Scarecrow Crunch Recipe (Festive fall treat!!)

scarecrow-crunch

Scarecrow Crunch Recipe

Fall is in the air – and you may want to keep this yummy snack in mind for upcoming parties!

Jamie here!  I had some extra Brach’s Autumn Mellowcreme mix that was left-over from a fall party at youth group.  Since I can’t be trusted around that stuff, I decided this was the perfect opportunity to try to make Scare Crow Crunch for the kids! [Read more...]

Freeze School Lunches | Make a Week of Sandwiches in One Night

Are you bad at mornings?  Here’s a great tip for making school lunches in advance!

I’m a terrible morning person, and an incorrigible night owl.  Give me something I can do at night so I can sleep in 5 more minutes, and I’m sold.  This is one of those tips that might just change your life if you’re a night owl….

Make the whole week’s worth of school lunch sanwiches ahead of time.  Then put each one in a ziploc bag and store in the freezer. When you toss them in the kids’ lunch bag the next morning, it will be perfectly thawed and soft by lunchtime!

I’ve done this for my kids for the last couple years – and was worried at first that it would get soggy from freezing and thawing.  They said no – that it tasted soft and normal – so I give it a thumbs up!  Their lunch bags are a lot like this one here.

*For sandwiches with condiments, leave them plain and include packets of mayo, etc.. in their lunchbox.

I have some picky kids who only like peanut butter, or ones who like turkey and cheese, etc…  To tell the difference, I draw faces on the baggies in permanent markers in different colors.  You can also write an initial on the bag, or whatever you want – but come on, these are just fun… :)

sandwiches

I bet this would also be handy for those of you with kids in sports who do sandwiches for supper once in awhile – just stock a corner of your freezer with grab-n-go sammies and save yourself the hassle when you’re in a crunch!

Do you have any little tips that make your life run more smoothly?  Please share them with us so we can try them out on our families!!

Homemade Pudding Pops in Paper Cups

homemade-pudding-pops

 

Homemade Pudding Pops in Paper Cups

My kids are going through the frozen treats like crazy now that the weather is warm – so I thought I’d make some Homemade Pudding Pops with them!  WhenFlavor-Ices and smoothies start to lose their appeal, try these easy, cheap, and delicious pudding pops using paper cups and a spoon.

You only need 5 things for this recipe – and it’s pretty inexpensive to make!  You can also use lowfat milk for a healthier version. [Read more...]

Pool Party Fish Cake Recipe (Great for Father’s Day too!)

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UPDATE: This would be such a fun Father’s Day cake as well, for the fishing dad!

To celebrate summer break – the kids and I made this fun Pool Party Fish Cake and invited the neighborhood kids over for cake and water games!  Check out our post on 15 water games HERE!

It turned out super cute – and would be appropriate for any pool party, summertime soiree or even Father’s Day for the fishing dad.  Here’s how to make your own Pool Party Fish Cake.

[Read more...]

Homemade Firestarters | Dryer Lint & Candle Wax!

homemade-firestarters

I’m re-posting this tutorial I wrote previously on how to make homemade firestarters because camping season is HERE again!  (Check out some good tent deals here)

This weekend I took my 4 boys out for our first ever family camping trip.  It was all I could’ve hoped for – they were thrilled to cook hotdogs over the campfire, make S’mores, tell silly ghost stories, and listen to old John Denver songs on the guitar.(Well – maybe not so thrilled about the last one ;) )   We swam in the lake until we were exhausted, and finally cuddled up in our tiny 4 person tent together while I lay awake hoping no critters would come looking for leftovers.

It was wonderful – memories they’ll have forever  – just like I do from when I went camping as a kid with my parents.  There was one thing, though, that I wished I had remembered to bring along – something to make the all-important campfire even easier to get going: these HomeMade FireStarters.

[Read more...]

The Drive-In: Go before summer’s over!

drive-in-movie-theaters

The Drive-In | Frugal Family Fun (if you can find it)

(Jamie here!)  One of my favorite summer activities to do with the family is going to the Drive-In Movies.  For a family of 6, going to the movies is just too expensive for us. But at the Drive-In, our family can see two movies back-to-back for $10 total.  (With a healthy does of nostalgic charm at no extra charge. :) )

The Drive-In has been on my summer to-do-list for years now – and somehow or other we always waited too long and then they were closed for the year.  But a few summers ago, we finally loaded up ye old Land Rover with kids, blankets and lawn chairs and drove the 30 minutes to the nearest drive-in.

If you’re not lucky enough to live near a drive-in theater, I am so sad for you :(

See that sad face?  That is my sad face of pity for you!  Just come visit me some weekend and I will TAKE you to the drive-in – that’s how much I want you to go!  (Although you’ll maybe have to scrunch up on the floor – or we could tie you to the roof- because my family of 6 has a way of filling a Land Rover right on up)

Our favorite night to go is Sunday nights in the summer.  That’s when it’s Carload Night at the Swingin’ Midway Drive-In – where you can squeeze a whole carload of people in for just $10 total.

This.  Is. Awesome-Sauce.

When I was a kid, we would borrow my Paw-Paw’s old station wagon and take half the neighborhood with us to carload night.  (It was just $5 a car then)  Mom would pop a brown grocery bag full of popcorn to take along, and we’d lie a bunch of blankets in the back end of the wagon for movie time – cue total happiness.

 

 

Being the nostalgic sort – I insisted on backing up to the screen with our tailgate out, so the kids could lie on blankets to watch the movie.  Dad & I sat in lawnchairs with a gallon-sized cup of soda to share, and the kids happily sipped on juice boxes and munched popcorn.  Before the movie and during intermission – the kids roamed freely on the playground in front of the big screen.  Squeaking see-saws, merry go rounds, and swings kept time with the 1950′s music blaring through the bulky metal speakers.

When the show started, they raced back to the truck to throw off flip-flops and snuggle back into their blanket nest.  Somewhere between the begining of Mr. Popper’s Penguins and the end of Captain America – dad and I even got time to sneak in some hand holding…

We finished the long double-feature night by bundling the sleeping kids into their car seats and hanging our speakers back on the wooden posts.  As the tires crunched through the gravel out the drive, I smiled knowing the kids would be reliving drive-in memories for years just like me.

If you’re interested in finding a Drive-In Theater in your neck of the woods – you can search by state HERE. If you plan on heading to my very own Swingin’ Midway Drive-in, they even have a Facebook page with info on upcoming flicks.  Just remember – if you’re heading out to Carload Night, make sure to heed the following rule posted on their page:

*All vehicles are subject to random trunk search for SNEAK INS. SNEAK INS pay DOUBLE

Don’t be a sneak in!  :)

Tell me – what’s your favorite summer fun thing to do with your family?