Sunday, February 26, 2012

Alphabet fun!

I started to do weekly letter learning with nevaeh last week. Of course, we started with the A!

We did animal letter making, practicing and sounds.

Here are some of the activities we did!

ps- I'm hoping to get my bread adventure up soon, my pics won't load!

the "alligator A" 

 Then she practiced tracing her A's. 

 We started an alphabet book. She would practice her A's, then we looked through magazines to find any and glued them.  ( I ask you that you please make sure it's not a celebrity mag or something. Do little kids need to see that?? I used food mags and midwest living.) 

 Then on a different day we made aliens out of toilet paper tubes. We did aliens because they start with the letter A! So she practiced writing her A's a couple times through out the week, and also we practiced the sound with alligator and alien. We had a lot of fun! 
I can't wait for the B!

Here are some cellphone captures! 

 her first real dentist appointment and she did AMAZING! 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

finally fish!

I know what you are thinking right now.... FINALLY! Lol, probably not, but I am kinda relieved to finally get these recipes to you. They are so good.

Let me start out by saying I am not a big fish fan, well I wasn't anyways. Not because of the fishy taste, but mostly because of tape worm. Side note: I can not watch tv shows about almost anything like bugs, infestations, or diseases without getting paranoid about it. It's kinda like that new diagnosis where people look up symptoms online and think they have the worst thing possible. That's me, except with tv shows. 

Anywho's, I watched a show about tape worm and how people get tape worm from fish. It's not common and mostly from fresh fish that is not cooked properly. So lets just say, while we were in Alaska, my plate of fish was dissected before it went anywhere near my mouth ( I don't even know if you can see a tape worm). 

While in Alaska, we had the most amazing tasting fish possible. It was so good that we want to go back just to eat fish. So when we got back to Iowa I added fish to the menu. I chose Tialpia... I heard that it was the easiest and less fishy-tasting fish to cook. 

These are three recipes that have been a hit. Bon Appetite! 

Grilled Tilapia Po-Boys  (I use broiler)

What you will need:
Tilapia fillets
olive oil for brushing
1/4 tsp. salt, preferable kosher salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1-2 loaves french bread
beefsteak tomatoe
romain lettuce
tar-tar sauce

-Preheat broiler (high/top broiler), line baking sheet with foil
-brush fillets with oil, season with salt and pepper- both sides
-cut bread, I dig a little bread out of the middle so the fish stays on the sandwich. They are slippery little
        suckers. Toast bread by putting it under the broiler for a little bit.
-Broil fish until done, turning once with 3 minutes on each side. It will be white and opaque in the 
-Prepare sandwiches! (I make homemade tar-tar sauce. 1/2 cup Mayo, 2 tb. sweet relish,  1 1/2 tsp. 
        lemon juice, 1/4 tsp garlic powder. Mix together.)

Fried Tilapia

What you will need:
oil, I use olive
2 eggs
1-2 cups flour
3 tbs. any seasoning, I use a smoked hickory

-Preheat non-stick pan on medium high heat, not high. Do not add oil.
-combine flour and seasoning in one flat container and stir eggs in another
-clean tilapia with water
-dip into eggs then flour seasoning, shake off extra flour
-dip back into eggs then back into flour seasoning. 
-add oil to hot pan. You know when oil is ready when it sizzle just a little when adding fish. I drop
      some flour into the oil to see if it sizzle before hand.
-fry on each side for 3 minutes.

Asian Tilapia  Picture with this one! 

Sorry for the not so great photo. I forgot to take pics of my plate before eating it.

What you will need:
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tbs. sugar
3 large cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbs lemon juice, can you lime too.
1/4 tsp. ginger powder
1/4 tsp. chili powder

-preheat high/top broiler
- combine everything except fillets in large baking dish. Fish need to be laid in a single layer
-add fish- coat it all in sauce
-marinade for 20 minutes
-broil for 10 minutes or so
-if juices in pan appear to burn- add water in that spot. 

These recipes are so easy to do with little ones running around because there is hardly any prep, and fish take very little time to cook. They are so good and I hope you enjoy them! My freezing food adventures are coming up soon! :) 


Thursday, February 16, 2012

more fun!

I wanted to share some more fun activities. I promise my recipes will come sooner than later (because I know you are dying to know some! :)  ) 

If you all haven't heard of busy bags, stop reading and google it. Ok, well maybe wait until you're done reading... ;) Busy bags are another great invention, and my life group had a busy bag swap. 
This is one of them. 

Dye the pasta using rubbing alcohol and food coloring. Then tie one of the string with a round washer and the other with a short pipe cleaner. That way, when they are done wearing it, it makes it easier to untie and reuse! 

Nevaeh played over an hour with them. 

 The other is a homemade i-spy jar. Easy enough, just add little things and then rice. Gray has even enjoyed looking and playing with this. Tip: coins don't work to well. Those are the only things we can not find! 

 What I did was take pictures of the items on my phone so I would have them when we go places. She knows how to swipe between pictures so it makes a great restaurant toy, or basketball game toy. 

I really hope to get those fish recipes up soon, but I keep finding some great activities to do with my kids. 

Another fun crazy-energy reducer we do is our balloon game! Just blow up a balloon and don't let it hit the floor. Soooo easy, but the kids looooooove it!

Have a good friday!

Monday, February 13, 2012

soap foam- a wonderful creation!

Ok, I don't mind when kids get messy. I like going outside and seeing them get mud in their hair, sand in their toes, and worms in their hands. It's inevitable that kids get dirty.

Buuuut, when it's indoors and I have to clean up the mess, I'm a little neurotic about it. We did the cloud dough a month back, (flour and baby oil, I didn't post it) and it was a blast. Nevaeh, though, didn't understand that when she shook her hands to rid herself of the 'dirty-ness' (her word) the cloud dough went EVERYWHERE. Behind the couch, under the rug, and in peanuts kennel.

Today I found a WONDERFUL indoor activity. Can I say it's wonderful again? Yeah? ok, it's WONDERFUL!

Soap Foam. Seen on Pinterest, I had to try it.

Take equal parts dish soap and water,
 put into a blender or food processor and 
 blend until thick and foamy! 

You can experiment with the amounts,
I believe that is what I put in. 

 This is WONDERFUL (ok, I'm done) because it's SOAP! If it gets anywhere, everywhere, you just wipe it off and that spot is clean. 

 I. Love. It. very much! 

Nevaeh played with it for an hour. She would have kept going if it she didn't start shivering (she was nakie). Then we hopped into the bath tub and had fun washing her off with bubbles in there. 

We also added paint to make it pink. 

I also have to share this with you! I'm so proud of this. Nevaeh hasn't been into writing. She still isn't really.

A while back, we bought a writing activity work book at Sam's. It just has fun pages that you trace lines and it goes onto tracing shapes, then curves and even letters and numbers. We have been randomly doing these sheets for a while and she has never really gotten the point of staying on the line. She really likes making circles.

But I tried this, this morning and she did it the first time! I just made me own template for straight and diagonal lines. She didn't need any help!

Some yummy Talipia recipes coming soon!!! 
Have a wonderful Monday.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

cookie bars = obsession

I love to bake. I know, it's kinda opposite of my love for working out but I think I started working out so I could eat what I bake.

Recently, I have started baking a lot more. Anything. Everything. Yummy!

But cookies are kinda a long process with kids around. I don't have time to get up every 8 minutes to take cookies out, put more cookies in and entertain my son who thinks its lunch time, EVERY time we walk into the kitchen.

So I have become obsessed with making cookie bars instead. So easy. So good! I came up with an amazing choco-chip cookie bar recipe... but that's not what I'm going to share today.

Today is a sugar cookie bar recipe that I found and added my own touch for v-day and our fun party tomorrow.

For the cookie bars:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking soda

-Mix the butter and sugar until fluffy
-add the eggs one at a time
-Mix in the vanilla
-Combine the flour, salt and soda and add to wet ingredients. Mix just until blended, do not over mix. 
-grease a 13x18 inch baking sheet and spread the dough onto the sheet. It will be like cookie dough, sticky.
-375 degrees for 10-15 minutes, until golden brown.

Once done, and cooled, I took a cookie cutter and cut out heart shapes.

 It was actually very easy and A LOT quicker than sugar cookies. 

Then frost. mmm...mmm... I used a basic butter cream frosting. 
For the frosting:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/4 cup. milk
Food coloring (optional, I made it pink)

 With the left over chunks I made a truffle-ish thing. I also used the left over choco cake chunks that i froze from the kids birthday partay. Ignore the christmas mnm's, they were 50 cents onsale after christmas so instead of choco-chips i have been using those!  

Tomorrow is a little party a life-group lady decided to throw for the kiddos. Those heart sugar cookie bars are the v-day gift. I'm excited, should be fun!

Happy valentines day everyone. Please remember, God's love is what counts!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

valentines card

The day of love.

The day of lets-celebrate-my-significant-other-only-on-this-day.

The day of chocolate and roses. 

Valentines day.

I don't mind valentines day. I really don't. I mean, I wouldn't mind a single rose and some chocolate, or a cute present from my kids, even a simple card *wink, wink*.  :) Jason wrote me a beautiful poem for Christmas, so hinting at something is probably a no-need. 

Anywho's, but I don't want Nevaeh to think the only love out there is a worldly love. The most important love in this world is God's love. That's what we have been focusing on this week. 

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, He gave His one and only son that whoever believed in Him will not perish but have eternal life. 

After reading this verse, we made some cards for our family. 

Cut out a heart. Fill a dropper with paint and make drops on only half the heart.

 Fold in half and spread the paint around.

 And viola, really fun, easy cards for valentines!

 Here are some fun pics of the last week! Enjoy! 
Making a castle. Gray was a dragon knocking down the building. 

 I just like peanut in this one!

 snow time!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Deja vu

NEVER, NEVER in my wildest dreams did I think I would have to go through this again.....

Please, let me take you back to 2009. Click on this link and reminisce with me.

Ok, back to the present....

This is what I walked into today. It about made me want barf all over, the stench was mind blowing, and then the flash back came. 


It was everywhere! 


but of course I had to take pictures and share with you all...

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Feb 4, 2009

Feb. 4 2009 I started this amazing adventure with Nevaeh. At 1:58 on a Wednesday, Nevaeh Grace was born, weighing 7lbs1oz.

On Feb 4 my sweet, precious and crazy girl sat in my arms and, like every new mom, I was scared. I wasn't ready to be a mom, but God definitely knew what he was doing. Giving me Nevaeh first has been such a blessing, and she was such an easy baby. Now, I can't believe I was ever scared and not wanting to be a mom.

Nevaeh is my daughter, my friend... my shadow. I'm tearing up just thinking about these last 3 years. It has gone by so fast. And I am so glad I took so many pictures. I love how I can look back on every moment, because they are already gone!

So here is a timeline of photos...
1-2 months

 Easter 2009: 2 1/2 months

 4 months

 4 months


 1 year!

 18 months

 18-20 months

 2 years!

 And then I jumped a whole year: today on her birthday!
Happy Birthday my sweet, sweet girl! 
On pinterest, I saw to add a bunch of balloons to the childs room before they woke. She loved it! So did Gray! It was a blast.

 Her princess' new dress. 

 I will embarrass myself right now for the sake of neveah. I know when she gets older, there will be at least once that I will embarrass her. Us in our pj's looking just great **sarcastic** eating cupcakes for breakfast, yum! 

Nevaeh and daddy playing a new game!

Nevaeh is so smart. I'm sure every mom says the same thing about their kids, and I am no exception. She knows 1+1 ( I haven't taught her that) and can do a 50 piece puzzle, never seen before, in 10 minutes. She knows dinosaur names, and that a killer whale is actually an Orca. She can say many words in spanish, and now can count to three in french as well.

She is such a caring, sweet girl. Just last night, at the b-ball game, I was taking her to the bathroom and the whole way she sang to me, "I love my mommy."

Her favorite bible stories are still Noah's Ark, Jonah and the whale, and baby moses/baby Jesus.

She has started to love princesses, even though she hasn't seen but one princess movie.

She has memorized many verses:
Gen 1:1
Col 3:20
Phil 2:14
1 John 4:19
Matt. 22:37
Luke 12:34
here is video of her reaction to the balloons.

Nevaeh Grace Karaidos, you makes my days crazy, but fun. I love you and pray that you grow up to have a heart and love for God. He is real, my precious daughter, and loves you more than you can imagine. He made you in His image and He thinks you are beyond beautiful, valuable in every way and special beyond comprehension. Daddy and I pray for you everyday. We love you. 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Prayer can, doors, snow and check ups! busy, busy!

Every morning, during breakfast, Nevaeh, Gray and I pray for daddy and his day. Then we pray for our day. We never really prayed for others, which is something very important. So when I saw a prayer jar on pinterest, I thought that was a good idea to start doing. 

We don't have jars randomly around the house, but we have plenty of cans. I wrote as many of our family members as I could think of on pop-cycle sticks and then her friends, and their families, from church. 

So now every morning, we pray for daddy, our day and 2 others. It has been a good reminder to me as well to pray for others. 
She wanted green and dinosaurs. So ok, we did green and dinosaurs. 

 How can you not smile at this little miss?

Another thing we have started is labeling things in our house. This week was Door. Nevaeh helped me sound out the word to write on the card. Now when we open the door, I ask her to "read" the sign and sometimes spell the word. 

This can become a sight word and she will be able to read it. I have been trying it with "stop" on stop signs as well. 

When she first started spelling it, she said, "D- O's-R". So funny! She knew to say it plurally. She makes me smile. :)

 And then this is our first real snow fall! And Gray's first snow play! He loved it.

We also went to the doc this morning. He said we have some peanuts for kids. Nevaeh is 10th percentile in weight and 25th in height. Gray is 25th in both, but his head is 97th!!!! No wonder Nevaeh's pants never stay up and Gray's shirts won't go over his head. 

On Saturday is Nevaeh's birthday and Jason and I have some fun things up our sleeves!