Sunday, November 28, 2010

Pumpkin Oatmeal

We woke up late this morning(for those of you without kids, late is about 8am), so rather than have breakfast we decided to cook up a vegan brunch. I LOVE mornings when the kids sleep in! I've been wanting to try a new breakfast recipe for a couple weeks, since stumbling upon something similar in a blog. I don't remember where it was, but it was so cute. Oatmeal cooked right inside a pie pumpkin!

Andy scooped out the seeds, and I mixed up some stuff - oatmeal, chopped almonds, cinnamon, brown sugar, a little bit of butter, applesauce, and then I added enough Almond milk till it seemed the right consistency. I scooped in into the pie pumpkin, sprinkled it with a little more brown sugar, and baked it with the lid on for about 45 minutes. It was awesome, and I usually don't even like oatmeal! It probably could have used a little more liquid, but hopefully next time I'll remember that. Faye and Drew both liked it too, and they usually don't eat oatmeal. We used our last pie pumpkin, but I think it would be good cooked in a casserole dish as well.

We also had homemade biscuits, tofu scramble, and potatoes. YUM! I wish we could have a vegan brunch every day - then maybe I'd actually eat breakfast!

Christmas decorations

Friday afternoon we decided to get out our Christmas decorations. Faye was very excited to help set the tree up and decorate. We have several sets of lights, LED lights, white lights, and those really big multi-colored lights. We liked the big lights, but as I was putting them on, one strand got very very hot, and the other stopped working. So we took these off and put up the LED lights. These were Faye's favorite lights; they are very bright multi-colored. We only had two small strands and it was not enough, so we took them off and Andy and Alex went out looking for another strand, but no luck. The only ones they found were over $20. Maybe we can get some at an after Christmas sale? Then I started putting up our plain white lights(my favorites anyways), and after getting them all the way on, I plugged them in, and they didn't work. I did check them before putting them on, but it was just our bad luck. The kids were waiting and waiting - it took us almost 3 hours to put lights on our tree, but finally we have some on that actually work!

It was so late from messing with the lights, we waited until Saturday morning to decorate the tree.

You can't see these decorations because they are right behind the kids, but they are on the tree. The kids decided we needed more decorations for the tree....

Faye worked on this Kirby for hours and hours. It is really huge. Who knew perler beads could be so much fun and have so many uses?!

Since they were all making decorations, I decided I'd try to make a garland I saw in Fa La La La Felt. The kids had fun helping with the beads, but it was too hard for them to roll the felt. It turned out pretty well I thought, but the photo isn't great.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Mario obsession continues!

Here's what the kids (and Andy) have been working on the past couple weeks...

Mario figures crafted from perler beads.  Andy helps the kids print out an 8-bit photo of the item they want to make, then the kids look at the photo and count how many they need of each color. I love all the crafting going on at our house! Alex is the only one not really excited about this activity - well, he does enjoy throwing all the little beads all over the floor.  I did notice that they now make big perler beads, so maybe they would work well for little toddler hands. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My monkeys!

I made matching pajama pants for the kids yesterday. I found some blue flannel winter monkey fabric on sale at Hancock fabric. It was perfect - cheap, not too girly, and it was monkey fabric, very fitting for my kids! It was 50% off, so it ended up costing around $7 to make all 3 pairs, with some extra fabric left over.

They had a lot of fun in their new pj's!

They figured out that if they jumped when they saw the flash, they would be in mid-air for the picture.

My little helper

It was a cold morning and I was really hungry for something other than my usual granola bar and coffee. Alex and I decided to make a batch of muffins, and of course he was more than willing to help.  He's not very helpful - he can't pour without spilling at least half of the ingredients on the counter, he doesn't stir well, and he just makes a huge mess in general.  But he enjoys it so very much - especially cleaning out the leftover batter when we're done!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Raking leaves

The weather yesterday was beautiful! It was sunny and almost 75 degrees in November! I assumed it was probably one of our last nice days of the year, so we spent most of the afternoon outside, playing and trying to clean up the yard a little. I was right. We woke up this morning to much cooler temperatures and rain.

The kids were actually quite helpful at raking the leaves this year, but they also then threw them back all over the yard. But they had fun, so that's what counts, right?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sweater weather

Sweater weather is here - maybe even winter coat weather some mornings. I'm not thrilled about the colder weather, but what can you do when you live in central Illinois?

I saw this book a few months ago and knew I had to have it. Had to. I loved everything in the book, and the book itself has gorgeous photos. Of course the minute I got the book home, somebody knocked over a glass of water all over my new book. Of course! But it was just water, whew! It doesn't look quite the same now, but I can still use it. The book is written for those living and crocheting in England, and possibly other countries. I never knew that a DC(double crochet) there is the same as a SC(single crochet) here. I'm sure most of you don't know any crochet stitches, but there is a big difference. Still, it was easy to remember the difference and I crocheted up this summer sweater. It took me almost 3 months, not because of the difficulty, just because of the yarn. I used the yarn suggested, Rowan Cotton Glace, and I could not find it anywhere locally. I had to purchase it online, and just when I was about finished, I ran out and had to buy more.

Faye has been asking me to crochet her a sweater for awhile now. I'm just so leery about making clothes, but I guess I'll give it a try. I decided to make a small sweater Alex's size first and see how it turns out. If I screw it up big time, at least I haven't wasted as much time or yarn. This took me about 3 days.

Andy helped me find some buttons - they are my favorite part! Little gingerbread boys!

We're about 99% sure that Alex will never put this on, or if we make him it will be a screaming/kicking/hitting match, but I do really like it. Andy thought the color was a little girly for a boy. I completely agree - I should have gone with the blue. I do think though that Faye would love it if I made one for her in lavender or white, with some cute girly buttons. Or I may keep searching for something else.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Saturday mornings

I signed Drew up for fall basketball at the YMCA a few weeks ago. The sign up sheet said they would practice Saturday mornings for 30 minutes, with a game to follow. I figured that would work out great! I received the boys basketball schedule the Wednesday before their first game, and the Kindergarten boys practice at 8am! Every Saturday! UGH!! So no more sleeping in on Saturday mornings for me, at least for the next two months.

Drew was not thrilled about playing basketball at first, but both last week and this morning he seemed to enjoy it. He is completely clueless out there, but then he's not really into basketball yet. He doesn't watch games on TV or play basketball at school with his friends. He has started playing NBA Jam on the Wii, so he does have some idea of the game. He's got the running back and forth part down, and he stands where his coach told him to stand, but that is it. He doesn't move after that, makes no attempt to either get the ball or shoot the ball. After the first week of practice and their first game, I told him he could move around and he said he didn't know that.

The tall woman running around out there is Drew's coach. The other team's coach is also out there, and the referee also gets out there and helps the kids. If you can't tell, Drew is player 24 with the white jersey. He's the only kid wearing long pants - he had shorts on underneath.

The YMCA has also added a cheer leading squad to cheer on the basketball players. Perfect! Faye has been asking me about cheer leading since she found out her cousin Emma is a cheerleader. Since it is a new program at the YMCA, there are only 8 girls from K - 5th grades. The girls cheer for a different age group each week, but this morning they cheered on the Kindergarten boys! They do a little dance number at half-time, and it is adorable. I took a video of their routine last week, but it somehow didn't get saved. I was so mad - you have no idea how mad I was! It was so freaking cute! But they did the same routine this week, minus a couple cheerleaders. It wasn't the same as last week, but at least I have it.

Monday, November 1, 2010


My little pumpkin decided he really did not want to be a pumpkin this year. But we made him wear his costume anyways...

He screamed for about 30 minutes and threw a big tantrum in our front yard. He was the one to pick out this costume, so I don't feel too bad. Once they started going door to door and getting candy, he forgot about the costume.

Drew was Mario this year, of course. He didn't want to wear the mustache, but I can't say I blame him. This thing was huge! It took up his entire face. But I had to get at least one photo of him wearing it. He was not impressed.

Velvet was also not impressed. She's been wearing her costume most of the day today, and actually seems to like it, but just look at her expression.

OK, finally a picture where everyone is happy!