Summer Fun: Have a Harry Potter Marathon and Make Butterbeer

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Oh, how we love Harry Potter.

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I cannot even begin to count how many times we have watched each of the movies.

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And, the final one.  The final one gets me every single time.  I cannot watch it without sobbing.

So, naturally, I had to put “have a Harry Potter marathon” on the summer fun list.

I have been wanting to make Butterbeer for a very long time.  When I discovered that Darla at Bakingdom is a huge Harry Potter fan, as well, and had actually re-created Butterbeer, I was beyond excited.

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We began our Harry Potter marathon yesterday with popcorn and Butterbeer.  I know that I keep saying that every day and every event is one of my favorites, but when there is family, Harry Potter, and a yummy drink involved, well, of course, it is always going to top the list of favorite memories.

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For the Butterbeer recipe, click here.

Summer Fun: Eat Spaghetti and Meatballs while Watching Lady and the Tramp – Recipe: Spaghetti and Meatballs

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One of the things that I saw on someone else’s (sorry, I cannot remember whose!) summer fun list was to watch Lady and the Tramp while eating spaghetti and meatballs.  What a great idea!  Given how much we love pizza and movie night, I new that adapting it to movie and spaghetti and meatballs night would be perfect. So, on Monday, that is exactly what we did.

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We ate the spaghetti and meatballs picnic style on the floor, while watching a truly adorable movie. Everyone loved it.

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It was a perfect way to begin another summer fun week.

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Ingredients

Meatballs

2 pounds ground beef

1 egg

1 cup bread crumbs

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground pepper

1 teaspoon onion powder

2 teaspoons Italian seasoning

1 tablespoon olive oil

Sauce

28 ounce can tomato sauce

6 ounce can tomato paste

2 gloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon salt (or more, to taste)

1 teaspoon pepper (or more, to taste)

2 teaspoons Italian seasoning

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon onion powder

*Note - adjust seasoning according to taste preference

Instructions

    Meatballs
  1. Add the hamburger meat to a large bowl.
  2. Pour in the eggs, bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, and all seasonings.
  3. Using your clean hands or a spoon, mix together.
  4. Form into 2 inch balls.
  5. Add olive oil to a large cooking pan, and heat over medium to medium high heat.
  6. Once the burner is hot, add the meatballs to the pan.
  7. Cook for about 5 minutes, and then turn.
  8. Cook for another 5 minutes or until no longer pink. *Note - the cooking time might be more or less, depending on your stove, how comfortable you are with the cooking time of your beef, etc.
  9. Sauce
  10. Leave the meatballs in the pan and reduce the heat to medium low.
  11. Add the tomato sauce and tomato paste to the pan and mix it together.
  12. Add the garlic and all of the seasonings.
  13. Cook over low heat for at least 15 minutes.
  14. Serve over cooked spaghetti.
http://cookingformykids.com/2012/06/13/summer-fun-eat-spaghetti-and-meatballs-while-watching-lady-and-the-tramp-recipe-spaghetti-and-meatballs/

The Lorax and a Defining Moment

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To continue our Spring Break family fun week, I took the littles to see The Lorax.  Honestly, I had not read or heard anything about it, and I just took them because going to the movie is always good, fun family entertainment.

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I had no idea that I would have a defining, almost life-changing, moment while watching a Dr. Seuss movie.

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I loved it so much that I was the annoying girl in the theater with my phone on so that I could take notes.  Yes, I was also taking pictures during a 3-D movie, which is why they look a little blurry.

You see, we have had one of those weeks where we have worried more about Ethan’s future.  Not because he has been having a bad week.  Because, he has not.  There are just times that we start planning for the unknown, knowing that, in reality, all of us worry about our children’s future.  There are just times that it is intensified when we think about our sweet Ethan.  So, the movie, for me, came at a perfect time.

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The classic The Lorax quote held so much more meaning when I heard him say it than it had when I had just read it.

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better.  It’s not.”

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While The Lorax is referring to the environment, it spoke to me on a whole different level.  I was inspired to do more, try harder, and go to bed at night knowing that I have done my part.  I know that I probably cannot find a cure for why Ethan cannot speak.  But, I do know that I can continue to fight to make a difference.  I know that I can start small by pushing for that iPad a little harder, with a little more passion, because I do believe that it will make a huge difference for my sweet youngest boy.

“It’s not what it is. It’s what it can become.”  True. True. True.

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None of us have just one thing that defines us, that makes us who we are.  I have been very adamant about that with Ethan.  Being non-verbal does not define him.  At all.  Having a special needs child does not define our family.  At all.  One of the things that does define us, however, is we dream and have joy about what we can all become, as a family and as individuals.  And, we definitely believe in what Ethan can become.

Besides being with my family and loving the movie, I also loved the conversation that we were able to have about the movie.  When I asked the littles if they liked the movie, they all said that they did. When I asked what they took away from the movie, Gabriel and Summer both said, “Don’t cut down trees.”  However, it was what Gabriel followed up with that was the most profound.  He said, “And, nothing that is done cannot be undone.”  Very true, sweet boy.

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Once again, for me, it was about so much more than the actual theme of the movie.  Yes, the movie made me want to do more to conserve the environment and to appreciate the beautiful trees, flowers, and earth, in general.  However, even more than that, it made me realize that Ethan has so much more potential than any of us have yet to witness.  Yes, he has been sick, and yes, he has probably needed more therapy than he has received.  However, we do have good doctors and good specialists working with him now….people on Team Ethan who just want to let him grow, people who do care a whole awful lot, people who believe in what he can become.

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But, really, for my sweet Ethan, it is only the beginning.