Friday, July 30, 2010

There Are Tigers In My Mall!

Can you believe this! My husband was working a long shift the other day, so in a desperate attempt to preserve my sanity, I took the kids to the mall to play. Much to my surprise, there were three tigers along with other wild animals. The cages were flimsily constructed with a fence that would hold back nothing surrounding it. Thankfully there were two cubs and an adolescent there. The best part is this: the tigers were there with an organization that was raising money for tiger rescues. One could pay $25 to allow two people into the tiger cage for a period of time. Pretty cool, until I saw one of the cubs playfully chewing on a "trainer". I then determined that I would never allow my two small children in the cage with the animals.
It sure was fun to see the tigers at the mall today!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Kick-Butt Workout

Today, I thought I'd get a little exercise and take the kids to the park near our house - on bike! I've biked to this park a few other times, and I always felt like I had a decent workout, but today was completely different. For the first time biking to this park, I was pulling over 90 pounds behind me in the shape of my two children and their trailer.
The kids had a blast playing at the park - their legs didn't ache from the ride there.
After they determined the playground equipment was too hot, they took to inventive playing.
There was running around trees.
Hanging out at the picnic tables.
Walking on the picnic tables (and yes, I quickly removed him as soon as I snapped a quick photo). Grayson soon found this activity to be dangerous. At our house, Grayson tried this and fell off - thankfully he didn't get hurt.
Playing near the disgusting water. I'm so thankful we didn't get too close.
We finally did get around to playing with the playground equipment.
We just played underneath. In the shade. It was great.
The downfall to our day, trying to get back home. Apparently, the path to the park is mostly downhill, so my tired legs had to pedal up hill, pulling 90 plus pounds, all the way home. I don't think my legs will ever be the same again. That's a good thing, right??

Monday, July 26, 2010

i {heart} faces


I'm actually entering a photo this week! Go me!! This week's theme is "Purple". I didn't really consider how hard it would be to find a photo for this theme until I realized that all I take photos of is my kids - and I have two boys!! After searching for a while, I came across this photo of my kids from one week day night. They tend to get a little wild and crazy in the evening, and this night was no exception. It just included a couple of my headbands!


As always, click on over to i {heart} faces to check out all the other awesome entries!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Undergoing Construction

Please be patient!!! We'll be back, better than ever very soon!!!

***I think I'm finally done!***

Friday, July 23, 2010

Berry Cream Muffins

On a suggestion from a friend on Facebook (who also reads my blog), I'm posting a fantastic recipe that I baked yesterday. It's a recipe borrowed from the Taste of Home Cookbook:

BERRY CREAM MUFFINS
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
Combine these and set aside.
1-1/2 cup berries (The recipe calls for 1-1/2 cup berries to be tossed in the dry mixture, but I mashed them and added them to the wet mixture. And I used closer to 2 cups of berries.)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream (I substituted 1 cup low fat vanilla yogurt)
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I substituted 1/2 cup applesauce - healthier!)(However, I figured out that you need a little bit of the oil. I did about half oil, half applesauce on the second batch which turned out a bit better.)
1/2 tsp vanilla
Combine wet ingredients; mix well. Stir into dry ingredients until
just moistened.
Fill greased muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake at 400 degrees for 18-22 minutes (I think it was a couple minutes longer for me. I'm pretty sure they were in there for 25-27 minutes.) or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to wire rack.

As my mother-in-law commented, "They taste like more!" meaning she wanted more after just having one. These things are so good and so addictive! Beware.
I did manage to get about a dozen of raspberry and a dozen of blueberry into the freezer (I made 2 dozen - one batch - of each). Hopefully they freeze well. I suppose time will tell.
I think I need a muffin now...

Thursday, July 22, 2010

#400 Post - Alternately Titled: Box Boys

I'll agree with you. This totally looks like one of my laundry tubs. However, to those with a wild imagination, this can be many things...It can be a toy to climb in and out of.
It can be a race car.
It can be a way to test gravity.
It can be a hiding place.
It can be a clubhouse.
It can be a way to work together.
It can be a place for a silly dance.
It can be a turtle shell.
Most importantly, it can be a way for two little boys to spend an hour before bedtime playing and laughing.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Chicago

A couple of weekends ago, our family made the trek to Chicago (technically Indiana) to visit some family that was "in town" visiting from Arizona. While we adore all of our Arizona family, we were thrilled to be able to see Mike and Megan, and to meet their adorable daughter, Minuet!The kids had fun playing "together" for an evening - let's be honest: together just means they played in the same general area. I think this is the only photo of all three kids in the same area.
Grayson got a kick out of this singing, dancing flower pot. I was thrilled, however, to leave the next morning and to never hear that thing again.
Isn't she adorable!?
Jayce, of course, gravitated towards some cars that Megan's grandparents had to play with.
Grayson tried his hand at ping pong. The only problem was that the ping pong table was also a pool table and he got confused over which balls to hit across the net.
Minuet loved our Bob and Larry that we brought along. I'd like to say she's giving Bob a kiss.
Grayson working out.
Jayce being silly with Minuet. I suppose they kind of played together after all.
I absolutely love her blue eyes! And she has the sweetest smile and giggle. It was so fun getting to meet this little lady (and getting to see her parents again!!).
Since we were in the Chicago area, we decided to go into the city for a day. We spent Saturday at the Chicago Children's Museum. The kids had fun playing in their Block Party exhibit. Jayce and Grayson "rocked out" to the music.
Our next stop was at their firefighters exhibit. You can see here that the kids got to dress up in life-like gear.
There was a pole to slide down, a truck to pretend to drive, a radio (which Jeremy proved how good he is at his job) to talk through, telephones to answer, and a "smoke room" to practice crawling through. The boys loved this area!
This is a musical slide. As you go over the white on the "sliding board", little hammers underneath hit different musical notes.
This area was really neat. It was an invention spot. You could create a Styrofoam flying shape and use this machine to raise it to the ceiling and fly it down. There were timers to see how long it would fly. The kids never tired of this room: Jeremy and I did! We needed a break.
The Museum had an awesome water-play area. The kids could put on rain coats and venture all over the place in here: they could great a tube structure to make water flow through, there were various pumps and devices to "move" the water, there were sprayers, and all kinds of fun ways to get wet.
We did eventually break for lunch at Navy Pier where we enjoyed Chicago hot dogs and people watching. Then we went back to the Museum for a while longer where the boys enjoyed building with Daddy. If you take a close look at these photos, you'll notice that all of the big building projects were mainly constructed by the fathers/men in the room. My boys (and yes, I do mean all three) got into the tools and building.
All in all, we had a great trip to Indiana and Chicago and we are hoping to be able to see our Arizona family again soon.