Monday, March 30, 2009

The Boy and The Berry

Our little guy tried a new trick this weekend...shoving a berry up his nose! When he first came inside to inform us that he had a berry in his nose, we had no idea what he was trying to say got in his nose.."a bug?"..."a bone"...? He went back outside, got a berry and showed us! We looked and saw nothing. He said it felt like it was gone so we sent him back outside with a strict warning to never do that again.
When he came in from playing, he had a suspiciously berry-colored juice running out of his nose. Mike got the flashlight and took a closer look. Sure enough, lodged really far up in his nose was a little red berry!
Thankfully, this whole event happened at Mike's parent's house so we were not alone. I stood outside the room while Mike and his dad tried to convince Caleb that it was "okay" to let them stick sharp tweezers up his teeny nose. There was a lot of screaming (by the boy) and more coaxing, some reasoning, a few "where's mommy"'s and tons of tears. The men stayed calm and eventually, Mike was able to extract the foreign object from our son's nose! I immediately ran in the room to hold my exhausted little boy. He had spent so much energy wriggling around in his Grandpa's arms that he was dripping with sweat!
We were so thankful that the berry came out without a trip to the ER!!
Please excuse these out of focus least I documented the occasion, right?
The men assessing the situation and preparing for "minor surgery"...
...Caleb, not so thrilled with all the fuss over a little berry.
The extracted berry!

My tuckered out little Caleb. he fell asleep within 20 minutes of the berry removal!!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Cute kiddos!

We are blessed with 4 unique, precious, caring, smart, active, healthy children. I love how much they love each other. (most of the time :) Here's an updated photo.

If you click on the photo, you can see the rest of the pics from this fun day and more photos from March :)

Special Kitchen Time

The kids have been on Spring Break for two weeks. Although they eat a lot more and I have much less time to myself, I have quite enjoyed having my big girls at home and I have really enjoyed having no place to agenda!

The girls are so great at reading books to Maddie and Caleb, preparing snacks, playing outside...they just make everything more fun for the little ones. I will be a little sad to send them back to school on Monday!!

At the first of the year, we started the girls with an allowance. Along with that privilege, we created some expectations that are mandatory in our home. Keeping the rooms tidy and putting their coats on the hooks, well, we won't talk about how those simple tasks are going...BUT the dinner clean up has been going really well and I am thrilled with the difference it has made in our home! (and my workload :)

We started by dividing the chores; clearing table, washing dishes and drying dishes. They alternate every night. There was some whining but we muddled through it and they can do it without a peep now. It is so great to see them all working together in the kitchen!!

I felt so blessed by their help and encouraged by how much they can actually do that I decided to add a new helper...every night, one of the girls is my "kitchen helper" and she stays in the kitchen with me from start to finish of the dinner preparation. The girls have all learned how to wash and cut and peel all different vegetables, boil eggs, flip, stir and poke different types of cooking dinner dishes, and how to get it all to the table. I thought this would be a learning experience for them but I have gained so much from having one on one time with them. They like to chat with me all by themselves and I have appreciated having special time to hear what they have to say and being available to give them my full attention. Why didn't I think of this sooner?

Over Spring Break, the "kitchen helper" job has morphed into an all day privilege. The girl of the day wants to help prepare snacks, lunches and bake a special treat. Here is the fruit of Mailee's "kitchen helper" labor...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Loving My Pandora

The kids and I took some photos today for fun. The subject: My Pandora bracelet.

Open it up Maddie, see what's inside...

"Mom's fancy bracelet!"

These Pandora bracelets are the new alternative to a charm bracelet...instead of charms, they have beads that can be added. I love it!
my beads:
-The three pink glass beads represent my 3 girls...the one with flowers is Mailee's, everyone agrees on this. The other two, well, the girls can't agree, they both like the swirly one!
- a little girl bead to represent my daughters
-a little boy bead to represent my son
-the bead in between the kid beads is birthstone, from Mike for Christmas

-a house given to me by my mom when we moved into our home
-a rhino to represent Rhino Chiropractic (a symbol of taking charge of our health )
- "c" bead for Colleen and also Caleb...(and soon Caitlyn as well)
-a cake bead to represent my cake-making passion (new bead from Mom for Christmas...probably my favorite one :)
- 5 fun beads, just because my mom has good taste :) I guess i could choose one of those to represent each of my kids but they would probably argue about that too so maybe I'll just leave them un-titled!!
I also have these two, sometimes I rotate them on the bracelet...
-"m" bead for Michael, and Mikayla, and Mailee and Maddie
-blue glass bead to represent Caleb
This is such a fun collection! Moms, if you don't have one, I highly recommend you start hinting (wink wink)'s a great thing the family can add to at special occasions!! my kids love looking at the beads and talking about them!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Monday, March 16, 2009

More Special Birthdays

I have a problem. I started a little tradition of honoring the important people in my life on their birthdays here on the blog. That was going semi well...sometimes the posts were not on their actual birthdays but they were at least in the same month. Well I have gotten way behind now. Every time I sit down to post anything on the blog, the first thing that comes to mind is the list of special people who's birthdays have come and gone without even a mention here on the blog.
I really like taking a moment to reflect on why someone is important to me, or to remember all of their special qualities and of course, search for fun photos of them. I think realistically, with my current status, (33 weeks pregnant and not comfortable sitting at the computer for long amounts of time) I need to take that "pressure" off of myself. I apologize to all of you who's birthdays fall during my sparse blogging!!

On this note, let me go backwards and show you who has turned a year older in my life since the beginning of February....

"Uncle Matt"

Jason AND Tammy

"Uncle Brian"

and on Brian's birthday, we got a brand new nephew...

Jakob William Long!

My brother Eric and his wife Sarah's first baby. They live in Germany. We will get to see them and hold Jakob in May at my cousin's wedding!!

And yesterday, my best Friend Gretchen turned 31...Happy Birthday!!

Friday, March 13, 2009

My tiny girl is 5!!!

Last weekend we celebrated Maddie's 5th Birthday. I was surprised how hard her turning 5 hit me. I guess 5 is the age of school and everything big girl...the baby years are completely gone!

Maddie wanted a "puppy and kitty" party. It turned out to be a really fun theme! Click on the photo to see the whole album.

With Mads turning 5, I have a new appreciation for this new little girl who will arrive in May. I do love babies and baby girls are too much fun! I have a space in my closet with her little pile of clothes and thinking about many more years of hair bows and dresses is very fun!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Granola Crunchers

Maddie and I made granola today. It really is so good and super easy to make. I had a few people ask for the recipe so I thought I'd just post it here! I am not much of a "measurer" (yes I made that word up) so please keep in mind this is more of a guide to follow and you can modify it as you like it!

Banman's Granola

2 cups rolled oats (NOT quick oats-yucky!)

1/4 cup oat bran

1/4 cup wheat germ (these two can be substituted with each other but you need something fine to help hold it together)

2 Tbsp brown sugar (I use demorera )

1/4 tsp salt (I use sea salt)

1 cup "extras" **see below

1/4 cup maple syrup (I use blackstrap molases for the iron but I also often do half blackstrap, half honey...and I have used agave nectar too...that's a good one.)

3 Tbsp oil (I use olive oil OR coconut oil. others are NOT an option!!)

1 Tbsp water

Throw it all in a big bowl and stir it up (that's Maddie's job!) Once it is all combined, put it on a baking sheet (I use a pampered Chef bar pan lined with parchment paper...parchment paper is AWESOME, makes clean up a breeze. I fold the paper up and reuse it too as we make granola once a week.) When you pour the mixture onto the pan, use your (washed) hands to smoosh it together and spread it out evenly in the pan.

Bake for 30 minutes at 275. Let it cool in the pan completely before you put it in an airtight container.


we make two kinds of granola at our house cause some of us (eh hem, not naming any names) don't like nuts...

Apple Cinnamon Granola extras:
(combine these items to equal 1 cup)

-crunchy dried apples cut into bits (Lakeview Market has good crunchy ones)
-krispy cereal (like rice krispy treats..Sav-on has it in the bulk)


-coconut (I use half small and half large pieces. Again, Sav-on has the big flakes)

-flax seeds

Good Stuff Granola extras:

(combine these items to equal 1 cup)

-raw almonds

-raw pumpkin seeds

-raw sunflower seeds

-coconut flakes

-flax seeds


-dried cranberries (the cranberries and raisins should be added in the last 10 minutes of cooking time.)