Saturday, December 1, 2012

Homemade Puzzles

This was a fun fall activity that the girls and I enjoyed.

Homemade puzzles!

mommies not so hot art work

Kiara's beautiful butterfly

Kayla's artistic flare

So the process is pretty simple.
You will need:
Popsicle sticks/craft sticks

Decide how big you want your puzzle to be, line up the appropriate number of sticks and tape across them. I taped in three spots to ensure they wouldn't move.

Then hand them over to the kiddos to make their masterpiece on the other side.
I wrote their name and the year on the back (I'm sentimental like that)

A fool proof way of keeping the correct puzzle pieces together is to color dot them on the back. This one for instance has pink dots on the back of all the pieces.

My one year old's masterpiece is a bit...well... difficult to figure out. So I numbered the back of them so we would have a cheat sheet if needed.

When we were finished with them I just used a rubber band to keep them together until next time we play.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Bon Appétit Asian style

As I've mentioned in previous posts, lately I've been into meal researching, planing and cooking..... well lets be honest I've really been into eating good food and the above is what it takes to get it. 

Here are a few of the meals I've executed with fairly good results...

Lettuce wraps

I apologize for the unappealing photo and that it is sideways. Blogger is being difficult and is refusing to cooperate!

Lettuce wraps! 


16 Boston, bibb, butter or just plain Ice berg lettuce leaves
1 pound GROUND chicken breast 
1 large onion -- chopped 
2 tablespoons minced garlic 
3 tablespoon soy sauce 
1/4 cup hoisin sauce 
1 teaspoons minced fresh ginger 
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar or red wine vinegar 
2 tablespoons of white sugar
2 teaspoons Asian chili pepper sauce 
1 can (8 ounce size) sliced water chestnuts -- drained, finely chopped 
1 bunch green onions -- thinly sliced 
2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil 

How to make it 

Rinse lettuce leaves, keeping them whole. Set aside to drain. 
Cook chicken in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring often to break up the meat. Add onion, garlic, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, ginger, vinegar, sugar and chili sauce. Cook until the meat is crumbled and brown. Add water chestnuts and green onions. Cook until onions begin to wilt, about 2 minutes. 
Stir in sesame oil. 
Arrange lettuce leaves on the outer edge of a platter. Allow diners to spoon meat mixture into lettuce leaves and eat like a taco. 
Note: Asian chili pepper sauce can be found in the Asian section of most supermarkets. Some brands contain garlic, which is fine. You can use 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper or 1/2 teaspoon dried red chili flakes instead. 


1/8 tsp garlic salt
1/8 tsp Worcestershire sauce
20 won ton wrappers
1 small green onion
2 oz imitation crab (well shredded)
3 oz cream cheese (softened) 
1 egg (beaten)


In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese, garlic salt and Worcestershire sauce until smooth.

Stir in crab and onion.

Place 2 teaspoonfuls in the center of each won ton wrapper.

Moisten edges with egg; bring corners to center over filling and press edges together to seal.

I used my deep fryer to fry them but if you would like to bake them place on a baking sheet coated with non-stick cooking spray.

Lightly spray won tons with nonstick cooking spray.

Bake at 425 °F (210 °C) for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Recipe adapted from the one found here

Saturday, November 17, 2012

All things fall

We'll start off this post with a couple of cute models showing off some of their fashionable fall threads...

I just love being able to dress my girls in fall clothes

To be honest I've never really been a fan of fall. But I have realized I've been unfair to this season. The only reason I didn't appreciate the wonderfulness of fall was because I felt it was just another "sign" that winter was on its way. 

Many of you know, winter and I do not get along. After summer ends the gloomy thoughts of winter began to plague me. But this fall I have changed my attitude and embraced this colorful season called fall! I've decided to enjoy the moment, to stay in the now, to not let my worry of winter ruin my fun of fall!

Which reminds me of this command;
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34

Speaking of trouble! Kayla was caught red handed! She was on top of the table, had dug through my bag, found a sucker, unwrapped it and had at it! She was so upset by being caught that she began sucking the sucker as fast as she could in fear it was going to be taken away. Ha! I laughed and let her cute self keep the sucker.

Fall has brought out our footie pj's as well. This grin was too cute not to post!

Were lovin Fall!


Since summer is officially over (yes this has been a hard reality for me to grasp) we've been enjoying some play time indoors. When I was younger the malls were the place to go to hang out and meet up with other teens, as I grew older I became aware that malls were the place you went when you had lots of extra cash to blow. Which is why I didn't frequent them for some years. But over the past few years I've learned that malls have a new use, they are a great place to meet up with other mom friends! You can let the kids play at the play centers and have a fairly good chance of having a semi uninterrupted conversation!

Here's a few from my time with my faithful sister in Christ Lauren 

And just a few from our time with my sister and niece. 

Cousin Jordyn joined us for a play date. Then the poor girl got scolded by a  mall cop because she was "too old" to play on it. Poo! She was just trying to be a good cousin and play with the young kids. I felt bad for her but her attitude was great and she found a way to play with them without breaking "the rules". Thanks for being so sweet Jordyn!

Goodie Making Day

For the past few months I have been experimenting with cooking and baking. One particular afternoon I got the privilege of having a sweet little helper in the kitchen. We spent the afternoon making a few different goodies.

Hard at work smashing those bananas

Our pile of sweet ingredients

I got her face all floured up for her 

Ready for the oven
Look at our mess! I am not a clean as you go cook or baker. I prefer to do the work and then clean up while its cooking.

This is how baby helped, she sat in the highchair and was a taste tester

One of the recipes we made that day was... Homemade BUTTERFINGERS!

Simplest recipe I've ever made, and they turned out delightful. Not an exact match for the Nestle made bar but none the less sweet, flaky, crunchy butterfinger goodness.

1 lb. candy corn
16oz jar peanut butter (I used Peter Pan peanut butter)
16oz pkg. chocolate candy coating

Spray large glass bowl with a nonstick spray. Melt candy corn in bowl in the microwave on high 1 minute. Stir and continue cooking in 15-second intervals till melted, stirring after each interval. Stir in peanut butter. Line a 8x8 pan with wax or parchment paper using extra so it sicks up from the pan. Spread mixture in the pan. Cool completely. Pull out the hardened mixture by grasping the wax/ parchment paper, lay on a flat surface and cut into squares. Coat or drizzle melted chocolate candy coating over cut bars. Lay on wax/parchment paper to set.

I started off by cutting more of candy bar sizes. But then realized they are pretty rich. So the next batch I cut them into fun size bars.
I found this recipe here

Another one of our sweet creations that day was my super moist BANANA BREAD. You can find the recipe here. It turned out perfect like always, this isn't me bragging, the recipe is just amazing.

We had such a fun day of mixing, mashing, baking and tasting. With the holidays right around the corner I know this type of day will come again soon.

I have really been enjoying the products of my labor...homemade food and treats! There is something about knowing what it takes to produce the end result that makes the end result so much better.
God has been working in me, and producing a Godmade women, rather than a worldly manufactured product. And for that I will always consider myself blessed.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Stung by a bee?!

Like my title?... Ha! Well I didn't. Thats right I got stung by a bee! For the first time since I was a kid! I think I may have been more shocked than in pain. But it definitely, as its called, stung! Then it itched for a week.

The great part about being stung by a bee is it will help me remember the sweet time I had with my family at Grays Lake! The girls and I spent the better part of a Saturday enjoying the weather, park and best of all time with Daddy!

As usual mommy brought the camera, here are the highlights...

We started off at the playground (that's where the bee found me)

I think this one will have be printed and put on our entertainment center!

Then we began our walk and ended up on the other side of the lake, playing in the large open grass area. 

It was challenging trying to line up these first few shots. But they are so fun it was worth it!

We did lots of running

We enjoyed watching a few fighter jets flying over head

This tree made for a great family photo opp

My husband is looking handsome with his full  beard!

As always I adore her smile

We decided since it was already past nap time we would just walk back the way we came rather than making the long trek all the way around the lake. 

On our walk back to the van we had the privilege of seeing this beautiful featherly couple. 

It was a wonderful Saturday afternoon, spent with my favorite people. We are so blessed to be having this wonderful fall weather and my family plans on taking advantage of it. Until the dreaded snow arrives that is. 

However, no matter how much I love or dislike the weather outside I want to remember that this is not my permanent home. This world is not what I desire to love. I want to keep my heart focused on the things of heaven.  
I'm reminded of the reason behind this in the verses from 1 John 15-17
"Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever."