Archive for September, 2008

Car ride Bingo

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

We left Saturday for our vacation to Ocean City, Maryland.  We chose there because we can handle the short three and a half hours in a car with the kids without too much stress.  You have the initial 30 minutes of them being good because of the excitement of the trip and looking at maps and such, and at the end is another 30 minutes of us ‘almost being there’ where they are relatively good.  So it left us with basically two hours to fill with games to avoid the general bickering and unrest that goes along with strapping three children into a seat and expecting them to sit still and be quiet for several hours.  

One of our favorite games is carride bingo because not only is it fun but we do not have to remember to bring any special game things to play it.  All we need is a piece of paper and pen.  We draw a grid with 5 blocks across and down then fill in different things for the kids to find.  Police car, cow, 55 mph sign, Florida license plate, etc.      They have two chances to win.  First, whoever gets bingo across, down or diagonal, and then the second winner is whoever crosses out the whole card first.  Generally they have similar things to find with only 5 or 6 that are totally different in case some things are harder to find than others (that can turn into an issue…trust me). Granted it is not a perfect game in that they still do some talking and fighting; “that wasn’t a blue truck, it was teal”, but it keeps them relatively quiet and occupied for about an hour.  The other hour of our car ride we just gave them food….and that always keeps them quiet.  All in all it was an uneventful car ride and a good start to our trip.

Here's one of our Car Ride Bingo cards.

Here's one of our Car Ride Bingo cards.

Our Favorite Coconut Pie

Friday, September 26th, 2008

This is one of our favorite pies. Forget coconut cream pies that take forever to make, if you like coconut, this is great.
And the best part is that it is easy enough for my twins to make since you don’t need a beater. Call me crazy, but I still don’t trust my kids with an electric mixer. I envision the kitchen splattered with batter as they pull the beaters out to watch the stuff spray off of it, or mangled fingers…either picture, I don’t like.
So we love this recipe. Really good, simple pie! Yum!

Delicious and easy to make, our favorite Coconut Pie!!

Delicious and easy to make, our favorite Coconut Pie!!









3/4 cup white sugar
2 Tbsp flour
1 cup milk
1/3 cup melted butter
3 eggs
1tsp vanilla extract
1 cup sweetened flake coconut
1 9 inch pie crust (unbaked)

Mix the sugar and flour together. Add the remaining ingredients. Pour into unbaked pie crust.
Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 1 hour. Enjoy!

Preparing for a Trip

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

Am I the only person who says they want to get away on a vacation, yet when the time comes you begin to have your doubts? We leave this Saturday for a week, and I’m thinking, I don’t have time, we shouldn’t have spent the money, what are we going to do for a week, how are we going to fit all the stuff in the truck. Yes, we have a truck that we need to take, and we got a cap for on it when we went to Indianapolis in May because we couldn’t fit all the stuff in the car. Somehow with the twins we could fit in a car, add one baby, and we need a whole truck bed to fit stuff.
Then there’s the “mommy, how soon are we going? How many hours till we go? What are we going to do? How long are we staying? Etc. etc. that’s enough to make you need the vacation. I’ve decided children should be separated from their parents for a few days prior to leaving on a trip. It would make getting ready a lot easier and quieter.
So, I’ll be spending today making lists of what we have to take and then doing all those little things that we feel have to be done before we go away, even though they probably don’t need to be done, but they make things more stressful. And isn’t that what going on a vacation is all about?

Unhappy Dogs

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

I annoyed the dogs today. I took their favorite snack bar, our rabbit Speckles, and moved him up higher to where they can’t reach his cage. No, they don’t snack on the rabbit but they love eating his food and those tasty little crunchy round rabbit droppings (you know bunny poop is like some doggie delicacy). So now Speckle’s is up high and looks down at them like “Ha!” and Tasha and Nipper have been giving me dirty looks all day because they have to go hunt around the yard when they want to eat bunny poop now.

Creative Gift Wrap

Monday, September 22nd, 2008

Kraft paper, and a lace bow make for a unique gift wrap

Kraft paper, and a lace bow make for a unique gift wrap

Being a well prepared person, on Saturday you could find me trying to wrap a wedding present about 15 minutes before we were supposed to leave. The plus side was that I actually remembered to get the wedding present. The down side was that I had no wedding wrapping paper. I decided that Christmas paper, or the Sunday comics would be inappropriate so I was at a loss until I spotted the roll or brown craft paper. You know the paper that looks like a grocery bag that we used to use as book covers for our school books back in the day.
As my husband watched I know he was concerned that he was going to be carrying in a grocery bag looking gift to a wedding. Luckily, I had seen a piece of lace fabric in a drawer the other day. I cut that into 2 long 4” wide strips and used it like ribbon. Wrapping in one direction and tying a knot, and then doing the other direction. It looked great, and even my husband was impressed.
In fact, I think I’m going to use my new wrapping technique more often. Fabric can be cheaper than ribbon and besides, I’m envisioning using old sheets or curtains in different colors for birthday presents and such.

2 Layer Jello Blocks

Friday, September 19th, 2008

2 Layer Jello Blocks
My kids love eating…always have.  In fact our 15 month old we refer to as a food hound since if she sees anyone eating or carrying food, or even hears a plastic bag being opened, she’s at your feet begging.
Luckily they also like to help cook and bake.  We have our favorites that are also simple to make and I thought we’d share one each Friday.
Today we made 2 layer raspberry jello blocks. The two layers come from cool whip being added.  The cool whip separates and the bottom half is just jello and the top half has the cool whip/jello mix.  My mom made this for us all the time when we were kids, but when I went to make it years later, mom had lost the recipe, and I had a heck of a time finding it on the internet.  So here it is for your eating pleasure…but beware, they’re addictive and a huge hit with kids and adults alike.     

Two Layer Jello Blocks
3  4 oz. packs gelatin in flavor of choice
3  packs of Knox unflavored gelatin
4  cups boiling Water
1  8 oz. container cool whip
Mix all jello and gelatin together in bowl.  Add 4 cups boiling water and stir at least 2 minutes.  Stir in container of cool whip and stir until completely dissolved.  Pour into a 13” by 9” pan.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until solid.  (about 3 hours).  Cut into bite size squares and stand back!
(Make sure the cool whip is not frozen or the jello will set too quickly and the layers won’t have time to fully separate)



Shopping for kids

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

By design, I am not a shopper.  God made me a woman, but he also gave me the ‘anti-shopping gene.’  So having children goes against this inherent trait since the darn kids keep growing and I have to go shopping far more than I’d like to.  And as if shopping wasn’t fun enough before, throw in two 6 year olds and a 15 month old and there’s just not anything better I’d like to do for an afternoon. 

But I think the reason I really dislike shopping as an adult is that I have to worry about money.  When you are always being frugal it really feels awful to go drop a hundred dollars in one place in an hour for things that you know won’t fit the kids in a season or two.  In fact I’m convinced that if you have a child of each gender, which we did on the first shot, you might as well have a couple more since you’ve already spent so much on clothing and it least you’ll feel like you got your money’s worth.

So I unhappily went shopping yesterday. 

But it’s all good, because I finally decided on a reasonable plan to budget how much I spend on each kid and everywhere throughout the month.  I am carrying an envelope in my purse where I will put the receipts since I always lose them.  In a few minutes I had during the day I wrote their initial next to the purchase and quickly calculated how much I spent on each.  This way there will be a spending cap, and they will know just how much is left (we’re drawing a chart that shows a bar that tells them how close they are to their total amount allowed…kinda like you see for fire company fundraisers and such).  The master plan is that this will help keep them from bugging for things, and they might learn a bit about budgeting…I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

Waiting Room Fun

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008

So when the screaming baby in the waiting room tactic didn’t work to get the twins doctor visit done more quickly, we had to resolve to find things to do in the exam room.  Ok, I didn’t really plan to have a screaming (and when I say screaming I mean full fledged ‘the world is ending and I’m going to have to go on like this for as long as it takes’ screaming), but my 15 month old was not happy to be left in the waiting room with her mammy while brother, sister and mommy all went away.  Now the logic at the doctor’s office is that the waiting room is the place where the tv, toys and magazines are, which seems to make sense except that we generally only have to wait 5-10 minutes in there.  On the contrary we spent 45 minutes waiting in the ‘exam’ room (minus the tv, toys and magazines), so we had to find entertaining things to do. 

We made bookmarks out of tongue depressors by drawing pictures on them to be colored later at home and we played toss the wadded up piece of paper into certain square tiles on the floor.  I’m sure there were more creative and educational things we could have done in all that wasted time, but I just couldn’t think of them. 

So what do you do when left somewhere for an extended period of time with your kids and nothing but the stuff in your purse?

No Laundry

Monday, September 15th, 2008

Once again, I did a load of laundry today with nothing in the washer, yes it’s sad to admit but I do this quite often.  No, I don’t like to clean the washing machine, it’s just that I take a load out and then turn it back on and put detergent in while I run to get more dirty clothes to fill it.  Meanwhile,  within a minute, the steel trap I have for a brain has totally forgotten about the washer running.  If I’m lucky I remember it in 30 or 40 minutes, and if I’ve left the lid open it stops after it fills with water and I can still put a load in…that’s always a nice surprise.  But usually I just end up wasting electric, water and laundry detergent.  Am I the only one who does this?

Stuffed Animal Invasion

Saturday, September 13th, 2008

Apparently Lamby (stuffed sheep toy), and a few of her closest friends, wanted to sit and read books in the bathroom with pillows and blankies today.  My entire bathroom was piled high with blankets, pillows and stuffed animals. And speaking of stuffed animals.  I think they multiply at night, because I know they’ve never gotten more than a few at birthdays and Christmas yet we have literally like 150 stuffed animals and only 3 kids…how does this happen?

To fight the stuffed animal invasion we’ve hung them from the ceiling.  All we needed was 4 screw-in hooks that you can buy at the hardware store, and a big piece of mesh fabric (an old sheet works well too).  We got out the drill and the stud finder, and once my husband stopped pointing the stud finder at himself (one of the many reasons I married him, such a sense of humor) we drilled small holes in the studs in the ceiling, screwed in the hooks, hung the sheet and threw all the animals in.