Thursday, July 31, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Today I got my hair cut!
- Free time to relax and get "pampered."
- The look and feel of your hair after leaving the salon.
- I have been going to the same hairdresser for almost 11 years now, and so it is like visiting an old friend.
- I get my hair cut in Claremont, and I just love that town! It's so quaint, and midwestern-like. It reminds me of my college days!
- Last, but not least, I have a "tradition" of stopping by my favorite bakery to enjoy a bear claw and Peet's coffee. Now that I'm married, I get to choose other fabulous treats and bring them home in a pastry box. I love seeing Daniel's eyes light-up when he sees the pastry box sitting on the counter!
Monday, July 28, 2008
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Saturday, July 26, 2008
The veggie I love the most is pea sprouts! It is literally the leaves and sprouts from a pea plant… stir-fried with a little olive oil and garlic; yum! Actually, that is the key to most Asian vegetables… you just stir-fry with a little olive oil and garlic, (sometimes a little soy sauce and pepper), and our girls even enjoy them! Brilliant, really! Not quite as healthy as steamed, but delicious and actually consumed by our kids!
The other vegetable I love – ladies, are you ready for this? LOOFAH! (I don’t actually know the “American” term for it, but it is some sort of squash that literally becomes a loofah when it is all dried-up; I promise!) I didn’t believe Daniel until I saw a dried-up one at his parents’ house! I actually haven’t seen these even at the Asian markets, but since my in-laws grow them, here is what it looks like:
Friday, July 25, 2008
Thursday, July 24, 2008
It was a short but sweet stay... 2 full days and one night. We bathed him, fed him, and I can honestly say he was the sweetest chihuahua I had ever met. (Normally I refer to chihuahuas as overgrown rats!) He didn't even bark when we put him outside for the night!
If he didn't follow me around everywhere, and if Natalie had liked him a little better, I think we would have kept him. Ironically, Daniel has always wanted a chihuahua! But, alas... much to Allison and Daniel's dismay, we took him to the Animal Shelter to hopefully find a better home. We'll miss you Little Pup!
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Her book, Creative Correction, is full of tips, stories, and scriptures helping parents raise kids. Though it’s enjoyable to read, it is also a valuable resource to refer back to… especially regarding scriptures!
One idea that we tried that worked well for us was a reward system. Allison had been potty trained for several months, but had been in pull-ups at night, and showed no signs of waking up dry! So, we went to Chuck E. Cheese’s, bought a cup and several tokens, (By the way, always use a coupon for Chuck E. Cheese tokens, because they’re everywhere and save you a bundle!), and told Allison she could put a token in her cup every morning she woke up with dry underwear. She has had only 1 accident in 2 months! She recently enjoyed her special trip to Chuck E. Cheese with Daniel, and they had a blast!
The other book of hers that I love is called Busy Mom’s Guide to Bible Study. You’re suppose to read it over a 3 month period… (It took me 4 months), but it is so worth it! It is just full of tools to help you study the Bible more efficiently, and in a limited amount of time since that’s all we as moms have! So, there you have it, Mommies… Check out “Blair’s” books, and let me know what you think!
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
- This is where I keep my quarters for my Saturday jogs.
- Every time a coupon mailer arrives, I cut-out yogurt, ice cream, smoothie, and coffee coupons and stick them in here. That way, if I'm out on a jog with crabby kids, we can head to one of these places for a special treat... and I save money! Likewise, if we are out running errands, it is with me on my keychain! (I'm so glad she put a keychain on it!)
- Any gift cards I receive as a gift go in here as well. (Sadly, I already used up all my Pinkberry gift card from my birthday... yum!)
I would love to try to make these myself, but alas I have not learned to sew, yet! My beautiful sewing machine from my husband is collecting dust. My friend said she just ran a piece of cloth through her printer to get the picture on there. In MOPS, they did a similar project before I joined, and used iron-on transfers; those turned out great, as well!
Ok, I'm inspired...
I'm off to learn how to sew... after the dishes, the laundry, my game time with Allison, and...
Oh, some day!
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Saturday, July 19, 2008
I have made a list of some of my favorite local activities that I refer to often. (Usually it's because I am bored of the routine, not the girls!) Here are some of the favorite free activities: (I have hyperlinked most of them in case you want to check them out for yourself!)
- Movies in the park
- Upland Street Fair
- Claremont Museum of Art Family Craft day (I especially love this one. Allison has made some cool things, including a ceramic plate and an impression stamp made out of balsa wood -- all FREE!)
- Free summer theater movies
- Pump it up pop-in playtime (This one is only free with a coupon from the Rancho Cucamonga Shopping Guide mailer... otherwise, it's $6 for kids 2 and up)
- Library activities (You need to sign-up for these in advance... they're especially free for us since we can walk to them and don't have to pay for gas!)
- VBS (What kid doesn't enjoy stories, crafts, snacks, and games?)
- Victoria Garden’s; water fountains/ park/ trolley/ Thomas store... all fun and FREE
- Upland Airport; watch planes
- Chick-Fil-A; playground and Tuesday night craft, cow and kids eat free
- Toys R Us... it's airconditioned, and full of toys... who says you have to spend money? :)
- Rancho Cucamonga Animal Shelter... usually Daniel takes the girls, and Allison LOVES it!
So there you have it! Those are just a few of the things on my list; the free, "special" ones! I'll post more if you'd like... just let me know! On Thursday we went to Upland's Street Fair, and the girls rode the train, (which is not free, by the way!) Here are some pics for ya!
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Of all the items that seemed to excite me most, (kid puzzles, foamies, etc.), I was super excited about all the organizational baskets they had. Wire baskets, wooden baskets, plastic baskets… large, medium, small… they had baskets for every possible organizational thing I could imagine! I was in basket heaven! I have baskets in most every room in my house, from kid toys to craft supplies to our remote controls. Now I have a mental note whenever I walk through the house and see something with no “home”… Next time I go to the Dollar Store, I’m getting a basket for that!
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
WARNING: Your husband may see them simply as over-sized, over-priced srickers. :)
Monday, July 14, 2008
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Some of my other favorite finds include a sit 'n spin for $0.85, 2 Hello Kitty purses for $0.25, and an adorable dress for Natalie that I splurged on at $1! Oh, and of course, the $35 double jogging stroller which has allowed me to start this tradition! I wish I could say every Saturday was as fruitful, but there is a lot of junk out there! We once hit 7 garage sales and came home with nothing. In fact, we often come home empty-handed, but I think the girls enjoy searching for the garage sales as much as finding "treasures."
I have found one additional benefit to this fun Saturday tradition... I have lost 5 pounds since January, and can finally say I am at my pre-pregnancy weight. Woohoo! (9 months to put it on, and 18 months of jogging to garage sales to take it off... somehow that doesn't seem fair!) But, I made it! :)
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Anyway, today was a tiring day... I hadn't gotten much sleep the night before, and Daniel was forced to work overtime. However, if you can hear me shout I am declaring GOD IS GOOD! To keep my spirit up on days like today, I often randomly blurt out praise songs. Today I was singing "Lord you never let go," when Allison asked, "Why doesn't He let go?" We had a pretty deep conversation for a 3-year-old. I wasn't sure how much she grasped, but then she said "Mom, I am going to sleep good tonight and not wake up or have bad dreams. I won't call you until the sun wakes up."
I pray that she does sleep well... We have had a month of not being able to sleep through the night! But, if she doesn't, I will still declare God is good! I will just have to continue to pray and trust Him... feel free to join me in praying for Allison's sleep! :)
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
So, to make the task a little less daunting, I decided to plan out my meals for an entire month! I've been doing weekly planning for a while, but wanted to do more. Of course, I still grocery shop once a week for fresh fruits and veggies, but I am LOVING having this calendar! It has lifted a lot of stress off of me. And, I'm hoping to be able to make several monthly calendars and then start inter-mixing them to where it gets easier and easier!
For inspiration, I often get meal ideas from "Family Fun's monthly meal planner." I actually get a lot of ideas from them... crafts for Allison, gift ideas for Daniel, and just fun activities. It's an awesome site, but I highly recommend checking out their monthly meals... perhaps it will inspire you, too! (And, most importantly, help relieve some of that "What's for dinner?" stress!)
Well, I'm off to make a cool summer pasta salad with some of our homegrown cherry tomatoes. (I've finally been able to harvest them without Allison consuming them before they make it inside!) If all goes well, I will have dinner done before Natalie wakes up from her nap, and we can enjoy it picnic style tonight!
Monday, July 7, 2008
Of course, we have our differences as well. When I first told Daniel I was starting a BLOG, he responded "You're one of those now!" :) He is fine with me doing it, but feels no need to join-in on the fun, because to him it is no fun at all. Likewise, when Daniel told me of his latest endeavor, I responded with similar disinterest. I have no desire to try to figure out how to play a complicated instrument. However, he is such a gifted musician that it is a joy for him to figure out. Unfortunately, he hasn't had an outlet to play music much since college; until now! So, what instrument has he chosen?
Yes, my dear husband has chosen the bagpipe to play with the fire service. He practices on what's known as a chanter, which you can hear Allison playing above. From the few books he has ordered, he can already play "Amazing Grace..." pretty impressive! Fortunately, he practices mostly in the car because, as you can hear... it sounds like a sick duck!
Sunday, July 6, 2008
We now live in a much bigger place, put still don't have the luxury of a basement or play room, nor a large backyard. So, I have been wanting to figure out how to give the girls a playground. I'm excited with what we came up with; Allison would spend hours a day on the "Yehground" if she could! It was inspired by our visits to "My Gym," in which they have removable swings and things that hook on to a metal structure on their ceiling. One day I walked into our garage with our new "metal structure" (Storage rack on our ceiling), and thought... brilliant! So, would you like to check it out? Here it is....