Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Preschool Memory Games

Two weeks ago, Big Boy turned 4 years old. He's so cute. Growing and learning every day. I'm amazed at all the things that he's learning.

Thinking about his birthday this year, I was absolutely stumbled for ideas. He has toys, things he likes to play with. he loves books and we already have lots of movies. I wanted something that didn't require batteries and something that he couldn't outgrow too quickly. Have you looked in the stores for creative toys? They are few and far between.

Then I remembered that he had mentioned he wanted a Memory Game. What a great idea! Apparently he had played it at a friend's house and loved it. Not only is it creative, something that will grow with him, but they're also so affordable. I went into Target looking for the traditional Memory Game, and this is what I came out with...

What a great gift! He's so into Toy Story right now and we play this game almost every day. The other day he asked who bought him the Memory Game and when I told him it was Mommy and Daddy, he came running at me with his arms open and gave me a huge hug. Guess it was a hit.

Want to make this gift idea even more special? How about making a a homemade Memory Game as a great Christmas gift?

These are some great links to get you started:
Homemade Memory Game (@ Make and Takes)-- basic game to get you started and show you what materials you will need
Juice Can Lid Memory Game (@ About.com)--fun twist on the traditional came that includes recycling juice lids
Printable Memory Games (@FamilyFun)--here's a huge variety of printable games.
Vintage Memory Game (@OneSheTwoShe)--this is so cute and would make great gift for a game loving friend. I may want one of my own.
Pattern Memory Game (@The Crafty Crow)--looking for a super challenge? This one looks like it would be pretty rough, but loads of fun.

So if you're looking for a great birthday gift or a great Christmas gift, this is a fun game sure to please a variety of people on your list. And being frugal will help your budget and allow you to support Advent Conspiracy this year.

For more Works for Me ideas, check out We Are THAT Family.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Tackle it Tuesday

Well, I'm sorry. I meant to take pictures this weekend. We discovered that the video feature on our camcorder isn't working, but the digital camera part is. So I plan on using it just to take pictures for the blog. But alas, as soon as I discovered that and planned on taking pictures for this post, it simply got too dark to get anything decent. Hopefully, I'll be better prepared in the future and be able to get some more pictures in this blog again.

Anyways... this weekend was a weekend of working hard. We had a growing list of home improvement/ maintenance projects to work on and it just seemed like our calendar kept filling up. So we committed to making this last weekend a working weekend. As much as I was hoping to get done, I was still surprised at what was done. This is just a glimpse of all that was done around the house this weekend:

* pruning rosebushes
* planting garlic
* cleaning off outdoor patio
* raking leaves
* washing, line drying, folding, and putting away 3 laundry loads
* refinishing our front door
* fixing the phone lines
* grocery shopping
* volunteering in Big boy's class on Friday morning
* attending a bridal shower
* sweeping and mopping the hardwood
* baking for a chili cook-off
* cleaning the gutters
* picking up the kids' pictures
* putting up four new clotheslines
* carving pumpkins
* and various other little projects done around the house.

It was a great weekend for getting things done and I'm so excited to feel a little bit of the pressure off. Just need to limb that back tree and I'll feel complete.... For now.

For more Tackle it Tuesday posts, check out 5 Minutes for Mom.

Menu Monday 10/26-11/1

Yogurt and Fruit
Cottage Cheese
Toast and eggs

Peanut Butter and Jelly sammies
Grilled cheese sammies
Veggie Soup
Veggie Quesadillas

Monday: Lentil Soup
Tuesday: Potato Bar
Wednesday: Mexican Corn Chowder
Thursday: Taco Salad
Saturday: Veggie Pizza
Sunday: Aztec Chicken

Pumpkin Bread

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Link Love

These Creative Toddler Play ideas are a great reminder to incorporate the little things into your day (@ Steady Mom).

I'd love to copy this Garden Sign (@SK Studios). Wouldn't it look great on my patio?

Autumn is a favorite time of year and perfect for Everything Pumpkin (@Autumnfawn Lane).

It's fall and these Pumpkin Pie Bites will be transformed into Jack 'o Lanterns in my house very soon (@Bakerella).

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Stand by Me

If you haven't seen these yet, check out the others on Youtube. Fantastic!!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Frugal Friday

My husband and I are firm believers in not living outside of our means. We take great pride in cutting corners, pinching pennies, and finding resources in places that other people would overlook. Still there's one area that outsiders may look at us and frown upon. We do hold several pieces of active credit. Yes, that's right... credit cards. We do keep tabs on them and have even found frugal advantages to holding them.

Because we're both authorized to make purchases for our church, we find that credit cards are sometimes the only way to make some of those purchases. For instance, when our church took a church wide camping trip this summer, we reserved the campsites on our credit card. We did get paid back, but holding a credit card was the only way we were able to reserve the group site. Scary yes, but like I said, there are advantages.

We basically keep two credit cards that we use regularly. One accrues airline miles, while the other accrues Amazon points. Often, I use the Amazon card; however, if I know we have something coming up, I'll switch to the airline card. Around about August, I realized Christmas was coming up. Although we make more of our Christmas gifts, I usually try to pick up something extra for the kids at least. So starting in August, we put several things on the Amazon card. I'm working toward getting some fun stuff for my son and daughter. And maybe a book for myself depending on how it goes.

Even if you're not making huge purchases, points can still add up quickly. Recently I realized that I had another tool at my disposal: our monthly bills. There are somethings that we pay every month that usually just consistently get paid off: the electric bill, our food budget, gas, and a couple of insurances. I began to wonder why I wasn't taking advantage of that. We're still careful to keep a tight budget and not exceed just because we have a credit card. But putting it on the card first and paying the card off at the end of the month, allows us to accrue those points even faster.

This is an area that we venture into with a lot of caution, but having lived on a tight budget for over eight years has taught us valuable lessons in making our credit cards work for us.

For more Frugal Friday ideas, check out Life as Mom.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Tortellini Soup

I'm always on the lookout for super easy, nutritious meals that I can serve my family. Something that the kids will eat, but I also won't feel guilty about putting on the table. So I was very excited when I came across this recipe and my kids liked it.

With all the vegetables, it certainly meets the nutritious criteria. And with the tortellini, it absolutely meets the kid friendly criteria. Plus it loaded with ingredients I always keep on hand. This recipe is sure to become a mainstay as we move into the winter months.

Tortellini Soup
3 c. broth
3 c. water
1/2 tsp. Italian Seasoning
3 carrots, chopped
3 celery ribs, chopped
1-2 tomatoes, chopped
handful of baby spinach, washed and torn
9 oz cheese tortellini

1. Combine broth, water and seasoning. Bring to a boil.
2. Add tortellini and cook for 3 min.
3. Add carrots and celery. Cook for an additional 3-4 minutes.
4. Add tomatoes and spinach. Cook until tortellini is cooked through.
5. Serve with parmesan cheese.

We also served this with a little cantaloupe. Really whatever fruit you have on hand. It's quite delicious.

For more Works for Me ideas, check out We Are THAT Family.

Menu Monday 10/19-10/25

Monkey Bread (weekend treat)
Oatmeal and fruit
Yogurt and fruit

Almond Chicken Salad
PB&J Sandwiches
Crackers and hummus
Easy Bean Dip

Monday: Tomato Soup and fruit
Tuesday: Stirfry
Wednesday: Lentil Tacos
Thursday: Taco Night Pasta
Friday: French Bread Pizza, Greek Potato Salad
Saturday: Sesame Chicken Strips
Sunday: Chili cook off: take corn bread and Fall Pumpkin Cake

Friday, October 16, 2009

See ya next week...

I'm off to host a Women's Retreat this weekend. Should be busy, should be crazy, should be fun! If you think of us, be praying for us. Pray that we have some awesome, encouraging, life-changing encounters with God. Pray that we grow together as sisters. Pray that I have wisdom. Here we go... :-)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Storing Bulk Pet Food

We have a family pet. Annie, our kitty, has been a part of our lives since my husband and I were first married. Through four moves, two kids, and seven years of being with us, I can't imagine our lives without her. She is my sweetie, coming to curl up with me on the couch. And in recent days, she's really warmed up to the kids, to the point of spending some time curled up in each of their rooms as they go to bed.

Needless to say she's one of the family.

But keeping a pet can be expensive. Even though our expense are relatively minimal, even food and litter can add up. So when I started comparing prices, I realized we were paying for packaging. I love the convenience of the pourable litter from a smaller jug, but looking at the price... I just couldn't do it any longer.

So we came up with a plan. My husband hit the pet department while I wandered through the storage section. We picked out two huge Rubbermaid tubs. They sit just outside the kitchen door in the garage. One is stocked with cat food and one with litter. Keeping them in containers like this, I can store a scoop as well and not have to lug the bulk bags. Putting the food in the storage container also keeps Annie from trying to eat through the bag.

Not paying for packaging Works for Me.

For more Works for Me ideas, check out We Are THAT Family.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Celebrating 4 Years with My Baby

Today we celebrate 4 years with Noah. It's hard to believe that 4 years ago, I was in labor, pushed into the OR for an emergency C-section, and greeted by a long-legged, beautiful little boy. We had waited a long time to see him and he was even more precious than we had imagined.

Each day is a new adventure with this child. From one moment to the next, I rarely know what's going to come out of his mouth. From "I'm not a character" to "I love you this much, Mom", each day is new and I'm loving getting to know this special little boy that God's put in our lives.

I still call him "My Baby," but I realize those days are coming to an end. This year we've seen the transition from Cars to Spiderman, a tricycle to a bicycle, and coloring to cutting. I've also seen the transition from little boy to big brother. The list of changes goes on and on.

We celebrated with a party this weekend. Little friends gathered in the backyard to bounce and have cake. He loved the Monkey Cake and even invited his friends to help him open his presents. It was cute to see the way he stuck up for the two girls when some of the boys were getting too rough.

All these little moments seem like they're passing too quickly. So today we're just sitting back and enjoying it all. Taking snack into preschool and rounding out the day with lunch at The Yellow Arrow (In 'N' Out). Mommy's taking deep breaths, soaking in each moment, and doing the best she can to make memories.

Oh, and maybe fight back a few tears.

Dancing on the 4th of July waiting for fireworks

Dancing with his sister on the 4th of July

Making Mommy some pizza

Two little monkeys eating bananas and waiting for Monkey Bread

Riding the carousel

For more Tackle it Tuesday posts, check out 5 Minutes for Mom.

Menu Monday 10/12-10/18

Cereal and fruit
Monkey Bread (on Tues for Big Boy's Birthday)

Almond Chicken Salad
Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches
Grilled Cheese sandwiches
Carrots and dip

Monday: Leftover Pizza
Tuesday: Big Boy's Birthday: Veggie Pizza
Wednesday: Pasta Fagioli
Thursday: Taco Night Pasta
Friday-Saturday: Me at Women's Retreat, Hubby and kids visiting family in Sacramento
Sunday: Sesame Chicken Strips

Pumpkin Bread
Pumpkin Spice Latte

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Obama Wants to Ruin Summer Vacation

Obama Wants to Ruin Summer Vacation | momlogic.com

Shared via AddThis

I don't like it. My opinion: it's not our education system that's broken. It's our families structure that's broken. Teachers are struggling under the pressure already. Called on to be teach, mom, dad, counselor, therapist, and so much more. What is going to happen to their families as these teachers are called upon to put even more time in?

I don't blame our kids. They are fighting to help back hunger, neglect, anger, emotions that are threatening to overwhelm them in their crumbling families.

what do you think?

Monday, October 5, 2009

Menu Monday 10/5-10/11

Yogurt and fruit
Eggs and Toast
Gingerbread Waffles
Monkey Bread

PB and J sandwiches
Veggie soup
carrots and dip
Grilled cheese sammies

Monday: Split Pea soup
Tuesday: Tortellini soup--new recipe
Wednesday: Potato soup
Thursday: Taco night pasta--new recipe
Friday: Out with family???
Saturday: Red Robin Dinner to celebrate a 4th birthday
Sunday: Papa Murphy's Pizza

Monkey Munch for the party
Homemade Popsicles

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Our family loves everything pumpkin. There's something comforting about the "warm" that comes through when you combine pumpkin, ginger, and cinnamon. Perfection!

So when I found this recipe last year, we quickly copied it down, knowing it would be a classic.

And then we added the Chocolate Chips!

These cookies can be found in our house from September through January. But if you want some, you'd better grab them quick. They go fast. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 stick butter
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. sugar
1 c. pure pumpkin
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. flour
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
3 c. rolled oats

As many chocolate chips as you'd like!!!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat together butter and sugars. Add pumpkin, eggs, and vanilla; beat. Mix in combined flours, baking soda, and spices; stir in oats and chocolate chips. Drop onto greased cookie sheets. Bake 10-12 minutes.
Related Posts with Thumbnails