Wednesday, June 30, 2010

cooking with kids

I am over the moon excited about the new cookbook I picked up from the Library. I think I've been on the hold list for over 2 months now.

Good to the Grain.

Eloise and I spent a half an hour just looking at the pictures. I can't wait to dive in and read all the good details after the kids are in bed.

People ask me how I cook with my kids or they wonder if I spend time with my kids because I'm cooking in the kitchen. First, I spend time with my kids. Second, my kids cook with me in the kitchen b/c that's where I spend my time.

I'd also like to note that there are so many posts all over the blogosphere that cite great ways to cook with your kids. Here's my thoughts: You aren't going to have a successful time cooking with your kids if you don't enjoy cooking.

I don't craft. It makes me want to break out into hives. For some, this is how they feel about cooking in the kitchen with their kids. I've just decided that instead of forcing myself to do things with my kids where I'm gritting my teeth and worrying about every little speck of paper that falls on to the floor, I'm going to do the things that I love with them-bake and cook.

Don't be mistaken, there are many times where my patience is tried while two little girls are standing on chairs at the counter trying to box one another out for the last remaining cup of flour to dump. That, is where I need to reevaluate and find a better solution.

For me, baking and cooking has an end result that helps all of us out. Crafting, it's just another piece of clutter for me to keep or throw away. My kids do crafts at church or preschool classes, they don't do crafts at home.

So there you have it. I cook with my kids b/c I love it, but that doesn't mean it's always easy.

I'll let you know when I make something fabulous out of Good to the Grain.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

We've lost a tooth here

My sweet little Eloise lost her first tooth this morning. We were really worried it might be in the middle of the night but she held on until morning.

We celebrated with milkshakes at Starbucks. And a trip to the library for books on the Tooth Fairy. She's coming tonight and Eloise is going to leave her a letter about losing her first tooth.

Monday, June 28, 2010

best of...

Best argument of the day: "Mermaids are the heroes of the Seas". "No. Mermaids are the heroes of the Ocean". (Now repeat that 15 times) No one won. The ocean and the sea are the same thing. (at least they are now to a 3 and 4 yr old)

Best defensive move of the day: Lily threw an aluminum kids kitchen cup at Eloise's collarbone. She said she just didn't want her near the kitchen. We'll have to work a little more on how to express ourselves without throwing objects.

Best use of sand: (it was bath day, thankfully)

Best way to beat the heat for a 10 month old: re-purposed organizational bin. a.k.a - Sam's pool. Just look at that delighted grin!

Best way to end the day: Eloise came out of bed eager to show me her super loose tooth she's been working for months. I really hope she doesn't lose it in her sleep tonight. She's WAY too excited for the tooth fairy to come and bring her $.25. (we're cheap, I know)

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Summer seems to have finally arrived in the Northwest. It's been a long spring with all this rain. Our cherries have had a rough go with the rot but we managed to salvage a few. Strawberries are finally in season but ours, again, have taken a hit with the rain. We're looking to get our U-pick on here soon.

I burnt my last batch of granola, not good. But I have a new recipe that might inspire me again.

We're planning some mean popsicle crafts around here in the coming weeks. Crafts aren't my thing but I may be able to swing the flower one.

I read this article this week about raising daughters without eating disorders. I've been thinking alot about how I am going to shape their view of food and of body image. I'm trying to refrain from the words "fat" and "skinny" and keep us focused on feeling good and healthy.

Along the lines of eating, I'm trying to fall in love with vegetables. I like cabbage and this one looks like a great recipe with the asian turkey meatballs on the side.

And because everyone needs a cute crafty project to dream about. Mine would be filled with different herbs.

Sunday, June 20, 2010


Despite my doom and gloom posts, things haven't been all bad here. Lily has been adding her own touch of humor to the days. Of course it's when she's being disobedient which makes it all that much more difficult not to laugh and follow through with her discipline.

An example:

Recently we've established the rule that no one is to jump on the couch, to the couch or off the couch. I really don't have a problem with it but my kids are accident prone (just like their dad). After the second time they had a mid-air collision we decided to put our foots down on jumping.

I should note here that the last mid-air collision happened on my way home from a baby shower. I was met at the door with, "Mom, there's blood on the ottoman!". I walked into Eloise crying with an ice pack and more teeth loose. It was awesome.

Back to today. Lily was jumping on her knees on the couch. I asked her what she was doing and she told me she was just "Slonking, not jumping". She's convinced herself that if she can change the word, than she really isn't doing what she shouldn't be doing.

The other day she hit Eloise and I asked if she hit her sister. "No. I schlapped her".

It's hysterical. I can't believe she has come up with this on her own.

Oh, Lily, you really are God's grace to us. You give us humor when we need it.

Saturday, June 19, 2010


Omsi offered a new perspective but it brought with it two tired and weary parents (one who is still recovering from "surgery" and did a bit too much).

I'm tired fellow mamas. I'm tired of repeating myself. I just told Dave a few moments ago that I was sorry for giving him directions all day. It's all I do, give directions. I'm tired of giving directions. And then I feel like a big fat whiner for complaining about disciplining/training/raising children. I signed up for this.

I know this is a phase. I'm practical. I see the practical things in life and know there is an end and a new phase will begin. I know to appreciate the stage I am at now b/c that stage will pass. I know.

In a season where I am more tired than I have ever been before. More distracted. More weary. I plead for grace. Please, Lord. In my many moments of failure, let there please be redemption for my mistakes. Let there be memories of love and life. Let my precious daughters, most of all, know they are just right in who they are and that their mama finds favor in them regardless of their shortcomings. Because Lord knows, I've got them too.

Tomorrow is new and so are His mercies. Here's hoping for a more cooperative tomorrow.


*I'm incredibly overwhelmed with food in our house. Not just food for me (which I'm trying to control) but the kids. It seems as though they are asking for food ALL. DAY. LONG. It's as if something just switched in their brains. An hour after breakfast I hear, "mom, I need a snack". I'm feeding them protein and fairly balanced meals. They eat appropriate portions for kids and not alot of sugar. It really is driving me nuts.

*Mornings are hard. Everyone gets up at the same time (7:30 ish) and instantly starts to ask me for things. FOOD is first on the list. I'm not a morning person by nature and when you add in demanding kids, that doesn't make for a good start.

*Speaking of demanding, number one rule as we start off the day, "may I please? or can I please?" must be what you start your questions with. It's exhausting.

*Adding to that morning exhaustion, I got a new book at the library. The Help. It's so good I can barely put it down at night. I'm having to give myself a limit of only reading for an hour.

*Back to that parenting stuff. I feel like my words are falling on deaf ears. I wonder if I'm even going to make an impact. I wonder if I'm balancing love and discipline right. I'm wondering what it is that they see in me that they are mimicking. Is there something I need to change in my attitude? We are not hitting any kind of stride these days and I'm feeling weary.

*I'm looking forward to a vacation with Dave. Just 2 days where we can sleep, read, talk, pray and catch our breath.

*Dare I say this, but I'm hoping to take said vacation in a warm place with sunshine. I know, you all know I hate the Summer, but I would take 75 and partly cloudy over a soggy spring.

*It's Saturday and we have no plans. I think this mama needs a break alone to read, go to the market and collect myself. To hit the restart button. Then I think a trip to OMSI would give us all a new perspective.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


This post on 3 kiddos was an incredible encouragement to me today. I've had a hard time lately putting my thoughts into words about how the transition to 3 has taken life to another level, but she does a great job.

As I was talking with a friend last night about the difficult dynamics, i am reminded that community of those in our same situation is key. To be able to call and express frustration and know that the person on the other end gets exactly what you are feeling and thinking. They know your heart is pure but so incredibly tired and overwhelmed. Thank you Lord for the gift of fellow moms. It's priceless. (Thanks Aimee!)

Monday, June 14, 2010

My favorite go-to dinner

Almond Chicken with brown rice and broccoli

A couple of years ago when Eloise was little I did a round of Dream Dinners. I loved their Almond chicken so much but they never gave away the recipe. A little searching and I've finally found it. It's one of my favorite's. It's quick, easy and the kids love it. Topped with Newman's Own Sesame Ginger dressing makes it even more delicious.

Almond Chicken


  • 1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced almonds
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts (I sometimes use chicken tenders. If you use the breast it's best to cut it in half or flatten it)
  • sweet and sour sauce OR Newman's (optional)


1. Spray bottom of 9 x 13 pan heavily with non-stick cooking spray. For best results the pan should be big enough that the breasts don't touch.
2. Cover bottom of dish with additional bread crumbs to coat thinly.
3. Combine bread crumbs, almonds and salt and pepper in a flat dish (i.e. pie plate).
4. Place flour and eggs (beaten) in two separate flat dishes.
5. Dip each chicken breast in flour, then egg, then dip into almond mixture. (Be sure its coated heavily and evenly at each step).
6. Place into prepared pan.
7. Sprinkle with any remaining almond mixture.
8. Spray over top of chicken heavily with cooking spray.
9. Bake at 400 for 12 minutes, turning chicken over, and baking additional 10 minutes (until internal temp is 165).
10. Serve with sweet & sour sauce or sauce of your choice.
11. Note: if freezing, follow all steps except spraying top of dish with cooking spray. Wait until thawed, then spray and bake.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

summer links

Summer has commenced. There are lots of fun things I'm eager to try.

Growing an herb garden in a cute galvanized bucket.

Having granola and yogurt for breakfast outside while the kids swing.

Making a gigantic batch of Jodi's whole wheat chocolate chip waffles.

Establishing a routine of daily chores. Eloise is excited to make some money and I'm excited to whip up those cute charts.

Buying these awesome life vests for swimming at the Davis pool.

Friday, June 11, 2010

the end of birthing babies

I never thought i would blog this one, but there's too many good thoughts to pass up.

Dave and I have decided to take the plunge into cutting off (pardon the pun!) the family kid limit at 3. We're actually sitting in the urology office as we speak. He's falling asleep on the couch next to me from the Valium he took just before his procedure. I'm sure that's why they have couches and I'm sure they have Valium for all those jittery husbands just like mine.

He barely made it in the building without falling over and he kept trying to give me directions to the office. That's funny in itself because Dave is definitely the directionally challenged of the family.

I know it's debatable about when and how to end having children, but we've hit that point where we feel complete and both at peace with our little family of 5. There is a settled feeling about moving forward from here. Camping trips without a crawling baby and no more hurried appointments/errands in between feedings.

I knew once i got pregnant with Sam that he would be our last. Now, it's official, or it will be in about an hour (he just went back and did NOT want me to be there - frankly I didn't either). We are a family of 5 with 2 girls and a boy. It feels great!

Friday, June 4, 2010

9 month old Sam

this is what is keeping me busy these days - a little boy who crawled, pulled himself up and is getting into everything all within a 2 weeks time. Good thing he looks super cute when he's pulling everything out of my diaper bag.

And this just cracks me up b/c he will suck on this but refused to take a bottle.
We use the top to give him gripe water. Maybe that's why he likes it.

His sister's sure do love him.