Monday, July 30, 2012

Pet Monster Rocks

A few weeks ago we took a drive up Little Cottonwood Canyon.  We found the river and let the kids choose rocks to bring home.

The next day we painted them.  I think this was Stan's first time painting.  He loved it.

The following morning we glued eyes on them and sprayed them with a clear varnish.

I love projects that take days, it means I don't have to come up with something new to keep them entertained.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Repeat After Me

This is what I am trying to tell myself everyday:

If printing this out and sticking it on your mirror will help you, just click on the image to get a printable PDF version.  I think I need one in every room of my house and taped to every computer screen.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Dinosaur Footprint Cookies

A little while ago I saw this blog post with dinosaur footprint cookies.  I knew this was the perfect activity for my dino obsessed three-year-old.  I didn't want to use the recipe on the site because it used and entire cup of butter.  Somehow I got it in my head that I needed cream cheese in the cookie dough.  I gave a shout out on FB looking for a good sugar cookie recipe with cream cheese.  My friend Ginger came through.  The recipe I used can be found here.

So we set about making the cookies and I let the boys stamp them with their dinosaurs (after we washed them, of course.)

You can tell Stan's work because his dinos had a tendency to stomp while Kimball's were a little more artistic.

I didn't take a picture of the final cookies because they spread out and you couldn't really see the footprints.  Kimball just pretended to be a paleontologist and used a discerning eye.  The other recipe might have produced a better footprints but these were DELICIOUS!  I ate most of them for breakfast the next day.  :)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Picture Scavenger Hunt

See if you can find the following in Kimball's latest artistic work:

  1. A Daddy.
  2. A Big Brother.
  3. A Little Brother.
  4. A Mommy, with long hair and "boobies to feed the new baby".  Please note the Mommy is sad.  It's best not to ask why.
  5. A New Baby.  The new baby is also sad but that is because "the doctor is fixing it"--translation: being delivered in the hospital.  (Do you think he has any memory of the trauma of it?)
  6. A door.
  7. A triangle window.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Weekly Meal Think

I will be 15 weeks pregnant this week and I am finally able to start thinking about cooking again.  Yea!!

So here is what I am thinking about making this week:

  • Cashew Chicken.  I have some celery and mushrooms that need to be used up.  I think I'll make it with chicken thighs since I found some on managers special for $0.71 per pound.  Woot!
  • Pasta with Sausage and Pumpkin Sauce.  This is a Rachel Ray recipe that we love.  I've simplified it a bit for us, but it's really good.
  • Chicken Enchiladas.
  • "Best Chicken in the World" with sweet potato fries on the side.  This is new recipe that I saw on Pinterest want to try. 
  • Homemade Pizza.
I should also be able to put away a few freezer meals as I can freeze the extra Sausage and Pumpkin Sauce and the enchiladas make a ton.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Healthy Chocolate Chunk Zucchini Muffins

The other day a friend gave me some zucchini.  I thought about using it for meal or a side dish like in this, but I knew all the boys in my house would prefer chocolate.  I used the recipe here as a starting point and then made some substitutions to make them a bit more healthy.  These were so delicious that they didn't last long. Now I need to make a second batch.

Healthy Chocolate Zucchini Muffins/Bread

1 c. whole wheat flour
1 1/2 c. white flour
1/2 c. cocoa
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
1 1/2 c. sugar
3 eggs
1/2 c. oil
1/2 c. applesauce
2 t. vanilla
2 c. shredded zucchini
1 c. chocolate chunks

Mix dry ingredients together.  Mix wet ingredients together.  Combine the two mixes.  Bake at 350 in muffin tins or bread pans until an inserted tooth pick comes clean.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Road Tripping with Toddlers

On Sunday we returned from our family vacation to Montana.  We had a great time.  It was our first long road trip with the kids and I might have gotten a little frantic preparing.  Might have.

I was worried about the kids having to be in the car for a 12 hour road trip to Glacier National Park.  That was our original plan.  Our trip, however, was delayed after my husband's great-uncle passed away.  We stayed in town for the funeral and skipped Glacier.  The rest of the trip was spent in Bozeman and Missoula. So the driving part was a little shorter than expected.

In any event, I spent a lot of time preparing and I do believe that my efforts payed off.  I reviewed a few blog posts for ideas.  Like this one and this one.  Here's what worked:

1.  How to avoid the "Are we there yet?" syndrome.

Toddlers have no concept of time.  Maybe you've noticed.  Saying that we are three hours away or even a half hour means nothing.  So I made this felt road and little stuffed van.  We advanced the car according to travel time.  When we were half way there the car was half way down the road.  I just used pins to tack the road and the car to the ceiling above the sun visors.  Kimball loved it.  He might not let me take it down.  Of course instead of asking "Are we there yet?" he just kept telling me to "Move the van" as if that would get us to our destination faster.

2.  Presents and baskets.

I took the advice of one blogger and bought dollar store presents for the kids and wrapped them.  (Of course if I had called my sister she would have given me the same idea because she's smart like that.)  I used the presents as incentives for good behavior and to keep the kids occupied so Bryce and I could listen to our book on tape.

That same blogger also suggested using baskets to keep things handy.  I bought three baskets at the dollar store.  Two had treats and one held the presents.  The baskets may actually become a permanent fixture in my van because they were great at keeping things tidy and accessible.

3.  Be willing to make unplanned stops.

This piece of advice is my own.  My husband and I like checking out stuff we happen to see as we are driving.  It makes for a bit of an adventure.  On our way up, we stopped at Bear World outside Rigby, Idaho.  It wasn't on the itinerary, but it was one of the funnest things we did.  They had kiddie rides, a petting zoo and, of course, a drive though a bear park.  I totally recommend it!

Any other useful ideas for road trips?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Make Your Own Maternity Clothes

I don't (or didn't) have nearly enough maternity clothes.  After seeing this post on making your own clothes I decided to give it a try.  I also used this post as a reference.

So far I have done two capris, a pair of jeans and a skirt.  The skirt is by far my favorite and the only one I took pictures of.  The process is pretty easy.

1.  Cut off the waist band.  I just left the zipper in place, but I took the zippers off on some of the pants.

2.  Use a tight shirt and cut off enough  for a band.  This band is huge but I like to double it over.  Half of the shirt would have been plenty.

3.  Pin the shirt and the skirt/pants together and sew.

It's that simple.  Sorry I don't have a picture of the finished product, but I don't like taking pictures of my lumpy belly.  Be assured it looks great.

Now a few thoughts on doing this for pants.  Don't use jeans that are stretchy or tight.  Why?  Because they don't stay up.  It's annoying.  The jeans I made are cute but will have to go to my skinnier sister.  Also, I used some old tanks for the jeans that were not very study and they just ripped apart.  I am trying to add an elastic waist band to one pair to keep them up.  We'll see how that goes.

In any event, the skirt was a raving success.  And my nice hubby gave me a gift card to a maternity store for mother's day.  Between the few things I've made, my new stuff and the generosity of my sister loaning me hers, I think I will make it through the summer without looking like the frumpy mom I am.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Summer Hair Cuts

Last week I gave the boys summer hair cuts.  After a bath to wash away all the hair they had popsicles on the steps outside.  Love those two monkeys!


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