Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Helping Mama bake and Happy Thanksgiving!

After lunch today, I started my Thanksgiving baking. I made 2 loaves of Pumpkin Bread and 1 Pecan Pie. YUM! I've been letting the girlies run around the house or watch PBS Kids TV shows after lunch. Today, I did the same. Well, the girlies must have thought I needed some "assistance" in my baking because they hung out in the kitchen with me the entire time. They enjoyed opening up a row of my lower cabinets. I think they pulled out my steamer/rice cooker, a pancake mix dispenser from Grandpa Carlson, some round containers from an icee maker and my cookie cutters. Ha! They were too cute! Did I get flustered with them running around, pulling things out and scattering cooking items here and there? Nope (that surprises me because I usually don't like chaos when I cook ;) ). They were my 4 cute little sous chefs :D

Suzan and AnnaBrielleBethany and Anna getting into the cabinets ;)All 4 girlies into the cabinets. Brielle, Bethany, Suzan and AnnaWe wish everyone a safe and blessed Thanksgiving! We are spending ours with my (Maria's) extended family. We're back to our family Thanksgiving tradition! Yay! :D Some of you we haven't seen since 2006. WOW!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

The 5 kids last Thanksgiving, 2008. My, how much they have changed!! Bethany, Brielle, Anna, Suzan and Jared.
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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Beading with Mama

We received a nice care package from Grandma and Grandpa Carlson and Aunt Mary this past week. Thank you again! That is very sweet of you to think of us!! In it was a little package for Jared. He opened it up and was excited! What was it? A package of beads to make bracelets or necklaces. It was sports themed too. So, he and I had fun Saturday morning opening up the package and making a few bracelets.We made 4 bracelets - basketball, soccer, baseball and football. He was cute. He even wore is newly made soccer bracelet to his soccer game that day :D

Thanks again!
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What's for dinner? Homegrown mesclun mixed greens with radishes

Yes, we are still enjoying the "fruits of our labor" from our veggie garden. This past week we got to enjoy the mesclun mixed lettuce and more of our radishes. Jared and I picked the veggies, cleaned them up and had a nice side salad with our dinner. Man, I have never tasted lettuce so flavorful than what came out of our veggie garden! Lettuce that really has flavor? Wow! Jared even said "mama, this lettuce is a bit spicy." FYI, he uses the word "spicy" for anything that has flavor. It was good!

Happy eating!
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Monday, November 16, 2009

More radishes!

Yes, we picked some more radishes!Jared picked 4 more radishes. He said "1 is for you and Dad to share, 1 for me and 2 for the girles to share. that's fair." How cute, especially with him wanting to share with his sisters :D

Here are some pictures of the pumpkin seeds the boys planted and then the flowers on our pea plants. Ooooo! Fun!!

PumpkinsPeasHappy Harvest! :D
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Saturday, November 14, 2009

A year ago

The girls at 8 months old a year ago (November 2008). Suzan, Bethany, Brielle and Anna. They were just getting used to sitting up by themselves.Now, the girls a year later at 20 months old (November 2009). Suzan, Bethany, Anna and Brielle. Now, they walk ALL OVER THE PLACE and love to climb and sit on the sofa. And talk :DJared a year ago (September 2008), having fun in pre-k learning lots and making fun projects. 4.5 years old.Now, Jared at 5.5 years old (November 2009) getting 100% on is Kindergarten pickles (aka tests). Wow!I was just looking back at pictures of the kids a year ago. Man, how much they have changed in a year! Still 5 cutie pies and still HUGE joys for Paul and me :D Praise God for all 5 of them!!!!!
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Our first batch of freshly picked radishes!

Yes, we picked our first batch of radishes today. Paul and Jared chceked on the garden this morning and found some of the radishes ready to be picked. How fun! Jared was very excited to show me the 3 radishes.Were they yummy? Yes! Not as tangy as the store bought ones. Ours, in fact, had a bit of a sweet taste. So a little tangy yet sweet. Perfect!

It's fun to grow and enjoy your own food! :)
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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Pickle Wizard!

Let me first explain what a pickle is. No, it's not the pickled cucumber you are thinking of. Jared's Kindergarten class calls "tests" "pickles." It makes the kids laugh and not get stressed about a "test." The teachers are trying to make it silly and a bit fun by saying "pickle" ;)

He has been doing great at school, getting 95% or 100% on his weekly written phonogram pickles. Yay! The written phonogram pickles test them on 20 Spalding phonograms that they have learned. Well, today he got a "Pickle Wizard" award because he got a 100% on his written phonogram pickle AND a 100% on his practice spelling pickle! Double Yay! Starting today, he will have weekly spelling pickles in which the kids get tested on 15 spelling words for that week. Way to go Jared! Yes, spelling tests in Kindergarten - Wow!

    So now, he has...

    • A weekly written phonogram pickle on 20 phonograms (using the Spalding method)
    • A weekly spelling pickle on 15 words (again, using Spalding and the Ayres word list, which is a list of the most frequently used words in the English language. They just start at the top of the list and work their way down.)
    • Math pickles every 5 days, on math facts and assessment (using Saxon math)
    • And a weekly writing pickle, in which the students write 3 sentences on the subject they learned about that week (using Rubrics)

    Have we mentioned how impressed and blessed we are with Jared's school? They are wonderful! Praise God Jared can attend here and that the girlies can too, in the future! This kid of ours keeps amazing me with what he can learn and do! The teachers and staff are wonderful! Oh, and in case you wonder if it's all "work, work, work" they do get to have fun...lots of fun at his school!

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    Veggie garden update

    Here is the latest picture update on our veggie garden. Look at how everything is growing! Yay! Jared and Paul also planted some pumpkin seeds (leftover seeds from our Halloween carved pumpkins) into the garden (mixed in with the basil). Well...they germinated and are growing too! Although, we might need to transplant them elsewhere as I believe pumpkins take up a lot of garden space.

    Most recent picture, just taken a few minutes ago - 11/12/09. Jared and Paul trellised the peas last weekend.Jared and I did have a "taste test" of the lettuce. Yum! We can't wait until it's harvest time for all of these delicious, homegrown veggies!

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    Sunday, November 08, 2009

    Operation Christmas Child

    Jared and I put together a shoe box for a little boy for Operation Christmas Child. It is a great outreach, especially in getting your kids involved and being a part of God's work! We talked about how we are helping other kids, giving to them when they don't have anything and sharing Jesus with them. Check them out!
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    Thursday, November 05, 2009

    Suzan and her shoes

    As I mentioned, the girls love their shoes. Any one's shoes, as a matter of fact ;) So it came as no surprise to me when Suzan grabbed my shoes. She is ALWAYS doing that. My shoes. Jared's shoes. Her shoes. Her sisters' shoes. Friend's, who are over visiting, shoes. Even Dad's shoes :D Usually she runs over to me or Paul and pounds on her chest "please," as that is her way of saying "can you please help me get these shoes on my feet?" We can't say no to little Suzan :D However, this time she surprised me by putting my shoes on her feet HERSELF. No help from Mom or anyone else. She did it all on her own. She was pretty proud of it too ;) She then proceeded to walk around the house wearing my shoes. Funny girly!

    Suzan, all proud of herself by putting on Mom's sneakers all by herself :D Bethany next to SuzanShe then decided to play "peek-a-boo" with meSuzan - "ha! gotcha mama!" :D I think the shoes, along with the outfit, make her look like she is going to go out for a jog or something. Hee hee ;)Suzan - "noooooo! don't take my shoes!!!!!!"What a silly girly! Oh, and Paul has made the comment "oh no, the girls love shoes? man, am i in trouble with their future shoe budget!" Ha! No joke honey :D
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    Wednesday, November 04, 2009

    20 Months Old

    The girls turn 20 months old today. Wow! Only 4 months to go until we have 4 2-year-olds in the house! Does that scare me? Nope. The girls are so good to us. They have been such joys! Even when things seem crazy or hectic or there are a few more tears shed from the girls than necessary I feel blessed by them. They make me laugh. They make me smile. They are so fun! I praise God for them!!!!

    Suzan, Bethany, Anna and Brielle at 20 months oldI continue to be amazed at them!
    • They are running now. I think this is fun, as the girls and I will play "I'm gonna get you!" where I crawl around trying to get them, they smile, giggle and run away from me and then when I do catch them I tickle them to death. It's fun! :D
    • They are into shoes. Okay, I should really say they LOVE their shoes. Okay, now I should clarify "any one's shoes." They always say "shoo?" when we change them in the morning, especially Suzan and Brielle. Sometimes we put them on, like if we are going outside or somewhere, and sometimes not. They actually start to giggle and smile when we go grab their shoes. Oh, and as for any other shoes, they go and grab brother's shoes and Mama's shoes, as those shoes are usually sitting out somewhere.
    • They are talking and signing more with us. Yay! Their latest words are ..."uh-oh," "shoo," "plee" (from Bethany only), "jerr" (for "Jared," again from Bethany only), "baw" (for "ball"), "chee" (for "cheese"), "duh" (for "done") and "who whee" (for when Mama says "woo wee" at dirty diapers ;) Brielle only says this). They also have a lot of signs they know..."all done," "milk," "more," "please," "cheese," "juice" and "food."
    • Speaking of food, here are some of their favorites...waffles, French Toast Casserole, raisins, animal crackers, goldfish crackers, PB&J, grapes, cheese and the latest is M&M minis from their Halloween stash ;) Oh, and spicy sweet potato fries. Anna and Bethany would eat 5 lbs of the fries if Mama let them - YUM! ;)
    • They LOVE going outside, whether it is walking Jared to school or going to church on Sundays and Thursdays or going to play in our yard or going on a neighborhood stroll. They also know what "park" means - Ha! I realized this when I was out walking them in the stroller and I saw Bethany sign "please" and point to the park. When I said "oh, no park today Bethany" she cried. Poor girl. So, the next time walking by the park I had to stop and let them play :D We'll have to take advantage of our cooler fall/winter/spring weather and get out more with the girlies!
    • They love playing with each other and with Big Brother!
    • They are climbing and exploring all of our house now. I no longer have them play only in the playroom now. There are times when I just let them stroll around the house. I think they love the freedom ;)
    • They also love their babies, silkies and blankets. Brielle loves her babies still and Bethany can't get enough of a fluffy bear or a soft silkie. She usually pops her thumb in too when she has one of those in her hands. Too cute! :D
    They are such wonderful blessings from God! I know I can't get enough of them, enough hugs and kisses and squeezes and giggles :D They are true joys! Praise God for them!!!!
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    Tuesday, November 03, 2009

    Jared Jared quite contrary, How does your garden grow?

    Here's an update on our fall/winter vegetable garden. Man, did those little seeds sprout! And fast too. Most of the seed packets said they would germinate in 7 to 10 days. Well, Jared and Dad must have prepped the soil really well because those seeds germinated in about 2 to 3 days. Cool!

    Jared loves, LOVES, to go check on our garden. He likes to check it in the morning (he would check it in his PJs and socks if Dad and Mama let him ;) ) and then when he comes home from school in the afternoon. It is very cute ;) So far, the veggies are doing well.

    Here are some pictures of the garden on October 25th, 2009. They are much bigger now, especially the peas. I believe we will have to trellis the peas as soon as they get tall enough to do so. We can't wait to harvest what we've grown! Jared will be thrilled to see all of his veggies, ready to eat :D

    The peasCarrotsThe radishes. They are probably doing the best; them and the peasThe mesclun lettuce blendAnd then the basil. Mama can't wait until the basil is ready to pick ;)Oh! Does anyone have advice on how to get rid of the bugs that are nipping at our veggie foliage? A spray perhaps, either store bought or homemade? I don't know what bug/creature it is but there is something lightly taking a bite or two. We'd appreciate the tip!
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    Sunday, November 01, 2009

    Pictures of our Halloween 2009

    "Another post? Wow!" Yes ;)

    Here are some pictures of our Halloween. We had a good and fun October and Halloween. We carved 2 pumpkins, one for us and then one for a neighborhood party. Yes, we went to a neighborhood party, all 7 of us. That was fun! Jared and I also got to toast some pumpkin seeds, see previous post. Then we all enjoyed going out trick-or-treating in our neighborhood, all 7 of us with Grammy. Fun, fun!

    Enjoy the picture overload ;)

    Jared and Mom carved the pumpkin this year. Jared scooping out the mushy gushies from the pumpkin.Ewe! Slimey and sticky!Jared saying "cheese" for Mama ;)Jared helps with the carving patternMama carves with the knife. Almost done!Hey, we got the pumpkin carved Jared!"Trick or Treat!"Our pumpkin, lit outside Halloween night. Oooooo! Great job Jared!!Off to trick-or-treat with the kids and Grammy! Okay, maybe some picture time by Mama :D Jared in back, in front Anna, Bethany, Brielle, Suzan and Grammy.The 5 kids. It was a bit difficult for Mama to take a picture of all of them,
    especially with the girlies walking around and taking off their hair bows. Ha! ;)Awe! Okay, I don't know why Anna and Suzan are crying here. Perhaps they want to go trick-or-treating NOW! and Mama keeps pestering them for more pics :DMore of the kiddosA cute little candy corn Suzan. Again, I don't know why the funny face :PCandy corn Anna pie!Jared walking with BethanyWe just let the kids walk around for a bit and went to our neighbors next door...Jared and BethanyOoooo! A VERY COOL Bumblebee Transformer!He enjoyed his costume :DBethany, Suzan and Brielle checking out the neighbors' Halloween decorations. Anna was brave enough and walked to the neighbors' door already - Ha! :DCute little yummy candy corn Brielle ;)A sweet candy corn Bethany :DOkay, enough Mama pictures ;) Off to trick-or-treating! Jared, Brielle, Anna, Suzan and BethanyAnd just for kicks, the 5 kids last Halloween, 2008. What a difference a year makes! The girls were just baby blobs last year!!!!We had fun trick-or-treating. All 5 kids did AWESOME! Yes, lots of comments and looks from our neighbors. Actually, a lot of them said "we were just waiting to see if you all would come out trick-or-treating! You're here. Yay!" Our neighborhood is full of very sweet and kind people. We are very lucky! A lot of our neighbors also wanted to give the girlies candy. Well, we used Jared's pumpkin as a "community" trick-or-treat bag. Needless to say, it was very heavy for him to hold and carry at the end of the evening. Ha! ;) He had fun and, as usual, the girlies had fun just getting out of the house. All 5 kids have already enjoyed a taste of their candy loot...a few for Jared and then some mini M&Ms for the girls. Man, did those girls like their M&Ms! They chowed down on them like nothing! :D

    Our weather was PERFECT for trick-or-treating too...not too hot or cold. Just right. Yay! With our nicer weather the girlies and I are going to get out more...for walks, for park playtime or just for walking and playing in our yard. We've got to enjoy our AZ fall/winter/spring weather before May comes ;) And as I said, the girls get so excited and begin to squeal and giggle if you quietly mention "go out," "outside" or "shoes" to them. Ha! Too cute and funny!

    Hope everyone had a safe and fun Halloween! Enjoy fall, y'all :D
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