Tuesday, November 24, 2009

My turkeys with their turkeys

I was a little bit slow getting it together but yesterday the boys and I made cute turkey decorations. If I'd have done it earlier we could have made more and mailed them to the grandparents. I can't remember the website I found it on but it was easy (except all the cutting - I don't trust the boys with much cutting yet). The turkey bodies are made up of the child's footprints glued together at the heal to make a head. The feathers are handprints cut out in different colors. Then decorate with a face and feet. Voila!

The brown turkeys with the real feathers glued on are ones they made at school.

Even though they're not looking, I still thought this picture was cute. They are good sports putting up with all the pictures I take!

Monday, November 23, 2009

2 years ago today....

(Well, technically it was yesterday but that sounded funny in the title.) Yesterday was the 2 year anniversary of our "Airplane Day". It was Thanksgiving Day in 2007 that we flew home from Russia with our two boys. They did surprisingly well on the long flight back to the U.S., much better than I thought (or worried about). They were such little guys, only 16 months and 24 months at the time. During our few days together in a hotel in Moscow Alex really became a happier boy - at least to us. There was no more crying like he did on every visit with us. Sleep was really our main issue during those first days, which was expected, and we were all exhausted. When we landed at JFK we missed our connecting flight back to Texas and had to stay the night. We all four shared the bed that night and had a much better sleep. At the breakfast buffet in the hotel the next morning we got our first glimpse at Alex's appetite. He loved it all! We finally made it home the day after Thanksgiving. My parents and one sister with her two teenage boys were waiting at the airport to meet us and had a Thanksgiving dinner waiting at our house. My wonderful mom stayed a few extra days with us to help the new parents get into the swing of things. I've got such great memories of our trips to get our boys (even though I did get peed on once!). Happy Two Years!!

The boys during our stay in Moscow - they had lived in different baby houses before this and had never met each other.

Finally home!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Burger boys and kings

On Wednesday we took Grandma (my MIL) out to lunch before she had to catch her flight back home. Chris had heard about a place that we had never been so we went to try it. The food was good and it is attached to an antique shop. They had an old Big Boy burger guy that my little guys thought was so neat. Alex refused to take a picture but Zachary was game.

Yesterday we took the boys to another movie (A Christmas Carrol - not enough action & cute stuff for the boys to stay interested. It would be better for bigger kids than mine.) and then to dinner. Somehow at dinner Zachary was talking about wanting me to make a necklace because I tied a straw wrapper around his finger and he called it a ring. So I tied a few together and put it on his neck. Well, then it was put on his head and called a crown so he called himself a king for the rest of the night. Today I got out some colored paper and told the boys that we would make better crowns. They were so funny making them but are now walking around the house as King Alex and King Zachary.

The boys then dubbed me "Queen Mama". Hey, I kinda like that title! **Warning - I have on no make-up and bed head! I'm in so few pictures with the boys that I had to post it.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The party

Saturday was Alex's birthday party. Poor guy had to wait almost a week after his birthday for it. He chose a Spiderman party and this time I actually made the cake (well, cupcakes) myself. I think they turned out really cute. As usual, we didn't have a ton of people but it was our friends and family and so it was enough. Even grandma (Chris's mom) flew over from California.

Alex got great gifts (thank you everyone). Zachary immediately claimed one Handy Manny toy as his own. So far it hasn't caused any problems..... We spent yesterday and today playing games - Hi Ho Cherry O, Five Monkey's on the Bed, and a Curious George Game. I wasn't sure we were ready for board games but the boys are loving it!

We got a Spiderman pinata for the party. This was the first one we ever got. This sucker was really well built and it took forever to get into. The birthday boy went first.

Zachary up at bat.

Next Luke takes a turn.

In the end, Junior was the one to finally get the goodies out of Spiderman. He had also previously knocked off Spidy's head but there was no candy there. There was a mad dash for the goods and everybody went home with a full bag!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Alex is 4!

Yesterday was Alex's 4th birthday. He's not having his party until this weekend but we still needed to celebrate. We started the day with Alex's pick for breakfast - donuts! I added sprinkles to make them extra special and Chris put candles for Alex to blow out. (Notice there are only 3 candles - Chris lost his mind for a minute there.) We decided to give him his main gift yesterday and he loved it! He is really into the Go, Diego, Go cartoons (and Dora too) right now and so we got him a Diego Rescue Pack. Poor Zachary wanted to have a turn so bad.....Alex did finally let him play a little bit.

Chris suggested that we take the boys bowling. They've never been before although they've played the bowling game on Wii and were really excited about it. I don't think I've ever been bowling with kids before and it seemed really high tech for a bowling alley. When it was the boys turn to bowl the bumpers automatically came up for them and when it was mine or Chris's turn the bumpers went down. They also had a little ramp for the kids to roll their balls down instead of trying to roll it down the lane themselves. With all that added help their scores weren't much worse than ours. I was stressing about beating them and I barely did on one of the games! We all had a blast!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Willkommen zum Wurstfest!

(Welcome to Wurstfest)
Our town not only has German roots but still has a very German culture. We love to eat out at a yummy German restaurant that has live German music on the weekends. Now....instead of Octoberfest we have Wurstfest. Wurstfest is basically a 10 day festival of sausage, oh and tons of music, and more food, and beer, and crafts, and carnival rides...... We headed out there on Sunday for lunch and had what else but sausage, beer, and strudel. We ate in the big hall listening to German polkas and waltzes. The boys and I had fun on the dance floor doing the chicken dance and such. We did take the boys on a few carnival rides but just like anywhere else that gets expensive fast so we didn't do many. We had so much fun that after we took the boys home to nap - we went back to Wurstfest for dinner! This time we had potato pancakes with applesauce and more sausage (of course). Yea, no cooking for me! We just might have to go back one more time before it ends.

*Blogger is still acting up with posting pictures so they're lumped together again but I think you can figure them out.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Trick or Treat

I'm sorry for the delay in getting Halloween pictures up but Blogger is giving me trouble with posting pictures. So....all the pictures will just be lumped together at the bottom. Our first attempt at trick-or-treating was to go downtown to the stores. Unfortunately, I didn't check the time for this so we got there late and several places were either closed or out of candy - not much fun. Our next stop was to our community Halloween party. It was a hit! Our neighborhood is pretty spread out being 1+ acre lots and not even full yet. We knew we couldn't go door to door trick or treating and this was the solution. There is a concrete path around the back of the neighborhood pool and tennis court and this is where the trick or treating took place. Everybody who wanted to pass out candy set up folding chairs and some tables (some even put out decorations like carved jack-o-lanterns) and we trick-or-treated along the path. There was also a haunted house that we skipped....maybe when the boys are a little bit bigger. We had no idea there were that many kids in our neighborhood! On top of it all I ran into an old boss of mine from when we lived in a different town and she lives in our neighborhood. What a small world. We had a great night.

Menu Plan Monday

Monday - Chicken fajita bowls / pizza
Tuesday - Chicken Chow Mein
Wednesday - Crock pot pasta fagioli
Thursday - Garlic chicken with rice and stir fried veggies
Friday - Baked Ziti

Baked Ziti
1 pound dry ziti pasta
1 onion, chopped
1 pound lean ground beef
2 (26 oz) jars spaghetti sauce
6 ounces Provolone cheese, sliced
1 1/2 cups sour cream
6 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add ziti pasta, and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes, drain. In a large skillet, brown onion and ground beef over medium heat. Add spaghetti sauce and simmer 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9x13 inch baking dish. Layer as follows: 1/2 of the ziti, Provolone cheese, sour cream, 1/2 sauce mixture, remaining ziti, mozzarella cheese, and remaining sauce mixture. Top with grated Parmesan cheese. Bake for 30 minutes or until cheeses are melted.

Freezes well, cover with saran wrap and then foil. Thaw in refrigerator.

For more great meal ideas check out www.orgjunkie.com.