Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Owl Cupcakes

Jr. let me know he wanted these owl cupcakes from FamilyFun Magazine. The opportunity came up, so we made our own version. This is how they turned out:

Jeremy and the kids made the cupcakes, Jeremy and Jr. frosted them,

and I decorated them using items we had on hand.

The frosting is coconut pecan. The wings are made from pecan sandies cookies, the eyes are pieces of pretzels with upside down chocolate chips in the middle, and the nose is a peanut.
I'm pretty pleased with how they turned out.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

They've Gone to a Far Better Place

We said goodbye to about half our plants today.
Remember all those posts about starting them from seeds, and how they've grown, and transplanting them, etc. etc. etc.
Our one spot to plant outside is a planter box in front of our neighbor's window (we planned to keep the smaller plants in front of the window and the larger to the sides- it's common courtesy). Our neighbors were okay with this idea. However, due to unforeseen circumstances that bit of earth is no longer available.

We feel worse for our neighbors than for the bit of earth we were going to use.

We tried. We really did. We wanted to do a garden, if even a little one.
When Jeremy went home teaching, the opportunity came up to donate our plants to one of the families he home teaches. They have plenty of garden space and were planning on sharing some of the food they grow with us anyway. And this way we don't have to throw out our plants because there's no garden for them.
So we said farewell to the pumpkin, tomatoes, banana peppers, and the one surviving sunflower, but kept the herbs and romaine lettuce.

Our kitchen windowsill seems so bare now. I guess when we separate the lettuce into individual containers that will help, though.

The kids look forward to going to visit the plants later in the season and we're happy the plants went to a better place instead of having to throw them away eventually.

See what good things come from home teaching? More than one family will be blessed from this.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Armed Forces Day 2011

A few months ago, we donated to the Boy Scouts who would then put an American flag in front of our place for certain holidays. Today is Armed Forces Day. As we were headed out the door this morning, Jeremy exclaimed, "Hey, they did put an American flag up," to which Nichole replied, "Did the astronauts do that?"
For as we all know, that's what American astronauts do when they go places. "Or take it on planets or the moon," Nichole says.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Joy Is...

having the entire playground to yourselves on a nice warm day.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Chocolate Girl

I told her not to get chocolate on her white shirt.

She didn't.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Kite Day 2011

Yesterday, May 12th, was Kite Day. As has been our custom lately, Jeremy made shaped pancakes- kite shaped pancakes. He even made a smiley face pancake to show how happy we were to have kite shaped pancakes.

Then guess what we did. You got it. We went to a local park and... flew kites.

Well, the kids did most of the flying, Jeremy showed the kids what to do, I ran around with the camera, and Jr. Jr. did his usual thing of sleeping in the stroller. There wasn't that much wind, but it was Kite Day, so we had to go kite flying anyway. The kids ended up with plenty of exercise getting their kites up while running.

And from time to time a little breeze would pick up. Enough for the kids to stand still for a few seconds.

It was a good family activity.

P.S. If you want to know a simple snack to go with the Kite Day theme, check out May 12th on our Calendar of Celebration.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Look What We Got in the Mail

Cousins from Washington sent the kids an Easter egg in the mail. It was intended to get here by Easter. We got it Monday this week. We didn't think it would actually get here since it was taking so long. Better late than never, right? The kids were very excited to get it... and the sweet card colored by their cousin inside.

Thanks, Washington cousins.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Jeremy, I Love You!

It's nice to know that after 8 years and 3 kids, you're still the man I married.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Beautiful and Gorgeous

Nichole: How do I look?
Mommy: With your eyes.
Nichole: No. How do I look?
Mommy: With your eyes.
Nichole: No. How do I look like? Do I look beautiful and gorgeous?
Mommy: Yes. You look beautiful and gorgeous.
Nichole: I'm a beautiful and gorgeous fairy.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The KAT's Meow

Nichole: What are you making?
Mommy: Scrambled eggs.
Nichole: Scrambled eggs? What are scrambled eggs?
Mommy: Um… eggs that are… beaten?
Nichole: Beaten? What does beaten mean?
Mommy: Um… stirred?
Nichole: Stirred eggs? We’re going to have stirred eggs?

Friday, May 6, 2011

Star Wars Day 2011

So, do you want to know what we did to celebrate Star Wars Day on May 4th?
Here goes:
Jeremy used his pancake pen to make Star Wars shaped pancakes. He made a whole bunch. A few of the shapes he made were Master Yoda, an X-Wing Fighter, Darth Vader's head, and an Imperial Walker.

For dinner, we had "Sand"wich People (and carrot sticks). We didn't have any cookie cutters in the shape of Tusken Raiders, so we settled for gingerbread men. The filling was a tuna fish mixture, and the kids ate all of theirs. *Gasp.*

And to drink- blue milk (just like Luke Skywalker used to drink on Tatooine).
We had to watch Episode IV for "research" purposes. I mean how else would we know what our Death Star Cheeseball was supposed to look like? Jr. and I made it (click on the picture to see it larger).

And of course we played Lego Star Wars on the Wii.

And... we couldn't resist. Nichole and I did our hair in Princess Leia buns.

We love finding reasons to celebrate.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

At Least I...

You know those days where you feel guilty about not getting everything on your To Do list checked off?
Well today, instead of focusing on all the things I didn't get done, every time I did get something done, I said, "If I don't get anything else done today, at least I cleaned the toilet," then, "If I don't get anything else done today, at least I cleaned the toilet and washed the crockpot," etc. etc. until my list of things I did get done was longer than my original To Do list, even if I didn't get to everything on the To Do list. So look at what I was saying later in the day:

If I don't get anything else done today, at least I cleaned the toilet, washed the crockpot, washed the roaster, set up my visiting teaching, washed the kids' bedding, took the boys to the park,

and fixed dinner with both a fruit and vegetable on the side,

except that Jr. Jr. didn't eat what we ate. He had squash.

Monday, May 2, 2011

May the 4th Be With You

When we find reasons to celebrate, a lot of the fun is brainstorming- planning different foods, games, or activities. Even if we don't use most of the ideas we come up with for a certain holiday or party, there will always be another opportunity some time in the future. I'll admit, Jeremy and I may have gone a bit overboard coming up with ways to celebrate Star Wars Day, coming up on Wednesday of this week. We're not going to use all of these in our celebrations ourselves, but maybe you can get a few ideas for yourselves and get a kick out of the fun we had brainstorming.

I don't know where to start. We had too much fun finding puns based on Star Wars, so I guess I'll start with different foods you can have in your "Admiral Snackbar."
Make sure you clean your counters beforehand with "Mace Windex."
If you want a simple game for your guests as they are arriving, you can have the foods out with name plates next to them covered. As they snack, the guests can guess what the names of the foods are then uncover the names to find out what you named them. It's fun to see what creative names people come up with, names you might not have even thought of. Here is a list of foods and what we would call them (in no particular order). Feel free to groan as much as you want.

Pieces of cheese- cheese "wedge"s
Water- Watto
Sandwiches cut in the shape of people- "Sand"wich people
Orange Juice with extra pulp- Pulpatine
Croissants- Coruscants
Now and Laters- Now and "Vader"s
Jawbreakers- Jabba Breakers
Bubble Gum- Bubble Fett
Caramels- Chewies
Cinnamon Rolls- Princess Leia Buns

Make sure if you bake any cookies (also can be called "Chewies"), you use "Imperial" margarine.

Other less "punny" foods-
Cheeseball shaped like the Death Star
Milk with blue food coloring (think Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru)
Ewok cupcakes

These were Winnie the Pooh cupcakes we did for Nichole's birthday a couple years ago, but they could be adapted to Ewok cupcakes.

Qui-Gon Jinn Rummy
Tie Fighting (using some of Dad's old ties)

Nerf Herding (gathering nerf balls)

And here's my "scruffy looking nerf herder."

Non-punny games-
Lego Star Wars for the Wii
Death Star Beanbag Toss- Paint a board to look like the Death Star with targets to hit or holes to toss through.

Other activities-
Temporary Tattooines
Flower Leis for party favors- Princess Leis

Non-punny activities-
Jedi academy, where children (or adults) practice using the force (adults toss items they point to)
Star Wars Legos
You could easily spend hours watching Star Wars parodies on line.
And of course, if you have access to your own personal balloon twister, you can run around with balloon lightsabers.

I sure hope you were able to "Endor" all the puns we made in this post.
I'd love to hear what other suggestions people have for celebrating May 4th- Star Wars Day.

Ooh and I just found out something. For all my friends in the Seattle area, they are celebrating Star Wars Day this year at the Pacific Science Center. Check out this link.