Monday, July 30, 2012


Isaac's parents kindly took us to the circus. We had such a great time.

We had amazing floor seats thanks to Doc and Nonnie.

The elephants were one of the most amazing parts. At one point they did handstands!!!! I didn't get my camera ready in time for that stunt, but so wish I had.

For most of the show, this was my fantastic view.

Then, the kids in front of me wore these. They had been in front of Isaac for the first half of the show. Ha ha.
Annette quickly hopped from my lap to Nonnie's for a less obscured view.  

Doc got each kiddo a light up toy. They could not have had more fun with them. Especially Cruz! Here he is  showing Charlie how to have fun. My kids are still playing with them all the time at the house.

Thanks, Nonnie and Doc, for a wonderful time and a treasured memory!!!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Pin Reviews and the start of a kitchen table re-do

I have tried several pinterest recipes lately.

This one was for a white chicken chili, using turkey bacon and onions and celery and pepper to get it started.

Quiet lunch all to myself while Annette 'rested' in her room and Charlie napped.
Soup was delicious.

Isaac and I made these shrimp tacos together the other night after the kids went to bed. That Pioneer Woman is pretteee good. They were AMAZING.We ate them up PRONTO. Isaac said this must be added to our meal rotation. 

Another night last week, we made mini meatloaves and roasted veggies.
This was the first time I'd used this exact meatloaf recipe, and I'll tell you, we have already made this recipe again it was so yummy and easy! MY CHILDREN ATE EVERY LAST BITE OF THESE!!
Even with the chopped veggies inside. 
I used ground beef once and ground turkey the second time. They were equally as good. No lie. 

While I was mixing the loaf, Annette and Charlie broke the broccoli and cauliflower into bite size pieces. When I'm roasting veggies, I've found the smaller the better, so they are perfect for this job. 

I cut up some carrots and threw them on there too. I roast my veggies Kalyn style. I didn't use Parmesan  this time, but sometimes I do. She has such good tips for roasting. The foil keeps me from having to scrape the pan clean. And lemme tell you.... my family eats every last drop of these veggies every time we make them.  They taste so much better than steamed in our Smith opinion, although we like steamed too.

Once I'd mixed up all the meatloaf goodness, I put them in the muffin pan. Why? It only takes 20 minutes to cook these all the way through, and they are so yummy in these mini portions. Then I topped them with the bar-b-q  mixture that R. Ray recommends and popped them in the oven. I was a little doubtful about using barbecue instead of the more standard ketchup, but I'm glad I tried it. SO YUM.

While the meat muffins cooked, my kids were starting to drive me a bit nuts as it was about 5:40.
 I suggested we set the table for Daddy. We don't do this often, but the kids sure do love it. I know some of you probably have it down to a science, but it's not that often that I have supper ready when Ike walks through the door. I'm not that talented or organized. Before I had kids of my own, I was sure this would be a daily occurrence. Somehow I never factored in how cooking with a 2 and 3 year old at your feet could get tricky. Thankfully, Isaac is a very understanding man. And is happy to eat salsa or edamame as an app instead of needing a whole meal when he walks through the door.  

But on this occasion, it worked out. Annette put the tablecloth on all by herself. She helped Charlie set the table with some fancy Easter Bunny paper plates. And even wrote place cards to hang on the back of the chairs. 

Presh!! And, yes, he's naked. Can't remember why.

And when Daddy came home the kids made him hide his eyes for our big surprise. Ha! I guess you can say we don't do this often enough!! Truly though, Isaac and I prefer to eat after the kids have gone to bed on most nights, anyways. So maybe I'm off the hook a little bit ; )

And here is my next project. Since we paint, create, and do science experiments on our table so frequently, and have created quite a bumpy, sticky, mess of a table, I decided to sand it down this weekend. It's amazing how a small power sander can remove nail polish and dried on glue and paint and old grime so much faster than Fantastic and elbow grease. It might just be my new cleaning technique ;)

It's a 20 dollar find from Savers, so I feel pretty free to do with it as I please. 
Thinking I'll paint it with some new chalk paint I got at White Goat the other day. 
Until then, it's all sanded and distressed looking. Perfect for more mess making! 

We are off to a good start this week with another non-eventful library trip this morning.
Plus, we are looking forward to the circus on Thursday evening and the Olympic Opening Ceremony on Friday night!!


Friday, July 20, 2012


We joined a sticker club/chain mail dealie.

At first, I thought this might be annoying. I'm not normally a chain letter person or email forwarder at all. Then, Annette got a letter in the mail with her name on it from a friend. She was excited to say the least 😁😁😁, and that's when I decided that this would be only a tad of a chore. Plus, I'm already thinking of all the skills I can teach her with this fun snail mail activity! Super great for learning AND fun :)

The letter asks you to make copies, but we don't have a very efficient copier at our house. So, for people that want to start their own round of Sticker Club chain letters, and for the 6 people that we mailed our snail mail too, I've typed up and attached a blank sticker club letter for easy printing from your home printer.

There it is ^^^^.

Happy Weekend!


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Right Brain

We've been exercising the right side of our brains lately. Not that that's unusual for us : )

Here Charlie is at Tumble N Play at the Racquet Club. He loves this class and has learned so much. It's one of my favorite weekly activities, just spending time with Charlie.

Here the little stinker is with a self placed band-aid in between his eyes. Creative, right? Stuck to his eyebrow hairs, though.  Ouch.

Here is my little 3 year old artist. The girl loves using her fine motor skills. 
"Here is a church" she says. 

My mom and Aunt Lauren played twister with the kids the other day. Annette, the little teacher in the making, decided she should be the spinner, aka the Boss. 

Here is her drawing of a person singing outside the chruch :)

Here is a masterpiece I found on my phone. We love this app, by the way.

The other day we had a neighbor over to play and we tried out another Pinterest idea. We used the tops of bottles and other circluar objects to make some artwork. Left brained people, this paint is all very washable and took only about 6 or so minutes to clean up.

I've decided to start framing some of the kid's handy work. I keep my favorite art things in this big tub for safe keeping. Now, I'm trying to decide which pieces to hang in which frames. Plus, I decided to spray paint them all a cream color. It will take me a while to get them all framed and hung, but it should happen eventually! 

Hopefully, this will turn into a finished project sooner than later. 

Happy Wednesday

Monday, July 16, 2012

More lake fun

Out of order once again, but these pics just about do our fun Saturday on the lake justice... rainbow at Fisherman's Wharf and all.