Saturday, January 31, 2009

A and G

Allison and her grandma have a very special relationship.  Even 400 miles apart, Grandma can "babysit" by talking to Allison on the phone for up to an hour!  Anyway, Grandma is coming on Thursday, so Allison is pretty excited.  Here they are decorating heart pizzas last Valentine's Day.  Since I definitely decided to do something new for Valentine's breakfast, I think I'll have to stick with heart pizzas for a traditional Valentine's dinner.  We can't wait to see you, Grandma!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Friday Fun

I had a cute video of Allison making her marshmallow/ toothpick project, but alas blogger would not download it.  At least I have this one picture... We used up all of our Lucille's toothpicks this afternoon, so we decided to go to Lucille's for dinner!  Daniel and I decided to try the fried green tomato appetizer... it was yummy!  We just got home, and I realized we forgot the toothpicks.  I guess we'll just have to go back!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Fun Places to go With Kids

Tomorrow is MOPS, again!  Oh, how I look forward to MOPS days... 
  • a hot breakfast buffet and coffee
  • fun speakers and crafts
  • a break from my sweet girls; (Did I just say that?)
  • best of all, fellowship with other mommies who let me know I'm not alone in my joys and struggles!
So, I have to share a little about our last speaker... Her name is Susan Peterson, and she is a Southern California mom of 3 boys.  She wrote this awesome book on where to go and what to do with your kids in So Cal.  It is loaded with over 2,400 ideas; amazing!  It has 4 different indexes by which to look things up, as well as planning tips, car game ideas, etc.  (My favorite index is the one by "price."  I've already highlighted several free places to try!)  Though I have a similar book already, I had to buy this one!  If you live anywhere in So Cal, I highly recommend her book!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Our First "Field Trip"

Today we had our first preschool field trip. We went to the...

This is how I found the girls when we arrived at 10:00am.... (Poor things have been coughing instead of sleeping at night!)

These are the awesome "tools" my friend created to make our day more special.
  1. She created a Zoo coloring book and gave one to each of the kids to color while driving to the zoo. (I believe she printed them off the LA Zoo website!)
  2. She had a fun sticker chart her husband designed on the Mac, and everytime we saw an anuimal that was on our chart,we got to put a sticker next to it.
  3. When we were done, she had a mini zoo booklet that the kids got to look through and cirlce just the animals we saw. She also found this online, though at a different website.

Don't I have a creative friend?

Allison showing off her sticker chart as we first gave it to her.

The fun cave....

Check out the little ones walking down the steps...

Allison especially loved circling the animals she saw!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Valentine Breakfast

What should I make my girls for Valentine's breakfast? Hmmm... here are your choices:
  1. Not to brag, but I make some awesome blueberry/ oatmeal pancakes. Last year I shaped them into hearts the best I could and... just look how excited Allison was! Plus, I love traditions... however, I make these quite a bit. (We just had them again this morning!) So, they're not all that "special" to my girls anymore. (I had to include a picture of my cute heart-shaped batter bowl I got from a friend for my birthday last year!)

2. My mom gave me her heart-shaped waffle maker and I haven't had an occasion to use it, yet. Just think... with whip cream and strawberries! Yum! This would have been my preference, but then I found these:

3. Wow; yum! Gourmet Mom on the Go gives step by step instructions for making these yummy heart-shaped cinnamon rolls. (I put her button on my sidebar because she has lots of other fun ideas, as well!) I LOVE cinnamon rolls and these look awesome.

So, there's my dillema... What do you think? If you get a chance, leave me a comment and vote for option 1, 2, or 3! Oh, and here's my Oatmeal/ blueberry pancake recipe:


1 pint blueberries
· 1 cup milk
· 2/3 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
· 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
· 2 tablespoon brown sugar
· 2 teaspoon baking powder
· 1/4 teaspoon salt
· 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
· 2 beaten egg
· 2 tablespoon cooking oil
· 1 teaspoon vanilla


1. In a small saucepan heat the milk until hot; remove from heat. Stir in the oats. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl stir together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Make a well in the center of flour mixture.
3. In a small bowl stir together the egg, oil, and vanilla. Add the oat mixture and egg mixture all at once to flour mixture; stir just until combined. Then add blueberries, and again stir until combined.

4. For each pancake, pour about 1/4 cup of the batter onto a hot, lightly greased griddle or heavy skillet. Cook over medium heat about 4 minutes or until pancakes are golden brown, turning to second sides when pancakes have bubbly surfaces and edges are slightly dry.


Monday, January 26, 2009

Wonderful weekend

I'm back!  Did you miss me? :)  We had a wonderful weekend of celebrations... First, of course, was our anniversary!  After lunch, we took the girls to our favorite bakery and let them choose their own piece of cake so they would feel like part of the celebration.  Then, we went out on our own for dinner and had a wonderful time at King's Fish House. 

We also celebrated Chinese New Year with Daniel's family at our house.  Daniel prepared an awesome meal!

So, why the funny picture of Daniel in our closet with a drill, you ask?  Why not a nice anniversary photo?  Well, we spent much of our weekend re-organizing some things, including our closet.  Daniel came up with the brilliant idea of adding another bar way up high for the clothes he never wears anymore, (i.e. suits!) We also cleaned out our hall closet, our island, and our craft unit.  Impressive, huh?  This got me thinking... I feel so blessed to have a husband who loves organizing just as much as me!  We had such a great time watching everything get cleaned up and cleared out!  (As we speak, I have several empty shelves!!!)  I would have never thought to pray about having a husband who was an organizer, but God knew just what I needed, and blessed me tremendously!  

Friday, January 23, 2009

Free Bounce Time!

Ok, my Southern California friends... I believe I have mentioned this one before, but don't forget to cut out your coupon for a free pop-in playtime at Pump it Up from your Rancho Cucamonga Guide.  We got ours yesterday!  It's on the bottom corner of the 3rd page.   I've used at least 4 now... I even shared one with a friend, because we can't seem to use them fast enough, and they have no expiration!  It's kind of tricky, because they don't look like a coupon, but they are.  Happy bouncing!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

It's our anniversary on Saturday...
... Daniel has Fri - Mon off work!
We were suppose to go to San Diego...
...And then we found out it's suppose to rain :(
There is a bright spot, however. We only postponed our trip 3 weeks, and we will still go out on our anniversary, as well as Sunday which is Chinese New Year. That means I don't have to cook those 2 days... woohoo!
I found this fun site where you can download coloring pages for Chinese New Year for your kids. Check out Activity Village!
Kung Hey Fat Choy!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Preschool Wednesday

So, I figured out how to download pictures off the Mac... yay!  However, I am still struggling with blogging on it.  For example, it won't let me text above the pictures.  Hmmm... any Mac users out there?

Anyway, today was the official start of our "home preschool," and we had a blast.  We're doing some sort of theme each time, and today was "S" day.  (When Allison prayed for our snack, she ended with, "Thank you for S Day!")  Here are some of our "S" activities:

  • Singing songs
  • Simon says
  • Slithering snake slalom course
  • Sewing (We sewed the letter "s" on a 3x5 card)
  • Slime (We used the borax/glue concoction and it worked great!)
  • S shaped pretzels and smoothies for a snack... This was my favorite! I had never made real homemade pretzels before, and they were so awesome!  You actually boil them before you bake them, kind of like bagels. I used Alton Brown's recipe... click here 
  • Snow and sand outside (We used the leftover snow from Natalie's birthday!)
  • Seasons... We learned about the different seasons, then looked at pictures and tried to determine what season it was.
I had so many more ideas... stretching , sticks and stones, the 5 senses... once you start thinking about it, there are endless "s" ideas!  Hopefully that will be the case with our next theme, too! We decided to do field trips every other week, so we will see you next week at the zoo!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Ladybug fruit

First, I have to say bear with me...  We are switching from our pc to a Mac, and I am totally clueless about Mac's.  It's a pretty awesome computer, and I'm sure I'll love it... eventually!  It's just a bit intimidating, ya know? 

Anyway, I found this cute recipe on Family Fun, and can't wait to make it.  Simple, yummy and (somewhat) healthy.  Click here for the recipe!  We are officially starting our "homeschooling" tomorrow, and will need some fun snack ideas.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Playhouse Disney Live!

Guess what we did today?  :)  Would you believe I forgot my camera?  We bought these tickets back in November, and the big day finally arrived for Allison.  (Luckily, these are still our girls' favorite shows, unlike when I planned a Dora birthday party for Allison and 1 week before her birthday she was done with Dora!)   It was a lot of fun... especially since it was only 4 miles away!  I was so happy that Natalie could enjoy it, as well.  I highly recommend it for preschoolers!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The best part about today...

We had a nice day; the typical morning jog and play time at the park, laundry, cleaning out the closet, and doing crafts. But, the best part about today was... open windows! It makes cleaning joyful because it feels like spring time. And, we really needed the fresh air! Hooray for open windows!

Wacky Watercolors

Watercolors are expensive! So, when a toy package from one of Allison's toys resembled a tray, I decided I would save it and make our own watercolors from the recipe in our Kid Concoction book. Supposedly, this recipe makes hard little "cakes" of watercolors... I was skeptical! Especially when I saw the little lumps of stuff and it seemed very "liquidy." However, the paints did dry into cakes after 3 days! Even the lumps disappeared! And, in fact, the colors turned out quite pretty! So, now we have our own watercolors, and the girls really enjoyed making them! Here is the recipe: (I multiplied it by 4... I'll include those proportions for you, too).
  • 3 Tbs. baking soda, (3/4 cup)
  • 3 Tbs. cornstarch, (3/4 cup)
  • 3 Tbs. white vinegar, (3/4 cup)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. light corn syrup, (2 Tbs.)
  • Food coloring

Mix all ingredients except food coloring in a small bowl. Pour the mixture into individual plastic tubs or jar lids. (I thought an ice cube tray would work, too!) Add 6-8 drops of food coloring to eachtub or lid, and mix. You can use them as they are, or let them harden into cakes and use like watercolors!


Friday, January 16, 2009

Twin invitation

I went to a baby shower last weekend for a friend having twins; (a boy and a girl), and I thought the invitations were so cute! (They even sent a pack of gum!)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Summer in January

So, what does one do when it is 80 degrees in January? We decided it would be fun to take a hike! What was our inspiration? Every time we go to church, we go down this little dirt hill and Allison asks if we could go for a real hike.
We went on a five mile loop trail in Claremont that Daniel and I hadn't done since before having kids. Needless-to-say, our "packs" were a little heavier this time around! Allison hiked the first 1/2 mile, then went in our backpack carrier. That meant Natalie had to ride on my shoulders. Once she got too heavy, however, my awesome firefighting husband put her on his shoulders and kept Allison on his back. What a man!Getting ready
Allison and Papa
Sisters about to switch places

Triscuit LOVED the hike, too. He met many friends, and is now sound asleep on his pillow.

We found a perfect little rock seat for a water break.

Here he is with his 2 girls. They loved the hike, too... riding on daddy, singing songs, playing games.... what little girl wouldn't?

Here's the view from the top... gorgeous!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Bargain Valentine's Dress

If you have baby/ toddler girls and no Valentine's dress for them, head on down to Target! They have this cute red and pink butterfly dress on clearance, and there are a ton left! Check out the price, ($2,98): can't beat that! I got one for each girl. :)

Monday, January 12, 2009

More wind!

I am SO tired of the wind! I think this is day 5... yuck! Today we actually drove to a park where it wasn't as windy just to get outside. Other than that, I decided we would do some painting, but with a little twist. Rather than painting with a paintbrush, the girls used cotton balls, cotton swabs, sponges, and even pipecleaners... anything to make it "new and exciting." The verdict: They loved it! But, Natalie still doesn't have quite the attention span that Allison does. She lasted about 8 minutes! Then, on to the next thing...

Sunday, January 11, 2009

More thoughts on sewing...

I am still on my sewing kick, and so motivated to sew, yet I can't find my plug to my sewing machine. We may have to bite the bullet and buy a new one... It's possible I accidently threw it away with my box. (Bummer!)

I have a few of my own "original" creative ideas I'd like to try, but I may stick to something simple for my first sewing project. I hear that aprons are pretty easy, and since every little cooking girl needs an apron... perhaps I can make them each one for Valentine's Day! I found a tutorial on "Sew Liberated" for making the one shown on the right. Click here to check it out. (I thought the velcro was pretty clever!)
My only hesitation is that my girls already have some matching adorable aprons that my sweet friend got them for Christmas. See the pink flower? It can come off and becomes a purse. I think I will go with the logic that if a woman can't have too many purses, then perhaps a little girl can't have too many aprons!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Sew Sweet

I just realized that my husband DOES read this blog. At least, he must sometimes. How do I know? I totally forgot that I had posted my New Year's Resolution to learn how to sew; until today. (My girls often scroll through the blog for fun!) So, I was quite surprised when tucked away in my beautiful Christmas card was a receipt for sewing lessons! I wondered how he knew to get me such a perfect Christmas gift...
Message for Daniel:

Honey... if you're reading this, THANKS AGAIN for the wonderful gift! I had a lot of fun learning to sew last night, and I look forward to using my awesome machine you got me 2 years ago! You are the most thoughtful, creative, awesome gift-giver I know.
Message for the rest of you:

I have so many fun ideas in my head of what to sew. I can't wait to share with you some of my projects. Of course, I didn't sew this fun Starbuck's gift card holder, but I got it for Christmas and hope to sew some of my own. Isn't it adorable?
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