{ice cream fun // It’s the Little Things}

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Happy Wednesday! I’m linking up with Jess and Ashley for “It’s the Little Things.”

A few weeks ago, we headed to our friend’s house for a fun ice cream party. My friends and I used to get together once a month for dinner at each other’s houses. We rotated between the six families each month, and whoever hosted made the entire meal.  It was a lot of work when it was your turn, but worth it! We had great conversations and food. I’m sad that we no longer get together as frequently, but now everyone is so busy with their kiddos.

We (all six of us) started out teaching at the same middle school, which is how we got to know each other. Originally, five out of the six were all special education teachers. The sixth one was a gen ed math teacher, but we considered her an honorary special education teacher since she was so great with the special education students.  We started the dinner group back in 2005, and at that point, there were seven kiddos. These monthly dinners continued until 2011 (and there were eleven kids).  We’ve tried to get together periodically but it’s difficult with everyone’s busy schedule (and now with 16 kiddos!). However, we managed to get 5 out of the 6 of us together for ice cream, which was a blast! My friend provided the ice cream and everyone brought a few toppings. I made my homemade magic shell and bought some salted caramel sauce.  If you haven’t tried the homemade magic shell, you should! It’s so easy and yummy!

Below are scenes from our ice cream party.  We ended up getting home around ten that night! It was a blast catching up with everyone! In our group, we now have a part time career coach for a high school/stay at home mama, two intervention specialists at local elementary schools, one math remediation teacher for a middle school, one middle school language arts teacher, and one children’s church assistant. It’s so interesting to see how much has changed in all of our lives over the past nine years. However, though it’s been a while since we’ve been together, we pick right back up where we left off:)

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{4th of July Weekend!}

I hope everyone had a great 4th of July weekend! We just got back from an extended weekend in Durham. We headed to NC on Thursday to visit my brother and sister-in-law.  

Heading down to NC…towards the end of the trip, we broke down and gave the kiddos the iPads so they could play a few educational games.  It kept them occupied until we arrived close to dinner.  20140706-181432-65672721.jpgMy sister-in-law cooked a yummy meal of salmon, black bean quinoa salad (it was so yummy! Even my non-eating salad husband ate it and liked it!), and peas.  We hung out and visited all evening. 20140706-181432-65672940.jpgWill and Harper enjoyed playing on their porch. 20140706-181434-65674160.jpgBright and early on July 4th, we headed to a local donut and biscuit shop called Rise. Yummy! They have some delicious donuts and biscuits.  I shared an egg and cheese biscuit with the kiddos and split a creme brûlée donut with my husband.  

Will really wanted the Cap’n Crunch with strawberry glaze donut so daddy went back in after we finished breakfast and ordered one to split with Harper.  20140706-181433-65673346.jpgRise has some unique specialty donuts, including their 4th of July donut that had pop rocks on it! I like how they organize their menu: old school donuts, new school, our school.  20140706-181433-65673143.jpgAfter breakfast, we headed straight to the Museum of Life and Science.  My sister-in-law works for a large company in Durham and had a special pass for free tickets to the museum. We just had to pay for one kiddo.  

The museum was lots of fun! We walked around outside for a while and saw some lemurs and wolves and watched the release of butterflies, including some really pretty blue ones. 20140706-181433-65673737.jpgOf course, we found a play area at the museum and spent most of the time there, ha!20140706-181433-65673953.jpgWe headed back to my brother’s house for a quick lunch and then naps for the kids.  After naps, we went to a 4th of July picnic at their friends’ house. Fortunately, most of their friends have small children (my brother and sister-in-law do not have kiddos yet), so there were other kiddos at the picnic and the house was quite kid friendly.  20140706-181434-65674353.jpgEnjoying some homemade fudge pops! I need to find a recipe for this…they were yummy!20140706-181434-65674760.jpgAfter the picnic, we went to the Durham Bulls Stadium to watch the USA play Chinese Taipei. Last year, we got to see the Durham Bulls play on the 4th. 

While it was difficult keeping a two year old and a four year old occupied and interested during the entire baseball game, it was definitely worth it to see the fun fireworks at the end!

Whew-what a fun filled day! The kiddos were worn out by the time we arrived home after eleven pm. 20140706-181434-65674958.jpgThe next day we slept in, enjoyed some waffles and fruit for breakfast, and headed to the farmer’s market.  After walking around the market, we went to a local pool. 

Sunbathing Harper…

20140706-181435-65675150.jpgand Will…20140706-181435-65675561.jpgAfter the pool, it was back to my brother’s house for naps before enjoying a delicious dinner at a barbecue restaurant called The Pit. We met up with my brother’s college roommate, his wife, and parents.  Everyone ordered a dish and we shared the meal family style. Yummy fried chicken, mac and cheese, sweet potato fries, hush puppies, and slaw. 20140706-181435-65675769.jpgThe kiddos had been asking to get ice cream during our trip to Durham, so we walked several blocks to a local ice cream shop called The Parlour. I enjoyed a scoop of some of the best salted caramel ice cream I’ve ever had! Harper and Will had a small scoop of Thin Mint. The Parlour had some interesting flavors, including summer corn and lavender with blueberry swirl.  20140706-181436-65676557.jpgThe kids were so worn out from our fun trip that they slept until 9am on Sunday morning! Unbelievable! They’ve never slept that late, EVER!

My sister-in-law made some blueberry pancakes for breakfast (per Will’s request), and shortly after eating we headed home. 

Harper having some last minute fun with her uncle. 20140706-181436-65676164.jpgHeading home…20140706-181437-65677223.jpgWe had a fun, super busy time in Durham with our cool aunt and uncle! Harper and Will keep asking when we are going back! 

 

Weekly Pinterest Project: Week 46-Magic Shell

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Hello! I have a tasty summer treat for you today! Magic shell! I never had this stuff growing up, but I had it recently at a grade level ice cream party at school.  That night, I came home and got on Pinterest in search of a homemade magic shell recipe.  I remember seeing one a while back and wanted to try it.

This magic shell is so, so easy! All you do is melt one cup of chocolate chips (I used Ghiradelli dark chocolate chips) and two tablespoons of coconut oil together.  Melt for short increments (30 seconds), stir, and repeat until it’s completely melted.  You can use any kind of chocolate chips, including white chocolate.

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This was my first time using coconut oil…any suggestions on what to do with the rest of it?

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Our neighbor happened to make homemade vanilla ice cream so we tried out the magic shell with it.  Since the homemade ice cream was melting fast, it worked best to stir in the chocolate.  This way, there were hardened chunks of dark chocolate…so yummy!

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I bought some small mason jars and made some magic shell for a friend of mine. I decorated the jar with a cupcake wrapper, some ribbon, and a wooden spoon with washi tape.  20140608-204400-74640964.jpgYou should try this easy and super yummy ice cream topping! I plan on trying it with different types of chocolate chips:)

Summer Fun!

Summer is here! We’re only a few days into our official summer vacation (aka mommy’s out of school for the summer) but we’ve already had tons of fun in the past couple of weeks.  Here are some of the fun things we’ve been doing…

Eating popsicles20140608-142503-51903810.jpgPlaying in the park (in the rain!)20140608-142504-51904601.jpgPlaying on the gym set20140608-142504-51904859.jpgRunning around20140608-142504-51904080.jpgRiding Pooh and lion cars20140608-142505-51905652.jpgSummer selfie!20140608-142505-51905847.jpgBounce house20140608-142505-51905392.jpgEnjoying ice cream20140608-142506-51906113.jpgPicking strawberries20140608-142506-51906682.jpgMore fun at the playground20140608-142504-51904349.jpgSwinging20140608-142506-51906398.jpgAnd more swinging…20140608-142506-51906962.jpgExploring the science museum20140608-142508-51908060.jpgPool party fun!20140608-142509-51909058.jpgFarmer’s market20140608-142508-51908536.jpgClimbing20140608-142507-51907781.jpgEnjoying birthday cupcakes

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Gardening20140608-142507-51907236.jpgWagon rides20140608-142510-51910827.jpgPlaydate20140612-140006-50406718.jpgRiding bikes20140612-140006-50406011.jpgWe are ready to enjoy many more days of summer fun!

 

Peaches and Planes!

This past weekend, we had all sorts of fun! On Saturday morning, we went to a local peach orchard. We had been to this orchard back in 2011 when Will was around 16 months (close to Harper’s age now).

Here he is at 16 months at the peach orchard:

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Here he is at three, picking peaches! Such a big boy!

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Here is Miss H. at the peach orchard. She loved running through the orchard, picking up peaches and poking her finger in them! Ha!

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After peach picking, we headed home with our fruit and had lunch. My husband’s work had reserved 200 seats at a theater to see the movie, Planes. So, since it was free, we decided to take WIll and Harper to the movies! This was their first time at the movies, and we probably won’t go for another year or so. It was fun, but Will was distracted throughout. Harper was very tired but fought sleep. She finally fell asleep about ten minutes before the movie was over. It was quite amusing being in a theater full of airplane mechanics and pilots! Ha! Food kept Will and Harper occupied-lots of goldfish and cheerios! I tried to get a picture of Will after the movie, but he wasn’t too thrilled.

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On Sunday afternoon, a friend of ours visited us before she headed off to college. We topped off the fun weekend by going out for ice cream. My mom had given us several coupons for this local ice cream place, so we were able to get ice cream for two dollars! I love a good deal! We can’t wait for more fun late summer/fall weekends! I’m already planning my fall fun “bucket” list!
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