Saturday, March 27, 2010

Little kids and mud

Our sandbox just got opened for the season, only to reveal a damp, muddy mess, due to some recent rain. Well that didn't stop my little buggers from crawling right in and getting themselves covered from head to toe with muddy sand. My 1 yo was having a ball, picking up handfuls and throwing them in the air, giggling the entire time. Yes, he was an awful mess after it was over, but that's what washing machines (and baths) are for, right?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Behind on my posts again!

Okay, I know in my last post, I promised to be posting more this week, but here I am, a week later, just now posting! Oh-where does the time go? Some days I forget what day it is!
Well, to give you an idea of what's been going on here, let's backtrack. During last weekend, my 3 oldest girls signed up to read to dogs at the library. These are trained therapeutic dogs that are used to doing this and are also often taken to hospitals to visit children and the elderly. My girls were so excited to do it and jumped at the chance. Each of them read 15 minutes and the dogs were so very patient in their listening!

Can you tell she just wishes she could take this one home?

This is my 2 yo, who was not signed up to read to them (obviously), but she kept sitting down next to the dogs, petting them. She really wanted to be in on the action. Even when I took her to pick out books, she mysteriously disappeared-and guess where I found her? Yep, right next to the dog.

This week gave us many opportunities to spend time outside-the weather was beautiful, for the most part. My kids have missed being outside, so they made sure they did plenty of swinging and jumping on the trampoline.

Today, the girls had another of their homemaking club meetings at our house. We decided to concentrate on easy to make one-dish foods. The girls made a recipe called BBQ cups, which used biscuits topped with BBQ beef and cheese. Here they are cooking the meat on the stove, very carefully.

Then putting the filling on top of the biscuits.

We practiced doing some table setting while the food cooked. I demonstrated and then we had a game to see who could remember where everything went. Amazingly, they got every piece right! So proud! The cups are a little off in this picture, though-they should be a little to the right, I think. Ooops!

Here is the finished product. They enjoyed making them and also sampling them, as did some of my older kids.

Those are just some of the highlights this week. I plan on spending some time this weekend doing some much needed (!) cleaning out and organizing, so maybe I will have some nice "after" pictures to post soon !

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Our week

Wow-hard to believe I haven't blogged at all this week. I really had every intention, but got in the way! This week was a busy one for us, but with lots of fun sprinkled in. My 12 yo son, who has been collecting football cards, received an album and sleeves to put them in for his birthday from his Grandma. He worked hard on it and got them all organized. Now he can see everything easily! He is hoping to find other kids who collect them to, since it's fun to trade them, but hasn't had much luck. Here he is showing off his collection.

Meanwhile, in school, my big boys had some more dissecting going on-two specimens this week. First, a perch. This little bugger was hard to cut through, but after they did, they were able to see its brain.

Then came the oversize frog. This is what I remember dissecting in school. The organs were very easy to identify, but they were a funny color. Not sure if that was from the preservatives, or if they're normally like that. It was pretty neat.

My sister sent a birthday package for my 12yo and also included a beignet mix in there from her trip to Louisiana. My son wanted to make it that nite, so we did. I had never had a beignet, but apparently they're pretty popular in New Orleans.

Here's what they looked like when he finished frying them up. They were pretty yummy and got gobbled up in a snap!

On Saturday morning, my husband and 2 daughters did a cooking spot on the local news. They were so excited to be on TV and did quite well. The theme of the show was cooking healthy with kids. Here is the link to both segments-go take a look!:
1. Trail mix
2. Granola bars

Later in the morning, I took several of the kids to the local grocery store for an easter egg hunt. I'm not much into the egg hunts, as I like to focus on the real reason of the holiday, but it was a good time for them. Unfortunately, it started raining (okay, pouring!) during the hunt, but they picked up a few candies anyway. Here's my 2 yo gathering a few to put in her basket!

We're off in just a little while to do another activity (whew! I need a nap!), so look for more blogging soon!

Sunday, March 14, 2010


On the weekends, our family often likes to have a breakfast dish for dinner. Isn't this called brinner? It's different and nice to try something new. This weekend, I made a couple of baked french toast dishes. I started off with a couple of homemade loaves of challah bread ( I love it!). The first dish had more of a brown sugar/nut topping. Sort of like a sticky bun topping. Yum!
The second one had a fruit (in our case, blueberry) topping with streusel on top. Yummy, too!
It was very split on which one they preferred most, as we hardly had any left of either. Little guy gave the thumbs up on this meal!

Dad and our 8 and 10yo daughters decided to get some practice in for their upcoming TV spot. Yes, TV! I have celebrities in my house! As some of you know, my husband, who is a chef, has started doing a once-a-month spot on the local news in the morning. He works for the hospital system here, so his recipes all promote heart-healthy eating. Their next show is on Saturday, the 20th from 7-8 a.m. on channel 2, for all you locals who want to watch! Anyway, they practiced making one of their dishes-granola bars. They helped mix and dump everything in the pan, even though you only see Daddy mixing here....
Here is the final product-yummy, healthy granola bars that are very easy to make!

If you want to see more, you have to stay tuned next Saturday morning! :-)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Beautiful spring

I love spring. To me, it's the best season, hands down. I love the warmer, but not too hot, weather. I love the blooming flowers. And I love my kids being able to go outside and play! To take advantage of a beautiful spring day here in Houston, we decided to do some gardening. We had a few flowers to plant in our yard-here is my 4 yo working after telling us she was going to rake some leaves. Wrong season, but that's okay, she was loving it.

Hubby and I planted the flowers around our tree. There's not much blooming on there now....

But hopefully they will start to open up and give the yard some color. Like this-seen elsewhere in our yard....

My 8 year old daughter decided to take my camera and snap some pretty pictures of spring. Like our flowers in the kitchen..

And this lovely sight from our yard. Hmmmm....I think that pretty plant may experience a Round-Up rainstorm pretty soon! What do you think?

Yes, spring has sprung, and I couldn't be happier!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Well, I did it again...

Yep, I killed another appliance! Don't worry, this time it's just my little hand mixer, but I think that would make #7 for us. Really, I'm not kidding. Okay, you must be thinking I'm mixing gravel or something-no, not exactly. This one died while mixing a batch of frosting. Yes, frosting. Not something terribly thick or heavy or overpowering. But the beaters locked up, made that awful screeching noise, and that was that. Seriously, I don't know what it is about me, but I cannot make a mixer last more than a couple months, tops. (The shortest life span was a mere week). I've even done the expensive ones, like the Kitchenaid, with no better results. I do have my large Bosch mixer that I use all the time (and managed to kill, too, just a couple months ago), but for the small jobs, it's nice to have something less cumbersome. But it seems no matter what brand or price range I try, it's a losing battle. I am an appliance killer. I have learned my lesson, though, on this. 1) Always buy at Walmart-their return policy is great. You have 90 days to return most anything with original packaging. 2) Save your receipt, so you can take advantage of #1! So guess where this mixer will be going back to this week? You guessed it! For the record, this one lasted exactly 2 months, 2 days. Hubby and I joke and say that companies should use our family as product testers so they can develop better items, but as we thought about it, they probably wouldn't like that idea, as it would only show how junky their products really are! Seriously, if you know of a good hand mixer that is kill-proof, I'm all ears! But for now, I'm heading out for mixer #8!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Questions from a preschooler

My 4 year old had was looking at an atlas we had sitting out on the table for school. She has heard the names of the countries we've learned about, even if she can't tell you much about them. The page was open to Asia and she started asking, "Where's China?" I pointed to it. "Where's India?" I showed her. Finally, she asked, "Where's Japan?" I showed her where it was. She looked at it for a while and then looked up at me and asked, "Mommy, do they have pans in Japan?" What? Pans? It took me a minute to process what she was asking, and then I started laughing. What an obvious question, right? JaPAN! It's in the name, so they must have them! I told her that, yes, I'm sure they have plenty of pans there. Oh, the cute things little kids say!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

A quiet week?

This week started off fairly usual-homeschool, keeping house, tending kiddos, etc. But by mid-week, the baby came down with a nasty cold and fever that kept him in not-so-good spirits for the next 3 days. I thought we already had our fair share of sickness this season, but it seems this virus needed to get one last hold on us. Fortunately, the illness was confined to little guy, so it's fairly minor compared to the stomach virus we had a couple of weeks ago.

On a happier note, a sweet homeschooling friend offered us her stash of art supplies her son had outgrown and was not using. Having several budding artists in the house, we jumped at the opportunity. I had no idea just how much there was-probably 6 boxes full. My kids were excited about all the new treasures. Here's the little ones doing some coloring...

And my 5 year old exploring his new Buzz Lightyear art set.

It certainly kept them busy for a while!

By Friday, we were looking forward to the weekend. But at 3:00 that afternoon, it happened. My 11yo came running in and said his big brother had an accident with his pocketknife. I thought he was kidding at first, until I heard my 14 yo call to me to come quick. The first thing i saw was blood on his pants. Now, I do NOT do well with bleeding wounds at all. Little ones that only need a bandaid I'm fine with, but big ones....NO way! I tried my best to look at it and not freak out. It was in his upper thigh and pretty deep, so I knew he needed stitches. After contacting dad, we headed off to the urgent care. Knowing my squeamishness, my husband met me there and stayed with him for the rest of the visit. They x-rayed it to be sure he didn't hit his bone (ouch!) and then stitched him up and stapled it shut. His only restriction is no climbing or strenuous exercise until those staples come out (10 days). It could have been worse. But for now, the pocket knife has been put up, pending more responsible behavior.

Today (Saturday), I took out some of the kiddos for some fun. We headed to Michael's to take part in their kids' craft of making yarn dolls. I don't know what ages they were expecting to attend, but let me tell you, this was no kids' craft! It took us almost an hour to make all of them, as there was lots of braiding and tying involved-not easy for anyone under 12. Here's my 8 yo doing her best. Notice the woman in back? Even she couldn't figure out the directions on how to do it-yes, it was confusing!

Here's the finished products-they turned out pretty cute and the kids did have fun, even if mom was so sick of braiding she could scream!

After a couple errands, I dropped everyone at home and took my 2 year old out to lunch. Her choice? McDonald's, of course. Is there anywhere else a 2 year old wants to go? We had a great time, chatting and enjoying our meal, though she was more interested in the happy meal toy than anything.

Such a cutie, huh?
So, like I said, a pretty dull, quiet week at our house, right? :-)