Chase Fireflies


Hodgepodge Love: Easter with Kids


Preparing Children’s Hearts  (Kids Journey to the Cross):   A Sense of the Resurrection

Jesus Storybook Bible (our absolute favorite for kids!) Video:  God’s Wonderful Surprise 

And More Tactile Learning:  Resurrection Gardens 

Empty Tomb Cake:  Edible Learning  or Resurrection Rolls:  Easter Breakfast 

And Now for the Awesome Eerie Bunny and Crying Kid Pictures:  Funniest Pictures Ever 

How are you celebrating Easter with your family?  Have a great Easter, friends! 

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Healthy Banana Oat Snack Bars


We are always that family that is hanging out the door, one shoe on one shoe off, and eight minutes late. That being said, I am relentlessly on the search for healthy on the go bars for the kids. Getting in the car is the first victory of our day.  These little snack bars run a close second:)

The verdict on these?  We LOVED them.  They are delicious, they are perfect for kids in the kitchen to make, and they have the healthiest ingredients.  You’ve got whole wheat flour, oatmeal, cinnamon, bananas, yogurt, and peanut or almond butter.  And you don’t have oil, sugar, corn syrup, or preservatives.  What could be better? 

I hope you make them and enjoy them:)  And maybe they’ll even help you get out the door too! 

Healthy Banana Oat Snack Bars

3/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups puffed rice cereal
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup peanut or almond butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9×13 baking pan with parchment.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, oats, rice cereal, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon, stirring well to combine. In a second large bowl, combine the banana, honey, yogurt, peanut butter, and vanilla. Stir.

3. Combine the two bowls.   Gently stir in the chocolate chips. Transfer to the prepared pan and flatten down with a spatula.  Bake for 15-18 minutes for soft bars and longer for granola bars. 

Recipe Source:  Eating from the Ground Up 


Orange Julius (Kids in the Kitchen)


 I am pumping my kids (and myself) with a steady I.V. of Vitamin C.  We are ready to be healthy again, so please tell me that Orange Julius has some measure of health value?  Even if it doesn’t, this recipe was a good one. 

 The kiddos loved blendering 🙂  it all together and slurping it down.  I personally loved the flashback to 7th grade, buying an Orange Julius and an Auntie Anne’s pretzel with my pegged jean friends at the mall:) 

Orange Julius

6 ounces frozen orange juice concentrate, no sugar added
1 cup lowfat or skim milk
1 cup water
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
10-12 ice cubes
orange slices for looks

Combine all the ingredients except the ice cubes in a blender and process until smooth and frothy. Add the ice cubes and blend until smooth (you can blend to your desired consistency.)

recipe source:  mel’s kitchen cafe

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Awesome Cinnamon Roll Bites (Kids In the Kitchen)

All I’m going to say is that these are awesome.  You have to try them!  I typically do not eat sweet breakfast treats, but I made an exception for one of these.  They looked so good.  (And then I ate another and another!)  So yummy – especially paired with coffee. 

The kids didn’t help me make this recipe because they were snoozing.  But it would be an age appropriate one for sure, which is why I am referencing in the Kids in the Kitchen category.  Nice and easy, quick (20 min start to finish), and delicious to boot.  Let me know if you try them!

Mini Cinnamon Roll Bites

1 can refrigerated biscuits (we used Pillsbury Grands)
6 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1  1/2 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt the butter in a small bowl; add in brown sugar, sugar and cinnamon. Cut the biscuits into quarters, and drop them into the mixture and place in thirds in well greased muffin pan.

Bake for 10-14 minutes until tops are golden brown.  Mix powdered sugar, vanilla and milk in small bowl until combined. Drizzle over the bites. Serve warm.

adapted from

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Making Oobleck (Fun Kitchen Science!)

We’re in the midst of learning about states of matter in Kindergarten.  I can’t think of a more interesting matter experiment than this one – an old recipe from a Teaching Elementary Science class – concocting “Oobleck.” 

Oobleck is hard to classify – it’s a liquid, but much like a solid.  It gets drippy in your hands and then reverts back to a solid state.  I have always loved hearing students make observations about it. 

Beyond the cool problem solving factor, it’s just fun to play with.  It would be a great April Fool’s Day experiment or a good gross one for boys of any age.  Plus, it’s great for fine motor development.  Because Selah loves to immerse her hands in paint, mud, dough, whatever – this stuff was an absolute hit!  Let me know if you try it!

Oobleck Recipe

1 cup of cornstarch
1 cup of baking soda 
1/2 cup of water

Mix ingredients together with your hands.

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Getting Our Kids to Eat Veggies (Kids in the Kitchen)

I’m all for sneaking veggies into our kids just so they get the nutrients they need.  However, I am wanting our kids to grow up to make wise food choices themselves – just because it’s good for them!  And so far, just about all we’re choosing is mac and cheese.

The Pittsburgh Kids of Steel Taste Program (or any program like it)  has been a good place to start for us.  Our kiddos LOVE a good challenge, especially if incentives are involved!  In addition, I’ve found that playing with our food has been beneficial. 

The best thing about it?  It seems to be working!  It totally beats the inevitable dinner table war that ensues over eating vegetables.  Our resident artist loves to create pictures out of her food (flowers, sunshine, hearts). 

And the guy –  when he participates in the vegetable playing – pretty much just plays sports and then eats the bat/hockey stick/basketball/whatever.  But he ate a bell pepper the other night – so I couldn’t be more thrilled! 

How do you get your kids to eat veggies?


Chewy Energy Bars (Kids in the Kitchen)

We eat stockpiles of granola bars around this house.  If it looks remotely healthy, I pick up a box to keep on hand.  But it always kinda gives me the creeps that those bars last forever.  Plus, it’s so much cheaper to just make your own.

Now I’m not giving up on store bought granola bars for good.  But, it is so easy to whip up a homemade batch of bars.  This recipe took us 10 minutes.  Plus, it cost us nothing with ingredients on hand.  These energy bars make a great breakfast or snack.  And if your kids don’t need the energy, then maybe you will:)! 

Chewy Energy Bars

2 1/2 cups crisp rice cereal
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup toasted wheat germ
1 cup corn syrup
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a large bowl, combine the cereal, oats, and wheat germ.  In a small saucepan, combine the corn syrup, peanut butter, and brown sugar.  Cook over medium heat until peanut butter is melted, stirring occasionally.  Remove from the heat.  Stir in vanilla.  Pour over cereal and mix well.  Transfer to a greased 9 inch square pan.  Press mix into pan, cool completely, and cut into bars. 

recipe source:  Taste of Home Quick Cooking Annual Recipes 2011

***  By the way, this is another favorite recipe of ours – easily adaptable and delicious!  ***


Girl’s Inexpensive Lamp Revamp (DIY)


I’m working on pulling together Selah’s room so that it looks more cohesive.  I love her Butterfly Art on the wall and am working on some roman shades and another piece of art.  When I saw this lime green checkered lampshade at Goodwill, I snatched it up for $2 change. 

I knew I had an old lamp in the basement and some green spray paint from an earlier project.  So a little spray paint later and ta-daaa!!!!!  A beautiful lamp for my beautiful girl. 

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Sweet Snowflake Tortilla Snack! (Kids in the Kitchen)

With the final arrival of snow here in Pittsburgh, we decided to celebrate both indoors and outdoors.  This snack was perfect!  What could be better than making a snowflake that you can eat and then pouring massive quantities of sugar on top? 

Cinnamon Sugar Tortillas

whole wheat tortillas (fajita size)
kitchen shears
waxed paper
butter-flavored cooking spray
powdered sugar

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Fold a tortilla in half, creating a half circle. Fold in half again to create a wedge.  Cut shapes out.
3.  Unfold the tortilla and lay it flat on waxed paper on a cookie sheet.
4.  Spray tortilla with cooking spray and sprinkle it with cinnamon and sugar.
6.  Bake for 6 to 8 minutes or until crisp. Sprinkle powdered sugar on top.  Allow tortilla to cool and enjoy!
adapted from January 2007 issue of Focus on the Family Clubhouse Jr. magazine.

Let me know if you make these!  Enjoy! 

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Boston Cream Eclair: Kids in the Kitchen

This recipe is a perfect winter recipe for kids.  It’s simple.  You can’t really mess it up.  And it actually tastes REALLY GOOD!  Adden loved the building required.  And Selah – well, she just loved being in the kitchen with sugar.  It was an instant family hit! 

Boston Creme Eclair

1 pkg cream cheese, softened
2 cups cold milk
1 pkg vanilla instant pudding
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tub Cool Whip Topping, thawed and divided
Nilla Wafers
chocolate to melt

1.  Beat cream cheese with a mixer until creamy. 
2.  Gradually beat in milk. 
3.  Add dry pudding mix, extract, and nutmeg.  Beat 2 min. 
4.  Stir in 1 -1/2 cups Cool Whip
5.  Line 9×5 inch loaf pan with plastic wrap. 

6.  Arrange Nilla Wafers, top side down on bottom of pan.  Cover with 1/4 pudding mix.
7.  Repeat layers 3 times.  Top with remaining wafers.
8.  Refrigerate for 3 hours. 
9.  Invert dessert onto plate.  Remove plastic wrap. 
10.  Melt chocolate and 1 cup of remaining Cool Whip.  Cool and pour ever dessert. 
11.  Garnish with cool whip and wafers. 

adapted from the Nilla Wafer box:)