Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

We're hanging out at home this evening, and enjoying every minute of pizza-making, Wii-playing, and crazy glasses-wearing! Hope where ever you are, and what ever you are doing, you are surrounded by those you love and filled with joy. Best Wishes for a fantastic 2010!

Optimus Prime...

Hey, Uncle J, we got it transformed! (With thanks to the guy who showed me how to do it on YouTube)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Need these...

Actually, I need two, I suppose. What a great idea for organizing artwork!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Friday, December 25, 2009

Wii wish you...

...a day full of fun with family and friends!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Can you tell what Wii got for Christmas?!? (And how do I get that photo to rotate before I upload it?!?)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, family and friends!

It's Christmas Eve, and I am so happy to be relaxing, waiting for my sister to arrive, and writing a holiday post.

The tree is decorated - I love the soft glow of Christmas tree lights!
The gifts are wrapped - I love seeing all of the different colors and patterns arranged under the tree!
All of the cards we have received are displayed in our 'gallery' - it's so nice to get cards and photos from all of our distant and not-so-distant family and friends.

My Mom has been here for several days already, and has been a great help with the gift-wrapping, cooking, child-wrangling, laundry, mailing, shopping.... That's a gift in itself! Big J has also been off this week, helping out with the kids, the cars (oil changes, new tires) and other tasks around the house, and was in charge of snowman construction over the weekend. Merry Christmas to me!
Now, though, it's time to sit back and enjoy all of these preparations in the peace of the evening before we go to bed and await Santa's arrival. The children have been in bed for a few hours now, though I know that they didn't go to sleep right away.
We attended two Christmas Eve services today, beginning with the Children's Christmas Eve Service. Any child that wants to participate in this service can, which is wonderful! Miss M was an angel and Mister J preferred to stay in the congregation and sing. After a quick dinner (Thank You and Merry Christmas to all who were on duty at McDonald's this evening!), we were back at church to hear Big J singing with the choir during the Service of Lessons and Carols. It's a much longer service, including candlelight and Communion, and the kids hung in there! After getting the wiggles out, they were very excited about the 'fire!' at the end ;)

We looked at Christmas lights on the way home, had some Christmas goodies for an evening snack, and let the kids watch a little TV while we wrapped the last couple of (hard-to-wrap!) gifts. Then, it was off to bed in their new Christmas jammies!

While much of what I am enjoying would be considered the 'stuff' of Christmas - the food, the lights, the giftwrap and ribbons - I was struck this evening by the simple beauty of some of the things around me. We had snow last Friday. As I sat in the balcony during the Service of Lessons and Carols, I could see the last of the day's light reflecting off of the snow and through the translucent glass of the sanctuary windows. Then there were all of the different sounds and styles of music from our choirs and special musicians. The Christmas story. Taking Communion with my little boy. The soft glow of the candlelight as it spread through the congregation. Tonight, it really feels like Christmas to me.

Merry Christmas to you and yours. May you have a blessed holiday, wonderful moments with family and friends, and the simple beauty that means 'Christmas" to you.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Overheard #24

On this first official day of our Christmas Break... Overheard from the next room:

"Aww, now it's a BIGGER mess!" - Mister J, age 6

"I not the singin' girl, I the DANCIN' girl!" - Miss M, age 3 1/2

And in the same room, stifled laughter from Big J, who heard it all, too. Yep, it's just an ordinary day around here!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

How Will Santa Come?

Oh, boy, do kids get clever as they get older. They start paying attention to the details.

We have gas logs instead of a traditional fireplace. And our gas logs are not open like a traditional fireplace, there's a glass panel in front. And Mister J is concerned that Santa will not be able to deliver gifts because the glass will keep him from getting into our house.

Rest assured, I have explained to the children (Miss M, upon hearing Mister J's concerns, also became quite worried) that Santa is magical, and will indeed be able to deliver gifts for Christmas morning.

One of the best gifts I'll get - seeing their minds at work. It might make my job a bit harder (they ask lots of questions), but I sure am proud of them!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Snow Day!

It snowed on Friday, the last day of school before the winter break. The timing could not have been more perfect! The snow was coming down pretty hard, and it was overcast and kind of dark, so we waited until Saturday to go outside and play.

Big J was in charge of snowman construction, snowball-making lessons, driveway shoveling, sled-pulling, and other snow day duties. Here are just a few snapshots of the snowy fun!

Lessons from Daddy - before he handed off his gloves to Mister J

Snow angels

The biggest snowman I've ever been a part of making (even though I was just the photographer!)

He asked to do this - after all of the backyard play!

My forte seems to be in the kitchen, so after all of the snowy fun I made real hot cocoa for everyone - marshmallows optional!

Update 12/24/09: As much as I was not looking forward to the snow, I sure did enjoy watching it fall. It was beautiful - and there's still some on the ground! I've never experienced snow that lasted this long- it's as close to a White Christmas as I've ever gotten!

Overheard #23

A few days ago, Miss M and I were discussing what to eat for dinner (Big J and Mister J were at church for Mens' Chorus and basketball practices, respectively).

Her choice? Chicken little soup.

The Rush Is Over...

I am officially on vacation!

You may or may not know that I do a little work from home. After wrapping everything up late yesterday afternoon - and not playing in the snow while it was falling - I have two weeks off!

Now the rest of the rush begins.... House cleaning, light stringing, ornament hanging, gift wrapping, holiday baking, envelope addressing, package mailing.... BUT - this year, I'm hoping to eliminate some of the stress. Yes, I still have a pretty big to-do list. I'm clinging to what's most important this year, though, and realizing that I am NOT super mom.

Probably the most important gift I could give myself.

That and some play-in-the-snow time with my kiddos today!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Lunch Break!

This is the last lunch I'll pack until 2010! As much as I enjoy packing my kids' lunches, I am hoping the break will refresh my creativity!

Here, I've packed Mickey Mouse chicken nuggets (I find them at Costco), Pink Lady apples cored and sliced into rings ("wreaths"), carrot sticks and dip of choice, cheese cubes, under which I'd hidden a special treat - Craisins and chocolate chips!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Christmas decorations

(part one in a series?)

Miss M was eager to point out Mary, "John", Baby Jesus, and "the fairy" before I could even get all of the figures set up.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Still shopping?

Hi Bloggy Friends! Did you see that new badge on the right? ---->

Yes, that's right! You can use my special code (momsmagic) to get 10% off of your Laptop Lunches purchases! If you have been reading for a while, you know that we love our Laptop Lunch boxes! I pack two lunches a day, 5 days a week - and I promise it wouldn't be as much fun without the LLBs. Yes, I said FUN!

Click here to see some of the lunches I've packed. I haven't managed to take a photo of 'breakfast for lunch' day, but that's one of my favorites!

Full disclosure - I do receive some benefit when you use my discount code. And, as much as I'd love for you to begin using it today, from now through December 16th you can get 20% off if you use winter2009 when you check out.

Happy, Healthy Lunching!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Happy Birthday Mister J!

Mister J is six years old. SIX YEARS OLD. This birthday hasn't been as hard for me as when he turned 5 - but 6 just seems SO much older!

We had a small, family celebration on his actual birthday followed by a party on Saturday morning. Here are just a few snapshots of our celebrations.

Sorry for the blur, but I'm so glad I caught this "Yeah!" moment as Mister J opened this gift and realized what was inside the wrapping.

Mister J wanted a "Mad Science" party this year. It was WAY cool! I've never seen kids so still and quiet for so long! (Highly recommend it if there's one in your area!)

Mister J is 'helping' the "Professor" with one of the experiments. This one was to show the difference between magic and science.

The Grand Finale - a rocket launch (of rockets that the "Professor" built while explaining how they work) which took place even though there was a heavy mist falling. They went up into the clouds (truly - we couldn't see them) before floating back down attached to a parachute. (That's Grandpa R on the right. He dressed up like a mad scientist and helped out during the party.)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Food On Fridays

Today I'm joining the Food on Fridays blog carnival over at Ann Kroeker's blog.

I'm not sharing a recipe. I'm not adding photos - at least not yet. I'm just making a list of the things I've made this week.

I packed: 11 lunches - 2 children x 5 days, plus a lunch for me on Thursday (I had lunch with Mister J on his birthday).

I baked: 6 loaves of bread - 2 pumpkin chocolate chip, 2 banana no nut, 2 sweet potato (oh, and I baked those sweet potatoes that I put into the bread); 15 chocolate cupcakes; 2 9x13 yellow cakes (did I mention that it's birthday week here?).

I mixed: 1 batch of vanilla buttercream frosting (we haven't made the frosting for the 2-layer 9x13 cake yet, but will be mixing 3 pounds of frosting).

And Big J cooked most of tonight's dinner - it was delicious!

Friday, November 27, 2009

We scream for...

We tried "We shout for Brussels sprouts" and "We fuss for asparagus," but in the end ice cream won. So, we took a surprise trip to a local ice cream shop. Thank goodness for heated gazebos - it's beginning to feel a bit like Christmas!

Mama’s Holiday Wish List Meme

TodaysMama and Provo Craft are giving away a sleighful of gifts this holiday season and to enter I’m sharing this meme with you.

1. What 5 items are on your holiday wish list this year?
- No Boundaries 5K class
- LL Bean Town and Field Rucksack in Dark Brown or Black
- New spatulas and measuring spoons
- Aveda Hand Relief
- Time to finish the whole-house cleaning and reorganization project

2. What is your favorite handmade gift you have received?
- A hand-crocheted doily that we received as a wedding gift (I'm sure there are more, but I finally put this out on display and I get to enjoy it a little bit each day)

3. What handmade gift have you always wanted to tackle?
- I've always wanted to send handmade Christmas cards. Technically not a gift, but since we send close to 200 cards it's the only 'gift' we send some folks.

4. What was the best Christmas gift you received as a child?
- Every year had some special surprise, but my most treasured items are my yearly Christmas ornaments.

5. What items are on your kids' wish lists this year?
- Miss M wants a pink Leapster, a pink umbrella, and two princess dresses; Mister J wants Leapster games, Bakugan, and a Transformers calendar.

6. What is your favorite holiday food?
- cheese straws

7. What will you be hand-crafting for the holidays?
- Covered journals for the kids' teachers (I hope they aren't reading!). I'd like to do more, but instead I'll focus on shopping locally and buying handmade when possible.

8. What is your favorite holiday movie?
- I don't really have one. I try to watch "It's A Wonderful Life" each season, but have never made it through the entire movie in one sitting.

9. Favorite holiday song?
- Silent Night

10. Favorite holiday pastime?
- Wrapping gifts. It's my favorite thing about Christmas!

Head on over to TodaysMama to learn more about the contest. You may decide you want to enter, too!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thursday Thanks #24

It's been a while. Too long, in fact, since I've posted a Thursday Thanks. This still isn't a return to regular posting (at least I don't think it is), but I'm glad to be here anyway!

Just a few moments ago, I commented on a blog. The question was, "What's your favorite day of the week?" Here's how I answered:

My favorite day of the week is Thursday. It's the day "Thursday Packets" come home from school. I can't resist looking at them as soon as possible! Over dinner, I let the kids talk about what's in their packets. Tucked inside we find school work or art work to talk about, and it gives our kids a good starting point to tell us about their accomplishments.

It's a great opportunity to celebrate their academic or creative achievement, or even talk about things that need a little improvement. Since it's over the dinner table and not at the homework table, we can even discuss potential improvement without it being a 'heavy' talk.

I'm thankful for the opportunity - and motivation - to celebrate the kids each Thursday!

Lisa Leonard Giveaway

Hop on over to Simple Mom for a jewelry giveaway!

Lisa Leonard's jewelry is SO pretty! I haven't ever bought any, but I think I might have to put it on my Christmas wish list! The new Family Crest necklace is lovely, but I keep coming back (over and over) to the Sweet and Simple Birdie necklace. The Oval Monogram, Wish, and Family Tree necklaces are lovely, too. Oh, who am I kidding? You really couldn't go wrong! She also has other jewelry, keychains, and baby spoons. I really could break the bank there!

Don't forget - pop on over (link above) to enter Simple Mom's Lisa Leonard giveaway!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Birthday with Grandpa H

While the fall brings its fair share of holidays, it also brings a couple of birthdays in our family. Last weekend, we went to the beach for the weekend to celebrate my dad's birthday. LOTS of photos, of course - here are just a few of my favorites.

Helping Grandpa with his cake. At this point, I think the candles have been blown out and the kids are helping 'clean' the candles - all that pesky frosting sticks to the base of the candles!

The weather was nice - only a little bit cool - and we got to play on the beach while we were there. Mister J enjoyed playing in the sand, running from - and getting caught by - the waves, and eventually soaking his pants even though he'd pulled his pant legs way up.

Miss M had a hard time holding still. She played in the sand and ran up and down the beach. I have a cute little snapshot of her ... feet. Most everything else has her blurry or with her back to me - typical Miss M, and I love those shots because they will always remind me of her energy and fun-loving spirit.

Our last day at the beach was Ice Cream Sundae/ay! We were cleaning out the fridge in the condo on Sunday morning and realized that the ice cream would not survive anyone's trip home. Well, you can't just toss perfectly good ice cream! So, we let the kids eat it for breakfast. I think Big J thought I was off my rocker, but Miss M and Mister J thought I was Mom of the Year! I wish I'd been quick-thinking enough to get my camera instead of my cell phone, but I think Aunt L has some better pictures on her camera.

We had a great time, Grandpa H! Happy Birthday!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Rock, Paper, Scissors... Shoe?

We took a quick trip to the beach over the weekend to celebrate my dad's birthday, and this is a snap from our drive home. Mister J was teaching Miss M his 'updated' version of "Rock, Paper, Scissors." We have no idea how the shoe came into the mix.

Some other funnies from the trip -

"Ice Cream Sunday" - or was it "Sundae" - I let the kids finish up some ice cream for 'brunch' before we left the condo this morning. It would never have survived the trip home, so why let it go to waste? They thought getting to eat it out of the carton was very cool - I think I scored some major points!

"Shh... I can hear it... It's the sound of the ocean!" - Miss M as she sat at breakfast on Saturday morning with two coffee cups covering her ears. (Really, I need to post the photo - the kids were so funny!)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Prayer Request

Please click on over to Gravity of Motion and say a prayer for sweet little Sarah and her family. Sarah will have surgery on Friday morning, and I know her family would appreciate your prayers.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


We are approaching a new milestone. One that we, as parents, have yet to mark with one of our children. We are approaching the end of the life cycle of Mister J's lovey, whom he calls "Blanket."

Each of our kids has a blanket as their lovey. We [Big J and I] have always called them 'your blanket' when we referred to either one of them in conversation. "Mister J, please pick up your blanket and put it back on your bed." "Miss M, you left your blanket in the playroom." The 'name' stuck, so we actually have two Blankets - one blue, one pink; one referred to in the masculine singular, one in the feminine singular. "Blanket doesn't want to stay in bed, she wants to come downstairs with me."

As I took Mister J's blanket out of the dryer this evening, I noticed a spot where the yarn was thinning - a lot. It's a hand knit blanket - something I could never recreate - and Mister J has been sleeping with it for close to 5 years.

As expectant parents, we heard lots of tips from experienced parents. One of those tidbits was to "make sure you have a double." Mister J never really got attached to anything until he was around a year old. I had no idea how attached he would become when I started putting Blanket into his crib when I was trying to teach him to soothe himself to sleep. As much I adored holding and rocking him, letting him fall asleep in my arms, and then just snuggling with my sleeping baby, I knew I couldn't do it forever. So I started putting him to bed with a blue and white knit blanket that we'd received as a baby gift. It was given to us by someone who cared for me when I was young, so it seemed, in a very sentimental way, to be the most perfect lovey. I really didn't give much thought to having a double "just in case." When it got dirty, it "got a bath" just like Mister J (well, except Blanket got his bath in the washer, of course). It didn't leave the house, except on long trips, so we didn't worry about accidentally leaving it behind. (Well, there was that one time that Blanket didn't get into the van when it was time to go...)

It has been a perfect lovey. It's traveled with us through the Carolinas, Georgia, Florida, up to Indiana, and even to Seattle this past summer. And, as all loveys certainly do, it is finally starting to wear out.

I have always explained to Mister J that Blanket is unique - that there isn't another one like it (him). That if Blanket gets broken, we can't just go buy a new one. There was a phase of pulling on the yarn - and I'd spend hours 'unsnagging' Blanket, only to have to do it again, on a different spot, a few days later. There have been times when I have found loads of lint between Mister J's bedsheets after he'd spent some time taking the 'pills' off of Blanket. On days when Mister J is rough-housing, I remind him that if Blanket gets broken, I can't fix it (I have no idea how to knit!). Blanket stays at home, and usually in bed, unless we travel - but it (he) is still wearing out.

As I noticed the thinning area, I pointed it out to Mister J. I told him that I needed to make a knot in the yarn so it would be stronger - so that it wouldn't break and start to unravel. I was surprised, in a sad sort of way, that he said, "Maybe we need to get a new one." "What kind of new blanket would you like? Can you tell me what you like about Blanket so I can look for a new one that you will like?"

And then the tears came.

After several assurances that I was not going to take Blanket away, and that we could talk about it another time, we let the discussion go. But I know we will have to have it again. And I know the discussion will be full of emotion. And I know that I will be torn - how old is too old for a lovey? Do we let this one wear out completely, and the just go lovey-free? Do we attempt to replace it another one? Even if we could find one that looks like (the original version of) Blanket, a new one will never feel the same as the well-worn version. Even if we find something else that he likes, it will still never be Blanket.

I never knew how attached a child - and a mother - could become. After all, it's just a blanket. Isn't it? No, it's not just a blanket. It is so much more. He loves it, and by that fact alone, so do I. It's going to be a milestone for both of us, whatever lies ahead.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

October Fun

Well, October wasn't all fun and games... Miss M got the flu and missed 6 days of school. She also missed a birthday party for another PA (peanut allergy) kid, which was a bit disappointing for mommy (one of the few times she can attend a party without me worrying about the party food). For 3 of those days, Mister J was also home sick. Not to be left out, Big J and I have had our own days of feeling puny. Thankfully, the kiddos were feeling better just in time for some Fall and Halloween fun!

Miss M attended a ballerina birthday party for her friend, H. Here she is in the 'dressing room' getting ready to dance with a real ballerina who came to perform for the girls and then teach them a few ballet moves.

I didn't take many photos at our church's Fall Festival, and here's the only one the kiddos together. They were in line for the pony rides, so they didn't want to sit still. Mister J seemed to have the most fun playing Bingo, and Miss M had the most fun getting snacks - sno cones, popcorn, and cotton candy!

It's been a rainy month, so we just picked out our pumpkins last week. I managed to get only a few snapshots of the kids - they are so glad to be feeling better that it's tough to get them to hold still! The pumpkin patch we go to always has lots of neat places set up for photo ops.

Mister J is in the back of a big wagon that's decorated and filled with hay bales. Miss M is in the background, refusing to join the photo :)

Before we knew it, Halloween was here! Mister J wanted to be a fireman - how do you think his costume turned out? I found the coat at a local consignment shop (on sale for 50% off - yeah!). The helmet was a gift at his fire truck birthday party last year. Those boots are the ones I got for him when the kids were both asking for rain boots early in the year (they still fit!). Pants - regular cargos from Wal-Mart. The badge is a sticker from out local fire department, and those (removable) stripes are made of duct tape. I'm pretty proud of how this came together!

And here's the costume Miss M selected. I bet you aren't even surprised that it's dance related :)
Trick or Treat! I'm Angelina Ballerina! Yes, I'm a mouse - see my tail?
The pink dance costume was borrowed from a friend. I attached felt ears to a headband I already had, and edged them with some fuzzy, feathery stuff I found at AC Moore. That same thing was used for the tail. The (new!) pair of white tights didn't make it through the evening - oh, well! I bought some black and white makeup to mix into grey for her whiskers. The long-sleeved shirt was straight from her closet. All totaled, I spent less than $35 on new items for both costumes - and the pants and coat can be worn again! Too bad about the tights....

Instead of the normal house-to-house trick-or-treating, we attended Halloween Festival/Trunk or Treat at two churches. The kids had a great time, and I thought it was nice to have Halloween fun without dealing with traffic in the dark (half of our neighborhood has sidewalks, the other half does not).

Mister J was very patient, and won a cupcake after several rounds of the cake walk.
Mister J and Miss M also enjoyed several other games before decided it was time to move on to our next stop. On the way to Great-Grandma's house, we passed a fire station that was also holding a small Halloween festival. Since Mister J was dressed as a fireman, we had to stop. Guess who got to cross the caution tape and have his picture made in the fire truck? He felt like a super star!
Remind you of anything?

It was hard to get the kids away from the games at the fire station. There was no waiting, so they wanted to play over and over and over again. Miss M was getting extra help with basketball - that's the only way my 3-year old could have dunked on the 6-foot-high goal!

Although Halloween is a particularly worrisome time for PA families, Mister J and Miss M understand our "No Candy until Mom or Dad check it out" rule. I'd considered Trick-or-Treat for Unicef this year, but since we went to the festivals instead of door-to-door, we opted to take a pumpkin to collect a few treats. It's also tough (on my heart) to take the candy out of a holiday when I know it just takes a little effort on my part to sort out the safe from the unsafe. We were also very clear about what was ok (or not) when given the choice of treats - which happened more often than not at the church festivals.

It's November now, so we will take down our Halloween decorations. The pumpkins (which we didn't carve) become our Thanksgiving decorations. Planning for Mister J's birthday begins now - I've got just over a month!

Extra-curricular fun

The kids are having a blast at school - along with the regular 'stuff' of preschool and kindergarten, there are field trips, 'specials' like art, music, and visits to the library, and the new play park on campus. The kids also chose a special activity to do outside of school. It's dance for Miss M, which will last through June. Mister J chose soccer for the fall, he'll be taking an after school science class through early December, and will start basketball at our church in January. As I read that, it seems like Mister J has a lot going on, but we have chosen to keep their activities limited to one day per week, and we don't let the activities overlap (soccer ends before science begins, science ends before basketball begins).

Here are a few snapshots of my cuties all dressed for fun!

Mister J on the first day of soccer

Mister J getting his trophy at the end-of-season festival. This cold, rainy morning was his best soccer day so far!

Miss M on her first day of dance class - she was SO excited! She goes to her dance class right from preschool, so she wasn't in her dance clothes yet - they are in her bag!

Ready to dance! She picked out the lavender leotard the day we registered her for class!

Look, Mommy!

Miss M was so proud of herself for completing this floor puzzle on her own! Since then, she's mastered a few others, and some with smaller pieces. She really enjoys puzzles, just like her big brother!

Backyard Fun...

... while the weather was still warm enough!

This was back in September over the long Labor Day weekend - a spontaneous "okay!" to one of Mister J's requests to have a water balloon fight. It was well worth the cold, sore fingers from tying off what seemed like 100 tiny, fragile, water-filled balloons! (Did I mention that I'm not so great at tying balloons?)
Here's what we started with - they lasted lass than five minutes, I think!
I have some 'action shots' of the fun - Daddy joined in and kept the kids laughing the entire time! - but my point-and-shoot really didn't do justice to the fun. The smiles in the shot above are the best ones that I got of the kids - and that was before the action started!

Lunches - Big Catch-Up Post

Ahh - I'm back on the blog! It's a cold, wet, lazy Sunday afternoon. The kids are napping. Miss M was, as usual, up with the sun. Add to that a late bedtime on Halloween, and the 'fall back' didn't really help her out. She fell asleep on the way home from lunch with friends this afternoon. Mister J is taking quiet time, too, so I'm spending some time going through photos and working on the blog - yay! I'm going to start with a big post about lunches, move on to some other noteworthy events, and wrap it up with Halloween photos - stick with me, ok?

So ... lunches! I've packed two lunches per day since school began - the only exceptions being one day that Mister J asked to eat "hot lunch" from school and the days the kids were home sick (Miss M - 6 days due to flu, Mister J - 3 days due to congestion/scratchy throat/cough). That's a LOT of lunches! I still enjoy packing them, though I don't always enjoy doing it at 9 or 10pm. While the lunch planning chart hasn't lasted like I'd hoped, we still take the time to talk about what will be in the lunch boxes.

Here are just a few of the lunches I've packed over the last two months.

Lunches the first two days - these first two are nearly identical. Miss M's has yogurt and strawberries, Mister J's has Craisins and cheese cubes.

These next two have spaces for cucumbers I added the next morning. The roll-ups in Miss M's lunch were not a hit, but they both liked the pears. The small lidded container typically holds Thousand Island for Miss M, Italian for Mister J (unless I have ranch dip or hummus).

As I mentioned above, just because it's in the lunchbox doesn't mean it's a hit (a change from the early days of the Laptop Lunch Boxes!). I almost always pack things they have eaten for me at home, because it's important to me that they have a filling lunch that they enjoy. However, that doesn't mean that they will eat it!
Miss M's lunch - Yogurt with fresh strawberries, grapes, grape tomatoes, green beans. While she will eat raw green beans at home, she didn't touch them in her lunch box.

Mister J's lunch - Corn and black bean salad/salsa, tortilla chips, cheese cubes, small container has sour cream inside, grapes, home-made fruit bar (I'll post the recipe sometime - these are yummy!) Mister J tasted the salad/salsa at home the day before, and said he'd like it in his lunch. He may have taken one bite of it at school :(

This must have been a Tuesday - sometimes I pack lunch for myself since we go to Miss M's dance class right after preschool. Mine had a small salad under the fruit bar - salad dressing in the small container instead of sour cream.

I made some 'fun' lunches the last two days before Fall Break - my only opportunity to send Halloween-themed goodies. On Tuesday, I packed cat-shaped sandwiches. Unfortunately, the kids didn't think bread looked like a Halloween-ish cat with arched back. Miss M told me she had a skunk-shaped sandwich, and Mister J thought his was a horse. (Why is it that the lunches I took photos of turned out to be the flops?)

This was lunch on Wednesday:
Pumpkin-shaped ham and cheese sandwich, Fritos, blood orange segments, pumpkin-shaped cucumber slices, orange bell pepper bits, ranch dip in the small container. This lunch went over pretty well, though Mister J asked me to not pack bell pepper in his lunch anymore. One of the few times I tried the magic of the lunchbox, hoping he'd try something new!

Overall, the kids enjoy their lunches. I'm getting better at packing the proper portion for the amount of time they have to eat lunch (30 minutes). Most mornings they ask to see what's in the boxes, even if they helped pick things out the night before. They don't know how good it makes me feel to see them excited about their lunches!

One day a week, I volunteer during the lunch period in one of the K-1 classes at school. At this age, the children eat lunch in their classrooms. I have discovered that most children (usually about 2/3 of the children in the class I work with) bring lunches from home. Initially, I was concerned that the kids' lunches from home would be 'different' - more so for Mister J, where kids are becoming more observant about what other kids are doing. My happy observation is that many of the lunches look similar to what my kids take - yogurt, cheese, fruits, veggies. Although having a lunch that 'looks' like everyone else is not the most important thing, it is a relief to me that, at this age where kids are beginning to compare themselves to others, this is a battle we won't have to have - at least until Mister J gets to to eat lunch in the cafeteria!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Bloggy Awards

A kind reader has given me two blog awards, and I am finally getting around to posting them!

This award comes with some rules and a survey that has to be filled out.

1. You Can Only Use One Word!
2. Pass this along to 6 of your favorite bloggers!
3. Alert them that you have given them this award!
4. Have Fun!

The Fun Part
1. Where is your cell phone? Purse
2. Your hair? Curly
3. Your mother? Out-of-state (does that count as one word?)
4. Your father? Survivor (love you, Daddy!)
5. Your favorite food? appetizers
6. Your dream last night? none
7. Your favorite drink? chai
8. Your dream/goal? organization
9. What room are you in? den
10. Your hobby? crafting
11. Your fear? heights
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? where ever I'm led
13. Where were you last night? soccer
14. Something that you aren’t? rested
15. Muffins? please!
16. Wish list item? jogging attire (sorry - two words)
17. Where did you grow up? South Carolina (two words again, couldn't be helped)
18. Last thing you did? pediatrician
19. What are you wearing? sweater
20. Your TV? on
21. Your pets? Cat
22. Friends? wonderful
23. Your life? full
24. Your mood? calm
25. Missing someone? my girlfriends
26. Vehicle? Odyssey
27. Something you’re not wearing? makeup
28. Your favorite store? Costco
29. Your favorite color? red
30. When was the last time you laughed? today
31. Last time you cried? don't remember
32. Your best friend? love her!
33. One place that I go to over and over? grocery store
34. One person who emails me regularly? only one?
35. Favorite place to eat? out!

She also gave me a second award - I know, she's too kind!

This award also has a couple of rules:
1) Thank the person who nominated you for this award.
(Thanks, Crystal!)
2) Copy the logo and place it on your blog. (Check!)
3) Link to the person who nominated you for this award. (Check!)
4) Name seven things about yourself that people may not know. (Done!)
5) Nominate 7 Kreativ Bloggers (See below...)
6) Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate. (Ditto...)
7) Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know they've been nominated. (Umm, see below...)

Seven things about me... Hmmm....
1) I love bacon-wrapped jalapeno poppers - especially cold, leftover ones. They are delicious - and you can't dispute it unless you try them yourself!
2) I can never answer those "answer in one word" quizzes with just one word.
3) I am so talented that I sprained a non-moveable joint in my foot last year.
4) I don't eat peanut butter (my former favorite food!) since my daughter is allergic to peanuts. I ate a peanut butter cup come day when she was at preschool. It tasted awful.
5) If my husband wasn't technology-oriented, I would probably not even have a home computer.
6) I resisted getting a cell phone for the first few years of our marriage, even though he had one, until he started a long daily commute to work. Now I don't know how I'd live without it.
7) If I had to pick one favorite food, it would be a toss up between french fries, crab cakes, and General Tso's chicken.

If you are a regular around here, you know that I haven't been posting lately. I've been reading blogs when I can; commenting if I have time. And, Miss M has been sick for several days now with what is most likely the flu. Life is crazy right now. So, I want to award any blogger who is still reading and commenting here! Every time you comment, I stop by your blog to see what's going on in your part of the world. (More often when life isn't so hectic!) Each blog I visit is charming and special in it's own way, and I enjoy reading what you feel is important enough to be documented... celebrated... shared. Thank you for stopping by to see what's blog-worthy around here. And, please, don't be shy about picking up an award for yourself! Let me know, so I can stop by and see you sometime!