Saturday, October 26, 2013

Weekly Highlights: A Baby Shower, Mom's Mini Cheesecake Recipe, and Lots of Resources

A Baby Shower!

My brother and sister-in-law have been blessed with a little girl who is set to make her grand appearance the first of December! We were thrilled to host a shower for little Brilee this past weekend at my grandmother's house.  My crafty sister made the gorgeous diaper cake above.  She was careful to make the cake in a way in which each diaper is still usable. 
I forgot to take a picture of the serving table before serving a few plates! You can see, a brunch (10 am) breakfast themed shower is supper yummy! It absolutely wouldn't have been possible without the help of our family. Everyone pitched in to make my sister-in-law's day beautiful and special.
from left to right: my sister, my dad, my brother, my sister-in-law, my mom, and me
Back Home: 
Baking Mini Cheesecakes with the Boys:

When you bake with little ones there will be messes. They want to help in every way - and cracking eggs is not easy. Thankfully, we have paper towels! - The rest made their way into the bowl.
 I love the team work involved with baking - lots of taking turns and helping one another.
This is one of my favorite recipes from childhood. My mom used to make these  for us. It's super easy to make and oh, so yummy!

Mom's Mini Cheesecake Recipe:

24 oz. cream cheese
5 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Soften cream cheese in a large mixing bowl. In a separate mixing bowl, beat eggs until foamy. Add sugar to eggs and beat until dissolved. Add vanilla to egg and sugar mixture. Now, slowly add the egg, sugar and vanilla mixture to softened cream cheese, beating until smooth.

Fill  24 cupcake tins til all but about 1/4 of the cupcake tin is left to fill so (3/4 full) and bake at 300 degrees F for 20 minutes. Cool on wire rack (maybe 30 minutes) and then chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes or more, then serve.

(Some may fall in the center. That's where adding a cool whip or sour cream topping may come in handy for making it pretty, but we like ours best without any toppings.)

And Voila!

Our Eternal Home:

Through all the joys of seeing family and spending precious time together, we were also reminded this weekend that life here on earth is only temporary. We should strive to make our eternal difference everyday. The strength, the faith, and the blessing this family is to ours is immeasurable. What an honor it is to know them and to have one of their daughters as a positive role model in our kids' lives.

While driving home, we received news that their dear husband and loving father had gone on to his eternal reward. It's hard not to ask why.  But his battle was fought bravely, showing the love and character of Christ the whole way through. I ask all of you to pray for this amazing family of faith. The road ahead is not going to be an easy one.

Compassion International: 

We received a letter from our friend Melany in Ecuador this week. She's nine years old. Melany was excited to tell us that she is having so much fun playing sports at her school. Her favorites are soccer and basketball. Melany shared that she's been having lots of fun swimming in a river near her house, and she's making good grades at school, too. She made a point to say that she "hopes we are happy" that she is making good grades. And we couldn't be more thrilled! She thanked us for sponsoring her, as she always does and ended her letter saying, "Bye! With the Peace of the Lord."

More Memorable Moments:
Enjoying a ride through the woods and a bonfire with the cousins at my brother's.
Photo: My Saturday in the country love my nieces and nephews

Jonathan reading to Betsy:

Ryan caught this big guy at my dad's last Friday:

Homeschool Stuff:

Our Ants!
They have been hard at work. We took them on our trip last weekend and they stayed busy the whole time!

*This post contains affiliate links. Clicking a link and making a purchase doesn't add any extra costs to you, but it does help ever so slightly to fund our homeschool. Please read our disclosure page.

FREE History Resources: 

We love the Animated Hero's Classics videos. Most can be found at the library. This week, we found The Animated Hero's Classics Activity Books for FREE online and the videos (look on page 3)! This has to be my greatest FREE finds of the week!

Favorite On-Sale! App:
Doodling Dragons {aff} The award winning Doodling Dragons app is on sale til Oct. 27th for .99! It's normally $4.99. In case your not familiar, it's a phonemic awareness book that goes through each letter sound creatively using phrases that contain each sound the letters make, plus it's narrated by Jim Weiss. It also includes a game and a learn feature. This app is from the good folks at The Logic of English.

Here are the links for Android {aff}, iTunes and Google Play.
. Remember, prices are good until tomorrow - Sunday, Oct. 27th.

A Read Aloud and FREE video: 

One day this week for history , we went off on a tangent and read Coolies {aff} and watched Charlie Brown's The Building of the Transcontinental Railroad online. We loved both the book and the video.

We have continued our Homeschool Spanish Academy subscription, and this week the kids had a new teacher for the first time. Our normal teacher, Senora Rosa, let us know a few weeks in advance that her little girl would be performing a ballet routine at her preschool, and she would miss our scheduled class. We had the option of rescheduling with her, or scheduling a substitute. We thought it might be fun to try someone new - just for a change. We chose a male teacher, Senor Martin. The kids enjoyed their class with him, too.  The kids are learning so much! It's so cute how Caraline will substitute every English word or phrase she knows for Spanish now ~ and I can keep up! The joys of being able to sit in on class! And interestingly, she was able to hold a short conversation with a two Spanish speaking folks at the grocery store last week. That was fun!

My Dad's visit to Barcelona and Amsterdam:

And my Dad has been in Barcelona on business all week. He's been so good about sending pictures and short videos throughout the week. I've felt like we were on a virtual vacation with him! While I was writing this post, he and Caraline were texting each other and he sent this panoramic view to us. He's on a layover in Amsterdam. FUN!


We are sharing our Weekly Highlights with our friends at Homegrown Learners for Collage Friday and Weird, Unsocialized Homeschooler's Weekly Wrap-up.


  1. Ok, Hope, WOW … to the animated heroes freebies!!! Those activity boos are AMAZING! And we will be watching Benjamin Franklin this week for sure as we are learning about the Revolutionary period and the kids have been full of questions about him while watching Liberty's Kids. Thanks so much!!

  2. I always enjoy reading your posts!! I am so glad you and the grandbabies enjoy making Nana's mini cheesecakes. As you know, I always topped them with cool whip and a half of a cherry on top of each one. However, I am like you and the kids, I like the cream cheese cake even without the topping. I really enjoyed you all last week!! I miss and love you all very much! Mom

  3. Looks like a beautifully busy week! So glad I stopped by from Collage Friday...we are going to try making the mini cheesecakes today:) Yum!


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