Saturday, September 27, 2014

free museum

*My substitute orientation went as expected...pretty uneventful. :) It will still be a couple of weeks until I'm processed. They seem to be in pretty desperate need of subs, so I should have no trouble getting jobs. :)

*Last night my mom had all five cousins over for a sleepover (my dad is in Uganda so this was by herself!!). Chris and I had some money left on a Claim Jumper gift card so we took advantage of our free night. I have not had the Motherload in probably 10 years. We got a slice and dropped a hunk off at my sister's since she is an equal chocolate lover. We both agreed that it was yummy, but so is a chocolate cake made from a box...and you can bake an entire one for less than one slice of the Motherload.

*Last night I was on the hunt for something to do today. I came across a free family day at the Children's Discovery Museum of the Desert. So after picking up the kids at my mom's, we headed out. First we made a lunch stop, of course, at Costco. :)

When we first arrived to the museum, we weren't sure we would last long. It was very, very, very crowded. Cameron and Kendall skipped several exhibits simply because of the number of kids. However we stumbled upon a few activities that kept them quite happy and we ended up having a really nice time (definitely worth the free admission!)

*Has anyone seen any of the Buzzfeed vidoes? I've seen a couple and they have been super funny. This one about weird things couples do on dates is SOOO funny. Chris and I totally laughed at the "no dessert for us....the frozen yogurt" part. :)

Friday, September 26, 2014

harry potter

*A friend of mine told me about a recipe for Korean Beef. I tried it the other night. Chris gave it a 9! Cam loved it, I loved it, and Kendall was so-so :)  It is SO easy and the ingredients are typically ones you always have on hand. This will definitely be a repeat!

*A few days ago Cam and I finished the 3rd Harry Potter book. Last night we watched the movie. It was cute how into it he was. :) Eating his dinner while watching:

*Since we were occupied with the movie, Chris and Kendall had a date of their own out to dinner.

*This morning I have an orientation at our school district for substitute teachers. I'm hoping to do a couple days a week. It has been 12 years since I've subbed. Hopefully kids aren't too different...

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

pumpkin spice

*Several weeks ago Chris purchased something that we both said was the best $7 he had spent in a long time. It was a U.S. Road Atlas for Cam. It was right before a trip up to Fresno and Cameron looked at that thing almost the whole way. He still never likes to be without it in the car. :)

*Much of my food prep energies are spent on school snack foods for the kids. I also spend a lot of time prepping Chris' snack stuff. Yes, he could get his own snacks, but he likes help in eating healthy so I enjoy coming up with things he will eat. You see, his idea of a snack does not include something like a chick pea peanut butter cookie. :) Here are few I have in rotation:

--1/2 a tortilla spread with hummus and wrapped around a piece of string cheese
--Almonds and raisins
--Cut up fruit with almonds sprinkled on top
--Cottage cheese with pears
--Crackers or apples with peanut butter

*This past weekend I forgot to mention where Cam slept. Our room had the most enormous shower I have ever seen. It made for a perfect "bedroom" for Cam (thanks to an Aerobed). :)

*I have never jumped on the pumpkin bandwagon when it comes to coffee. I know the Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks is quite the "thing", but blech. :) Pumpkin baked goods like muffins and cookies (or my favorite cake in the whole world)? Yes, please.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

relaxing weekend

After Noonie and Deb stayed with us this past week, they drove to Palm Springs to their time share. On Friday we, along with Chris' brother's family, joined them for the weekend. We had a wonderful time. The above picture of Kendall pretty much sums up the majority of what the kids spent their time doing. :)

Cameron never lets a little vacation stop him from waking up before dawn. :) However his 5:30 wake ups on this trip actually allowed he and I to have some really quiet, sweet reading times together. Both mornings (once the sun came up) we sat out on the back patio and read Harry Potter. It was so quiet outside and those times became highlights of the trip for both of us. 

The kids loved being with their cousins. Here they are playing a game with the dads.

The condo/hotel also had an arcade where you can see I'm attempting to play Frogger :)

Here is everyone before round two of swimming on Saturday. The kids were exhausted by the time the evening rolled around. I don't think my kids had ever swam for that long in one day!

It was such fun to be together for a couple nights. Thank you, Noonie and Deb, for inviting us on such a great weekend getaway! :)

Thursday, September 18, 2014


*On Tuesday Chris' aunt Noonie and her partner, Deb, came for a visit and Chris introduced them to Angus McCurdy's (in Yucaipa). They both agreed the hamburgers lived up to the rave reviews Chris had given them. :)

*I think I've officially joined the, "Homework is my least favorite part of the day" club. :) Rather then explaining things to him, the hardest part is simply making him re-write what he has already done. He tends to rush through things and gets pretty sloppy. He is NOT a fan of re-writing....which means neither am I. :)

*As cold weather approaches, I've been searching for an insulated mug that REALLY keeps my drink hot. I have never found one that does it to my satisfaction. I like my coffee/hot chocolate scalding hot, and no mug has ever kept it even close. This one seems pretty promising considering you plug it in to your car and it has a thermometer! :)

*The past two Tuesdays I've gone to Bootcamp with Chris after we've dropped the kids off at school. Wow. Wow. Wow. Despite working out other times of the week at home, his workouts still make me incredibly sore. I like being able to do something like that together, but I find myself questioning whether it's worth a week's sore muscles just for one workout (and I'm NOT up for more than one bootcamp a week!). I'm amazed he does it as often as he does!

Sunday, September 14, 2014


Church was followed today by a trip to Rancho Cucamonga. After a stop at Costco for some lunch and a few groceries, we headed to The Bass Pro Shop, It was really busy as I'm sure everyone was trying to escape the heat.

Afterward we headed over to Ontario Mills where it was even more busy. We weren't there long...just long enough for a Lego Store visit. :)

We were dreading our arrival home as we weren't sure what the status of our air conditioning would be. I ended up canceling our participation in the summer energy savings program with Edison, but they told us it might take a couple days to go through. 

Luckily we were good to go and are now enjoying being inside again during the hottest part of the day. I was also glad because I needed to do some school snack prep and knew there was no way I would be using the oven if we didn't have air!

I recently saw a recipe for some peanut butter cookies (using chickpeas).  These are tasty enough that I would eat just the straight dough! Despite the rolling of eyes I know I would get from Chris (assuming he would even try them!!), you CAN'T taste the chickpeas. :)

Saturday, September 13, 2014

hula hoop

*A long time ago I tried making homemade pancake syrup. Two batches later I ended with hard, crystallized sugar. I decided to try again and used the recipe my sister suggested. It is SOO easy and SOO good. I don't think I'll ever buy syrup again. :)

*We went to a birthday party the other day and I attempted the hula hoop. I lasted about 10 seconds. How on earth did we do that as kids for extended periods of time?? Here is the unflattering picture my friend captured. :)

*Last night my family got together for dinner. During dinner, the kids asked my dad questions about his trip to Ethiopia (he leaves tonight). We also had a prayer time where the kids said the sweetest prayers. 

*A while back a friend of Chris' posted a pic of some new food at Disneyland. It's a bread cone stuffed with macaroni and cheese, topped with bacon. Can you imagine?? :) Wow.

*A couple years ago we joined the CA Edison energy saving program. Basically on hot days when there is a lot of use, they can shut our air off. It used to just be 2-3 hours. It's now stretched to over four hours and we are rethinking the whole thing. We were supposed to have my family over last night but had to cancel because we knew it would most likely shut off (which it did) and would be miserable.  Ugh.

Monday, September 8, 2014

phish food

*I'm amazed at how quickly I run out of things to pack for the kids' school snack each day. Cam requested a break from my oat balls (oats + banana + peanut butter), so I wanted to find something new. I had some quinoa stashed in the freezer and found a recipe for some banana bread that used quinoa. It's really good! It's much more dense than regular banana bread, but the kids gobbled it up today at school. :) Here is the recipe (I swapped choc chips for the coconut).

*The kids' school offers electives. Kendall will be taking dance starting next week and I'm SOOO excited!! She is cautiously excited. :)

*Yesterday we let the kids pick out some ice cream as a treat for a movie we rented. They chose Ben & Jerry's Phish Food. I only allowed myself a couple bites as that stuff is like drinking straight cream. :) But those two bites were amazing! Wow.

*Occasionally I'll put together a mailer for my dad. Kendall actually loves helping by peeling and handing me the stamps, labels, etc.  It really does make the job go faster!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

christmas time at costco

*Yesterday after school the kids and I went to Barnes and Noble. We had Cam's birthday coupon for a free treat from the cafe.

*I think stores and restaurants do themselves a disservice when they offer only amounts of $25+ with their giftcards in grocery stores. Today I went to Staters and my budget for a gift was $15. I was so limited in what I could buy and wondered why they don't do smaller amounts.

*This morning we went to a lofthouse build at our church. The houses are assembled to a certain point, then will later be driven down to Mexico and completed. The kids really enjoyed hammering.

*Later we took a trip out to the desert as it had been several weeks. Costco is all the more fun now with the addition of the Christmas toy section. The samples were quite impressive as well. :)

*Chris and I have been watching The Manhattan Project on Hulu. It's pretty good and makes me want to read more about the actual events surrounding it.

Thursday, September 4, 2014


*13 hours of hard work and Cam is done with the Lego Parisian Restaurant! Holy cow is this thing cool. Even as an adult I am in awe of all the amazing details. :)

*It's always been fun to read up on the new shows that come out each fall. However now that we don't have cable, it's really not that big of a deal. We do have the basic channels (CBS, NBC, etc.), however to watch something on them would involve watching it live each week. And who watches things live anymore??? Ha!! :)

*Our earthquake two nights ago (3.4, centered about 20 minutes away) gave our kids quite a jolt. It was the first one they had ever felt. Last night Kendall asked, "Mom, do earthquakes come every minute or every night?"

*Chris teaching Kendall how to spray weeds:

*When we were gone over the weekend, our neighbor took care of Cam's fish, Eric. How thoughtful was it when she took a pic of Eric and texted it to Chris on Cam's birthday??? And what a cute App she found to put that hat on him!

*I made this recipe for homemade taquitos last night. They were okay. I tried to be a tad healthier with the corn tortillas, but they were much harder to roll up than the recipe stated (corn breaks so easily). And let's be honest, flour tortillas just taste better. But I'm determined to find another recipe because they are much less messy for the kids than burritos.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

birthday weekend

Yesterday afternoon we got back from a weekend visit with Chris' family. We had lots and lots of fun. :)

Lego time.

They put in a new swing which was perfect for two. 

Chris and his brother and niece "challenged" Cam to a Monopoly game. Challenged is in quotes because Cam cleaned house and played the best game ever. For Monopoly enthusiasts, he ended the game owning every single property except Boardwalk and Park Place!!

A highlight of the weekend for all the kids was a trip to a huge waterpark on Saturday. They had been looking forward to this for a looong time. Kendall wasn't tall enough to do any of the main slides. However this didn't bother her a bit as she was quite content on all the little ones. :)

The biggest highlight for Cam was his birthday gift. The whole family went in on his new Lego set, The Parisian Restaurant. He had to wait until we got home yesterday to start and boy was he ready! He spent 4 1/2 hours yesterday working on it and he is not even half way done!

A few more highlights not pictured:
*My MIL treating my SIL and I to pedicures
*Relaxing in the evening watching a Hallmark movie with a brownie sundae two nights in a row
*Watching the cousins enjoy one another
*Getting to see my good friend, Jana, at the waterpark
*My MIL's homemade rolls and potato salad