February 27, 2015

Five Recipes for a Snowy Friday

Hi friends. I'm here, just enjoying the final lazy days of winter. Everywhere I turn- social media, friends, strangers in the Target line- everyone is complaining about the weather. Yet none of those whiners I've met work for VDOT or as a Dominion power linesman, so really? STOP COMPLAINING PEOPLE. Of course we all get cabin fever, but try to enjoy what's left of winter. I'm a huge fan of all four seasons and these cold, snowy days that "force" us to spend time inside with our families? They're pretty sweet if you ask me.

For some reason cold weather + snow makes me EAT. and eat and eat and eat. I guess it's my inner bear coming out, the hibernation mentality? who knows. The past two weeks I've ditched our regular cereal & banana for hot breakfasts. Today's Five on Friday is a combination of five recent Pinterest recipes I've made and loved. Bonus? All but one of these are made with REAL ingredients, the good for you stuff.

(1) Baked Blueberry Oatmeal Donuts/Muffins - I made these in mini muffin tins and the kids gobbled them up.

 (2) Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins - tastes like a peanut butter cookie without any flour or added sugar. And they had a great muffin-like texture that I love.

(3) Greek Yogurt Pancakes - because adding Greek yogurt and whole wheat flour totally negates covering a stack of pancakes in butter and sugar, right?!

(4) Whole Wheat Waffles. These fluff up really nicely and freeze/thaw well too. This recipes has now replaced Eggos in our home.

and because we haven't had enough carbs the last two weeks, 
an easy little dessert recipe...

(5) Rocky Road Brownies - basically a brownie mix with a cup of chopped nuts and a cup of mini marshmallows added in. SO GOOD.


Happy weekend eating friends!

February 14, 2015

"blank panfffer, black panfffer, what do you see?"

 (if the video isn't playing,
you may need to click the "Activate Adobe Flash" link in the box above)

February 10, 2015

some encouragement for today (and tomorrow...and the next day...and the next...)

This verse is posted on my computer and around my house this week. 
I need the reminders that this verse promises.

- wisdom comes from the Lord, not from anything I have or anything I can do

- the Lord wants to share His widsom, but we must come to him in prayer and ask

-  God doesn't give to us based on our own merit (whew! praise God for that!)

- He gives GENEROUSLY, WITHOUT finding fault, to His children who seek him

- doubt is the enemy of wisdom; doubt says, "I think maybe I can do better"

Belief in Christ is belief that God can and will provide
 all I need to parent my children,
even (& especially) in the strongest of storms

February 6, 2015

Five on Friday

woohoo! It's Friday! Not that it means anything different for a stay-at-home mom, but I am excited that it's pizza night. Every single Friday we do homemade pizza and I'd be a liar if I said I don't look forward to pizza night all week.

What is it about Fridays that makes us all giddy? I know that it means the end of the work week for most, and the beginning of the weekend, but aren't weekends just as busy? Soccer practices, errands, house cleaning-- all the same stuff that needs to be done during the week. I guess the freedom of being able to do it whenever you want (if you're the Monday-Friday type) or the help that comes with a second pair of hands (for us stay-at-home moms) makes the weekend so grand. Whatever it is, I love it.

Today's Five on Friday is going to be five other things I'm currently loving. Enjoy!

(1) Young Living Essential Oils. I just recently purchased my premium starter kit and am very new to the "oily world." But the more I read about them, the more excited I am to try out the different oils. I'm not a hippie or a "crunchy" mom by any means. However, I am excited to take control of our family's health and do what I can to keep our bodies well.

(2) Double-stuff Oreos. I realize this is quite the paradox, after reading item (1) on my list. Yes, Oreos are full of artificial ingredients and far from healthy, but mercy they're good! I bought a bag for a homeshool activity and have been eating a few after lunch AND dinner everyday. #nom

(3) BJs brand diapers. I decided to try these out since they were such a good deal and I was pleasantly surprised. They're not Pampers quality but they do the job without leaks and Georgia Kate doesn't seem to notice any difference. But at $18 for 160 diapers? This Mama notices the difference- and our budget loves it!

(4) Coffee. Give me all the coffee. I only allow myself one cup in the morning because I still nurse Georgia Kate and don't need any extra caffeine, but if I had decaf in the house I'd be drinking 2-3 cups a day. This weather just makes me crave a cup of coffee in my hands. I found my favorite coffee this week at Target on clearance and stocked up.

(5) My kids. Our days have been long this week, with Luke rarely napping anymore and Georgia Kate going through a nap strike. There have been lots of tears and time outs for everyone. But these two? They're such a blessing to my heart.

February 4, 2015

favorite fine motor activities

Homeschooling the last two weeks has not gone according to my (lofty) plans. I didn't take into account the fact that Georgia Kate is (a) no longer taking a morning nap (b) always into something & (c) crying if I'm not holding her.  (She's quite literally attached to my hip!)  More days than not we've barely read a book from my lesson plans. But I'm still learning, and Luke is only three, so I'm giving myself some grace to get started.

One of my goals for homeschooling was to do some sort of fine motor activity everyday. This is Luke's weakest area of development so he needs lots of practice. Thanks to Pinterest, I'm finding activities that he enjoys AND ones that he can do independently/alongside Georgia Kate.

Here are last week's favorites:

pipe cleaners in a colander
(I've also seen people do this with straws)
 Fine motor tasks come easier when the child uses just one hand. I encouraged Luke to make these "loops" with his pipe cleaners so he would have to use both hands simultaneously, each hand doing something different.

My Mom got Luke these pattern blocks for Christmas. I'm amazed at how well he does, especially considering these aren't puzzles that have distinct "holes" to set the shapes. Instead, the shapes easily move and shift, encouraging him once again have to use both hands- one to steady the board, one to place the shape.

 a ball of play-doh, a few pieces of spaghetti and some Cheerios
Stacking is definitely easy for a three-year-old, but every little bit of practice helps. 
And anytime you can eat your craft you've got a winner.