Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Thinking ahead...

To the beach that is! Coming up on the heals of May, I figured it was about time to make out beach chain. A new tradition we started last year. Malia will ask me every. Single. Day. Until we go "when are we going to the beach mommy?" "Are we going to the beach this day?" So I figure a chain will help her understand. It's a way to teach counting, time frame, and today from tomorrow. Obviously, each link represents a day.

I gathered the supplies and 2 little helpers

They weren't much help, but they were cute. Here I have all the paper cut and ready to go. 80 days in all plus a few extra. Ya never know when the mood might strike one of the girls and they want to tear one up or run off with a hand full. Always be prepared.

It's hung and ready for the days to be snipped. I believe I started this a tad earlier than I did last year, or I hung it differently. Who knows. Looks like a LOT! But we get a little closer each day!

And of course, it's complete with a beach scene! This year Malia added us to it. David has the shovel of course, Malia and Ella look like pirates, and I have MASSIVE hands! Ha! Cute.

Woohoo! Can't wait to have my toes in the sand!

 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Mosaic frames

I recently subscribed to a blog called "play at home moms". It was suggested to me by Facebook (strange how Facebook knows what I might be interested in...) anyway, it is a really great blog focusing on kids play, getting parents to let go of their tight grip on their adult hood and be with and play with your kids. They get one child hood, why not make it fun, memorable, and enjoyable not only for them, but for YOU! I love it.

Anyway, I got this craft idea from this blog. Mosaic frames you can hang in the windows. It was so cheap and fun. I got everything (except the mod podge which I had from other projects) from family dollar.

The frames were $1, the beads, or marbles were $1 for a small bag, $2 for a larger bag. In all I spent $10.

I took the backs out of the frames and poured the mod podge on inside.

 

Next I let the girls put the marbles (stones....what are these things? Haha!) all over the farms to their hearts desire! (They are naked because they had just come in from playing in the rain)

 

Giving them a preview of what the stones will look like when the light hits them

 

Once the mod podge dries in 100 years, they will be really pretty hanging in the windows! The blog noted that this is also good for sensory play, once the mod podge dries, the kids can feel the bumpy textures of the stones. It's suggested to hang these backwards so they hang flush with the windows. I have enough stones left over to do 6 more! Don't be surprised if you see these as gifts ;)

 

3 thumbs thinking green

I'm not the best gardener. I don't have that natural instinct, that green thumb most are born with. I never grew up gardening, or having any real hands on knowledge of it. It's something I always wanted to do, green thumb or not. I've had many veggie gardens over the years now, and I'm still learning. The girls and I had planted some seeds a few weeks ago. All we reaped from them were sugar peas. A lack of water and an abundance of birds had a hand (I'll take the blame here though!) in the unsuccessful seeds.

So, on to my familiar "plan B" which involves a nice trip to lowes to buy plants that someone else successfully started from seeds :) I'll get this seed thing down eventually. At least we got the sugar peas!!

The garden had been mostly prepped a while ago, so now I just needed to add the plants.

Years past I had a hard time planning, ended up putting things here and there with no real flow. THIS year, I did more research. I have every thing planted in pretty little rows, making up keep and harvesting easier.

I had my lovely assistants with me, of course!

While digging I saw quite a few worms. Malia and Ella enjoyed finding them.

I did my research this year and made sure I had each plant placed next to a friend. Plants that help each other. It's neat how that works!

Hard to tell from the picture, but the whole garden is nicely filled and organized! From the bottom to the top we have: sugar peas, cucumbers, 3 rows of tomatoes (2 rows of 3 plants for large tomatoes and one row with 2 cherry tomato plants, all have basil planted between making for 5 basil plants) a row with green pepper, 3 eggplants, jalapeño pepper, and Cheyenne pepper, a row of okra, a row of yellow squash, a row zucchini, and then the small side of the garden has watermelon. I also tucked some salad mix in.

Malia did a lovely job watering the plants...even blew them kisses and encouraged them to give us a lot of veggies!

Ella was over it. Thankfully she let me finish up before the rain came ;)

 

Here to hoping I got something right this year!

 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Picnic in the park

It's finally warm! It's like summer got tired of spring playing games, so it's proving a point! I'm ok with that.

So yesterday I packed a lunch for my girls and me and headed to the park. We ate first, per Malias request.

Some delicious peanut butter and honey sandwiches and apples. Then they were off to play.

Surprisingly, they played together! Usually they go their own ways.

Malia decided she wanted to pick flowers, so we went on a nice walk. (And by walk I mean 5% walking and 95% stopping to dig, pick EVERY flower (dandelion, which Malia thinks are sun flowers) EVERY stick or rock or leaf on the face of the earth!)

 

Ella found her very own sewer cap! I think she thought it was a stage just for her. She ran over to it, stepped on it, and proudly, with arms out to her sides said "TADA!!"

A water break for these hard working scavengers!

But not for long. They spotted rocks. Lots and lots of rocks. But, it was time to head back. Nap time was looming, and my children are evil when they are tired. So off we went...

They were tired! They needed a little rest....

Ella's impromptu yoga sequence...?

Now, Malias not one for telling me she's tired....ever. When we got home she expressed her extreme fatigue and quickly shuffled to bed!

After a nice afternoon nap, we went back out to enjoy the beautiful weather. It was so warm, we were able to dust off the sprinkler!

Thank God for warm weather!

 

Friday, March 28, 2014

Gardening 101

I might be a TAD behind, but the extra burst of cold kept me from starting my seeds. This year, I have 2 lovely assistants. Eager to learn, and best of all, play with dirt. What could be better as a kid? Your mom gives you a bucket full of dirt and a few spoons...the possibilities are endless!

First we gathered supplies. An old coffee can full of dirt, spoons, old egg cartons, and seeds.

Next, we filled the cartons with dirt. Malia did very well with this! Ella.....well, she kind of slung the dirt around. But that's ok!

Then we added seeds

Ella lost interest

Once we were done, I took them into the laundry room, watered them, and lined them up on the handy dandy new ledge david built!

Now, we wait :)

 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Quinoa...

I have had a hard time liking quinoa. It's just....kind of boring.

In an effort to eat better, and TRY to eliminate pre packaged food (easier said than done), I thought I'd give it another try. I had made rice-a-ronie a few days before. Terribly delicious, sodium filled side dish. But, I got to thinking, maybe I could take the same cooking method for rice-a-ronie, and make my own using quinoa. Worth a try!

I chopped up a bunch of veggies. Onion, garlic (crushed), carrot, bell pepper, broccoli, zucchini...whatever I had in the fridge.

Sautéed the onion, garlic, pepper and carrot in olive oil.

Added the broccoli last. I don't like mushy broccoli. Then added the quinoa, a little salt and pepper and sautéed until the quinoa was a tad golden brown.

Added low sodium veggie broth and simmered until all the liquid was absorbed. Just like rice-a-ronie.

 

I apologize for the terrible lighting. But here is the finished product. It was delicious!! You can also do this with rice (preferably brown rice) I have found at least one way to enjoy quinoa!

 

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Discovering discovery place

Oh man! What a day! My girlfriend and I planned a whole fun filled day for us and our kids yesterday! And, it was just that! Fun, and FILLED! We planned on meeting up at discovery place, letting the kids have at it, then back to our place for din. Doesn't sound like much, but have you been to discovery place? With 3 kids under the age of 4???? Yikes.

It started out with me mistaking discovery place with discovery place kids. What's the difference you ask? Well, discovery place is in charlotte, discovery place KIDS is in HUNTERSVILLE. UGH. The girls and I got to huntersville and waited. And waited and waited and waited....then tried to find Rachel while on the phone. We were on the same floor, in front of an elevator, just in 2 different cities! HA! Once I realized my massive brain fart, I re-loaded the girls in the car (a job in its self) and went the extra miles down to CLT. Thankfully, traffic wasn't bad at all. Another added bonus, Rachel got us in for free with her membership! YAY!

Now, I don't have the greatest photos. Malia was running around like a rabid animal, and Ella was scared of the 10 million kids in there. There had to have been 15 field trips going on!

Here we have Malia at a large water table. It was really neat. (I didn't get a photo of the whole thing...I'm funny about taking pictures with other peoples kids in it, maybe they don't want their kid in my pic!)

 

This was like a giant light bright! It was so neat! Both girls liked it!

On to the aquarium. Ella was particularly excited about this. High pitched squealing, pointing, ooh' s and aww's!

Jellyfish. This is Eli with Malia, Rachel's son. He is 5 months younger than Malia. They had a lot of fun together!

Giant chalk board. Isn't that cat Ella drew amazing? HA! Jk, it was already there.

This was really neat! The long tube had forced air, all the paper on the ground you pick up, put it in the tube and it flys up and out the top, making it rain paper!

Finally, the kids were near their end. All fussing, grouchy etc. so it was time to go. It was fun. And ehausting! Time to head back to concord to relax a bit. In the near future, I will take the girls to discovery place kids :)

 

And, hey! How about that sunshine!!