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Making the World Cuter: May 2009

A blog where one woman is on a mission to make the world cuter, one kid, cupcake or crafty thing at a time.


Why I do what I do-TV

Allow me to get on a soapbox for a minute or two.
I'm pretty positive that most of you don't, or won't agree with my ideas on TV and kids.
Please know that I am not saying that any other way of handling the TV issue is wrong, this is just how and why, I do, what I do.
It's just me, and really just me, I mean Chad will probably be rolling his eyes reading this more than the rest of you.
I just want to let you know why I feel this way, and if you don't want to know, allow yourself to be distracted by my cute kids. They are the real reason I choose this so-called sheltered little life.
I am not the "Kool-Aid mom."
My kids don't even know what Kool-Aid is.
There are a lot of things my kids don't know about that most kids do.
Then there are a lot of things my kids know about, but wouldn't know about if they didn't have a Grandma Julie, (i.e; McDonalds, Ding Dongs, Sponge Bob and commercials...out of spite I tell ya!).
Chad and I have been married for nearly 8, wonderful, years.
In that time, we have never had cable, dish or even local channels like PBS.
That's right, I didn't watch a single episode of American Idol this year. Gasp.
And you know what, we haven't felt like we've missed a thing.

This was a decision we made before we were married, to not have TV in our home.
We own a TV, and literally hundreds of movies, but never had channels.
The reason for this decision started out because of Chad's kids.
They were TV junkies.
They asked for everything that they saw on commercials.
They would stay up late into the night watching the tube, (I'm talking wee hours of the morning), a trait inherited from their night owl father.
I couldn't deal with that.
I need my sleep, and I was never one to waste my days being a couch potato as a kid.
I wanted more for our family life when they were there, more structured family activities and less zoning out.They did not , and still do not always deal well with this.
Every summer, it is like pulling teeth to get them to stay outside and play like I did as a kid.
I know times have changed, that video games and tv are more enticing then having to use your own imagination, I get that, I can't go a day without using my computer.
So we have screen time.
It is not a set amount of time, not yet anyway.
They can either watch one movie, (educational (not documentaries or anything, but shows like Blues Clues, Little Einsteins or my kids favorite The Magic School Bus), or a Disney type movie with a good meaning-(anything that is not what I call useless, like Spongebob, that teaches my kids to repeat words like 'stupid' or 'duh')) or play for a little bit either on the Wii or on the computer.
I know that there will be time for my kids to fill their heads with useless TV and movies when they are older.
I'm not going to lie, most of my favorite things to watch are completely useless time wasters, but I think as a kid, your brain can soak up so much good, why waste it!

As a kid, I watched TV so minimally, I mean like Saturday morning cartoons, and that is only if the sun wasn't a shinin'!
We were outside at sunrise and my mom had to bribe us to come back inside, long after sunset.
We took our meals outside, and ate them on the run.
We played in the sandbox, we jumped on the trampoline, we rode bikes.
We made up elaborate 'house' like games using my moms old pattern books, choosing our outfits, our husbands, our kids, our bridesmaids, and could entertain ourselves for literally days, just stopping to sleep and resuming where we left off in the morning.
We would have 'carnivals' in our backyard with all the neighbors and have different 'booths' with different games that we paid for with rock tickets and win prizes, like flowers (dandelions), and happy meal toys, and we would always have a trophy to give to the biggest winner of the day, just to hold and admire my plastic 'BigBoy' piggy bank.

I want my kids to have that kind of childhood.
The kind that has so many memories attached to it, that you could write novels about the games you played, and the things you thought up.
The kind of childhood that makes you think of your siblings as your best friends.
After all, they were the ones that you went to the moon with, walked down the catwalks in Paris with and were there the day you became the first 10 year old President of the United States, and the next day when you became the first Queen or King of the whole wide world.

I want my kids to always have popsicle grins, dirty knees, freckled cheeks and sun kissed hair.
I want them to be able to get wet with the hose in a 100 different ways, climb trees, hit a homerun, throw a frisbee, make a million dandelion wishes and gain a complete appreciation for the outdoors.
I want my kids to come in at the end of the day so exhausted, that they can't wait to sleep, and dream about the adventures they will have the next day.
In the winter, if they can't be playing outside, they can read, or play with toys, or work on one of their countless art projects they have thought up.
I want them to use their imaginations while they are young, I want them to just be kids.
So that is why we don't, or won't get TV at the Hewlett household.

Now excuse me while I go watch some re-runs on Hulu.


The Many (cute) Faces of P-Sam

This kid cracks us up! My McDreamy was snapping photos of Porter playing in the pool and he was pulling the funniest faces-check out all those teeth coming in!

Splish Splash

Monday and Tuesday this week were absolute bliss! McDreamy was home on Monday for Memorial day and we spent the whole day relaxing and getting a few things done around the house, then we went to the Appah's for a yummy BBQ. He had to work on Monday night, but had Tuesday off, so after his 'nap' we were able to spend the rest of the day together. It is so rare that we have any real time together anymore, that we all just drink it up. It's just like Christmas for the Hewlett's when he is home.
We spent Tuesday afternoon playing in our friends, the Stewarts pool, with the Appahs. McDreamy was the photographer because he wouldn't get in the water.Above-Bekah aka Chicken little, and Topher aka crazy man. It still amazes me how different these two are and how I can love them exactly the same amount.
Below-Tyler posing for the camera. He's such a poser. I think he wants to be a model. He kept laying on the rocks in a very Abercrombie like pose. He thinks he's pretty hot stuff. He might hit me.
The kids had a blast, but the water was still a little too cold for us adults. I stayed in the (warm) hot tub for a little bit with Porter, but even that got to be too cold. I'm sure there will be many pictures of my kiddo's at this pool during the summer, so let's just call this Splish Splash Part 1.
(The sequel is coming soon with 2 more kids added to the mix! Zachary and Ryeleigh will be joining us for the summer in less than 2 weeks! YIPPEE! We are all so excited! Counting down the days...)


Sew Happy!

Back in the good old days, they made sewing machines out of metal. They were heavy, they had their own cases, that looked like a suitcase. They were made to last forever and sew through bricks. Okay so maybe not bricks, but they could easily sew up a pair of 501's.
Guess what? The picture of that old beauty up there is now mine!
I joined freecycle awhile ago, and for the most part it's just become an annoying extra email of worthless junk every day. But this adorable girl was giving her grandmother's working sewing machine away, with it's table, instruction manual and all the accessories, (including the cutest little wooden needle holders ever!). So not only do I now own this lovely, but I got it for free! Hello, happy me! Oh and it's a Belvedere. Do you other 80's children remember Mr Belvedere? One of my fave shows as a kid. Fun flashback.

Yum Yum Rolls

My friend Suzanne brought these to our Christmas party last year and they are soooo good. I kind of forgot about them until a couple of days ago and decided to throw a batch together, I doubled them up in a muffin tin and they were delish! I posted the recipe on the recipe blog if you want to make them, (you do).

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stub.born adj. tenaciously unwilling or marked by tenacious unwillingness to yield;
refusing to move or change one's opinion etc., esp. when this attitude is unreasonable; obstinate
stub.bor.ness - resolute adherence to your own ideas or desires
Topher now has his own blog as well, although getting him to dictate to me was a lot harder, so it probably won't be updated as often for awhile! Topher's blog


2 little blue eyed cuties

Bekah has a new blog! She will be updating it daily with her thoughts on life, a daily journal like entry, original artwork, photography by her, and anything else she wants to add.
I will probably make a contribution or two, but for the most part, I will just be doing the technical stuff and letting her control what it looks like and what goes on it. This will go along with our homeschooling, so she can share what she's been learning and eventually update it herself. We'll see how it works out!
Here is the link-Bekah Boo.
Leave her a comment, she will be so excited!



Seafoam Memories

Let's take a trip down memory lane shall we?
When we were little my dad, who was a self taught chef, ate the strangest things when we were home.
I guess after working around food all day and making up complex and delicious recipes for the restaraunt he worked for, made him want to come home and just do something simple.
Simple...well that's an understatement.
Most of the time when my dad cooked for us, or himself, he would do something like open a can of refried beans, slop some on a tortilla with a slice of Kraft singles cheese (which I have such an aversion to) and stick it in the oven.
Or he would open a bag of Wonder bread, put several slices in a large tupperware bowl, pour milk over it and drizzle it with honey.
Seriously, the man could cook food that was knock your socks off good-but this is what he ate at home.
Then there was his sweet tooth, the man loved candy and was selfish with it. He would seriously hoard it and hide it from everyone in the house. It wasn't like Hershey kisses or skiddles he was hiding either, (although he was probably stashing those too), he would go to specialty shoppes and get the good stuff.
There were days that he would be super generous and give us a tiny bite of his delicious candy store findings.
My favorite of his selections, and I think it was his too, was Seafoam.
The delicious smooth milk chocolate would melt in your mouth first and then the honeycomb like inside would start to dissolve on your tongue, just long enough to make you crave the rest of it so much that you couldn't help but bite into that crunchy goodness.
Now that I am a grown up, and have been to several chocolate shoppes in my life, I now understand why he was a little more selfish about these treats.
Gourmet chocolates can be mighty pricey.
So I came across this recipe for something that looked like seafoam.
I had to try it out right away.
Guess what?

It's just like I remember it.

Recipe posted here. (On my new recipe blog...under construction.)


This is how we roll

Go gather these ingredients plus 2 cans of different sizes, one large one small with tight fitting lids, (we used a hot chocolate can and a formula can-a #10 can would have worked better for the bigger can-and if you drink coffee-the best sizes are a 1 lb can and a 3 lb can). I'll wait...Got all that?
In the smaller can put one cup of milk, one cup of cream, 1/3 cup sugar and about a teaspoon of vanilla. Place smaller can inside larger can and pack with ice and sprinkle with a good dose of rock salt.
Then do this for about 10 minutes.
After rolling back and forth, dump the ice, open the smaller can, scrape the sides and close it back up. Repeat ice and rock salt and roll it again! About 5 more minutes and you'll have about 3 cups of delicious ice cream, some worn out kids and lots of proud 'look what we did' smiles.
You can add stuff to it too-like chocolate, fruit or candy.
We made this in high school in my advanced foods class, and I just pulled out the recipe the other day after talking about ideas for a pioneer day party in July.
Good times.


Science makes us feel all warm and bubbly

We have been doing homeschool now for about 5 months. I have really enjoyed it and we are all learning a lot! We have tried and are trying quite a few different things, trying to see what works for us, and I feel like we are finally getting there.
When Chad is home, I like to let him have some time to teach the kids. The last couple of days, he worked with them on the volcano kit that Topher got for his birthday. (Thanks Jaime!)First they had to build the volcano and let it set.Then the next night they got to help it erupt. The kids were fascinated, even though the 'explosion' was less than impressive to us, they had a great old time doing it over and over.

Then after the science project Chad surprised the kids with his favorite treat as a kid! Strawberry soda frozen and then turned upside down to eat like a snowcone. They thought it was so cool-Topher was determined to eat it all, but he was so tired that he fell asleep. I taped it and put it on the video blog. There is not much cuter, than when your kids fall asleep eating.So to sum it up-Dad + school=Fun, Thrills and Chills



What's wrong with inside the box?

Chad spent his only few free hours this week building the kids this sandbox, it's so great to have a hubby so handy...
...Jason came and helped him fill it up with wonderful sand. Thanks Jason!
My kids L-O-V-E it!
Now we need to figure out how to cover it up at night, and those few minutes each day when the kids are not in it.
We're thinking a tarp with grommets and hooks-does anyone else have a better idea?
We have a cat problem in our yard anyway, before we put up this giant temptation.
(I am not a cat person, especially since my last encounter with having one as a pet, it attacked me when I was pregnant with Christopher. I was bleeding from head to toe, Bekah got scratched in the process and I had to get a tetnas shot it was so bad. I have bad scars to prove it!
Then since we moved here, there are strays and neighbor cats who think our yard is their personal litter box. My kids have stepped in it, and one of our friends kids picked it up and ate some, so I have some problems with the dang cats.
I have considered lacing some tuna with anti-freeze...I won't do it, but the thought has crossed my mind, and made me smile a little.
(I apologize to those who do love cats, I have loved cats in the past, my own cats , that were cute cuddly kittens to begin with, I don't think of these cats as once being cute cuddly kittens, just obnoxious, pooping, rodents.))

From Shaggy to Smoldering

Every time April sees Tyler she wants to attack his hair with the scissors, and he usually says no, so I made him a deal that if he got to hang out one night that she got to cut his hair.
I would love it if he'd let her go even shorter, but he has a small bump on his forhead from a childhood injury that he is self conscience about. (I probably shouldn't have disclosed that huh Rock Skull?)
April did an awesome job with what she was allowed to do.
He also wouldn't let me take a picture of him with the gel April put in his hair and gave him a little faux hawk. It looked awesome, but he is so particular about his hair. He did give me this smoldering look though for the ladies...
Watch out Mr. Effron, you've got some competitition.
(Ha Ha, he is going to kill me for this!)

Yummy Italian Sub Recipe

I haven't shared a recipe in awhile...
This is a family favorite for sure, it's not the healthiest thing on the planet, but it is so yummy, and easy!


  • Long loaf of take and bake Italian bread
  • 1 8oz box of neufatchel or cream cheese
  • 2 Tbs butter
  • Poppy Seeds
  • 1 lb. sausage
  • canadian bacon
  • provolone or other sliced white cheese of your choice
  1. Cut bread lengthwise in half leaving hinge
  2. Brown sausage
  3. In small bowl mix together melted butter, softened cream cheese and poppy seeds (I just put in as much as looks good-maybe about a tablespoon?)
  4. Spread cream cheese mixture on both halves
  5. On top half, place your cheese all the way across
  6. On bottom half, place your canadian bacon all the way across
  7. Pour the sausage in the middle all the way across
  8. Wrap entire sandwich in heavy duty foil
  9. Bake sandwich in oven at about 350 for about a half hour or until bread is crusty and cheese is all melty
  10. Cut into 2-4 inch sections, and wrap bottom half of each section with the foil that the sandwich was baked in-then you don't need plates!

It's super filling and everyone in my family LOVES it. Try it out, the next time you need an easy dinner and pizza sounds a little worn out.

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