Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Last day of November

I cant believe that in just a few short hours it will be December.
December is such a fun but busy month.
The hubby and I will be celebrating our 6th year of marriage, the little lady will turn 9 months old (sigh), we will be going on our first winter camping trip, we get to celebrate the wonderful holiday of Christmas and we will say goodbye to the year 2010.
There were so many things that I needed to do today but none were as important as spending some time with the littles.
So today we went on a magic adventure in our very own living room. We turned off all the lights in the house and switched on the Christmas tree.
 We hunted for berried treasure and found a box full of treasures from Christmas's from years past.
 Five or more years of Christmas cards. Sometimes its good to be a pack rat.
 The littles had fun looking at all the pictures. The little man thought that it was fun to go hunting for people he knows in the pictures.
 We played make believe. The little man drove the lift truck with daddy inside and the two of them put up all the Christmas light on our tree.
 By now the little lady was getting tired from all of the fun play.
 Until she finally gave in and the two littles napped peacefully under the twinkle of the Christmas tree lights.
And I was able to tip toe away and get a few of the house hold chores done.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Preparing for Christmas

We have been busy around our house getting ready for Christmas. The little lady does not know what to think of all preparations. She keeps wanting to eat the lights on the tree.
I have been working on my Christmas cards and I wanted to share.

Red Revamped Christmas Card
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Turkey day 2010

We started off our Turkey day with the breakfast of champions.
Turkey hand print cookies.

I came across this hand print cookie cutter at a garage sale this summer and I thought that it would make some cute turkeys. Mini chocolate chips for the eyes, M&M's for the beak and waddle and a little colored coconut flakes as the feathers.
Then we were off to my dads house for the family dinner.
The little man watched Toy Story 3 while the guys watched football.
My mom and I worked together in the kitchen and it would not be Thanksgiving with out a little mishap. This year it was just a few burnt marshmallows.
The little lady enjoyed her first Thanksgiving dinner also.
The little man did not want to eat a thing.


I am so thankful.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Snowed in cooking

With all this fluffy white stuff on the ground just makes me want to spend all my time in the kitchen and not being able to run out to the store has made me be a little more creative in my cooking.
I dont measure when I cook so I am not the best person to write a recipe but here goes.
What you will need-
About 5 cups of soaked dried beans- I used  1 cup red beans, 1 cup black beans, 1 cup kidney beans and 2 cups of pinto beans. I did not remember to soak them over night so I quick soaked them in the morning. Canned beans would work also just omit the bean cooking step.
2 cans of tomato paste- any tomato product would work.
1 package of ground turkey- any ground meat would work or just omit the meat.
Lots of seasoning- Taco, chili powder, garlic, onion powder or even a little hot wing sauce all work great.
The ingredients that you dont tell the kids or the hubby that you put in the chili!
1/2 cup diced green bell pepper- I used frozen.
1/2 cup diced onion- I used frozen.
1 cup pureed carrots- I used two jars of carrot baby food. I started with one and then thought it needed more. Shredded carrots would work also just add them while the beans are cooking.
Start by cooking the beans in a large pot with about 12 cups of water over medium low heat until almost tender (about two hours). Once the beans are cooked add the two cans of tomato paste, the seasonings of your choice and the cup of carrot puree (or baby food). I also added a little more water but not too much because the hubby likes a thick chili (about 4 cups). I cooked them on medium low for a few hours until it the beans were nice and soft.
In a large skillet brown the meat along with the onion, green pepper and celery. Season with pepper if you like. Once everything is brown and tender add to the chili pot.
Let everything cook together for 20 minutes or so.
Serve with cornbread and a green salad.
I made this for Monday's dinner and Tuesday I served it over homemade macaroni and cheese and green beans. I dont think that I will use it in tonight's dinner but you never know. You can always put the extra chili in pint size canning jars and place in the freezer until the next time you are craving some Snowed in Chili.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Snow day

It started snowing Sunday while this guy
was putting Christmas lights up at Church.
And it never really stopped snowing on Sunday.
My not so good attempt at getting a family snow picture.
Good thing I finished the little ladys snow hat just in time for her first snow.
I kind of followed this hat pattern. I wanted to use some worsted weight wool yarn that I had and also size 4 needles. So after two froggings I ended up with this hat. Its a little big (it even fits the little man) but it will do. I added a chin strap and bottom to help keep it on her head.
Monday it snowed most of the day and the littles spent some time outside enjoying it.



The day could not be complete with out a few snow balls.
Today is going to be a whopping 26 degrees. Brrrr. Even though its cold the sun is shining today and who knows how much longer the fluffy white stuff will be here so we are going to get outside and play.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Playing in the kitchen

Most days I feel like I spend all day in my kitchen. Most of the time it is a good thing. I am not the greatest cook but I do enjoy making my family mostly healthy meals that we get to enjoy together. It it is even more fun now that the little man wants to help me. He climbs up into his learning tower and helps me cut celery or kneed dough or do whatever I need help with.

I have a sign in my kitchen that reads 'A messy kitchen is a happy kitchen.' That is very true about my kitchen. Most of the time my sink is full of dishes, the floor is littered with crumbs and you can hardly see my counters. Dont get me wrong having a clean kitchen makes me happy also but when my kitchen is messy I know that I just got done creating something that I hope my family will love.
We dont always just cook food in the kitchen. Some times we make play dough or paint or just splash in the kitchen sink.
The little lady even had her first taste of play dough this week in the kitchen.

We even have toys in the kitchen. The littles favorite is the leapfrog letter magnets. We have two of the toys that make the letter sounds and one that you use to create three letter words.
*Just a side note* WOW after seeing the prices of these items new I am really glad I did not buy them new. They are great toys dont get me wrong but 65 bucks just for the lower case letters is a little crazy. I got the two readers and the upper and lower case letters at a garage sale for 4 bucks and the word speller with a few letters at the thrift store for $2. If you are interested in these letters check used like Craigslist before buying new.
The little man is enjoying learning how to create different words. He thinks that it is really neat that we can spell mom, dad and cop. We even spelled arm and pit the other day and he thought that was real funny. The little lady just likes to chew on the letters and take them off the fridge.
And no matter how messy or dirty my kitchen floor is it always looks amazing in black and white pictures. Dont ya think?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Getting ready for Christmas

41 days till Christmas.
Really!?!
I am bound and determined this year to send out Christmas cards unlike two years ago. So when I heard that Shutterfly was giving away free photo cards to those that blog about this amazing deal I knew that this deal was for me.
I first started using Shutterfly when I got a $20 gift card when I was pregnant with the little lady.
I have have spent hours looking over all the great holiday card styles that they have on there site.
I have not taken our Christmas photo yet this year but there are many styles to chose from for whatever style of picture I end up getting of our family.
I really like this one if I can end up getting a great picture of the four of us all looking at the camera.
There are also many others to choose from if one photo does not turn out the best and I choose to use more than one photo for the card.

They even have cards that give back.
When you choose this card or any of these 10% goes to the lung association.
Or if you like this card or these better 10% from it goes to the LIVESTRONG foundation.
There are so many choices to choose from that I am going to have a hard time picking the one that I feel is just right for our family.
So if you are interested in getting free Christmas cards also just click here and fill in the blanks and have fun creating.

Friday, November 12, 2010

The trail

We were all in the playroom playing. The little man was sitting at his table playing legos and the little lady was chewing on toy on the floor. I got up to take care of some laundry.
From the time that it took me to move the clothes from the washer to the dryer the little lady had made it all the way down the hall. When she meet me I knew what she had done.
She had pooed.
Oh and did I forget to mention she was not wearing a diaper or pants.
So there was a nice trail coming from the pile that was left in the playroom, through the room and out the door. It was just like a slugs slime trail.
There was not a trail down the hall because she does not like to crawl on her knees on the hardwood. So she got up onto her feet and crawled that way all the way until I picked her up.
I stripped her down and got a bath going for her. Luckily the bathroom is right across the hall from the playroom so the little man watched her in the bath while I got to cleaning up the floor.
I am so thankful that I found the Seventh Generation carpet cleaner. It is amazing. It gets everything out of the carpet. It says that its active ingredient is hydrogen peroxide, so I am guessing that you could mix up your own very easily. I got this cleaner for an amazing price of $1.50 at Big Lots.
And speaking of home made cleaners, I made my own dishwasher soap this week also. I ran out of dishwasher soap this week but instead of running out to the store to get some I made some of my own. It was really easy to make, it cleaned pretty and it was super cheap. It is just equal parts borax and baking soda. That's it. Place a few table spoons in the soap dispencer in the dishwaher and press start.
I dont know if I will use the homemade dish washer soap everytime but I am glad that I learned how to make my own for the next time I run out of soap.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Rainy day fun

The little man informed me today that he does not like the rain. I am sorry kid but it rains a lot here.
But the rain is good for this...



We have been trying to keep our rain filled days full and busy.
The little man is really getting into learning about letters so I picked up a alphabet poster today at the dollar store.
He has learned that every word starts with a letter. So after most words he will stop and ask me what letter does it start with. 'What letter does blanket start with?' What letter does car start with?' What letter does poo start with?'
He has also learned how to spell his name. He is still working on writing it but that will come soon.
We have been playing games together. We have a number of 'kid' games and he is just now getting the idea of taking turns and following directions.

It is so amazing to watch him learn.
** I had a couple of you ask what park we were at back in this post and it was Steel Lake park in Federal way. Sorry it took me so long to answer your questions.

Good morning Tuesday

7:39am- I am writing this post as I sit in a quiet house, already showered, enjoying my hearty breakfast of leftover sloppy joes and coffee. 7:41am- Cue baby waking up and morning poo.
7:46am- The little lady is enjoying a banana and my food and coffee is getting cold so this blog post will have to wait till later. Life is calling my name.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The old become new

Last week my plans changed so instead of getting together with some friend we went to the thrift store and I found this...
I was so excited about this find. It is a Learning tower. I was not really looking for one of these but for the price I could not pass it by. I paid $20 for it and just the night before I saw one on Craigs list listed for $180 but after doing a little research I found it at Costco for $175 but either way $20 was a great price.
The little man loves to stand in it and help me make dinner, bake and wash dishes. He even likes to eat his lunch in 'the tower'.
The little lady also got a new potty recently. One of my friends was no longer using her Baby Bjorn little potty so she passed it on to us.
The other little potties that we have are from Ikea. I like both of them but the Baby Bjorn potty is much easier for her to sit on all by herself.
Here is a video of the littles playing together with a sheet. Who knew that these 'old' items only needed these two kids to help bring them back to life.
video


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A few more pictures from Halloween

I finally got around to uploading the pictures from Halloween.
We spent our Halloween night up at our churches harvest party and the littles had a great time.
I picked up a roll of stickers at the dollar store for the little man to use as 'tickets' to give to his friends. He had fun passing them out and showing his friends his costume. It was not long before he noticed the games.
He started out with only wanting to do was play the 'gun' games but he soon started playing all of them.

He ended up with a good amount of candy and prizes. He was excited to get some Toy Story cards and we have played with them every night this week.
The little lady enjoyed watching all of the kids and was able to spend some time with Grandma and Grandpa O and Great Grandma P while I spent some time helping the little man with the games.
I tried for attempt number two to get a picture of the littles together in their costumes but this was the best that I could do.

Cute, right?
I think that I might have to dress them up one more time and try it again.
The little lady also enjoyed her first piece of candy when I was not watching. It was a piece of a round peppermint that she found on the ground at church. She was super mad at me when I took that out of her mouth.
Goodbye October and hello November.