Monday, October 26, 2009

J is for...

Jack be nimble

Jack be quick....jacki's students jump over the candlestick

Today was Letter J.

J is Mixed beads on pipecleaners. I bought a cheap 3 buck bag of beads for Sophia when she was sick. It teaches fine motor skills (as in finger skills) and patterns, as well as being time consuming. We used to use floss, but pipe cleaners keep the beads in place, and even the tiniest beads fit.

J is for...jack o lantern jello. As in, orange jello cut with a pumpkin cookie cutter.

J is for....jumping over the candlestick. And jumping over cardboard letter J's.

J is for...jingle bells. Don't you love Christmas songs in the wrong month? I do.

And that's all folks. Have fun with the letter J!

Letter J!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Halloween Festival at the Park

This past week Natalie ran a high fever everyday, and it finally went away on Friday. Luckily I'd been able to get out of the house everyday to do various errands, but Natalie and Sophia were dying to go to the park. On Saturday a local park had a fall festival. As you'll see in the pictures, it was beautiful weather and the park is very picturesque.

First there were some mandatory head in the hole witch cut outs...

Then we went trick or treating "on the trail"- a walking trail through the woods. Every 100 feet or so there were tables of local businesses giving out candy and brochures/coupons. Amongst other things, we scored some pain relief gel from a chiropractor, coupons to chick fil A and apple bees. Sweet. I had yet to explore the trails in this park, and I was thankful for the oppurtunity to enjoy the fall leaves and get out in the woods. And my kids liked the candy.

on the trail...

Here's a pic of peaceful Natalie and Sophia doing a fake smile. More like elvis, but whatev.

And we picked out two pumpkins ($1 each! Sponsors of the event offset the costs). See how John is just carrying around that kettle corn bag like someone's going to steal it? Smart man, I totally ruined my dinner with half that bag.

Here's a picture of another walking trail around the lake. This is a popular place to take family pictures. Already on my calendar for next year...

And the best costume of the night goes to the two cupcakes with fluffy shirts and cherry hats. One had a foam banana across her shirt; the other girl had sprinkles. Totally copying that whenever my kids stop wanting to be princesses...I took a picture of their back because I felt awkward taking a picture when they could actually see me...

And here's my feeble attempt to get a picture of the girls with the fall leaves. They were ready for home, and not having it. Natalie hates looking at the camera and Sophia just doesn't care anymore. But leaves make great hats, don't you think?

Culinary Rollercoaster: 24 hours

First a low point- When it rains, a bunch of worms end up in our garage. Does this happen to anyone else? All the lovely smell of rain is drowned out by the smell of something dying.

High point- doctor's office visits that end at 4:30= Panda Express. Love my doctor's office close proximity to that chow mein and veggie roll goodness.

Then, another high point: This sweet and salty concoction at a local Halloween festival.

You can see Sophia stuffing her face, and what you can't see is me shooing them away to go play at the park so I can eat it all alone. Anybody have a good recipe for kettle corn? It's trumping caramel corn right now for me. And that says a lot.

Then lunch today. Low point on this culinary rollercoaster. Watching Sophia dip green grapes into ketchup. Ketchup is kind of gross in my book to begin with (go mustard!) But with grapes? to quote the 1980s- Gag me with a spoon.

Luckily I overcame any tendency to throw up with this amazing sandwich. It's my favorite.

Here's the recipe:
French bread, sliced thin
Olive oil on each piece
Sprinkle parmesean cheese liberally
Sprinkle a pinch of garlic and italian seasoning
Cover with thin-ish slice of tomato
Add slice of mozzarella or Swiss or Monterrey jack cheese

Melt butter in the pan, grill it on low heat. More time for that butter to seep into the bread.
Thank me later. It's gourmet tasting, includes a vegetable, and melts in your mouth.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Autumn Photo Shoot

Photo Shoot with an autumn background...

Silly Sophia...She's getting better at not just doing cheesy smiles whenever I pull out a camera.

Natalie. Like the two bows? Me too.

Sisters, Sisters....

Natalie again. She's a willing model. Check out the lower left pouty face. It's the best.

Preschool Happenings

Hey moms with preschool kids? Bored outside? Got some chalk?

Then draw a zoo! See our path, and purple/yellow lion and pink snake?

This activity is an exercise in patience for my kids. Apparently they weren't aware that I don't know how to draw every animal exactly like it appears in cartoons. I attempted to draw a giraffe, to which Natalie started whining, saying it looked funny.

Then Sophia said- "It looks like a camel."

John and I laughed. It's either that, or cry because your child is right.

We also drew a path all around the driveway. The kids had fun trying to stay on the path and not tip the bike over.

On Wednesday, preschool was at my house. Theme? Letter H.

H is for Halloween House.

They're graham cracker houses with candy corn decorations. And some marshmallow snow men.

I remember my roommate in college making an awesome Halloween house with her now husband. Their house had a graveyard, ghosts, and looked genuine. Ours look like confused gingerbread houses. Though I must say, when do graham cracker houses ever stay perfectly straight? It adds to the whole creepy and crooked look of haunted houses, right?

H is also for Hopcotch. And R is for Rain, which is why this hopscotch is in my kitchen.

On Friday we did Transportation. We talked about different kids, and made these paper towel tube airplanes. They're for modeling purposes only, they don't fly. (Paper towel tubes with slits cut and cardstock wings pulled through. Easy!)

We also made boats out of apple, pretzel and marshmallow. Delicious. Apple and pretzel combo is inspired, I swear.

We also played "Red Light Green Light" and then had a discussion about what happens if you run a red light (crash!). And sang Wheels on the Bus, and an alternate version with different types of transportation (the train on the tracks goes chug chug chug, race car-zoom, boat-toot toot, bike-pedal, stroller-push).

It was a good time. Don't you wish you could hang out with 5 preschoolers?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Latest Family Pics

Isn't my sister cute? Yeah she is. That's why she's on homecoming court.

And she's watched enough America's Next Top Model to know how to work it.

Here's our conference weekend- playing piano with Grandma Daley, coloring at the Daleys, decorating for Halloween and dancing with skeletons.

And more time inside means indoor activities which equals more baking! We had our realtor over for dinner and made some orange oatmeal coconut cookies. Little did we know her husband is a cookie master who makes all the cookies in their house, so we chose dessert wisely.

And here's Natalie being silly as she helps me make stromboli this past week. She loves making that "tongue taco" Loves it. They saw the movie Bedtime Stories once, and Natalie think it's hilarious to talk like a bee has stung your tongue.

Also, notice the hair bow? Totally mastered making those during conference. Go me. And thanks Karalynne for the craft lesson!

Finally! Something is finished!

Ever have months were all you do is work at something and it never ends so you feel like you never have anything to show? Just progress? So that applies to college degrees, pregnancies....and crafts!

Here's what has been "in progress" for a while. Some for over a year. I finally have something to show for it!

Snow white dress! I still have the cape to do, and it's not on a kid because that means I'm risking it getting ruined before crappy picture here we are!

Isn't it beautiful? Yes, Yes I know. I was so inspired to buy this version and start it a year ago and have it be two sizes too big for Natalie. Still only fits Sophia. Don't you wish you could follow Butterick patterns too? Baste? Zipper foot? I swear it's like learning another language.

And isn't this hem just beautiful? I did it twice. Once by my own method. FAIL. Then I followed their instructions, which involved ironing, serging, basting, gathering, pinning then sewing. Way more complicated, but way less embarassing looking. Snow white wouldn't have been caught in the forest with 7 little men and a ruffled hem. No Maam! (as Natalie would say..)

Made this yesterday at Super Saturday. I need a ribbon and to wait two months...then it will be on my front door. Or inside if I can convince John that wreaths don't have to be on doors.

And this was the craft I taught at Super Saturday. 2 inch wooden blocks from 6 photo lab prints. Modge Podge. And some cutting and pasting and sealing....and you've got a puzzle block! I was thinking about doing temple pictures or gospel picture art, or other pictures that fit your kid's interest.

Any craft progression in your neck of the woods?


Cathy is great. Click on it for a bigger image.

I saw this comic strip in the paper today, after spending part of my birthday party budget last week on items on sale with coupons, and cursing Target because I bought some pajamas at a good price, now they're on sale for less. Price adjustment anyone? Worth it for 3 dollars? I think so.

I have two weeks of ads I need to look through and clip. You know you're hooked when the food just tastes better because it was so cheap. Especially food you buy anyway, that you love, like Yoplait Key Lime. Mmmm
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