Monday, September 30, 2013


I was so busy last week and I didn't even realize that The Crawford Clan needed some attention.  I sat down on Friday and started prepping a few posts that I planned to post Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  Clearly that didn't happen.  Here's the first of few posts this week of what we've been up to.

OKTOBERFEST in Frankenmuth, MI
Billy and Lauren made this trip last fall while William and stayed home.  They had so much fun and talked about their little trip all year that we had to join in on the fun.
Frankenmuth is less than two hours from home and everyone was ready for a change of scenery.  We camped with Grandma and Grandpa at a Yogi Bear campground.  There was so much for the kids to do including an indoor pool.  
Heh Boo Boo!

The festival was so much fun with activities for the, beer and tons for the kids too!

Lauren was basically thrown onto a velcro wall and hung there for five minutes.  Seems boring, but the kids were lined up for this one.

Most of the patrons seemed to be veterans.  Many were wearing their lederhosen's, brought their own german beer mugs, and each time you heard the hiss of a new keg being tapped...there was cheering and drinking.  As you can imagine, that happened a lot!  The band was quite the scene as well...not sure why they were chopping wood, but the crowd was loving it!
Such a fun family weekend!  Billy is already planning for next year.  If you are interested in joining the fun...let us know:)



Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sunday Sweets {Marshmallow Crunch Brownies}

I found another good one for ya!
These were delish and got rave reviews by several of my taste testers.  The title doesn't include that the crunch is rice krispies and there is also a little peanut butter snuck in there too!

I found these Marshmallow Crunch Brownies from the Brown Eyed Baker, they were just as fresh on day five as they were on day one.  Everything I've tried from her blog has always been a hit.  I have to confess that I intended to make these just as her recipe calls, but I ran out of time and used a box mix.  I'm sure some of you are gasping while others are thanking me for making this easier.  Apologies to the brown eyed baker.
Check out the recipe if you are looking for something can also check out her top ten brownie recipes that look equally tempting!



Friday, September 20, 2013


Happy Friday friends!
How is already the weekend?  The week has gone by so fast.
Our neighborhood park hosted a night of camping last weekend and we joined two other families for the festivities.  Talk about location, location, location...we couldn't beat the convenience of packing up and driving less than five minutes from home.  
The park provided games for the kids and a community fire pit for making s'mores.  We cooked out and enjoyed our own relaxing campfire after the kids were fast asleep.
I've been playing around with my camera lately and snapped a few cute ones while we had some great light...

I'm loving this picture of our friend's daughter, Sarah.  
 My attempt at a group kid shot never WORKS, I don't know why I keep torturing myself and them:)



Tuesday, September 17, 2013


Maybe it had something to do with school starting or knowing we wouldn't see the ninety degree weather again until next summer, but there they were...a little bit bigger.  I blinked.
I know in the past that blinking moment has left me sad, like I had missed out on something.  But right then, my blink left me feeling fulfilled.  Yes, it's going by fast but in that moment I was feeling so grateful that so many of their memories, so much of what they experience is with me.

Several friends commented on how much older Lauren looked in her first day of school pictures.  She's loving her new school and making friends so fast.  I had the pleasure of working at her school last week and loved being able to see her interacting with her teachers and friends.
 Six months ago William was hardly talking and now I'm having real conversations with him.  While Lauren was in school last week, he and I went for a long walk and he talked the entire time about what he saw.  I can't be sad about that blink.  
Today I'm loving what comes along with them growing up, and I'm leaving it at that.  A lot of excitement for what's next!



Wednesday, September 11, 2013

First Day.

Aside from meeting her teachers and a few new friends, the only preparation for Lauren's first day of school was her outfit.  Three outfit changes before the big day.  I was worried the final selection was wrong for the 97 degree day that was forecasted, but considering pick up was before 11:30am...I went with it.

Not only was Lauren off for her first day, but William was beginning his first day at a mother's morning out program.  Everyone was ready, including me.  I love the lazy days of summer, but welcome the business and routine that the school year brings.

Like last year, I sat both kids down before bed and talked about being kind, being yourself, and working hard.  That conversation seemed to mean much more this year with Lauren even giving me examples of being kind and being a good friend.  

Much simpler for William...please don't hit, kick, or bite anyone.  Be nice.  And when I picked him up and asked about his day...he said he was nice!  Message received.

Dad was away on business, but we included him in a quick facetime call and look at the smiles he brought.  Yes, iphone in one hand and camera in the other.  I'll do anything to get my kids to smile.

He cried when we dropped Lauren off, wishing she was staying with him.  But by the time we got to his school he was over it and ready for his day.  Funny enough, I got more information from him then I did her.  He played with a dump truck, sang, and ate goldfish.

I also enjoyed my first day of much needed alone time.  It will still amaze me how much I can get done in such a short period of time without any interruptions!


Monday, September 9, 2013

Our Kitchen: The Plan

The post you've been waiting for.  The piece de resistance!
 There are no before or progress pictures, there are just pictures.  Despite being not so pleasing to the eye, it is very functional.  All things kitchen that I own fit, which is a huge plus because I was running into our basement several times a day for what wouldn't fit in our teeny tiny space that was completely redone.  
I also like that it's white and will most likely go that route when the time comes to change it.  The previous owner did install brand new pergo flooring which I loathe, I can't keep it clean.  Hours after cleaning it still looks like the floor the morning after college house party.
This peach tile is probably the biggest eye sore, and I'm sure there are several little fixes we could do to update the space without spending a lot.  However, right now the thought of throwing even $300 in here means no new rug for the family room.  
I did leave out the breakfast nook, It's become a catch all for crap that needs some organization.  It's one thing to post a not so pretty space, but it can be a clean and not so pretty space:)
 The plan is a complete gut job, but the timeline is probably at least two years out.  It gives us time to really determine what we want the space to be.  So for now, this is it!  

First day of school in the morning!  Woohoo!



Friday, September 6, 2013

Chore Chart

It seems with school starting and fresh starts that a lot of parents I'm talking to are also introducing new routines at home and even new responsiblities for their little ones.  I wanted to share a simple chore chart that has worked really well for Lauren.
 At her school conference at the end of last year the teacher suggested giving Lauren some jobs at home.  Apparently she was racing through every activity just to be the first one done.  Hand washing...first place.  Art project...first place.  Winning is always fun, but racing to get your googly eyes glued on first isn't exactly going to get you a college scholarship.  The answer for us was to give Lauren some of her own tasks to complete to give her a sense of ownership and responsibility.

This simple chore chart had things Lauren was already doing like getting dressed, brushing her teeth and going to bed without a problem.  We really just added making her bed and setting the table, but thought if we kept a few known chores it would make it easier.  At first there was a do all your jobs and mom or dad will take you out for an ice cream.  But then once she really got the hang of it these just became her jobs like mom and dad have jobs.  We all have jobs to help this family run.

***Chore Chart was printed and then laminated.  I bought the wipe-off markers which work well*** 

Setting the table isn't completely independent.  I get the plates and utensils and put them on the table, but she grabs the place mats and napkins and puts everything together.  It's not the prettiest, but she's proud of it.  I think her pride is a little contagious because I've found William grabbing his own fork from the drawer and even wanting to clear his plate after eating.

Having her make her own bed has been the best part.  I haven't made her bed in almost six months and as soon as she wakes up...she makes it.  Yep, I'm bragging.  I still get excited every time she tells me it's already done, such a time saver for me.  If I could only figure out how to take this magic formula into areas such as cleaning up the play room or the constant battle of getting my kids to eat and finish their dinner.  As usual, trying to take the good with the bad.  
Always enjoy seeing the specific placement of her stuffed animals.  I'm not even sure where Piglet came from...anyone missing him?

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Racing For Kids

I hope everyone had a nice Labor Day and judging from my facebook feed it seems that most kids are back to school.  We have just a few more days of summer vacation as school starts for Lauren and William next week.
Last week we got to take the kids to a fun street fair through Racing For Kids.  It's an organization that started in Detroit and is centered around racers visiting sick children in  hospitals where they will soon race.  

 If there wasn't a line of kids waiting for their turn, I think Lauren and William would have been content sitting in this car.

I'm not really sure why they look so serious here, but I think she was upset that he was on Turbo (a snail from new kids movie in case you were wondering) and he was upset because she wanted to get on Turbo.  Makes sense, right?

It was a fun little morning out and most of it was free.  A scavenger hunt to the local shops where the kids could get lots of goodies, a bounce house, fire truck, and ice cream.  Well, that wasn't free...but I'm a sucker for it.  We will definitely be going next year!