Monday, June 27, 2011

Grilled Pizza


My husband loves pizza! He loves pizza more than most things in life. He has pizza at least once a week and over the years has created his own pizza dough and sauce that is simply delicious.

Here's his recipe:

Ben's Pizza

2 T yeast Flour
2 T sugar 1 1/2 T garlic powder
2 c luke warm water 1 T basil
1 c softened butter 2 tsp. oregano
1/4 c sugar 1 tsp.marjoram (optional)

Stir yeast, sugar and water together. Let sit for a few minutes to let the yeast get foamy and active. Put butter, sugar, and 1 cup flour into mixing bowl (kitchen aide type if you got one). Pour yeast liquid in and mix into a soup, then add seasonings. Should smell realy good about now.

Add (a cup or two at a time), 5 cups more flour and let knead. Cover and let rise 20 minutes until doubled. Roll out, then build your pizza and cook at 450 for 15-25 minutes, depending on how thick it is.

Ben's favorite toppings include: pepperoni, cheese, mushrooms, bacon, olives, artichoke hearts, green pepper, sausage.

1 can tomato sauce 1 T oregano
1 can diced tomato 1/2 tsp. thyme
1 T sugar 1 T olive oil
1 tsp. black pepper 1 T minced garlic
Salt to taste.


Yesterday while talking to a friend at church, they chatted about making a grilled pizza.

Pizza cooked on a grill? Is that even possible?


Well let me tell you that it is. Pretty simple concept.

You make the dough.

Heat the grill.

Flatten. (Ben put some cornmeal on the bottom)

Cook on one side.


Put sauce and toppings on, be sure not to overload.

Return to grill and cook the bottom side.

And. . .

Your done!

It was especially yummy because Ben used spices from our garden to make the sauce and dough.

It was so good and so quick! It was a perfect thing to make on a warm sunny day!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Father's Day Dessert

I was out shopping the day before Father's Day and I picked up some Oreos for Ben. I wanted to make a yummy dessert but didn't quite know what to make.

Then I remembered this yummy recipe I saw on Kevin and Amanda.

Oreos and brownies combined?

He will be in heaven!


Like the spider plate?

I've got to get new dishes and this is about all I have. I donated our entire set because I had planned to get a new one.

This dessert was a perfect combination of oreos and brownies.

My only regret?

Not having enough hot fudge to smother this dessert in.


Get this recipe at Kevin and Amanda

Cookies ‘N Cream Oreo Fudge Brownies

1 box Brownie Mix
eggs & oil (as called for by the brownie mix)
1 heaping half cup (6 oz) Cookies & Cream ice cream
1/4 Cup hot fudge topping (chilled or room temp)

Preheat oven & spray an 8×8 baking dish generously with cooking spray. Combine brownie mix, eggs, and oil as directed on the back of the box, but do not add the water. Add ice cream and hot fudge to the brownie batter and stir to combine. Pour half of the brownie batter into the baking dish, layer with Oreos, then top with remaining batter. Bake for 40-50 minutes or as directed on the back of the box.

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Friday, June 17, 2011

Five Favorite Word Wall Activities

I was talking to my SIL Hannah the other day about word walls and thought I would post some activities that you can do with them.

Today I am going to share with you 5 of my favorite activities that you can do with the word wall. Remember that word walls words are high frequency words and should be learned by sight.



Wordo Board

Bingo Markers
Small Prizes(optional)


Wordo is like bingo. The kids fill in their 3X3 boards with word wall words. Get the board here. Your word wall may get filled with more words than 9 so you can choose, say 15 and have the kids choose 9 for their board. Then make flashcards (you can use index cards or something like that).

1. Make sure you tell the kids what you are going for like four corners, 3 in a row, or even blackout.
2. Mix up the words. You can put them in a small bowl and go around the room and have the kids read the word outloud or you could hold it up and have the kids read it outloud as a class.
3. When the kids get say, 3 in a row, they yell "WORDO". Have the kids read the words outloud and then you could give them a prize. You could have the other kids clear the board or continue.


1. Have the kids put the word in a sentence orally before they place a bingo marker on the square.
2. When the game is over have the kids cut out the words in the squares. I have had my students put them in ABC order, they could sort them (same beginning sound, how many letters etc.), they could write a sentence and paste the word where it belongs in the sentence.


Magnifying glass
Word Detective Sheet

Kids use the magnifying glass to find words they know from their word walls. It is helpful to have the word wall visible for the student. If you child is writing, you can have them write down the words they find on the Word Detective sheet.


Newspaper article clippings
Word Wall Newspaper Sheet


Kids use the highlighters to find word wall words. If they can write them, have them record them on the Word Wall Newspaper Sheet.


Word Wall Record Sheet

This is a record sheet to use throughout the week. Each day you can do a quick word wall exercise with your students. Here is an example of what I did:

: Snap (the vowels), Clap (the consonants) of the 5 new word wall words and write them down.

: Play "Smiley Face". Played like Hangman only I made a smiley face with ears and hair and whatever else.

Wednesday: "Flashlight, Flashlight". Choose a student to hold the flashlight as the kids chant, "Flashlight, Flashlight, shine your light, shine your light and we will write. . ." and the student shines on one of the word wall words. Do this 5 times. it is also fun to turn the light off when the flashlight is being used.

Thursday: "Guess the Word Wall". The teacher picks a word off the word wall. The teacher then gives five clues for each word. Clue #1: I'm thinking of a word on the word wall. Clue #2: My word has_vowels and_consonants. Clue #3: My word fits in this sentence. CLue #4: My word rhymes with. . . Clue #5: My word ends with an. . .



Parking Lot Board

(Use this sheet to make your own Parking Lot board)
Matchbox cars
Cards with word wall words on them


Have the kids pick out 8 cars and line them up in front of each parking spot. As you show the card with the words on them, if the student has the word on their board, they can drive their car into the parking spot. They win when all of their cars are parked.

Have the kids put the word into a sentence before driving the car into the parking spot.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Ms. Lincoln's Class Sneak Peak

A friend approached me awhile back wanting to know if I would take pictures of the kids in her daughter's autistic classroom.

Something, I've never done as a professional photographer.

This experience caught me in my element. I love, love, love taking candids and capturing the moments as they really are.

Getting expressions that are natural and true to each child was exciting for me.

These children all very special and delightful. I got so wrapped up in their little world and was able to see things the way they do. . . for a moment.

I feel the urge to write a bit about each child because they all have touched my heart and they each deserve a little story.


Jeremy has gorgeous hair that I am sure, all Moms with bald children are envious. Oh wait! Did I just type that? I am one of those Moms that has had a child or two that was somewhat bald until they were two.

Jeremy had a slew of facial expressions for me. At one point, he left the table he was supposed to be painting at and just walked around. Standing by this table he threw out the most funniest faces and I don't even think he saw me crouching behind the other side capturing it all.

He kinda did his own thing. I like that.

At recess, I couldn't help but to snap a few of him and his crazy hair. I have one where he is coming down the slide and the static has done wonders to his hair.

Such a sweet boy!



I called him, "John" the entire time I was there! My friend let me borrow her daughter's class picture and on the way to the classroom, I was memorizing there names and faces. I thought I would look so clever coming in and calling them by their names.

What I didn't know was that there was a typo on the class list and "John" was actually "Nicholas".

I have to admit, I did hear the teachers call out "Nicholas" a few times, but never clued in that they were talking to this handsome boy.

When I first walked in, I popped over to the table where he was sitting and he just turned and leaned his head on his chair and smiled at me. I love that picture. He was always smiling at me as his dark eyes twinkled.

I love the picture of him with his legs spread apart. I don't even remember that I took it until I got home and went through the pictures. It's one of my favorites!

John, oops, I mean Nicholas was darling!


This is my favorite picture of Bella because I captured this little tear that was so persistent in staying in place for a good 5 minutes.

This was after Bella had a break down because she had a pink crayon and wanted a purple one. It was devastating to her and she couldn't sit down. Her teacher had to come and get her and take her back to her table.

Her mother, is my friend and beforehand she had talked about how she wanted me to capture everything, even the child who was crying or struggling because that is real life. Little did she know that that child was going to be hers!

I have a great crying one for you Emily!

I captured some really fun facial expressions from Miss Bella and this one below where she is strutting her stuff. She looks about ready to make her turn on the catwalk!

Her and Credence were best buds the day I visited. There are many moments where they were together reading a book or playing on the playground.

I think Bella has many boyfriends in her class. It may be safe to say she has gotten, "married" kid style, already.

I guess it helps that she is one of two girls in the entire class!

As you can tell from the picture above, this little man has style and personality. If words could be put into his mouth, it maybe something like this, "You talkin' to me?"

I almost didn't recognize him because in the class photo, he had alot more hair. I am liking the buzz, though. That's what I do to my boys at home. It's easy peezy, lemon squeezy!

Credence is very photogenic and has these gorgeous big eyes! He has very cute expressions.

At snack time, I was giggling on the inside as I watched him drink his capri sun to the very last drop. He blew it up with air and was balancing it with his straw from his mouth. Very entertaining to watch!

At recess, he and Bella were unseperatable. I have one picture of him waving his hands. He was calling, "Bella! Bella". I'm sure he wanted to show her his "sweet ride". There were oodles of cars for the kids to play with.

At one point, he hopped on the back of a bicycle Bella was riding. Bella didn't care about the extra load and toted him around the playground. Such a fun little man with a very cool name, I must add.


I loved this guy! Talk about someone who has a smile that can melt your heart. Everytime, I had my camera out, he would find me and turn and smile.

At the beginning, he would turn to me, smile and say, "cheese". I told him his Mommy and Daddy must take alot of pictures of him.

At recess, he pushed a police car around pretty much the entire time. Any pictures you will see of him, he is probably pushing that car, standing by the car, or squatting by the car like you see in these pictures.

Remember my bit above about him always finding me and smiling for the camera. When the kids went back to the classroom for singing time, Ryan was always looking for me and my camera. No matter where I was in the room. Behind him, on the side, he would find me and smile.

I love it! Such a happy boy!

Conor is a quiet and sweet boy. I love his little mannerisms. He likes putting his hand and fingers by his mouth and does this cute thing with his tongue. Maybe he will be a professional basketball player someday and that will be his "dunking" face as he slams the ball in the hoop.

During snack time, the teacher has pictures of each of their snacks. When they want some of their snack, they must ask for it. Conor did a great job asking for his and was very clear. I think that is a great exercise for the kids to practice communicating in a real-life situation.

At recess, he loved playing on the play structure. While the other kids were playing with the cars and bikes, this little guy was perfectly content sliding down the slides.

What a great kid!


I'm grateful for the opportunity I had to spend with your children! Im sure the road has been long and rough to get to this point for all of you. You should be very proud of them, their individual accomplishments and where they are today. . .

And where they are today, is because of you! They are very lucky to have you as their parents.

Cake Pops

My friend bought me this book on how to make cake pops. Bakerella has some pretty amazing ideas of what you can do with a cake pop. She also gives you instructions and tips on how to do it.


Luckily for me, Mia picked out the Hanukkah ones to make. She didn't realize they were Hanukkah ones, she just liked the sparkles. The idea was basic.

Make a cake from the box.


Add 3/4 of a tub of frosting.


Roll into balls.

Put in freezer or fridge.

Melt chocolate in microwave.

Dip stick 1/2 inch into chocolate.

Insert pre-dipped stick into cake ball.

Dip into chocoate.

Seriously, that is pretty much it.

Then someone tell me why I got into a grumpy mood because my cake balls kept falling off the stick?

Am I cake pop retarded?

It just seemed like such a simple task, that to fail in it was so frustrating!!

I went back to the book and read over the instructions. I found a tip that I had overlooked. You can put shortening into the chocolate to make it thinner.

Plus, the instructions say to only put the stick in no more than halfway, but I found that a little bit farther was better for me.

Another tip that Bakerella suggest is to keep the cake balls in the fridge until you are ready to dip taking them one at a time. This keeps the balls chilled and easier to dip.


I made these tags since we didn't want to celebrate Hanukkah.


Here are the finished products. Good enough for 6 and 7 year olds to chow on!

Will they even care that it took me 3 hours to make these things?

Probably not. I don't even care myself.


Ben has requested cake pops for his birthday. I guess I will honor his wish since he did cut out 36 birthday tags for the cake pops.

He complained saying, "Why couldn't you have made circle ones instead of flower ones. . . blah, blah, blah." That's about all I heard since I was in a PMS cooking mood and tuned his whining out.

Thank goodness I have until September to practice.

I wonder if I could make one of Bakerella's cute cake pops?

Hopefully, I'll have a better attitude.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Fabric Flowers for Shoes

I made these handmade fabric flowers awhile back. . .


My husband and I went to a party the other night and I had a great idea to make these for the shoes that I bought.

I had to sew some extra fabric to the chest area of my dress and had some fabric left over.


I sewed a gold rimmed button to the inside because it matched my jewelery.


After I sewed the flower together, I actually sewed it to the shoe.

I really liked how they turned out!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Sube Family Sneak Peak

One of my favorite families are moving. Before they take off, they booked a session with me!


This is their Father's Day gift. Shhh! Don't tell!

They wanted something he could put on his new desk at his new job.


And he can stare at it all day. . .


Getting happy goosebumps just thinking about them. . .


And showing everyone who passes by his desk!