Sunday, January 29, 2012

I made Brussels Sprouts!

Last week, I made fish, quinoa/rice and brussels sprouts. I didn't really follow a recipe, I just washed them, trimmed them, and cut them in half. I tossed them with olive oil and salt/pepper. I roasted them for about 25 minutes at 375 degrees. They were yummy just as they were, but I really wanted something more flavorful on them, so I reduced balsamic vinegar and a dash of sugar to toss on top. I put a few cranberries on the the kids' plates.

Is than an almost clean plate I see?

Weekend Fun

It feels as though life is moving in fast forward these days. The kids all seem so big and independent lately.
Joshua is just about finished reading the Harry Potter series. He has only one book left to go. I'm so amazed at how thick these books are and how fast he's going through them.

Here's a cool art project that Joshua completed in school last week.

Also, in school this past week was the 100th day of school. Daniel made this cool hat in Kindergarten. He wore it all day, even to the Fresh Market to get fish and veggies for Friday night's dinner.

I worked all day Saturday, and I have no idea what happens on work days. I do know that Keith took the kids to church and that there was perhaps some cereal served for dinner that night.

I woke up this morning to Megan poking my shoulder asking me what was for breakfast. It was 8am, which is about 3 hours later than I usually sleep. I told her to go find Daddy (who was in the livingroom) and rock-paper-scissors him for breakfast. If he won, he'd make breakfast, if she won, I'd take her to Dunkin Donuts. Megan won, so I dragged myself out of bed and we went to DD for some donuts, bagels and coffee.

Then we tidied up the house and got ready for lunch at Grandma's house. Keith's long-time friend Jeremy, and his wife and kids were in town and we all had lunch at Keith's parents house. I did not get any pictures. I wish I had, Megan was thrilled to have two sweet girls to play with.

Tonight, my sister was bored, so she came over for dinner. I ordered up pizza and we had so much fun sitting around chatting and eating.

The boys had so much fun together. I think Pam's boys want to move in with us. It was hard to see them go. I'd love for them to move just a little closer to our neighborhood.

They all have Nintendo DS systems and were playing a group game together. So fun!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Basic Green Smoothie

There's nothing too special about this smoothie. All I did was add a couple of handfuls of fresh spinach to my usual smoothie.

1 c. berries
1 frozen banana
1 c. orange juice
1 handful of spinach
6 ice cubes

Blend well. It's pretty tasty. I didn't even taste the spinach.

Pineapple Orange Banana Smoothie

This one earned me a thumbs up!

1 cup orange juice
2 peeled oranges
1 cup chopped pinapples
2 frozen bananas
6 or so ice cubes

Blend well, and enjoy! The kids loved their drinks.

Happy Birthday to Me!

As soon as the kids went back to school, I started attacking their bedrooms. *sigh* Megan has been a pack rat forever. As scared as I was to go under her bed, it must be done. Wow, I found enough clothes to do an entire load of laundry, as well as her jacket and a half dozen of naked Barbie dolls. Note to self: must make more Barbie clothes.

Of course, then I find this, and it made things just a little bit better.

Once I finished with the cleaning of Megan's room, I strolled around Costco by myself. Wow, so fun! I got lost in the book section for a while and almost came home with tons of stuff that I didn't need and then I got back on track and got my veggies.

I spent a couple of hours pureeing veggies for smoothies. So yummy! It reminded me of years ago, making all that baby food. I now have freezer baggies full of spinach cubes, cherry cubes, kale/apple cubes, greek yogurt cubes and banana cubes. Makes grabbing a morning smoothie so much quicker.

Joshua woke up with a cough on Saturday morning, and so we opted to hang out at home instead of go to church. We spent some time sitting outside around the pool reading and pretty much had a quiet day.

Sunday morning, I took the kids to the park, so Keith could get some studying done for his classes.

It wasn't as crowded as I thought it would be, with the weather being as gorgeous as it's been. The kids had a blast.

I sat around clipping coupons and making the weekly menu.

The kids ran around with the walkie-talkies that Megan got for Christmas. They were hiding form each other and giving clues to find them. So funny! I love to see them play so well together.
I wore them out and then came home to make some snacks for the football game. It was an awesome game that resulted in the Patriots going to the Superbowl.

Monday was my birthday. Keith and the kids made me a cake and we met Keith's parents for dinner at Jason's Deli.

Don't look to closely at my messy kitchen!

Thirty-six candles. After blowing them out, we had to open up a few windows to be sure we didn't set the smoke alarms off. We have very sensitive smoke detectors.

The kids came home from school with their Progress Reports and I'm super-proud of all of them. Joshua earned all As. Daniel earned all Ss. Megan earned 2 As, 2Bs and 1C. Her C was just 1 point away from a B. Such an improvement over the beginning of the school year. We're about half-way through the school year, and I have to say that I'm still loving their school. Daniel gave me a penguin today and explained that he had to write two complete sentences about his penguin.
What is this glob on the corner of the kids' bathroom sink? It's what happens to Ivory Soap when it's put in the microwave. I would recommend cutting the bar in quarters and only microwaving for about 45-60 seconds. We may need to share this fun experiment with Grandpa, he's always looking for fun little tricks to use for Object Lessons.

Tomorrow, Daniel's class is having a 100th day of school celebration. He has to bring in 100 of one thing and give 3 clues to what it is. He chose macaroni. His clues are: it's twirly, it goes with cheese and it's yellow. He came up with this whole thing by himself.

Yummy Winter Salad

I made this salad when Keith's parents came over for Christmas lunch, and we've been eating it at least once a week since then.

* 1 container of salad greens
* 2 avocados
* 1 bottle of mandarin oranges
* 1 handful of craisins
* 1 handful of walnuts

I like to use a pomegranate vinaigrette salad dressing. Doesn't really matter which kind, as long as it doesn't contain Sodium Benzoate.

If I have some grilled chicken left over from dinner, I'll toss that in, too.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Tom Brady vs. Tim Tebow

In our house, we've been Tim Tebow fans since the Gator days. We like his sportsmanship and his skills. Last year, Keith and the kids bought me a Tim Tebow poster for my sewing area out in the playroom.

Friends that know that I'm a Patriots fan had been teasing me all week, wondering how I'm going to survive Tim Tebow being up against Tom Brady for the big game. The kids are Patriots fans as well, and so the boys busted out their Patriots shirts as soon as we got home from church.

The local high school's mascot is the Patriot as well, so the boys get plenty of wear from these shirts.

We had some yummy football snacks and settled in for a late football game. Until Keith went missing. I found him in the kitchen snacking on the buffalo chicken dip and working on something secretive.

Keith came out of the kitchen in his very own Tebow shirt to cheer on the Broncos in a living room full of Patriots fans. So brave and so handsome!

It was tough to see Tebow have such a bad game. But it was a great Patriots victory! We enjoyed our football snacks and had a great time watching the game. The kids passed out after the first quarter and I struggled to stay awake until the end of the game, knowing that I had to get up bright and early for work the next day.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Fun at the Dentist Office

With Winter Break coming to an end, and a new calendar year beginning, it seemed logical to get the kids all in for their winter teeth cleaning. We switched to the Maitland location of Greenberg Dental and are very happy with the switch. At first, I was concerned because we hung out in the waiting room for about 45 minutes after the first scheduled appointment. Then the hygienist explained that they were trying to get all 3 kids in close proximity so that I didn't have to go from room to room to see them. It worked beautifully! There were chest-high dividers between the dental chairs and I was able to stand in Megan's area and look over at each of the boys. Here's our super-boring visit to the dentist. It's not exciting around here all the time, sometimes we do normal things like floss...

I was the most concerned about Megan, since she is our closet sweets eater...literally. The last time I moved furniture around in her room I found tons of granola bar and treat wrappers in her room. Fortunately for us she had a great visit today with zero cavities! The dentist did comment that she should not be drinking any juice (as a general kids shouldn't drink juice, nothing too specific to Megan), or anything dark in color. We're pretty guilty of doing the occasional grape juice or even worse V8 Splash (which isn't even juice at all), but within the past few weeks we've moved to just water with our meals. He complimented her on her no cavities and then asked if she is very detailed with brushing her teeth and then he looked at her socks and said, "nevermind". Ha, ha!

Joshua did great, too! He also has no cavities. I asked the dentist about Josh's need to always have something in his mouth. He's always chewing on something - his nails or gum. And he grinds his teeth. Dr. Dentist said that those things are not having a negative effect on his teeth and that sugar-free gum is okay for Joshua's nervousness. After doing much research over the past few weeks, I went ahead and decided to get Joshua's back molars "sealed". I'll likely have Megan's done within the next year, too. Funny thing about Joshua at the dentist is that he talks so much that it's hard for him to just lay there and let the hygienist clean his teeth. His literally took twice as long!

Little Daniel-bug hadn't really had the full-on dental visit until today. In the past, he has had a light cleaning and exam, but today is the first time I agreed to the xrays and fluoride treatment. He did great! He also has no cavities and loved the water sucker. In the picture above is what he looked like when I left him to go check on Joshua's sealants. Daniel had just gotten his fluoride applied and was supposed to be sitting with the sucker keeping his teeth dry. As I looked over the wall back at Daniel...this is what I found...

So funny! No, he hasn't had any funny-gas, this is just the way Daniel is. In the end where he shoves the sucker back in his mouth is because he hears the dentist coming.

I'm sure the dentist office is looking forward to us returning for the 6 month check this summer!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Baby, it's cold outside!

The boys helped me change the sheets on their beds today. After that was done, we emptied the Dyson and took out some of the dirt for a closer look.

We saw dirt, and some oil and a couple of hairs. So cool and gross all at the same time.

Then we had a plan that we would go to the park. So I piled them into the minivan and down to the castle park in Winter Park. Unfortunately, we only lasted about 2.7 minutes, since the wind picked up and the temperature was dropping by the second. The kids were all in shorts and short sleeve shirts, and my toes were freezing in my flip flops. So, back to the house for a wardrobe change and we were off again.

We ran into Wal-Mart to return a 3 duplicate games that we got for Christmas. It was quick and painless to return items, but I did have to pick up a few things, and that's where it gets ugly. Wal-mart is so dreary and busy and loud. Really, does there need to be televisions at the check-out stands blaring advertisements? We got the cat litter we needed and got out as quick as we could.

We went to the "fish" park and played there for at least an hour. I didn't realize how late it was getting, since my watch band is being repaired and I left my phone in the car. The next thing I knew someone walked by us and told his kids it was 5pm and time to go home. Oh no! I've got to get dinner going.

Daniel as king of the playground.

Sweet, sweet siblings.

Megan on the fish...why the park is the "fish park".

We still had to make a few stops on the way home and ended up dawdling in Chamberlain's for way to long, so when we got home it was already 5:30. I whipped up some chunky chicken noodle soup and called it a night.

We read the Brothers Grimm version of Sleeping Beauty tonight and the kids really enjoyed it.

Chunky Chicken Noodle Soup

After a chilly afternoon playing at the park, something warm for dinner was in order. It was already 5:30pm when we walked back into the house, and dinner needed to be on the table right now. I've stopped buying canned soups because the sodium content is too high. And it looks as though my crazy obsession with BPA-free containers seems to be catching on, at least to the folks at Harvard, or so says NPR.

Super quick supper...

1. Bring two cartons of chicken broth to a boil.

2. Add chopped chicken.

3. Add noodles (I used adorable shaped gluten-free rice noodles.)

4. About 10 minutes later add some carrots and celery.

5. In the time it takes to have everyone wash hands, seek out clean bowls from the dishwasher and feed the dog - dinner is ready. Dish up, and enjoy.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year! See ya, 2011!

New Years Eve means two things at our house... bad take-out Chinese food, and games. Megan and I went to our local little hole-in-the-wall take-out place to pick up our yummy dinner, while the boys played air hockey on their new air hockey table. Once home, we all settled around the table laughing about the lack of chop-sticks skills some family members possess.

Megan finally got it, and let out a little during-dinner victory dance.

Dinner was take-out and on paper plates...yay, no clean up tonight! After dinner the kids worked on a worksheet all about 2011.

Daniel in deep thought. Everyone filled out their sheets, then we weighted and measured the kids to write down their measurements. So funny as Daniel is such a solid kid, he nearly weighs as much as Megan, but she still has a couple of inches of height over him. Joshua is getting pretty tall, and I feel like I'm buying him new pants all the time.

You should be able to click on the kids' pages to make the view larger if you are unable to read it as it is posted.

Happy New Year to everyone! I'll be celebrating the day at work today, while Keith hangs with the kids at home. Daniel woke up at 4:30 complaining of a stomach ache (likely from the take-out), and is on the couch watching cartoons. Hopefully, the big kids will sleep a little later this morning.