Tuesday, January 31, 2012

They are Little Sponges

Anna and Granddaddy were having a little tiff at the dinner table about his snoring;) LOL!!

Anna commented,"You snore all the time!"

Granddaddy, "Well, I've been snoring before you were born!"

Anna, "Well, you are the first Son of Adam!"

LOL!! Oh, my!! I was in the same room listening on the conversation and almost fell out my seat! She most definitely DID get that "Son of Adam" comment from listening to The Chronicles of Narnia on CD;) Thanks Uncle Scott and Aunt Bea:)


We FINALLY had a decent evening to get outside and finish our "project" from the week before last. We had been discussing the tragedies during Charles II reign in London. First was the Plague and then the Great Fire of London in 1666.

Our history book suggested "building" a London street and then seeing how quickly the buildings built of very flammable materials and close together burned down. This was one project Chris couldn't wait to finish;)




Chris was listening to the story much more closely than I thought. As our little project was burning he said,"Oh, this fire is nothing. A woman could put it out."

Which is what our history lesson said that the Mayor of London said during the first hours of the fire! How wrong he was :(

But I thought it was great that Chris remembered that little detail of the story!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Caribbean Jerk Chicken

I've been slacking a little in trying new recipes. Instead I have been falling back on those I know we like but haven't had in a little while;) Which still adds some variety, right:)

This is one of our favorites:) Very easy especially if you do a little planning ahead by having the chicken already in the freezer cut in cubes because I detest cutting up raw chicken!

IMG_8913-1Caribbean Jerk Chicken

McCormick Caribbean Jerk Seasoning

Raw Chicken cubed

Sausage links cut into circles (we use Hillshire Farms)


Green Pepper & Onion, cut into strips

Canned or fresh Pineapple

Salt, pepper

Saute chicken in just a bit of oil and some seasoning. Cook until it's no longer pink in the middle, but not over cooked!!

Add in sausage, green pepper and onion.

I then add some juice from the pineapple, some more seasoning, a sprinkle of salt and pepper. You could put the pineapple in at the end so it is warmed too, but right now my family prefers the pineapple on the side and cold.

Serve with rice!

This also make great kabobs:)

Easy, simple, no food allergy issues with this one! And everyone likes it;)

I also am trying to better organize my recipes on and off the blog;) There is a new page titled Our Recipes that contains are favorite recipes that are all dairy, egg and peanut-free for our family! 

Linking up to...
Tuesdays at the Table @ All the Small Stuff

Tasty Tuesday @ Balancing Beauty and Bedlam
Blessed with Grace
Tasty Tuesday @ 33 Shades of Green 

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The Curls are Gone :(

IMG_8820-1His curls appeared a few months ago... just some sweet little curls around his ears:) Precious!

And then they became beautiful...

all coiled around his neckline;)

The few months of having a little boy with gorgeous, crazy hair and strangers always asking if my baby was a "girl or boy" went too fast! Too fast!

While I WANTED the angelic hair to stay a little longer... I just loved those crazy curls on that sweet baby head.... I knew the time was coming when they had to go!!

One reason was that his hair was really long and needed a trim:)Not just the back...


But the front, too!

I tried to trim some in the front, but it looked really bad being short in the front and sooo long in the back :(

So we had to go for the BIG cut!!

After that, the curls were gone :(

Far from a glamorous salon, Nate's first haircut (not Mommy's needed trims) was done on a Saturday morning in a dry bathtub by Daddy and Mommy taking turns trimming and entertaining Nate... mostly using a lollipop:)


He did well:)

And then after seeing him for hours, we stuck him BACK into the tub to trim and try to shape his hair a little more... to get the "final" cut!!


Yes, it's a little bittersweet to see the curls gone. It was one more symbol of the "baby days" slipping by and a little boy emerging!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Moments to Remember : Hanging with the Big Sisters;)

Soo thankful for the moments that Little Nate can hang out with his Big Sisters...

reading books or

building a hide-out in the living room;)

A quote with much meaning to me this week:

"You only have one chance to be with your own children. 
After they have grown you can do what you want."  

I just needed to hear these wise words. As I want to try to get involved with "more". It's nice to get that swift "kick in the tail" that shows me where my priorities should be.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

She's 5 Today!

Today we are celebrating our Lydia's birthday:)

It's amazing how much this little girl brightens our days. With her usually sweet disposition a perfectly dressed baby doll under one arm and a sword in the other!! Her generous servant's heart! Her playfulness and compassion on others! Independent and super sweet mixed with a little sass;)

Happy 5th Birthday, Lydia!!





My little princess tomboy with her faithful companion...

a big brother that is just as adventurous as she is and not very far away;)

Her favorites:

Color : Chocolate
Food : Tacos
Treat: Trader Joe's soy ice cream
Subject: Work with Pattern Blocks
Animal: Tiger
Do inside: Watch a movie
Outside Activity: Play with the kittens, Jump on the Trampoline
Toys: Remote controlled car
Restaurant: Sonic with a playground and a slushie
Book: Hop on Pop
Movie: Lion King
PBSkids Show: Curious George, Wild Kratts

Goals for her 5th year: To ride a horse.

When you ask her what she wants to be when she "grows up" she'll respond "I don't know, maybe be a wife"!

And what is the coolest thing about being 5?? She responded, "because I'm bigger than Nate!"

Here's is last years stats and questions, so they can be compared;)

Today we are celebrating simply! Maybe lunch out at a park (it's supposed to be really nice)!! Then await the arrival of grandparents:) A dinner of tacos, fruit salad, chips and salsa. And CUPCAKES... of course, picked out down to the sprinkles and liners, by Lydia!

My heart (in Scripture) for Lydia:

Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I am full of joy over you;
but I want you to be wise about what is good,
and innocent about what is evil.(Romans 16:19)

round button chicken

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Dairy & Egg-Free Ice Cream Sandwiches

We are taking two of our favorites and putting them together for our "new" recipe this week :)

The first is our favorite dairy and egg-free chocolate chip cookie recipe from Food Allergy Mama.

IMG_8982The recipe is totally worth re-posting... with a few tweaks:)

from Food Allergy Mama

2/3 c. dairy free shortening
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 to a whole box of Jello vanilla pudding mix (my tweak)
1 tsp. good quality vanilla extract
1/4 c. unsweetened applesauce
1 3/4 c. all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. mini dairy free chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment combine the shortening, brown sugar, granulated sugar, vanilla and applesauce. In a separate medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda and salt with a wire whisk. Add to shortening mixture and combine until creamy. Stir in chocolate chips and drop with a cookie scooper onto prepared baking sheet.

Bake 12-14 minutes (we usually only bake them about 9 minutes) or until lightly brown. Cool slightly on baking sheet and serve!

** I NEVER make just ONE batch. I always double it... always! Whether we have no other sweets in the house or someone needs to bring a snack or we are wanting to share!

The second favorite for this recipe is Trader Joe's soy ice cream!!

I have to be honest, I detest MOST non-dairy ice creams!! I don't think they are worth the calories;)LOL!!

But Trader Joe's has some fantastic soy ice cream making skills;)  We purchase ice cream (and chocolate chips) while we visit with family and then transport it all packed up in multiple coolers to get it home! Or we make them bring us some when they visit;) Thanks, MOM!!!

Cookie, Trader Joe's Soy Ice Cream...

and another Cookie;)

A delicious "new" desert for us that is delightful to eat:)



Linking up to...
Tuesdays at the Table @ All the Small Stuff

Tasty Tuesday @ Balancing Beauty and Bedlam
Blessed with Grace
Tasty Tuesday @ 33 Shades of Green 

More Works for Me Wednesday @ We Are That Family!

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TIny Talk Tuesday: GI Joes and Mom vs McDs

This week Brian got out some more of his favorite childhood toys!! He had basically saved his entire collection of G.I. Joes, figures and vehicles.

The kids had blast looking through the toys:) And watching Brian put all the pieces together and tell them what each item was.

Brian held up one piece and Anna shouted out, "It's a purse!"  Such a girl guess, LOL!!

Brian chuckled and the corrected her, "It's binoculars!"

Later in the evening, Chris said the sweetest thing, "Daddy, thank you soo much for saving all your toys for me!"


Last week we made fried chicken sandwiches for dinner;) Our way:)

We discovered a few weeks ago that we could McDonalds chicken nuggets and $1 chicken sandwiches.

So while eating a dinner of fried chicken sandwiches, one of the kids said, "Whoa, Mom! These are even better than the ones at McDonalds!"

A+ for Mom;) LOL!!! Nice to know my kids are rating mine better than McD's:)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Who Is That Kid

in Brian's lap??


Did you guess....



He looks different....

a lot different :(

details coming.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Weekly Wrap-up : Math Pictures & Chemistry Helps

We started the week with a holiday;) The kids and I took the day of home schooling, but it wasn't long before they set-up their own school in Chris' room and were bringing us math problems they needed help with. Chris is a tough teacher;)

IMG_8862We did read a few books about Dr Martin Luther King Jr. and discussed a little. The laws and "world" that he lived in seems sooo foreign to what my kids are used to. They thought that the man who demanded for Rosa Parks to give up her seat was rude! And that people should always been treated the same regardless of the color of their skin. I am thankful for children who aren't "color-blind" but know that God loves all people and wants us to do the same!

We spent the week reading through the Gospel stories about Christ, working on Awana verses and reading through the Proverbs of the day.

Since we are starting Awana halfway through the Awana-year, the kids want to "catch up" with everyone. I think Lydia did 3 sections in one week, Anna had 4 sections signed off and Chris received his vest and 1st Sparks book :) So thankful for our return to Awana... they love the program and their teachers;)


Language Arts
The kids really enjoyed Sight Word Bingo. So one day this week, I let Spelling go for the day. It was nice to sit and play for a bit:)Nate even joined us for a few seconds to put the little papers in the boxes;)


We stayed on top of reading this week:) YAY... always good;) Our favorite activity was Lydia and I conversing (aka... reading a script) over Banana phones;) She was a little hesitant because it was silly... but she asked to do it again the next morning;)

Anna tried to get a picture, but for reading Lydia and Chris have been wiggling their way into my lap! 

Anyway, it struck me of what a sweet way of learning how to read... that I need to savor these early learning moments and not rush through them to check it off my "to do" list!! Or get frustrated over lack of effort that happens:)

I am blessed to be home and able to sit with my kids in my lap as they learn to read.... BLESSED!!

And maybe we'll get a picture this week:)

We had a fun math week... here's proof;)

making a pattern fence out of pattern blocks to keep in the lions!

Anna hard at work on her "math project"

She had to find all the abbreviations and capitals for 30 states, then the weather temp. Then she had to round it to the nearest ten and make a graph!!  Her favorite part was using weather.com :)

Lydia's lessons are prepaing her to play "store" soon:) She had to purchase a few things using pennies and dimes;)

Using Daddy's GI Joes to make "some & some more" word problems;) Great math activity for a little BOY!

This week learned about the beheading of Charles I and take over of Oliver Cromwell. About Cromwell's unpopular Protectorate and Charles II's return to England. And then how Londoners were hit with the Plague (again) and the Great Fire of London!

We also read (and are still reading) a historical fiction book from that time period called Nell of Branford Hall by William Wise. What was soo unique about the book was how kid friendly it was and how many notable historical figures the book mentions... Newton, Sir Christopher Wren, Charles II, etc! It was like the book came right from our history book.

Our project for the week was to re-create the Great Fire of London. We colored and glued our little pieces of LOndon together... but due to lots of rain, wind and cooler weather, we haven't gotten to burn up our project... yet!! Chris can't wait:)


I feel like I'm floundering with Chemistry this year!!

We have lots of friends doing Classical Communications this year... both locally and kinda far! They are learning about the periodic table during these next few weeks. So I thought we'd "join" in.... kind of!  The kids and I reviewed the parts of the atoms, what elements were and we started on the periodic table!

We also did a little activity to get them to thinking how small an atom really is!
It takes 31 cuts to make an atom... I got to 14!!

I'm hoping to have them learn the first 12 elements (name, atomic number, and what it is/does) of the periodic table... taking a few each week. And then doing one of the little experiments each week to give us some hands-on, too!

Here are some of the resources we are using or planning to use:
The paper cutting activity
List and links to Elements 1-36
Periodic Table with links to introduction to each Element
Proton Don (periodic table game)
Found some Atom Structure Worksheets here
Chemistry Activities and Lesson Plans

I'd love to hear what your younger children liked learning about Chemistry!! I need some inspiration!

Favorite Pictures of the Week:
Snack Time! - Anna style

Lydia's winter observations;)

Nate's "fun" activity of bringing us ALL of his shirts from his dresser.... never a dull or clean moment around here!

Linking up to Weekly Wrap Up!!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Moments to Remember

Just a quick move around activity working on "left" and "right",

turns into a group activity...


and then a sweet, sweet moment:)


LOL!! Can't you hear the giggles?

Such a great Moment to Remember during those momentary tough moments... yes, we have those, too!

Linking up to Homeschool Creations this week;)

Bound To Happen

When you have a child who constantly is doing stuff like this....

too bad I didn't get a video... he was DANCING up there;) Yikes!

bumps and bruises are going to happen.

Friday he gave me a scare though.

Climbing around the base of his highchair (and WAY close to the ground compared to where he is usually climbing)  he slipped. He hit the back of his head on the window sill corner, knocking off paint and poking a whole in his scalp.

Man... little heads BLEED!!

We had drops of blood all over the kitchen floor, down the back of his PJs and on me! It looked bad! And of course his 3 little guardians were more freaked out more than this Momma!!

His screaming quickly subsided and soo did the bleeding. And we got a second and third opinion that he probably didn't need stitches. Phew... don't know if I could have made it through THOSE, too!

Other than his sore spot and a scab, he has fully recovered.

Keeping us entertained!

Reading in bed with me after his nap... as I was TRYing to work;)

SOOC Saturday