Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Braedon Pre-School

-Before Five In A Row
My Big Green Pocketbook
Yellow Ball
I used printable activities from homeschool share.
I was talking with a friend about Before Five In A Row the other day and realized my love for the book. I don't know if I didn't have the right foundation or what but I have never been very interested in reading. It was more of a necessity so I never really "studied" books nor was I able to see all of the imagination within the pages. For example, when I first read Goodnight Moon to my kids, my first thought was 'this book is boring'. Then, I read Before Five In A Row. I had a whole different perspective when reading Goodnight Moon and seriously thought 'Wow, this book is awesome'! We have had more fun with the books and activities from BFIAR then anything else we have done.
As we move forward, I am going to work in printables from Homeschool Creations to go along with our BFIAR books. I will check homeschool share to supplement, as well. Our next book is Caps for Sale.
-Mini unit study-Fire Engine Man by Andrea Zimmerman & David Clemesha
This consisted of reading the book and a Fireman preschool pack from Homeschool Creations. It would have been made complete with a trip to the fire station but I am so not that organized yet! -Read and Write the Room from 1+1+1=1, Braedon loved doing this and asked to do it over and over again. I hid the pictures around the room so it was sort of a hide and go seek game, which he loves. He was very motivated to trace the words after finding them.
-Aquarium-We took a family trip to the aquarium and it was super fun. It went along great with the book Yellow Ball since it is about a ball in the ocean.
-Family Time, Bible, and Character Training
I use the mapbook that Braedon gets from Lil' K each Sunday morning to reinforce the lesson he learned at church. I am thinking of building our own Family Time lessons around either the mapbook or whatever character trait we are working on. I was pulling from several different resources so we covered several different things over the past few weeks.
Family time-Just like the air, God is always there, this was one of the kid's favorites since it involved a balloon. It also spawned weeks of blowing up balloons just to let them go and watch them fly around.
Family time-Watching unchecked sin grow bigger and bigger also using a balloon
Lil' K-Creation
Lil' K-Good Samaritan
Joyful Heart Character-Orderly, we also worked on putting letters in alphabet order, next up: Attentive
-Beginning math skills workbook (from Target for $1)
-Preschool in a Bag-We have been working on these for short periods of time throughout the day.
-Computer time-Braedon plays educational games on the computer for a short period of time on most days.

Friday, September 2, 2011

(UN)Forgetful Friday

We had a Family Time lesson on consequences. The following week when we were having another family time lesson we were reviewing what we talked about the week before. When we asked Braedon if he remembered what we learned last week, he said, "when I disobey, complain, or argue, I get a concentrate."

Kaley twirling around...so sweet, beautiful, and carefree.

Braedon and Conner bonding with the help of the Wii...Kaley intently watching.

Even though Braedon is becoming such a big boy, he is still content and fully entertained to do this...sometimes.

Garrett snuggling with my dad:

Braedon riding his bike in the living room. He says, "Stop, red light." Then, he looked up as if he was waiting for the light to change and said, "Go, green light" and started riding again. Love that his imaginative play is increasing!

Kaley has quite the imagination too. In the car she started squeeling a little bit so my ears perked up just to make sure she was alright. I looked in the mirror and saw her looking up and acting like she was grabbing something and saying, "no balloon, no don't fly away."(but there was no balloon)

Garrett has been (affectionately) nicknamed "Meatball, Chunkzilla, and Meatloaf." The funniest is Meatloaf because daddy will sometimes break out singing "and I would do anything for love..." when Garrett enters the room, which never fails to make us chuckle.

I love watching Kaley pretend play too. She pretend plays with all of her "friends" (stuffed animals). She puts them to bed, reads to them, sleeps with them, swings them in the baby swing, sits them in the chair next to the dinner table when we are sitting at dinner. I also love to see her pretend play in the play kitchen. She will put something into the microwave and press the buttons. She puts her hands behind her back and sways back and forth for a minute. Then, she opens up the microwave and takes out whatever she was "cooking".

Here she is reading a book to a porcelain bear that doubles as a doorstop for our bathroom door. She was supposed to be in the bathroom brushing her teeth and after a couple of minutes I went in and found this.

Every morning the kids need to have a conversation about where Daddy is. So, it is normal that within the first 5 minutes of being awake they ask, "where's Daddy?" I say, "Daddy is working." We go back and forth a few times just to make sure the answer is the same each time (I guess). Then, Kaley inserts her favorite phrase, "But, why?" This morning, Braedon spoke up and said, "Daddy goes to work so he can buy money."
Kaley is about as cute as she can be helping me wash windows.

Garrett is much less irritated about being on the floor now that he can crawl and get around whereever he needs to go. Yay, Garrett!

Kaley has been successfully using the potty with only one accident for about a month now...I forgot to keep track. She is still in a pull-up overnight but stays dry during her naptime. Yay, Kaley!

It took Braedon a little while to break out of his shell but he finally has. Instead of being in his own world at church now he plays with other kids. He plays with the other kids at play places too. He is also very verbal now. Some teachers that were wondering why they couldn't get him to talk are amazed now that he wants to tell them everything.

A very blessed visit by my parents. A party to celebrate Garrett's, mom's, Dad's birthdays which are on consequtive days. Lots of bodies in my house = a warm heart for me!

Followed by a very blessed visit by Andrew's mom, aka Mom2 or Hamma...
There is always so much more I want to include in these posts but until next time...Enjoy the precious moments with our little people. Praise God for the wonderful gift of children!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Courageous (movie review)

We had the opportunity to see a pre-screening of the movie Courageous at our church a couple of months ago. It is jam packed with action, drama, and diverse story lines. More importantly, it is challenging and sends messages that our world desperately needs to here. That being said,


The movie hits theaters on September 30, 2011.

And, check out the nifty poster on my sidebar. If you are a blogger go grab one and promote the movie on your blog too.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Garrett - One Year!

Our precious third born son turned a year old on August 5. Praise God for his little life after my majorly complicated pregnancy. When I read the third bullet point of the diagnosis information of vasa previa, I can't help but get a chill down my spine and be that much more thankful for him. Despite the pregnancy and delivering him 6 weeks early, Baby Garrett is doing great!

This past month has included lots of transitions for him. He is crawling, YAY! He still is not very motivated to do it much but he can do it when he wants too. Even before he was crawling, he figured out how to scoot himself across the living room floor to the shelf that holds some puzzles, books, and a few toys and proceeded to scatter everything around. He switched from a bottle to a sippy cup with no problem. He also switched from formula to milk with no problem. He cut his second tooth (now he has both bottom front teeth). He is in the process of transitioning to one nap a day as opposed to two. He babbles and laughs a LOT. It is really funny to be around him just to watch him talk and laugh. He has pretty severe stranger anxiety. It makes me feel kind of bad when someone he doesn't know tries to talk to him and he screams like they just pinched him or something. He has quite a bit of separation anxiety too. I feel kind of bad for him when I walk around the corner (out of sight) and he screams his head off. Other than that, he is really fun and fairly laid back. His stats from his checkup are: 23.5lbs and 31in. Such a big boy!

We had a little party for his birthday. We were very blessed to have my mom, dad, and nephew, Conner, visiting from Indiana. My dad's birthday is August 6 and my mom's is August 7 so we had a celebration for everyone on Saturday. We had barbecue pork, corn on the cob, beans, cake, and ice cream. We had a pinata for the older kids (filled with granola bars, granola, raisins, fruit roll-ups, and blow pops...yes I caved and got one kind of candy). And, Baby Garrett got a few presents that included a v-tech drive and discover toy, school bus toy, puzzles, books, and a ball.

Garrett gnawed on his first corn on the cob:

And, he took down his first cupcake much like a wood chipper takes down a piece of wood:

Previous monthly posts: I can't believe it has been a year already.
11 months
10 months
9 months
8 months
7 months
6 months
5 months
4 months
3 months
2 months
1 month

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Real Food - Confessions

I just now realized (yeah I am a little slow) that I forgot to mention something in my last update. I never want to give off the impression that we've got this figured out or that we never cheat, because we don't and we do. Confession time: We eat fast food a couple of times a week sometimes. It is a way for us to get the kids out of the house and play and get out of cooking dinner. Our favorites are Chick-Fil-A, McDonald's, and Burger King. Sometimes I don't like it and wish we never went out to eat. But, the fact is that we do and it does make things easier on me when we do and the kids really enjoy it. This food thing is a major work in progress with us. Possibly at some point I will plan well enough to have "real food" to-go meals and we can just go picnic somewhere instead of buying fast food. But until then, it is what it is.

While I am on this confession kick let me also tell you that we go out for ice cream once or twice a month. We are having cupcakes and store bought ice cream to celebrate Garrett's first birthday this weekend. We are even getting a pinata for the older kids and I *might* put a little bit of candy in it. One of my major weaknesses is potato chips so I buy those sometimes.

If we are out with other people or at someone's house and we are offered something that doesn't *fit* we eat it anyway. We by no means are food snobs. We are just trying to eat healthier, less processed foods the majority of the time and making small changes a step at a time.

I sincerely apologize that I didn't fess up to these realities in my last post.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Real Food - An Update

It has been quite some time since I posted about our real food journey and I thought it was time to update. I am just going to list bullet points because this is more of a brain dump than anything. This is l-o-n-g overdue and I don't have *time* to organize it well...sorry!
----We have not been using local meats. We just simply can't afford to and what a great thing that we tend not to eat much meat. Mostly, we only purchase chicken and sausage and I try to be very selective when choosing these. We have purchased lunch meat over the past few weeks because...IT'S HOT and we have been wanting something easy and light. But, the lunch meat is organic and only has 7 or 8 ingredients. So, it is not far from real food. :-)
----We have been purchasing only organic fruits and vegetables. Honestly, a lot of our vegetables are frozen. It is easier on the budget and the kids will eat them...frozen!, which is easier on mama...especially at lunchtime.
----We have not figured out a good solution for bread yet. I don't have a bread maker and I am NOT going to bake bread when it is 100 degrees outside. We are ok with Ezekiel bread but the budget doesn't allow for it with as much bread as we go through. For now, we purchase Nature's Own in a two pack from Sam's as long as it has the whole grain stamp on it. There are still some ingredients in there that are questionable but without a better solution for bread right now, I am ok with it.
----We only purchase whole grain rice and pasta. Also, I have started soaking our rice.
----We gave up on making our own tortillas. I found some at Whole Foods that have less than 5 ingredients but were super expensive. Then, I found some reasonably priced that have way too many ingredients but the first ingredient is whole wheat flour and I caved. So, this is going to be a cheat for us.
----We do not buy organic milk, butter, cheese etc...these are other items our budget will not allow for. However, I do buy from a brand I trust that is committed to being hormone free.
----We try very hard to stick to the 5 ingredient rule but as I read somewhere before (I think the 100 days of real food website) most importantly are what the ingredients are. If it is a product that has healthy ingredients even if there are more than 5 I will go ahead and purchase it. Occasionally, I also have been known to purchase something that may not be all that good for us just to have as a snack or treat. Usually, I only purchase 2-3 items per week that have more than 5 ingredients. -We stopped eating cereal because it is difficult to find a kind that is healthy and tastes good for a price that fits our budget. I do make granola at home but I haven't made any this summer because...IT'S HOT.
----We started buying raw local honey (as opposed to the off the shelf pasteurized stuff).
----We went from eating the sweetener laced yogurts, to plain regular yogurt, to plain Greek yogurt. We put raisins or blueberries in it and sweeten it ourselves with honey, if needed.
----We eat more smoothies than ever before and no, raw baby spinach leaves do not change the flavor.
----Our favorite recipe from 100 days of real food is the Pecan Maple Breakfast Cookies.
----When baking, I only use oats and/or whole wheat flour as opposed to white flour. I also do not use any sugar and try not to use any oils. It sort of depends on the recipe but in general if I see a recipe for white flour, white sugar, and vegetable oil I skip it. If the recipe looks WAY to good to pass up I may try to figure out who to adapt it.
----We have gone around and around on peanut butter. We are a huge peanut butter family. PB&J is my go to lunch if I don't have anything else easy and the kids LOVE it. However, the first time I purchased organic unsalted, unsweetened peanut butter the kids refused to eat it. Hmmm... So, I tried really hard to talk myself into caving on this one and buying normal peanut butter. The ingredient list is short with only 3-5 ingredients but it contains sugar as the second ingredient and it also has vegetable oils in it, which we are trying also to reduce as much as possible. So, I purchase either peanuts, fresh peanut butter out of the machines, or the jar of organic, unsweetened, unsalted. At home, I put it into our food processor with a little honey and olive oil and mix it all together. This is a lot of work for peanut butter but my kids will eat it this way and it is healthier.
----We eat cage free brown eggs from Whole Foods. We have the opportunity to get farm fresh occasionally and I always try to take advantage of that. I don't think I will ever go back on eggs...my kids will actually eat them as opposed to white eggs. Also, I read this article on eggs that changed my mind for good.
----I still sweeten my coffee with sugar but do not use it for anything else.
----I make our chicken nuggets and currently pan fry them in canola oil (boo) but want to price macadamia nut oil and see if we can afford it to use for frying. It is a source of omega 3 and can be cooked to almost as high of a temp as canola before it starts to oxidize.
----I also recently stumbled upon the non-GMO project. Health experts are beginning to warn patients about staying away from soy. I know this from personal experience because my mother-in-law had ovarian cancer and has been told to stay far, far away from soy. However, I believe that soy is fine but the genetically modified soybean is likely what is causing problems. I read a fascinating article on that too... So, if I am purchasing a product that contains soy, a soy by-product, or any other ingredient that is known for being genetically modified, it would be nice to see this seal.

I hope that even in its disorganized fashion this post has been helpful for you.

Disclaimer: I am not an expert on anything except me and my family. I try to make the best decisions for us. Only you can make the appropriate decisions for your family.
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Friday, July 22, 2011

Motherhood and Children

A friend found this awesome article online and shared it on Facebook. I am so glad I read it. My heart started beating faster and the tears were on their way (though I surprisingly was able to keep from crying). I have been looking for words to describe the feeling I get when I hear a parent speak to their child in a way that communicates what an incovenience they are. Or, the sinking feeling I get in the pit of my stomach when someone close to me tells me that kids will cause me more trouble and pain than they are worth and that I just shouldn't have anymore. I know it is a lie straight from the pit of hell (even though it still stings). I know that a child is one of God's greatest gifts and I am blessed beyond belief to have received this call of Motherhood.

I hope you are inspired, empowered, encouraged, and even a little challenged by this article. I sure was!

Motherhood is a Calling (and where your children rank)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Garrett - 11 Months

Has it really been a month? The last post was Garrett's 10 month picture, which means that yes, it has been a month since I updated my blog (yikes). I keep thinking that the months feel like weeks and this entire last year has felt like only a few months. Time needs to s-l-o-w down!
One year ago today I was admitted into the hospital at 30 weeks pregnant because of a condition known as Vasa previa. That trip to the hopsital confirmed that it was not fetal blood that I had been bleeding. However, since the condition had been diagnosed they didn't want to take any chances. They kept me in the hospital under close observation for a month and delivered Garrett at 34 weeks. If you are interested in reading more about that look at my July and early August posts from 2010 (I searched for one to link to here and they are all so different and yet so relevant I couldn't choose). I am so thankful that my specialist diagnosed the condition early and was not taking any chances. Praise God that Garrett was fine despite being 6 weeks early.

This month, he has finally shown some interest in becoming mobile which is sort of a love/hate relationship for him. He HATES being on the floor but he is starting to realize that is the only way he is ever going to learn how to get around. He is pretty good at moving himself backward. Now, he just has to figure out how to get on all fours and move himself forward! He actually is closer to standing than crawling so part of me wonders if he will just start walking and skip the whole crawling thing...who knows?
He cut his first tooth (see upside down photo below).
He has started to eat soft chunks of food pretty well. I am looking forward to only having one more month of buying and mixing formula.
He is making all kinds of sounds (except for mama) but he doesn't know what they mean yet.
I got him to wave hi and bye the other day but he hasn't done it again since then. He loves it when I sing or when we listen to music.
He is a busy boy and as time goes on we fully expect that he will be as busy if not busier (we better be on our toes) than his big brother.
This month he got his first bruise on his head by diving head first off of the couch. As you can tell, it doesn't seem to be bothering him too much. I also wanted to share that Kaley and Braedon could not be better big siblings. They both get toys or his pacifier for him if I am busy and he is crying. Braedon sometimes says, "chill!", which is hysterically funny (yep, he got that from me).

I also have a funny story about Kaley. In the car the other day she was playing with Garrett holding his hand and kind of batting at it. They were both laughing and having a good time. Daddy was driving so I was turning around periodically to see what they were up to. All the sudden Garrett starts screaming like he is in pain so I turn around and asked Kaley if she knew why he was crying. In the softest, calmest, cutest two year old girl voice says, "I just bit Baby Garrett's finger." I hastily turn around in my seat grab his hand to see teeth marks all the way around his finger. Poor little guy! BTW-I don't count this in the 'she is the best big sister ever' equation. It is the first time she has ever done anything remotely mean to him. The dear in the headlight look I got makes me think she didn't realize what she had done until he started screaming in pain.


I was trying to get him to leave the bear next to him. I said, "ok, Garrett, can you just leave the bear sitting here next to you for just a second." It looks like he has a look that is saying, "ok but you better hurry cause I am getting ready to snatch it up."

Love those cheeks!

This one is way too cute not to share.

I was trying to show the tooth but not sure if you can see it or not.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Garrett - 10 Months

Weighing in at 23 lbs, Garrett is still my little chunky monkey. He started sitting up at 9 months and is getting much better at it now. He has recently started lunging and diving at things. Besides that, he doesn't seem too interested in becoming mobile. He has recently started to get really mad if he is playing with something and I (or brother/sister) take it away. He started actively playing peek-a-boo by pulling the blanket over his head. Then, we say where's Garrett? He puts the blanket down and laughs. He learned how to clap his hands and loves doing that. I tried to get him to feed himself little bits of banana the other day but he just smashed them in his hand. I feel a couple of teeth but they haven't actually made their appearance yet. We had parent commissioning at church Sunday (on his 10 month birthday...how neat!)

Also, daddy made up something funny I want to share...
One of the shows the kids watch on PBS is Dinosaur Train. Daddy changed the words to one of the songs for each of the kids. It is pretty cute.
Garrett, he's a Chunkasaurus. He's the chunkiest baby in the Savasuk forest.
Braedon, he's a Sillysaurus. He's the silliest baby in the Savasuk forest.
Kaley, she's a Cutiesauraus. She's the cutest baby in the Savasuk forest.
I actually don't even know how the real song goes we just sing our renditions.

For comparison:
9 months
8 months
7 months
6 months
5 months
4 months
3 months
2 months
1 month

Monday, June 6, 2011

Multitudes on Mondays (301-325)

301. Parent commissioning at our church that just happened to fall on Garrett's 10 month birthday
302. This family
303. Every moment of life
304. Wonderful friends to photograph special occasions
305. Very productive meetings with my Playcation team, so thankful for each of them
306. Bubble wands
307. Garrett playing peak-a-boo
308. Watching my baby sleep in my friend Amanda's arms (he barely does that with me)
309. "Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty" Psalms 91:1
310. The blessing of a long standing membership in the same Sunday school class with wonderful teaching but will be changing soon :-(
311. The blessing of a strong bible teaching church to attend
312. Freedom to worship the Lord, Jesus Christ
313. God's love and relationship with me parallels my love and relationship with my kids
314. The opportunity to guest post on INFO for Families blog
315. Watching the kids laugh and chase bubbles
316. Spinbrushes (why weren't we using them before)
317. That my kids constantly want to brush their teeth now (b/c of #316)
318. People willing to share advice openly
319. Heaven
320. Our God is greater, our God is stronger, God you are higher than any other...
321. The ministry of NILMDTS, which my friends Ken & Jamie volunteer for. I can't imagine the God-given strength it has to take to not break down emotionally while doing this service!
322. The blow up baby pool we have even though my two bigger kids are much too big for it but boy do the three of them find so much joy splashing around in it
323. Tomato plants
324. Watching Braedon's coloring and writing skills improve as he literally blows through the Kumon workbooks I got for him.
325. "And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" Philippians 4:7

Sunday, June 5, 2011

My Heroes

We met them approximately five years ago and have hung out with them a couple of times. Our paths cross quite frequently at church and we stop to chat in the halls. They are the kind of people who are so inviting and so welcoming that they make you feel like your best friend even if you hardly ever hang out outside of church. They were one of the first true Christian couples we had contact with shortly after giving our lives to Christ. They hold a special place in my heart even though we probably wouldn't be considered "close" friends. Now, they hold an even more special place. They are true heroes for a multitude of reasons and we are blessed and honored to call them friends.

They have experienced what is quite possibly the worst heartache that a couple can experience...the loss of their first baby a couple of short hours after birth. I have been grieving with them from afar and praying like crazy for them to be covered with the peace that only God can provide. I also have been challenged greatly in my own life to really cherish every single moment.

I am in awe of the work God is doing through the lives of this family. By His grace, they are able to focus on the gifts they received and be truly grateful in the midst of such great heartache. My friend, Jamie has already written a great article about it. I invite you to read it if you haven't already.

Today, I want to thank God for this family. I thank God for the peace that I know He has already provided to this family and the ongoing comfort that only He can provide. I thank God for the gift of knowing this family and calling them brothers and sisters in Christ. I thank God for the life of their sweet baby boy. And, I thank God that through His son, Jesus, is the promise of heaven where there will be no more tears and no more pain.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

I Posted on INFO for Families (yesterday)

If you have never read Info for Families blog please go and look around. Barrett has some extremely helpful and relevant information on there. I had the opportunity to guest post with an article called Parenting with Grace. Barrett has been the young marrieds minister at our church for the past five years. It has been such a blessing getting to know Barrett and his amazing family. They have such a heart for Jesus and to spread the love of Jesus to everyone. I am honored to take part in a guest post on his blog. I hope you enjoy it!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Multitudes on Mondays (276-300)

276. An awesome reminder of all the work God has done and continues to do in our family!
277. "Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13
278. Selfless sacrifices from military personnel who protect our freedom!
279. A chance to visit a small lake in a section of our neighborhood that we don't go to very often.
280. Family pictures at location #279
281. Our wonderful photographers
282. Our first trip to the pool.
283. Tragedy avoided during #282, Praise God that my honey was standing right there to rescue our 4yo niece.
284. Flotation devices
285. Every moment my kids play nice together.
286. Cooking breakfast while listening to the laughter of the kids playing with their daddy on this special holiday.
287. Celebrating our freedom and those who protect it.
288. All of the sweet children that I so enjoy playing with and getting to know during preschool volunteering at church.
289. My daughter's laugh especially when she laughs so hard she can barely breathe.
290. Sweet alone time sitting on the back deck with my hubby.
291. Sometimes my kids are easily entertained and I can just sit back and watch them be silly.
292. Braedon's red hair that looks like a shiny penny.
293. Water.
294. The first time in a long time...friends inviting us to a party on a holiday.
295. Family time that involved a lesson and activity about secret church.
296. Home worship time with the family.
297. All of my kids are good sleepers now (for the most part)...yay!
298. God continuing to work on our hearts and mature us as a couple and as parents.
299. Watching Garrett discover new things.
300. My quirky 4yo who makes me laugh so hard my cheeks hurt sometimes.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Real Food - My Take on Jambalaya

Though the recipe I used (from 100 days of real food) is for more of a classic Jambalaya, I changed it slightly and this is NOT classic Jamabalaya. So, if you are a Jambalaya lover for the kick and n'awlins flavor just know that if you try this it will not be that.
The change I made was totally by accident and is a result of shopping off the ingredient list without even looking at the recipe titles (yep, that's me. Ok not anymore but...). When I saw sausage on the ingredient list it didn't say andouille so I didn't buy andouille. Instead, I made the best choice I could given limited information. I bought something I thought would appeal to my kids, Apple Chicken Sausage. It actually has 7 ingredients so be aware that it does not follow the rules found on 100 days of real food. But, it is organic and made from chickens without hormones etc...
When the day came to make the Jambalaya and I realized my mistake, I consulted my resident Chef, Andrew aka: the best husband ever, who said it would probably turn out fine to use the sausage I bought and to go ahead and try it. I followed the recipe exactly except that I used the Apple Chicken Sausage instead of Andouille. I also used full cook rice and cooked it beforehand separately. Then, I just mixed it in at the end.
This was SO YUMMY and tops the list for our favorite recipe that we have tried yet. Also, it made plenty. I think we ate it for dinner twice and I had it for lunch twice (keep in mind our little ones don't eat very much though).

I am not a very experienced cook so I feel I should mention this: When the sausage and oil were in the pot (before adding the onion etc..) it was really sizzling and looked like it was burning. I started to freak out a little until my awesome hubby said it was fine and that you actually want that. It happens when carmelizing starts and the brown stuff in the bottom of the pan is called Fond, which adds lots of flavor.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I Won, I Won (Rainy Day Activity Cards)

Jolanthe over at Homeschool Creations hosts a cirriculum cleanout twice a year. You don't want to miss the Fall 2011 cleanout. It is a great way to link up for cirriculum that you would like to giveaway and enter to win cirriculum you might need. I entered to win several preschool items and won this deck of activity cards from Kate. I can always use extra ideas for activities with the kids.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Multitudes on Mondays (251-275)

251. That Garrett really doesn't seem to mind when his brother and sister do this to him

252. I have awesome friends willing to share their experience when they have been there and done that (like cloth diapering). Thank you to Amanda for a hands on demonstration and advice.
253. Water balloons
254. Having a very special houseguest and an extra set of hands this weekend. Thanks Lindsey!
255. McDonalds with five children was pretty fun instead of just survivable.
256. My neice graduating kindergarten.
257. My 2.5 year old thinks she is still a baby and it is oh so cute!

258. Watching my two oldest kids (4 and 2.5) playing on the computer together. Braedon waits for Kaley to make a choice, moves the mouse for her and then lets her push the button.
259. 4yo and 2.5yo actually ate some eggs and sausage today.
260. Despite falling pretty hard, twice in the same day, neither of them were hurt
261. Braedon's imagination and storytelling is getting funnier and funnier (espcially when The Cat in the Hat put him in timeout)
262. Quite house
263. But on the same note as #262 I like it loud sometimes too
264. Time spent with my neices
265. How helpful my children are around the house (sometimes)
266. That I can surely dismiss any "end of the world" claims because: "But about that day or hour ,no one knows not the angels in heaven nor the son. Only the father." Matthew 24:36
267. Open mouth kisses from my adorable, all-boy, chunky-monkey, 9month old
268. Most of the time stress in our house can be reduced by someone making a joke
269. Mothers who share their heart and experience so openly like all of the blogs I follow and also Kristen Welch's Don't Make Me Come Up There devotional.
270. So many people in our church fostering and adopting...it's so awesome!
271. A certificate to a bouncy place as a thank you from the kid's dentist office
272. My past has been redeemed by my Almighty God
273. Patience from a person who requested a book and I accidentally mailed it to the wrong person (mommy brain!)
274. First trip to the farmer's market but now I wish it was a growers only market
275. Haircut at a fabulous place where a cut includes parriffin wax for hands plus a scalp, neck and back massage after shampooing and a 2 week guarantee on the cut

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Real Food - Shopping

We have a locally owned store very similar to Whole Foods near us. This is where I went shopping the first time I was looking for “real food” ingredients. I naively thought it would be easy and that just by going to that store I was buying organic and real food. Not so. I quickly realized that not everything is organic and that just because it is sold in a whole foods store it may not necessarily be good for you. This realization and the realization that not everything labeled organic is even good for you made my first real food shopping trip a little like rocket science. I survived with all three kids in tow but I don’t really think I bought much that fit the rules of real food. At that point, I was just happy to have a plan and making more meals from home. Since then, I have become a bit more educated on ingredient lists so while it still takes time to look at the ingredients on an item I can quickly make the decision about whether or not to purchase it.

I got a ton of food and was very satisfied at how I managed to stay within budget too. Fast forward three weeks and I haven't had a full week's worth of shopping to do because I wanted to use up all the food we already had on hand (prior to my first shopping trip even). So, I still haven't really spent much at the grocery store. I am anxious to plan my first full week of meals, shop for all of the items, and see if I am still able to stay within budget.

I also tried out Trader Joes for the first time. They did have decent prices but I wasn't able to get everything I needed there. I am very much a shop at one store person so if I can manage to stay within budget at one store I would rather do that.

We also have a Life grocery store near us that I haven't been to yet but I plan to go there to see what all they have and check prices.

I have big dreams of being able to price out all of the recipes that I try and figure out how much they cost. Being realistic though, I might just be okay as long as I can stay within my weekly budget...we'll see!
This post is part of a series. To read previous posts in this series please click below:
Real Food – Series Introduction
Real Food - Learning and Making Changes

Real Food - Eating Habits/Changes
I am not a nutritionist or any other food expert. All information shared here is based on my personal experience, research, and opinion. You are the only one who can make decisions regarding the health choices of you and your family.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I Won, I Won (Custom Crochet Hat)

Ultimate Blog Party 2011

If you didn't take part in the 2011 Ultimate Blog Party you won't want to miss the 2012 party. They have tons of great blogs, prizes, and twitter conversation. I actually didn't have time to make many of the blog connections I was hoping to make. But, I did make a few and won a great prize. It was super easy to enter to win a prize (only one entry form and tons of prizes up for grabs).

I won a custom crochet hat from Cali Creations. I chose the style and the colors, she made it and shipped it to me.

I actually considered getting it for myself but I am not super comfortable wearing hats. So, I decided to get it for my daughter. Kaley's favorite color is green so I chose a multi-colored yarn for the hat that includes the same shade of green as the flower. I think it is super-cute and Kaley looks pretty cute wearing it too.

I hope you will visit Cali Creations and pick out something for yourself or a gift for someone else. Her work is great, prices are reasonable, and Stacia was a pleasure to work with. Thank you, Stacia!

In Jesus Name, Bye!

Our kids have come to love praying. Something that used to be new and a little awkward for our family has recently become like second nature and we are all pretty comfortable with it. I try to have prayer time with the kids once a day in the mornings. I also try to pray with them throughout the day as situations come up. Then, of course, there is mealtime and bedtime prayers. I thank God that we have started to have so much prayer in our house because we didn't used to. I wholeheartedly believe in the power of prayer and am so glad that it has become a larger part of our lives.
Braedon recently wanted to add his little twist on his prayers and of course Kaley followed suit. They have started saying, "In Jesus name, Bye" at the end of a prayer instead of the usual "In Jesus name, amen." I am quite confident that this little detail doesn't really concern God and that He loves to hear children pray no matter how they end it as long as they are praying in Jesus name. I think it is pretty cute that they wanted to make their prayer's unique

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Family Time Training

My husband and I had been wanting to implement some type of formal biblical education in our home for quite some time. However, devotions and/or family worship were not modeled for us growing up and we had no idea what it was supposed to look like. We had tried a few different things but nothing felt quite right and engaged the kids at the right level. Then, we had the opportunity to attend a wonderful parenting conference at our church where we learned of Family Time Training. Their mission is to provide families with tools and resources to have family worship time in the home. The worship lessons are designed to engage and impact the children in a fun way so they will learn and retain the knowledge. At the conference, we got to see Kirk Weaver (founder) stand on stage and literally explain step by step how his family does family worship time. He also explained some of the intricacies, such as child's personality/learning style and dos/don'ts for expectations from children. He even showed a video of a family having Family Time. Even though every one's worship time doesn't have to look the same it was such a blessing to see how someone does it and then adapt it to our family's style. We purchased a couple of the preschool workbooks and began right away!

Now, I want to share what our Family Time looks like:
I am responsible for picking out the lessons and gathering everything needed. I also ensure that my husband knows which lesson we are doing that week so he can familiarize himself before the day of. I also plan a simple dinner for the evening of so we can focus on Family Time instead of letting dinner and cleaning bog us down.

The day of, I hype it up to the kids (hey, guess what? we are having family time tonight). When we first started I explained to them exactly what we were going to do. After just a couple of weeks the older two became very familiar with the routine. (Our kids are 4, 2.5, and 9 mos)

We eat dinner and remind the kids it is Family Time night and we all eagerly clean the kitchen and dining room

We play our family's theme song (Brandon Heath, Give Me Your Eyes), which the kids love to dance to. No matter where they are in the house they come running...

After the song we all go sit at the dining room table (we mix it up sometimes too but mostly we are at the dining room table)
***Daddy leads everything from here on out and I just help if I need to***
Daddy prays and sometimes the kids will want to pray too
We talk about what we learned last week
Daddy discusses the lesson and asks questions to engage the kids
Daddy leads the activity allowing the kids to be as hands on as possible
We wrap it up pretty quickly because attention span times are fairly short...

I really believe that the "trick" to this is that in addition to the Family Time sessions, we have to apply those lessons in everyday life. As the week goes on and a situation arises where a lesson can be applied we can say, "hey, remember what we learned at Family Time?" and that immediately opens the door in a positive way and makes the information really come alive.

In a world where it is becoming increasingly difficult to make vital connections with our kids, I am so thankful that this is another avenue to make those bonds. We are getting started while they are young but even if your kids are older and you have not started having worship time inside your home, I would encourage you to start. It is never too late and it really doesn't matter what it looks like. I just hope that a glimpse into our worship time gives you some inspiration to start your own!

Glory to God, Forever!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Multitudes on Mondays (226-250)

226. Long overdue coffee and conversation with a great, forever friend, Jamie. (I revised this original post to include a link to her awesome blog.)
227. Teens who love babies and will help me with mine
228. Tweens who want to be mother's helpers and learn the art of homemaking and mothering
229. My 4 and 2 year old were perfect angels at their first dental appointment
230. Playing pool with my hubby
231. Talking to our waitress and hopefully giving a lifestyle testimony
232. A Facebook wall post from another great forever friend encouraging me on Mother's Day
233. Spontaneous lunch at Moe's with numbers 226, 227, and 228 :-)
234. Holding friend's babies in the nursery who I have met but never held
235. Found a book I have been wanting on Paperback Swap so it is virtually free (besides shipping I pay to send other people books)
236. Holy Spirit's strength to hold it together during a pretty rough day with the kids this weekend
237. Free pizza for kids day at the grocery store
238. Treats for the kids at the same store in number 237
239. This recipe that I have already tried and we really like it
240. Winning another blog giveaway (I have three separate posts to do reporting my winnings...coming up) :-)
241. One of my posts might be featured on a different blog this summer...my first guest post (sort of)
242. All of the enlightening information I got from the kid's dentist
243. It seems that Braedon's temp (101 for a couple of days) turned out to be nothing major and he was able to fight off whatever it was
244. The movie Food, Inc. or maybe I was happier not knowing...
245. More nights full of sleep instead of sleeplessness
246. Hubby's help in the kitchen
247. Hubby running around to put a new battery in my car when it was unexpectedly dead one morning
248. That even though the light in our kitchen doesn't work we can still see enough to cook with the light over the sink, sort of
249. It is suprisingly easy to make a lot of things from scratch (muffins, biscuits, pizza dough, tortillas)
250. 100 Days of Real Food blog and other blogs dedicated to helping people eat healthier

Sunday, May 15, 2011

I Won, I Won (Yoplait prize pack)

My real life and blog friend, Alicia, hosted a Yoplait giveaway a little while ago. I won but haven't had the time to blog about it until now. I have a feeling she is going to be hosting some other great giveaways so be sure to visit her. This prize pack included a red gym bag, water bottle, jump rope, towel, and coupon for a free Yoplait cup. I am so glad I won...Thanks Alicia!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Real Food - Eating Habits/Changes

We have fallen into some pretty bad habits regarding our eating. Most of it has to do with not prioritizing the planning and preparation of healthy meals. Below are a few of our bad habits and how I think they will change as a result of a real food nutrition regimen.

We would go to the store and buy groceries. Then {gasp} stop and get some fast food on the way home. This is because we didn’t have a plan for the food once we got home and the little ones were not going to be able to wait much longer to eat before they really started getting cranky. So for this one it doesn’t really matter if it is “real food” or not, just the fact that we have a plan will stop us from doing this.
We eat fast food way too much. Not every day but at least a few times a week. Having a healthy meal plan to eat from actually motivates me to not let my family eat fast food because I realize how much better I feel when I eat things that are healthy for me. Again, having a plan will keep us from running out to eat because we can’t figure out anything else for dinner. As a side note: as I write this it has been about 3 weeks that we have been trying this real food thing out. We have eaten pizza twice and another fast food restaurant once. Everything else has been more fruits and veggies and home prepared meals and I have lost 2 lbs. Not that this was a weight loss venture but...BONUS!
My kids eat peanut butter and jelly far too often and would eat it three times a day every day if I allowed them to. So, when I was thinking of how much the real food peanut butter and jelly costs I was thinking there was no way we could do it. Then I realized that, again with a plan, they probably will not be eating peanut butter and jelly more often than I plan for. So, I will just plan for it less.
We eat a lot of snack crackers that get expensive after a while and really aren't very healthy. They definitely have more than 5 ingredients so they won't be on the grocery list any longer. I plan to make our snacks just need to gather several more recipes to rotate.
We eat a ton of frozen pizza or frozen pasta meals also that get expensive and aren't necessarily that healthy. These also have more than 5 ingredients and will not be on the grocery list any longer. I am more motivated now to feed my family something that I hand prepare than something out of a bag or a box.

This post is part of a series. To read previous posts in this series please click below:
Real Food – Series Introduction
Real Food- Learning and Making Changes

Disclaimer:I am not a nutritionist or any other food expert. All information shared here is based on my personal experience, research, and opinion. You are the only one who can make decisions regarding the health choices of you and your family.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Multitudes on Mondays (201-225)

201. Beautiful weather for Mother's Day
202. All the moms who chose life through adoption
203. Braedon saying, "wow mommy, you look beautiful"
204. My Mom and our great relationship
205. My Mom2 (mother-in-law) and our great relationship
206. Plants and flowers
207. Nature and enjoying God's creation
208. A great Sunday School lesson over the past several months inspiring me to complete a personal mission statement
209. Knowing that I am not the only one struggling with some isues I am struggling with, having encouragement and accountability from others
210. A wonderful husband and kids who value me as a wife and mother
211. Peace about serving in Playcation in a major capacity without any prior experience
212. Almost settled on ministry calling for next year but needs a bit more prayer and I feel like I should complete number 208 first
213. Forever friends
214. Several moms in MOPS telling me I am an encouragement to them because they have one or two babies and can only imagine how difficult it can be with three
215. The wonderful compliment one of the ladies in number 214 gave me...girl, you still look like your doing it with grace (after 2.5 yo got hurt and was screaming and 4 yo was screaming b/c he was about to get in trouble)
216. Being close enough to know about some very personal decisions friends have made
217. May is National Foster Care month, thankful for the lives that have been changed and the lives God will continue to change through Foster Care
218. Family napping while I have alone time in the yard
219. Family napping while I have alone time blogging (or not but its Mother's Day so daddy is taking care of the one who is awake and still giving me alone time)
220. Roses for Mother's Day
221. Teacher appreciation tea at my homeschool group meeting
222. That I am not as intimidated as I used to be taking all three children with me various places
223. Fun field trips
224. Being able to chase, carry, and swing my kids around
225. More time at home

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Stick and Glue Easter Egg

My kids love to glue things so I taped a big egg on the wall and gave them tissue paper and easter themed stickers to decorate it. It was fun for a while and Kaley kept coming back to it to stick a few more peices every now and then.
This activity is so versatile too and could be slightly changed for pretty much any theme.
I wish I could remember what they are looking at so excited like but...

Here they are decorating it:

The finished project:

Friday, May 6, 2011

Real Food - Learning and Making Changes

A few weeks ago I had no clue what real food was. I heard and read a lot of buzz about it but really didn't know what to expect when I saw that there were two real food meal plans available for free download. I jumped on it because I had been looking for meal plans and also had heard that real food was healthy. In all honesty when I downloaded the meal plans, I had no clue what to expect. In reviewing them my first thought was, "We already eat a lot of this stuff. So, what is real food?" In further reading, reviewing, and researching I realized that real food can be pretty much any meal. It just means as minimally processed as possible and preferably organic. It involves lots of cooking from scratch or making sure store bought items contain very few ingredients.

I spent some time researching the 100 Days of Real Food website and found so much great information. I like how the rules are spelled out very clearly, even though I did not officially sign up for the 10 day challenge. I also find the 5 ingredient rule to be extrememly helpful when making purchasing choices. Lisa warns against judging the food product based on the front of the package, which is a rule of thumb I already live by on some things. But, she urges you to check the ingredient list on everything. Just in case you didn't know, the first item on the ingredient list is what there is the most of and so on. I didn't know that until about two or three years ago.

As much as I would love to, there is no way we can go 100% real food. I had a friend tell me that she knows someone who is 100% real food and budgets $250/week. That is more than double our ideal grocery store budget for the week. We can increase it a little and I think it is worth it for the benefits of eating healthier. All that being said, we have to be choosy at this point.

Below are the changes or lack of changes we will be making now and why:

1. We will continue to buy conventional milk (at least for now). Organic milk is more than 2 times more expensive. As much milk as we go through we are just not going to be able to swing buying organic milk at this time. Although, I did recently try some farm fresh milk and it was yummy. It didn't taste a whole lot different just definitely more fresh. I read an article that outlined the requirements for each type of farm. It seems that milk production is heavily regulated and this makes me feel a bit more safe about the milk options. I did find that the cheese blocks are not much more expensive so I will buy organic cheeses.
2. We will begin purchasing organic fruits and vegetables unless they are just rediculously more expensive, which I have not found to be the case yet. Since this is the bulk of what we are going to be eating I would like for it to be as healthy as possible. Also, I think they taste much better.
3. If it can be made from scratch (reasonably) I want to learn how and start doing it. This will give me more time in the kitchen with the kids and feed my family meals that are fresh and that we hand prepare.
4. We have already cut all HFCS over a year or so ago. I am going to research other sweeteners and sugars and cut as much as possible.
5. We will start using the 5 ingredient rule and not purchase items with more than 5 ingredients. This is difficult...vegetable chips, triscuits, and homemade granola are the only snack items we are eating now.
6. I want to research what all preservative names are, learn to recognize them in ingredient lists, and avoid as much as possible.
7. We will buy only "whole" type flours, bread, grains etc...
8. If I am torn between buying organic v/s non-organic and the price is not much different I will go ahead and buy organic. If the price difference is substantial I probably will not buy organic until I research it further...
9. So far I have bought organic chicken twice, sausage that had 7 ingredients in it...we just don't eat much meat. I haven't figured out what we are going to do on meat yet...but I do know that we can't afford to buy local meats...at least I don't think so because I haven't looked into it much.

There are a lot more things to think about changing to get closer to a real food lifestyle but honestly I haven't even had time to digest all of the information I have floating around in my head. This is just the beginning of getting it all out.

I am not a nutritionist or any other food expert. The information I share here is based solely on my personal research, experience, and opinions. You are the only one who can decide what is healthy or not healthy for you and your family.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Garrett - 9 months

I can't believe my baby is three quarters of a year now...wow. I thought time moved fast before it is really flying by now. I feel like January was just yesterday. Garrett finally started sitting up. He seems to be accomplishing that a tad bit late. But, he was born 6 weeks early so who knows what schedule he will be on. In terms of size he has become a bit of a chunker. He weighs around 22 lbs. We go to the doc on Monday so I will have stats then. He loves the the safe feeder (I have the Munchkin brand). Braedon and Kaley never liked it but I tried it with Garrett and he loves it. I have put lots of different foods in it and he goes to town. He is almost sleeping through the night now. He is not eating anymore at night but he wakes up a few times and just needs his pacifier. I would start letting him settle himself except he is in our room and I don't want him to wake my husband. Here are some pictures of my sweet boy!

Previous posts:
8 months
7 months
6 months
5 months
4 months
3 months
2 months
1 month

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Real Food - Series Introduction

Our family has been in need of a major overhaul in our eating habits for quite some time now. I am convicted that I have been using the excuse of not having the time to plan and prepare healthy meals for my family. I do have three small children (4 and under) but time is never the problem...It is always priorities. When I started to think about it, I asked myself why in the world I wouldn't prioritize feeding my family healthy foods. I realized that I have been in "shut down" mode when it comes to meals for a couple of different reasons.

1. How in the world do I really plan healthy meals. It is very difficult to even tell what healthy is these days.
2. The cooking role in our home has been confused because my husband is a chef and he handles all of the food prep.

Right about now most of you are thinking of how blessed and lucky I am because of number 2. I am very blessed and extremely grateful to have a chef for a husband. But, as a wife, mother, and a maker of my home, I feel convicted that I need to handle the meals at home. For so long, I thought I was blessing my husband by not really asking him to cook but just asking him to put whatever together for us for dinner. After being in the kitchen at work all day, there isn't much creative energy left. So, the "whatever" really is sometimes "whatever" and a lot of times fast food. I have so enjoyed not having to worry about dinner for so long but now is the time I need to start worrying about it. And, the bigger blessing to my husband is for him to not have to worry about dinner (at least not at home)!

I considered several different meal plan subscriptions. They just didn't appeal to me very much. Then, I ran across 100 Days of Real Food. I wondered what all the buzz about real food was...then I found out. Here begins our adventure with real food.

This is an introduction to a real food series I will be posting in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for:
-What I have learned about real food and changes I am preparing to or have made
-Theories I have about my family's eating patterns and how I think they will change
-Shopping at a whole foods store
-First week of trying a 100 Days of Real Food meal plan
-My take on Jamabalaya
and quite possibly more...

I am not a nutritionist. The information I provide in this series is strictly my personal research, experience, and opinion. You are the best judge of what is or isn't healthy for your family.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Multitudes on Mondays (176-200)

A little late this week. Better late than never! Here I go, continuing to count my gifts:
176. He is risen, He is risen indeed!
177. Seven wonderful years with the love of my life and the man of my dreams
178. Wonderful opportunity to wine and dine with my favorite person while celebrating #177
179. Learning to cook from scratch (some)
180. A chef for a husband but also supports me in the kitchen
181. Eating healthier (Braedon actually ate all the colors of the rainbow today)
182. The gentle guidance God gives me to get my priorities back in line
183. A few successful (full) night's of sleep by my 8.5 month old
184. The ease of research with so much information available
185. The wonderful people who babysit our children
186. Free TV waves and the antennas that pick them up
187. A husband who looks for ways to cut costs (even involving the TV)
188. Serving my family
189. Exercise
190. Water
191. Goodwill and consignment sales
192. Shopping with my hubby to learn what styles he likes to see me in
193. Hubby's patience (in #192)
194. Naps with Braedon
195. God fulfills every need
196. A new sense of the God-given authority I have over my children
197. Implementing #196 with grace
198. Braedon bringing me an empty liter water bottle and a nerf ball asking to play baseball...innovative 4 year old!
199. The plastic bat and ball we got him because of #198 and that he can actually hit some
200. Kaley's words (ockle=tickle, yeyo=yellow)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Walk for Life

The Walk for Life benefiting Cobb Pregnancy Services (CPS) was this past weekend. After seriously vicious storms on Friday night, Saturday morning was as beautiful of a morning (although wet) as it could be. Praise God! It was a very pretty 3 mile walk with georgous houses, flowers and trees. I was also blessed to be able to walk with a couple of good friends and have some good conversation.

I am very grateful for the prayers and monetary support for CPS as a result of my participating in the walk. I am honored and humbled to support a ministry that is so passionate about defending precious lives. If you are still interested in supporting this ministry there are a list of ways you can do so on their website under the "take action" tab.

This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live. Deuteronomy 30:19

Monday, April 18, 2011

Multitudes on Mondays (151-175)

151. The fact that I have been able to post this consistently for 7 weeks now
152. Simple life that moves slower instead of faster
152. Music that reminds me to cherish precious time
153. Our God is greater...
154. Wonderful Palm Sunday worship service at church
155. Sweet reminder that Jesus died to set me free and can overcome ANYthing I am struggling with
156. 3 mile walk with great friends to support CPS
157. Resurrection Eggs
158. Watching a friend's sweet child dancing and not being able to sit still during adult worship
159. Braedon actually danced during kid worship (still encouraging him to sing and dance)
160. Kaley wearing pink sparkly shoes with a blue dress and that they were cute enough to not worry about the colors matching
161. Weather mild enough not to run the heat or air conditioning
162. Everyone's safety during yet another severe storm (which we were out in) this past weekend
163. My bosses generosity
164. Prayer and monetary support for crisis pregnancy centers
165. The second night ever that Garrett has slept all the way through (and he is 8/12 months)
166. Sharing homemade granola bars on a few occassions and they are a big hit...recipe from kitchenstewardship
167. Braedon becoming more social (breaking out of his shell that he seems to be in everywhere else except home)
168. Kaley counting to 5...one, two, seven, eight, nine (too cute)
169. Spiritual growth
170. Ultimate Blog Party at 5minutesformom
171. Meeting new bloggers from above (now if only I had time to keep up with them)
172. Winning a prize from #170 (a custom crochet hat, not sure if I will get one for myself or for Kaley) from CaliCreations
173. People who aren't afraid to be "real", sharing, learning, and growing together
174. Garrett is constantly verbal now raising the volume level once again in our house but I wouldn't want it any other way
175. Local libraries were not closed as originally suggested by the county because of budget cuts

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Rainbow Rice Party

My neices were over this weekend and we added more colored rice to the easter sensory bin. All of the kids loved playing with it and they took turns pouring rice on each other. At one point, I completely lost control of the situation and all four of them poured rice over my head. We had the silliest time but hopefully made some fun, playful memories for my children and my neices.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Butterfly Release

We purchased caterpillars this year. It was so fun watching them grow and eventually become butterflies. We kept the butterflies inside for a couple of weeks because it was not warm enough outside to let them go. The butterflies mated and then we ended up with more caterpillars. Well actually, we ended up with just one more caterpillar.

We also made a caterpillar craft and colored a picture of a butterfly.

As soon as it was warm enough we were eager to let the butterflies go but then found out my neices were coming over the next day. So, we held it off for one more day because I knew they would really enjoy it too. I am so glad the timing worked out and we got to share it with them.

The butterflies sort of hopped out of the habitat before they actually flew away. It looks like Braedon was trying to grab one of them.