Saturday, December 12, 2009

Christmas Cowboy

Sammy's favorite activities all at once: running around wearing Zack's cowboy hat, saying "Ow-boy!"; stealing his pacifier out of the diaper bag (it's supposed to be limited to use during sleeping times and desperate times); and messing with the Christmas tree while saying gaily, "tree-No! tree-No!".

Friday, December 11, 2009

36 Degrees?

Overcast, 36 degrees, misty and generally dreary? It's perfect outdoor playing weather to somebody! I was never an outdoor person as a child, but I guess this is what the natural outdoor lovers among us do - get out there, no matter what the weather! I stepped out with the camera and then made a quick escape back indoors!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A follow-up item from this week's Storytime reading lineup - check out this cute book, A Pirate's Night Before Christmas! The author is one of the librarians at our local branch. Zack told him we loved it and it seems to make his day.

Last week one of the ladies at our church showed us her collection of Night Before Christmas books - she probably has 40 different editions. It was so neat that it made all of us want to run out and start a collection. Zack already loves the traditional words, and this one was so cute too. Looks like it's in stock at some of our local bookstores- I hope to get a chance to pick it up.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009


Wednesdays are Storytime days at the library. We go almost every week that they have it. There have been a variety of storytellers of the the past couple of years. Sometimes it's really well done and sometimes it's a little flat, but it really doesn't matter to the kids. I think they like the routine of it as much as the content of it. They know the Children's Librarian at our local branch and are happy to see her bring out her Clifford the Big Red Dog puppet.

Until this past week, I'd been keeping Sammy in his stroller for the Storytime. It's the preschool storytime (as opposed to the younger-focused toddler time), and he was a bit disruptive walking around. Sammy was mostly happy in the stroller, still watching the story. But the previous visit, when I let him get down to play after the little program was over, I discovered he was doing some of the motions to the songs that had been in the program. Last week, I finally let him sit on the floor with Zack and boy were they cute together.

Afterwards, we head to the children's section and I let the kids pick out books to their hearts' content (which is how we ended out with 63 items checked out earlier in the fall). I pick books for them too, trying to pull some theme-related items, some non-fiction, and some surprises.

Oh, and I always have a few items on hold waiting for me too. I pick up television shows a season at a time, books for book club, and non-fiction so that I can read and still be a pleasant member of my family!

This will definitely remain a staple of our weekly routine.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Kale Chips

I finally tried something that I've been meaning to make for a while - kale chips. I've had mixed success with kale in the past, so I was really glad that this recipe turned out well!

This is about half a bunch of kale, stripped from stems and torn into 2" pieces. Then I tossed it with 1 tsp. cider vinegar, 2 tsp. olive oil and coarse salt. I baked it at 375 for 5 minutes, flipped the pieces with my tongs, and baked for 7 more minutes.

It does have the characteristic dark, leafy greens flavor, but it also is salty and crip, sort of disintegrating in a satisfying way when you crunch down on it. We ate the whole batch in no time - I definitely recommend it!

Monday, December 07, 2009


Does your family have an Advent tradition? Ours didn't really, but my sister and I found these cute houses after Christmas last year and we decided to start something. Any guesses as to when I set mine up? Yes, that's right, on the afternoon of December 1, in a race to get it ready before Zack's bedtime.

I thought about candies or little toys, but decided there is a lot of candy and toys already flooding the season. These little doors would be exciting just by their novelty, so I decided I wanted to use scriptures, repeating the story so that it would become ever more familiar. Zack is at that age that kids are such sponges, able to remember and repeat everything they hear. Why waste it on his just repeating the text of television comercials, eh? I thought I'd be able to google around and find a sequence of scriptures that I thought was just right but I didn't. I ended up taking from several lists and splitting it up so that we talk about the whole story over the course of the month. The hardest part was getting the printouts folded and rolled up tiny enough to get them into those tiny doors!

After almost a week, Zack is still really excited about it and James and I are enjoying it too. I've put a tiny treat in every two or three days, but I'm trying to emphasize that our focus is on the story. We open a door at dinner, if possible, or if not, at bedtime. We missed one day and did two the next day. It's pretty easy. I'm hoping he'll start noticing that some of what we're reading is repeated in Chritsmas hymns and in church services.
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