Thursday, June 25, 2009

Dinners Outside

Dinners without Daniel can be somewhat challenging... mostly because they happen so often! I imagine that if they were a not-so-common event, they would be somewhat special! I'm always stuck with the dilemma of what to make that the girls will eat, yet is still healthy. Often times, I just plan my meals as if Daniel were here, and then just let him eat the leftovers the next day. In fact, when I was pondering aloud what to do for Father's Day, Allison said "I know... he really likes leftovers. You should give him leftovers!" (Thought that was cute...)

Since we leave for vacation tomorrow morning, and Daniel has been working the last few nights, I just decided to do a simple Mac n Cheese dinner, and have a picnic outside. Last night, we did the front yard, and today we took it to the park! It definitely spiced up dinner time around here! Of course, the girls would be happy if I just let them eat Mac n Cheese or cereal every night for dinner, but that can't happen. Perhaps when we come back, I'll try serving a "real" dinner outside to see if that sparks their appetite!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

One Year Blogoversary/ Giveaway!

If you've read this blog for any extended period of time, you probably know that one of my favorite books for ideas to do with the kids is "Kid Concoctions." Just yesterday, I got the recipe for washable window paints... (2 parts clear liquid dish soap to 1 part liquid tempera paint) I try to blog about our adventures in creativity, but there are so many more to try. So, in honor of my one year blogoversary, I'd like to give YOU a copy of the Kid's Concoctions book so you can try all these ideas for yourself. All you have to do is leave me a comment telling me your favorite activity to do with your kids. You have one week from today, (June 30... my actual blogoversary), by midnight to leave me a comment. I will draw a name and announce the winner July 1. Since the most comments I've ever gotten on a blog entry to date is about 5, you have a pretty good chance of winning! Good luck, and thanks for celebrating with me! :)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Sweet Father's Day!

We had a really nice Father's Day.... I hope you did, too! My poor husband had a night of little sleep the night before, so after church he crashed until I had to wake him for our bbq. In the meantime, I made a fruit pizza with all the awesome summer fruit on sale right now! Yum, yum!

After Daniel and Natalie's naps (smile), we headed to Daniel's old high school friends' house for a reunion with their former high school basketball coach. What a fun reunion! It was so nice to meet his coach and have a glimpse of Daniel's high school life. It was especially fun to discover his coach and his family are also Christians.... in Daniel's words, "there is something different and special about fellowship with like-minded believers." All-in-all, it was a fun day! And, once again, thank you God for my awesome husband, who is the BEST daddy!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Father's Day Projects

So, I realized this afternoon that I didn't have a card for tomorrow, and I didn't have time to go buy one. What's a mom to do? Find something in bloggy land, of course! I found complete instructions for the card above at Alpha + Mom, and fell in love. You can check them out for yourself here. It is so simple, yet so cute! It even shows you how to do the tie. :) If I can get the house cleaned up tonight, I may go back and add some buttons or something for fun! Of course, Daniel is not exactly the suit and tie guy... nor is he a coffee guy, but look what the girls made:

We spent an afternoon a few weeks ago at Color Me Mine, and had so much fun! The girls did such a great job! Of course, there are plenty of things to paint there... why choose a mug? Well, even though he doesn't drink coffee, he does love his chai tea lattes. But, the real reason is because I wanted something to go on this coaster that I made him:

Isn't it awesome? We made them at one of our last MOPS meetings, and I fell in love. Just imagine the possibilities... an entire coaster set for the grandparents... small ones turned into magnets... endless ideas! I'll have to get the "recipe" from our MOPS creative activities coordinator for you, but I know they were super easy! And, last but not least, here are the girls creating their mugs:

Madame Serious.

Ms. Clown!

Happy Father's Day, Daniel!
You are the BEST dad, and our kids are SO blessed to have you!!
(and so am I!!!!!)

Introducing YEHBIE!

We've made it 20 weeks... half-way through the pregnancy! It was so fun to bring Allison and Natalie to the ultrasound appointment. As the lady was moving her wand around my belly looking to find something as we first began, the computer screen was moving quite a bit, so Natalie turned to Daniel and commented, "Papa, it's loading!" (It took me a little while to stop laughing after that one so my belly would stop shaking!)

Then, after her first stop, Allison asked, "What's that big round thing?" Daniel said, "I think it's the head." Allison replies, "I think it's the tummy." The ultrasound tech looks at me with big eyes and says, "It IS the tummy!" Later, Allison said, "Are those the legs?" Daniel said, "I don't know!" Once again, the tech looks at me and says... "Those ARE the legs. Most adults can't figure this out!"

So, in the pic below, can you guess the baby's gender? (See the little hand up; I'm in love, again!!!)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Abstract Art

After watching a video the other day, Allison walked up to me and said, "Mom, I'd like to do some abstract art." Since that's pretty much all she ever does, I said "Sure." Here's the irony... just this week, she has really started to draw "things" and move away from the abstract. So, when she handed me this picture and reiterated the fact that it was abstract art, Ihad to laugh! Gotta love videos!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Seafood Road Show

I don't want to brag... but, sometimes I just have to! After all, I do have the most wonderful husband ever. (For example, right now he is putting the girls down so I can type this!) But, I digress... I just had to show you the awesome dinner he made for us tonight. He bought giant prawns and king crab legs from Costco's seafood road show, and this was my dinner tonight. Am I spoiled, or what?

A visit from Heidi!

Last night, we met up with my college roommate, who was visiting from Minnesota. This was an especially fun visit, as we are both pregnant and due a month apart. (To the right you can see us holding our bellies!) We enjoyed some yummy Thai food, then headed to Downtown Disney to walk around and have some ice cream. Heidi also took a family picture of us, which is long overdue! It was great seeing you, Heidi! Can't wait to meet your little one!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Remember making forts as a kid?!?!? Out of the blue, Allison asked to make a fort the other day. Luckily, she is too young to need anything extravagant. One blanket and a couple chairs... so simple, and yet the girls played by themselves for HOURS! (I'm not kidding!) Our house hasn't been this clean in a while! Yeh for forts! :)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Birthday Gifts

One of the best parts of kid birthdays is all the fun gifts that seem to keep the kids entertained afterward... (at least for a day or two!) Here are two of the favorites for this year: 1) These homemade popsicle sticks. Despite the cooler weather, the girls have enjoyed their homemade popsicles. And, I love them for several reasons. First, we can make them with all natural, no-added-sugar juices. Second, they have the little cups on the bottom for the juice to drip into and then the built-in straw to drink it with. How clever is that? Finally, they are a long-lasting treat, which allows sufficient time for mom to clean up the dinner mess while the girls are outside enjoying them. I believe they are from the dollar section at Michael's, if you'd like to get some for yourself! (They should pay me for this free advertsement!)

2) Allison's new roller skates were also a big hit! She had been asking for a pair for at least 8 months, and we finally got her some. Of course, they are the cheap ones that go over the shoes, but Allison just thinks they're so cool! And, she is pretty coordinated with them. Daniel and I were very impressed! She went all the way around the block with Daniel on his rollerblades the very first day. I fondly remember my days of roller skating with our Japanese neighbors, Junko and Keiko!

Mystery Plant Update

Just a quick update on our mystery plant... it seems to be flourishing! We get new flowers almost every day! I am HOPING it is pumpkin, and we have some pumpkins in time for the fall. Wouldn't that just be the coolest?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

June Gloom

It seems from reading Facebook comments that I am the only one who enjoys this June Gloom. I'm sure that's not the case, but I am definitely in the minority. Not to be overly dramatic, but do these people forget that 73 with no need for a/c or sunscreen sure beats 103? Or, could it be that they prefer 103?

At any rate, I have come up with some "gloom busters" for those of you who need a little sunshine.
  • First of all, open your windows... let in the fresh air and whatever natural light you can!
  • Bake some fresh bread and homemade soup. That's what we did for dinner last night, and it was so yummy! And, I won't be turning my oven on much in the summer!
  • Light a yummy-smelling candle. The light and the scent will lift your spirit! I got this butterfly one at Bath and Body Works on clearance this week, and LOVE it!
  • Have a cup of coffee or tea, and some fresh-baked sweets. We made raspberry streusel muffins this morning, and I think I've already had 4! :)
  • Go outside! It's not raining, and it's not even that cold. It's a good time to work on the garden, go for a hike, or just play in the sandbox with your kids. Don't forget how hot the slides get in the summer, and head to the park, too!
  • If you want to stay inside, do some crafts, play doh, or board games with the kids. Take the time, today... they're growing up fast! The laundry will still be there tomorrow! Here Allison and I simply glued stale fruit loops to some paper, and she had a blast.
  • Put on your favorite jeans and sweater; pretty soon you'll be longing to wear them, again!
Remember, you have a choice! You don't have to be gloomy, even though the weather is. Be thankful for the low energy bill you'll be getting next month!

"This is the day the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it!" Psalm 118:24

Friday, June 12, 2009

Felt Hair Clips, my turn!

Yesterday, Deena and I had a special visit from our friend, Melissa, from Texas! She brought her adorable son and baby girl with her, and we spent the afternoon making felt hair clips for our girls. Deena had a brilliant idea; 4th of July clips! Melissa, our garden-loving friend, did a sweet bird! I did a snail for Natalie, and a kitty for Allison. They took a little longer than I expected. (I'll blame it on the little ones and their interruptions.) But, we had a blast! Check out this entry for the original idea! (Wish I could say it was mine!)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Just for fun...

After the party, we took the braids out of Natalie's hair, and she just looked too adorable, so we had to take a picture. First, we needed her to smile. She has this little dialogue she started with me one morning. She came up with it herself, and since it requires laughing, I thought I would give it a shot for the pictures. The pictures turned out great... but I thought I would share the video! :)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Details, Part 3: Activities

Tired of birthday details, yet? Last post, I promise!!
As the girls came in, our sweet little Kylie (Belle) and Brianna (Cinderella) painted their faces. Very cute!
We read a book "Ellie's Tea Party," but I changed it to "Alli's Tea Party." (Good thing they can't read!)
I ordered these adorable little tins online, and made the lip gloss inside from a recipe from my "Kid Concoctions" book. Very simple: two parts shortening to one part sugar-free kool aid. The Kool Aid not only adds the flavor, but the color as well. I used tropical punch, which tasted yummy and turned out lavendar. First you mx the shortening and Kool Aid thoroughly. Then you microwave it until it melts. Finally, you pour your mixture into whatever little containers you prefer.
So, with the gem stickers the girls got to decorate their own lip gloss. Then they got to decorate their own tea party hats with the giant gerbera daisies and ribbon. (I got the hats at the dollar section at Target way before Easter. Good thing Allison didn't change her mind about having a princess tea party!)

Finally, each girl got a mini flower pot that I had my mom paint in chalkboard paint. Even though she primed them, they were still very porous, and therefore required several coats. Thanks, Mom! I had the girls "decorate" them with chalk. Then they brought them over to me and we put different sticks of food into them. The were intended to be the decorations at the tables, but were eaten before that could happen. What did I expect from toddlers?

So, there you have all the details! I'm partied out, how about you?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Details, Part 2: Food

I know I've said it before, but I must say it again... I LOVE my island!!

Here are Daniel's chocolate banana pops cooling... they turned out yummy!
These were not your traditional cream cheese and dill. Instead, we added a little mayo to the cream cheese, along with a packet of dry ranch dressing seasoning. There were none left over!
For the food, we chose things that are "mini" and things that go on a stick. The inspiration for my stick food came from Bakerella and her amazing cake pops. Of course, they were my biggest frustration, and I almost didn't serve them because they were so ugly. (See the orange globs!) But, apparently they tasted great. I'll have to try again, sometime.

For the mini bacon and eggs, we just poured melted white candy melts over 2 pretzel sticks, and added a yellow m&m. Sweet + salty = yum!
Natalie wouldn't try a banana pop, of course, but loved the marshmallow pops!

My favorite were the mini watermelons. Just halve and scoop out the guts of some limes. Pour some red jello in and let it sit for a while in the fridge. Add some mini chocolate chips, and let sit overnight before cutting. We used strawberry jello, but they tasted like lime to me, (which is why I liked them so much!) I let Daniel cut them, and he said it was quite difficult. But, aren't they cute?

For the mini cupcake tops, I used leftover dots from the fudge stripe cookie flowers, as well as fruit by the foot rolled up to resemble a flower. I got the recipe here on Family Fun. That's what they're suppose to look like. Unfortunately, our fruit by the foot variety pack didn't all separate in waves like the recipe called for, so we had to improvise. But, they were still fun!

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