Friday, March 30, 2012

fresh squeezed lemonade

I am a sucker for lemonade.  Growing up where the state arts and crafts festival was held each summer, I attended only for Joe's Jefferson Street Lemonade.  One year, I worked in the booth and learned to make fresh squeezed lemonade.  I recently found a similar recipe on pinterest, but it had way too much sugar.
I modified and I plan to keep tweaking it b/c Ben swears this stuff has crack in it (his own complement).  I want to try honey and vanilla as a sweetener in it.

Mix 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar (I used 3/4 cup but it needed a touch more) in a small pan on stove till boils.
Squeeze 8 lemons into pitcher and add 7 cups of water.  Add the syrup water and stir.
Garnish with fresh mint.

I then put the lemon rinds, 2 T vanilla and a twig of rosemary with 2 quarts water and simmered all day.  My kitchen smelled like cookies.  I was feeling quite domesticated.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

big helper

The girls have always been big helpers, but I am not sure they were unloading the dishwasher at fifteen months. And this is not a one-time thing, he does it every time he is around and this dishwasher is open whether they are clean or not.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

confirmed

I had my 2nd sonogram this afternoon.  I'm measuring 21 weeks and he is measuring all boy.  Name is still open for discussion.

Wordless Wednesday - too big for his britches


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

prayer request

We are on the lookout for my Mommy Mobile.  Please be in prayer for us that the Lord would lead us to the car that is for us.  There are tons of them out there and we need a great deal.  We were patient when we were shopping for the accord and God lead us to the exact car we needed and even blessed with us extras.  We would love to have that happen again.   We are praying the price is right.  We have been a one-car family for 15 months and we are a little short to be able to cash for the new car, but I don't want to trade the accord in.  So, once again prayer for the right price that we can get the payment super low that it does not blow our budget.  We aren't in a hurry, but we do need it by August.

Monday, March 26, 2012

tea party for one

All three have been sick at some point this week. I don't know about your crew, but if one goes down, the dynamics of the rest are off.  Daddy and I spent much of the weekend working in the yard, OK, Daddy spent much of the time working, I was his support crew.  I did make homemade pizzas on Friday evening, and we had dinner in our backyard, again.  (Take advantage of this weather people, it will not be around in 6 weeks.) LE took the time away from siblings and had a tea party in the makings of our garden.

Friday, March 23, 2012

book review - The Princess and the Kiss

A friend of mine recently loaned me this book to read to the girls.  It is about saving your first kiss for your husband.  Many impressive suitors came for the princess' hand in marriage, but she knew her kiss was far to valuable to just give away.  The girls seemed to enjoy it and I hope it resonated with them.  I plan to order the book on Amazon and reread it to them over the years.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Noah's rainbows

I found these rainbows on Erica's blog, but she made them with rolos (pot of gold) for St. Patrick's Day.  We added animal crackers instead to make it Noah's rainbows.
The girls have been learning about old testament heroes and this week we are learning about Noah.  I did not realize it took him 120 years to build the ark and he was in it for a whole year.  Amazing faith.
We used rainbow twizzlers and animal crackers.  We made extras in baggies to share with friends.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

weekend project #2

When we owned our own house, I had the best herb garden.  I had every herb you could possibly imagine, whether I would use it or not.  Since this is our 3rd summer in this house, I told Ben I really wanted a way to get my fresh herbs back.  I was buying basil (at $2.50 pr pkg) at least every other week, I at least needed basil.  He went through my pinterest boards and found a flowering garden using pallets and we agreed to give it a shot with herbs.  As of now it is still lying on the ground so the dirt can settle, but we are going to stand it up against the fence in the next few days.
I have basil, mint, thyme, oregano, cilantro, parsley, cinnamon basil, among others.  I will post pics as soon as it is hanging along with my new veggie boxes Ben built over the weekend.
I also planted this butterfly bush in hopes to get some free caterpillars this year.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

weekend project #1

The girl's closet got a much needed cleaning this weekend while I had no extra hands to help.  I was able to put away winter clothes and bring out size 6 and 5 spring clothes, sigh!  I also made these labels for their cubbie toy boxes.  They are labeled with what is supposed to be inside.  Let's just hope they stay organized.

Monday, March 19, 2012

weekend without kids

This past weekend, all three kids went to see the grandparents.  As the weekend grew closer and closer, my list of to do's grew longer and longer.  Ben and I also decided to put most of our eating out budget to use over the weekend.  We went to Chuy's, Gigi's Cupcakes and Torchy's Tacos.  We always share entrees at Chuy's, so we actually spent more on cupcakes than we did at Chuy's.  Ben had a canolli cupcake and I had a salted chocolate caramel.  They were so rich we could not even finish them.  It was probably a one-timer visit for us.  My fave dessert will always be Cheesecake Factory, and it is cheaper.
On Saturday, we spent the morning making backyard plans and at Home Depot.  We mowed, weeded, weed-eated, planted, drank iced tea, and then headed to Torchy's.  Ben always get the monthly special and I always get my fave, the Trailer Park.  We went early and sat on the patio, then we walked Barton Creek Mall.
On Sunday, we slept late and I went to work organizing next school year and wrapping up plans for this school year.  LE will be finished with first grade in about three weeks!  Bella is still working diligently on kinder and she could probably transition to first, but I want to get one going before I try transitioning both at the same time.  Besides, she loves her math book and readers, so she is building confidence daily.
Weekend To Do List:
clean out winter clothes, replace with spring clothes (all 3 kids)
clean out my office desk 
create state geography notebooks
create workbook/checklists for kids 
plant herb garden in pallet
Mow and weed-eat both front and back
Create labels for kids toy bins
Relax
Sleep late
Create cedar garden boxes - one down, one to go
spring lesson plans - hope to finish after this blog post

Sunday, March 18, 2012

art organized

This pile is about 4 months worth of the girl's illustrations.  It is their fave past time and I cannot even guess the amount I spend on paper.  In the past, when they were finished drawing a pic they wanted to save they put it in a blue basket in the pantry.  I would spend hours sorting through their artwork, deciding who had drawn what, punch holes, and file them into their yearly binders.  I finally got smart this past weekend and created a new process for the crafty chaos.  I replaced the basket with this paper sorter (one tray for each girl, one for pics that are for Daddy and I), put the 3 ring hole punch at their level, and finally purchased 2012's binders.  I have a binder for each year since 2009.  I have no idea if I will be able to keep all of the papers/binders, but right now it is so cool to see how their talent improves even month to month.  I can't imagine getting rid of any of their artwork.  It will be their responsibility when they go to college on an art scholarship, not mine.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

phases of the oreo

This month's science topic is our solar system.  We have been documenting the moon each night to observe the different phases.  We have been reading all about the planets and stars.  It has been a fun topic to explore with the girls.  But the best part had to be Mommy buying Oreos, something she has no will power over so they are forbidden in the house!  We made the different phases of the moon with our oreo stuffing.  R2 obviously has no will power for oreos either.

Friday, March 16, 2012

another happy Daddy moment

On our date night this past weekend, we somehow ended up at game stop.  Ben has been wanting to get some new wii games for him and the girls to play together.  And much to my surprise, the girls loved his choices, Star Wars Lego Game and Toy Story Mania.  Toy Story Mania was our fave ride at Disney World, it is an arcade-style ride and the game is very similar to the ride.  And here all of this time, I was thinking Ben was going to have to wait till R2 was old enough to play video games for Ben to have a gaming buddy.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

things to do around town


Found this great list on Pinterest.  Highlighted in yellow the things we have done.  
94 Things To Do With Your Preschooler in Austin Before Kindergarten
  1. Hike to the top of Enchanted Rock
  2. Pick strawberries at Sweet Berry Farm
  3. Go to a UT game (try soccer, basketball, or baseball if you don’t want to shell out the dough for a football ticket)
  4. Cool off at Hamilton Pool
  5. Watch the bats
  6. Stuff your faces at Stubb’s Gospel Brunch
  7. Take in a free show during SXSW
  8. Canoe on Ladybird Lake
  9. Take bluebonnet photos at the Wildflower Center
  10. Stomping in puddles after (or during) a rare rainstorm
  11. Fantasize about in-state tuition at Explore UT
  12. Buy local – plants, that is – at the kid-friendly Barton Springs Nursery (check out the birds!)
  13. Pick up breakfast tacos and spend a morning and your favorite park
  14. Ride a pony at Kiddie Acres
  15. Split a snow cone at the stand outside Barton Springs
  16. Get soaked at the Liz Carpenter Fountain at Butler Park
  17. Skipping rocks in Shoal Creek
  18. Broaden your literary horizons at the Texas Book Festival
  19. Order a birthday cake from Amy’s Ice Cream
  20. Have cobbler at the Salt Lick
  21. Swim at Barton Springs
  22. Go to the Kite Festival
  23. Introduce your kid/s to a new vegetable at Boggy Creek Farm
  24. Catch a movie at Deep Eddy Pool during the summer
  25. Shake your booty during a Biscuit Brothers concert at Central Market
  26. Sit back and listen at a library storytime
  27. Take a family photo in front of the Steve Ray Vaughan statue on the south side of Lady Bird Lake, close to the Long Center
  28. Buy some boots or a hat from Callahan’s
  29. Eat at Mr. Natural
  30. Learning about Texas wildlife – now and centuries ago – at the Texas Memorial Museum (do note that the Museum is closed until October 2011 for renovations)
  31. Feel the sand between your toes in the Dino Pit at the Austin Science & Nature Center
  32. Going to a Round Rock Express baseball game
  33. Getting lost minutes from downtown on the grounds of the Laguna Gloria Museum
  34. Ice skate at Chaparral Ice in Northcross
  35. Have a picnic with the peacocks at Mayfield Park
  36. Fly the Texas flag on March 2 – Texas Independence Day
  37. Dangle your bare feet in the water after a walk along the Greenbelt
  38. Bring a picnic lunch and listen to local music during Music on the Plaza on the grounds of City Hall
  39. Feed the ducks at Lou Neff Point
  40. Exhale during Free Day of Yoga
  41. Retrieving hail from your lawn after one of those bizarre spring storms
  42. Take in some culture during Austin Museum Day
  43. Climb on the cows at the Arboretum
  44. Visit the petting zoo at the Austin Zoo & Animal Sanctuary
  45. Pick out plants together at Barton Springs Nursery or the Natural Gardener
  46. Camp at Inks Lake
  47. Watching the owner of Rootin’ Ridge make yet another wooden toy
  48. Sit at the counter and order lunch at Nau’s Drugstore
  49. Go exploring at McKinney Falls State Park
  50. Imagine life before Tivo at Pioneer Farms
  51. Take a cruise without packing a suitcase with Capital Cruise
  52. Take a visitor from out of town on an Austin Duck Tour
  53. Stop to smell the roses at the Zilker Botanical Gardens
  54. Teach your child how to Keep Austin Weird by buying one item at BookPeople,Waterloo Records, and Over the Rainbow
  55. Take a walk on the Hike and Bike Trail around Lady Bird Lake
  56. Get photos from the photo booth at Phil’s Ice House
  57. Take a tour of the Capitol
  58. Exposing your charge to some live music at a daytime Waterloo in-store performance
  59. Take a spin at Playland Skate Center
  60. Bake cookies for your neighbors
  61. Listen to Joe McDermott play free at Pottery Barn Kids in Barton Creek Mall
  62. Taste at least five flavors before making a decision on what to get at Teo Gelato
  63. Miniature golf at Peter Pan
  64. Ride the Zilker Zephyr
  65. Take the bus to Symphony Square’s Children’s Day Art Park during the summer
  66. Spin yourself dizzy under the Zilker Tree during the holidays
  67. Imagine the roar of the dinosaurs at the Hartmann Prehistoric Garden
  68. Make wishes at the fountain at Mandola’s in the Triangle
  69. Take in some history at the LBJ Library & Museum
  70. See if your little one can make it all the way up to the top of Mt. Bonnell
  71. Cool off in the summer heat at the Austin Ice Cream Festival
  72. Stay up a bit past bedtime dancing at Blues on the Green
  73. Enjoy an afternoon treat, sunshine, and fresh air at Mozart’s Coffee Roasters
  74. Volunteering at the food pantry at the Capital Area Food Bank
  75. Take him/her with you to vote!
  76. Find your own secret spot to watch the 4th of July fireworks
  77. Celebrate Cinco de Mayo at the Mexican American Cultural Center
  78. Meet some friends for afternoon fun, food and music at the Triangle Farmers Market
  79. On a hot summer day, stopping for some frozen custard at Sandy’s on Barton Springs
  80. Running, walking, strolling, or people watching during one of Austin’s many 5ks
  81. Buy some Kerbey Lane pancake mix and whip up a batch as a family
  82. Get a bird’s eye view of Austin from atop the UT Tower
  83. Take in a free summer performance at the Zilker Hillside Theater
  84. Wear shorts in January!
  85. Get on your boots and head to Rodeo Austin
  86. See how many celebrities you can recognize in the “museum” at the Broken Spoke
  87. Go to First Thursday on South Congress
  88. Volunteer for a park project during It’s My Park! Day
  89. Draw on the tables (OK, the paper covering the tables) at Hoover’s on Manor Road
  90. Celebrate the Chinese New Year at Chinatown on North Lamar
  91. Recall your favorite scene from My Big Fat Greek Wedding at the Texas Greek Festival
  92. Finally visit the Barsana Dham during the Mela Fair (that temple-like building on the way to the Salt Lick)
  93. Head to Rosie’s for some yummy tamales during the holidays
  94. Enjoy all the Austin Powwow & American Indian Heritage Festival has to offer

"pet" rabbits

Who needs another pet when you have 3 living in your backyard that you don't have to feed, find sitting for or clean up after.  Meet Flopster, Nopster, and Lobster, each child has their own rabbit and I don't have to be responsible.  We do throw leftover veggies to them in the backyard and the dogs have given up on chasing them.  They find shelter under my table and the trampoline.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Movie night

On Friday night, the girls and I had a date night at our church.  The kids church sponsored it with giveaways, free popcorn, juice boxes and candy galore.  I got to chat with mommy friends who I don't think I've seen since R2's baby shower.  At 8:05, both girls were crawled up in my lap (bedtime). 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Reader

I know I have been neglecting the blog lately.  We have been so busy with life, school, gym and having fun that the computer often gets neglected.  Not to mention with the android and ability to check emails on my phone, I am hardly ever on the computer upstairs where I keep all of the photos.  I captured this sweet pic of R2 homsechooling this morning, that I decided to make the effort to share.
Hope you are enjoying this gorgeous weather!

Friday, March 09, 2012

Toast

His favorite - toast
His least favorite - his dinosaur hat