Friday, December 14, 2012

L is for Llama - The Emperor's New Groove

L is for Llama.
Because llama has not only one L, but two.

Two spectacular llamas, Kuzco & Misty

Church Theme: Love One Another
Primary/Church Song: 'Love One Another'
Preschool Song/Rhyme: 'Llama Llama nod your head' - turned into a finger play
Book: Llama Llama Holiday Drama by Anna Dewdney
Movie: The Emperor's New Groove

We went to Disneyland on Monday so that we could visit some family that was there for the week.
It was pretty awesome!

Tumbling Tuesday:
We grooved to some awesome Christmas music while catching up on some much needed housework.

L letter & math sheets
Worked on Christmas cards

We watched The Emperor's New Groove while eating this...

Kuzco's potatoes, llama bread & breaded chicken, Yzma's cheesy potatoes, bacon, salad, Kronk's creme puffs (since we don't like spinach), & acorns.

If we had Llama Snacks here, I would definitely buy some to go with this lunch because llamas are cool. Besides, who wouldn't want llama snacks, right?

Field Trip Friday:
We were going to travel to a petting zoo to see a llama.
However, it was chilly, breezy, & rainy out so we stayed home.
Silly weather threw off my groove!


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Cluttered Countertop-itis

I have a problem.
A huge problem.
In fact, I have such a huge problem that it has spread from not just my kitchen, but throughout my entire house. It's quite a terrible disease. It affects every flat, clean surface I come across.
It's called "cluttered countertop-itis".

If you've ever been to my house you know that I have a huge kitchen. I consider it both a blessing and a curse. You see, having a huge kitchen really comes in handy when trying to cook (especially on Thanksgiving or other holidays). I have PLENTY of counter space. There is no question about that. The problem is that I tend to quickly clutter said counter space. It usually starts with mail. Then I start to notice toys, garbage, cups, dishes, and miscellaneous items that are not where they belong.

So what's the cure for "cluttered countertop-itis"?
As far as I know, there's no real cure. However, there are a few ways I plan to prevent this disease from taking over my house.

Here's my list of preventative measures:
1. Get the mail before my hubby does & take care of it right away. There's a few reasons for this... If he gets to it first, I don't always see it. Sometimes he's busy & doesn't set it where I remember to take care of it. It's not that he hides it from me. In fact, most of the time he sets it somewhere where I am bound to see it. I just tend to forget to go through it when it's not in my hand, then it piles up. Then when I see the piles I feel overwhelmed & tend to procrastinate it further...

2. Throw away any trash that's in my hand as well as any trash I see on my way to the garbage can. By keeping trash off the countertops it instantly looks less cluttered... I know it is so much easier to just set it somewhere for 'a second' rather than walk to the trashcan; but if you're like me, chances are it will be forgotten & left there to clutter the counter if it gets set down. Trash is one of the first things I attack when fighting my cluttered countertop-itis. Why? Because it's simple & it makes everything look cleaner which gives me the motivation to do more.

3. Stay on top of dishes so that the dirty ones can always go in the dishwasher. I am not a fan of dirty dishes... I don't like seeing them cluttering my counters, but I really don't like seeing them in the sink. There's just something about dishes in the sink that increases the gross factor for me. This means that if I forget to empty the dishwasher, the dishes pile up on the counters since hubby knows I don't like doing them if they're in the sink. We always try to rinse them off right after eating so that the food doesn't get stuck on, and then we put them right in the dishwasher (if it's empty/dirty). By doing this, we would probably save water too since I am OCD when I rinse dishes. If they were rinsed then set on the counter I end up re-rinsing them and practically cleaning them before I put them in the dishwasher. Silly me...

4. Pick up and organize whatever clutter is remaining on counters at the end of the day. The catch? 15 minutes. Whatever I don't get done in that 15 minutes will simply have to wait until the next day. It's amazing what can be accomplished in 15 minutes though.

Hopefully this method will help me solve my case of countertop-itis...

Friday, December 7, 2012

K is for King - The Lion King

K is for King which meant there were plenty of directions I could have taken this week.
I want to talk about human royalty during the prince/princess week in the spring so I decided to mainly focus on the king of the jungle or THE LION KING...

Church Theme: Keep the Commandments
Primary/Church Song: 'Keep the Commandments'
Preschool Song: 'Old King Cole'
Book: How Leo Learned to Be King by Marcus Pfister

 We ate wildebeest meat (chicken), a lion sandwich, asante sana squashed bananas, gummy worm grubs, pride rocks (I just used melted white chocolate chips & crushed oreos), & a zebra striped boston creme roll (I couldn't find any actual zebra cakes).

Tumbling Tuesday:
We pretended to be lions and worked on our roars

Word Wednesday:
K letter sheets
Lion King coloring pages

Think About It Thursday:
K math sheets
We tried to grow a gummy worm in water. I just got some generic ones from Target, but they didn't want to grow. We were checking every 5 minutes at first, then 10, then 20. After about an hour, there was barely a noticeable change. We ended up just playing around with textures & had plenty of fun trying to pick up the slimy worm. Then it was eaten...
Slimy, yet satisfying.

Field Trip Friday:
It would have been fun to go to the Living Desert or a different zoo to see some animals, but we had to postpone that to a later date when money isn't so tight, so maybe after the holidays... Instead we just delivered goodies to neighbors.

Hakuna Matata!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

123 Brownies

These brownies are my fave & they are easy as 123...
I have my friend Kate to thank for these! She brought some to me at school my junior year after she found out I was moving to Arizona... Then I got the recipe from her & have enjoyed them ever since!

Favorite brownie recipe (I just use a box)
Jar of marshmallow creme
1 cup peanut butter
2 cups chocolate chips
3 cups rice krispies

Make brownies according to box or directions. Once completely cooled, spread entire jar of marshmallow creme on top. Melt peanut butter & chocolate chips together in microwavable bowl. Stir together, then mix in the rice krispies. Pour mixture on top of marshmallow creme. Store in refrigerator & allow time for top to solidify before serving.

(Thanks Whooping Crane! ♥ Little White Lab Mouse)

The Best Blog Recipes

Saturday, December 1, 2012

J is for Jungle - Jungle Book

J is for Jungle so this week was based off of... THE JUNGLE BOOK

Church Theme: Jesus Died for Me
Primary/Church Song: 'To Think About Jesus'
Preschool Song: '5 Little Monkeys'
Book: Who is the Beast? by Keith Baker

Mango, sticky rice, dragonfruit, jungle animal crackers, banana, banana candies, & gummy 'snakes'. I thought about getting prickly pear, but I couldn't find any prickly pear out here right now.

Tumbling Tuesday:
We monkeyed around, marched around in an elephant parade, & balanced plastic buckets on our heads

Word Wednesday:
J letter sheets
Monkey tail J's

Field Trip Friday was Thursday this week:
We went to the park and played on the Jungle gym.

Think About It Thursday was Friday this week:
J math sheets is all we did since I was busy cooking & mashing a pumpkin... I ended up with 18 1/2 cups and now I have no idea what to do with all of it!

Check out other awesome muffin tin meals @ Another Lunch

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Honey Curried Chicken

I got this simple recipe from a friend from church.
We've changed it a little, but it sure is tasty!

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts (shredded or cubed)
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup mustard
1 tsp salt
2 tsp curry powder
1/4 cup melted butter (I just melt it with everything else in the microwave)

Mix together honey, brown sugar, mustard, salt, curry powder, and butter. Heat mixture together in a saucepan or microwavable bowl to make it come together more. Mix chicken in, then pour everything into 9x9. Cook at 375 for about 15 minutes. Serve over rice.

Note: I usually add some extra mustard

Saturday, November 17, 2012

I is for Island - Lilo and Stitch

I is for Island
I've never been to Hawaii, but I would love to go there someday!
It looks absolutely beautiful and I hear that they have plenty of fresh pineapple.
I LOVE pineapple.
I love how it looks, smells, and especially how it tastes.
I even enjoy cutting them.
Pineapple also is what I craved most when I was preggo with little dudeman.
Well, that and Coldstone.
Cheesecake ice cream with raspberries & heath bar.
Try it.
It's pretty spectacular!
Anywho, back to islands.
This island themed week was based off of... 

Church Theme: I am a Child of God
Primary/Church Song: 'I am a Child of God'
Preschool Song: '5 Little Ducks'
Book: The Ugly Duckling by Jerry Pinkney

We sat on our beach towels to watch Lilo and Stitch while eating ham, fresh pineapple, coconut macaroons, cherries, Pudge's peanut butter sandwich sushi, & banana poi (we actually ate banana pudding because I didn't have coconut cream).

Tumbling Tuesday:
We did the hula,
played little dudeman's ukulele,
and danced while listening to some Elvis music.

Word Wednesday:
I am a Child of God letter sheets
We made a hand palm tree decoration

Think About It Thursday:
I am a Child of God math sheets

Field Trip Friday:
We went to the beach last Saturday for a little bit, but it was freezing and windy, so we didn't stay long. Ideally I would love to go to the beach again, preferably when it's warmer though so that we can all enjoy it. So instead, we stayed in our warm 80 degree desert and went to get an ice cream cone! (:

"Ohana means family, and family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten."

Halloween costumes 2012

I know this is a couple weeks late but better late than never, right?
Happy {belated} Halloween!

 Our little princess was a butterfly fairy.

We already had the purple onesie, found the tutu at Deseret Industries, and my grandma gave her the wings.

Absolutely adorable!

And now for the guys...
Little dudeman was Calvin and hubby was Hobbes.

The Calvin costume started out as a red t-shirt and black pants, and Hobbes was just an orange sweatshirt and orange sweatpants that I ordered on Amazon. Hobbes' belly was made from a pale yellow t-shirt from Deseret Industries. I basically created my own pattern by masking off where I wanted it on the sweatshirt,  then marking it on the t-shirt with chalk (accounting for seam allowance).
Then the cutting and sewing began...
I am definitely no professional when it comes to sewing, and I get REALLY nervous every time I do it. If I had a real pattern for this, I'm not sure I would be able to figure it out and I would probably get a headache trying to do so.
So please excuse me for my lack of correct sewing terminology.
I tend to do better eyeballing it which makes no sense, but it works for me. For now.

Next, I painted the stripes on the Calvin shirt and the Hobbes costume by using masking tape and slightly watered down black acrylic paint. Unfortunately, I think I watered down the paint a little too much a few times that I mixed it, which made the paint bleed underneath the taped off areas as you can see with the top of the Calvin costume. :(

I was able to fix the areas that bled too much on the Hobbes costume since they didn't need to be evenly spaced, but couldn't do anything for the Calvin shirt.

The tail is probably my favorite part of the costume... haha

I made the tail out of an orange t-shirt that I got at Deseret Industries that was a pretty close match to the color of the sweats. I cut out one long, wide strip (making sure to account for room for batting so it would be big enough all the way around). Then I used my sewing machine to sew it together on two sides & turned it inside out so that it was a long tube. I stuffed it with batting and scraps (since I didn't have enough batting on hand), then I taped and painted it. Once the paint was dry I sewed it onto the pants.

The ears were made out of black felt, the pale yellow t-shirt scraps, and pipe cleaners. I got the idea for the ears here, but since I didn't have any no-sew fabric glue I attempted sewing them. I sewed two pieces of felt together, turned them inside out and placed the pipe cleaner inside, then sewed the inner ear on, which held the pipe cleaner against the edge of the ears. I cut the slits into the hood of the sweatshirt and hand-stitched them on. They turned out a little bigger than I had intended, but not too bad for not knowing what I was doing.

In the end, nobody knew who they were. Everyone thought Hobbes was Tigger.
Oh well... I still think they turned out pretty awesome!

Here's a couple Calvin and Hobbes Halloween strips for you to enjoy:

What about me? I threw on a muumuu and handed out candy. I didn't have time to make myself a costume. Maybe I'll have time next year...

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Crockpot Hawaiian BBQ Chicken

I was so excited when I stumbled across this easy recipe from Six Sisters' Stuff on Pinterest a while back. I love that it's only 3 ingredients and it requires practically no prep (or cleanup for that matter if you use those wonderful Reynolds Crockpot liners).

4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts (I use frozen ones)
1 bottle Archer Farms Hawaiian-Style Barbecue Sauce (from Target)
1 (20 oz) can pineapple chunks, drained

Place chicken breasts in the crockpot and cover with sauce. Empty can of drained pineapple chunks on top. Cook on high for 2-3 hours or low for 4-6 hours. Shred chicken with two forks while still in crockpot so chicken will be well coated with sauce. Serve over rice and enjoy.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Nightmare Before Christmas - Halloween dinner 2012

This year for Halloween instead of doing a "Halloween" dinner,
we did a Nightmare Before Christmas dinner...
It was basically a smaller version of Christmas dinner with a Halloween twist.
(Notice the red Christmas tablecloth)

We had Halloweentown ham shaped like ghosts,

Pumpkin King potatoes,

and Oogie Boogie's rolls (We couldn't forget the dice!).

We also had Sally's stuffing, peas & candy corn,

and Halloween jigglers!

We turned the lights out and got to enjoy the meal with our Halloween candles!

We were also going to watch The Nightmare Before Christmas that night since it went with dinner, but time just didn't allow for it so we had to postpone the movie.

Friday, November 9, 2012

H is for Hero - Hercules

H is for Hero.
I could have easily gone with any hero, but Hercules also starts with H so I decided to go with HERCULES...

Ah, this movie brings back so many memories from when it first came out... I remember that I got the soundtrack, then my friend & I memorized all of the songs. We then casted ourselves multiple roles, rehearsed at both of our homes until we had perfected it, and acted out the entire soundtrack in my living room for our families. Good times, good times.

Church Theme: Helaman
Primary/Church Song: 'We'll Bring the World His Truth'
Preschool Song/Rhyme: 'One Two, Buckle My Shoe'
Book: Super Sam by Lori Reis

While watching Hercules we ate a mini hero (I cheated & got Subway), lightning bolt cheese, red grapes (like the ones Phil threw out of the bowl that he ate), Hades' 'devil' food cake cookies, Greek yogurt, & Pegasus' cotton candy clouds.

Tumbling Tuesday:
We trained to be heroes by doing a discus throw (frisbee), jumping jacks, sprinting across the living room, and of course we tested our skills in battling monsters and saving damsels in distress (we used our imaginations, toys, & stuffed animals)

Word Wednesday:
Helaman letter sheets
Hercules coloring pages (I did a Google search to find some)

Think About It Thursday:
Helaman math sheets
We created Stratos (the tornado titan) in a bottle

Field Trip Friday:
We went for a walk on our street and picked up trash to save planet Earth. However, it was really windy which made it kind of difficult to do so we didn't stay out too long. We'll just have to try again another day.

"A true hero isn't measured by the size of his strength, but by the strength of his heart."

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Chicken Bacon Ranch Taquitos

I first saw the idea for this delicious & addicting meal from Six Sisters' Stuff on Pinterest. It became an instant favorite at our house once I finally got around to making it!

1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
12 slices of bacon, cooked & crumbled (I usually just use real bacon bits)
4 cups cooked, shredded chicken
1 (1 oz) packet dry ranch dressing mix
2 cups Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded
15-20 (6-inch) flour tortillas (recipe calls for 20 but I usually can only make about 15)
Non-stick cooking spray

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cover a large baking sheet (or cookie sheet) with aluminum foil and spray lightly with cooking spray. Mix together cream cheese, chicken, cheese, and bacon (I just sprinkle a layer of bacon on top, then mix it until I'm satisfied with the amount since I use real bacon bits.) Add in about 1/2 of the dry Ranch packet, mix well and taste. Add more if you want more of a Ranch taste, then mix well (I use the whole packet). Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of the chicken mixture into a tortilla and roll it up. Place taquito seam-side down on baking sheet. Repeat until all of the chicken mixture is inside tortillas (approx 15-20 times). You may need to use two baking sheets depending on how many you make. Once finished, spray the tops of the taquitos with non-stick cooking spray (or you could lightly brush some olive oil on them) and sprinkle with salt. Place pan in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until edges and tops are golden. Let cool for a couple of minutes. We like to eat them with the suggested "Salsa Ranch" dip, which is equal parts salsa and ranch, but she also mentioned dipping them in plain Ranch dressing, or Blue Cheese dressing. Enjoy!

A little side story about the nickname:
We call any sort of Chicken Bacon Ranch meal at our house CBR,
just for the sake of shortening the obvious deliciousness of the Chicken Bacon Ranch combination.
Our son called Taquitos "Tiko Tikos" once, & we liked how it flowed so it just stuck with us.
Hence the nickname, CBR Tiko Tikos...

Detours in LifeMini Van Dreams


Friday, November 2, 2012

G is for Genie - Aladdin

G is for Genie, and my absolute favorite Genie is from... ALADDIN

Now if only I could find a magic lamp so that I can have 3 wishes granted...

Right now I would wish for my house to clean itself (especially the dishes),
for a landscaped yard with grass,
and for more time to spend with family & extended family.

Church Theme: Golden Plates
Primary/Church Song: 'The Golden Plates'
Preschool Song/Rhyme: '3 Little Kittens'
Book: The Fisherman and His Wife by Rachel Isadora

Since Halloween was this week I was busy running errands, preparing our Halloween dinner, & making costumes anytime I got a free second from Monday until Wednesday. This meant my whole week was thrown off and we only did Mommy School on Thursday and Friday. Yep, I'm not very good at keeping up with this daily schedule as you may have noticed. Anywho...

Golden Plates letter & math sheets

Field Trip Friday:
We flew our magic carpets to Agrabah - city of mystery and enchantment! Okay, just kidding... Wouldn't that have been an awesome field trip though? We made a magic carpet to eat our muffin tin meal on as we watched Aladdin.

Here's what we ate...

'Big nabob' mini chicken kabobs (Don't worry, I took the toothpicks out before giving them to little dudeman), 3 marshmallow wishes (since you can wish upon stars), couscous (I had never had it before, but it was pretty tasty), riches from the cave of wonders (I had the hardest time finding chocolate gold coins right now, so we settled on rolos. I may have eaten 2 or 3. Okay, so maybe I had 5), a 'stolen' apple (I know, technically it should be red... but I only had granny smith), homemade baklava (Which I can't stop eating! It sort of reminds me of pecan pie...)

It would have been fun to play The Magic Carpet Game sometime this week, but I think it's either still in my parents' game closet or we may have given it away at some point throughout my life. Oh the memories...
Bring on the nostalgia!

Have a wonderful week & remember to beee yourself!


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