Trying something new…

I would like to try something new in this blog post – capturing a family memory, while it is still fresh. Bear with me.

Ethan joined the Cub Scouts, and his dad and I ended up becoming Den Leaders.

1d21326ea7bd5015d41437edbba5e4a2

We’ve taken a big role in planning and preparing the Tigers for their achievements, and the Pack we are a part of participated in a camping weekend at the local Boy Scouts campsite. As soon as we heard about it, we knew we wanted to go along.

c74807b3ec7a5f6b17e1e92bbac4a1f9

It was the weekend right before Halloween, so I was quite concerned about hubby, but it ended up being a fun, safe and enjoyable weekend.

ad8b1b7c683f1867ceb9da630c5884d8

We have quite a bit of camping gear already, but we decided to grab a camp stove and some new sleeping bags. Next time, however, we are definitely getting an air mattress (that ground was painful!).

6d3c4afe109ccc9a7a348f278b99545e

We had grilled cheese and foil pizza sandwiches, the kids had hot dogs, as well.

14591642_1796001030617221_2770601961681376128_n

We slept in a 4 person tent for two nights. The first night, the boys were both tuckered out and slept sound; the second night was a different story. Rynn was so worn out, but so uncomfortable on the ground/sleeping bag that he tossed and turned then cried/whined most of the night.

14906950_1796001103950547_6322991772455158028_n

Definitely wasn’t very restful (so when I say we are getting an air mattress next time, I was not kidding!). I think if he had been on an air mattress, he would’ve been more comfortable.

asleep

 

There was quite an activity list, and Ethan worked hard to participate in as many activities as he could. He was the only Tiger from our Pack in attendance, so he joined up with the Bears that were there.  They had such a wonderful time! Their group completed pretty much all of the options, with the exception of the BB guns and fishing (there just wasn’t enough time!!).

schedule

Ethan did really well with the archery, he hit the target!

In the leatherworking hut, he designed my birthday gift – a “Mom Cub” necklace. I totally rock it!

momcub

Ethan waited for about an hour with his Bear buddies to participate in the hay ride, and he said it was about 45 minutes and cool.

At the end of the day Saturday, the campsite offered a few Halloween themed activities – Trunk or Treating, DIY face painting, and a Spook Trail.

daddy-and-ethan

 

 

We did the Trunk or Treating (it was so dark!) but we did not do the Spook Trail (too many variables that could’ve caused issues with the hubs!).

unnamed-2

I wish I had gotten a photo of the trunk or treating festivities, but it was fun all over. Ethan was dressed up as a minecraft character from Dan TDM and Rynn was Iron Man. They both had a blast!

unnamed-1

 

We are currently planning to attend the next camping event called the Tiger Growl in February. It is specifically for Tigers and will focus on helping the Tiger Cubs earn credit towards their electives. So excited already!

 

 

Let’s be super cute for a minute.

 

I found something on pinterest the other day and I swooned. Like, instantly. They were these super cute s’mores snacks and they had *sprinkles.* You can find the original post inspiration here. The difference, I believe, is that I’m not using marshmallows – I’m using marshmallow fluff!

S’mores + Sprinkles = YES.

smoresfluff2

 

I’ve had this obsession with marshmallow fluff for a while, which I haven’t kept secret, but that meant I had a jar of fluff on hand. You can see evidence of the start of my obsession with my cereal bars.

I will need to buy another jar of fluff…I have a recipe in the works that I need to tweak (thinking here, chocolate chip fluff bars…but they just aren’t there yet) and with less than half a jar of fluff, I wanted to play with these cute s’mores snacks.

My niece had a field trip day, and I volunteered to pack her lunch for the trip. I really just wanted an excuse to make these treats!

There isn’t a “recipe” per se for these, just a sort of, “do this, then that” and you’re done. Super. Easy.

For reals.

smoresfluff

 

For starters, you’ll need graham crackers, marshmallow fluff, melted chocolate (I used Nestle Toll House semi-sweet chocolate chips), and sprinkles!

Break the graham crackers in half, then in half again. You’ll end up with four sections. Spread a good dollop of fluff on one graham cracker, gently smoosh the other on top…dip in melted chocolate, place on cookie sheet lined with wax paper, toss on sprinkles and chill.

Done!

Told you it was easy.

The most difficult part may be not eating them all.

smoresfluff1

 

 

New Adventures in Scouting

Well we’ve either done something brilliant, or we’ve dug ourselves into a deep hole. I’ve yet to decide.

What I have decided is that I have found a place that calls to me! Well, a second place (the first is the classroom. Oh how much I *love* being in there!!).

Ethan brought home a brochure for Cub Scouts and told us he was interested. We attended the sign up/information meeting, and here I am, two weeks later, DEN LEADER! Can you fathom?!

I’m not sure how it happened, other than being talked into it, discussing it over with the hubster and us *both* being incredibly excited to start this journey as a family.

dsc_0433

I’ve never been involved in scouting before, so I really don’t know what to expect, other than fun, long days, camping trips, badges, oh my!

dsc_0428-2

This past weekend we attended our first Pack Family Fun Day, and this coming weekend we have our very first Den Meeting. After meeting the boys and their families, I can say that I am incredibly thrilled to be starting this journey as Den Leader.

I have crazy organization, put together folders for the boys with print-outs of the 6 required adventures, our Den meeting schedule and a welcome letter.

dsc_0429-2

dsc_0430-2

To help me keep track of the boys’ progress, I even purchased the tracking chart from the Scout store. I will use this to keep track of each boy, so that I know where each boy is. In my Den Leader binder, I have individual tracking sheets for each boy, so I can keep more detailed notes on their progress to earning their badges!

At our Pack Fun Day, the boys had an opportunity to earn an easy badge from the Boy Scout troop hosting us, all they had to do was show their knowledge of the Cub Scout handshake.

dsc_0530-2

I think we are going to have a wonderful time, and I can’t wait to share some of our adventures with you!

Do you have any experience with the Cub Scouts? I would love to hear your thoughts, tips, and memories!

S’mores Cereal bars

This post has been a long time in the making. Like, literally the whole summer. I made these months ago, and still think about them! They photographed beautifully and tasted just as yummy.

smores

I haven’t made cereal bars in forever, and let’s face it, the classic Rice Krispie treat is amazeballs. But what I really love about cereal bars is the ability to customize them. Throw in my latest love, also known as Marshmallow Fluff, and you’ve got an easy, tasty and kid friendly snack!

smores1

But then I started thinking that with summer happening, s’mores sounded yummy…I had marshmallow fluff on the brain, a box of Golden Graham cereal, and chocolate chips…do you see where my tummy was going?!

When thinking about these bars, I totally overthought the concept, but I’m really excited by how thick and marshmallowy they turned out. I threw in extra marshmallows when I added the chocolate chips and I think that helped create pillowy pockets of marshmallowy goodness within the s’mores bars.

 

smores2

These cereal bars are super easy to make but I do recommend refrigeration.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups mini marshmallows (1 cup for melting, 1 cup for after)
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 6-8 cups Golden Grahams (I used closer to 8 but it’s definitely your preference!)
  • 1 jar (13 oz) marshmallow fluff
  • 1/2 cup – 1 cup mini chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Look at your oven and say, “Not today, Homeslice!”
  2. Lightly spray a 9×13 pan with Pam (or line with parchment paper).
  3. Pour cereal into large bowl, set aside.
  4. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add 1 cup marshmallows and melt, stirring frequently until smooth.
  5. Pour melted marshmallow over cereal, then add in the fluff.
  6. Stir gently. Add in the remaining cup of marshmallows and stir to combine.
  7. Sprinkle in half a cup (or so) of chocolate chips and store to distribute throughout. You can kinda eyeball it at this point, if you want more chips, add more.
  8. Press into the prepared pan, but don’t beat it down, just gently press. I don’t like compacted bars…
  9. Sprinkle extra chips and marshmallows over top. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
  10. Cut into bars and enjoy!

 

Smorescollage

and I have to giggle. You guys have obviously seen those super cute, perfectly put together blogs, where they expertly arrange photograph sessions, everything is beautiful and they always have *the best* props?

I was just excited to have a green/white striped straw that I swiped from the toddler’s drink cup! HA!

I am pretending to be a fighter.

The phone rings, and since I knew to expect this call, I answer quickly.

He is polite, introducing himself, asking after me. Asks for me as “Mrs” in his respectful tone. 

“Can you tell me if she is home, I need to speak with her.” 

I know he does, and I confirm that he is, indeed, speaking to me. This is met with a moment of quiet, and I instinctively know he’s questioning if he’s dialed the right number, when he says, 

“I am looking for a Mrs. Coconuts to schedule an oxygen delivery. Do I have the correct Mrs. Coconuts?”

Quietly, I spoke, “I’m sure you’re used to much older voices when scheduling deliveries, however, you do have the proper Mrs. Coconuts.”

Again, another silence, and I could almost imagine that he was thinking his next statement through, “I did think your voice was young, not nearly the type I’m used to. Are you alright?”

“Aside from being tired, yessir I’m alright.”

“So…,” pause, “how…? I mean…” Vocal confusion, “why…? If you don’t mind me asking?”

I know he’s very curious. He has the prescription from my doctor that says 24/7 Oxygen, 2L an hour (not much but more than a typical woman my age should require).

So I try my best to easily explain my ongoing-not-easy-health-hell… “I have a myositis that causes inflammation. It has recently spread to my lungs, which has brought me to this point.”

Another pause then, “We don’t have to deliver now, are you sure you are ready for this?”

And everything swirling in me is screaming no, please, no. I’m too young for oxygen. I’m 31. 31.

But as calmly, and bravely as I could, I say, “I have to be. I can’t let it beat me.”

It’s a trigger. It’s been three years.

Things have been crazy busy around the Coconuts household recently. Many new life experiences intertwined with daily routines, leaves us thankful for our blessings while recognizing the tenuous thread that holds our lives together. All too often we forget to see the miracles that comprise our stories; often forgetting that we, ourselves, are such incredible miracles. It takes dramatic events to remind us to open our hearts further and grasp at the pearls of beauty that grow from the banal events of day to day living.

When faced with incredible painful fear for the future, something as simple as your loved ones faces become the ambrosia that we drink in; desperate for one more glance, fearful of our last breath and what that would hold.

Am I the only one that holds this pain? The only person who still feels the sharp stab in my heart and the anguish in the pit of my stomach. The last memory of that precious little life deeply guarded in the farthest reaches of my heart, to be remembered by me, and me alone. I feel that way. I fear I am the only living human who remembers the child that was lost in my womb. The little one who arrived in this world in a rush of blood on the anguished cries of her mother. The one who is not spoken about. Words are truly unnecessary as the pain and regret stain my soul and quietly speak volumes.

b0d7654f16dd204fd4429b45932d8ac1

I’ve not opened up about the baby. Few know of the circumstances, yet none speak of it. As if to speak of it would mar the beauty of the life we’ve crafted. And yet still, occasionally there is the oft well-meaning comment that states I have two living children – appreciate that…at least you have “X,Y,Z.”

Please don’t say that to anyone who has experienced the loss of a little one. Ever. Even with the best of intentions that is salt to the wound. Yes, I have two living children. But it would never erase the pain or the guilt.

9b58f4be9909881257ca0c3c63996ea0

It’s been three years. I look at my boys, and I tell them everyday how much I love them. I see in them the beauty of creation, the life of innocence, the trust, their dad, parts of me, love of life. I want to preserve that in them forever. Encourage them to see the good in the world and create great change.

I look at my boys and wonder how my little love lost would have spiced up our world. Would she be have liked superheroes? Chocolate chip cookies? Would I have sewn more, collecting patterns for frilly dresses done up in comic book fabric? My blue eyes? Her daddy’s brown hair?

d06c72c689324ac6775df0fe5276182a

These are the thoughts that swirl, always. It seems a constant reminder of the life I couldn’t keep. My hands are shaking, and my heart is racing as I type these words. This reminder. This memorial. The little life of which only I seem to remember and pine for.

I have three children. One is crafted in the ephemeral, golden dust of the Universe, and two of them happily shenanigate with me in this realm.

There will always be the question of what if, there will always be the twist of my stomach at the memory, but as with all things, time blurs the edges a little bit. Makes it easier to compartmentalize the pain but it never ends. I will mourn the little life that touched me. I will always love her.

2186bc5b2eb3255ca9a7e37bfd40341b

 

25bb4ff2223ba75444a2fac58cfacf6b