Friday, February 25, 2011

Bento Thursday

I know it's Friday, but it's been a busy week! This last couple of weeks I had quite a creative streak. Take a look!

In the top bento you have berry skewers and a brownie with a little heart confetti on it. In the bottom bento you have a hot dog octopus on top of macaroni and cheese.

In the bento on the left is a turky and cheese sandwich with the little turkey and cheese girl on top. My girls thought it looked like a little piggy. Whatever. In the little cup is veggie dip. In the box on the right is rasperries and grapes, carrots and a leftover valentine's treat.

We did breakfast for lunch this day with sausage links, a little bear head boiled egg and star toast, which Isabelle told me was soggy by lunch. also is another valentine treat, little cheese pieces and a clementine with a berry center.

Here are glass slipper pizza's with mini turkey pepperoni's. Also are two strawberry fig newtwons with a heart adhered with peanut butter You also have veggies and a "magic wand" made from yellow squash and a red pepper. In the little container is apple sauce with little pearls. I told the girls it was Aladdin's secret cave of treasures and they had to find the pearls.. and blackberry skewers

In the top box is homeade baked chicken nuggest, topped with cheese butterflies, along with some twizzlers, bought to decorate bento box items. In the container is a little ketchup. In the bottom box are clementines, grapes, and a homeade blueberry mini muffin.

And this last bento is very special because I packed it for Conrad! He was kidding around with Isabelle telling her he wanted a princess bento too for lunch. So Isabelle and I packed up the rest of the leftover chicken nuggets and made him a glass slipper for his lunch. Ha! I wish I could have seen his co-workers faces...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Chicago 2011

Well, we certainly had a great time last weekend visiting family in Chicago! The girls (and us) were so excited to see Tereza-aka (aka means sister and it's what the girls call her). We spent all day saturday at Shedd's Aquarium and got lots of dark and fuzzy pictures since they won't let you use your flash inside...darn skittish marine life.

Still the highlight was spending time with her and staying at her high powered executive diggs on the 48th floor in the middle of downtown Chicago. Lowlight? PAYING for parking in beautiful downtown Chicago...ouch.

On Sunday we traveled out to the suburbs to go to church and visit with my old friend, Gwen and her husband Jose and four beautiful children. We were roomates back in the day in Teen Mania, and like with so many of my TM friends, it's like no time had passed at all! I loved catching up with her and getting to know her wonderful family. On a side note, we went to church with them in the morning and sat behind Phil Vischer...the creater of Veggie Tales...for real! No weekend is complete with Christian Celebrity sighting! Since we were in Wheaton, I was kind of hoping a chance encounter with the likes of Elisabeth Elliott, but oh well, Phil will have to do.

Tereza, Isabelle, Grace, and Conrad in front of the beautiful view from her apartment(note beautiful view not seen because of flash....bummer.)

At Gwen an Jose's. Gwen and all six of our children sitting down for lunch! Six! Oh how we multiply!

Grace and Tereza looking at little blue fish. The girls loved spending time with Tereza!

We ate lunch here and you could watch the baluga whales underwater. This is Tereza and the girls watching the whales.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

We're Home

We went on a lil' trip this weekend to visit Conrad's cousin in Chicago. Unfortunately, I'll have to update you tommorrow with pictures because I forgot to download them! Anyway, we had fun and the girls, well they had a blast. Especially Grace, who we will now dub, All-Nighter Gracie. That girl can run on 0-5 hours of sleep with a smile on her face. Geesh. That's what exciting new environments do for her. In the meantime, here are our little rug rats, recovering from thier travels.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Bento Thursday

I discovered some new blog inspiration thanks to Leah! and I even bought a few new supplies (basically a set of princess cookie cutters and some new's not hard to make little girls happy)

In the top bento we have the favorite berry skewers, also we have baby carrots and a little container of veggie dip. In the bottom box is a turkey sandwhich with a cheese crown, complete with pearl and heart sprinkles, adhered using peanut butter! Also a homeade blueberry mini muffin and a small container of ketchup, which Isabelle told me was NOT enough.

In the top container is a hot dog with a cheesy face, made with edible markers, Graham crakers and half a cheese stick. In the bottom container is Berry Skewers, Cucumber hearts and a container of ranch dressing, "contained" with one of the heart scraps. Hopefully it worked!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Isabelle's First Valentines Class Party

Last Friday Isabelle had her first ever school Valentine's party. I'm not sure who was more excited, her or me. Don't you remember those in school? They were so fun to make your own little bags and make valentines for your friends. And of course, any excuse to eat chocolate was always good.

Isabelle doesn't usually go to school on Friday's, but we went in just for the party. We almost didn't make it because she was having a very bad, no good, horrible kind of morning (which means Mommy and Grace were also not having a good day...) I was going to skip it (never mind all of the work we had put into the valentines and the treat and already paid for pizza!) until I remembered that I had committed to bringing a treat and I didn't remember seeing that many parent's sign up so we should probably go!

I was glad we did and Grace even got to participate with the older kids. But the funnest thing for me was that I got to be class mom for a couple of hours. Also a first for me!! There are 14 preschoolers in her class and usually two teachers, but they take turns going to lunch about this time, so they were down a teacher and had lot's of activities planned for V-day.

They had a great time and got lot's of goodies. Isabelle loved passing out her treats and valentines that we made. Just marshmellows on a stick, dipped in chocolate, with sprinkles. Simple, but kids love it!

We also worked hard on her hand made valentines. I printed them out for free on our printer, and we bought valentine-y pencils to use. Isabelle worked hard at signing her name to the back. Fun stuff

One interesting fact that I found out about her class is that she has a set of Quadruplets in her class!! Three boys and a girl!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Monday, February 14, 2011

Home Bento-ing and Whats for Dinner

As a lil extra I thought I'd share some of what our kids are eating at home. This is over a month or so period, so really, they are not eating like this all the time....just occasionally. Usually they fuss over the usual chicken pot pie, Turkey Chili, and Indian Curries that we eat.

Just in case you were interested, this was a new recipe I tried and liked. Anything on the pioneer woman's blog is usally a sure bet, but these were the best enchiladas I had ever tried. I added a grocery store rotisserrie chicken to mine. Yum.
This is one of the coolest bento do dads that I have found. It's an egg shaper. Grace loves her some boiled eggs in the morning, so I have a couple of these, but the bunny is a favorite!
And happy V day, it's heart shaped pizzas! Easy to cut out of flat bread and pizza is always a hit with my kids. I love to make it at home, where I can control the healthy/not so healthy ingrediants. I also make a mean pizza dough, thanks again Pioneer Woman!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Bento Thursday Catch Up

Even though I have neglected to post on Bento Thursday, I have still been bento-ing. The kids are still loving thier lunches and Grace's young-ish teacher even told me that she hoped to be like me one day when she became a mom. I assume she meant the bento and not the lack of patience I often display when dealing with my sweet offspring :)

I have some pic's stockplied, so I'll share. I hope it inspires you!

In the top box is half of a turkey and cheese sandwhich, a few cheese it's and a container of veggie dip. I put two little heart confetti on the sandwiches and Isabelle felt like that was the best thing ever! In the bottom is carrots and berry skewers.

In the top box are the current favorite fruit, Cutie Clementines, and a small container of SF chocolate pudding. In the bottom container is carrots, dip, and a pizza roll up, which is basically pizza sauce, mini turkey peperonni and cheese, microwaved and rolled up. They love this too!

In the top is fruit and carrots, seperated by a little bento grass. In the bottom is actually a nitrate free hotdog, with ketchup and cheese, wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla, cheese its, and half of a Twizzler.
On a slightly more creative day we have the return of the snowman with chocolate chip eyes, a carrot nose, a fruit leather scarf and craisin buttons. He's full of turkey and cheese too.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Happy Birthday Conrad!

I neglected to mention Conrad's birthday. The poor guy got the shaft this year, with his birthday being lost in the shuffle of a bunch of life events. But we did get to share it with some good friends from home group and with Grandma Margie, who was visiting us that weekend.

I LOVE my husband and appreciate him more and more as the years progress. I am constantly amazed at his father's heart and at his servant attitude. I know I have never met any man who exemplifies these Godly character traits more than my husband. I am so blessed to be married to him and to raise our two little ones with him. I am more than lucky!!

I made him a multi layered coconut cake for his birthday. And this was quite a task on several levels. For one, I only have one 9 inch cake pan! For two, I have been on a very restrictive diet and couldn't taste a thing. *sigh* I hear it tasted good....

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Winter Blah's

I do this every winter. I just get sooo sick of snow and clouds and short days and being stuck inside. It's well...a little depressing. I long for sunshine and beaches, and many of the past few years I have been able to convince my husband to eek out a few days in some tropical or semi-tropical location. But this year it just isn't in the cards and boy am I feelin' it!

Anyway, I thought I'd highlight some of the good times we have been having. I have been attempting to get us all out of the house on the days that everyone is well (colds and cough are also our constant companion this time of year!). We have been going to story hour at the library, COSI, and any play place that will let us in for a three dollar happy meal. Our church also has an awesome two story play place that is open to the public during the week and we LOVE! Anyway, here are some pictures from some of our outings to COSI:

Friday, February 04, 2011

Happy February

Sorry for the sparse posts lately. We have been busy with many changes and just trucking along in our little family. Most notably, kindergarten registration is coming up!! Can you believe that Isabelle will be in Kindergarten next year? Since our house has STILL not sold and we live in a district who's Elementary School is just out of "Academic Emergency" we have decided to (drumroll please)....send Isabelle to Christian School! I know, I know..if you know me it's the one schooling option I swore I would never do!

Luckily our church has a great Christian school that we are excited about! And we are starting membership classes at church to get that "official" membership discount on tution. Whoo hoo! We pray that it's a good decision for our girl.

On another note...we just got word that Conrad's Cousin, Tereza, is coming to the US for work and she'll only be a state or two away in Chicago! She works for a very prestigious US accounting firm and we are hoping she'll be able to take some time to come and visit with us! Finally some family coming from India to see us!! We are beyond excited to see her and Isabelle already has a list of places she thinks Tereza might want to visit with her...hope you like the Zoo in winter, Tereza-aka!

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Another Grace-ism or two

Our two year old Grace talks ALOT. I think she talks more and more clearly than most two year olds, but I may be biased. Some of you have read this first story on Facebook, but I thought I'd share with you anyway:

Last Sunday in sunday school, thier "praise praise" was "Here am I, send me, send me, I want to be a missionary." Since Conrad runs the sound for Church Mouse Praise House, he was asking Grace to repeat the praise phrase for us. She responded with, "Here am I, send me send me, I want to be a Christmas Tree!"

The second story is about the well loved character, Olivia. If you don't have any little girls, Olivia is a sassy little pig, who is very popular in books and in her own cartoon. She's about six years old (and reminds me a little bit of Isabelle. One of the first pages of the first Olivia book says, "Olivia wears everyone out. She even wears herself out." And that about sums it up!) But I digress.

We were getting the girls ready to leave for daycare and feeding them breakfast. I had made some sausage and they were munching away. The following conversation ensued.
Mommy: What are you eating?
Grace: Sausage.
Daddy: What is it made out of? (He has a thing against pork. I don't know why. I think pork is perfectly lovely.)
Isabelle: Chicken (because really 97% of all the meat we eat is Chicken)
Daddy: No. It's made out of pork.
Grace: No, it's sausage.
Daddy: No. Pork.
Mommy: (thinking they don't know what pork is and just wanted to make that connect.) It's pig. It's made out of Olivia!
Grace: (as the information makes it's way to her head that she may be eating Olivia, her eyes get big and she cries out with anguish) NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
Mommy: (Ooops.)Okay okay. Let's just stick with chicken.