Thursday, February 27, 2014

Skyzone

When you're a kid, jumping on a trampoline is one of the coolest things to do! We recently went to a birthday party at Skyzone, which is an indoor trampoline park, and the kids were completely wowed!

My nephew, Brady, turned 10 at the end of September, but they held off on having his birthday party until February.  The evening started off rough, because we got lost, thanks to the directions on their website being wrong. We ended up arriving a half hour late.

My kids and my great niece, Aubrey, immediately put on their special Skyzone socks and ran off to jump. 

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From a parent's perspective, this place was loud, crowded, chaotic, and there wasn't anywhere to sit.  Convincing a toddler that they are only allowed to jump on one trampoline square instead of jumping from square to square is really frustrating.  Pretty much a parent's worst nightmare!

That being said, the kids had an amazing time!  And, honestly?  It looked like so much fun!!! Bouncing high in the air, playing trampoline dodgeball, jumping in foam pits, and flipping off of trampoline walls is pretty awesome!

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Dylan was fearless, Lexie and Aubrey ran off to bounce on their own, and once Lily started jumping into the foam pit, she refused to leave!

After an hour, the kids were called to the party room.  Half of them were tired and thirsty, and the other half wanted to keep jumping!  They recharged with pizza and drinks, while Liam snuggled with his Aunt Annie.

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Dylan left with my sister and her family to continue the fun with a sleepover at their house.  Aubrey slept over our house, and our friend, Jack, came over to play. 

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It wasn't long before Lexie, Aubrey, and Jack fell asleep watching a movie.  Lily sat down next to Grant, and fell asleep on his arm!

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I guess all that jumping made them sleepy!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Target Breakfast Twist

As a busy mom of four children, I am always looking for quick and easy breakfasts to prepare for my family. My kids get bored eating the same type of breakfast foods every day, so I was very eager to participate in the Target Breakfast Twist Project!

The box I received was filled with the following foods:

1 pouch Nature Valley® Protein Granola
1 box Nature Valley® Granola Bars
1 box Honey Nut Cheerios® Medley Crunch™ cereal
1 box Trix® cereal
1 package Quaker® Oats
1 jar Jif® peanut butter
1 package Nutella® mini cups
1 pouch Grandma Hoerner’s® Big Slice™ apples snack

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The goal of this project is to share simple breakfast recipes that can be made using the products I received.   After a bit of brainstorming, I came up with a few ideas to suit the likes of each family member!

OATMEAL BAR:

We love oatmeal, but the ordinary oatmeal topped with sugar meal can get boring.  I mixed things up and catered to each family member's individual tastes by putting out a variety of toppings.  I put out Nutella, Jif peanut butter, Big Slice kettle cooked apples, and Nature Valley Protein Granola to be used as toppings.

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The most popular combination was the oatmeal topped with Big Slice kettle cooked apples and Nature Valley Protein Granola.

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Mixing in Nutella, Jif Peanut Butter, and Nature Valley Protein Granola was also a popular choice!

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YOGURT PARFAIT:

Vanilla yogurt is a staple in our household.  I made it more appealing by adding a layer of Big Slice kettle cooked apples topped with Nature Valley Protein Granola.  My toddler immediately stole it!


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ON THE GO:

We are often rushing out the door to go to appointments or run errands in the morning.  I love Nature Valley Granola Bars, and they go well with my hot tea or coffee.  An easy, low mess choice for my toddler is a baggie filled with Honey Nut Cheerios Medley Crunch, Trix cereal, and Nature Valley Protein Granola. I now keep several granola bars and several baggies filled with this mix in my snack drawer so I can grab them when I'm rushing out the door!

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BREAKFAST FONDUE:

My kids love to dip foods!  A plate filled with banana slices, a bowl of trix cereal, Nutella mini cups, and a bowl of Jif peanut butter is a great addition to any breakfast and also is a great after school snack idea!

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GRANOLA BAR SANDWICHES:

My kids loved this alternative to their toast with peanut butter or Nutella!  Simply spread one Nature Valley Granola Bar with Jif Peanut Butter, spread Nutella on the other one, and press together.  It was an instant hit!

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CEREAL TOPPED BANANAS:

We always have bananas in our house, and the kids eat them every day. I really wanted to put a spin on ordinary bananas. 

This one is simple! Cut a banana in half.  Spread Jif Peanut Butter on one half and top with Honey Nut Cheerios Medley Crunch Cereal.  Spread a layer of Nutella on the other half and top with Trix cereal.

The kids get a full serving of fruit, and it's fun to eat!

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All of these recipes were quick and easy to make!  The kids now have new favorites in our breakfast meal rotation!



Disclosure: The information and prize pack have been provided by General Mills through Platefull Co-Op.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Currently

I'm watching...Frasier on Netflix.  Grant and I have watched every episode from the beginning, just like we did with Cheers, and we're now on Season 8.  We are also making our way through the Best Picture Nominees for the Oscars.  We watched 5 already and we have 4 to go.  I loved Her and Gravity.  Dallas Buyer's Club was really good, too.  It was rough to watch, but the acting was incredible! Honestly, I was not a fan of American Hustle.  Wolf of Wall Street was good, but could have been  shorter.  We are also watching The Walking Dead (my weekly dose of anxiety) and Parenthood.
 
I'm reading...Inferno by Dan Brown.  STILL.  The last time I wrote a post like this, it was July 22nd, and I had just started reading this book! I finally got into it!
 
I'm listening to...whatever my kids want to listen to in the car!

I'm thinking about...how when I last wrote a Currently post, I was still pregnant with Liam.  My life has changed so much since then!

I need to...fill out some forms for Liam's eye doctor appointment tomorrow, call to schedule an audiology appointment, print out pictures for Lexie's thank you cards and Dylan's class project, and fill in my March calendar (How is it almost March?).

I'm creating...simple breakfasts for an upcoming project.  Stay tuned!
 
I'm cooking...delicious crockpot macaroni and cheese, fish, and stewed tomatoes tomorrow and Stuffed Peppers on Thursday.
   
I'm shopping for...groceries?  Honestly, nothing right now!
 
I'm organizing...paperwork and bills.  I bought new file folders to help with that project!
 
I'm proud of...Dylan for caring so much about his sister that he worries when she isn't on the bus at the end of the day, Lexie for the incredible amount of love she has for Liam, Lily for being so determined to learn how to do everything herself, and Liam for trying so hard to do everything all the time.  My kids are determined and unbelievably sweet!
 
I'm looking forward to...sleeping in on Saturday.  Seriously.  This week is kicking my butt!
 
I'm loving...my family.  My amazing group of friends. My new Shark Steam Mop.  I believe I told my friends that it is life changing and I wanted to mop again and lick my floors. Hot Tea. I've been on a huge tea kick again, and my current faves are Orange Pekoe and Oolong. 

I'm very grateful for...all the people in my life.  I am so blessed.
 
Our plans for this week...This week was/is insane!  We celebrated Lexie's birthday with two parties on Saturday. A dear friend took her to Build a Bear and lunch on Sunday, then we had dinner with Grant's family. I met my friend for a lunch playdate yesterday. Liam had PT today, then I read to Lexie's class and took a snack in for her birthday celebration, then we went out for Lexie's birthday dinner.  Liam has an eye appointment tomorrow.  Liam has an EKG and a blood draw on Thursday, followed by a playdate with friends.  Liam has OT on Friday, then I'm going shopping with my mom, then having dinner with my parents (the norm!). The three older kids may have a sleepover that night at their house.  Dylan is having a sleepover on Saturday night at a friend's house, while I'm having a Pinterest dinner with my mom and sisters. Phew! 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Happy 7th Birthday, Lexie!

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Happy 7th Birthday, my beautiful Lexie Bean!  I swear I just heard the words "It's a GIRL!!!" in the delivery room.  I was so happy it felt as if my heart was going to burst.  7 years have flown by since that incredible moment, and every single day I thank God for putting you in my life.

This year was a big one for you.  You became a big sister again, and you stepped up as Liam's fierce protector.  You love your baby brother so much and constantly tell him that you will always be there to take care of him.  He is so lucky to have you on his side.   You are an incredible big sister.

You also started first grade, which means you are in school all day long.  It was a difficult transition, but you are excelling in all subjects. You are always polite and well behaved, and you try your hardest at all you do. Your teachers rave about you.  We are so proud of you!

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You are turning into a beautiful young lady.  You are so sweet, loving, and thoughtful.  You spoil us all with your beautiful pictures and notes. You are funny and love to make people laugh. You love your family and friends so much, and it shows in all you do.

You are very sassy and opinionated.  That can be frustrating at times, but I have a feeling it will be a good thing when you are a grown up.  You aren't afraid to stand up for yourself and let your feelings be known. You aren't afraid to be yourself.  Don't ever lose that part of you.

Lexie, every day with you is a gift.  Your beautiful smile can light up a room. Your hugs, kisses, and kind words make my day. You are simply beautiful.  We are so lucky to know you and love you.

Happy Birthday, my sweet girl.  I love you forever.

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

My Little Valentines

Valentine's Day is not a huge deal in our household.  Each child gets a little treat and Grant and I exchange our favorite candy.  Other than class parties, that's the extent of our celebration!

The kids woke up to their typical Valentine's Day goods: a sweet and a treat! Dylan and Lexie had to go to school, but they started off their day with some chocolates with their breakfast!

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I attended Lexie's class party the day before, but Dylan's class party was on Valentine's Day.  Lexie had a great time, and Dylan was really looking forward to his party!

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After they left for school, I had plenty of time to spend with my youngest loves.

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It was a typical morning for us.  Liam had OT and worked until he cried.  After a short nap, he cheered up!  He was excited about his first Valentine's Day!!!

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We went shopping and had dinner with my parents.  As usual, my parents spoiled the kids with Valentine's Day goody bags.

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Lily played with their cats and Liam got some snuggles.

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Lexie was super excited to finally receive the only toy she asked for at Christmas.  Instead of getting her gift on Christmas morning, she had to accept a special gift card to get the toy when it arrived in stores.  I picked it up for her while shopping and surprised her with it.  She was thrilled!

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We headed home, got the kids to bed, and I spent the rest of the night with my first love.

Even though Valentine's Day is not a big deal, I couldn't help but feel extremely blessed. My life is filled with love!

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