Friday, February 27, 2009

A day at the beach?

The temperatures have been frigid and it seems that Spring will never come. We are trying to remain positive however and the sunshine today was a blessing! Fitting with the desire for warmth, in Jackson's classroom they have been learning about the ocean. He came home today with a cute water bottle filled with some blue rocks, a couple of sea shells, and a small dolphin. I'm trying not to worry about when this marine treasure is going to open and spill all over the floor. He loves it and even insisted on sleeping with it. He also came home singing the cutest song about different things you'd find at the beach. I'll try and get it on video; it's that cute! The beach and water theme must have seeped into Will's little mind too. While I was at MVP this afternoon I got paged from the nursery...this has not happened to me before. They did come find me once, but that's a story for another day. I was finished running therefore not too bothered by the pager and headed up to the nursery to get the scoop. Apparently the boys had gone into the bathroom together and in keeping with the water theme, plugged the drain in the sink and filled it, I mean overflowed it, with water. They were happy as clams playing in the water. Soaking wet, but happy as clams! They were not so happy when their mother showed up and made them apologize to every member of the MVP staff and then ride home in their wet I have an extra set of clothing just sitting around for an occasion such as this... I did use my stern mommy voice, but couldn't help but giggle.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Playing, baking, and creating!

After too many days of being inside and fighting over the same toys, the boys and I headed outside today to beat the winter blues. (Check out the Smile Box if you haven't seen it yet.) It's not exactly warm, but the sun was shining, for the moment. Jackson couldn't wait to ride his scooter and Will was content to hit a "golf ball", ok really a lacrosse ball, into the street. Our outdoor adventure was cut short by cold hands and hungry tummies. We headed in to make some pumpkin easy and so delicious.

Pumpkin Muffins
1 box spice cake (or yellow cake with 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice added)
1 jar pumpkin
1/2 cup water.

Mix ingredients and pour into 12 greased muffin tins. (Don't use paper muffin cups...these muffins are surprisingly healthy and their lack of fat will make the muffins stick to the paper.) Bake at 350 for 16-18 minutes. I suggest eating them warm, they were the perfect dessert for our lunch.

I've also been beating the winter blues by scratching the sewing itch. My dear friend Jane had a baby girl this week Monday. Celia Anne was just a tiny niblet weighing 6 pounds and 3 ounces. My children weighed this much at least two months before they were born. Praise the Lord for healthy babies of all sizes! :) I loved making this blanket for the wee one and can't wait to go and visit.

A little Spring fling

Click to play this Smilebox photobook: Waiting for Spring
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Monday, February 23, 2009

Free Groceries Anyone?

Check out this great site and register to win a $50 gift card to Meijer! Just follow the link below...

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Soup-er Saturday

Chicken Fiesta Soup

1 jar salsa
1 can corn
1 can black beans
1 can low-fat, refried beans
1 can chicken broth
1-2 c. cooked chicken

Drain corn and black beans (rinse the beans too). Combine all ingredients stirring well to combine chicken broth and refried beans. Heat and serve. Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream, and tortilla chips or cornbread.

Since this recipe is so easy, I often buy a rotisserie chicken and make 2 or 3 batches at once. One pot to eat and 2 to freeze!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Deal of the Week

This week at Meijer certain Kellogg's cereals are on sale, 5 for $10. Also, if you buy 5 boxes, you get a free gallon of milk. Wait, it gets better...what's a good deal without a good coupon?! If you combine the Kellogg's coupon (from the Red Plum insert on 1/18) save $1.50 off two and the milk deal, the cereal is only $0.92 a box! 6 boxes of cereal and a gallon of milk for $5.52. Such a deal...and my boys are pleased as punch because they have enough sugar cereal for the next six months! I'd love hear any grocery saving tips you might want to share. Happy saving!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Teach me Tuesday...or is it Wednesday?

Even though I am a day behind for "Teach me Tuesday", I thought I'd post anyway. We can still learn on Wednesday right? :) Recently, Jackson has learned to identify each of the letters of the alphabet and their corresponding sounds (thank you, Fridge Phonics!). The teacher in me is jumping for joy! However, writing, coloring, and drawing have become major areas of frustration for the buddy because often things aren't perfect. This need for perfection is equally frustrating for the boy and the mom, although frustrating for different reasons. So, I've been trying to help Jackson learn to write his name. He's doing a great job!

Learning Objectives:
-Jackson will identify the letter "J" as the first letter in "Jackson" and "Jelly Beans"
-Jackson will practice writing his name (preferably without a meltdown)
-Jackson will practice counting

-Paper with large bubble letter and a silly sentence using the repetition of the desired letter. There should be one sheet for each letter of your child's name.
-Small object (in this case, jelly beans for "J") to glue onto letter

-Ask child to identify the letter on the paper. As a challenge, identify the letter's sound too.
-Identify the small object (jelly beans) by name and determine their beginning letter.
-Glue small object inside the letter.
-While gluing, identify other words that begin with "J" sound
-Count the number of objects glued
-Read the sentence at the bottom of the page and fill in the blanks. For this activity I wrote the number (and helped with the counting) and had Jackson write his own name.
-Don't forget to save some jelly beans to eat after a job well done!

Brotherly Love

Wordless Wednesday is hosted by 5 Minutes for Mom. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

"A Mom's Version of 1 Corinthians 13"

I recently read this on another blog and thought it was a good reminder of how precious the time we have with our kids really is. Our job is to LOVE and to teach our children how to love, both their Creator and those around them!

If I live in a house of spotless beauty with everything in its place,
but have not love,
I am a housekeeper, not a homemaker.

If I have time for waxing, polishing, and decorative achievements,
but have not love,
my children learn cleanliness, not godliness.

If I scream at my children for every infraction,
and fault them for every mess they make,
but have not love,
my children become people-pleasers, not obedient children.

Love leaves the dust in search of a child's laugh.
Love smiles at the tiny fingerprints on a newly cleaned window.
Love wipes away the tears before it wipes up the spilled milk.
Love picks up the child before it picks up the toys.

Love accepts the fact that I am the ever-present "mommy",
the taxi-driver to every childhood event,
the counselor when my children fail or are hurt.

Love crawls with the baby, walks with the toddler, and runs with the child,
then stands aside to let the youth walk into adulthood.

Before I became a mother I took glory in my house of perfection.
Now I glory in God's perfection of my children.

All the projections I had for my house and my children
have faded away into insignificance,
And what remain are the memories of my kids.

Now there abides in my home scratches on most of the furniture,
dishes with missing place settings,
and bedroom walls full of stickers, posters and markings,
But the greatest of all is the Love
that permeates my relationships with my children.

-Adapted by Jim Fowler

Monday, February 9, 2009

I'm so proud of you

Jackson wrote his name, unassisted, for the first time tonight! My baby is growing up!

Funny of the day

It seems that there is at least one thing in a given day that Jackson finds funny. Not just funny ha-ha, but hilarious funny coupled with the most contagious giggle. I might add that the things he finds funny are, to me, often the funniest part. Today it was a poem from a book we found at the Library. On the Farm by David Elliot is a book full of short poems about farm animals. Jackson loved the poem about the goat and could hardly contain himself when the naughty goat was called "William".

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I'm getting braver...

Lately I've had the sewing itch. I've made some bibs, some burp cloths, but nothing that has really pushed me out of my sewing comfort zone. I'm feeling brave am ready to try something a little more daring. My next project will stretch my skills, but will be lots of fun. Not to mention the cute final long as it turns out. For a sneak peek, check out the Kidlet- wall pocket-tidy tote. Now it's time to start looking for some fun fabric! Mom Engbers, keep your phone on hand, I'm sure I'll have at least one "emergency".

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Share the Love

Many thanks to Katie for organizing an activity swap. In a nutshell, each participant put together 8 of the same activity to share with other families. In return, our family received 8 activities to do together. Jackson really loves doing this kind of thing, but thinking of ideas and getting everything together is not my forte! So, this was perfect for me. Much to Jackson's dismay, I've been trying to ration our activities. He would have done them all in one afternoon. A couple days ago we made Valentine's Day placemats (or "man-nats", according to Will). The boys had a great time and our kitchen table is now quite festive.

Monday, February 2, 2009

A Souper day

Yesterday was a souper sort of day with a souper supper and a Super Bowl game to follow! :) Many thanks to my mom for making us such a wonderful meal.

Hard Rock Cafe Chili
2 T. oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 large cloves garlic
2 1/2 pounds ground beef or turkey
2 T. tomato paste
2 T. worcestershire sauce
2 T. chili powder
2 T. barbecue sauce
1 T. brown sugar, packed
1 T. soy sauce
2 t. celery salt
1 t. ground cumin
1 t. pepper
1 t. seasoned salt (Lawry's)
1 t. instant minced garlic
1 t. instant minced onion
dash cayenne pepper
1 qt. stewed tomatoes
1 can (15 ounce) kidney beans
1/4 c. diced celery

Cook onions and garlic in oil for 5 minutes, until soft. Add beef, cook 6 minutes, stirring until brown. In small bowl combine tomato paste, worcestershire sauce, chili powder, barbecue sauce, brown sugar, soy sauce, celery salt, ground cumin, pepper, seasoned salt, minced onion, minced garlic and cayenne pepper. Stir well to mix. Drain beef, stir in seasoning mixture. Simmer over medium heat; stir and cook 5 minutes. Add tomatoes (with liquid) and beans and celery. Cook 20 minutes covered- stir occasionally.
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