Sunday, September 30, 2007

Five Activities for Young Children

Monday: Collect leaves and other objects and play "Sink or Float?"
Tuesday: Help prepare dinner.
Wednesday: Draw a picture of yourself and something you hear.
Thursday: Sing a classic children's song, such as; "Twinkle, Twinkle" or "Are you Sleeping"
Friday: Play find the Teddy Bear. Have your child count to 10 and hide a teddy bear somewhere in the room. Then have them find it (with help as needed).

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Top Secret information about Snappy!

What was I doing 10 Years ago?
I had just flown home from living half way around the world. I was returning from an extended stay in the exotic Philippines. I had been eating fresh pineapples, mangoes, and bananas, speaking Tagalog, and riding in colorful jeepneys. The Philippines is made up of over 7,100 islands, but only about 25 have towns. I lived on the big island of Luzon, mostly in the Manila area. The climate there is generally tropic and humid. The people are Malay descent. They are very welcoming and giving. Christmas is the most celebrated holiday, with decorating beginning in September. Have you started decorating yet? If not you are behind according to Philippine traditions. I mentioned riding around in a jeepney and feel I should elaborate a little more. They are a highly decorated type of mini-bus built on the frame of old U.S. military jeeps. They carry 10-20 passengers for a low fare. When you want to get off you just tap on the metal roof.

What was I doing 5 Years ago?
We had just moved to our 6th apartment and had only been married three years. My DH was starting his Masters Degree. We moved in close proximity to my Aunt and six of my cousins, three of whom had spouses. It was so fun to live close to family. We regularly got together for Sunday dinners, pic-nics, and holidays. It was always a full house when we got together with lots of fun. The best part was reliable, trustworthy, free babysitters.

What was I doing 1 Year ago?
Taking my girls to the Anderson Apple Orchard where we picked apples, drank fresh apple cider, played in the hay, and posed by the piles of pumpkins. Did I mention I love fall?

What was I doing Yesterday?
Camping at Lieber State Recreation Area. We bought a six man tent. I get extremely claustrophobic in small spaces and have the hardest time sleeping in our two man tent. We ate hot dogs roasted over the fire, smores, and hot cocoa. I actually saw the stars and we had a full moon. Living in the city I rarely see any stars due to light pollution. The only drawback- the trip to the bathroom was a little far for a potty training toddler. On the bright side-It was a flush toilet.

Five snacks I enjoy.
Chocolate chip cookies and milk.
Chips and Salsa with cream cheese.
Fresh pineapple.
Apple slices and cheese.
Lays potato chips.

Five things I would do if I had $100 Million.
Buy a house.
Travel a lot.
Make a donation to PBS.
Buy a grand piano.
Set aside money for my children's education.

Five places I would love to run away to.

Five t.v. shows that I like.
Wide Angle
The Amazing Race

Five things I hate doing.
Cleaning the bathtub
Giving haircuts
Wiping down the stove top
Getting fines at the library
Untangling hair from the vacuum cleaner

Five biggest Joys of the Moment.
Giggles from Lulu
Art drawn by Z
Weekends we go camping
Finding a bargain
Meeting new friends

Singin' in the rain!

What a glorious feeling!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Art Card #38

I wonder...

Where will we live next year?
I also wonder, what kind of pet will we get when we are done living in a small apartment?
My girls can't wait to get a small dog?
Does anyone have any good suggestions?
We can't wait to find out the answers to these questions.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Cinnabon Cinnamon Roll

Serves: 12

2 packages active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (105-115 degrees F)
2/3 cup sugar, PLUS 1 tsp sugar
1 cup warmed milk
2/3 cup butter
2 tsp salt
2 eggs, slightly beaten
7 cups flour, or more if needed

1 cup melted butter, divided
1 3/4 cup sugar, divided
3 tbs cinnamon
1 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, optional
1 1/2 cup raisins, optional

Creamy Glaze:
2/3 cup melted butter
4 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla
6 tbs hot water, more as needed

In a small bowl mix together warm water, yeast and sugar and set aside. In a large bowl, mix milk, remaining 2/3 cup sugar, melted butter, salt and eggs; stir well and add yeast mixture. Add half the flour and beat until smooth. Stir in enough of the remaining flour until dough is slightly stiff (dough will be sticky). Turn out onto a well-floured board; knead 5-10 minutes. Place in well-buttered glass or plastic bowl, cover and let raise in warm place, free from drafts, until doubled in bulk, about 1-1 1/2 hours. When doubled, punch down dough and let rest 5 min. Roll out on floured surface into a 15x20" rectangle.

Spread dough with 1/2 cup melted butter. Mix together 1 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over buttered dough. Sprinkle with walnuts and raisins, if desired. Roll up jellyroll-fashion and pinch edge together to seal. Cut into 12-15 slices. Coat bottom of a 13x9 inch baking pan and a 8 inch square pan with remaining melted butter, then sprinkle with remaining sugar. Place cinnamon roll slices close together in pans. Let rise in warm place until dough is doubled in bulk, about 45 min. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until rolls are nicely browned. Cool rolls slightly.

Creamy Glaze: Meanwhile, in med. bowl, mix melted butter, powdered sugar and vanilla; add hot water 1 tbs at a time until glaze reaches desired spreading consistency. Spread over slightly cooled rolls.

Five Activities for Young Children

Monday: Name five people in your family.
Tuesday: Gather ten leaves from the ground. Group them by color or shape.
Wednesday: Write your first name. (If your child is too young to write, print the letters of their name on paper and say each letter as you write it.) Make a name sign for their room and let them decorate it with stickers and drawings.
Thursday: Play follow the leader.
Friday: Count all the cans of food in your cupboard.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Art Card #37

Draw something!

Can you tell what's on my mind? We bought some washable markers last night and the girls and I stayed up late coloring. My cousin visited us over the weekend, he was in town on a business trip. It was very nice to have company. When he left he deposited a box of specialty chocolates as a thank you gift. Sweet!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Two in One

Today within a couple hours of each other I witnessed two accidents. I wouldn't have believed it myself but I saw it first hand. A dare devil tried to cross the ditch on his four wheeler and did a head dive straight down instead. He broke his collar bone and shoulder.
The second accident involved a school bus and a blue truck towing a white car. The man was trying to get up the hill while towing the car and didn't have enough gusto. Hence the school bus couldn't stop in time. It wasn't just any school bus either. It was the bus for special needs

children. I heard that there were no children on it at the time of the accident. I hope that is true.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Five Activities for Young Children

Monday: Drape a large blanket or tablecloth over the end of a table. Secure it in place so that it becomes a fort. Invite your stuffed animals to play.
Tuesday: Talk about two things that happen everyday. Examples; getting dressed, eating lunch.
Wednesday: Make a pattern using leaves.
Thursday: Play "Ring around the Rosies."
Friday: Hop, skip, kneel, jog, and twist ten times each.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Inquisitive Probing

I glimpse into the mind of Z.
Coming home from school, this picture emerged from her backpack to show a tear-stained frowny face. "I was sad when I got lost." Yes, I have to admit I lost Z when she was four, in the children's museum, on an extremely crowded day. I tried to block all memories of that day from my mind, because I was embarrassed to admit I did such a thing. Then I met a friend who joked, "We went to the children's museum and I only lost our four year old twice." I love friends who can laugh in the face of danger, and turn the negative into something positive. Her tone was fun and her demeanor was non-judgemental. She helped me see that both my daughter and I learned an important lesson that day. Z knows why I tell her to stay close and I try to be less judgemental and more understanding.

*Q: "How do you know how to drive Daddy?"

*Q: "What things can you die from?"

*Q: "What does the box look like inside when you die?" (referring to the coffin)

*Q: "Do we live in a neighborhood?"

*"My tooth is wobbly, it is like a penguin running."

*Loud wailing from upstairs followed by Z's voice, "Lu Lu you have your nose- it's right there. I was just pretending."

*I asked Z to go back upstairs because she procured the wrong color of hair bow. Her response, "I can't go back up there my legs are exhausted."

*"I'm getting angry like a bull!"

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Art Cards

I can't believe I got three weeks behind on these little cards.

#34: Funny- Ha Ha! What do you find funny? What makes you laugh?

My DH has the greatest sense of humor. He can always make me laugh. That's one thing I love about him. He has a friend that can't eat shrimp for religious reasons, but he can eat any other kind of fish. So my DH googled an image of a sucker fish and asked if he could eat that. His friend was rolling with laughter. I guess his friend could eat it if he wanted to.

#35: Strength

Recently, I started taking a strength training class. This class is awesome. I can feel a difference in my muscles. I am getting stronger. It didn't take much though because I have such wimpy arms. I really enjoy the endurance type exercise class verses the aerobic class. I also ran my first 5K on 9-11-07. (I had to walk a bit of it, but I made it.)

#36: Life is Beautiful

I love this prompt. Losing a loved one teaches the valuable lesson of the importance of every moment. Being more patient, kinder, gentler, enjoying my children as they gleefully dump puzzle pieces all over the floor. Watching a sunset, taking a walk in the woods, and slurping ice cream on the back step. I remind myself to enjoy these things and indeed; life is beautiful.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Five Activities For Young Children

Here are some ideas to do with young children. I will post five every Monday. I am posting this weeks list a little early. There is one activity for each day of the week. Feel free to modify any of the ideas to fit your child's age level.
Monday: Pretend you have a magic box. What is inside? How is it magic?
Tuesday: Leaf rubbings. Go on a walk and collect a variety of leaves. After your walk, place a paper over a leaf, and rub it with the flat side of a crayon.
Wednesday: Draw a picture of someone in your family. Name three things you like about them.
Thursday: Finish this sentence: One thing I want to learn....
Friday: Point to all the words that start with the letter B on a page in a book.

Leave a comment about your favorite activity from the week.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Here's the Cake as Promised

The sponge bob cake was my first attempt at cake decorating and took me three hours. The gumball cake was in honor of my fifteenth birthday! My outfit left me in giggle fits and I had to crop it out! You can make out the homemade bandanna scarf with beads. Gotta love those teenage years.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Three more accidents

I don't want you to think I am a morbid person who delights in the misfortunes of others. In fact, the reason I document these accidents is to hopefully make a change for the better. If I can show how many accidents have occurred, by documenting them, I feel I have a better chance of establishing my motives for requesting a reduction in the speed limit.

The accident pictured above happened on September 4th around seven p.m. The man being wheeled into the ambulance smashed his truck into a tree. I am not sure what caused him to swerve off the road.

On July 16th, the day I took my girls to the swimming pool, my neighbor reported that some cars hit each other while turning off the main road. While they were doing clean up, a little red firebird was turning left into the apartment complex. A dump truck driver was gawking at the first accident and smashed into the firebird pushing it down the road to the bridge mentioned in a previous post.
On August 2nd there was a accident involving a rear ending.
And so it goes... 40mph is too fast for this busy road.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

More Cake Please!

I hate how grocery store chains charge an arm and a leg for birthday cakes. I think it is ridiculous. A cake mix cost about a dollar, you can buy a patterned pan for a reasonable price at Jo Ann's if you have a 40% off coupon, and homemade frosting just tastes better. One tradition that my mom spoiled us with was making us birthday cakes. She would make any kind of cake we wanted. I remember one year wanting a cake in the shape of a gumball machine. I will have to dig out the picture and post it later. It says "love" all over it because she made it just for me. This is the cake I made last year for Lu Lu. If you ever get the itch to make your own it will be well worth your time! I must warn you, frosting these kinds of cakes takes practice, time, and works better if you freeze the cake first. This prevents the cake from crumbling under your knife. Wilton has wonderful gel food colors in just about any shade. My first cake took me three hours to frost. I will post a picture of it later too. So come back for more cake.