Saturday, April 27, 2013

Three Year Olds

Here is my three-year-old at my daughter's middle school open house.

Any guesses as to the logic behind his outfit??? I'll give you a hint. The first shirt is a black superman t-shirt. That is covered by a superman pajama shirt. Next comes the vest with a nice orange tie to round it out (the plaid shorts? those are just for fun). .............Still haven't got it yet? He was dressed as Clark Kent! (you know because I never let him go places dresseed as Superman)

This also happens to be the day he discovered how to use "air quotes" correctly.

Also, he filled his potty chair bowl with potato chips.

It's been quite the day!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Song Birds

For today's bird project I printed some bird coloring pages from off the internet. My favorite site is:

My three-year-old and I used water colors to color the birds (but markers or anything else would work just as well)

When they were dry, I took a blank piece of printer paper and cut out each bird with a "backing" of printer paper. (it's easier if you use a cartoony bird coloring page as opposed to a realistic one - they're easier to cut out!)

Next we added half of a cotton ball to the middle of each bird. Then we glued around the edges and let them dry. Once they were done we taped string to each one and hung them from the ceiling, to make our birds fly!!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

For the Birds

This week we are studying birds!!

Of couse, we had to make pincone bird feeders. All of my kids got excited about this one, so we have lots of pinecone bird feeders haning in our trees right now. (It always suprises me what the older kids think is cool!). In case you've never heard of them, you just take a pinecone, smear some peanut butter on it, and then roll it in bird seed:

Just a few tips, if you'd like to try it at home:

Buy bird seed at Walmart, Target, or your grocery store. I bought mine at the pet store and paid ten dollars for it. That afternoon I saw the same size bag of bird seed for three dollars at the grocery store!!

Hang the bird feeders high enough in the tree that only the birds can get them. We have A LOT of stray cats around our home, and unless you'd like to try to explain the whole "circle of life" concept, it's best not to invite the birds within jumping distance of the cats!

And.... it's best to use a small container of peanut butter, because of course no matter what you do bird seed will get in it. (And if you're not quick enough your three-year-old will pour Pine-Sol into it and that will be the end of using it for bird feeders too!)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Taco Salad

Tonight's dinner was a hit. It got four stars from my ten-year-old (who has never given any recipe, besides frozen corn dogs, more than two stars!)

Tonight's menu was:

Taco Salad

First, I started the rice and the corn as the two side dishes.
Next I fixed a platter of all of the 'fixins' for the taco salad (shredded cheese, sour cream, limes, lettuce & tomato).
Then I heated up the refried beans.
Next I cooked one pound of ground beef and added store bought taco seasoning.

I took flour tortillas and fried them in about 3/4 " of vegetable oil for about thirty seconds on each side. (I just fried them in a non-stick skillet on the stove top)
This was my kids favorite part of the recipe, since they like to watch them puff up while they cook!!

I gave everyone a fried tortilla, and let them build their own taco salad!!!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Lakes and Ponds

So this week our theme is "Lakes and Ponds." Today we went to Lake Chabot to explore the lake and little creek.  My three-year-old had an ipod that he could use to take pictures of any animals that he saw at the lake. I was pretty impressed with some of the shots he got!
 This one is of four turles on a log in the middle of the water.
 A Goose.

Two ducks. (The second one is in the lower right hand corner.)
We also tried to take pictures of the some of the bugs we saw (but they didn't come out too well). And he also took a picture of a dog (I did say to take pictures of the animals!)

Once we got back, I printed out a simple book for him to put together. The cover had our picture on it and a title.
Each page had a sentance for him to dictate the end of, and then he drew a picture to illustrate it.

My Trip to Lake Chabot
At Lake Chabot I saw______. A turkey that popped his eyes out.
(note: there are wild turkeys at Lake Chabot - but we didn't see any today)
I also saw____. My mommy.
My favorite part was____. Going around in circles.
Next time I want to ____. Kill the bad guys (sorry, we're going through a serious super-hero phase...we think a lot about protecting people from bad guys)
The End!

This Week's Menu - Strawberries!

This week, the harvest of the week is strawberries!! I am hoping that this will be an easy sell for my kids. Most of them already love strawberries. Strawberries are a great source of vitamin C and folate calcuium and iron.
This week's link just has the menu and the recipe links (sorry no shoppig list yet). I'm running a bit behind schedule and wanted to get what I had ready posted!!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Flank Steak w/ Avocado Salsa

Tonight's Dinner was Flank Steak with Avacado Salsa, Rice, and Green Beans (but I used Broccoli!)

I also added a bit of fruit salad, since I had a ton left over from lunch!

For the rice, I just used 3 cups of water and 1 1/2 cups of medium grain rice; I added 1 chicken bullion cube, 1/2 tsp. garlic powder, 1/4 tsp. paprika and 1 Tbsp. butter. Once it came to a boil I simmered it for 20 minutes and added chopped cilantro and chopped fresh oregeno.

I followed the recipe as written for the flank steak and the avacado salsa. To my suprise it came out too spicey for my family (I'm usually the only one who doesn't like spicey food at my house!) So, if you may want to start out with less red pepper flakes in the spice rub and in the salsa, and add more as you go!

If you'd like the full menu, you can down load a pdf of it on the "Menus" tab at the top of the blog!!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Spaghetti with Suprise Meatballs

So what's the big suprise? Each meatball is filled with mozarella cheese! And I love any suprise that involves cheese! Here's how we did it!!


1 Jar of Spaghetti Sauce

½ lb. Spaghetti Noodles

1 ½ lbs. Lean Ground Beef

2 Pieces of Bread

1 Egg

½ Small Onion

1 Celery Stalk

Salt & Pepper

Fresh or Dried Sage

2 Individual String Cheese Sticks


Preheat oven to 350⁰ F.

In a food processor, combine bread, onion, celery, salt and pepper, and sage. Process until mixture resembles crumbs.

Chop the string cheese sticks into twelve even pieces.

In a large mixing bowl combine bread mixture, ground beef, and the egg.

Form 12 meatballs from the meat mixture, placing a piece of string cheese in the center of each one.

Bake on a baking sheet for approximately 20 minutes or until done.

Boil spaghetti noodles according to package directions, Drain and add spaghetti sauce and meatballs. Serve!

Monday, March 11, 2013

St.Patrick's Day Theme

Here is a link to the pdf for this week's theme:

This theme is a bit simpler than the other themes and would work really well for the two-year-old set as well as the three-year-olds.

I hope you have fun with it!


Breakfast is a pretty rushed time at my house. I found, that doing as much of the prep work the night before as possible, keeps me motivated to make the rest of it! (as opposed to hitting the donut store on the way to school!). Even something as simple as chopping the fruit the night before makes things go so much smoother in the morning.

This morning we had, chopped fruit (strawberries, kiwi and mandarin oranges) with vanilla yogurt in the middle (yogurt can be a great source of protein, especially if you pick one that is lower in sugar). I sprinkle ours with cinnamon. We also had breakfast sausage and frozen fruit smoothies. Ours were made with bananas, frozen peaches, and a little bit of apple juice. You can use any frozen fruit you prefer (or already have on hand!!).

If you'd like the recipes there's a link on the "Menu" page at the top of the blog, or you can scroll down to Saturday's post and find it there as well!!

Happy Breakfast!