Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Disconnecting for a While.....

Welcome back, friends and Happy July! I hope this finds you planning fun and memorable summer activities  out of doors and around family! 

You may have noticed that I've  been absent from this space lately. After our long,full,  productive school year wrapped last week, I  really need to unplug. From blogging. From social media.  From email. As, I am sure, do many of you! 

I wanted to let you know that I won't be around for a month or so and to THANK YOU for faithfully visiting my home here on the web to read, share, comment.

 I appreciate each of you so much!

Happy summer. Happy refresh.

 Happy reading - swimming -  family-time -  cookouts - traveling -  cleaning-out  - 
stargazing, long lazy walks. 

Enjoy and thanks, friends.



For those who may be in a travel frame of mind,
here is last summer's
Forever West series.

Friends, as always,  
thank you for stopping over and 
spending some of your precious time here at my home on the web!

Don't forget to subscribe to Campfires and Cleats
 by scrolling to the subscribe button at the  top left sidebar.
I'd love to stay in touch regularly.

Until next time,

~Chris

  

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Chocolate Candied Graduation Cake + Homeschool Diploma

Welcome, friends!
Well, after nine official - report - submitting - to - our - district years of homeschooling, one of my children has, seemingly, in the blink of an eye,  completed  elementary school...he moves to high school in the Fall and wow, where DID those years go?  Any homeschool family knows that these years are amazing, chock-full of learning, fun, intensity, growth and, yes, challenges and struggles, as well. 

But, of course, he's not moving up without  some fanfare, gifts and...you guessed it....cake!


First, the fanfare. It was just us, on our deck, the last day of school on Friday,  where, to the strains  of Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance, we had fun presenting to him this diploma , which we customized to fit our homeschool details and info.  Here's the editable version, too, courtesy of Donna Young.:
Next, a yummy barbecue, followed by cake! Here's the final confection~



nd here are the supplies/ingredients that you need to easily whip this up~
*Favorite cake mix ~ I buy Pillsbury Classic White in bulk because sometimes baking from scratch isn't in the schedule!
*graduation chocolate molds
I used both of these molds: 
Cybrtrayd M069 Cap and Diploma Lolly Chocolate Candy Mold with Exclusive Cybrtrayd Copyrighted Chocolate Molding Instructions

and this mini diploma mold

CK Products Diplomas and Graduation Caps Chocolate Mold

The how-to:
1. Bake cake.




2. Melt /freeze chocolates. I used to use a double boiler to melt, but now, it's the microwave all the way!  Place a handful of melts in a microwave safe bowl and, depending on your microwave's size and strength,  set it for anywhere from 30 seconds to two minutes. Start out with a minimal setting. Remove from microwave, stir and pour into molds. Place in freezer for a few minutes. Large molds, obviously take longer. The smaller diploma molds will be solid in 3 minutes or so.

3. Frost, decorate, display. Enjoy!




Friends, as always,  
thank you for stopping over and 
spending some of your precious time here at my home on the web!

Don't forget to subscribe to Campfires and Cleats
 by scrolling to the subscribe button at the  top left sidebar.
I'd love to stay in touch regularly.

Until next time,

~Chris

Friday, June 13, 2014

"A Door in the Wall" Inspired Wooden Cross Craft for Holy Trinity Sunday & the Feast of Corpus Christi


Welcome, friends, to another Artful Friday!
 One of my crafty sons recently  conceived of the idea for this cross as we read the classic Newbery title by Marguerite de Angeli,  The Door in the Wall. If you've not read this amazing piece of literature  in some time, let me refresh your memory.......  it leaves the reader with a beautiful impression of the Church and especially of monastic life. How  perfect, also. for a peek into medieval customs. Many virtues are portrayed throughout the book, especially through Robin, the main character,  ( who whittles his own cross!!) and Brother Luke, the friar who cares for the child.


Since the feast of the Holy Trinity as well as Corpus Christi, the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ, are  both upcoming, what a perfect time to share his easy, fun and literary DIY cross!  But, of course, any day is a  perfect  day to create a symbol of our faith!  

All you really need is a suitable cross-worthy stick and a  knife that's 
sharp enough to carve. But the most important "ingredient" is creativity 
and imagination.  Seen here is the stick he choose and one of his favorite possessions, 

his Santa-given pocket knife. He's a huge fan of whittling and has carved many items, most notably  bows and arrows for his and for fellow castmates' roles as  
Lost Boys in a stage adaptation of JM Barrie's original 1904 script, Peter Pan. 
Here's a shot of his creations.... he also made his own costume! (minus the coonskin 
cap and slippers, which we picked up in Walmart! )

And here we go! Enjoying the beauty and quiet of our yard on an early June day while immersed in classic lit and developing his own creation is pretty much the best 
way to spend time, wouldn't you say?  Here he is, starting out with his just-picked tree branch.....

...refining it a bit......

After whittling a suitable length of branch, 
he cut the cross pieces just so:


And ..... the final product!
(attached with a touch of Elmer's glue)

If you are Catholic and have not been involved in church life of late, 
but would like to come home, 
please know there is nothing that would make 
Our Lord happier!
If you'd like to contact me, it would be my honor to put
 you in touch with a priest who can assist you.


For my previous "Artful Friday" posts, 
you might like to click below.....
They're all here if you'd like to dust off something from the archives:

 ( knitting, winter crafts, the theater and piano)




And, my son's popular  guest posts on crafting rocket balloons,
 both of which include instructional videos:
I hope you get a chance to click over and enjoy one of his posts!



Friends, as always,  
thank you for stopping over and 
spending some of your precious time here at my home on the web!

Don't forget to subscribe to Campfires and Cleats
 by scrolling to the subscribe button at the  top left sidebar.
I'd love to stay in touch regularly.

Until next time,

~Chris



Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Spotted in Our Yard~ WW 6/11/14








Friends, as always,  
thank you for stopping over and 
spending some of your precious time here at my home on the web!

Don't forget to subscribe to Campfires and Cleats
 by scrolling to the subscribe button at the  top left sidebar.
I'd love to stay in touch regularly.

Until next time,


~Chris

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Memory Building~ Just Like Dad: My June 2014 Catholic Mom.com column


As Father’s Day approaches, we moms busily concern ourselves with planning, alongside our kids, a day, a gift, a dinner, cards, many little ways to show our spouses that while we may not express his ever-constant support, he always has it. That he’s appreciated. That he’s loved. More than we can say.
I grew up with a Dad who was the quintessential protector, larger than life itself and the hero of every little girl’s story. I married a man who strives to do the best for his boys. God knows we’re both so imperfect…so are our lives. But we keep at it day after day and we know we’re not in this alone. We have the grace of those vows, once upon a time and right now, though some days are extremely lackluster and buried under piles of laundry, crumbs, muddy cleats, math problems and broken pencils, and oh yeah, a few angrily sputtered  words. Yeah, we’re living our happily ever after.

Friends, as always,  
thank you for stopping over and 
spending some of your precious time here at my home on the web!

Don't forget to subscribe to Campfires and Cleats
 by scrolling to the subscribe button at the  top left sidebar.
I'd love to stay in touch regularly.

Until next time,

~Chris

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Iris and Lilac ~ The Purpler, the Better ~ WW 6/4/14


Beauty around the yard~~











Friends, as always,  
thank you for stopping over and 
spending some of your precious time here at my home on the web!

Don't forget to subscribe to Campfires and Cleats
 by scrolling to the subscribe button at the  top left sidebar.
I'd love to stay in touch regularly.

Until next time,

~Chris

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Easter Dessert ~ Tomb Brownies and Our Lord's Resurrection

Welcome!
So here it is, Ascension Thursday already.....and I'm f-i-n-a-l-l-y sharing our "tomb dessert" which graced our table on Easter Sunday!  Life's been full here. So full that I've stopped in only briefly to chronicle confirmation day, festive foods and decor at the gathering and a wonderful boy's  14th birthday. Since then, homeschooling, family and life's details have occupied me such that I'm not quite sure when I'll be hitting that "publish" button on the handful of drafts I've begun here. Hopefully before too awfully long.  But while I find calm in writing and 'scrap booking' here, I find I need  balance in this space. Despite it all, I of course, find not only enjoyment, but calm and sanity too, communicating with all of you is the best part of blogging......!

I've seen clever and cute Easter desserts out there and even tried a couple ( here's last year's Peep Cake)  but  I knew I had to attempt Jennifer's Resurrection Cookie Display, when I saw how easy and festive she made it look! So go to a peek and then come on back for my adaptation...



So here we go...it couldn't be easier!

Resurrection Tomb Brownies: 

Ingredients
*Favorite brownie recipe ( As you can see, I took a shortcut, thanks to Pillsbury)
* Shredded coconut and green food color  ( for grassy area around tomb)
* printed sketch of our Lord, resurrected
 (The one you'll see in my dessert was printed from Jennifer's  post. )
* Marshmallow peeps, to decorate tomb area ( a last minute thought and not pictured here)


Here's the finished product:


And here's the quick how-to:

1.Bake brownies, let cool and then cut to desired "tomb" sizes.
2. Mix green food color into  whatever amount of coconut you'd like to place 
around the tomb.
3. Assemble brownies as boulders/ rocks/ pebbles, along with green coconut and peeps.
(Completely out of place, but who doesn't like a peep in an Easter dessert?)
4. Place our resurrected Lord among the rubble. 
(I  taped the picture to a game piece and its stand so that it was secure enough until we had dessert.)
A  shot of my hubby assembling the concoction.
He loves a kitchen "challenge!"



Enjoy!!





Friends, as always,  
thank you for stopping over and 
spending some of your precious time here at my home on the web!

Don't forget to subscribe to Campfires and Cleats
 by scrolling to the subscribe button at the  top left sidebar.
I'd love to stay in touch regularly.

Until next time,

~Chris




Wednesday, May 14, 2014

WW ~ Cuddly Reptile Break



..And both shots taken with my brand new
Mother's Day gift !
A Nikon camera/video camera!
I'm thinking I love it, but I'm still trying to figure it all out!

As you know, this is Tootles, sweetest turtle ever.
She's our baby.


Friends, as always,  
thank you for stopping over and 
spending some of your precious time here at my home on the web!

Don't forget to subscribe to Campfires and Cleats
 by scrolling to the subscribe button at the  top left sidebar.
I'd love to stay in touch regularly.

Until next time,

~Chris


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