Thursday, July 31, 2014

tight pants

*Fingerprints Museum with my sister and her kids:

*We were excited for Chris to get home yesterday afternoon. The kids were even more excited when he took out two Giants Pez dispensers. :)

*Want to know a HUGE pet peeve with my kids (which we are constantly working on)?? I've told them several times that they can't bring their friend inside the house to ask me if their friend can come inside. They need to come in and ask me privately so I don't feel like a lame jerk if I would rather not have friends over at that time. Yesterday it was close to dinner and the kids were going to watch a show. I told Cam that it wasn't the time for friends to come in. So when our neighbor knocked on the door, Cam held it wide open (with the kid standing there) and yells, "Mom, are you sure Jaden can't come in???" Ugh. :)

*A couple weeks ago Chris showed the kids a video clip that was an instant hit and has now become a daily request. Disclaimer: If you show your kids, make sure to watch it first so you know when to shut it off. A couple minutes in he uses a swear word, so we never watch the entire clip. If you are a Will Ferrell fan, you'll love it. It's VERY funny. :) Here is "Tight Pants".

*Chris and his brother have always teased their dad that he owns nothing but khaki shorts. He probably has a dozen pairs. When Chris was visiting this past weekend, he decided to add a "cycle" to their washing machine. :)

*Today the kids and I went to IKEA. It's such a fun place to explore. :)

Monday, July 28, 2014

post office

*Right now Chris is up in San Francisco with some of his family. They are spending the night tonight after attending a Giants game. He's been really excited for this. :)

*We had a playdate this morning with a boy from Cam's school. They had a Magic Eight Ball and my kids were so enamored with it that they let us borrow it for a while. I think they've finally figured out that it doesn't REALLY know the answers to their questions ;)

*I know coconut oil is "the thing" right now. I've never bought it before but my sister got a two-pack at Costco and so I bought one off her to try. I figure I can use it in the kids' muffins, waffles, etc. If it is as healthy as everyone claims, why not!?

*Cameron's version of heaven? Post Office boxes. Numbers, numbers, numbers... :)

Friday, July 25, 2014

an almost cheap day

Today was a fun and relatively cheap day. We started out by going bowling with the quads across from the street. Empire Bowl in Redlands has, "kids bowl free" for the summer. They had a great time together.

Next we went to the mall because I had to buy a couple of bras (NOT cheap...but a necessary evil). As we were browsing the Disney store, we happened to be there for their daily program. It was a cute presentation of how to say, "hi" in different languages (in the theme of Small World).

Afterward the kids enjoyed a lunch provided by a buy one-get one coupon I had for Auntie Annie's.

We ended with play time in the mall play area.

So the not so cheap part of our day was Cam's purchase at the Disney Store. He wanted a stuffed animal that I REALLY did not want him to get. He had almost enough money but asked if he could dip into his "save" envelope. I never have really known what to make them do with that envelope. Do I make them save a certain amount and then they can use all of it? Do I let them dip into it every now and then? The latter is what I've been doing.

Anyway, I wanted it to be HIS decision but I also tried to help him think it through. Is this a toy you'll play with a lot? Do you understand it's a lot of money ($20!!) and you'll have to save a long time to build that back up? How will you play with it? But after making him think about it while we went to a few more stores, he was adamant that he wanted to make the purchase.

Does anyone have advice on rules for "save" money?

p.s. THIS is what he bought. He liked that you could take the little peas out... :(

Thursday, July 24, 2014

the beach and two recipes

Yesterday my sister, mom, and I went to the beach. The kids had a BLAST! I'm not the biggest fan of the mess that comes along with kids + beach, but it sure is worth it to see how much they enjoy it. :)

A couple nights ago I made Antojitos Minis. I renamed them, "Burrito Bowls" (and used my own filling, different from the recipe). We thought they were great. They are super easy and make a fun presentation. Plus, if you are looking to go a little low-carb, you get three cups out of one tortilla and you can stuff a lot of filling in each. :)

Today my family is coming over to take part in Chris and my chicken bake. I think we have about 40 pounds of chicken we'll be BBQ'ing (I feel badly for grill-man Chris as it's HOT outside). For our dessert I made cookie dough balls. Holy yum!! I used this recipe, except omitted the brownie part.

Monday, July 21, 2014

balancing it all

*Chris is a "fan" of Baker's Drive-Thru on FB and they will often post daily deals. Today was Root-beer floats for $1. We had a big day in the sun... the kids were very in the mood for a frozen treat. :) The drinks were A LOT bigger than I thought they would be but it was too late to tell them they had to split. Ha! Oh,'s summer after all. :)

*I'm struggling so much with meal planning. How on earth could this be possible with things like Pinterest and the fact that reading cooking magazines is one of my favorite things to do? Ugh.

*My sister and I are taking the kids to see Epic tomorrow at the $1 kid movies at Krikorian. I'm excited because the kids will like it, but it's 2 1/2 hours!! As I've gotten older, I've become less and less of a movie person. I lose interest quickly and often don't finish movies or have to watch them in two parts.

*It's been about a month since I stabbed my hand during my turkey burger incident. I can't believe I'm still tender to the point that clapping causes too much vibration and hurts.

*I just finished Balancing it All. I've always thought Candace Cameron was so cute (not to mention I was a big Full House fan). I skimmed a lot of it but she really had some good things to say about how she keeps her relationship with Christ the priority in her life and how she weaves that into parenting.

Friday, July 18, 2014


*Made some spinach brownies this week. Super yummy and just like the kale ones I've made in the past, the kids can't tell what is in them! :)

*Still plowing my way through Felicity. Sometimes in the morning I'll use it as an incentive to get up a little early so I can relax and watch a few minutes after my workout (before the kids wake up).

*I'm not sure I have adequately prepared Chris for the basket case that I will most likely be the first week (...or two...or three...) both my kids will be in school and I'm by myself. I honestly cannot let my mind even go there or I'll start to cry.

*I think Susan and I have crammed more cousin time into the last two days than the kids could have hoped for. Tonight is dinner at our place (also with my parents).

Frozen Yogurt yesterday:

*Our dishwasher had not been working well for a while. A few weeks back I just stopped using it all together. As long as I stay on top of the dishes (washing as I cook, putting dry dishes away every time I walk by the sink, etc.), I actually love never having to unload the dishwasher. We ran it A LOT and every single morning I would wake up to a full load needing unloading. It's quite nice not having that and you really do get used to doing them right after you are done with a meal.

Thursday, July 17, 2014


Yesterday my kids went to bed exhausted. It was our first day with my sister's kids as they flew in from Germany the night before. To say the cousins had fun together is quite an understatement. They swam for two hours, played, and ended with dinner at my parents. They loved every single minute of it. And I loved every single minute with my sister as well. This will be one fun year with them living so close. :)

My mom got cute little Beanie Babies and made a scavenger hunt for the kids to find their "cousin stuffies".

Sunday, July 13, 2014


We just got home from our time in Reno. I can't begin to tell you what a wonderful time we had with Chris' side of the family. So many great memories were made. :)

I think everyone would agree that our day at lake Tahoe ranked top at the list. I LOVED their kayak and it confirmed again how much fun a vacation based around kayaking would be for me someday. 

Another highlight for everyone was the fact that both Chris' mom (after her heart surgery) and his grandma were able to make the trip. Even though they had to take it easy, I think it was fun for them (and us!) to be there.

Chris got to play golf twice, something he loves doing with family. The kids and I enjoyed our own outings while they were gone including the awesome kids' museum we visited last year.  

Cameron had been VERY excited to play Monopoly with some fresh opponents. 

The kids got to go on several walks/hikes. Noonie and Deb live in the most gorgeous forested area with amazing trails. Here are Kendall and Deb after a walk.

Our way back home.

While we didn't make any stops on the way up, we took a detour back to Chris' parents on the way home. It was nice to break up the trip back and spend a couple nights with his parents. Cam got a new game (Life) and we have now played three times in two days. I actually like it better than Monopoly so I'm glad he made the purchase. :)

The only thing I wish I got a picture of was around the dinner table. Each night we ate out on their patio and this was SOO nice. It was great to just relax, talk, and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. I had brought a "bag o'questions", which we only delved into a couple times as there was always plenty to talk about. 

Such a fun trip!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

4th and french fried onions

Our 4th of July started with Chris and Kendall heading out so Cam and I could watch Harry Potter. You know how Disneyland is fun, but it's REALLY fun through the eyes of your kids? That is how this experience was. It was SO much fun for me to watch as Cam gave me a running commentary and was just as excited as ever to be watching. :)

Later we headed to my parents for a BBQ. My mom even bought fig jam as a burger spread, which was really yummy!!

Here they are playing Wii bowling.

After lunch, we came back for our annual block party. Our friends, Jason and Breanna, came over and we had such a fun afternoon. Our neighbors went all out, creating an entire mini carnival complete with games, tickets, and prizes.

Ladder golf:

This was the first year that our kids literally played almost the entire time, leaving us to actually relax!

It tells you how much fun Cameron was having that he wanted to stay up to see the fireworks. Normally he is very conscious of how late things go and and how far past his bedtime we have gone. :)

Today was desert day. Our first stop was Costco where we were excited to find large tubs of french fried onions. They were much cheaper than at the grocery store. I've mentioned before that just a small spoonful adds a ton of flavor to wraps, veggies, etc., so this was a good find. :)

Thursday, July 3, 2014

square box vs. rectangular box

*This past Monday the quads, from across the street, joined us at Celebration Park. The kids had a blast. They've spent pretty much every day together this week and it is so nice not to feel like we have to have every day planned to the brim since I know several hours will be taken up with some "quad play". :)

*I made a triple batch of Chris' favorite treats, German Chocolate Sandwich Cookies. Some will be for our trip to Reno next week and some for our block's 4th of July party tomorrow. I used a cake mix to make the cookies this time. They came out nice and thick, not flat like my homemade ones usually are.

*This was my picture text to Chris today: "How are these, you tissue snob?" I recently learned that he hates tissues that come in the square boxes (vs. rectangular). He claims that every time you pick one, the whole box comes with it. :)

*Cam and I finished the first Harry Potter book tonight. Tomorrow morning he and I have a movie date. Chris will take Kendall out for a while so we snuggle up and enjoy the movie. I've told him that I will be the judge as to whether it's too scary or not and we may skip some parts. Even still, he is beyond excited. So, so, so excited.