If you have found me through Mother Letters, welcome to my house. Feel free to make yourself at home and look around.
Put your feet up on the coffee table, see what I have in the pantry, and enjoy our time together.
If you would like to read my entire Mother Letter, click here.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Our Royal Family (According to Little One)

Last night as Little One and I were getting to the end of our bedtime routine, she said, "Mommy, I am a princess." I replied, "Yes! Yes you are! In so many ways." Then she said, "But we need a King. Daddy can be the king, and you can be the queen. #1 can be a prince, Sunshine can be another princess, and Freckles can be Indiana Jones." Oddly enough, upon reflection, Freckles would probably be happiest as Indiana Jones. When I asked him he gave me an enthusiastic "oh, yeah"

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Crockpot Mexican Chicken

I am always looking for new recipes and so I thought I would share some of our family's favorites. I am making this tonight. This recipe has been adapted from two different sources: my friend Bethany and this site  (great crock pot site) but since she got it from someone else and I am combining them, I am claiming the following recipe as mine!

6-9 chicken thighs, or 2-3 breasts
1 can rinsed black beans
1 cup chunky salsa
1 cup frozen white corn
3 T lime juice
1 T chili powder

The Directions. Put your chicken in the crockpot; mine was still frozen. Top with the rinsed black beans, salsa, and corn. Cover and cook on low for 6-9 hours, or on high for 4-5. Cooking time will vary depending on whether or not your chicken is frozen, and how big the pieces are.If you decide to use breasts, increase your salsa by 1/2 cup. Breasts are drier than thighs.
Serve as taco filling, as taco salad topping, or even enchilada filling, etc. Leftovers freeze great in a freezer bag!

Don't you love a recipe that people can eat at different mealtimes? I have parent teacher conference at 6 pm and Hubby doesn't get home until after 7 pm. It's one of those nights! I'm just glad it doesn't happen very often for us. I feel it is so important to have meals together as a family!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Paralyzing Glare?

Tonight my boys were trying out some super powers (maybe inspried by Harry Potter or Pokemon, I never can keep track of what they're playing).  Freckles said, "I'm giving you a paralyzing glare." with a strained slightly cross-eyed look on his face.  #1 responded with "No, that's not a paralyzing glare, that's a confused stare. This is a paralyzing glare!" (giving an even more strained look).
As I listened to this exchange, I thought to myself, "I wonder how many times, when I am trying to give my children paralyzing glares, (like during church) do they come out confused stares!?" Probably more often than I want to know. :) I don't often get the response I'm trying to send to them through ESP and some pretty strong body language. It must be all in the delivery. I guess I'll never quite have "THE LOOK" like my mother.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Bubbles, Bubbles, everywhere

This morning we pulled out something that we haven't done in a while...bubbles! Even the word seems like magic. I make a bucketful of bubble solution (I'll post my recipe below) pull out the large bubble wands found at the dollar store as well as other bubble devices and we have a blast! Today the kids were trying to bite the bubbles and really enjoying themselves giving me a good chuckle. Whenever I need to see that my kids are still cute despite the arguments I can always pull out the bubbles.:)

Homemade bubble solution
Exploratorium recommends :
2/3 cup Joy or Dawn dishwashing soap
1 gallon water
2 to 3 tablespoons of glycerine (available at the pharmacy or chemical supply house.)
Pour the water in large container.
Add liquid detergent and gently stir.
Add rest of ingredients and stir.
Set aside for four hours before using to allow bubbles to settle. If the bubbles get too stirred up and don't work as well, just let them sit undisturbed for a few hours and they will be good as new.

Bubble Wand ideas!
commercial wands
bend pipe cleaners to make your own shaped wands
Use gum drops and toothpicks to make geometric shapes and hang from string to dip. (Do not eat gumdrops after using)
Use your hands, forming a circle with your fingers.
Use cookie cutters
Use telephone wire to braid and bend your own colorful wands.
Use your imagination to find other things around the house.

Giant Bubble Wand
Two drinking straws
Bubble solution
Large, flat baking pan
Thread a length of string through two straws.
Tie the ends together to make a loop.
Leave as much slack string between the straws as you like, depending on the size of bubble you want.
Pour bubble solution into a large, shallow baking pan.
Hold one straw in each hand, leaving the string hanging slack between them.
Dip the straw-and-string loop into the bubble solution, then lift it out slowly, taking care not to break the film of bubble solution.
Pull the straws apart until the string is taut, then hold the bubble film in front of a fan or the wind and watch a giant bubble take shape!

Group Activity

I have also made huge batches in a wading pool for large groups. You can have a child stand in the middle and using a hula hoop, raise a bubble around the child. Just make sure the pool is on a very level surface. This will only work a few times until the solution is too weak and needs to settle again.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

What ARE they Thinking?

The other night, one of our boys, who shall remain nameless (but whose name starts with a #1), was watching a friend hitting balls with a golf club. He asked Mom and Dad if he could get his clubs out but, being bedtime the answer was no. Then he saw Little One's bike helmet on the ground and thought "Wow, I could turn Little One upside down and using her helmet as the ball and her head like a golf club, I can hit a long drive!!" Needless to say, he dropped her on her head and tested Mom and Dad's creativity to come up with an appropriate, relevant consequence. He ended up grounded and having to weed a flower bed. (How do you come up with a related consequence for THAT lapse in judgement? :)