Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Chocolate Yogurt Sandwiches

I made these chocolate graham cracker - frozen vanilla yogurt sandwiches the other day and they were a BIG HIT!  
And I'm serious that they tasted like frozen oreos.  
And that they were 2.5 grams of fat each.  
And that Clare and Jude (and I) were fighting over the last one!

Chocolate Yogurt Sandwiches:
1 6oz. container of fat free vanilla yogurt
1 cup of fat free cool whip
6 whole chocolate graham crackers

Mix yogurt and cool whip together in a small bowl.  Break graham crackers in half.  Dollop one large spoonful of yogurt/cool whip mixture onto one graham cracker square and place another graham cracker square on top.  Place in baking dish, cover, and freeze.  Makes 6 sandwiches.

Very good!!!  (Although the clean-up involved on an 51 week old baby isn't that great!)

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Puzzle Storage

Jude and I have some new found one-on-one time these days with Clare off at kindergarten and if when Ellen naps.  We've been through our puzzles several times, "played" chess, and yesterday could be found hitting a ball back and forth with two hockey sticks on the driveway.

As I mentioned, Jude has been enjoying a lot of our puzzles lately.  And I had been noticing a lot of the puzzle boxes were starting to fall apart.  

So I cut out the picture of the puzzle from the top of each box.  

Then I put all of the corresponding puzzle pieces into a big ziploc bag.  Then marked the number of pieces that are in the puzzle on the ziploc bag.  

Much easier than dealing with a bunch of falling apart boxes!  

And where did I come up with this clever idea?

My mother did the same thing to my puzzles when I was growing up!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Another Lost Tooth!

Clare lost her 2nd tooth this week!  

And, yes, that's the new one coming in about an inch back!

Clare asked the Tooth Fairy to bring her some fairy pixie dust.  And the Tooth Fairy was kind enough to do so!  So Clare and the neighborhood gang sprinkled pixie dust (glitter) all.over.themselves.  (This was not how the Tooth Fairy thought her pixie dust was going to be used...)  Clare came running into the house VERY excited and told me that the pixie dust was working and she was really shrinking!  One of the neighbor boys, however, was very upset because he truly thought his older sister was shrinking and was worried she would be scared of him because he was going to be much bigger than her!
(This was all very entertaining for Ryan and me!)

And this is when I told Clare that she had to take a shower and wash the fairy dust off before she went to bed and to school the next day.  She was upset because she told me having fairy dust was "the best thing that she ever did in her whole life!"

Such a deprived child!

As we have hit the "lost tooth" phase in our house, I think it would be fun to have some kind of tooth box/pillow to keep lost teeth in for the Tooth Fairy to find.  (Clare used a small jewelry box the other night.)

Here are some cute ideas I found...




And these 2 are my favorite:



Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Homemade Caesar Salad Dressing

This is one of our favorite homemade salad dressings.  

4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Combine all ingredients and mix with romaine lettuce, croutons, shredded parmesan cheese, and my mother-in-law's secret salad ingredients, salt and pepper, for a delicious salad.  

I mixed this dressing with romaine lettuce, shredded parmesan cheese, and leftover grilled chicken and made caesar wraps for dinner.  A simple and yummy summer dinner.    

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Walker and Biker

It's a bit lonely here without Clare home during the day!  But we are finding ways to keep busy.  And it's fun seeing Jude and Ellen interact one-on-one...with walkers and purple bikes in the kitchen!  They like to make laps and chase each other...lots of giggling by both of them! 

Look at those teeth on top!

(This is good walking practice for Aunt Mary Jo's wedding next month!)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Sidewalk Chalk Paint

Jude and I made this washable paint the other day while Ellen napped.  You use paintbrushes to "paint" the sidewalk...a different twist on ordinary sidewalk chalk (which by this time of the summer is long gone around here).  I don't remember where I saw this "recipe," but it was fun to make with my Best Guy!

Mix together cornstarch and water until you reach a milk-like consistency.  

Add food coloring.  (Jude chose blue and yellow...and then dumped a bunch of green on top of the yellow...so we did blue and green!)  



(Don't use too much cornstarch or the paint will be too thick to spread well.)  


Friday, August 19, 2011

Mexican Corn Salsa

A fellow bridesmaid made this for my sister's Mexican-themed bridal shower a few weeks ago and it.was.amazing.  

Mexican Corn Salsa
8 oz. mayo (not Miracle Whip) 
8 oz. sour cream
2 cans Mexi-corn
green onions, sliced
1 large block sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and serve with tortilla chips.  


Happy Friday!

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Clare's Closet Organization 101

One of the things I love about our house are the good-sized closets in the bedrooms.  To me, Clare's closet is like a little girl's dream, complete with princesses, a Barbie house, and lots of dress-up clothes.  But I thought it was a good idea to do some rearranging in her closet now that she has a uniform to wear and is starting a morning routine.

So the closet went from this:

To this:

Changes I made:
  • Moved the shower curtain bar (that acts as the lower hanging bar in the closet) higher to fit Clare's dresses and uniforms, but still allows her to reach them on her own when getting ready in the morning.    
  • I bought a big pink plastic tub for all of the dress-up clothes.  Now it's easier to just toss everything in a box for clean up.  
  • I had the green hanging shoe storage in Ellen's closet and thought it would function better here.  And it takes up less floor space than the former shoe basket.  The girls at Clare's elementary school need to wear navy shorts under their uniform jumper so I stuck Clare's "privacy shorts" in the top space in the shoe storage.  They may switch back to her dresser if this set-up doesn't work. 
  • Cleared off hooks for any school clothes that need hung up...like sweaters and sweatshirts.

Things I didn't change:
  • The cardboard box on the top shelf has clothes that will fit in the upcoming winter and summer seasons.
  • The basket on the top shelf has shoes that will fit in the upcoming winter and summer seasons.
  • Black laundry basket is for dirty laundry.
  • My Cabbage Patch Doll...need I say more??
  • Large Barbie house...should be around for awhile.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

1st Day of Kindergarten!

Yesterday was Clare's 1st day of kindergarten and we she did great!  

She has been looking forward to this day and was very excited!  Although I think she was a bit overwhelmed with a new school, new teacher, and the 809 other students coming to school with her.

They only had a half day yesterday, so we enjoyed a treat her teacher put in her backpack at lunch: popcorn! 

I think the nerves had settled down a bit here...

She changed out of her uniform without me even asking her to do so after school.  And with the outfit she wore the rest of the day, I'm very thankful for that uniform!!!  (What goes with pink?  More pink!)

Looking forward to a great year!!!  (Especially if all 3 kids are in bed by 7:30 every night!)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Summer Achievements

Clare's favorite things to do in the summer:

"I love going to the beach & swimming in the summer."

And she enjoyed both activities this summer!  She has done very well learning to swim this year.  We enrolled Clare in swimming lessons this spring and she was barely putting her head underwater at the beginning of the lessons.  Ryan also worked with her a bit at the beginning of the summer.  Now she is swimming underwater and can go in the "deep end" of the pool without her water wingies!  She really enjoys using goggles while swimming, too.  It has been fun to watch her gain confidence in the water this summer!

I am also proud of Ellen who is slowly beginning to eat more solid foods!  She has had a slow start but was sharing an ice cream cone with me the other night!  (I know, who can resist ice cream??)

Waiting for a bite...

I'm not fast enough!

So thankful for all of the fun we had this summer!