Friday, January 30, 2009


Me and the girls made a Valentine's Day cake this week and it was yummy and much healthier then a regular cake.

Here is the recipe:

Make a Pillsbury Reduced Sugar cake mix just like the package directions, mix in 8 oz. of flavored yogurt (we used strawberry banana) and bake. We used two round cake pans. For the icing take a large container of light cool-whip and mix in another 8 oz. yogurt of the same flavor. I said it was healthier, I didn't say it was healthy:) We also added a little food coloring to make the icing pink. You gotta try it!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

My girls

The girls, especially Ellie, have really given me a run for my money since last week. Lately, I feel so drained and depleted by the time Chris comes home. We can be having such a good day and by 4 o'clock it just seems to fall apart. By then both girls are driving me crazy, I am driving them crazy and I am trying to get dinner on the table. I have a few new ideas to try and make this time a little less hectic but I also want to try and hold on to the little moments God gives me with the girls, even the crazy ones, because time is flying by and I don't want to look back with lots of regrets. I often find myself wanting to do other things when I am playing with them and not appreciating the fact that I get to stay home with them. I really really want to try and stop thinking of the 100 other things I want to do and just enjoy the play time I set aside for us each day. That is what I am going to try and work on and continue to pray about.

Here are some of the cute things they have been up to:

Right now Emily is pushing around the shopping cart all through the house with a teddy bear in it. She will pull out the bear and hug him and put him back in. I taught her to hug yesterday and say UmmmMmmmm. She plays by herself so well!!!! Ellie never did that so it has been wonderful! She has also started playing with books and will sit for a little bit with Ellie and I while we read.

Ellie is still really into drawing!!!!!! She drew this flower during rest time and came out wearing this shirt this morning minus the juice stain from breakfast.
Me:Wow Ellie look at your shirt

Ellie: It wasn't beautiful so I drew on it and now it is beautiful!

Me: It is beautiful but we never draw on anything but paper

Ellie: But Mommy you draw and paint on me and Emily's shirts all of the time to make them beautiful.

I could write all day on the funny things Ellie says but I will spare everyone!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Arm Warmers

I made Ellie the cutest arm warmers!!! She loves them and I think she looks so cute in them. I saw the idea a while back on this blog. I love the fact she can still wear a short sleeve shirt and just put the arm warmers on and they will come in very handy when Spring comes and it is chilly in the morning and warm in the afternoon. I think I will make several more pairs. Just in case anyone is interested here is how you make them:

  • Buy a pair of adult knee socks

  • Cut them off right above the ankle

  • Turn them inside out and turn over a small amount of the sock to make a hem
  • Sew a whip stitch all the way around and you are done

I cheated a little though. I just did a regular stitch because I just wanted to get them done. Truthfully I didn't sew them well at all and I just hope the stitch doesn't come out:) I will do it correctly the next time.

Also wanted to mention that I fixed the link to the the recipe blog!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Look what I found!!!

I have been looking for a used desk for Ellie's room for a few weeks so I was super excited when I saw a this at Goodwill! It was only 19.99 and I like it better then anything I saw on Craig's List!!! Don't read any further Grandpa...........but I plan on painting it white and maybe painting some cute girly stuff on it. I think she is going to love it!!!!! Now I need a simple wooden chair that I can paint to match.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Dinner and Stuff

This weeks menu:

Cranberry chicken w/ steamed broccoli

Meatball Subs w/Baked Chips and Guac

Indian Chicken w/rice and green beans

Beef Burritos

Shrimp Linguine w/salad

The cranberry chicken recipe came from this blog. She has such good recipes so I highly recommend checking it out!!

Here is what the girls are having:
Breakfast- cereal, eggs, waffles, toast, and ? which means she picks
Lunch - muffin tin, fish sticks, sandwich, pasta and cracker sandwiches

Last week we did not end up doing preschool at all other then reading lots of books!!! Not sure what happened Monday, Tuesday we played in the snow and Wed. and Thursday were NOT good days. Ellie had a problem keeping her attitude under control and by Friday I was just too exhausted. Hopefully this week will be better:)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Emily's Room

I almost titled this Emily's Nursery but she is not really a baby any more:( I have never really been happy with Emily's room so I decided to do some tweaking. I rearranged the furniture and that really helped. I got rid of her changing table and put a small white table in its place and put her dresser in her closet. I wanted something to put above her crib and could never figure out what to hang above it that she couldn't pull down. I decided to paint a monogram over it. I also wasn't happy with the window treatment or the art work on the walls. Her window treatment was the first one that I have ever made and I just made it too full. I cut off about two feet and I like it so much better. Now it is more of a flat panel and not so balloony. I also made four pictures to go over her new table. I am very happy with how they turned out and it was cheap and easy. I took 12 x 12 scrapbook paper and cut out an animal with an x-acto knife and put another piece of scrapbook paper behind it. The frames were less then $5 each and the scrapbook paper was 30 cents each. I am so much happier with the room now!!!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Fun food!

I know I write a lot about food but what can I say.....I love to eat and so do the girls!!!!! Here are a few of our favorite fun foods.

Muffin Tin lunches are big in the blogging world and are a huge hit here. We usually have a muffin tin lunch once a week. We have been doing these for months and they have not lost any appeal to Ellie. We have also done muffin tin dinners and build your own sundae muffin tin. Possibilities are endless!!Grilled cheese lollipops!Bagel faces! The "recipe" for the this came out of Ellie's cookbook Pretend Soup. We have themed them too. At Halloween we tinted the cream cheese orange and red at Christmas. Very tasty!

Monday, January 19, 2009

School Week

We had a pretty good school week last week. As much as I love Montessori activities Ellie just hasn't taken to them that much or maybe I just am not presenting them correctly but any how this week we focused more on doing other things. I think I will always offer a few Montessori activities but for now we are going to mix in other things as well. This past week we:
  • started working on sight words and our first one was the, she learned to spell it, practiced writing it, and found it in different books. We also started a word worm so every week that we start a new word we will add it to our worm

  • read lots of books

  • worked on 24 piece puzzles. I have always said that Ellie isn't a puzzle girl but all of the sudden she is so into puzzles. I love it! Good lesson for me to keep introducing activities even if she doesn't show interest initially.

  • Water transferring activity with medicine dropper. She put food coloring in each section of water and used a dropper to transfer it. She got tired of this pretty quick but she finished it.

  • We worked on our numbers 11-20 using this cute activity I printed from Kidssoup. She matched all of the numbers to the alligator teeth and then I would call off a number for her to hand to me. She is having problems recognizing 15-20 but this activity helped.

I hope her excitement for doing preschool lasts. She still thinks we are playing pretend when we do preschool but what ever works:) I love the way she has to have her book bag before we start, brings something for show and tell and calls me teacher.

Dinner Time!

Our menu this week:

Chopped BBQ Chicken Sandwiches w/Sweet Potato Fries

Baked Ziti w/Salad

Chicken Casserole w/Steamed Broccoli

Chili w/Cornbread

Salmon Cakes (I never made those last week) w/Black Eyed Peas

Ellie and Emily's Menu:

Breakfast: Pancakes left over from Sunday, Muffins, Grits, Eggs and Oatmeal
Lunch: Cheese Quesadillas, Ham Sandwich, Chicken Nuggets, Corn dog and English Muffin Pizzas

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Queen Theatre

Movie night was awesome!!!!! Ellie earned six tokens this week to spend at the movies. She was bouncing off the wall excited. Ellie helped get the room ready by adding her little sofa, sleeping bags, pillows and bean bags. She also helped decorate the movie sign. I made movie tickets and Chris set up the concession stand. We had lots of junk food to choose from:) Chris worked the ticket booth and the concession stand. He did so great at acting like he really worked at the movies and Ellie totally got into her role and was even calling him sir. Everything including the ticket was one token. The cool thing was she had to count out her tokens and pick which items she could have and put items back if she didn't have enough tokens so we got in a little math lesson and she didn't even know it! Ellie bought her ticket, popcorn, cotton candy, a few sugar babies, a mini Butterfinger and a drink. Can we say sugar overload? Chris even announced the different movie options as in theatre one we are showing Littlest Angel etc. She had five different options to choose from and she choose Madeline. Emily did such a great job during the movie and stayed in the room the whole time. She ate dinner for the first 30 min. and crawled around and played for the rest of it. We did have a hard time keeping her out of Ellie's treats the last 10 min. or so but who can blame her:) I couldn't have asked for it to go better and can't wait to do it again. We are thinking about doing it once a month or maybe every other month. I am just so blessed to have a husband that is as dorky as I am to get excited about things like this and help to make our family nights so special!!!!!

Friday, January 16, 2009


We usually go to the library every week to get the girls books and it is hit or miss if we find some good ones. We hit the jack pot last week and I thought I would share a couple of the really cute ones.

When The Library Lights Go Out is sooo cute!!! It is really great to do as a unit study because there is so many activities that you could branch off with this book. This would be a really good one to buy!!

The Circus Is Coming is a short simple read with great illustrations. I think the reason we loved it so much is because we just went to see the circus exhibit at Discovery Place.

Ellie loved Mess Pets because the two girls in the story grew animals out of the mess in their room. Cute book but not my favorite but one of Ellie's.

Do You Still Love Me was one of my favorites. It had such a cute little message and Ellie loved how the dog would scratch his fleas into the ladies coffee. I think she is going to be a little prankster!!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Night at the Movies

Chris is borrowing a projector for me this weekend so I can use it on a project and I thought we might as well use it as much as we can before we return it Monday:) We are going to have a night at the movies with Ellie Sat. in her playroom. We are going to rent a movie and project it on the playroom wall with our sleeping bags and pillows because Ellie LOVES using a sleeping bag! I am going to have it set up somewhat like a movie theater where you have to purchase a ticket, drink and snacks from the concession stand with tokens. Ellie can earn her tokens all week long by not getting any X's on her chart and doing extra chores. Sat. I am going to let her help decorate a movie sign and help set up our sleeping bags and what ever else I come up with to build the excitement for her. Lets just hope she earns enough tokens:) I would like it to be a movie we haven't seen so does anybody have any suggestions?

Weekly Menu

One of my New Year resolutions is to plan out a weekly menu preferably to coincide with what ever is on sale at Harris Teeter. If I can stick to this my life would be so much easier. Nothing is more stressful then trying to figure out what is for dinner at 4 while Emily is hanging on my legs and Ellie is begging me to play with her. Not to mention it will save me time and money and gives me another reason to make a list ( man I love lists). So I sat down last night and here is what I came up with:

Monday- Cube Steak w/gravy over rice and brussel sprouts
Tuesday - Pot Roast w/carrots, potatoes and onions
Wed - Salmon Patties w/black eyed peas and salad
Thursday - Shrimp Stir Fry
Friday - Chicken and dumplings with pintos
Sat. and Sunday will probably be leftovers

Ellie did her breakfast and lunch menu for the week:

Breakfast: Muffins, waffles, cereal, grits, and toast
Lunch: Baked potato, bagel faces, turkey dog, chicken nugget, muffin tin lunch

She has not complained once and it has made meal times so much more pleasant. She does so much better if she knows what to expect!!!

I would love some meal ideas because I get in such a dinner rut so please pass on any ideas!!!!!!! Don't be shy:)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Back to the Grind!

Next week we are starting back with our preschool activities. We took time off during the holidays but are ready to get back to it. This week we got back into the routine of doing the chore chart and following our “schedule”. Unfortunately, Emily has decided she only needs one nap so we are back to square one with the schedule and I am not exactly sure when to do our preschool activities. I have seen so many cool preschool activities lately on other blogs and so many have come from the Kidssoup website. You have to pay but it looks worth it so I signed up. It is only $2.15 a month and I have had so much fun checking it out and getting ideas. Some of the things we are going to work on in the following weeks are our numbers 11-20, writing more letters and of course Montessori like activities. We are also going to cook some because Ellie is really into cooking right now. She has a couple of cookbooks and loves flipping through them and picking out recipes so we are going to make 1-2 things a week until she doesn't want to any more. Here are the cookbooks we have and we love both of them.
I like them because they have written directions for the parents and picture directions for the kids. Pretend soup is my favorite. I want to get this one for Ellie but I wonder if it is any good.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Ellie Update

Just wanted to give an update on Ellie wearing big girl panties to bed.....she is doing wonderful!!!!! No accidents so far. I just can't believe it. She is so proud of herself and I am so proud of her. She typically gets up five minutes after she goes to bed and goes to the potty even though she just went and maybe one time at night. Luckily she has never even come in our room or anything if she gets up at night she just goes and gets back in bed. What a big girl!!!! She is even turning the lights out like we practiced! She is also loving coming out of her room at 7 by herself. She literally must sit and watch her alarm clock because as soon as it turns 7 I hear her door open. Emily has been sleeping a little longer then Ellie so Ellie has been coming in my bed to snuggle a few minutes before we start our day. It is so nice!!!!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

What's For Lunch?

I am so sick of having the what is for lunch debate and breakfast for that matter. Everyday Ellie asks and when I tell her she wants to have a 10 minute debate about it. Drives me crazy...or should I say crazier:) I came up with an idea the other day that I hope will stop this! I made a chart (I know, big surprise) that has five blocks for breakfast and five for lunch. The squares are for Monday through Friday. Then I came up with 8 breakfast options and 20 lunch options and found clip art of each and printed them out. I laminated each food item and put a magnet on the back and stuck the chart on the fridge. Every Sunday evening I will give Ellie five breakfast items and five lunch items and she gets to put the food item on which day she wants to have it. That way it takes the guess work out of what we are having and it helps her have a part in it. I tried to incorporate some fun things in there to use every few weeks or so like McDonald's, a question mark which means her choice and a muffin tin lunch (I will explain that in another post). The food items we are not using for that week we can use on her magnetic board to play restaurant etc.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Birthday Banner

I love family traditions!!! We have being adding new traditions here and there and I really hope the girls enjoy them over the years and end up doing them with their families. Recently I decided that I wanted to make a birthday banner for us to put up every time any of us has a birthday. Hopefully the girls won't get sick of it over the years and will be comforted by the fact that we put the same banner up on their special day. One of the things I love about it is the fabric that I used. I used fabric from Emily's nursery, their playroom, the first dress I ever made Ellie and Emily and also some random fabric that I really liked. The banner was really fun and pretty easy to make. For anyone interested here are some pretty basic directions:

1. Cut triangle out of card stock. I made approx. 8 1/2 x 9"

2. Use triangle template to cut out two pieces from each fabric so you end up with 26 triangles.

3. Cut out all of the Happy Birthday letters from felt. I free handed mine but I am sure you could find letters on the Internet to trace.

4. Sew each letter on a separate triangle. I sewed them on with the machine but you could hand sew them. Now you have thirteen triangles with letters and thirteen without.

5. Once you have all the letters on you sew the 2 triangles that are alike together. Just sew the sides up and leave the top open.

6. Now it is time to sew all of the triangles together. I used bias tape to do this. I had never used it before so I watched this great tutorial on YouTube.
Don't worry about everything lining up perfectly etc. because the bias tape covers everything at the top and you can also trim any fabric that doesn't line up right. Here is the finished product.

I hope this makes sense!!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Wish Us Luck

Ellie is not wearing a diaper to bed tonight!!! She has been asking to wear big girl panties to bed for awhile and I have hesitated because she sleeps in a loft bed in total darkness. I was so scared she would fall getting out of bed so we were trying to find a way to have light without having a nightlight on all night. I suggested a tap light by her bed but my genius and very handy husband cut a hole in the wall and put a light switch that has a very faint light on it. He wired in with the electric outlet below so if she has to get up she can just hit the switch at the foot of her bed which turns on a lamp. We also told her that from now on she doesn't have to call us in the morning to come in her room that she can get up when the clock says seven. I know it sounds crazy but we have never let her get out of bed until we come get her because I didn't want her going in and out of her room all night or during rest time. Now that she knows she isn't allowed to get up until her alarm clock says 7 we don't have to worry about that (best thing we ever did by the way). When we went into her room a few minutes before 7 on Christmas she told us it wasn't time yet! Anyway, you would not believe how excited she is not only to wear big girl panties to bed but to be able to get up in the morning by herself. I think she was more excited then she was on Christmas Eve. Now lets hope she doesn't have an accident tonight:)