Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween, friends! I hope all you ghouls and goblins are having more treats than tricks today. We are out having some hallow's eve fun, but I wanted to do a quick post and show off the fun Halloween party our play group had the other day!

After! Madness. 
Um, yes. Definitely my child. Who cares about decorating when you can eat?
Just a few more sprinkles...
He was NOT having this... haha love you Baby L!
I looked up and this one's stabbing his cookie. His mama should probably sleep with one eye open...
She totally got into the decorating. In between eating. 
Gotta have some snacks, and cute Halloween ones are abundant on good ol' Pinterest
Then it was time to paint pumpkins! Nothing cuter than 8 toddlers stripped down to their diapers. Don't worry... it's totally Crayola washable paint. One of my better decisions ;) 
Got a little war paint going on there, kid
I showed her how to make little dots with the brush and kinda chanted "Poke-A-Dot!" and she starts mimicking me going "doh-DOOOH-DAAAAAH!" It was too cute.
As the party was winding down, I couldn't find Emma. Turns out, she had run back to the kitchen and was *determined* to get to that frosting. I'm not even mad, that's just impressive.
My little future baker. Love!
I think my kid ate her weight in frosting. I never imagined she'd love cookie decorating so much. We will definitely have to do this again! Hope you all are having a sweet Halloween :)

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


It's time to reveal Punkito's Halloween costume! Virtual drum-roll, please...
She's Lilo, from her favorite movie!

This was at our ward's Trunk-or-Treat on Friday. Hans and I are supposed to have matching costumes, but mama didn't get 'em done in time. Hopefully they will be ready by actual trick-or-treating.
This was surprisingly easy to put together, especially after last year's ridiculous undertaking. I just used one of the ubiquitous tutorials on Pinterest. It took me a while to get to it, ya know how you put off things you don't want to or are not sure how to do, and then I was surprised how easy it was. All I needed was one of those stretchy headbands from Hobby Lobby and some spools of hunter green tulle (6") that I got off Amazon. Then you just cut (I did my skirt 13", so I cut 26.5" strips) and tie them through the holes of a headband. It literally took me an evening in front of a couple episodes of House Hunters. Awesome. The red top is actually a dress we found at Crazy 8s on clearance. And the head piece is from Party City, a fern lei that I just cut and tied. The Stitch doll was her souvenir from Disneyland, partly because we knew we were doing this costume.
She had a GREAT time at Trunk-or-Treat, much more than I expected. She loved carrying her little pumpkin bucket and having people put stuff in it. She doesn't care about the candy and let's be real, Hans, Josh and I ate it all, but it's fun to walk around with the other kids and collect it. She loved the car decorations, too. All in all, a great time was had! Made me very excited for Halloween in a few days.
In other news this weekend, we went to the Texas Book Festival at the Capitol, trying to encourage our budding little bookworm. I have to say, I was a little disappointed. It wasn't what I expected. I don't know if it's because we went a little later in the day or what, but there weren't as many kids' activities as I was expecting. Still, we got to meet one of her favs, Curious George, listen to a steel drum band, and, of course, explore tons of books. Maybe when she's a little older we might get more out of it.
Look, who's that?!
Hey... you're a lot different than the George I know...
Now go away. I'm reading.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Spiritual Thought: On General Conference

This is a few weeks late, but for today's spiritual thought I wanted to share with you something I have been reflecting on often since General Conference. It was something that Elder Russell M. Nelson said in his talk, Sustaining the Prophet:
"My dear brothers and sisters, if the Restoration did anything, it shattered the age-old myth that God had stopped talking to His children. Nothing could be further from the truth. A prophet has stood at the head of God’s Church in all dispensations, from Adam to the present day."
This. This is why I love General Conference so much. The scriptures are not dead. We are not left with only ancient books to guide us.
We are blessed to receive modern-day revelation, relevant to our current conditions and struggles. We are blessed to have a modern Prophet, President Thomas S. Monson, who leads and directs our church, just as Abraham, Moses, Noah, Nephi, and all those who have come before. Why would we believe that Heavenly Father loved the Nephites or those who crossed the Red Sea more than he loved us? Why would he speak directly to them, but be silent to us? It doesn't make sense to me. What does make sense is that he would continue, as he always has, to speak to us through the mouth of the Prophet to teach, exhort, warn and direct us in all things. In this knowledge, I fully sustain President Monson and thank him for his brilliant example of service and faith.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Playgrounds and family play dates

Life's gotten a little crazy lately. But we're still finding time to have so much fun. We go to the playground or get together with our little play buddies almost every day. The weather has been so perfect we're spending a lot of time outdoors. Here's what our week looked like!

Our little group of playground warriors - it was a bittersweet day saying goodbye to our buddy O.
This girl is obsessed with slides. She'll go up and down all day long.
A whole darn playground and she wants to play with rocks.
Her favorite part of grocery shopping with mama is getting stickers. She puts them on her nose just to make me laugh. 
Our favorite Saturday date: Jamba Juice (she looooooves it) and then on to the Thinkery!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Mama Monday: Toddler freezer meal club

Happy Monday, mamas!

Today I am excited to tell you about a new little project our mama group started - freezer meals for littles. We were talking a few weeks ago about how we get into food ruts for our toddlers, giving them the same things over and over again and how hard it is to come up with things on the go.
So we decided to get together this week and cook up a bunch of freezable yummies for the little ones. Here's what we learned:
  • it works really well to have each person pick two recipes. We made each person responsible for ingredients for their recipes and then we all shared staples like salt, cinnamon, etc.
  • don't try and cook it with three toddlers running around. Jeez. We decided that next time, we will just make them on our own and meet to exchange.
  • it takes a while, but it really helps with freezer burn if you wrap each thing in saran wrap and then put them in tupperware or gallon-size ziplock freezer bags.
  • it helps if the recipes you're making are somewhat similar - two breakfast items, both use ground beef, etc. That way you can share ingredients between the two and cook the same method, etc.
Baby H. was such a big help in the kitchen
Here's the recipes we used this time:
baked oatmeal cups (we just added raisins, but you could have fun with the mix-ins!)
corn dog muffins (we added shredded zucchini and whole corn kernels to the corn bread muffins and just sliced up organic hot dogs to stick in the batter).
chicken and corn patties (we used turkey because HEB was out of ground chicken).

So far, it seems the oatmeal cups have been the biggest hit with all three kids. Though I threw a spinach pancake in my bag before church this morning and my kid happily noshed her way through stake conference. The applesauce muffin saw us through the outlet malls last night and we took some corn dog muffins for Em when we went out to eat last week. I haven't tried the rice/bean ones yet, but it's all things she likes so I'm sure it'll be a hit, too.
Have you tried any kiddie freezer meals? Send me your tips and recommended recipes!