only wore part of the costume. Audrey had fun playing with the boys in the sand. She looked like a little man with a beard and mustache. I guess that was her costume.

Today was life back to normal. Bryan went to work, the kids and I went to story time at the library, and then we did school. Both kids really like story time. They get to play with other kids, pick out some new books, listen to stories, sing, and do a craft. Audrey even wanted to do the craft this week, but of course I had to do it for her.

Jack's reading improves so much every day, it is amazing to watch. He is reading some difficult words with ease. If anyone is familiar with kids books, he is reading the level two books now. Sometimes it is annoying that he can read. He reads every street sign when we drive, telling us we can't enter when he sees a "Do Not Enter" sign and so forth. His math skills are improving. He is working on addition and subtraction and can count to 100 by ones and tens.