Saturday, May 29, 2010

Dad's TV spot

Sweet hubby was on TV again this morning, doing a couple of cooking spots. He made some yummy, healthy turkey burgers. You know they must be good when your kids love eating them! Here's the links to the segments-go take a look!

Cooking #1

Cooking #2

Friday, May 28, 2010

Happy Birthday!

Does it seem like there's not a month that goes by at our house that I'm not mentioning someone's birthday? :-) Yes, we have a lot of them during the year, but really, we only have birthdays in 7 months out of the year. It would be cool to have had one in each month, but God doesn't work on those kinds of guidelines! Well, this time it was Dad's birthday! Not the big to-do like the kids have for their birthdays-he likes it low-key-but it was a celebration, nonetheless. He received his gifts from our family and from our extended family-here he is showing off the new shirt from my Mom (sorry for the closed eyes in the picture). It's one of those cool dri-wick shirts that never seems to get dirty and never wrinkles. Cool!

Little guy loved, loved, loved the card Dad got-it was one of those musical ones that plays when you open it. He kept opening it over and over and was dancing to it!

Finally, onto dessert. I couldn't convince hubby to go with a Spiderman or transformers cake. Nope, he wanted it simple and chose a cheesecake. This one's a turtle cheesecake with chocolate and caramel.

Of course, we sang the traditional Happy Birthday song and he got to blow out the candles! A fun birthday for my sweet, loving husband!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Baking day

Okay..anyone who knows me well knows that I love to bake. With such a big family to feed, it seems to be a perfect fit! I visited one of my favorite stores at the mall, Kitchen Collection,the other day, to pick up a couple of springform pans and ended up with a little more than what I came for. :-) What can I say-it's a dangerous store for me to go into! I've already got about 5 other things on my wish list from there. I came home with this odd looking thing-it's a french bread pan. I had seen them before, but never used one. I'm used to baking my french bread on a regular, flat baking sheet, which is fine, but this one is rounded-I guess to help keep the shape better.

The results? Well, here it is. They turned out pretty well and tasted really good, but it seemed to take longer to cook than my usual method. Also, next time I am going to try not greasing my pan first, but just use cornmeal to dust it for a little crispier crust on the bottom. Oh-and I didn't bake a funny looking half loaf-we just ate half of it before I could take the picture!

Well, why stop there-the kids were playing in the yard and baby was napping, so I decided to bake up a quick batch of one of the yummiest breads you'll ever taste! They're garlic bread sticks (though you can't tell, because I haven't cut them yet). I tried this recipe out probably 5 months ago and it became an instant hit in my house. They're so yummy with any kind of Italian or pasta dish and best of all, everyone (including the picky eaters) likes them.

And one thing I love (and my kiddos love) about baking? The eating, of course! :-)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

This week

I have been busy this week with household things, as in organizing and cleaning out stuff- so I haven't taken much time to blog. There was a special event this week-my kids finished up their Awana club for the year at church and an awards ceremony was held. They have worked very hard on their Bible verses and I was happy to see them rewarded. Here is my 7 yo receiving her award for finishing her book. So proud! (My camera was not working well this nite, so unfortunately, this is the only picture I have!

Tonight, we had our end of the year skating party with the homeschool group. I only ended up taking half my crew, which seemed like nothing! The kids had a ball skating-especially my 4 year old. She's fearless!
Here's my 8 yo taking a break-whew!

Oh-and the goofy little guy again. He did surprisingly well.

Here's one of the games they played. Apparently, falling down was one of the rules of play!

A fun time and a nice way to wrap up the school year. :-)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Third Birthday celebration

Today was my sweet little girl's third birthday. Hard to believe time has passed so quickly!

She chose an Elmo theme for her party, so we tried to center everything around that. We started off with some pizza for dinner-in case you don't know, that's Elmo's favorite food! Then we moved on to a couple of games. The first one was tossing some beanbag fish into a bowl. If you didn't know, Elmo has a goldfish named Dorothy!

Then they played pin-the-nose-on-Elmo. I made the Elmo head out of posterboard and the kids tried to put his nose on, while blindfolded.

Wait..who's this giant Elmo?

She loved opening all her gifts-and her sisters were so generous in what they gave!

Here she is inspecting her gift from Grandma. She's wearing her new bonnet Mom made for her, along with a matching skirt for her birthday.

Finally, on to the best part-cake and ice cream. Of course, she had an Elmo cake, and some yummy chocolate and vanilla ice cream!
Here she is blowing out her candles!

I think little guy had a lot of fun with that cake!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Nature center

Today the kids and I headed out to the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center, hoping to see some more green than we do in our little subdivision! It is located off a very busy interstate, but once you enter the grounds, it's like you're transformed into a whole new world! I'd never guess this was smack in the middle of Houston. The grounds have walking trails all over which are just like walking through a giant forest. Isn't this beautiful?

I found it so relaxing! We probably hiked at least a couple of miles through it all. The kids had fun at the play area, too..

It's hard to see, but we saw several turtles at the swamp area.

And this very tame squirrel toward the end.

The only part we missed was the bird area. Somehow, we walked right past the trail while we were trying to find our way. We did get to visit the indoors discovery room at the end, inbetween school groups visiting! Little guy loved seeing the fish tank. It dawned on me that he's never seen one before!

We finished up around lunchtime and headed to Chick-Fil-A for lunch and some time in their playground. We really enjoyed our visit today and I think we truly found a gem in this big city!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Formal night out

Hubby and I had the opportunity to go out last night to a formal event downtown-a fundraiser for the hospital system he works for. It is quite out of my element to go to formal events, as I am used to being much more casual, but it is a great experience and such a fun date night with my husband. This year's theme was Viva Las Vegas. The show was mostly celebrity impersonators singing and, of course, Elvis was there-though he really was one of the worst Elvis impersonators I've seen! There were also the flamingo dancers-wearing next to nothing-but fortunately, that was fairly short lived. We dined on a 3 course dinner, beautifully presented. I thought it was lovely, but hubby wasn't overly impressed, maybe given the $2500 per plate price tag. No, that's not a typo, but don't worry, his company is the one who paid, not us! They finished off the night with a band and dancing. Yes, hubby and I were among the first out on the dance floor, having a great time. The first group of songs was sort of a tribute to Michael Jackson, so we got to boogie away to Thriller, Billy Jean, and even the Jackson 5's ABC! I mean, who couldn't dance to that?! As the songs turned to more modern ones like Lady Gaga (what does she have to do with Vegas?!), we made our exit. It was late, and time to go home and relieve our babysitters! Overall, we had a great time and I'm sure we'll be back again next year!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Art museum visit

Today we had the opportunity to go to the Art Museum here in Houston with some fellow homeschoolers, thanks to free admission day! Grandma, our family art aficionado, would have been very proud! I can't say all my kids were thrilled to go, but I have wanted to visit for a while and my kids do deserve more exposure to art than their mom gives them! Here they are at the front of the museum.

They each took several pictures of some of their favorite paintings, though we were only allowed to photograph certain ones. Here are a few they took....

Isn't this vase beautiful?

Here's the whole group after we got done and were relaxing in the sculpture garden just outside the museum. They were happy to finally be able to run around a little and have some snacks.
We had a good time and they behaved very well! By the way, all these kiddos belong to only 2 families-isn't that great? I'm sure we had a lot of double takes while we were there!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Yummy homemade pretzels

I decided to try my hand at making some homemade pretzels today. I always like a challenge. The recipe is not difficult, though it does take some time. First you have to make the dough, roll out into pretzels, let rise, boil in a water bath on the stove, sprinkle with salt, then bake in the oven. Whew! Sounds like a lot, but it's not too bad. They turned out quite nice and the kids just gobbled them up. Who needs Aunt Annie's or Wetzel's when you've got Mom's pretzels? Yum!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Looking like Dad

Some of the kids decided to have some fun and try on Dad's glasses the other nite. They thought it was so fun looking like their Daddy! Here's my 2 yo....

My 4 yo....she looks pretty smart in them!

And my 5 yo....he just looks darn cute!

Oh-and this little goof ball. Well, he didn't wear the glasses, as he has a tendency to want to break them in two pieces, but he still had fun watching everyone else!