Saturday, February 9, 2013

Saturday Morning Sprinkles

Ah, how good it feels to be back.  To be sitting in the ol' comfy chair and stretching out the fingers over the keys in response to my random thoughs.  I have missed writing.  Let's face it, it has been a long time.  And then it got so long that I thought "Oh, it will be akward to write now" and so I let more time go by (talk about akward!).  Anyway, akward or not, I am back and resolved to write more.  I guess somewhere in my thinking is the thought that my blog has to be "something"  I blame this on the fact that I visit many blogs (usually via pinterest) and know that there are amazing blogs that show awesome things to do with your kids, or wonderful blogs showing mouthwatering recipes, or terrific blogs sharing great diy projects and ideas.  So...I was wondering, what is mine?  Well....mine is simply mine.  I may babble about my kiddos and something we are doing.  I might share my adventures (and misadventures) in the kitchen, and I might even talk about some project going on.  My blog is simply going to be my life.  It is varied, it is random, and it is sometimes chaotic and crazy.  That all being said, I am back.  So, what is the first thing I feel compelled to share?  Sprinkles!!  Sprinkles for a Saturday morning!!  If you don't know me, you should know this -- I love pancakes!!!  This love, has easily transferred to my children who often request the circles of yumminess themselves.  My girlies all-time favorite (and probally most requested) is my banana chocolate chip pancakes.  It's funny, I started making these to "sneak in" something good and nutritious (bananas) in my girlie's pancakes (and it worked -- I mean, it REALLY worked).  Anyway, it is not uncommon for me to hear the cries of "we want pancakes" on a Saturday morning.  And, it is not uncommon for me to do so.  I love the laid back feeling on a Saturday morning of not having to rush anywhere and being able to make something yummy that they all really like and really eat (It doesn't hurt that I usually double the recipe and then we have yummy breakfasts that can easily be warmed up throughout the week to come when things are not so laid back).  So, this morning, was not unlike other Saturday mornings.  I got up and soon the kiddos were asking for breakfast -- more specifically pancakes.  And, I don't know how it happened, but it did -- I did not have chocolate chips!!!  What's a mommy to do?!!  Well, being the mommy and being the pancake lover that I am I recalled that I have pinned several different pancake recipes on that one site (yea, you all know the one) and scrolled through my recipes until I found the perfect one.  What is the next best thing to chocolate chips?  Sprinkles!!!  Introducing...Cake Batter Pancakes.......
If you are wondering, they were a hit!  I will not even tell you how many my middle child ate!  I think they will be made again, maybe for a birthday morning!
In case you would like the recipe, and because I like to give credit where credit is due, the recipe can be found here at:
Enjoy!!!  And in case you are wondering what a mommy does after making such a yummy sugary breakfast for her kids...Excercise!  Yes, you  read correctly!  I followed my conscience downstairs and did my excercise dvd.  See, I'm trying! 
Thanks for reading my ramblings today.  I hope you check in another day and see what is going on then!  Later!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

It's about the process!

     I have often told people that I believe I have learned more about children from having my own children than I ever learned in one of my Elementary Ed. classes.  My children show me things and teach me things all the time -- sometimes it's just that I have to be open to see them. Now, I definitely admit to getting in ruts.  For example, a common rut for me is the "what's for dinner rut" where I seem to make and serve the same things.  Sometimes this is broken by a friend's suggestion or seeing a new recipe somewhere or realizing that I could switch things up just a little and have a completely new dish.  We all love those "Aha moments."  Well, now I have to admit to another rut that I have had recently had -- a "way of thinking rut" if you will.  For some time now my sweet girlie has been asking me about sewing.  Naturally, I am thrilled!!!  How wonderful to share the love of sewing and fabric and fun with my girl!  Then I start to worry about sharp needles and this and that (because that is just the kind of person I am).  And, maybe because I have so many unfinished projects laying around, I start to think to myself that I need to come up with some kind of something for her to make that will give her a finished item - a sense of accomplishment.  And there lies my "rut thought"  -- that of her having a finished something.  I take in the fact that she is just four and so we need to start small and basic.  Then, there it is again my "rut thought"  that tells me she has to have a finished product.  So, as you can imagine we don't do anything because, after all, what kind of something is a paranoid mother of sharp needles going to have her little girl sew.  Now, my sweet girl is just like any of your children, I'm sure, and they don't forget things and so, she keeps mentioning it. And I keep feeling bad that I can't think of anything and guilty about trying to deter her to other things.  Then one day, just the other week, I had that kind of "aha moment" where I heard (REALLY HEARD) what she was saying -- "I want to sew mama"  She wasn't saying she wanted to make something -- she was simply saying that she wanted to sew.  Bless her for hanging in there with me!  I started to think....I had (in my paranoia of sharp needles) bought some yarn needles.  I have yarn (from learning how to knit).  I even have pink yarn!  Now what?  Well, with the suggestion from a dear friend, I cut off a piece of that "non slip stuff" you put under couch cushions to keep them from sliding around and put it in a small hoop that she could hold in her hands.  Aha!  So, I cut off a piece of yarn, threaded it through the yarn needle, knotting the end and handed both the needle and yarn, and the hoop to a very happy girl.  I showed her how it is just like those sewing cards I made for her -- up through one hole and down the next.  She was thrilled and proudly proclaimed "Sophie sews!"  Yes, my dear girl, you can sew!  When she got done she gently laid it in my yarn basket and said "I'll lay it here so I can sew some more later."  She wasn't at all discouraged about not having a finished something of somekind, she was simply elated to be sewing.  Once again this mama learns a most valuable lesson (one that I should have remembered all along).  Sometimes it is not about the finished product, but more about the process.  

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Spring is in the air and is coarsing through our house and all of its inhabitants.  The hubby is talking of new landscaping ideas, I myself, am dreaming and planning of a garden, and, of course, the kiddos are relishing every moment outside.  The sun has come out to shine. and with it's anticipated appearances, my children have been clamoring to do the same.  It has been hard for me to enforce the "homework must be done before anything else" rule when they get home from school as it has been so nice out.  So, we have been modifying the rule a little bit and enjoying the great outside world.  I absolutely love watching my children play outside.  I love how the sunlight shines down on them -- how it turns their faces almost radiant and bounces off their hair as they run and play.  I love hearing their excited sqeals of joy and shouts to one another.  And lastly, I love the pure abandon that they run and play with -- carefree and wild.  It is in these moments and times where I have to catch my breath and thank God with all that I am for blessing me so abundantly.  My house may not be perfectly clean and my laundry is piled up, but I have the most beautfiul bouquet of dandelions on my table, picked especially for me by all three of my sweet kiddos.

Watering the new grass seeds turns into an impromptu
play time for the daddy and kiddos - much to the
delight of both!

Pure joy in motion

Is it surprising that he is the wettest one of them all?
No, not surprising at all!!!!!

Even the oldest got into the fun of the water!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

World Trip Anyone?

     Still dusting off from our Spring Break World Trip, the memories still fresh, I started remembering other world trips we have taken in the past.  I know I shared this quite a while ago on my facebook page, but I thought that maybe now, after our recent "travels" would be the perfect time to share it again in case anyone else would find it interesting.  First off, you have to know that we absolutely LOVE books at our house.  One of the first series of books that really captured my boys was "The Magic Tree House" series by Mary Pope Osbourne.  These are early reader chapter books about Jack and Annie, a brother and sister, who discover a tree house in the woods by their house.  When they climb up into it they discover it is full of books.  They then learn that if they point to a picture in one of the books and wish they were there the treehouse starts to spin and takes them there.  Each book is a different adventure in which they travel to a different place and time.  The books are filled with a mix of historical facts and fantasy -- perfect for blossoming imaginations!  These books were definitely favorites around our house for a long time.  I would even catch my kiddos playing Magic Tree House.  I am also fortunate that I have a great sister-in-law who, at this time introduced us to the Magic Tree House website which has many great things.  There are games, information on the books, the author, the illustrator, and my kiddos favorite ... the ability to print out your very own passport to adventure!  We have now done this a couple of times and had fun each time.  What you do is print out your passport and put it together.  And, because each book takes you to a different time and place there is a spot for a stamp for each book.  Now, this is what the teacher in me really get your stamp for each book you have to go online and answer about three multiple choice questions correctly.  When my boys were much younger this gave me an idea on what they were remembering and learning, and then when they were reading the books on their own I could see if they were comprehending what they were reading themselves.  It is just a lot of fun -- and they never saw it as "work" or a "test".  You can't beat that!!!!!!  Maybe you would like to take a trip in a Magic Tree House?  Here's the link ...


Some of the books and Ben's passport from last summer

A look at the inside and the stamps you can earn as you travel
with Jack and Annie in the Magic Tree House.  You just print
them out and glue them in.

Ben's passport from last summer

Monday, March 19, 2012

Spring Break - The last days

     Ah, is good to be back again!  I apologize for not posting in the last few days.  Let me assure you, it definitely was not because I did not want to.  The weekend definitely hit and the days flew by!  We finished up our world travels and returned back to our "normal life."  A good time was definitely had by all and it was sad to see my boys go back to school this morning.  Our last two stops brought lots of fun and, as always, some good food.  On Friday we headed to the beautiful country of Italy.  Each kiddo drew/colored an Italian flag (being it is three vertical rectangles of green, white, and red they all felt they could do that).  We looked up and practiced some italian words  (hello, how are you, goodbye, etc...).  This is where I wish I knew how to video or attatch a recording of some kind as it was slightly interesting.  We talked about the waterways and traveling by gondola.  Of course Sophie related this to the boat that Tangled (Rapunzel) rode in.  The two littles had fun acting this one out in the laundry basket.  We were blessed to be joined by friends for our Italian dinner of lasagna, french bread, and salad.  I apologize now for the lack of pictures from this day.  When I went to take some pictures I quickly learned that the camera needed charged.  Ach!  Originally, this stop was going to be our last, but with the next day (Saturday) being St. Patrick's Day how could we not make a stop in Ireland?  So on to Ireland we went!  Not really being prepared for this stop we did not partake of any authentic Irish meals.  We did however eat our share of green things.  I shared my VHS taped recording of "Riverdance" with them -- most of it anyway.  Happy to report that they all seemed to like it and think that it was "pretty cool."  I then got a treat by watching them Irish step dance.  Pure joy, I tell you!!  This would be where I would love to insert another video if I could, but I will just have to be happy to have it play on in my heart and in my memory.  Besides wearing our share of green (and even making a shamrock shirt for the girlie to wear) that pretty much much concludes our quick impromptu trip to Ireland.  As it is now all said and done, the kiddos are unanimous in their decision that they enjoyed each day, but their favorite was our day in the Carribean.  I enjoyed it all and am definitely looking forward to the summer days of having them all home and the adventures we will have.  After all, each day is an adventure!

My "Buggy" (Naterbug), smiling in his green AND his new specs

Ben, also sporting his green for the day

The girlie, playing in the sunshine


Found their first ladybug of the year

Always on the move!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Spring Break - Day 4

There are many things that I believe you learn as a mom.  One being that you learn how to "read" your kids, another being that you learn to be flexible and go with the flow when needed.  Both of these "momskills" came into action today.  With different events taking place last night (the oldest going to the circus with a friend and the two littles and I going to church) it was a later night for us.  This was evident when they did not wake up until after 8:00 this morning (and yes, this is sleeping in for us!)  I noticed that even though they had gotten a good night's sleep they still seemed tired, sluggish, and were perfectly content to lay around.  Not quite the "up and at em' and ready to explore the outback of Australia" mode this momma was hoping and planning for.  Now this is where those "momskills" I mentioned earlier came into play.  I noticed the mode my kids were in and decided that a slight change of course was in order for our day to run more smoothly.  So...we swapped our tickets to Australia for tickets to the good ol' USA, for a day "at home"  I think Dorothy from "The Wizard of Oz" said it best when she said "There is no place like home"  This is just the stop that was needed today.  The kiddos stayed in their jammies longer, played the wii (which thrilled them), and when they did get dressed we enjoyed a picnic lunch of hot dogs and cheetos (can't get much more American than that) up in their treehouse.  After lunch we played for a while outside before coming in to get my girlie to nap.  And the kiddos played so well together!  There was no fussing or fighting.  It was just one of those magical times that I can't even fully describe, but I feel so blessed to have been witness to.  When we came in, my middle child, Nate asked if he could put Sophie to nap.  Yes, that is the kind of magical time I'm talking about today!  This delighted her, of course, as he is, I think, her most favorite person.  So then I hear him remind her to use the bathroom, and then the next thing I see they are laying in his bed snuggled together with books and he is reading by the light of a flashlight to her.  I hear him really getting into the story, and I hear her giggles and shouts of "Again, again!"  I don't know about you all, but it is these moments that melt a mama's heart.  I can't help but wonder if I would have missed such sweetness had I tried to press on with my own set plans for the day instead of taking note of the precious ones around me.  I may not get it right a lot of the time I admit, but I do feel like we did it right today!  I apologize that I don't have any world travels to share tonight.  I have to admit that I have felt nervous about such, but I hope that you all understand and will tune in tommorow as we plan on travelling on.  The kiddos were asking tonight "Where are we going to go tommorow?"  I think they are refreshed and ready!  Sometimes a day at home is just exactly what is needed.    

Our picnic up in the treehouse

Playing outside

Nate reading to Sophie at naptime

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Spring Break - Day 3

     We woke up to another beautiful spring day and another exciting location on our Spring Break travels.  Today's destination was the country of Africa.  Not wanting to miss out on the gorgeous weather here, we spent a great deal of the day outside.  We learned (via the resourceful internet) that a lot of African children make their own rag footballs to play with.  Following instructions, we took some rags that we had made from an old pillowcase and began knotting them and wrapping them around eachother.  In the end we had a nice sturdy ball to play catch with.  I think my sweet kiddos were surprised at how well it worked and how fun it was.  Resourcefulness wins!  We also read how many kids in South Africa and all over the country play soccer, but unlike kids here in the states, they kick and play with their barefeet.  My oldest, Ben, commented on how he thought that would really hurt and asked why they would do that.  This led to an amazing conversation about how the kids over there often do not have shoes and how many things we have that we simply take for granted.  Before I knew it my sweet children were looking at me and asking if we could send them their shoes that didn't fit anymore.  I never stop being humbled and amazed at the hearts of my children.  Not wanting to merely pacify them with a quick answer of "hmm...that is something to think about" we got on the internet again, this time finding a site entitled shoe4africa (which I personally would reccommend going to) which talks about this and so much more.  We now have a plan for our shoes that may not fit anymore but are of very good condition.  Our eyes (and hearts) have been openned on this journey.  To end our stay in Africa we took a tip from what we had read in my "Kid's Multicultural Cookbook - Food & Fun Around the World" and ate a tablecloth for dinner.  Right now you are rereading that wondering if you read it right, huh?  Yes, you did!  Let me explain...  We read how in Ethiopia families cover their tables with a big wheat pancake called injera, which they pour wot, or another spicy suce on and break off pieces and eat it.  We had our own version of this ourselves.  Since I know our chef very well, there were some adjustments made.  Our pancake was also made with wheat flour, but ours also had banana and chocolate chips in it (definitely made my kiddos feel at home since that is one of their favorites).  As our chef was definitely not as adept at making pancakes to cover the whole table we enjoyed one that was bigger than usual and placed it in the center of our table and let the kiddos break off pieces of it.  Definitely enjoyable and definitely good!  Definitely another good day of travelling fun behind us with more ahead!