Monday, August 31, 2009

The most wonderful time of the year

You know that commercial, where the dad is taking his kids shopping for back-to-school, and they are in the office supply store and he is dancing all around, and they are playing that song. "It's the most wonderful time of the year", I can relate to that dad!!
My kids started school today. Yeah!!! I love summer, and I love my kids, but they are exhausting. After trying to do something educational, and stimulating all summer, I really have a new respect for teachers, home schoolers, and anyone in the child care industry. God bless them for all of the great work they do.

Anyway, I can't believe how big my kids are getting. JT is starting 5th grade this year.
Mackenzie is starting the 7th grade. She is becoming a little woman right before my eyes. She has always been kind of a jeans/sweats an t-shirt kind of a gal, but this year she wanted to "dress nicer". She now has a whole wardrobe of cute, girly clothes. We bought more school clothes for her than we have bought for the 2 of them put together in the past. She also got a lot taller this year, and her feet grew 2 sizes since the first of June. Jackson likes to watch the school bus pick up JT. He runs to the couch so he can look out the window, and watches it go all the way down the street. We will be doing some learning of our own with him this year.I have decided to do kind of a bento box lunches for the kids this year. It is a much healthier way to eat, and they won't be taking a lot of junk food. They both enjoyed their lunches today, and finished every last bite.
Today's lunch was whole grain biscuit pizzas, grapes, carrots and celery with ranch (in the little containers), sugar free vanilla pudding (the only pre packaged thing) and some pretzel goldfish, and a little jelly candy from Japan.

Tomorrow, these contain 2 corndog muffins, strawberries, carrots, celery, cauliflower, and broccoli and ranch (the little containers), cheese cubes, dried fruit trail mix, and puffed rice krispy treat.
They helped make everything and pack it, so they can be a part of the whole process. So far, so good. I hope they continue to enjoy this process. I think they are kind of fun too!!!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Back to school prep

School time is rapidly approaching, which means that the kids need to pack lunches, that means Mom has to hear the ever present question of "whats for lunch today?". I want them to eat a little healthier than they did last year, and not have so many prepackaged convenience foods, but on the other hand I enjoy convenience. My kids also are not huge fans of having a sandwich every day, so we needed to solve that problem too.
My solution, utilize my muffin tins and freezer to their fullest abilities. So I have been cooking a lot this week. Here is a little of what I made.

Corn dog muffins
: cornbread muffins with cut up hot dogs and cheese (I used turkey cheddar sausages instead) yield 36
Mini zucchini muffins with mini chocolate chips: yield 136
Bacon swiss quiches: yield 24
Ham and swiss quiches: yield 24
Biscuit pizzas: yield 24 ( but the family ate some for lunch today, and I only ended up with 6, so I have to make another batch to freeze)
Taco cornbread muffins: yield 24

All of these items can be eaten cold, and when paired with some fruit and veggies, should make a nice little lunch. I have really been fascinated by Bento Box lunches lately, so I am going to try a little of that this year. We'll see how it goes.

I also made 20 breakfast burrito's for the freezer (this is a regular thing) so that John has something nice for breakfast when he has to get up at 3:30 for work. Nuke them for a few minutes, and you have a nice hot meal.

Jackson's new blanket

Jackson got a new fuzzy blanket like the bigger kids have, so we spent some quality time playing hide and seek and peek-a-boo under the blanket.

Rainy Day Fun

This has been a pretty wet summer in our area, so the kids have perfected the art of building forts to entertain themselves. They spend time in their forts playing with their DS games, or just being silly. Isn't it great to be young.

Living in Shambles

We have had a little leak in our basement. Our a/c had a build up of ice on the outside of the unit, and when we turned it off, it thawed. Now, our basement floor was built up about 2 inches from the concrete, so all of the water went underneath the flooring, so it was not visible to us from the beginning. We noticed it from the inside of a closet that was not built up. Luckily our insurance will cover it, but we do have our deductible to pay. Anyway, it turns out that our house is on somewhat of a slope, and all of the water ran down to the corner of Mackenzie's room and puddled there. We have had a company in tearing apart our basement, trying to find all of the wet and dry it out. So we have these giant fans blowing in the basement, and Mackenzie will be bunking with Jackson for a while. Our insurance adjuster can't come out until the 1st of Sept, and I don't know how long the fans will be here. Doesn't it just sound fun!!

Mackenzie's room.

The hallway.
The big room. All of Kenzie's belongings are shoved in there too.
Where the trouble began.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Birthday with an Asian flair

Today was Mackenzie's birthday party. Can you believe she turned 12 last week.
Anyway, we chose to have a party with an Asian theme. It was a lot of work, but it was a lot of fun too. We had Bento box lunches with a combination of Japanese and Chinese cuisine. The girls didn't eat a lot, but it was meant to be for them to just try something new anyway. They tried steamed dumplings, egg rolls, soba noodles, and fruit. I also made some California rolls, but no one dared try. They also had Japanese Pocky sticks (biscut type sticks dipped in flavored coating) They ate with chopsticks, and became very goofy.

Then we made some glass tile necklaces, rings, and magnets. Not really and Asian craft, but we did use Japanese papers, and what little girl doesn't like jewelry, right.
Audrey came a little late, but she still got to do the fun too.

These were what they made. Pretty,huh.The girls had a fun time playing Rockband for a little while. It was quite funny listening to them trying to do all of the parts.
Then they had a pillow fight with the bum cushions that I made for them to sit on.

eating their Bento's.Kenzie opening gifts
I made each of the girls and individual cake. The Japanese Kanji is the symbol for friendship. They were tasty as well as pretty!
These were takeout boxes with a chocolate dipped fortune cookie in them. The also had another takeout box full of Japanese candies.
It was a lot of fun, but I am now exhausted!!!

Natures Bounty

I have been doing a little canning lately. So far this year I have preserved or frozen the following.

9 Quarts and 3 Pints of peaches
33 Quarts and 18 pints of pickles (Split with my dear friend Carla)
22 Pints of Zucchini bread
5 Quarts of frozen green beans
5 Quarts of frozen raspberries
8 Quarts of frozen cherries
3 Quarts of cherry pie filling
30 ears of corn frozen, and 8 Quarts of corn cut off the cobs frozen

It is only the beginning of the season too, so I am sure there will be a lot more to come.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


I just have a few comments on hair. I am to the point of just wanting to shave my head bald and wear a wig. My hair is so thick and heavy, and in the summer it gets really hot and sweaty. I am ready for a haircut, but I hesitate until it cools down, because at this point I can at least pull it up off of my neck, but that is part of the problem. I always pull it up in a ponytail. That seems to be my standard hairdo as of late. I have resorted to constantly having "mom hair". Now there isn't anything wrong with an occasional "mom hair" day. but when it is an everyday occurrence, there seems to be a problem. I don't even have bangs left, just really long hair that all gets pulled back. I even seem to have it pulled back for church, or other outings (my outings mostly consist of church). No one gets to see my hair down anymore. It is just too hot, and on top of that, the humidity here makes it a little frizzy, so my beautiful straight hair, isn't really straight anymore.
I am thinking of cutting it short, but that brings another issue. Short hair requires more work. You wouldn't think so, but it does. Depending on the style, you have to primp and preen and blow dry, where with the long hair I can put it in a ponytail while it is still wet. Of course they wet ponytail will still be wet when I take it down at night. I am in a no win situation at this point, and I just don't know what to do.
Break out the razor!!!

The many moods of Jackson

Jackson likes to eat! He is a really good eater, and isn't very picky. He will try just about anything.
He has taken to running away when you change his diaper. He is a quick and slippery little guy.He finds the sensation of letting the blood rush to his head, I guess, exhilarating.
He likes to play in puddles made by our many rain storms. They almost make him float away.
He likes being buried in a pillow fort. He and JT do this for hours sometimes.

Jackson is a very silly child. He likes to do things with his eyes closed, like walk around or try to eat, or play with his toys. I have never seen another child his age do something like that. I didn't take a picture of it, but it is very funny. He definitely has a mind of his own and his own distinct personality, and we wouldn't change it for the world!!

I am still here!

Wow I didn't realize it had been that long since I posted last. I guess the business of summer has taken over.
Last week we drove to Indianapolis to switch kids. We picked up Mackenzie from her 3 weeks away with Nana, and dropped off JT for his 2 week adventure. We were also able to visit friends while we were there. It was great fun to visit and see how big everyone's kids are getting.
We saw a wonderful park that we used to go to when we lived there. The Park is so much better now, it has rockin' new equipment, wooded walking trails, and a pond, plus fields for volleyball, soccer and other sports, and I think I saw tennis courts too.
We visited our friends the Honey's Alpaca farm. and Jackson Loved playing with their son Kade (he is 3 months older than Jackson) He also enjoyed loving the alpacas, and dogs on the ranch.
He was very snuggly on this trip and he would hug and love every stuffed animal he could. He also loved playing with the bubble machine at my best friend Jennifer Stumpf''s house.
It was all good fun, but it is always nice to come home!