Monday, September 30, 2013

Happy Monday...

"My fart sounded like a trombone." -Sweet Son

This is my life. Just thought I would share.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Birthday Party

So with the kids turning 3, we decided it was about time we gave them their first birthday party. They were old enough to have friends, understand what a birthday party is, and ask for one. We had been discussing it for a month.

They knew they wanted to go to Pump It Up after having so much fun at other parties. We invited every child from their classes, so a total of 24 kids were invited. It only takes one quick glance around our house to realize we didn't need or want toys and gifts from that many kids. I discussed it with the kids. First I suggested we donate the toys they get. The kids were against that. Then I suggested we ask for books to donate to kids who don't have many. They were also against that. Then I told them about our local food bank. I pointed out that some people can't buy basics like food. We looked at their current needs list and it included shampoo and toilet paper. The idea that some people don't have toilet paper really upset them. They happily agreed to ask their friends to bring toilet paper and shampoo to donate to the food bank.

Why do we have to wear these hats? When do we get cake?

After finally talking the kids out of serving quesadillas and broccoli for dessert, we tried many different types of cakes to see if we could find one the kids liked. Eventually they both agreed they would be willing to eat angel food cake since it's not too sweet and "tastes like bread." The other kids at the party did ask where the real cake is and why it wasn't colorful. That being said, we served it with fresh strawberries and every kid without allergies ate it. A few said they loved it and the parents had many positive things to say. We also had pizza, fresh veggies, fresh fruit, and water.

Uncle Art was tempted by the throne and just couldn't resist seeing what it would feel like to be king.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Birthday Presents

We seriously tried to limit presents for the kids' birthday, but here are photos of some of their favorites. These particular presents are from their Papa Terry and Oma.

The giant ball quickly became a favorite. The three of us (the kids and I) would often sit in it just to read books. Other times it was a rocket ship, a boat, or a tunnel. Eventually we deflated it and rotated it out (as we do all of their toys). After a few months they were asking to have it back and we obliged. I love toys they can use in many ways, together and alone.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Happy 3rd Birthday!

You might remember that last year we started a tradition of filling the playroom with balloons for the kids' birthday. This year we had family visiting and the use of an air pump so there were many more balloons.

 He jumped right into the room kicking and hitting the balloons. She stood back for a moment and observed. This is the opposite of their typical behaviors.

It didn't take long before they suggested we try to get all of the balloons in the air at once. It didn't work, but was fun to try. 

Last year the kids wanted sharks for their birthday treats at school (seen in link at top). This year they both wanted rockets. This was our attempt at fruit rockets. It impressed the preschoolers. They each got one rocket and a bowl of fruit. Somehow I'm hoping next year they will want something even easier - like maybe just bowls of fruit.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Professional Photos

In addition to the individual shots I posted last week, here are some of my other favorites. It was really hard to narrow them down.

 Family Photo - We are posing under an interstate.

Their hands are in their pockets because they were black from climbing a fence.

Yes, he is that much taller.

Rubbing noses and laughing

Isn't this an awesome backdrop?

Once again they found something to climb.

This is my absolute favorite.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Fun Pasta!

I was given a box of pasta goodies from The Pasta Shoppe to review. All opinions are my own and there is a surprise at the end of the post!

First I let Sweet Son which he wanted to start with. He picked the Down on the Farm easy cheesy pasta.

There were chickens, cows, and barns mixed together in three different colors. That alone amused my kids. However, I will say it really was a 10 minute meal and the ingredients were much better than typical mac and cheese. It is made with real cheese and I was thrilled to see they didn't use any Red Dye #40 (Sweet Son breaks out in hives if he eat it). 

The next surprise was discovering a coloring sheet on the inside of the packaging. This kept my kids entertained while I cooked the quick meal. This seems like such a simple idea, but really helped me get the meal on the table quickly.

The next day Sweet Daughter selected the Cat Lovers pasta. This included cat faces and paws. It was not an entire meal so I served it with our favorite sauces. This was another hit with my family. The pasta is good quality and the shapes just make you smile while you are eating.

This was my choice to try. I love the idea of pasta nests, but have never seen them done this way. I was concerned about how they would hold up to boiling. There were two different sets of directions - one for maintaining the nest shape and one for making typical angel hair pasta.

The nests held up remarkably well. Here they were served with meatball eggs and sauce. My kids both commented on how cute this meal was. This was the only pasta I was slightly disappointed in the flavor of. It was ok, but it wasn't up to the same standards as the shaped pastas.

Next up was the Texas Longhorn pasta salad. (My alma mater hasn't released the licensing rights.) They have an entire line of collegiate pasta salads. They also state that they do use food dyes in these in order to get the college colors perfect. These are all officially licensed.

You can clearly see the shapes even after cooking. The pasta salad only takes 15 minutes to make and comes with 3 different recipes. The shapes and colors were accurate, but I wasn't a fan of the recipe I selected. That was my fault though for trying something new - my family isn't great about new sauces on pasta.

The Pasta Shoppe doesn't just sell pasta. They also sent us some of these meringues to try. At only 7 calories per serving they were amazingly sweet and filling. They also sell chili, formaggio, gluten free pasta, and soup. 

I highly recommend trying their pasta, but it's always better to share with friends. They have a fundraising program that is perfect for schools, church groups, and other organizations. The organization will make 40-50% of the profits. If that isn't impressive enough, they offer free brochures and order forms so the start up cost of doing the fundraiser is 0! They allow for selling online to out-of-town family and friends, increasing your potential market. If anyone has ever done a cookie dough fundraiser (and haven't we all), you will love that this fundraiser requires no freezer space. It also helps support better nutrition goals among students. With prices starting at only $5.50, this is a great way to support your community.

I'm guessing at this point you are hungry and can't wait to try some Pasta with Personality. They have agreed to let me giveaway a box of fun pastas ($30 value)!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, September 20, 2013

Sweet Son

Yesterday's focus was Sweet Daughter, here are some of my favorite photos of Sweet Son.

 He's my more serious child who is always in deep thought. This is a very typical expression for him.

He also has a great smile.

He's always been a climber (especially on things he's not supposed to climb).

Happy 3rd Birthday!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Sweet Daughter

Every year we have a professional photographer take photos of our kids and our family around the time of their birthday. These were my favorites of Sweet Daughter by herself.

I'm 3 now!

 It was rather warm outside, but she picked her own outfit. A nice warm hooded sweater, fluffy skirt, and of course tennis shoes.

This is her real smile. The one she gives just before she bursts into laughter because she can't hold it in anymore.

All pink and girly with nothing to stop her from climbing, exploring, and getting dirty.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Balloon Festival

My kids love all types of transportation and hot air balloons are no exception. We have heard about the local balloon festival for years, but had never attended. This year we made of point of heading out there. We knew there would be traffic and added an extra 30 minutes to our travel time just in case. We were still almost an hour late getting there.

Somehow we didn't get photos of us other than this one... We are walking back to the car. (That's my Brother-in-Law carrying Sweet Son.) So my overall impression - it was crowded, slow, and just really not our thing. Going on a hot air balloon ride is fun, watching other people go up in a balloon isn't.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Reflecting Pool

In downtown Dallas (the arts district specifically) we found a reflecting pool. The water just covers the surface yet provides a great deal of fun.

It has so little water that the kids can even keep their shoes on. It also helps that it is over 100 outside so even if they do get wet, they will be dry before we can get back to the car.


Splashing Together


Oooo... A cloud went over!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Circle Time

I've posted about what we do in circle time before. Everyone knows that doing it is one thing, but teaching/leading it is another thing entirely. Most people learn more by teaching others than more traditional methods. That's why I was so excited when I saw my son leading circle time with my daughter (and stuffed Barbaloot) playing along.

Here they are singing and talking about money.

 Reviewing the days of the week

Reviewing the months of the year in order

Singing the water cycle song