Marble Run

Today is officially our last day of Spring Break.  Bummer.  Every day this past week, Sierra woke-up and asked, “Can Allison and Natalie have recess and play with me?”  When I’d answer yes, she would scream, “Yippee.”  I think she’ll be a little sad to hear “No,” tomorrow!

We went to church last night, which meant we had a full day of nothingness to enjoy.  It was wonderful!  First I pulled out this and asked the kids what they thought of it:

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“Ooh, what are we making?”  Answer:  A marble run!

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The big kids had fun making it, and the little kids had fun playing with it.  So, I’d call it a success.  (Personally, I had fun building it, too!)  We finished the day with some perler beading, spaghetti and meatballs, and AWANA. Tomorrow it’s back to school…  HELP!

Explain This.

Thursday was a beautiful day: in the low eighties.  

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The girls went for a swim.  Then they decided to read magazines for an hour on their towels.

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By evening, it had cooled off a bit, but was still nice.  So, the kids went out to blow bubbles while I did dishes.  All of a sudden, I hear “Mom, Mom… Come quick… you have to see this rainbow!”  I was certain it had something to do with the bubbles.  I never expected to see this…

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It was gorgeous; right above our house!  But, no sign of rain whatsoever.  Just a few wispy clouds.  How did that happen?

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I called Daniel to ask that very question.  Allison said, “Mom — you know it’s God’s promise!”  Well, of course.  Thanks for the beautiful smile, God!

Right Now

Here’s what’s happening… right now!

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The lettuce that we planted last year and got rid of as soon as the season was over has come back — all over!  We have about 8 plants like this in our garden bed, (and a few popping up in our lawn!)  I have had home-grown salad for a few days now, and am loving it!  What a fun surprise.

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The time change has worked wonders with our chickens.  We are now back up to 5 – 9 eggs a day.  (This winter we had many days with just 0 – 1 egg and actually had to buy some at the Farmer’s Market.)  Hooray for the time change!

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I have no idea what happens to peaches that begin to ripen in March.  They are about the size of a large bouncy ball — probably mostly pit.  Does this mean no July peaches this year?  Probably.

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This boy.  Right now he has taken to saying, “Mama,” in a weird baby voice.  He says it all. the. time.  But he is not a baby now.  Oh no; he is all toddler!  He loves singing in his crib, and I often get serenaded with “Farmer in the Dell” while making breakfast.  It used to be I asked for a kiss and I got one.  Now, I often get a scrunched-up-eyes-closed-smiley face.  At least I still get my kiss if I fake cry!  He also still loves to wear his goggles.  Makes me smile every time.

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Last but not least… these children decided 88 degrees outside was enough to put on swimsuits and go for a swim… in March… despite the pool being freezing cold.  Gotta love kids!

And that’s what’s happening… right now.

St. Paddy’s Day 2014

St. Patrick’s Day has really become about one thing in our family; Lucky Charms.  (And green milk, of course!)  The kids look forward to Lucky Charms almost as much as Easter baskets, it seems!  They almost finish the box in one sitting.  

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This year, I also made Irish Soda Bread Muffins.  I found a yummy/ healthy-looking recipe on Pinterest and decided to give it a try.  I thought they were awesome and had 3 myself!  The kids were so full of Lucky Charms, they didn’t even want to try them.

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We packed-up the leftovers for our friends who we met at Mc Donald’s for shamrock shakes and some St. Patrick’s Day games.  That night we headed to Souplantation for dinner and a “green-eating contest.”  (I think that may need to be a new tradition — something healthy!)  It was a fun St. Patrick’s Day!  And, in case you wanted the recipe, here it is:

Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread Muffins
Skinnytaste.com
Servings: 12 • Serving Size: 1 muffin • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 147.8 • Fat: 3.7 g • Protein: 3.8 g • Carb: 26.0 g • Fiber: 1.5 g    

Ingredients: 

  • baking spray 
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 tbsp chilled butter
  • 1 cup 1% buttermilk 
  • 3 tbsp honey or agave
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 3 oz raisins (about 2/3 cup)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray muffin tin with baking spray.

In a large bowl combine all dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt). Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
In a small bowl, stir together buttermilk, honey (or agave) and egg until blended. Add buttermilk mixture to dry ingredients and stir to combine. Stir in raisins.  Spoon batter into prepared pan. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center of one muffin comes out clean.

Remove tin and cool on a wire rack for about 5 minutes before removing muffins from tin; finish cooling on rack. Serve warm or cool completely and store muffins in an airtight container or ziplock bags at room temperature. 

Bass Pro Fishing Classic 2014

Somehow, despite it being only March, the Bass Pro Fishing Classic always seems to bring hot weather.  This year was no exception.  (Duh — we haven’t even had a real winter at all this year!)  But, we enjoyed a beautiful day of fishing and fun at Bass Pro, yesterday.

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This year, in addition to crafts and fishing, the kids got to ride a camel.  Yes — highlight!

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We came home with 4 rainbow trout and Daniel promptly cleaned them with the girls.  They now sit in the fridge.  Will we eat them?  Maybe.  We’ve tried in the past, but honestly they are not our favorite.  Such a great experience, though… and all FREE.  Thanks, Bass Pro!

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Picasso

This week we are in Spain for a visit.  (Natalie even picked up on hearing “por favor” at Disneyland, saying “That’s please in Spanish!”  We decided that was our Spain lesson for that day!)  Anyway, I randomly went on Pinterest and found a bunch of Picasso art ideas.  Score!  See, I told you I am not the best planner.  God is just so good to me… Anyway, we decided to go with the oil pastel face pictures:

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I love how they turned out.  The girls have been begging me to do them again, so we may need to do Picasso one more time before leaving Spain!

Nothing Like Fresh

Back in August, my husband attended a class through our city about “healthy eating.”  Once you’ve attended the class, you can pick up tickets each month to go towards half-off produce at our local Farmer’s Market.  We have since become regulars at the Farmer’s Market, and can never go back to store-bought strawberries!  Recently, my husband also bought a 25 pound bag of oranges.  We have finished most of them off in just a week!

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Every morning now starts with fresh oj!  It is SO SWEET!  Who wouldn’t like it, right?

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My little boy who loves all juice, that’s who!  Crazy!  He loves the fresh organic oj from Costco, but not this.  He loves when we make carrot juice, but not this.  He loves eating these oranges even… but not the juice.  Silly boy!

A Recipe And a Sad Story

I love our bi-weekly Thursday routine.  For breakfast, we always do muffins.  Shortly thereafter our housekeeper arrives and we hit the road.  First stop: gymnastics.  Next: the library and Jamba Juice.  Finally, we either pick-up lunch or head  home to make lunch.  As we pull-up from a long morning out, we always have a little contest.  We have to answer these three questions:

1) Is the mail here?

2)  How many eggs did we get?

3)  Will the kitty be inside or outside?

(Side note:  I usually win!)  Anyway, this past Thursday, we no longer had to answer number three.  Our poor kitten was most likely caught by a wild animal.  We let him outside one night earlier in the week, and shortly after that I heard something.  My husband was watching the news, so it was hard to hear exactly what it was.  I asked him to turn it down and go call the cat.  No luck.  We haven’t seen him since.  We miss our sweet Spongers terribly.  I am thinking we just don’t have the right location for a cat!

That was our sad story.  Sorry for the downer on a lovely Friday.  Here is a yummy recipe to cheer you up!

I was looking for a “new” muffin recipe.  I was a little tired of our three favorites.  I wanted something healthy, but yummy.  So I made these up by mixing some of my old recipes.  I’ll call them healthy Pumpkin Muffins.

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Healthy Pumpkin Muffins:

1 1/2 cupe pumpkin pie filling

1/2 cup coconut oil, melted

1/2 cup maple syrup

3/4 cup buttermilk

1 tsp vanilla

2 cups whole wheat flour

1 cup whole oats

1/4 cup ground flax seed

1/4 cup sliced almonds

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1 tsp salt

Mix dry and wet ingredients separate.  Bake @ 350 for 22 minutes

Busy Week, Windy Day!

March is always a busy one for us.  Thankfully we have no immediate family birthdays, but we have no shortage of friends with birthdays!  Monday we went to a party for our little friend, (and it also happens to be the birthday of my college roommate and both my grandmothers).  And, tomorrow we have two birthday parties, (though I have 6 friends with a birthday tomorrow!)  Anyway, to add to our busy week, we decided to hit Disneyland!  This time I took just my big girls, since last time Daniel took just the little ones.  We were hoping to go before spring break and crowds, but still there were quite a few people!

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I took this one picture… in the parking lot… and then put the camera in the trunk.  It was my first time at Disneyland without a stroller, so all our food and water was on my back and I didn’t want to lug around one more thing.  It was pretty fun to go with just my older girls.  It’s almost surreal — when did they get so big?  But, I look forward to going again as a family; we certainly missed our other half!

It was a windy day, and we got home late in the afternoon.  Just before pulling around to our cul-de-sac, I commented, “It’s so windy we should go fly a kite!”  A second later, we pull up to see Daniel and Sierra holding our… KITE!  So, the big girls were suddenly re-energized and headed to the park to fly a kite with their daddy.

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I wish I had as much energy!  🙂