Wednesday, October 31, 2012

happy halloween

Our kids were very much looking forward to today.  We've noticed that Cam wakes extra early when he is excited about something.  This morning he came down at 6:15 and said, "Do you know what time my eyes awakened?  4:51!  But I just stayed in there until now" Thank goodness he didn't get up then!!  Yikes!

This Halloween we decided to skip the carnivals and just trick-or-treat.  We had such a great time. The kids were SOOOO into it.  Cam wasn't scared a bit even when we went to a house that even I thought was a tad freaky.  Kendall needed one of us to accompany her to most of the doors but she was equally as excited to add to the heaviness of her bucket. :)

My little princess and pirate:

Sorting through their loot:

Saturday, October 27, 2012

first hike

Today was a big day for Zoe.  It was her first time hiking with us.  I have a feeling it will be the first of many as Cam was in HEAVEN the entire time!  We started out with a picnic lunch.  I think Chris looks like such a thug in this pic with his goatee :)

The weather was perfect and it was sooo beautiful!

After returning home the kids watched Madagascar 3.  We then decided to use a gift card Chris received from his birthday and headed to Red Robin.  In this pic I'm holding one of their new and amazingly yummy appetizers, soft pretzel bites. :)

Friday, October 26, 2012

baby olivia

Yesterday after school the kids and I drove out to OC to see my friend Ana, her kids, and new baby Olivia.  My kids were VERY excited about going and Cam was very intrigued by Olivia, asking all sorts of questions throughout our visit.  

Each time we get together we seem to get more talking time due to the kids being older and able to entertain themselves better.  I just love, love Ana.  She's the type of friend that I go away from always feeling like we had such good conversations (she is GREAT at asking questions, which is pretty big to me).

After hanging out at their place for a while, we ended with dinner at McDonald's and frozen yogurt (well, candy from the yogurt place anyway) for the drive home.  Fun day. :)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

more pumpkin stuff

I have been wanting to try a savory pumpkin dish and tonight was the night.  I used a recipe from Chris' uncle for pumpkin enchiladas and it turned out very tasty.  I made a couple of tweaks, per his recommendation.  They are very healthy and Cam gave them several, "These are awesome!!" :)  Up next will be a savory dish with a creamy slant, rather than tomato base.

Speaking of pumpkins, I took the kids to a local pumpkin patch today (Greenspot Farms).  I love this place as it is small, rustic, and almost always not crowded (nothing wrong with big commercial ones, but I love the quaintness of this place).  We had such a fun time and it was well worth skipping the nap. :)

Here are the kids in their "Honey House" (that is a mannequin next to them).

Monday, October 22, 2012

We just got back from a mini vacation with the kids.  That's what we've started calling our trips up to my in-laws.  We always have such a fun time and it's actually relaxing, which we never thought could go hand in hand on a trip with kids. :)  Some of the happenings:

*Going to the kids' favorite pumpkin patch

*Lots of baking for Cameron and grandma (pumpkin cookies, homemade rolls, etc.)

*Attending the soccer game of some friends' son.  Cameron made a cute sign to cheer him on.  Afterward we all hung out at McDonald's while the kids played

*Enjoying having Chris' grandma stay for the weekend.  She loves to have the kids come in each morning to wake her up. :)

*Enjoying three Hallmark movies with Chris' mom as well as reading all the magazines she had stocked for my arrival

*Celebrating Chris' birthday

It was such a fun weekend and the kids did NOT want to go home.  We left Sunday morning. We like to get home close to bedtime since we are all tired and there is nothing fun about staring at the clock and thinking we have an entire afternoon of kid entertaining. :)  One of our stops usually includes the mall in Valencia for lunch and playtime

Right before bed I had to snap this cute shot of Kendall snuggling with daddy while they watched baseball.  She was actually quite into it and asked lots of questions

Thank you grandma and grandpa for a great weekend!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

*On Sunday afternoon Cameron spent 4 1/2 hours straight working on building one of his Legos sets.  Holy cow!!  Put him in front of a pile of Legos and tell him to go at it?  He'll last 5 minutes.  Put him in front of detailed instructions to follow? He'll last 4 1/2 hours. :)

*Reason #435,365 why my daughter is too cute for words:

Me:  Can you drink some more water?
Kendall:  I don't want to.
Me:  But water is so good for you!  Remember how we talked about beans having a party in your tummy?  Well, water has parties too because it's so healthy!
Kendall:  Oh!!  So it's like a swimming pool for the food!! :)

*I felt SUPER old today when I read that Stacey Dash, an actress from one of my all time favorite movies, Clueless, is 46!!!

(she's in the middle)

* Reason #435,366 why my daughter is too cute for words:  She looks soooo adorable in her new bob haircut. :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin!!!

There have been so many recipes I've read about which include pumpkin.  I'm anxious to try a pumpkin enchilada recipe Chris' uncle sent me.  I know I'll love them because the past couple of days I've REALLY fallen in love with using pumpkin in savory foods.  First off, last night I made cottage cheese pancakes and cut the butter down and added pumpkin instead.  With a little jelly on them (they do need some sort of topping) the kids gobbled them up!!

Secondly, today for lunch I had my second meal of basically a stir fry with pureed pumpkin acting as the sauce.  Today's bowl included spaghetti squash, potato wedges, onions, pumpkin, and parmesan cheese.

I figured this would become a regular for me in the next few weeks, so I went ahead and froze some pumpkin in ice cube trays so they would be easy to pop out and into my bowls. :)  

I can't believe I've never tried this stuff in things other than breads and desserts! :)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

*Last week I accompanied Cam's class to Oak Glen for an apple tour.  I actually learned quite a lot!!

*While we were at the field trip, my mom and Kendall went to my moms' group outing at a pumpkin patch. :)

*Chris' birthday is tomorrow and he requested his favorite cookies.  I made them SUPER easily this time.  I made chocolate cookies out of a cake mix (just added 1/2 cup oil and 2 eggs) and then sandwiched them between store bought German Chocolate frosting.

 *This below is SOOO me!!  For some reason, I hate having to walk those 10 feet back to the car from our kitchen for another load. :)

*I'm browsing Pinterest to try and find a good chore chart/system.  I know I need to get one going, I'm just dragging my feet. :)

*How cute is this dress?
*The other day I was telling Cameron that his teacher and I had talked and we are going to have him start reading, "even bigger boy books" now.  To this he responded, "You mean books that have words like 'absolutely' and 'incredible' in them?"  :)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

daddy/Kendall and mommy/Cameron day

A few weeks ago I asked Chris to take Kendall for a few hours so I could take Cam to a birthday party yesterday.  Chris decided to make it a super fun afternoon and took Kendall to Disneyland since they had never gone just the two of them.

They had such a great day and it was fun for me to get pic texts throughout the day of everything they did.

One thing I love about Kendall is how easy she is to take to ANY store.  She just loves to look around and pick things up.  One of Chris' texts was how many gift shops they had been in, as opposed to when we all go (Cam isn't as into "browsing").

Cameron and I had a fun afternoon together.  After school we headed to McDonald's for some play time.  I had just gotten settled at a table with my iced coffee and newspaper when he announced (after 10 minutes) he was done.  Oh, well. :)  We then went to my mom's to kill some time until the party.  

The birthday party was at a bowling alley and Cameron LOVED every minute of it.  There is something so cool for kids about seeing their classmates in places other than school. :)  

One of the teen bowling alley employees was responsible for cutting the cake.  I gave her a break since she probably didn't have kids, but the pieces she served were the size of Cameron's head!  I knelt down and told Cam he would get a tummy ache if he ate the whole thing, and luckily he let me lop off half his piece and throw it away (wow, I sound like a real birthday killjoy, huh?). :)

Overall it was a very fun, "divide and conquer" day for us and the kids. :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

during lunch today...

...the kids and I got our groove on with our black bean tortilla pizzas.

About 10 minutes after the video:

Cameron:  Mom, can you not feed me this again?
Me:  Why?
Cameron:  Because beans are kind of yucky.
Me:  But don't you want them to dance in your tummy and have a party (that's what we say happens when we eat healthy foods)?
Cameron: (putting his hand to his stomach) Um...I don't feel them dancing.  I don't think they've arrived yet.

Monday, October 8, 2012

*Today Kendall and I took such a nice walk to the grocery store.  Heat, please stay just a little longer!  While there I picked up a can of pumpkin.  I'm determined to make some sort of savory/dinner dish with it as this has been on my "want to experiment with" list for a loooong time.

*Yesterday was a Palm Springs afternoon.  Costco lunch was followed by a delightful array of samples.  Usually I don't even attempt to get Chris to try veggie patties.  However when I tasted the Morning Star "Sausage" Patties, I just knew he had to at least give them a shot.  Verdict?  He REALLY liked them!   I can't believe my husband actually will be eating veggie patties for breakfast.  Woohoo!!!

*Lastly, I feel a little proud of my latest accomplishment.  I've NEVER been into crafts or DIY home projects.  However one of Kendall's walls had remained blank for far too long.  After seeing some super cute butterfly decals at the 99 cent store, I decided to make a go at a mural I found online.  It was so easy.  I drew the tree in pencil and painted it with some leftover paint we still had from her room.  It was actually very fun and I find myself now gazing upon other walls in our house wondering what I could do with them. :)

Friday, October 5, 2012

*I've decided Friday afternoons will be "fun Fridays" around here.  Nothing extravagant will be planned, just something different from the usual.  Last week we went to the mall for an Auntie Annie's pretzel lunch and playtime.  Today we went to the 99 cent store to find some fun Halloween decorations.

*My panel talk was today for my moms' group.  I think it went well.  Of course I always second guess myself and wish I had said some things and omitted others, but hopefully it was well received and the girls listening were able to take away a few kitchen tips from myself and the three others who were on it with me. :)

*Normally I'm pretty good about having treats around the house and not devouring them.  But lately I cannot keep my hands out of these two items.  Sidenote:  we don't normally have this large amount of yogurt covered pretzels.  Knowing how much I adore them, Chris went a little overboard at WinCo.  I was surprised at the amount he bought...however secretly I wasn't disappointed. :)  I will say that the next cracker purchase will be Wheat Thins, which are lower on my cracker list of favorites. :)

*When you have a mom who loves to cook/bake, how do you melt her heart?

1.  Randomly tell her you want to start writing the recipes for your lunches (i.e. "put peanut butter on bread, spread jelly," etc.).
2.  Tell her you want to make a recipe box so you can put your recipes (some a few pages long due to very large print!) inside.

3.  When asked what you want to be when you grow up for a school poster put, "chef". :)

 *We've tried several new shows this fall and have had rotten luck.  We are still trying Ben and Kate as well as Last Resort, but there isn't one show that makes me excited for next week's episode (like I was for shows like Damages or Lost).  Seems like shows have gotten more unrealistic, cheesy, and just not as funny.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

*Kendall is still having a rough time pretty much in any nursery situation.  Even yesterday at Bible Study when she had her favorite teacher she was described as, "being on the verge" the entire time, not even letting her teacher walk across the room without her.  Last night was parents' night at Awana.  In this pic the kids were sitting directly in front of the parents, yet you can see she had to be on her teacher's lap facing toward me rather than the front of the room.  It's also interesting that she has taken on her brother's feelings toward other kids crying.  It's no where near Cam's dislike, but somehow he has rubbed off on her to where she'll many times start crying simply if another child starts to cry in her class.  :(  Hmmm....

*I could do another month of hot weather.  I'm ready for fall because of the Holidays, but not the weather.

*Did you know that if camels don't get enough water, their humps sag to the side??

*While I know whole wheat pasta is healthier than white, I still can never give Chris a decent size portion that will actually fill him up.  So the other night I poured his spaghetti sauce over cut up steamed potato chunks.  At first he was like, "What the heck is this??" However afterward he admitted to really liking it, as well as how big of a portion I as able to give him. :)

*That's about it...down to make breakfast...which takes a while considering everyone has something different!

Breakfast almost EVERY morning:

Kendall:  Rice Krispies (I make a big deal over hearing them "pop")
Cam:  Waffles (black bean this time) and banana
Chris: Either protein smoothie, oatmeal, cereal, or egg whites with cheese
Kelly:  Yogurt/cottage cheese combo with raw oats, flax seed, and Rice Krispies for crunch :)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

handy grandpa

This past weekend Chris' parents came to stay for a night.  The kids were very excited not only to have them visit, but for the new doghouse Chris' dad was bringing down.  Wayne made this house as well as the cute bookshelf you see below for Kendall.  He is so talented and we are lucky to have been the recipients of other projects he has done over the years.  Thanks, grandpa!!