P31 Wannabe

And So It Begins February 28, 2011

Filed under: Life — Lacey @ 3:49 pm

I decided, kinda impromptu to make this week an official potty training week. I’m so tired of buying diapers and changing them (especially the you know what kind). And the kid seriously can pee just fine in the potty but I am convinced that she prefers her diaper just to irk me. So, we’ve begun on the “Operation Potty Train” week.

I pumped her up for this week last night by singing potty songs. Yes, you read that right! I’m even pretty proud of my song and I think its pretty ingenius!

The first one– We just keep saying “No more diapers” in different keys and sometimes as a chant. I got her saying it a lot!

The second one–(To the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle”)

Tinkle, Tinkle in the potty,
No more diapers,
Only Undies!

Oh, you know you like it!

And she was all set last night at bedtime that this week was going to be no more diapers and that she was officially going to become a “big girl.”

Well, this morning when Seth went into her room, the first thing she said was “I don’t want to grow up. I can’t be big, I’m too little!” Yeah, nice try, kid! She has a small crying fit this morning when I once again reiterated that she was going to start using the potty now on. She was ok with #1, but she is still freaked out by #2. We had a whole discussion about how much yuckier it is to have it in your pants than to just go in the potty. So, now i’ve already resorted to promising her a special present if she goes #2 in the potty. This is where the $1 presents that I bought from Target last week will come into play. I’m hoping that once she successfully goes a couple times she’ll realize it isn’t as freaky as she thinks (at least not as much as going in a diaper).

So, here goes nothing…I’m hoping we succeed this time so that we don’t have to take a break and start again later!

 

Target Deals (School stuff!) February 26, 2011

Filed under: Life — Lacey @ 5:24 pm

I recently decided to join the trendy legging wearing club. I bought one pair from Ross for $5 and after the second wearing, I somehow got a run in them. It wouldn’t have been as bad (and probably woulda looked kinda “in style”) except it was right in the butt crack area…and you could totally see my underwear through them. Thankfully it happened sometime after I arrived home…at least that’s when I noticed it…and I’m hoping that’s when it actually happened.


Anyways…I went into Target the other night to get some new leggings since I have 3 new shirts that I can’t wear without leggings (some of the girls told me they were on sale). Well, I left without leggings (they were back up to $8 each)..and I came out with 3 bags and about $40 poorer. But I am still excited about what I found and I think I got some pretty good deals so I wanted to share them.


Target currently has their children’s Circo socks on sale. They’re the individually packaged ones that have the size written on the bottom of them. They’re normally $1, but I got them 3 for $2 (that’s $.67 each!).



I also got Haddie a cute white sweater to go with her church outfits. It was on sale for $5.50. Pretty good, huh?



They have some really cute gift bags in their dollar section. Some are smaller and packaged together (2/$1).


I also bought some treats for Haddie that I plan to wrap and give her occasionally. Most of them I’ll use for “school” type stuff, too.


Stuff to plant and decorate a wildflower garden:



Workbooks



Can’t do school without the Dora pencils and a cute clipboard!



And surely we’ll find some use for this Dora dry erase board…



Time to find some bugs! (And do “bug school” as Haddie calls it)



And the only things I bought for myself:
Two hook sets to hang on the wall to hold all my pretty (mostly handmade) necklaces!

I’d say it was a pretty good trip, afterall, huh?

 

Expiration Dates

Filed under: Life — Lacey @ 4:13 pm

I read this little article in the Parents’ magazine (March 2011) and thought it was interesting and helpful so I thought I’d pass it along. Might help any of you who are Expiration Date-aphobes to relax a little on your food tossing… And those of you who hoard food to start tossing!

“You don’t always have to ditch a food that’s past the date printed on its package–The product may still be safe to eat afterwards. The most common date stamps you’ll see:

Sell By
You’ll want to use the food within 2-3 days of this date. Exceptions: Milk and yogurt refrigerated below 40 degrees F can last up to 1 week after this date; refrigerated eggs are good for up an additional five weeks.

Use By
Eat (or freeze) the food by this date. And never use baby formula or baby food beyond this date, since it can lose its nutrients.

Best if Used By
Since this label is often on nonperishable items, use your judgment. Older foods may retain their nutrients and be safe to eat, but they may be stale or have an off color. If it remains unopened in your pantry, peanut butter can last up to 9 months, cereal a year, canned fruit 12-18 months, and canned veggies up to 5 years.”

Ok, there is no way I’m eating a can of veggies that has been expired for 5 years! Just sayin! And I’d still be leery to eat fruit that expired a year ago. Those cans are dated so far ahead anyways as it is. And I’m not going to share this with my mom…she’s a serious food hoarder! It’s hard enough to get her to throw out expired stuff because its always “still good!”

 

S’More Brownies February 24, 2011

Filed under: Desserts,Recipes — Lacey @ 10:27 pm

Well, I’m made this recipe for our High School D-Group last night and it is as yummy as it looks!

Haddie had fun licking the marshmallow spoon!

I got the recipe from Family Circle’s Sept. 09 magazine. Here’s the online link: S’More Bars

I changed the recipe up a little bit in order to use boxed brownie mix instead of making the chocolate cookie/brownie layer from scratch (I just never like how those from-scratch brownies taste).

S’More Brownies
Crust:
14 whole graham crackers, crushed (2 1/4 C Crumbs)
3 T sugar
1/4 tsp salt
6 T butter melted (I just used regular margarine and omitted the salt)

Brownie:
1 Box plain chocolate brownie mix (and whatever other ingredients it calls for)

Topping:
1 jar (7.5 oz) marshmallow cream (about 1.5 C)
2 T milk
1 C hershey’s mini chocolate kisses (I just used reg chocolate chips)
3 graham crackers, broken up

1. Crust: Combine cracker crumbs, sugar, salt and butter in a bowl until evenly moistened. Transfer to a 13X9 baking pan. Press evenly into bottom. Refrigerate 1 hr or until set. (I didn’t have an hr, so I probably only refrigerated min for 20 min).
2. Heat oven to 350.
3. Brownie: Prepare batter according to pkg instructions. Pour onto graham cracker crust and bake for 30 min or until center is set.
4. Topping: While brownie is baking, whisk marshmallow cream and milk in a small bowl until well blended and smooth. Remove brownie from oven, cover with marshmallow topping. Spread or tilt pan to level topping and completely cover brownie layer.
5. Sprinkle chocolate chips over marshmallows, then scatter the graham cracker pieces. Bake for 3 more min. Let cool in pan.

 

Homemade Preschool February 23, 2011

Filed under: Life — Lacey @ 2:01 pm

Recently I have been getting back into the habit (well, I’m not sure if I ever really started it) of doing “preschool” with Haddie.


Of course, pretty much everything she already does could be considered preschool:
Free Play–baby dolls, kitchen stuff, blocks
Watching educational videos–sign language, even Dora and Diego have taught her a lot about types of animals, some Spanish words, etc
Playing outside & exploring
Helping me cook
Helping with chores (putting her dirty clothes away, putting toys away, unloading dishwasher, attempting to sweep, etc)
Coloring
Finger painting
Reading books
Play-Doh
Stringing Large Beads
Singing Songs (especially with motions)
Dress up (Princess, Doctor, Explorer, etc)
Playing Games (Go Fish, Old Maid, Cootie, Candy Land)
Even playing games on my IPhone (Spanish, Matching, Sign Language)


But I’ve started trying to be organized at least a little bit of this time so that she learns to sit still and at least start the idea of writing skills. She gets really excited about doing “school” and even asks for it on her own! Hope this continues!


We’ve been doing some Pre-K workbooks that help with colors, shapes, numbers, counting, comparisons, etc. So far we’ve worked in a couple Pooh books and a Dora one. My mom got most of these for Haddie as presents. Apparently she finds a good amount of them at thrift stores and also on sale at times.


Doing these workbooks have given me a few good ideas of things to hand make for additional learning:


Color by number
Take a coloring book that has relatively simple pictures and write numbers on top (like 1-5) with colors to correspond to each. Then write these numbers on parts of the picture for each color.

You can then talk about the different things in each picture. I chose a Bible story coloring book and plan to talk a little about each picture/story after or while she’s coloring it.


Matching Colors
Cut out pictures from magazines that have mainly one color in them. Gather construction paper that match each of the colors of pictures you’ve found. Set out the papers and the pictures and have the child glue (you’ll have to help with this part probably) the pictures to the papers with the matching colors. I’ve found that Haddie loves to glue pictures to paper!


Matching Letters
Cut out letters (the bigger the better) from magazines. Its best to have a variety of colors, fonts, and cases. You could use these multiple ways: 1.) Lay them out and have the child pick out certain letters as you say them. Or 2.) Use a similar idea like the matching colors above: Set out sheets of paper that you have written letters on (one letter on each sheet). Have the child glue each of the cut out letters on the corresponding papers.



I’ve also discovered that kids can learn and do so much more than we expect. Haddie loves learning Spanish and sign language (and teaching her has taught me a ton, too!). She also loves doing memory verses. I can’t believe that she can memorize the Bible already! She knows 4-5 already!

 

The Best Blueberry Muffins February 22, 2011

Filed under: Breads,Recipes — Lacey @ 11:22 am

Well, I don’t know if they’re the best yet, since I’m going to make them later today, but I thought I’d share the recipe before I forget. Hoping they’re yummy!


The Best Blueberry Muffins


Ingredients
o 1/2 cup butter or 1/2 cup margarine, at room temp
o 1 cup granulated sugar
o 2 large eggs
o 1 teaspoon vanilla
o 2 teaspoons baking powder
o 1/4 teaspoon salt
o 2 1/2 cups fresh blueberries or 2 1/2 cups frozen blueberries
o 2 cups all-purpose flour
o 1/2 cup milk
For Topping
o 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, mixed with
o 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg


Directions
1. Heat oven to 375°.
2. Grease 18 regular-size muffin cups (or 12 large size muffins).
3. In bowl, mix butter until creamy. Add sugar and beat until pale and fluffy.
4. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each.
5. Beat in vanilla, baking powder and salt.
6. With spoon, fold in half of flour then half of milk into batter; repeat.
7. Fold in blueberries.
8. Spoon into muffin cups and sprinkle topping onto each muffin.
9. Bake 20 to 30 minutes, until golden brown and springy to touch.


Recipe from http://www.food.com/recipe/the-best-blueberry-muffins-50719

 

Buzz, Buzz, Buzz February 14, 2011

Filed under: Life — Lacey @ 8:02 pm

We have embarked on another interesting adventure today. This time it has nothing to do with homemade flip flops, truck campers or toilet drains. We have begun the adventure of bee keeping…


A couple of days ago, Seth was clearing out some of the pepper tree branches he had cut down when he got stung by a bee and noticed some bees swarming. He found out that they seemed to be living inside an old cooler than the previous house owner had left. See, there is a small pile of random trash and containers that the old owners left beside the garage. It has been covered by tall grass and “protected” by an overgrown pepper tree. So, Seth has been trying to slowly clear it all out. Anyways…


Yesterday, I noticed that the bees kept going in and out of the drain hole of the cooler. I figured we’d have to find someway to shoot in bee killer or some such craziness. But then it dawned on me this morning, what if there’s really an actual hive inside with actual honey? I figured, yeah right, but it wouldn’t hurt to find out.


I mentioned my curiosity to Seth and of course, that got him spurred on to find out. He took a REALLY long board and attempted to pry open the cooler lid (thankfully its still on a strap so that it doesn’t come completely off…that would make things even more complicated). He finally got it open and of course out comes all the bees! But we still couldn’t see in because it was facing the fence and the bees were swarming too much to get to the other side. Then it dawned on me that it was facing the garage which has a screen storm door on one side. So I ran inside and look what I saw:


We went from discussing how to get rid of the bees to researching how to harvest honey and bee keeping. At first I was totally against the idea just thinking of Haddie and the youth group kids getting attacked by bees. It was interesting reading the different articles online though.


I left to run some errands and then I got a picture text from Seth. He had managed (sting free!) to get one of the big honeycombs out and it actually had honey in it! I began to become more intrigued by the idea of keeping the cooler hive.


When I came home, he had moved the cooler to the back corner of the fenced yard and had managed to get some honey out of it. I tasted it and its actually pretty good. I wish I liked tea…because that seems to be what you’re supposed to use honey for.


A friend told me that the honeycomb is actually edible too. So I looked it up online. Apparently, some people just chew the honeycomb until all the honey is gone (kinda like gum) and then spit it out. Some people eat it entirely and others even make sandwiches out of the honeycomb. Personally, that’s a bit far for me! Honestly, I wouldn’t even chew it.


So then, that lead me to wonder what else you can use the honeycomb for.


Here’s a list of uses I found:
Accordians
Archery Wax
Balms
Bagpipes
Baking
Basketry
Batik
Blacksmithing
Bronze Preservation
Bullet lube
Bullet casting
Candles
Candy making
Chocolate
Copper sinks
Cosmetics
Cracked Hooves
Crayons
Dental Floss
Dreadlocks
Ear Candling
Ear plugs
Ironing Wax
Jewelry
Glass Etching
Grafting
Modeling Clay
Lipsticks
Moustache Wax
Wood Finish
Oil Spill Control
Painting Restoration
Parachutes (WWII)
Polishes
Pool Tables
Plucking
Pysanky
Reed making
Sewing
Soapmaking
Waterproofing
Wire pulling
Whipmaking


Who knew there were so many uses for beeswax?


While I don’t plan on using it on my bagpipes or archery bows, I did think a few of the uses sounded interesting. Reading this list and their descriptions made me kinda excited to experiment with the honeycomb and beeswax. So I researched more about how to making crayons and candles. I’ve also tried to find good websites about how to make jewelry out of honeycombs. But haven’t really found anything useful yet.


We already tried to make a candle…it looks rather gross. I guess we need to strain out more of the junk and that the wax is less than we expected the two big things of honeycomb would make.


From what I’ve read now, bees only make 1 lb of wax for every 100 lbs of honey! Craziness. I figured it would be the opposite.


I also thought that using batik to decorate eggs sounded really cool. Don’t know if I would have the patience to do it though. You use melted beeswax to draw a pattern on the eggs. Then you dye the eggs different colors. The wax keeps the dye off of the drawn pattern. After you have dyed the eggs with the color pattern you want, you melt the wax off. Here are some really pretty examples:














We’ve ended up with a pretty good amount of honey from the two honeycombs that Seth harvested. We’re curious to see how fast these bees reproduce their honeycombs. Maybe Seth’s found a new side business to pursue. haha.

Here’s a few other pictures of the endeavor.


























































I’ll probably upload a few more later if they will download off of my phone.

And like I said before, our life seems to never be dull. And this house continues to surprise us with new adventures all the time!