Friday, April 27, 2012

Kindergarten Field Trip

Today Michael and I went with Ruby and Eliza Claire on their kindergarten field trip to Sweet Berry Farms.  It was a fun day.  Our poor middle child also had a field trip today.  Her class went to the Zach Scott theater to see a show.  Due to the non-interactive nature of her field trip and a limited number of tickets, neither of her parents attended her field trip.  To make up for missing her field trip, she and I will be having a date in the morning.  I don't know what we will do yet.  I'm guessing we will go to breakfast.

The strawberry patch was a perfect field trip.  They were taught all about the different jobs of being on a farm.

The kids ate lunch.
Ripping open her Lunchable.  Both girls were thrilled to get a "real Lunchable" as their horrible parents typically refuse to buy them.

They planted a seed (pumpkin).

They used the strawberry blaster - they got to shoot rotten strawberries at a banner.  I couldn't get a good angle for action shots so I had to settle for these while they were waiting their turn.

Waiting in line

Ruby and the amazing Mrs. Johnson

You can see the banner they are shooting strawberries at in the background.  They get to hang it up in their classroom.

They learned about good and bad bugs on the farm. Then they each got to let a ladybug go.  The ladybugs live in the refrigerator until it is time to release them.  The kids were told to shake their container to wake them up.  Most of the kids decided the more vigorously the better.  I think there might be a few lady bugs with concussions.
Letting a lady bug go

They fed the goats.
I love Ruby's expression

They picked fruit.

Then it was time to get ready to go back to school.

And time for Michael and I to go have lunch and pie at the Bluebonnet Cafe.  

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

More Ruby Fashion

She is on a boot kick. And the headband really make the outfit. I just love this girl.

Jenn- Posted from my iPhone

Monday, April 23, 2012

I need someone to talk me down

I just went out to the van to look for a flip flop of Rehm's I need to borrow today. I'm getting a pedicure and his croc flips are the easiest to get on afterward without messing up my new polish.

I did not find the flip flop. What I did find was a plastic grocery bag full of trash and another full of stuff that should not be in the van. Things like crayons that melt in Texas heat. A shoe that Ruby has been missing for weeks. A book that belongs to the school. Lots of ponytail holders. And much more. What really, really infuriates me is the trash sitting UNDER the trash can!

My kids are inconsiderate slobs. This is not just a van problem. It is also a house problem. They think when they are done with something it is fine to just drop it anywhere and go do something else.

I have yelled. I have threatened. I have taken away privileges. I have made them pay for cleaning. I have tried it all. Nothing seems to work. I need ideas people!

It is a good thing they aren't home at the moment or I would be yelling up a storm. I'm mad! But mad doesn't do me any good. I need solutions. What works at your house? How do you get your kids to clean up after themselves without following then 24/7 being a harpie?

Oh, I did finally find the flip flop in his closet. But I don't even want to start talking about his room.

Jenn- Posted from my iPhone

Sense of Style

Oh, I just love this girl and her style.

Jenn- Posted from my iPhone

Friday, April 20, 2012

Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese

Oh my goodness.  You have to try this.  It has the flavor of homemade, baked macaroni and cheese with slightly more effort than making a box of Kraft.  It got rave reviews from every member in my family.  Of course, I found the recipe on Pinterest, because that seems to be where I find everything these days.

I adapted the recipe from this recipe from A Whisk and A Prayer

Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese

1 ½ cups milk

12 oz can evaporated milk

¼ cup (½ stick) butter, melted

3 eggs

½ tsp salt

½ tsp onion powder

½ tsp mustard powder

1 tbsp parsley

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

3 cups (12 oz) shredded cheese (I used an Italian blend, mixed with sharp cheddar)

8 oz. of shaped pasta (shells, elbows, penne, etc.), par cooked (about 4 minutes) and drained

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese 

¼ cup (½ stick) butter 

1 cup panko bread crumbs

Spray a 3.5 quart slow cooker with non-stick spray.  Combine milk, evaporated milk, butter, eggs, salt, onion powder,  mustard powder in the slow cooker.  Blend all ingredients with a stick blender or whisk.   Stir in parsley and pepper.  Add cheese and pasta.  Stir to combine. Top with Parmesan cheese.  Cook on high for 30 minutes and then on low for 2 hours.  Melt 1/2 stick of butter in a frying pan, add bread crumbs.  Stir occasionally until nicely browned.  Layer bread crumbs on top of mac and cheese and serve.

The beauty of this dish is we had a very nice traditional dinner - ham (left over), mac and cheese and steamed green beans, on a night that otherwise, due to time, we would have had a frozen pizza or take out.   

Thursday, April 19, 2012


My children take after me.  They have also inherited the need to name everything.  Charlotte's favorite breakfast currently is a Loo.  What is that?  It is a tortilla with shredded cheese and pepperoni that is microwaved until the cheese is melted and then rolled up.  Apparently, she also takes after me in her preference for savory breakfast fare.

Ruby prefers cinnamon loos to regular loos.  A cinnamon loo is a tortilla with a little butter and cinnamon sugar.  Again it is microwaved to get warm and melty. 

Everyone in our family knows what a loo is.  Of course, no one else has a clue.  I guess it is just a Maniac thing.


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Spring Break Beach Trip: The Rest of the Trip

The rest of the trip was spent taking walks on the beach, looking for various ocean treasures.
Conch egg casings

Tracks of the infamous Galveston Bay Sea Monster.  The girls had so much fun making these and making up stories about the Sea Monster.

Playing in the ocean.

I don't know why but this picture just cracks me up.  It is such a perfect picture of Rehm.

Building sand castles.

And just enjoying the company of good friends.

It was a great vacation for everyone.  My kids are already planning our next joint vacation with The Weatherbys.  Their current idea is that we all need to go to Disney World together.  They definitely have no problem planning big.


Friday, April 13, 2012

Spring Break Beach Trip : Day 2

Since it was still cloudy and cool we decided to go for a walk on the beach after our morning worship service.

All the kids surfing on a washed up log

We had a lot of fun exploring and seeing what the gulf had washed up. 
Washed up log covered in sponges
There were lots of jelly fish and several different varieties.  I think we saw at least four different types.  Once we convinced the kids that the jelly fish could not jump up and sting them they enjoyed studying them closely.

A large dead cabbage head jelly fish
I told you it was big.
We found several large beds of periwinkles.  Everyone enjoyed seeing how many they could get in their hands at one time. 

We saw lots and lots of Portuguese man of wars.  This on was still alive but stuck. 

I like this picture.  In the center is a hermit crab digging back into the surf.  But I like the shadows of everyone watching it.

In the afternoon the sun came out and we went out on the beach to play. 

Rehm digging periwinkles

We built a sand castle to occupy those who didn't want to be in the freezing cold water.  Rehm had never seen a drip castle before.  I'm not sure how, probably because he is so oblivious.  He asked me if I got the idea from Pinterest! When I stopped laughing I told him I had known how to make drip castles since long before there was a Pinterest.

Michael mostly recovered from his stomach bug/food poisoning joined us mid afternoon.

After dinner we had s'mores and battled the gigantic mutant mosquito that could have carried off a small dog.

Jenn- Posted from my iPhone