crackin me up

seriously, my little fella does this almost everyday.
i'll pull the diaper back up and 2 seconds later i turn around and it's
back like this. i don't know what the deal is. maybe it's a
sign to come - do we a have a future plumber on our hands?
hmmm.... gotta love it though, it really does crack me up!


sweet potato + black bean enchilada's

we have been trying to eat out less over here, so for the past few nights
i've actually made dinner and it doesn't involve a box with the words
mac + cheese on it. i think i've said it before i'm really not a cook and i really
don't enjoy it, but i am beginning to think that the more i do it i just might
actually like it. i made up this recipe a couple of years ago when we had some
friends that are vegetarian over for dinner. it turns out to be one of the
mister's favorite dishes, so i made the other night for dinner.
here's what i did...

sweet potato + black bean enchilada's

1. quarter and steam about 4-5 sweet potatoes until soft. cool, remove skin and mash.
2. drain and rinse 1 can of black beans
3. heat 8-10 corn tortillas, each separately in skillet with canola oil for approx 30 seconds just to soften them. place between paper towels to absorb excess oil.
4. fill each tortilla with a spoonful of sweet potato + a spoonful of black beans, roll and place into baking dish.
5. pour a bottle of enchilada sauce ( **trader joes makes a really good red enchilada sauce) over enchiladas and top with cheese.
6. bake on 350* for approx. 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and a little crunchy around the edge.
7. let stand for 5-10 minutes and enjoy.

** i know some of you real chefs out there would never use anything out of a bottle, but i have two kiddo's and making everything from scratch just isn't happening around here.


october + little miss = party time

as you know, the little miss turned 6 this past week.
for her party this year she chose to have a gnome party.
inspired by our favorite gnome movie, the gnome mobile
we went to planning. my friend over at piccadilly studios designed
all of the graphics, and with her designs i was able to create some
really fun decorations for the party...

the little miss has a major sweet tooth, so a candy table was appropriate
for this occasion i added some red + white polka dot ribbon to some vases,
along with our special designs and some sweet treats this turned
out to be a big hit.

i made this garland by punching out different size circles
and attaching them to yarn with double stick tape.

going green, i have been saving tin cans for this purpose
not only for the party, but these make cheap, easy vases
if you want to take a bouquet of flowers to a neighbor
or friend too. (daisies our the little misses favorite too)

i made necklaces for our little party guest.
i order the wood pieces of off etsy and then used
double stick foam tape to attach the decorative piece and
completed it with a piece of yarn as the chain.

i made the birthday girl her very own giant mushroom cake,

and little mushroom cupcakes for our guest.

for the party favors each guest got a nature journal,
a cute bookmark, and a natural twig pencil.

my birthday girl.

it turned out to be a great party and
i think all of the kiddo's had a great time.
to see more of what went on throughtout the day go here.


10 years ago today

on october 21, 2000 i married my one and only true love. it's hard to believe that 10 years has come and gone so quickly. it seems like just yesterday i was a 16 year old girl meeting the mister for the first time, who by the way captured my heart on that very first night. we first met at a high school bible study. i was the weird girl who shopped at thrift stores and wore baggy overalls almost everyday. he was the silly, goofy class clown, always making people laugh. when i was first introduced to him i thought he was cute and definitely funny, but i would never go out with a red head, i mean that was too weird. but, the more i got to know this funny fella, the more i liked him. i couldn't wait for friday nights because that was bible study night and that's when i would see him. we became pretty good friends, but it never became more than that. after a year of liking him, i decided he was kinda clueless and i got a new crush. we did however always remain good friends. we would hangout occasionally, we talked on the phone every once and while, we saw each other at church, and we even went to hawaii together with a group of friends. he liked a few different girls during this time and i liked a few different guys during this time, but i feel like i always knew he would be the one. i even would joke with my best friend that someday i would probably end up marry "jeff beck". this went on for 7 years until finally in 1999 the mister decided to take a trip around the country. he was going to be gone for a month and half. i was excited for him to do the trip, but at the same time i was sad too because i knew i wouldn't see him at church for a month. i knew that i wouldn't be able to go get coffee with him after church on wednesday nights (even though i hate coffee), and i wouldn't be able to call him up to see if he could hangout on a friday night. i knew then that i really did like him for more than just a friend. of course, i didn't tell him that. i told him to enjoy his trip and to call me when he got back. gosh, that month seemed like forever, but i had decided in that month, that it was now or never. you see the mister was not very savvy when it came to girls. he was clueless to the fact that girls actually liked him and if anything more was going to become of our friendship, i was going to have to initiate it. just so you know this was so not me. i really believed that the guy should be the first to make a move but, after hearing one of the pastor's wife speak at a women's bible study on how she and her husband would've never been married if it wasn't for her, i was convinced that it was now or never. so, when he got back i didn't wait for his call, i called him and you know what i am super glad i did because the rest my friends is history. we started dating officially on july 21, 1999, he proposed in march of 2000 and we were married 7 months later 10 years ago today...

happy anniversary my love.
it's been the best 10 years of my life.


pumpkin time

last week we visited the pumpkin patch with our home school group.
we brought a wheelbarrow full of pumpkins home. we added white pumpkins
to our bunch this year. i think they will be a good addition to our halloween decor.
now i'm usually all for traditional jack-o-lantern carving but i saw this pumpkin village
while i was perusing over at ohdeedoh. what to do, what to do?
happy carving friends!

pumpkin hollow from family fun


more rainy days

the weather has been weird here in southern california.
it's been super hot here one week and then cold and rainy the next.
this week brings us cold and rainy with thunder and lightning to boot.
when the weather is like this i like to post up at home where it is nice and dry
and do things are sometimes busy life doesn't allow.
so today this is what we did...

we watched and listened to the rain along
with the lighting and thunder

this has been one of the heaviest rains we have had in a while
(i love it!)

we cuddled up with some good books

we ate leftover homemade chili and trader joe's cornbread
(*recipe below)

we played games and enjoyed time at home with each other
fun times!

* so yes, i made homemade chili last night for dinner. if you know me,
you know i really don't cook. i wish i would cook more but i really don't enjoy it.
but, seeing as how i didn't have anything prepared for dinner i threw together
the following ingredients to make this chili, that actually was very tasty.
so if you find yourself in a pinch for dinner tonight or
some other time here's what i did for my easy chili...

1. chop one onion and one green pepper. saute in frying pan with 1tbls cooking oil, until onion is transculent. add 1lb of ground beef cook until browned.
2. drain and rinse 1 can each of pinto and black beans. add to large pot along with i can of diced tomato's, ground beef, and approx. 2 cups of water.
3. season with salt and pepper, 1tbls+ chili powder, 1tsp+cumin and 1/2 cup+ ketchup. bring to a boil and then let simmer for 20 - 30 mins.
4. top with cheese and/or sourcream. bake some cornbread and voila, you have dinner!


goodbye 5/hello 6

it's official, my sweet baby girl is now six. how does this happen so quickly?
it seems like just yesterday i was bringing her home from the hospital.
my cute, tiny bundle of a baby who didn't fit into any of her newborn
clothes because she was so tiny. here she is now so big, so grown up,
so very six. i miss those days when she was a baby, but i have so enjoyed
watching her grow as well. there are times when i just want to wrap her up and
rock her to sleep just like i use to. there are times i wish i could pick out an
outfit for her and she will wear it with out any hesitations just like i use to. but,
those days are over because she is six now. she's so independent now. she is
going to perform in her first nutcracker. she has joined her first girl scout troop.
she has her own taste and her own style for her clothes. she's growing up. she's
big now. she's six. but, she's still my baby girl no matter what, always and forever.
i love her. happy birthday my beautiful girl.


cooking together: soft pretzels

one thing i love about homeschooling is the ability to turn something
enjoyable into school work. lately i have been trying to find a balance
for our "living" home school approach. meaning how much hands on activities
we do versus some of the monotonous sit down activities we do. i have found
that cooking together provides that balance i have been searching for.
cooking together gives us the opportunity to read (reading), explore numbers
and different ways we use them (math), follow directions (habit training),
mix things together (science), and be creative (art) all in one living experience.
it was a great time for both of us and we had fun. the little miss even
asked me if she could have this recipe when she was older so she could make
them on her own. it made me chuckle, but i thought now that's a "living" experience.
this was something she enjoyed enough that actually made her think of herself doing
it as an adult. i mean that's what schooling is all about right? preparing our
children for adulthood and giving them the skills they need for that venture.
i could probably go on and on, but i won't. needless to say we will be
making this a regular, recurring weekly activity in our home school schedule.
here's what we did...

our ingredients:
1 tsp yeast, 1 1/2 tsp dark brown sugar,
2 tsp honey, 4 cups flour,
1 1/2 cup warm water, 2 tsp salt,
3 tsp baking soda, 1/4 cup melted butter,
1/3 cup sugar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon

stir yeast, sugar, honey, and warm water in mixer bowl.
let stand until foamy (approx. 5 mins)

mix flour and salt in a bowl; slowly add to yeast mixture.

knead until smooth.

this is where it got real fun.

sticky fingers.

squishy fingers.

tossing it in the air.

while the little miss was doing that, the little fella was busy bustin a move.

he actually danced the whole time we were cooking together.

but now back to our pretzels... viola, it's ready to rise.

put dough in a large bowl oiled with cooking
spray and cover with plastic wrap;
let rise until doubled in size (approx. 45 mins).

when dough is done rising, punch down.
bring 4 quarts water and baking soda to a boil.

preheat oven to 425 degrees.
cut dough into 8 -10 pieces.

roll each piece into a 24-inch long rope.
shape ropes into pretzels.

place pretzel in boiling water for 30-40 seconds on each side.
(this will give them a brown crust when baking.)

melt butter and apply to pretzels, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar mixture

bake for 15 - 18 minutes.


and enjoy!

*recipe from martha stewarts kids sept/oct 2004 issue


rainy days

i love rainy days.
i love hearing it when i wake up in the morning.
i love smelling the fresh, clean air when i open my front door.
and i love taking the kiddos out to jump in the puddles.
so needless to say when i awoke to rain today i was one happy mama.
first thing on our agenda was puddle jumping. so, we bundled up,
put on our boots (the little fella through a fit and would not wear his)
and out we went. i'm so glad we did because it was fun and the kiddo's loved it.
yes, we were sopping wet when we were finished, but it was an enjoyable,
and hopefully an unforgetable moment.
here's how it went...