Success Night and Trail Walking!

 On Thursday night, the boys had Success Night at school, where the kids get to show off their classrooms and hard work to their parents! They couple the Success Night with the Book Fair to lure families in:)

First we stopped by Mr. Z’s classroom! All of the kids had worked hard to create their “twin,” who was sitting at each of their desks. Eliana got a kick out of this and insisted on carrying Zakkai’s twin around, who was the exact same height as her. That lasted until she stepped on his leg and “broke” it. Happily, he has been surgically repaired and we even found him sleeping in Zakkai’s bed yesterday! haha.

Zakkai worked on a poster about tornadoes at school. He did a great job learning the facts and drawing very tornado-y pictures!

This is Zakkai’s “grassapillar” that he made. They do so many things at school! The walls were filled with projects and artwork from the kids! Zakkai also showed off some of his math skills on the computer. He’s a smart kid!

In Samuel’s classroom, he had a huge list of things he wanted to show us! First was a flower on the window that featured a picture of Samuel with Ben when he came to be the Mystery Reader a few months ago. Samuel adores his daddy.

Another thing Samuel wanted to show us was his passport. Each kid got to pick the country they would like to visit most and explain why!

This was Samuel’s answer:) Told you he loves his Daddy!

And this was his “wanted poster” that cracked me up! It was about Alexander, who used to be rich and was wanted for $1,000,000 for “hiding money under his bed away from his mom.” haha!

Today it was a lot cooler out (in keeping with our latest up, down, up, down weather patterns) so we put on coats/sweatshirts and found a beautiful trail nearby to hike down!

A little glimpse of my three guys through the trees:)

It was very peaceful by the creek! There was no one on the trail we picked and it was so nice to just walk together in the peace and quiet and take in the budding trees and gently flowing water.

Eliana forgot about her “tiredness” and demands to be carried once she found this huge stick that was twice her size! (half of it isn’t even pictured!) She dragged that stick as far as she could and then that got the boys finding sticks and helping with hers.

All three of them walking with her stick! They had a really fun time finding huge sticks to drag along and were disappointed that we didn’t let them bring the sticks home:) It was a really nice afternoon in the sun! Probably one of our favorite trails yet.

I’ve tried several new recipes this month since I am so carefully menu-planning and trying to cut costs. I’ve found some really good, simple ones, too! Here is one I wanted to share.

Ham and Broccoli Pasta Toss
1 lb short pasta, such as penne or rotini (I used both!)
1 1/2 cups fresh broccoli, cut into bite sized pieces
1 cup diced ham
1 1/2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes
2 cloves fresh garlic
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 cup shredded or grated Parmesan cheese
2 TB olive oil
Salt and Pepper
Italian dressing, optional

1. Cook noodles according to package. During last 3 minutes of cooking, add the broccoli to the boiling water. Drain well.

2. Meanwhile, add the ham pieces to a large serving bowl. Cut the tomatoes in half and add the pieces with the ham.

3. Peel and mince the garlic and add it to the bowl. Add the basil and stir to mix well.

4. After pasta and broccoli are drained well, add them to the bowl and toss well. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and Parmesan cheese. Toss until well-mixed. If desired, serve drizzled with Italian dressing for added flavor!

We ALL really like this really easy dinner! It was really good the next day for leftovers, too! I will definitely be adding this to my list of meals for rotation. Easy and cheap!