Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Theme Weeks: Summer Fun

We spent last week squeezing in some last bits of summer fun.

One afternoon we went to the $3 movie theater during naptime (Beza slept during the movie)--we saw Rio.  

We spent another afternoon at a spray park with our little buddies.

And had fun at a local park meeting up with friends.
 All hot and tired after playing at the park.

A favorite summer refresher.

Last week we also experienced our first earthquake (M and I felt it while T and Beza were napping.) and hurricane--interesting "weather" week, for sure. 

(Tonight, staying up late to register for the C4C Retreat--excited to meet so many other adoptive moms again and to learn more about how to live this journey well. :)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Friday Favorites: Newest Family Member!

On Friday morning my sister and her husband welcomed their first child to the world!

He is SO CUTE!

Welcome to our family, little buddy.  We can't wait to meet you in person!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Theme Weeks: Dinosaurs

Last week we explored the wild world of dinosaurs and volcanoes again.

Wouldn't you know it, Targ*t's "Dollar Section" was full of all kinds of dinosaur goodness.

We collected this herd of dinosaurs (the smaller ones come complete with sound effects).

Dinosaur activity books.
Maze books from here.

And these velvet just-add-water paintings.

We also made a few watercolor paintings for our own.
(I also made that art-holder last week using wooden dowels and yarn for less than $3.)

And no Dinosaur Week would be all that it could be without a few volcanoes.

We made baking soda and vinegar volcanoes in old baby food containers (surrounded by a horrible pasty oatmeal playdough that I would not recommend. :).  

And with leftover soda from our outdoor movie night, we made a few mentos volcanoes.  The diet soda was definitely the best. :)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

What's Up?: Haircut, Teeth and Toys

Dear little Beza has a luscious head of tight black curls.  We have a bazillion products that we use to try to keep them beautiful.  But, my, we are a team of novices in training! :)  Thankfully she's very little and consequently full of grace. :)

Lately we've been noticing some brownish-orange-ish tips on those curls.  What to do?  Take her somewhere and pay for just a teeny-tiny trim or do it myself?  

With the help of Sesame Street (as a distraction), I decided to tackle the job.  Figuring that if I made a horrible mistake, a professional could take over. :)

The Before (getting her head to hold still is pretty much next to impossible. ;).
(Yes, there is also a bit of fruit bar mixed in all there.)

Goodbye little curls...

An Attempted After.
Her hair is just a tad bit shorter, but definitely all shiny black now. :) 

Little Girl is on her way to her 4th tooth and makes an awesome grinding sound with her current 3. :)

And her favorite toys these days?

She loves putting the balls back in.

And these oldies but goodies--
But her most favorite?
These microfiber dusters.

What more can you ask for?  Playing and cleaning at the same time!  Sweet!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Monday Made-It: The Mural Choice

Once upon a time I painted one wall in T's room bright, bright blue.  It cast an eerie hue over the whole space.

A few days later I bought a small can of orange-ish paint to cover it up.  It was a lovely color, but not quite enough.  While I've tried to pass it off as a cool painting technique :), tackling the not-so-well-covered corners with the bright blue showing through has been on my to-do list for some time.

When T was just a few months old I ordered inexpensive oars (on ebay) to fill the empty space above the futon in his room.

(Love it! :)

Recently I thought that painting waves under them would be fun.

But waves might not be fun forever.

The solution: Making a giant chalkboard wall.  
A giant chalkboard for me to put "murals" on for now.  And when he's older--like at least 10 older-- he can take over. :)

(Because I love finding and hearing about good deals, those large down-filled pillows were $12 for the pair on clearance at TJM*xx  (maybe it was the bright orange color? ;).  The futon cover was $10 at Targ*t (75% off).  And we finally bought another light (under $20 at Targ*t) for his room--because he loved playing with cords, he has only had one small, dim table lamp on his dresser.)

Lest you think I am an amazing artist ;), J helped me project an image up on the wall with our projection TV.

I used Crayola Chalk Crayons--they're a little more vibrant than ordinary chalk and a little less expensive than bistro chalk markers

T's future ideas for this wall include a giant shark mouth, the moon, or a submarine.

Knowing M wouldn't want to miss out on a giant chalkboard, I added one in her room, too.

The Before:

Her Request:

The After:

Just high enough on the wall so that a certain little girl's fingers won't smear the image. :)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sunday Funnies: Kid-ease

An interpreter's guide to the words around here.

Eyesight: Campsite (T)
"I'm using my chair in the hallway to make my eyesight.  Where's my wantern (lantern)?"
Hut-Out: Hide-out/Campsite (M)
"I'm building a hut-out with all of these blankets."

Gumdrops: Eyedrops, raindrops. (T)
"Daddy, you forgot your gumdrops for your eyes."
"Mommy, do you want me to move my fingers on your back like gumdrops? (Absolutely! :)"

Yogrit: Yogurt (T)
"I had yogrit for lunch.  I spilled yogrit all over the fwoor (floor)."

Ringears: Earrings (M)
"I have a lot of ringears."

(Personal favorite)
Wove: Love (T)
"Mommy, I wove you in your yew-wo (yellow) shirt."

I wove you, too, T.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Theme Weeks: Oceans

Last week we "explored" deep sea life.  

We watched Planet Earth: Ocean Deep a few times.  The vampyroteuthis (vampire squid) is simply fascinating!

The big bath tub became our own ocean (with the added bonus of deep cleaning our sand encrusted children.)

Especially when we added these guys.

We ended the week by watching Soul Surfer. They've been talking about it all week--how even though she only had one arm, and even though it would be scary to go back in the water, God helped Bethany Hamilton be the best surfer she can be.  Amazing!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

What's Up?: Stinky Skunks...

Bez (Baze) has been learning lots of animal sounds over the past week.

Just a few...

She's also become quite accomplished in the skill of making funny faces (somehow she even manages to get the end of her nose to dimple).

And singing. She LOVES to "sing" along with M and T. She harmonizes with a deep "la la laaaaa." :)

(An attempt to capture some of it. :)

AND she finally has a third tooth--this time on the top. :)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Corn and Black Bean Salsa with Lime Cilantro Vinaigrette

One of our favorite summer recipes made with fresh sweet corn and tomatoes. 
Served with tortilla chips.  Yum!

"Salad" Ingredients
1 c. steamed or grilled sweet corn
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 large green pepper, diced
1 large red pepper, diced
1/2 large red onion, diced
1 small jalepeno, diced (without seeds)
1 medium tomato, diced

Dressing Ingredients
1/4 c. olive oil
1/2 c. fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 TB cider vinegar
Juice of 2 limes
Lime zest from 1/2 lime
1 garlic glove, minced
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp chili powder

In a large bowl combine corn, black beans, peppers, onion, jalapeno and tomato.

In another bowl combine cilantro, vinegar, lime juice, zest, garlic and spices.

Quickly whisk as you drizzle in the oil.

Add dressing, toss and serve.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sunday Funnies: The Petition

Yesterday morning went something like this:

M: Daddy, I am 5 1/2.  Then I'll be 6.  And then 7 and 8 and 9 and 10.

T: Daddy, I'm 3.  And I'm getting bigger.

T: The time is going fast!

M: We love you very much.

T: But your time with us is short.

M: We want to be good with our money.

M: (Throwing the money.) But your time with us is priceless.

Unison-ish: So, can we get a bigger bed?!

Yes, decided to pull out the secret weapons for this one.  :)
I just handed them the props and they did the talking.

Oh, the ungoing mental debate about spending money on a bed!  Africa is so heavy on our hearts, but we have these little people with us for such a short time...  Someday they won't want to cuddle with us--I don't want to regret that we let this time slip away.

  T still snuggles in every night sometime between 1-6 in the morning (actually, one morning this week he woke up at 7 sobbing in his own bed because he "forgot" to come over and he was so sad that is was already time to get up.).  M would love to squeeze in for some morning love, but space is at a premium.  Add in Beza and we're one big tangle of arms and legs.  Not exactly so cozy... :)

Did the petition work?
We loaded up the crew for a trek to IKEA.  On a Saturday afternoon.  During naptime.  It is a lesson we had thought we had learned before.   From one parent to another--never, EVER go there on a Saturday afternoon during naptime.  

Needless to say, we may have left empty handed, but with much to sleep on. :)

And someday soon we will all be happily snuggled together in one big bed. :)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Friday Favorites: Bouquets

Of fresh flowers from the garden. :)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Theme Weeks: Ahoy Mateys!

Two weeks ago we had a swashbuckling good time with pirates.

To set the mood, this...
Warning--this one is a real earworm--stuck in my noggin for days!

For snack I found these fitting plates and used marshmallow fluff on pretzel sticks to "fish."

There were a few treasure hunts.
The first one ended in fishing poles in the tub at bathtime.

The second one included a trail of picture clues that led to these "rocks."
(Hmmm...yeah, they do kind-of look like maybe a dog...or cow...was visiting our yard.)

But, alas, these are no ordinary rocks...

There are "treasures" buried inside.
(Our grocery store had cake decorations on clearance for a dollar--I found actual pirates for T
and not-so-related, but loved, carebears for M.)

And one afternoon I spent all of naptime filling up like 100 water balloons (they go rather quickly) for some pirate-inspired action.

While M and T were enjoying popsicles on their swings after dinner, J and I dressed like this
(It was the end of the day...:)

And ran out for a surprise attack.  Pretty scary, huh? :) 

Aye, me hearties, before me take to me quarters, a final pirate chantey.
(Incidently, the very same colors we used to try to paint our "treasure chests" (shoe boxes) brown and ended with the same result.)