Monday, November 26, 2012

A day of Christmas FUN!

Oh goodness, the second most favorite day, next to Christmas Eve/Day, is the day getting the house decorated for it!

I LOVE Christmas and celebrating Jesus' birth with my kids. It truly brings my heart great joy and a smile plastered on my face.

I like to do an entire day event, with little activities through out the day. Have I said this before... I love Christmas!!!

Here are some pics of our wonderful day!

Making some Christmas art

 Then making some cookies!

 And frosting them...

 and of course, eating them!

 Then comes listening to Trans Siberian Orchestra's Christmas album.... above all, my favorite.... and decorating the Christmas trees!

 This was my favorite part... last year I bought a mini tree for our table decor and this year they decorated their own little tree! We didn't have to be on top of them in fear of dropping and breaking (the mini ornaments were plastic) so they had fun doing it themselves. This will be a fun activity when we get bored, redecorating the tree! 

 And look at that master piece! 

 Today we did puff paint and made snow man art/decorations. The puff paint recipe is here: puff paint

 And of course, some snow man decorations!!

 Last but not least, our trees!! We tried them in a line this year because we had more room, and they are more out of the way for running in circles. I love them! 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Pumpkin fun

Almost 3 weeks after Halloween, we still had those little pumpkins from the YMCA party. I thought, what should we do with them? I didn't want to throw perfectly good, not rotten pumpkins away. 

So we had a little fun with them for a couple days before getting rid of them. Well, actually, I think they are still on our porch! Ha!

Pumpkin bowling
They had a little too much fun throwing the pumpkins so I thought, lets contain that excitement and aim it at a certain object, not randomly while hitting each other. This was a hit and a blast!

 I know many of you paint your pumpkins for the actual holiday, but they were already decorated, so why not? It was so cold the next couple day that the paint chipped off by itself leaving a chipped paint mess on our porch. Tip: bring them inside, or throw them out. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Our Thankful Tree

I thought today would be a perfect time to share this fun activity with you all. It piggy backs off what our pastor talked about this morning and making a list of things you are thankful for. He challenged us to write down 5 things we are thankful for, everyday for 3 weeks. 

1 Thes 5:18 "in everything give thanks, for this is God's will for your life in Christ Jesus."

It's surprising how your perspective changes when you think about all the great blessings in your life. Our pastor talked about how our attitude can change when we think this way, and lets just say... I probably need an attitude change. But don't we all?

He talked about Corrie Tenboom and her sister, Betsy. They were captured during the rise of Hitler and sent to a concentration camp. Betsy reminded Corrie of the verse they had just read before being captured. It said to be thankful in everything, because that is the will of God for your life. Betsy went onto to tell Corrie they needed to be thankful for the flea infested barrack they were forced to live in. Corrie couldn't believe what she was hearing. How could she be thankful for such a thing? At the end of this chapter, they found out why the guards didn't go near the women forced to live in this specific barrack and torture them. It was because it was infested with those very same fleas Corrie couldn't be thankful for. Oh, God does have a plan and will for our lives, and being thankful is so very much apart of it! 

1 Thes 5:18 "in everything give thanks, for this is God's will for your life in Christ Jesus." 

Two weeks ago I started our Thankful Tree. I took a branch from outside and everyday we have written down, on paper leaves, 3-4 things we are thankful for. Then we hang them up for all of to see everyday. During that time, we (Nevaeh and I, Gray kinda listens) talk about being thankful. 

It has been a wonderful time and it's so great to see into the mind of a 3 year old and what she is thankful for. 

1 Thes 5:18 "in everything give thanks, for this is God's will for your life in Christ Jesus."

It's not as full as it is right now. This was at the beginning of the 2 weeks. 

1 Thes 5:18 "in everything give thanks, for this is God's will for your life in Christ Jesus."

Friday, November 16, 2012

Parmesan Tomato Basil Soup

I'm not a soup person and neither is my husband. We both would rather have something chewable and hearty. I know, weird, but it's true.

This soup, however, was so delicious even my husband said it one of the better meals that I make. THAT is saying something because it's meatless. Jason is a meat guy. What guy isn't? Well, the vegetarian men, obviously, but Jason is a truly a meat guy. If it doesn't have meat, it's written off before he tries it.

I haven't changed his mind on the no-meat meals, but he likes this one enough to add to the recipe box! YES! I am always looking for meatless meals to save money, and eat a little healthier.

This soup is a really, really delicious soup. Add to the list that it is a crock pot soup! DOUBLE BONUS!

Here is the recipe I followed, but I changed it up a little bit: Parmesan Tomato Basil Soup

Here is my recipe I changed for our family. It was still so very good.

1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes, with juice
1 baggie of frozen tomatoes I had frozen
1 cup finely diced celery
1 cup finely diced carrots
1 cup finely diced onions
1 tsp dried oregano 
1 T dried basil 
4 cups chicken broth
1 tsp dry bay leaves
½ cup flour
1 cup Parmesan cheese
½ cup butter
1 1/2 cups of warmed evaporated milk***** the biggest change. It saves a lot of calories and fat.
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper


1. Add tomatoes, celery, carrots, chicken broth, onions, oregano, basil, and bay leaf to a large slow cooker.

2. Cover and cook on LOW for 5-7 hours, until flavors are blended and vegetables are soft.

3. About 30 minutes before serving prepare a roux. Melt butter over low heat in a skillet and add flour. Stir constantly with a whisk for 3 minutes. Slowly add the roux to the crock pot stirring constantly. Stir and add the Parmesan cheese, warmed evap milk, salt and pepper. Add additional basil and oregano if needed (the slow cooker does a number on spices and they get bland over time, so don't be afraid to always season to taste at the end). 

4. Cover and cook on LOW for another 30 minutes or so until ready to serve.


Monday, November 12, 2012

sensory overload


Pinterest, how I adore thee. 

I have so many great kid activities on Pinterest that I figured I should start to actually do some of them! 

I found a blog called Play Create Explore with over a 100 ideas for kids to do. Click here to explore all the wonderful hands on fun! 

That is where I found this fabulous activity. 

Pretend baking with REAL food! It actually was such a blast! The mess, also, wasn't that bad at all. Easy peezy lemon squeeze-y. 

As you all know, I love to bake and I love to have my kids join in on the enjoyable experience of baking. So this was such an excellent way for them to really get involved with the utensils and ingredients! 

Shameless plug/huge favor here: would you all be willing to click on the ad below this post? You don't even have to look at the website, just click and exit. But it would help me raise money for the blog and activities I do. You can do it every time you check out the blog, or a couple times, but anything would help. Thanks!!!

Cookin' kid style!
set up:

 With Gray's I didn't give him water but just dry ingredients. 

 I gave Nevaeh a little water and she made cookies! We even put them in the oven (off of course).

They had so much fun and enjoyed themselves for a half our at least. The mess, again, was not that bad. The biggest thing was the dishes that needed to be done and next time, I will get them to help with those as well!

Here are a couple tips: with younger kids than 18months do just dry pasta big or beans. No powder, also you will need to supervise a lot more with younger kids.

Older kids can do this on their own and even at the counter at some point. She did such a good job that I'm going to try and give Nevaeh exact amounts of ingredients and have her actually make cookies.

 We also played in a sensory bin today! I didn't realize rocks could be so entertaining, but they played for an hour waiting for daddy to get home. It was bliss! 

A great soup recipe coming soon. Jason, who doesn't like anything without meat, said it's pretty darn good! That's a keeper for sure.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Fall activities

Well, Fall is almost gone. I don't specifically know the first day of winter but I'm sure almost a month to Christmas, I can say Fall is close to ending.

I haven't done as many craft things with 2 kids this year. Gray doesn't sit very long and Nevaeh could sit for hours doing one thing... but with me beside her. She loves to do things with me, but with Gray running around and into things, I can't sit as long as she would like.

These couple ideas I thought of while at the 'dollar store'. I go there to find inspiration, if you will, for activities. For a buck, it seems worth it to get some art done, keeping attention, and for just plain fun!

Making leaf turkeys. I bought a pack of leaves (usually we would use real leaves, but these don't crumble after drying) and they glued them and we decorated!

 They also had a HUGE pack of foam leaf stickers. I drew a tree and they stickered! Have I told you how much they love stickers??

 Eventually, making a mess and playing with them was a lot more fun.

One activity they like doing is looking out the window. We have a couple squirrels nests and so we have a lot of squirrels rummaging our backyard.

Once I was sitting against the tree and and squirrel came down right next to me. I mean it could literally reach out and touch me... that's a whole other story though. Let's just say I was inside before I could say squirrel. 

Anywho's....Window clings! This was a great fun for both of them!! If the clings accidentally tore, I just told the kids to put it back together like a puzzle. So, within minutes  ;)  , they had puzzle window clings! 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

ballerina and fireman

We had some fun at the YMCA free fun night with our friends Lilly and Nora! 

Nevaeh the purple ballerina, and Gray the fireman! 

 The 3 ballerinas! This was not planned and I have no idea what Lilly and Nora were doing. Lol!