Saturday, February 12, 2011

Family Fun Night

In the beginning of the year, one of my "resolutions" was to have more Family Fun Nights. We have family fun regularly, but I wanted to do something a little more planned. Something that we could build up to and feel excited about. I'm planning two nights a month. I just look at the calendar and pick two days that seem like they might work. Just having it written down there has really helped. So far, our family fun nights have been, well, FUN!

The first Family Fun Night of the year had us settled in for movie night. The kids got into their pj's, we popped popcorn, dimmed the lights and settled in to watch Despicable Me. We couldn't help comparing the movie characters to our family members: Jim as Gru, Jordan as Margo, Ava as Agnes, Olivia as Edith, and Chloe as one of the Minions. I didn't get a role. :(

Our second Family Fun Night was an after dinner game marathon. We played Memory together as a family. I forgot how much fun it is to sit down and play board games together. Growing up, this was a favorite pastime. Now the girls are getting old enough to be able to follow directions and muster up an attention span for it.  It was also a lesson in good sportsmanship as we chastened braggarts (Jordan) and chastised poor losers (Ava)!

Last night we had our third Family Fun Night of the year and I decided it would be fun to make some homemade ice cream. Here's a look at how things went down:

Here we are with supplies gathered.

Livi with her bag of ice.

Shakin' it up!

Ava enjoying the fruits of our labor

Mmmmm. Ice cream!

Jordan taking a bite

Our finished product! We added some sprinkles!

We all scream for ICE CREAM!
Making ice cream is a lot simpler than you think! Here's what you need. Gallon sized zipper bags, sandwich sized zipper bags, half and half or milk, sugar, vanilla extract, ice and rock salt.

Fill a gallon zipper bag half way with ice and add 6 TBSP of Rock Salt. Close Bag and Set aside. Then fill a sandwich bag with 1/2 cup milk, 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract and 1 TBSP sugar. Seal bag. Place sandwich bag into the gallon bag with ice and seal bag. Shake the gallon sized bag until the mixture becomes ice cream (it only takes about 5 minutes!) Use a wet cloth to wipe away the salt water at the top of the sandwich bag and spoon out the ice cream. (It makes about 1 small scoop!--a good snack size!)  

Two things we learned from our experience:  Use a decent zipper bag--cheap ones are more likely to bust or leak while shaking.  The bags of ice are a little heavy for little ones to shake.  And be conscious of the salt!  Take time to wipe it up and wash hands before enjoying the ice cream or you end up with a salty sweet mixture that doesn't really taste that good.

All in all, it was a success. We did something different and made a memory with our girls and that's what it's all about!


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