Friday, June 18, 2010

Summer Learning Ideas

I love my sons preschool teacher. She was a lovely lady and she was kind enough to send home some summer learning ideas. I thought since I thought they were so clever, I would share them with y'all.

The plan is every Friday to post a couple throughout the summer so that we can sneak in some "learning". (Mamas are sneaky people, I tell ya!)

* Attend special summer reading programs at your local library. (I know locally there are several libraries that offer stories or movies on the lawn for the whole family!)

* "Write" a letter to a family member or friend. The letter can be a picture, a dictation or written words.

* Create a travel journal for a vacation or special trip. Your child can draw pictures of the days activities and then dictate or write about their adventures!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Its True...Men are from Mars

Now ladies. Y'all know that this is not a man bashing blog. I love my man and he is a wonderful husband and provider. I am blessed beyond measure.


God did make us different. No one can argue that fact. So since I use this blog as cheap therapy, I thought I would about some of the differences that my girlfriends and I have been discussing lately.

Daily mundane chores- Why is that hubbies think that they are entitled to do their everyday tasks without any interruption from little ones and have to do it at the exact moment that they feel it needs to get done.

Example: "I have to mow the lawn this morning" or go and run and get a part for the weed eater. Or even " I am going down in the basement to fix that part on the water heater."

Ok. These are all things that need done and I am glad I have a man that takes care of business.


I would love to turn to my husband and say "I need to clean the house right now...your taking the kids to the park for 3 hours, feeding them and bringing them back when I am done, right?"

It never occurs to our husband that we do our everyday mundane tasks like cleaning house, laundry (many times in the basements while our little ones are frantically screaming "mama!!" because they haven't seen the white of our eyeballs for 3 minutes.) gardening, grocery shopping and the thousand of other things we do in one day with our children underfoot. More than that, it takes four hours to do a 30 minute task because we have noses, tears and tushy's to wipe, multiple"I'm hungry ....I need a snack" to dish out on demand and don't even get me started on the whiny "I'm booooorrrreeeedddd."

Recently the love of my life explained to me with a baffled look that it never occurred that I needed help with these things because it all got done and I wasn't complaining.


Note to self: Look as frantic and worn down as I feel to maybe get some help.

Asking to do Things- Why is it that husbands inform us when they have work events or social obligations but we have to ask to grab a quick cup of coffee with my girlfriend or even go in our backyard for some quiet time.

My girlfriend told me that recently after a total meltdown her confused hubby threw his hands up and said " Honey, I know you need to get out. All you have to do is ask!!"


Note to Self: Maybe if I start asking every single time I need something, hubs will take a hint and start to ask me when he needs to do something. Like "Honey, can I go pee? I really need to...." "Babe, Can I go get the mail?" Hmph.

Obligations count as our "Time out"- One of my dear girlfriends gets hot under the collar at this one. When explaining to her husband that she has been with the kids for a couple weeks straight with no time to herself, her husband got a confused look on his face. (Notice the theme of confused husbands when talking about feelings.) He replied with "But honey, you just got out for a couple hours when you went grocery shopping the other night.


You know..... because going to the grocery store is really comparable to a good pedicure or long talk with friends. With all the coupon organizing, deal comparison and calculating down ever isle and all.

Note To self: Next time I am getting a cavity filled or going grocery shopping for my family I should start skipping because this is just a swinging time away for me.

There. I feel better.

Now I can get back to loving my man.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Works for me Wednesday: Bird is the word....

Summers are fun...and hard at the same time. It difficult to keep the kids from getting bored and staging an all-out mutiny. Its a fine line between that crazy look in their eyes from too many icee-pops and just pure boredom. In an attempt to keep the crazy looks away, I have decided to plan some loose theme based activities each week.

This week we are doing bird week. (A trip to the library resulted in too many bird books.) We have been reading them this week and have learned where they live, different species, what they eat and even what their eggs look like! My son is surprisingly interested in the yuckier details. EWWWW.

We have also been extra diligent in seeing what is living in our backyard which turns out to be a combination of hummingbirds, cardinals and blue jays. Its a rainbow of fun....

Today we did our kids craft of painting bird houses. I found cute little bird houses at JoAnnes for $.50 each and then used my 50% off coupon to buy some pots of water proof and uv proof paint. Then we had a blast painting the new bird condos/restaurants.

The kids had so much fun and I enjoyed watching them lose the crazy look...for a little while at least.

Tomorrow its shopping for seed and hanging our houses. Not only did we have fun but they actually learned some things this week as well...and that works for this mama!

For more great WFMW ideas visit We are That Family!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Make your own Lettuce Wraps!!

This week is all about double duty meals. We had Hoisin pork chops one night and have enough left to make this delicious-sounding lettuce wraps. I just had to share the recipe with my girlfriends :)

Pork Lettuce Wraps

Leftover Hoisin pork chops
2 tsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp bottled minced ginger
2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 Tbsp teriyaki sauce
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp chili-garlic sauce
1 tsp cornstarch
2 cups shredded carrots
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts, chopped

1 head ice burg lettuce, cut in half and separated by leaves

Remove pork from bones; cut pork into 1/2 inch pieces. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork and ginger; saute 2 minutes.

Whisk together vinegar and next 5 ingredients in a small bowl. Add vinegar mixture, carrots and green onions to pork. Cook 3 minutes or until mixture thickens slightly, stirring often. Stir in peanuts.
Spoon mixture onto lettuce leaves, roll up.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Menu Plan Monday: Double Duty Meals

It seems like no matter how well I plan, I always have meat leftovers. I have decided that I am going to try to cook an extra chicken breast or pork chop and get two meals out of the effort! (I can even use the extra corn on the cob for the chicken nachos!) Two meats equals four meals....can I get a WOOHOO?!?!?! Happy Eating Y'all!

Monday: Grilled chicken breasts, butter noodles, salad

Tuesday: Vegetable soup and build your own potato bar

Wednesday: Hoisin pork chops (Recipe below), green beans, corn on the cob

Thursday: Chicken nachos with corn and black beans

Friday: Pork lettuce Wraps (Recipe tomorrow), egg rolls

Saturday: Pizza Night!

Sunday: Leftover buffet- if its not movin, you can eat it but mama is not cooking!!

Hoisin Pork Chops
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
8 (4-ounce) boneless center-cut loin pork chops (about 3/4 inch thick) Cooking Spray

Combine first 5 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag; add pork chops. Seal and marinate in refrigerator 8 hours or overnight.

Prepare grill (or broiler)

Remove pork from bag; discard marinade. Place pork on grill rack (or broiler pan) coated with cooking spray; grill 3 to 5 minutes on each side or until done (160 degrees).