Friday, December 31, 2010

Kids Say the Funniest Things: Part 3

On this last day of Twenty-Ten (as Leighton would say), we finish up our reflection of the year. 

Alyssa was disobeying, so I sang "I will obey the first time I'm told. I will obey right away. Never asking why, never with a sigh. I will obey right away." As soon as I finished she said, "I don't like that song."

Jake was asking me about death. He told me that if Leighton or I die before he does he'll be really sad. Sadder than he's supposed to be when he disobeys. 

Jake said, "The only thing we can hate it sin, right? Because Jesus hates sin."

Jake said, "Mommy, I love you. I love you so much that I can't stop loving you."

Alyssa loves arguing with Jake. One of her favorites is "No, I'm the dad; you're the mom!" Jake finally said, "Ugh, we've been over this already!"

Alyssa was growling out the window at a squirrel in the front yard.

Jake and I were talking about how big he is getting. He told me, "And one day I'm going to get married! Cause I'm so handsome already."

Jake was telling me all about when we got our front window replaced 3 years ago when he was 20 months old. When I asked him how he remembered all that he said, "I took a picture of it with my brain."

Jake wondered why Zac's crib has a skirt since it's obviously a boy crib and boys don't wear skirts.

Alyssa chose to eat a plain ol' apple instead of our freshly baked apple pie because, in her words, "This be better for me."

Alyssa told Leighton, "Daddy, I wanna wrestle! I'm gonna take you down!"

Jake said, "My daddy is stronger than everybody but God and Jesus!"

Alyssa asked for candy. "I asked her if she had eaten breakfast yet (knowing that she hadn't.) She replied, "Yes! Oatmeal and onions!"

The boys were in their room playing. Zac was laughing at his big brother. Jake said, "You think that's great? Just wait til you see what I do next!"

Alyssa tattled on Zac for eating without praying.

Alyssa had been cutting paper and made a mess. When she was all done I told her to pick it up. "She pouted and said, "You're making me so sad, Mommy."

Alyssa, refusing to eat breakfast said, "I just like chocolate."

I told Jake the crayon color was burnt orange. He said, "What? Burnt is not a color!"

Jake: When can we make cookies from scratch?
Me: We always make cookies from scratch.
Jake: No, I mean make the ingredients and then put them in.

Jake got an empty paper towel tube. Alyssa wanted one too, and thought it was perfectly acceptable to go into the bathroom and unroll the brand new toilet paper roll I just put in. She got her tube though.

Alyssa wouldn't let Jake look at the toy catalog with her. She kept scowling, so I told her, "Wipe that look off your face." Her whole countenance changed as she started licking her lips, trying to wipe it off.

Jake told me, "You have two daddies: God and Papa!"

Alyssa: I like my daddy!
Me: I like Daddy too.
Alyssa: You like my daddy?
Me: Yes, I love your daddy very much.
Alyssa: Woooow.

Jake told Alyssa, "Don't talk with your mouth open!"

I asked the kids, "How many more days until Christmas?" Alyssa answered, "Too many."

Jake: May I have a snack please?
Me: No, you have to eat lunch first.
Jake: What do you think I should eat for lunch? Cinnamon rolls or candy?

* * * I hope you've enjoyed reminiscing with me. These 3 little ones fill my life with joy and laughter. I'm excited to see what they do in the coming year. Happy New Year!  

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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Kids Say the Funniest Things: Part 2

This is the second part of our review of 2010. See what other funny things our kids did. 

Jake was trying to fill a reservoir for a squirt gun, but it was too big to fit under the faucet. So, he put a bendy straw in it and stuck the straw in the flow of water. I see engineering in his future!

Jake asked, "When is Jesus going to knock at our door?"

Jake was explaining all the colors of dice: white dice, black dots; red dice, white dots; white dice, red dots, etc. . . I asked, "How do you know so much?" He told me, "Because I'm a dice expert."

My cousin works for Moroch, an advertising agency. The pictures that he submitted of Jake were chosen for a fishing commercial. Here is the final product that aired on television. (Jake is seen casting at 14 seconds.)

Jake was helping me do yard work and chopped a big root that I was saving for Leighton to do. Once he cut through it he said, "I didn't know I was that strong! God must have helped me cut it! God helped me just like He helped David kill Goliath."

I was trying to explain orphans to Jake. He said, "Oh, so they can do whatever they want because they don't have a mommy and daddy?"

I was playing badminton with Jake. He said, "No, it's good."

Alyssa chased a fly around the house yelling, "Get back here fly!"

Jake locked the baby in my bedroom "so he wouldn't get into trouble."

Alyssa was crying because she hurt her elbow. Jake rushed over and kissed it. She instantly stopped crying and said, "Thanks."

Jake said, "I looked outside and it wasn't my friends throwing rocks at my window. It was fireworks!"

Jake sang, "Oh my darlin', oh my darlin', oh my darlin' Valentine."

Jake said, "I want everybody in the whole world to know that I'm going to VBS next week."

Jake told me, "Mom, if your coupon is expired and it's not on sale, you can still buy it. People do that."

Jake said, "I think I need new feet. These shoes don't fit."

Jake was learning to ride his bike without the training wheels. At one point he really picked up speed before falling. He said, "It's a good thing that tree was there. I might have fallen in the road!"

Jake had a piece of tape stuck to his knee. Leighton asked him how it got there, but he claimed he didn't know. Leighton then asked, "Don't you keep track of your knees." Jake replied, "Well, I take them with me."

Alyssa hid in the laundry room and cut her own hair.

Jake got a medal for saying the most verses in his age group at VBS. His response: "I thought it was going to be bigger . . . and shinier."

Alyssa asked for "jolly rancher dip." (Ranch Dressing)

I found Alyssa with an empty 2 ounce bottle of syrup that she found in the pantry and then drank. She looked at me innocently and said, "I sticky."

One of Jake's favorite sayings is, "Speaking of which . . . "

Jake told me, "I'm glad I have you for a mommy."

Jake looked at some of the groceries we had just bought and said, "Oh, yeah, I'm definitely spoiled."

Jake is too much like his Papa. Alyssa came over to tell me something, and he said, "I'm warning ya, she's wrong."

Jake was looking at one of the "What's Wrong" puzzles in his Puzzle Buzz book. I pointed out a horse wearing a birthday hat. He laughed and said, "Yeah, I don't think it's his birthday!"

Alyssa kept hitting my side. When I asked her why she said, "I don't know. My hand moving."

One morning we were watching Dora the Explorer. Included in the contents of her backpack was a doughnut. Jake, with a look of disgust on his face, said, "Why would there be a doughnut with frosting on it in her backpack? Frosting melts actually."

Alyssa got a comb tangled in her hair. It took me 10 minutes to get it out.

Jake was looking through new books that he had gotten for school. He said, "I'm not just happy. I'm VERY happy!"

Jake was trying to move his wooden toy box with handles. He said, "Ugh, is this the Ark of the Covenant?"

* * * We will conclude this series with September, October, November, and December in Part Three. 
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Kids Say the Funniest Things: Part 1

It's hard to believe another year has come and gone. As I think back on 2010, I am reminded of the many funny things my kids said and did. The next 3 posts will be a summary of those things. (Aren't you glad it's only a summary?) My three Little Blessings make me laugh. I hope they do you also.

Alyssa asked for a piece of candy and was told no. A minute later I heard crinkling under the table. Recognizing the sound of a candy wrapper, I asked, "Alyssa, what are you doing?" She replied, "Hide, Mommy. Hide."

I took a peach cobbler out of the oven and Jake said, "That smells hot!"

Jacob informed me that he is ready to go to college.
Alyssa gave herself a peanut butter facial.

The kids and I were watching the birds. I noted that they were mourning doves. Jake looked around and said, "Yeah, it is morning."

Jake was upset with Zachary because he wouldn't say snake for him. "He's just sitting looking at me and sucking his fingers."

Jake said, "Wow, Mommy! I love your pantry! It's so neat and organized!"

Jacob was upset that his peanut butter and jelly sandwich tasted like peanut butter and jelly.

Alyssa was learning to sleep in underwear over night. One morning, she went with me into the bathroom and asked, "Mommy dry? Yea Mommy!!!" Apparently, I was getting the hang of it too!

Jake put a bunch of bow barrettes in Alyssa's hair and said, "Wow, you look like a bowaholic!"

Jake said, "Everybody sins. That's why Jesus died on the cross."

Alyssa scattered an entire box of kleenex throughout the house.

Jake told the baby, "You look short today, Zachary."

Jake had been wearing his Batman cape for days. I pointed out that he was no longer wearing it. He replied, "That's because I'm Bruce Wayne right now."

Jake found a box of old clothes and kept asking for my permission to be 3 again so he could wear them.

I asked Jake why he was so crabby. He said, "I'm not crabby. Everything's just bugging me!"

Jake had Alyssa convinced her head could come off. She kept pulling on it saying, "Please, head off."

Alyssa had been frantically running away from her shadow. After a few minutes of it still chasing her, she looked at it and yelled, "STOP!"

Jake was telling me about "a long, long time ago" . . . when he was three.

Jake scraped his elbow outside and asked me, "Wanna touch my blood?"

Jake asked, "Do you have any females for me?"

Jake was concerned about 2 huge bumblebees. He said, "I thought they were sting bugs." I said, "They are, but they'll be nice to you if you are nice to them." He said, "Oh, should I just say 'hi'?"

Jake hit the baseball over the fence. After I climbed over and got it, he said, "That was quite the rescue!"

Jake said, "I tried to cover my mouth, but my hand sneezed it away."

Jake asked, "What is the bathtub at church for?"

Alyssa discovered that she does not like bird seed.

Jake told Zachary, "You smell like blonde apples."

We were singing Jesus Loves the Little Children. On the second verse, instead of died for Jake sang, "Jesus diapered all the children."

We were driving to Target when I heard, "MOMMY!" I looked in the mirror and all I saw were feet up in the air. Apparently, when I put the van seat back up it didn't click into place. So, while we were driving , it flipped back down, with Jake still buckled in.

Jake said, "I used to be a dog, but then I grew into a man."

* * * Stay tuned for memories from May, June, July, and August in Part Two!

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Chai Tea Mix

We've been making this tea mix for many years now. It's great to drink on a cold winter's night or to give as a gift. The kids even like it since it's kinda like hot chocolate.

1 cup nonfat dry milk powder                                                   
1 cup powdered non-dairy creamer                                          
1 cup French vanilla flavored powdered non-dairy creamer      
2 1/2 cups white sugar                                                           
1 1/2 cups unsweetened instant tea
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cardamom

1. In a large bowl, combine milk powder, non-dairy creamer, vanilla flavored creamer, sugar and instant tea. Stir in ginger, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom. 
2. In a blender or food processor, blend 1 cup at a time, until mixture is the consistency of fine powder.
3. To serve: Stir 2 heaping tablespoons Chai tea mixture into a mug of hot water. 

* Note: Yields 3 mason jars.

Add a tag and some homemade biscotti, and you have a lovely gift!
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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Tasty Tuesday: Christmas Baking

It is no secret that we love baking in this house. Every Christmas we bake lots of goodies to send to neighbors, friends, and family. It's a tradition that we all love. Now that the kids are a little older, they help me with the baking. Though their "helping" may nearly double my time in the kitchen, we are making memories that I will cherish forever. I hope one day they too will look back on these times with fondness.

Excited to be baking.

Leveling flour is serious business.

They love the cookie press.

They are obsessed with sprinkles!

More sprinkling.

Coating the Oreos.

Taking a quick break for a picture.

The very best part of baking.

All the goodies except for one kind.

Leighton's plate to take to work.
We didn't take too many pictures this time. There was too much to do! We made no-bake cookies, sour cream cookies, white chocolate covered Oreos, milk chocolate covered Oreos, spritz cookies in trees and wreaths, brownies, fudge, and peanut butter bars. Whew, all in one day! I washed the dishes probably 5 times. For one thing, I don't like to work in a cluttered mess. For another thing, I don't have much room in the kitchen. I keep telling Leighton I want a bigger kitchen with lots of counter space for Christmas. So far, no such luck.

I didn't include the recipes this time since there would be 7 and take up a lot of space. If there's one that you would like, just let me know. Happy Baking!

We've since added some recipes. Those are now linked.

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Make It Monday: Hershey Kissmas Tree

Certain crafts are easier than others. Certain attitudes are better than others. Combine a more complicated craft with a crabby child, and you have a not-so-fun activity. The craft itself is simple. I've made this many times. Not with kids though. I take a styrofoam cone and use straight pins to stick Hershey Kisses on it. I didn't take into account that it would be difficult for Jacob and Alyssa to place the chocolates in the proper places and be able to push the pin through. After a few tries, we made an assembly line. Alyssa would get the candy, Jake would get the pin, and I would put them on the cone. It worked much better this way, aside from the fact that Alyssa didn't want to participate and whined most of the time. She lasted about half-way, and Jake and I finished by ourselves. She was, however, very proud to show Daddy the tree that she made. 

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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Theory Thursday: Rising Balls

It was an easy experiment this week. But a fun one.

My Little Hams, ready to start.

This is the face he made when I asked what he expected to happen.

Start with a ball in a jar.

Add rice.

Shake back and forth.

The ball will rise to the top.

As you shake the jar, the rice spreads out and becomes less dense. The rice fills in the empty spaces when the ball moves, pushing the ball up. They repeated the process about 5 times. It was fun dumping the rice through the funnel and watching it come out the other end. It was still surprising every time they saw the ball at the top again. Eventually, they resorted to bouncing the balls in the kitchen. They had a good time, and I had a few minutes to get some things done. We all were happy.
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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Tasty Tuesday: Soft Ginger Cookies

My family is a bunch of cookies monsters. I could make a batch every other day and they would be happy. Every year we make these ginger cookies. They're big and soft and very yummy.  Jake likes gingersnaps; he likes these even more.

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour                       3/4 cup butter, softened
2 teaspoons ground ginger                        1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda                             1 egg
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon                 1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves                       1/4 cup molasses
1/4 teaspoon salt                                        2 tablespoons white sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Sift together the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, then stir in the water and molasses. Gradually stir the sifted ingredients into the molasses mixture. Shape dough into walnut sized balls, and roll them in the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. Place the cookies 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet, and flatten slightly.
3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
He's getting so good at measuring.

Reaching down deep for the sugar.

Pretty soon he won't need my "help" at all!

Rolling the balls is the fun part.

He kept trying to flatten them into pancakes.

Half of the Batch

Alyssa was napping when we made the cookies. Jake asked, "Shouldn't we wait for Alyssa?" He even wanted to save a beater for her. Such a good big brother! Then he asked if we could make cookies from scratch. When I explained that is how we always make them, (Is there any other way?) he said, "No, I mean make the ingredients and then put them in." Apparently I'm not challenging him enough. Next week I'll have him make a souffle.
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Make It Monday: Christmas Dough Ornaments

This was week number 2 for Christmas ornaments. Really though, can you ever have enough homemade decorations hanging on the tree? (My opinion might change in a decade or so!) It's fun pulling things out of the box and seeing how the kids' abilities increase over the years. They feel a sense of pride knowing that they made them.

4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup salt
1 1/2 cups warm water

1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
2. Mix flour and salt well. Gradually add water, stirring with a large spoon. Finish mixing with hands. Knead until soft and pliable.
3. Roll out on floured surface about 1/8 inch thick. Cut shapes with cookie cutters. Place on cookie sheets. With a toothpick make a hole in the top of the ornament for threading string. Bake at 250 degrees F until hard, about 1 1/2 hours. Decorate with paint and varnish to preserve.

We made half a batch for the two of them. We added a bit of cloves and cinnamon to the dough in hopes that it would give us scented ornaments. It made the house smell wonderful, but you can barely smell it on the ornaments.

Alyssa made the dough.

Jake rolled it out.

They both enjoyed cutting out the shapes.

They rolled it out and cut it, and rolled it and cut it, and rolled it . . . . and eventually just played with the last little bit while the "cookies" were baking. Rarely are children patient enough to wait for freshly baked cookies. It was so much worse this time, since they had to wait for them to completely cool before they could start painting.  They asked every few minutes, "Are they cool now? Are they cool? Can we paint them now?" 

They matched the paint brush colors to the paint colors. They are so my kids.

Our Little Artists

He did very well making stripes.

They had so much fun painting their ornaments! While the paint was still wet, they sprinkled on glitter. They each had their own paper plate to paint on. This way, all the paint and glitter was contained in one place instead of all over the table and floor. Plus, they enjoyed painting the plates once the ornaments were done. Double bonus. Once they were dry, we glued on various beads and embellishments. I covered them with polyurethane and added a string to the top.

Merry Christmas!

After they were all done, Jake said, "We need to put our name and date on it." It's a good thing I have him around. I just may have forgotten that part.

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tasty Tuesday: Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin pie is an all-American dessert with a history going back hundreds of years. The pilgrims, though their "pies" were different from ours, wrote about the abundance of the fruit:
"For pottage and puddings and custard and pies,
Our pumpkins and parsnip are common supplies:
We have pumpkins at morning and pumpkins at noon,
If it were not for pumpkins, we should be undoon" 
Who doesn't love pumpkin pie with its pumpkiness and creamy goodness? Well, I don't. But my family does. This pie was for them.

Pie Crust 
1/2 cup vegetable shortening                                          1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour                                            1/2 cups cold water

1. Mix shortening, flour, and salt together with a fork or a pastry blender until very crumbly. Add as much water as needed to hold together, and mix lightly with a fork.
2. Roll gently on a floured pastry cloth to about an inch larger than pie plate. Fold carefully in half, lift to pie plate, and unfold. Press into pan.

Whip up a single batch of pie dough. I love my food processor for this since it does all the work, but you can also mix it in a bowl.

Now isn't that pretty? Are you sure we need to add the filling?? Oh, all right.

Pumpkin Pie
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin                                           
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger 
1 (14 ounce) can Sweetened Condensed Milk                1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 
2 large eggs                                                                1/2 teaspoon salt 
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon                                        1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust 

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Whisk pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, eggs, spices and salt in medium bowl until smooth. Pour into crust. Bake 15 minutes.
2. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F and continue baking 35 to 40 minutes or until knife inserted 1 inch from crust comes out clean. Cool. Garnish as desired. Store leftovers covered in refrigerator.

Don't forget to stop and pose for a picture.

I love the spices in fall baking.

We always bake up that extra pie dough (here with added sprinkles.) Don't want to waste that yumminess!

Top your slice with a big ol' dollop of Cool Whip and you're set to go!

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