Saturday, May 30, 2009

Potty Training

Who is this little baby? My little Natalie is far from a baby these days. Today marks two weeks of potty training, and for the first time she had no accidents... Woohoo! She also pedaled her bicycle for the first time, yesterday. And, you've seen her on the Yehground... yup, my baby is no longer a baby. Good thing I'll get my baby fix soon enough! For now, I am going to enjoy not changing diapers, verbal communication, and sleeping through the night. (Well, most of the time!)

Friday, May 29, 2009

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Ssshhh... Day!

Our theme for yesterday's preschool was "SH" day. The kids learned all about the "sh" sound, and did activities that revolved around it. Once again, for my "3 Sisters," here are the details:

  • Bible verse: John 10:27 “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”
  • Play “follow the shepherd” (like "follow the leader")
  • Glue cotton balls and googly eyes onto a sheep
  • Shaving cream activity
  • Shoe relay race
  • Shackle relay race
  • Shapes worksheets (from the internet... tracing and naming shapes)
  • Trace S and H
  • “Shine” (Newsboys) hot potato
  • "What am I?" I described several objects that began with "sh" and the kids had to guess what I was describing.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Simple Bird Feeders

So, we found these awesome pinecones on our walk to the park, yesterday, and decided to turn them into bird feeders. I had seen this project many times before in various places, but had never tried it myself. It was a little harder than I had anticipated for the girls to spread the peanut butter well, but they certainly enjoyed trying. And, I was shocked at how much peanut butter they just ate! They never seem to want p,b, and j sandwiches, so I just assumed they weren't big fans of peanut butter... wrong! Anyway, it was a sweet project and I hope the birds come visit us, soon!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Park Day (Punishment!??)

We were suppose to be at Disneyland today... sigh... But, our dear sweet Allison didn't want to cooperate and go to sleep last night, so we had to stay home. I must say, I was quite disappointed. However, my sweet husband let me sleep-in, and I awoke to the smell of some chocolate chip pancakes! Can't beat that. So, we took a long walk on this beautiful overcast morning and enjoyed the park, instead. I hope the lesson was learned!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Mundane Monday Craft

I hope you had a wonderful Memorial Weekend! Lucky for us, Daniel has tomorrow off of work, so we will be heading to Disneyland one last time before summer starts. If you're back to your work week tomorrow and looking for something fun to do with the kiddos, here is an easy "Monday Craft," (even though it is technically Tuesday!). Just take the comic section from your Sunday paper, (we borrowed our neighbor's since we don't get the paper), and paint on a little of this potion: equal parts vanilla and liquid dish detergent. Next, set a piece of paper on top of the comics. Then use your finger, (we used a Pampered Chef scraper), and rub until the picture begins to show thorough, and voila! A color copy of the comic!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Memorial Day Fun

Happy Memorial Weekend! Above, Daniel is explaining to Allison all the "flag etiquette." She seemed to understand better than I had expected! After hanging the flag, they went to make an angel food cake for dessert. Half-way through, Natie woke up from her nap and joined them. I LOVE angel food cake, and with strawberries and whip cream... yum!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Vietnamese Meatballs

It's Memorial weekend... time to fire up the grill! Honestly, we grill quite a bit around here. I used to be the grill master, but Daniel has certainly taken over when he's home to grill. However, I often still grill when he is gone because it's so yummy and easy! So, he was gone last night and I decided to try a new recipe I found on Family Fun; Vietnamese skewer meatballs! They were pretty simple, and I thought they turned out awesome! The girls needed a little more coaxing. First of all, I let them dip into ketchup rather than my Nuoc Cham sauce. In addition, they were offered ice cream upon completetion. Needless-to-say, they ate them up along with some corn on the cob and rice! If you're looking for a new grill recipe, I highly recommend this one! Here it is:

Vietnamese Grilled Pork Meatballs

2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce
2 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup shallots, minced
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons fresh mint, finely chopped
1 pound ground pork
Canola oil for brushing
8 (9-inch) bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes

1. Whisk together the cornstarch, sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce, and pepper in a medium bowl. Stir in the shallots, garlic, and mint. Add the pork and combine very gently by hand.

2. Form the mixture into 48 meatballs, each about an inch in diameter. Thread 6 meatballs onto each skewer. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to firm them slightly.

3. Prepare an electric grill or heat a grill pan to medium-high (the meatballs could fall through the grates of an outdoor grill). Lightly brush the meatballs with oil and grill them 6 to 8 minutes, turning often, until they're browned on all sides and just cooked through. Serve with Nuoc Cham sauce. Serves 4.

Nuoc Cham Sauce

1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 cup hot tap water
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce

1. Mash the garlic, sugar, and red pepper flakes into a grainy paste on a small plate with the back of a fork. Scrape the paste into a small, heat-proof serving bowl. Pour the hot water over the mixture to dissolve the sugar. Let it cool slightly, then stir in the lime juice and fish sauce. Makes 2/3 cup.


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Cool-Off Time

We're finally back to our spring weather after last week's heat. But, I can't complain...on Sunday we took advantage of our neighbor's offer to come swimming, and we literally spent the entire morning and afternoon swimming there. I'm so proud of the girls. They're such little fish! Just give them some arm floaties, and they are happy to swim around themselves. No fear!

The next day we opted for our own sprinklers. I think Triscuit was happiest about that!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

San Pedro Tide Pools

Today was one of those grumpy mornings for me... I was tired, we had no food in our house, andI didn't feel like driving far. So, when we got in the car to drive 70 miles to San Pedro beach and tide pools, I already felt worn out. I had to ask my girls to forgive me for being grumpy, and start the day over in prayer. Aaaahhh, prayer... how refreshing! It worked! We ended up having a blast. Here are some pics and a short video of our fun outing. (Even though it was high tide, there were still lots of fun things to discover!)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Yehground part 2

It's been almost a year since purchasing the Yehground, and all I can say is... it's one of the best things we ever did! Every single morning, the girls play on it while I throw Triscuit the ball. Allison has now learned to pump pretty high all on her own, and Natalie is great at making up her own "tricks." They often put on shows for me, which I find so sweet. Yeh for the Yehground!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Keeping the Sabbath...

Just last week I decided to go blog hunting, again. I do this every once in a while to find fun new craft ideas. Without pictures, I rarely read through blogs, but for some reason I had one catch my eye. It was a lady about my age with 2 toddlers, talking about how she grew up with her family honoring the sabbath, and how awesome that was for her as a kid.

Fast forward a few days... I was reading "Ladie's Home Journal" in the doctor's office, when an article caught my eye. Something about "keeping the Sabbath..." (Is Ladie's Home Journal a Christan magazine?) Anyway, I read the whole thing, and immediately knew what I needed to do.

Coincidence that I read 2 articles in one week about the 4th(?) commandment? I think not. I KNOW not! Why is it that we at least try to keep the other commandments, yet we don't even think about this one?

I'm sure it won't happen all at once... I'm starting slow... But, for now I have decided to fast my computer on Sundays. Doesn't sound too bad, huh? But, let me tell you... it was tough! But, it was also awesome! It's definitely the right first step. I will keep you updated as to how it's going. For now, I have more blogging to do!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Beach Fun!

Each year in May, we head to Newport beach to celebrate our friend's birthday. BJ's pizza, s'mores, and a campfire with friends... good times. This year was a little quieter than most, as we were the only friends able to make it. It was also quieter because nobody else seemed to be at the beach! Of course, it was a bit cold, but that doesn't seem to bother kids... our girls just love the beach! So, as always, here are our pictures. (And I really wish I had a picture of the dolphins jumping... too cool!)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Ever since Allison turned two, we have been using sticker charts to help encourage positive behavior. She has had countless manners charts, a few sleep charts, and we're working on a chores chart. She loves her charts, and we have really noticed a big difference in the behavior while using the charts. For example, she has slept great the last 3 nights in a row, after 2 months of sleeping like a newborn! Tomorrow, she will get her 12th sticker, (if all goes well tonight!), and we will be heading to Chuck E. Cheese for lunch!

All that to say, she has a good grasp of why we do the charts and they have been effective for her... So, tonight at dinner, Natalie was talking quite a bit. Out of the blue, Allison says, "Maybe you should make a talking chart for Natalie and tell her she can get stickers if she would stop talking." Too funny!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A touch of organization

By now, this picture probably looks quite familiar... Allison siting at our kitchen table painting! This morning she found this wooden ladybug in one of our craft bins, and asked to paint it right away. Well, since most of our mornings start out with a similar pattern, I feel like I am always cleaning craft supplies of some sort. Therefore, our laundry room sink, (or our "craft sink"), looks like this:

Or, at least it used to. So, yesterday we had decided to go to Ikea to look at a few various things, (and to let the girls play since they think it is a playground for them), and I discovered these. The most exciting part? They were only $1.99 each... we left Ikea for under $10. That has to be a record! Here is the "after" shot:

Unfortunately, our sweet Triscuit pup decided to eat one of the twist ties that came with it. He spent the whole morning throwing-up, and $340 later the wire was discovered floating down his intestine. Our "free" dog has cost us quite a bit! So much for spending under $10 at Ikea! Anyway, have I ever given you a tour of our laundry room? It is my favorite room because 1) it is orange, and 2) it is dog-themed! Here is a quick tour:

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