Monday, June 18, 2012

'Til My Sides Hurt: A trip to the dentist

On the way to the dentist with Hazel and Amelia I honked as we passed by our friends house. Hazel asks why I honked and I explain. All is quiet in the van for a few minutes and then she says, "Mom. This makes me think...if their house is back there it's not very far away from our house."

I giggle and reply, "You are right hunny, they aren't very far away."

"When I knew where their house was that made me think. And then it was stuck in my head and I figured it out."


We get to the dentist office and head to the plush couches. The girls climb up and sit down and Hazel immediately takes her flip-flops off. I start to tell her to put her shoes back on and she begins wiping her feet on the too-nice-for-a-dentist-office couch while saying, "My feet are sweaty so I'm wiping them off."

I thank God that she wasn't talking in ALL CAPS and then I try not to panic so I don't draw attention. Just being honest. I quietly tell her that it's rude to wipe our feet on the furniture and suggest that maybe she just wipes them on the floor next time.

"Mooooom! There's germs!"


As she jumps down from the couch she assures me, "This is my bestest way, mom."


On the way home from the dentist Amelia announces for the gazillionth time this week that she is going to have "loss and loss of birfdays."

From the backseat Hazel says, "Amelia! If you say that again, when we get home I'm going up to my bed and you are not coming with me!"

I said, "Hazel, you don't need to talk to your sister like that!"

"But Moooooom, she's being soooo aknowing!"

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Sweet Words: The Chatter Box

Every one always says that girls talk a lot. And they do, they do. But in our house Abiah is the talker. Always has been and probably always will. I've tried to get him to be quiet. For just a few minutes, PLEASE! Believe me.

If he's not talking he's making noise. And if he doesn't have anyone to listen to him he talks to himself. Or his imaginary friends/co-workers, Gen and Trucka. From the time he wakes in the morning, through his school day, while he plays, during meals, in the bathroom, getting into bed. Talk, talk, talk, talk, talk.

Just recently, though, he was talking to me and told me that he realized something. "You know, mom. I was thinking, I'm just in my room getting ready for bed, talking to myself, saying what I need to do, and I realize that I don't have to talk to myself. 'Cause God is with me all the time and I can talk to Him. And I was like, 'Well, why am I talking to myself then? I can just talk to him!'"

And another time when we were talking about his school work for next year, particularly his Bible course and a new book I'm excited to have him go through (I'll share later), "You know, Mom. I was reading my Bible in the morning and I just realized how much I really love the Bible."

This kid. Let me tell you! There are times when I don't think he'll make it to his next birthday. But most of the time...he's just real swell.

And I guess we're just going to have to get used to his constant chatter. Because what parent wants to tell their kid to stop talking to GOD!?!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Auntie Am trims the girls' hair

Amelia's first hair cut.

Just a trim!

Auntie Am does it best!

Hazel doesn't like getting her hair cut.

Millie visits with Auntie Am.

Hazel decides to be nice to Uncle KC.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

'Til My Sides Hurt: Of Amelia

Amelia was using the potty and Hazel frantically called me into the bathroom. "Mom! Look!" Amelia had about a third a roll of toilet paper on her lap.

After I scolded Amelia and reminded her that she didn't need that much she told me, "There's more up dere!" referring to the shelf holding four rolls of toilet paper.

"Yes, but you don't need that much, Amelia"

I turned to figure out what I should do next and when I turned back Amleia was shoving the toilet paper into the toilet. I slow motioned a "Noooooooo!" but it was too late. I called HH in for back up.

"Amelia, you don't need that much toilet paper," he said. "You have teeny-weeny buns."

She replied, "Ahhh! But dere's two of dem!"


Hazel and Amelia were entertaining us with some songs and dancing. Amelia was singing:

"I like wed! It's culu of twees!"

(I like red. It's the color of the trees!)

Monday, June 11, 2012

When the Queen comes for dinner

I'm sure most moms are familiar with this scenario:

You are getting a meal ready for your family who are all "patiently" sitting at the table. You dish your kid's food first so you and your hubby's food is more likely to still be warm. When you finally sit down to eat your children are done with their plates and are handing them back to you to be refilled. 

This was the case for us for awhile. I don't know why, but it took my a while before I started telling me kids they had to wait until I was done with my food before I would get them seconds. Abiah was really good at this. He would watch me closely and right when I put my last bite in my mouth he would try to hand me his plate as he asked for more. So pleasant.

After awhile I decided to have they kids just wait until we were all sitting before they began eating. This way they were at least occupied while we were eating and we weren't spending most of our meal trying to keep them seated.

While I really liked this idea and it seemed to help, the kids then began asking over and over and over whether they could begin eating or not. Because apparently they couldn't tell if and when we were all seated. So I recently decided to do a little teaching/story telling while we were eating.

"Hey, guys? Do you know that when a Queen is having a meal in her castle and everyone is sitting at the table ready to eat, they all have to wait until the Queen takes her first bite before they can start eating? That means that when the Queen takes her first bite everyone knows they can start eating."

They all mumble comprehension through food smeared mouths.

I continue, "How about we do that here at our house. We can even take turns being the Queen!"

So far the "game" has stuck and made a little bit of an etiquette imprint on my children's lives. The only time they didn't like playing the game was when they decided it was daddy's turn to be the Queen and he kept putting food to his mouth and then setting it back down without taking a bite. He hasn't been asked to be the Queen since.

The little princesses coming for tea.

How do you encourage good manners in your home? Any tips?

Friday, June 8, 2012


The other day Hazel sat down on my lap and told me she thought we should make lump.I had absolutely no idea what she was talking about so she described it for me.

"You take cereal and you put it on a pan and you put candy on the pan and then you put it in the oven and that's lump!"

I giggled and whispered to HH that I kind of wanted to make it with her just because she wanted to. He thought we might have some marshmallows and suggested I try that. Great idea!

I took the girls into the kitchen. I found three or four huge marshmallows and threw those into a glass bowl with a little bit of butter. After melting those in the microwave for a minute or two I had the girls help me fill the bowl with the only cereal we had in the house, fruit loops.

Side note: I stopped buying cereal because it costs so much. The night before we made lump I had decided to bring dry cereal to a girl's night as a snack to share because it just sounded so good. My kids were beyond thrilled because they got the left overs. the excitement of having cereal is what lead to this brilliant idea, I'm sure, since they wanted cereal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner that day.

So, after we added the cereal I mixed it all together and dumped it into an 8x8 greased pan. Then, to follow Hazel's instructions, I put it in the oven.  

The oven was set to this temperature:

After we cleaned up we pulled the pan out and we had Lump!

The enthusiastic chefs.
Lump was a perfect treat for the whole family. Try it sometime! Do your kids help in the kitchen? Do they ever come up with their own crazy recipes?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Meal plan for this month: Dinner and Snacks

Tuesday I told you hat I've planned this months for our breakfasts and lunches. Today we're talking dinner and snacks.

Because we are leaving to while we remodel our bathroom I've only planned to weeks of meals. I decided it would be easier this time to pick seven meals and make them twice. This is what I've planned:

Hot Dogs
Pan Nachos
Taco Salad
Grilled Chicken Salad
Chicken, rice, and broccoli

We do pizza once a week, usually on Friday nights. I use Pioneer Woman's crust recipe which gives us two pizzas per batch. I make one batch if it is just our family and we eat left overs the next day for lunch. Our pizza staples are pepperoni, pineapple, and olives. Sometimes we have other meats and veggies or we do one pizza with just olives and pineapple.

When we do burgers and hot dogs we usually have salad, potato salad, or veggies and fruit along side. I save this meal for the busy days because it is so simple.

For pan nachos I cook up some burger with taco seasoning, add some beans, and spread it across a cookie sheet. Top it with cheese and your favorite toppings and bake until the cheese is melted. We place the pan in the middle of the table and HH and I eat off the pan. When the kids are old enough to not make the world's largest mess with their food they can join us in this part of the meal. Until then they eat off of plates.

Pan Nachos family style


I'm trying to have two different salad dinners a week during the summer. Taco salad and grilled chicken salad are both so easy. I add as many veggies as I can. Most of the time I add shredded zucchini to my taco meat because no one knows so they eat it without complaining. Well, at least they aren't complaining about that part.

I like to keep a plate of chopped veggies for easy salad preparation.

Salad fixings!

Chicken, rice, and steamed broccoli is another easy meal. I season my chicken with lemon pepper and grill it or bake it in the oven. I serve this meal with sweet chili sauce and terriyaki. Jackson is the only one who has a hard time with this meal. He is still getting used to the texture of rice though. I'm sure he'll enjoy it more when he's older.

With all our dinners I try to have veggies, fruit, and/or salad. My kids didn't really eat salad very well until I just kept serving it to them. They really like it most of the time now. I try to have a wide variety of veggies to add to our salads. I cut them all up onto a plate and we eat off of it for a few days. The kids all have their different veggies that they don't prefer but I try to leave those off their personal plates.


I've gone back and forth about snacks for my kids. For a long time they had animal crackers and fish cracker in constant supply. They got tired of them though and I decided to just give them other things instead and so for a long time they've had cheese slices, fruit, and/or a piece of candy for an afternoon snack.

Between holidays, birthdays, and my mom coming over for a few minutes here and there my kids have a constant supply of candy. I have freezer jam containers for each one of them that they store their goods in and they get a piece or two for snack. I used to buy fruit snacks but I stopped because they already have so much candy.

This month I bought the crackers again. I wanted them for two reasons. The first one being that I wanted something to give to Jackson for snack. These crackers are easy to pack for the days when we are going to be out and I know I'm going to need something to hold him over. He's getting tired of Trader Joe's cheerios. The second reason I wanted to get the crackers is for when we have other kids over I'll have a little snack for them too. 

For HH and myself I usually have something special tucked away for us to enjoy. Sometimes we get ice cream. Sometimes I make cookies. Right now one of my favorites is hot tamales and popcorn. Mmmmmm.

What are your plans for dinner this week? Do you have any yummy snacks planned?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Mommy and Hazel do 'chuther's hair

Take that Glamour Shots!

Protesting the picture

How many barrettes could there be on one head?

And still she has perfect ringlets!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Meal plan for this month: Breakfast and Lunch

Now that my cupboards no longer look like this I have some nummy food planned for my family. I usually meal plan for a whole month but this month is different. We are going to be remodeling our bathroom in a few weeks. Yay! But we only have one bathroom so we have to move out while the remodel is being done.

We will be staying with my in-laws during the remodel so my MIL and I will join forces and do all of our meals together. I'll do more shopping then but for now this is what I have planned for us to be eating.


I stopped buying cereal awhile ago because it is just so expensive for our family to eat. Our main choices for breakfast are oatmeal or eggs and toast, both served with fruit. This month I bought a few containers of yogurt for the kids, too. Because I can't eat eggs I usually rotate my breakfast between yogurt, cottage cheese, and oatmeal.
Hot Hubby doesn't do oatmeal so he usually gets a breakfast like this.

Strawberry oatmeal with pecans
It may sound boring but I make sure to change things up. Oatmeal is easy to change with different fruits or spices. I like to use left over pasta to make fritatas or omlettes. I also buy a package of pancake mix every few months and we do pancakes on Saturdays.

How Jackson feels about breakfast
This may sound like too much cooking, and sometimes it feels that way, but most of the seven years of our marriage HH has been home for breakfast so I've tried to make big meals for him and also make it special like most families do for dinner because sometimes it is the meal we eat together as a family. And since I'm home a lot it's not as big a deal for me to cook. Also, I just really like to cook.


I try to keep lunch fairly simple. We usually have fruits and veggies with pb&j, homemade mac n' cheese, meat sandwiches, or, our favorite, a snacky lunch.

For sandwiches I save a lot of money by making my own bread. I try to make one batch every week which gives me three loaves. I get a few cans of chicken every month and I buy Kirkland brand tri-pack lunch meats from Costco. They have turkey and "pam" and Amelia calls it. We like the "pam" the best. In an attempt to use what I had on hand, this last month I used tortillas to make sandwiches for my kids and they loved it. I bought one package of tortillas just for that for this month. It's cheaper than bread so if I don't get a chance to make bread I don't feel bad about making them sandwich roll ups.

I stopped buying mac n' cheese and started making my own to try to save money. This was a big step for me because I'm a Kraft girl through and through. I thought I'd never be able to give the stuff up, but in the last few years it has started tasting more chemically to me. To make mine I use these amounts per box of regular mac n' cheese:

1&1/2 cups elbow noodles
1/4 c butter
1/4 c milk
1/2 c parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

I get big bags of elbow noodles and I buy the parmesan in bulk. Make it like you would a box of macaroni. My kids have loved this. You can also just do noodles, butter, and cheese. Amelia was the only one who didn't really care for it that way, but they all love it when I use milk too.

And then there's the snacky lunch. Snacky lunch is a favorite from my childhood. My kids love it just as much as me and my siblings did. Snacky lunch is basically finger foods with dip. We do lots of fruits and veggies with a little bit of meat, cheese, olives, and sometimes some crackers. We use ranch, ketchup, and peanut butter for our dips.

My snacky lunch

Snacky lunch for one of the kids
Even Jackson likes snacky lunch

Do you meal plan? What do you normally do for breakfast and lunch? Look for a post on dinners and snacks on Thursday!

Monday, June 4, 2012

The After

So, Friday we left off with empty cupboards, pantry, and fridge. Because Hazel woke up sick Thursday morning I had to change my plans for Friday. HH ended up staying home with the older three kids while Jackson and I took off around noon to do our grocery shopping with my mom. We had a fun but crazy day.

We left our house about 20 minutes before noon. When we got to my parents my mom was on the phone so we went inside, chatted a bit with my dad, listened in on my mom's phone call, and had some crackers. When we left my mom's house we went into the town near by to go to the bank and to get gas. After we were done there we stopped at the local fruit stand on the way into town. Then we stopped for lunch.

After lunch we hit Target, Trader Joe's, Winco, Starbucks (for all the hard work), and finally Costco. It was after six when we left Costco and I'm so glad I picked up a few of their deli pizzas because I was pooped! I still had two stores to get a few random items at but decided to hold off because, if you remember, my family was at home with nothing to eat!

Happy Fridge!
Happy Cupboard #1!

Happy Cupboard #2!

Happy pantry!
Happy fruit corner and extra happy hot tamale jar!

 Tomorrow I'll let you know what I've planned for our meals!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Playing Chicken with the pantry

The end of the month is always an exciting time around here when it comes to our meals. I shop once a month for all of our main grocery supplies and we run to the store for fresh fruit and veggies and for milk etc. So every month there is a period of time that lasts a few days to a week where I get creative with the items left in the house. Most of the time this seems to be a heavy carb time for us.

Of course I prefer to have full cupboards, fridge and freezer, but this time forces me to be creative and use what we have on hand. I like using up all the odds and ends that would usually just get lost in the back of the cupboard or freezer. This is what my cupboards, pantry, and fridge look like right now.

Cupboard #1: Top shelf: baking products, Middle shelf: rice and pasta, Bottom shelf: canned goods

Cupboard #2: Top shelf: Storage for larger pantry items, Middle shelf: random foods, Bottom shelf: Oatmeal and other breakfast items.

Pantry: Mostly empty

Fridge: Mostly empty also. I know there are carrots in that drawer but believe me when I say you do NOT want to eat them. Their a bit...wrinkled.

Monday we were at a party so I didn't cook. Tuesday I found a package of elk steaks in the freezer and made elk steaks in mushroom gravy. I served it with the last of the brown rice I bought a few months ago. I didn't like it so I wasn't using it but I decided to use it and get it out of the way. I also served the last of the frozen peas I found hidden in the freezer.

Wednesday night my SIL and her kids came over so we made a hodge-podge dinner of left over taco soup,  homemade mac n' cheese with hotdogs, and canned green beans. Thursday I fed the kids sandwiches and random leftovers while Hot Hubby and I dined on cheap party pizzas he bought a few days ago. Classy, huh?

I'm glad today is my shopping day. The nutritional value of our meals is about to get 100 times better than it has been this last week. I've been planning meals based on what we have left in our house and I'm looking forward to cooking real meals again and having fresh fruit and veggies.

Do you ever play Chicken with your cupboards and fridge? Do you like to be creative with your cooking? What's the most creative meal you've come up with?