Thank you for stopping by! Here you will find a variety of things as I post whatever happens to be going on in our home - recipes, crafts, homeschool, birthday parties, travels, meals in muffin tins and more! I'd love to know what you think so please feel free to leave comments!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

More Fun With Food

For lunch today, I decided to make some cute cheese bunnies that I saw as part of a bento featured on Epicute.com. The original source is Adventures in Bentomaking where there is a video on how she put the bento together and how she made the bunny. I've been wanting to break into bento for quite some time but I just haven't got around to ordering some bento boxes and some of the accessories that are useful in bento. So, for now, I usually just put the cute food on the kids' plates. One of these days, I'll get some proper boxes, but anytime I decide to start on a new venture like this, I end up getting ripped off in some way shape or form and that discourages me from going any further. Sometimes, I wish I lived in a larger area where stuff like this is more easily found. It would also be nice to find some of the more interesting fruits and veggies to include in out bento like lunches. Ah, well. We will make do with cute plates for now.

Anyhow, here is what I served the kids for lunch today:

We had peanut butter & blueberry fruit spread on blueberry bread, white cheese bunnies with bologna and nori for the details, a strawberry flower with celery stem and leaves, broccoli bushes, and blueberry easter eggs around the flower stem. It was abig hit with Laural but Micah just wanted to get down to the eating. Somedays, Micah eats like a bird and other days like today, his sandwich wasn't enough and he kept reaching out for his sister's sandwich. Since Micah won't touch the fruit or veggies, Laural traded a wedge of her sandwich for Micah's strawberry and celery. At least Micah gets fruit and veggies in the VFusion that he will drink.

I added a link of this post to a bento blog called Hapa Bento for a contest that is hosted there. She is one of my favorite bento makers so please go take a look!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Muffin Tin Monday... er, Tuesday

Theme: Blue/Purple
We have been crazy busy here over the past few days and I didn't get the chance to go out shopping to get blue or purple foods for this week's theme. So, we did that this morning/afternoon and had our muffin tin meal for dinner. Today, we did tins for 4 since the cousins were here for dinner. Our theme could easily be renamed Blueberry since most of the foods were blueberry flavored or based. Here is what we had:
Top Row: Blueberry Yogurt, Blueberry Edible Easter Grass Nest w/ M&M Eggs, Fresh Blueberries
Bottom Row: Blueberry Pom Applesauce, PB & Blueberry Jam on Blueberry Bread, Berry Blue Koolaid
All four tins were the same with the exception of Micah's drink which was milk in a blue sippy cup.

This was Austin & Kali's 1st Muffin Tin Meal experience and I think they enjoyed it.

Laural doesn't get koolaid real often, so she dove right in to that.

And Micah, well, he always gets into his meal, no matter what it is.

Head on over to the Muffin Tin Mom blog to see what other muffin tin delights were served around the world today!
Muffin Tin Mom

Monday, March 29, 2010

Cold Weather Strikes Again

We are back to chilly, wet weather here which means we have been inside most of the last couple of days. I am missing those warm sunny days and can't wait until we have them back again!

Today, Laural tried a couple of online games at a new website we found through a facebook ad - gameclassroom.com. There are several different types of games for grades K through 6. Laural seemed to enjoy it overall but most of the K games were a little too easy for her. The 1st grade games were a little better but the one that would have been the best for her for math was timed and seemed to go very fast, even on the slow level which only frustrated her. The game would have been perfect if it hadn't been timed. She also did some Hooked on Phonics work and tonight before bed, we spent some time looking at the moon and stars. We were able to see Saturn tonight! Tomorrow is reading, Spanish and we are going to do a little geography - we recently got a new USA puzzle and a wipe off states book. She's going to love those.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Happy Birthday Micah!

It's hard to believe that Micah turned 2 years old today! Where does the time go? Because things have been so busy lately, we aren't able to have a birthday party for him until later, so instead, we had a mini party for him, just the four of us. We gave him a few presents and had cupcakes and sang Happy Birthday to him. He knew what to do when it came to blowing out the candle though I wasn't holding it close enough at first. He really enjoyed his cupcake and had it all over himself before he was finished. Very cute. Hopefully, we will be able to have his party for the rest of the family soon. It seems that there is so much going on in the coming weeks, I just don't know when we will be able to have it!

It's just amazing to me that 2 years ago, he was rushed off to Children's Hospital where he would stay for 23 days. He was so sick and we were so worried. It's so amazing to think about how far he has come since those days. He went from bleak outlook to healthy and thriving little boy. God is awesome and he truly worked a miracle in my little boy's life!

March 28, 2008 - shortly after birth

Packed up and ready to be transported to Pittsburgh.

Needing support for a little while.

Newborn pic taken the day he left the hospital at 23 days old.

1st Birthday Photo

Almost 2 years old! (I'll replace this with a birthday pic once I get them on one of the computers.)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Playing Outside

With the recent warmer weather we've been having, Laural has been able to get outside a couple times to play. On both Monday and today, Laural played outside until dinner time with her cousins once they got out of school. I'm not sure what all they did out there but I did catch them playing with the little basketball hoop and hanging out in the play house. Laural told me that they were jumping off the slide and they played "Laural, the Great" as well. I really have no idea what "Laural, the Great" is, but I'm guessing it might be something Laural came up with.Here are a couple of quick snapshots of the kids on Monday. I took them real quick from the porch, so our lovely car is in each of the shots. :-)

Laural isn't so great with the slam dunk.

Hmmm... What next?

Making a break for the house!

Monday, March 22, 2010

My First Dandelion of Spring

Laural got to be outside today to play with her cousins after they got off the bus from school. It wasn't long before she came running in with a surprise present for me. A freshly picked dandelion! My heart sings with happiness when my sweet child stops what she is doing so she can pick me a flower. How I love her! ♥
I'm not sure what kind of dandelion this is, but it doesn't matter. It's mine. :)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Another Sign of Spring

I'm an easy going kind of girl. I try not to let things get to me, but right now, there is something in my kitchen that is driving me crazy and I really can't do much about it. Ants. Last year, we started getting those teeny little black ants in our house. I'm not a big fan of using dangerous chemicals in our home, so I tried a couple of more natural ways of eliminating them and near the end of summer and early fall, they seemed to be gone. With the warming of the weather, however, they seem to have found their way back onto my counter. This year, I am taking a more chemical appraoch to getting rid of them. They drove me nuts last summer so this year, I refuse to put up with them. Enter Terro. I went out last night and bought both indoor and outdoor treatments for these 6 legged pests. Steve sprinkled the Terro granules around the foundation this afternoon and I set out some Terro baits near where the little beggers seemed to be coming in. It took only minutes for them to find the baits and call their little buddies in.

It is driving me crazy seeing a little hoard of ants on my counter and having to let them be there so they will take the bait back to the nest and kill the others. I took this picture about 2 hours ago, not long after putting the baits out and they have already nearly eaten the entire puddle of bait. Hopefully, the combo of the indoor and outdoor baits will kill these things off and I can have an ant free home again. I've seen an ant or 2 in the past in my house but last year was the first time I actually had to admit to having ants. Yuck! This year, they will have only a very short stay.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Ahhh.... Spring is in the Air

And that, of course, means that it's time for McCullough's Ice Cream Shop to re-open for the season! Today was their first day open so we had to go get some of their yummy homemade ice cream. I told Laural that it would be opening two days ago and she has been keeping close track of the days and was extremely excited all day until it was finally time to go. Laural got a strawberry cone and I got a peanut butter fudge sundae made with chocolate peanut butter ripple ice cream for Micah and I to share. So good! It was a little chilly this evening but we still really enjoyed our first ice cream outing of the season. I think we will wait a few weeks, though, before we go back for more.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Baking Cookies

Laural and I made some cookies tonight - shamrocks for St. Patrick's Day tomorrow. Laural was very excited to use her kitty cat apron and her special smiley face utensils that she got for Christmas. 

First, we mixed up our sugar cookie dough.

Micah watched the show.

Then we rolled out our dough,

Cut out the heart shapes,

Baked our shamrocks,

Decorated with green buttercream and sprinkles,

Admired our finished product,

And finally, enjoyed the fruits of our labors.

We all had a lot of fun making our cookies. It was messy - both the making & eating, but well worth it. Tomorrow we are going to go out and deliver cookies to the Grandmas & Grandpas to spread a little St. Patrick's Day (cookie) cheer.

Knee High Nature

We tried something new today. The Knee High Nature program is for kids 2 to 5 at McKeever Environmental Center which is just up the road from our house. In the past, I haven't seen programs on their schedule for younger kids, so this was a nice surprise. It started with a little lecture about insects. The kids learned the different parts of an insect and one child dressed up in an insect costume. After that, we headed outside to walk on the trails to see if we could find any insects. It's still a bit early for most insects but we did manage to find some fireflies, a mayfly and some water skimmers on the creek. We also found a couple spiders and centipedes or millipedes. I'm not sure which they were so I suppose I better learn the difference.

Once we were done on the trail, we went back inside and the kids put together an insect puzzle, then they got to color an insect page.

Laural got to try on the bug costume before we left.

Unfortunately, there aren't anymore of these scheduled right now. I guess they weren't sure they would get much of a turnout so they didn't plan them for too far ahead. The girl who led the group, Stephanie, said she will try to plan some for toward the end of summer and into fall. I hope so. Laural really enjoyed it and made some new friends. One little girl in particular wanted to hold Laural's hand as they walked. Too cute.

I wish I would have remembered my camera. I had to take pics with my cell phone which isn't so great, actually. At least I was able to take some pics.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Muffin Tin Monday

Theme: Green!

We had fun making a lovely green themed muffin tin meal today. Friday, Laural and I went to the grocery store and I let her pick out the green foods that she wanted to have for our green lunch. Here is what we ended up with:
Top: Broccoli & Celery, Kiwi, Green Yogurt w/ Sprinkles
Bottom: Celery & Cukes, Green PB&J Pinwheels, Green Applesauce

For the green pb&j pinwheels, I mixed up some food color with a little bit of water and then painted regular flour tortillas. They were a big hit with both kids.

Micah really "gets into" his food!

And just for fun, here are some pics that were taken last weekend. After going through Easter Bunny Lane at Kraynak's, we came across the St. Patrick's Day stuff and tried some out. The results were rather silly!
My Shamrock Boy

Ready to hunt for gold at the end of the rainbow.

I even got in on the fun. I am one GIANT leprechan!

Do you think my mom should go with the green hair?

Anyhow, to see what kids around the country and around the world were having in their muffin tins today, click on the button below!
Muffin Tin Mom

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Getting Back to Normal

It seems that the major illness is finally leaving our house. We just have a little bit of the sniffles and coughs left to remind us of our nasty colds. So now, we just need to get back to some semblance of normalcy around here. Since the kids and I have been passing the sickies back and forth between us for the past 3 weeks, I've let a lot go. Let's face it, who wants to do laundry when you feel like you're going to drop any moment? Time for me to start playing catch up. My kitchen looks like a disaster. Mail has piled up, stuff needs put away and various refrigerator magnets need collected from the perimeter. I haven't made the kids pick up the toys in the living room in a couple of days because by the end of the day, all I wanted to do was get them into bed so I could get there too. It's been a couple of rough weeks, but I think it's just about time to make this house look normal again and that means a lot of cleaning! At least I'll be getting things done in time for Micah's birthday party in a couple weeks!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Still Sick

I really don't know what's going on with us right now. We just can't seem to get over this cold that we've had for nearly 3 weeks now. I guess we just keep sharing all our lovely viruses and germs. It started with stuffy noses and sore throats. Then, Laural and I both got croup. Micah seemed to avoid our croupiness until today. He's back to the coughing and sneezing with some really gross double snot rockets. Now, I can handle just about every bodily fluid my kids make me deal with but the snotty noses make me just about gag and throw up. On top of it all, I am still sick too. I was just starting to feel better and now it's back for me too. Fortunately, Laural is just about better. She's still coughing a bit, but it isn't the really nasty croupy cough. I'm just so fed up with this. I feel miserable and I am just worn out from dealing with 2 sick kiddos. If we aren't feeling a lot better by Wednesday, I'll be putting in a call to the doctor. I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Applesauce Oat Muffins

After seeing Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins on a Muffin Tin Monday blog entry, I decided I was going to make those today. Slight problem though. No chocolate chips in the house. So, I looked around at what I did have. Since both kiddos refused to eat their strawberry applesauce for lunch, I had 2 open cups to deal with. I also have a lot of oatmeal right now due to finding a very good deal on it (free!). After looking up a couple of different recipes, I put together something acceptable.

Applesauce Oat Muffins

1 1/2 C oatmeal
1 1/2 C all purpose flour
1/2 C brown sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 C applesauce
1 egg
1/4 C oil
1/2 C milk

Mix dry ingredients together. In separate bowl, mix wet ingredients together. Add dry mixture to wet, mix until combined. Fill greased muffin tins 2/3 full. Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Serve warm.

Notes: 1) I used strawberry applesauce for mine but if you wanted to use plain applesauce, you could add 1/2 tsp cinnamon. 2) I used silicone muffin tins for mine and I did not grease them. This wasn't a big deal for the smooth miffin tin but muffins in the ruffed heart tin stuck a bit. This may not have been a big deal if I had let them cool a little longer. 3) These are slightly sweet and would go well with a yogurt, some fresh fruit or just a coffee.

Muffin Tin Monday

Since getting a new laptop, it is so much easier to get my MTM pics up on my blog because I can sit here and do it while the kiddos finish their meals.

No theme today so we had a lunchables style lunch.
Top: Mini Pepper Rings, Peas (dinner leftovers), Strawberry Applesauce
Bottom: Cheese & Bologna Hearts, Crackers, Strawberry Banana Yogurt

Micah's was the same with the exception of much fewer pepper rings, yellow cheese hearts and just strawberry yogurt. All he ate was the crackers and yogurt and some milk. He is such a picky eater. I don't know what to do with this boy.

To see what other Muffin Tin Moms are serving their Muffin Tin Kids, visit the link below.

Muffin Tin Mom


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