Tuesday, August 30, 2011

just wanted to share a cool pic my hubby took of a frog on our glass/screen/outside?? door.  back in illinois, we called them screen doors, but here there is no screen so i'm really not sure what to say.

anyway, say hello to mr. frog.

hope your week is going well.  doing laundry here, so nothing too exciting today.

catch ya later,

Monday, August 22, 2011

freshly picked flowers

nothing seems to please this lil miss quite like picking the flowers along the sidewalk that leads up to our front door, and nothing seems to please this lil mister quite like digging and scooping the mulch by the tree in front of the house.   

i've tried to be this happy about pulling the weeds while they play, but no luck so far. they always outlast me. ;)

we're going back home to illinois for a few days - see you soon!

Friday, August 19, 2011

elephants are amazing

this week, we spent a morning at the zoo and just happened to catch an elephant bath!  we often skip the schedued shows and exhibits when we go places because thing 1 and thing 2 just don't like to stay put for too long, and i don't like to try to make them.  i figure that if we're out to have fun and learn that it's ok to just see what comes our way!  usually, we're not disappointed, and this bath kept everyone's attention the entire time. 

"the big hose is nunny, mom"
"what they gonna do?"

at first, we (i) thought the trainers would have to climb a ladder, but nope!  the elephant (Sooky) turned and moved so that every spot could be reached.

a couple times, they stopped spraying her but she stayed put until she was satisfied that she was clean.  she would move slightly as if to say,
"get this spot right here"

even got a good mouth cleaning!

this seemed to be her favorite part.  she would rest her foot on the wire and just stand there waiting for more even when the trainer was finished. 
pretty amazing show!
after trekking around to see some animals, we usually end up at the playground.  it's their favorite because of this train and the little table below, and it's my favorite because it's mostly in the shade.  
it was a 'cool' 100 here... 

and, now you will see why i usually don't attempt a pic w/ the kiddos. we actually got a good one this time, though, so i'll share a few of our process.

me:  ok, kiddos!  look at the camera and say cheese!
i don't know what you're looking at mom, the ceiling is more interesting.
we're thisty right now.

no, look up there!
i'll look if you really want, but i'm still going to enjoy my drink right now.

i mean it!  look up THERE!

oh, you want us to look over there?
we get it now.


man, that was fun.  we're tired, tho.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

a little shout-out

thanks to all of you for your comments!  i love them whether they are posted on the blog, arriving in my email, or texted to my phone - keep 'em coming! 

feelin' the love today,

Monday, August 15, 2011

marbles are little things

that are helping us make good choices!

i pretty much love the family fun magazine.  and, since i rip out lotsa articles i like and want to somehow use someday, this article made the cut (so to speak):  http://familyfun.coverleaf.com/familyfun/20100607?pg=29#pg31 

since i never do anything exactly like i've read/been shown, i'll share our spin on things. 

we try to use positive reinforcement whenever possible, but sometimes it seems really difficult to find the positives - especially when there's a testing phase going on!  when i was thinking about how to attack some of our latest escapades, this article came back to mind.  the author wrote about trying to motivate her kiddos to help out around the house, where a chore finished means marbles in the jar.  a full jar then means a reward of some kind.  

instead of chores or anything else, we are focusing on a 3 yr old just making good choices.  using a juice glass for now, and so far we've achieved one reward for a full cup! 

thing 1 was super excited about his new puzzle, and can't wait to see what's in the bag next time.  the picture is blurry because he was so excited he couldn't show his prize to me without waving it all around.  :) 
it's been really nice to see changes in behavior from reminders about how a good choice can help get more marbles.  not that it works every time, folks, but we're pleased with the progress so far!

what about you?  how do you deal with your household's antics?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

first day of school, ever!

our excited little fella:
our first experience with school went well!  he seemed to have a great time, and was in no hurry to leave when i went to pick him up...  guess that's a good sign, and here's to hoping it's that way each time. 
the day's work was to start on a continent project. looked pretty fun... i wonder if i should join him next week...

Friday, August 12, 2011

dining nook? nope! play area? yep!

even though we know our carpet will now get dirty really, really nasty, we decided to use the dining room as a dining room.  we were running a little short on space for the toys that never seem to end, even after getting the bedrooms organized. 
maybe you don't have that problem?  thing is, we have several toys that we want to keep (vs. donate/craigslist/trash) so we needed a spot for them.  our solution was to move the table from the more practical, tiled area to the not-at-all-practical-white-carpet dining room. 
we've been eating in the dining room for a week or so now, and it's going fairly well.  we have a dark colored rug on top of the carpet, but you won't get to see pictures of the dining room for a while... let's just say it was a lot of work to move enough boxes around to get the table in there!  most of the wallpaper has been removed from the top half, though, so we are taking volunteers to paint. 

i'm thrilled with this little play area, even if it does require a little more work after mealtime.  the kids seem to enjoy being in the room where the action is, so it's nice to have this near the kitchen when it's time to make dinner. 

it's salmon tonight, and you're all welcome.  see you around 5?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

yogurt waffles

ever get the feeling i got tired of unpacking?  it was fun to try new recipes, but i suppose i better get back to the boxes.  these bad boys are waiting...  problem:  i know they are full of sweaters and it's been SUPER hot here.  blech.
anyway, i have digressed.  i made these yogurt waffles, and they were a hit!  the recipe is from everyday food (martha stewart) magazine, but i don't know which issue.  i'm a ripper you see - no magazine is safe!

heated up some frozen blackberries and cherries to put on top.
and now, my favorite part - thing 1 and thing 2 gobbling them up!!

wouldn't you know, trying new recipes is on my 101 list.  unpacking should be on there, but it of course is not!

Monday, August 8, 2011


started out with a recipe from family fun magazine (which i highly recommend, btw!) - november '10 issue, pg 86.  but since i can't ever just follow a recipe exactly, and it's kinda hard to make a bad granola - here's what i ended up doing:

4 c oats
3/4 c walnut pieces
3/4 c slivered almonds
1/3 c flaxseed
3/4 c brown sugar
1 t cinnamon (well, more actually, because the stuff shifted as i tried to tap out just a little more - maybe closer to 1 T?)
1/3 c olive oil
1/3 c honey
1/3 c water
1 c dried cherries

i would've added 1 c wheat germ like it said, but i didn't have that this time.

heat oven to 300.  stir together nuts, oats, (wheat germ,) brown sugar, and cinnamon. 

make a well in the dry ingredients and add the oil, honey, and water. 

toss until well combined, then spread on cookie sheet.  bake 40 min, stirring every 10.  let cool completely, and then stir in cherries.  i would recommend stirring every 10 min or so while cooling as well, because i had a little issue with it sticking to the pan once cooled.

mine made about 10 cups.

slow cooker yogurt

a friend posted a link to this recipe, and i tried it.  LOVE it! 

my first attempt turned out a bit (ok, a LOT) soupier than store-bought yogurt, but i didn't strain it and we decided kinda like it that way.  it was a lot better than i expected it would be, and i'll be making it again soon.  :)  went soooo well w/ granola (recipe to follow soon!).

Thursday, August 4, 2011

hall closet, check!

view from right to left:

this bookshelf fit perfectly behind the door, and i'm thrilled to have the slightly-outdated-but-quite-a-favorite picture of our lil fam of 3 hanging in there too!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

remember the naked lamp?

well, i saw this posting on a blog i like to read, and it looks so fun!  i think my living room lamp would love a topper made w/ clothespins.  i've shopped a little bit for lamp shades, but they're all so BORING.  now, where do i find time to fit this in?  probly 2012 or so, but we'll see!

Monday, August 1, 2011

little buddies

we were shopping at the mall a teeny bit on friday evening when some friends called to see if we wanted to meet up.  YES!  thing 1 had been talking about his little buddy and was asking if we could see him.  met up and had a blast at the splash park:
thing 1 and thing 2
little buddies and big daddies

thing 1 is tooooo big

to fit in his car seat in the jetta.  dad's going to be taking him to preschool sometimes, so we needed another seat for him anyway since mom'll be picking him up.  he's excited to start preschool, and will probably be bummed that it's only twice/week.  hopefully he'll still think it's fun to hang out w/ me and thing 2 the other days.  
secret bonus: no more stinky toes resting beside the driver's headrest.