Friday, December 27, 2013

Friday Pie-Day: Peppermint Snow Pie

Have you ever wanted to indulge in some peppermint Oreo bark, but in a pie form? Well, look no further; this is the recipe for you!

I made a few mistakes while I was making it, so I will share them with you so you won’t mess up like I did. (I think it still turned out great though!)

Friday, December 20, 2013

Friday Pie-Day: Grasshopper Pie

My sister is a lover of mint, especially when it’s paired with chocolate. This pie was for her, and it was ridiculously simple. Apparently it's called grasshopper pie because it so quickly "hops" off the plate and into awaiting tummies!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Friday Pie-Day: Cranberry Pie

Quintessentially Christmasy and pleasantly tart, this pie is one of my favorites. It is also one of the simplest pies I have made in these 4years of pie-making endeavors.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Toddler Tuesday: Stocking Stuffers

Christmas is coming! Our 19-22-month-olds had so much fun stuffing their stockings, and they learned some great things in the process!

What We Used:

  • Mini stockings – I got a pack of 10 at Walgreens for a few dollars, so there was enough for each child to have one.
  • Bells – large red, green, and gold ones (make sure they’re big enough not to be choked on, because we did have some mouthing attempts)

Friday, December 6, 2013

Friday Pie-Day: French Silk Pie

This could possibly be considered the best pie of all time. The chocolate mousse filling is so delicious that you want a second piece, but it’s so rich that you don’t dare!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Preschool Advent Song Book

When I was a child, I went to “Junior Church.” We didn’t run around the gym or have a snack every 30 minutes – no, we had our very own church service. We all sat in chairs and listened to the “program leader” announce each hymn (and we would sing every stanza!) before hearing our teacher give the lesson and ending with the song, “Come into my heart, Lord Jesus.” We had several Christmas traditions in Junior Church too – we always lit an Advent candle each week, there would always be a birthday cake for Jesus, and… we would always sing this version of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” that would tell the nativity story.

a 4th grade mini-me with Mr. Yates (December birthday buddies!)
and the birthday cake for Jesus in Junior Church, Christmas 1996

I wanted to pass on this song to my 4-year-old class a few years ago, so in preparation for Christmas we made a simple page every day leading up to our Christmas break. Then I bound them in books for each child to take home and teach the song to their families!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Toddler Tuesday: Thankful Bags

Here’s a quick, easy, simple Thanksgiving gift that even toddlers can make for parents, grandparents, family, friends, neighbors… whoever!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Friday Pie-Day: Lemon Pecan Pie

Hang on to your oven mitts – here’s a fresh twist on an old Thanksgiving classic! (See our traditional pecan pie recipe here!) Warning: a week after we made this, my pie-loving sister complained about some store-bought pecan pie she was served. She was spoiled by the awesomeness of this pie, and now she can never go back!

Another warning: this isn’t one of those smooth, creamy pies with all the pecans nicely sprinkled on top. This is a nutty blend of goodness packed with a punch of lemon!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Toddler Tuesday: Picasso Turkeys

This is one of the simplest art projects that has turned into a classic in my classroom. It is so easy, but each child’s always turns into a unique keepsake.

First, just prepare what you will need for one turkey. I cut out a pear-shaped body (kinda looks like Mr. Potato Head!), and each child also got 2 googly eyes, a triangular beak, a little red gobbler, 2 feet, and some colored feathers.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Friday Pie-Day: Peanut Butter Cup Pie

Chocolate plus peanut butter equals heaven. And in pie form? Even better. And the fact that this is so easy to throw together and make ahead of time makes this an ideal dessert for any occasion year round.

In fact, why not make 2 like we did? These are the only ingredients you will need! (The recipe below is for 1 pie.)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Toddler Tuesday: Autumn Sensory Bin

For the last several weeks, my 1½-2 year old students have enjoyed playing in our autumn sensory bin! This was super easy and cheap to throw together, and the children had so much fun – not to mention sneaking in some learning!


  • packages of fake autumn leaves (I think about 7 packs of 50?) from Dollar Tree
  • plastic leaf-shaped dishes from Dollar Tree
  • assorted Styrofoam and plastic pumpkins and gourds from Dollar Tree (or real mini pumpkins & gourds!)
  • large acorn bells from Michaels
  • tongs and scoopers from Dollar Tree

Friday, November 8, 2013

Friday Pie-Day: Shoofly Pie

“Shoofly pie and apple pan dowdy make your eyes light up and your tummy shout, ‘Howdy!’”

When our grandmother randomly sang us this 1946 song by Dinah Shore, we knew this pie was in our future! Click to play this song as you read the rest of this post. (And if you’re curious about apple pan-dowdy, 2:05 has a recipe for it!)

Monday, November 4, 2013

A Hogwarts Halloween

This Halloween my sisters and I dressed up as some of our favorite characters.

I was Harry.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Friday Pie-Day: Pecan Pie

Happy November! Here is our family’s favorite classic pecan pie recipe – we make it every Thanksgiving (and even at Christmas sometimes too)!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Autumn Spice Pumpkin Bread

October has flown by, but it will not be over until I share our favorite recipe for pumpkin bread! Bursting with flavor and open to add-ins, this bread is a fall tradition for our family.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Friday Pie-Day: Peach-Pear Pie

Here in Florida, we are still on the brink of autumn with traces of summer. This pie is a wonderful bridge between the two.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Toddler Tuesday: Smelly Bottles

I don’t want to neglect this severely forgotten sense, and this is a cheap and easy way to get toddlers learning with their noses!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Friday Pie-Day: Bumbleberry Pie

I have to be honest – when I saw this recipe in my Taste of Home pie book, I decided to make it only because of its quirky name. It turned out to be a favorite though, despite a few mishaps!

Why is it called bumbleberry, you might ask? There is no such berry as a “bumbleberry,” after all. But after a little research (and the reading of a cute little story), I can give a few answers…

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Toddler Tuesday: 13 Ways to Play with Pool Noodles

We don’t have a swimming pool in our classroom, but pool noodles are a big part of our play and learning! I bought 3 different colors from the Dollar Tree and cut them up, and even I was surprised how much fun we got out of them! Some of these were my ideas, but the toddlers contributed some ideas of their own too. 

Here were the stages of our play with pool noodles! Odd numbers were toddler ideas; even numbers were my ideas.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Friday Pie-Day: Sweet Potato Pie (with a twist!)

I am sharing this recipe 7 weeks before November 28 because it tastes like Thanksgiving and you are going to want to try it. We modified the recipe a little with tasty results!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Toddler Tuesday: Sensory Balloons

How would you like a simple activity that will captivate your toddler, calm them down, teach them about different textures, and exercise the muscles in their fingers at the same time?! Well, you’ve come to the right place! Introducing the sensory balloon for toddlers!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Friday Pie-Day: Pumpkin Pie

Autumn is such a wonderful time of year, especially when October rolls around. Unfortunately in Florida, we don’t experience the leaves or weather of the season, so we have to take fall where we can… hence this pie! (Check out all our family's pies since 2010!)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Texture Turtles

Our toddlers just finished a month focusing on our five senses, and this was one of the many fun projects we made! 

Of course we try to incorporate our five senses in what we do all throughout the year, and this simple activity would be fun for an animal unit, learning about colors or shapes, enriching a study about textures, and more.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Friday Pie-Day: Caramel Apple Walnut Pie

After the 45 different pies we've made over the last 4 years, you would think we had covered all possibilities. But you would be wrong. After all our apple creations, this was in a league of its own.

Maybe it was the homemade caramel…

Or maybe it was the toasted walnuts. (We baked them for 5 minutes in the oven to bring out their flavor before using them with the pie ingredients.)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Toddler Name Paintings

The beginning of the school year is a time of getting to know one another’s names, and this is a fun way for toddlers to be introduced to the look of their own names!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Friday Pie-Day: Cran-Apple Pie {Wassail Pie}

This was one of the most fragrant pies we have ever made. If you want to get in the mood for autumn, make this. Actually, it would be wonderful for Christmas too, because we decided it tasted like wassail. And wassail in a pie form? Seriously, how much better can it get?!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Friday Pie-Day: Grape Pie

Get ready for another weird and quirky pie! This was actually one of our favorites though, and not very difficult to prepare! It is definitely one we want to repeat sometime.

Here is the story… After our first year of making a pie every month, we joked about some quirky pies we could make. I think some of our options were “mayonnaise pie,” “butter pie,” and… yep – grape pie. But the more we talked about it, the more excited we got about the possibility of a grape pie.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Friday Pie-Day: Perfect Apple Pie

Well, this is where it all began. Aunt Betty had been making this classic pie for us most of our lives, and one day she finally decided we were ready to make it ourselves.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Class Friendship Quilt

The beginning of another school year is upon us, and so far my little ones have enjoyed lots of painting projects! This was one of their favorites – a way for us to introduce colors, make a fun collaborative work of art, and get messy with some paint!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Healthy Breakfast Cookies

These little gems are the perfect cross between healthy and delicious. I have been known to eat them for breakfast too.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Toddler Rectangles

Here’s a fun way to introduce rectangles to your toddler’s ever-growing vocabulary – make a hands-on messy painting!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Friday Pie-Day: Plum Pie

Had you ever heard of a plum pie before? Neither had I. But this was definitely a favorite! The spices mingled with this perfectly-ripe fruit to create a delicacy like no other!

We agreed this would be a lovely pie at Christmastime, but plums are soon going to be out of season, so we had to take advantage of these fresh ones now! It was a nice way to usher in autumn.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Kale Delight

The first time my sister made this delicious dish, she was trying to use up a big bag of kale she had needed for another recipe. She googled recipes with kale and added a little of this, a little of that, and… voila! This killer recipe was born!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Friday Pie-Day: Georgia Peach Pecan Pie

Last year our family spent a weekend in our traditional vacation spot at Indian Springs State Park. On our way home, we stopped to buy some authentic Georgia peaches and pecans. Of course, they were promptly put to use in a pie!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Congo Squares

This is another family favorite, shared with us by Aunt Betty and enjoyed for many years now. And my grandmother requested this for her 85th birthday, so don’t even think about complaining that they aren’t nutritious enough!

It’s difficult to describe – something like cookies in a brownie form with chocolate and nuts and all sorts of yumminess mixed in, melt-in-your-mouth style!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Friday Pie-Day: Apricot Pie

Here’s one you don’t hear every day (which should change, because it was definitely a family favorite) – apricot pie! Dried apricots give this pie a unique flavor and make it easy to make any time of the year.

We made ours in August 2011 though. That year our pies of the month were more quirky. Incidentally, do you pronounce it “ape” or “app”?

Monday, August 5, 2013

Golden Glow Salad

This classic family favorite is a definitely a crowd-pleaser. Not only has it been requested for every holiday dinner our family has had, it has also graced numerous church potlucks. As an added bonus, it’s a pretty healthy jello salad!

I don’t know where my grandmother got the recipe, but she’s been making it for quite some time.

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