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Category Archives: kids


Spiderman spins his web.

And Spiderman’s sister is a little freaked out.

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Dessert Island.

I am good at a lot of things, but cooking is not one of them.  In fact, I have a whole pantry shelf full of various cookbooks that have never been used.  Good news… I think I’ve finally found some recipes that are easy enough for even me to follow.  Forget Southern Living and Cooking Light… my new favorite recipes come from my 8-year-old’s American Girl magazine.

This recipe had ingredients that I had actually heard of.  So hang on, because Torin and I are about to go all Pioneer Woman on you and share the recipe to create your own pudding paradise.  This is what you’ll need:

Step 1: Crush graham crackers with a rolling pin.

Step 2: Pour the crushed graham crackers on top of the pudding.

Step 3: Place a cookie stick in the cup. 

Step 4: Pay attention.  This is the tricky part.  You’re supposed to cut leaves out of green taffy, but we used red fruit roll-ups  Use a small amount of icing (or a great big blob, whatever you feel like) to attach the leaves to the top of the cookie stick.

Step 5: Place two chocolate candies in the “sand” for “coconuts.”

Finally, you can either be nice and share with a friend, or be like some people (I won’t name names) and totally renege on your promise to give your mama a bite.

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Lego Heaven.

There is a summer camp for everything.  And this summer, we discovered the camp of our dreams.  Parker has been at Lego Camp all week and has loved every minute.  Personally, I think that building Legos for three hours straight would be torture, but for him, it’s just a good start.  He has a slight obsession/addiction for Legos, and since they are somewhat educational, I generally let him build as long as he wants (or until I step on a mini-fig).  Here are a few highlights from his awesome week…

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Adventures in Babysitting.

The four of us got to hone our babysitting skills this afternoon, and I have to say, we run a pretty top-notch operation.  In all of the times that we have gotten to babysit Sabrina, she has never fallen off the bed…

or poked an eye out…

or choked on a grape.

She always learns the latest dance moves.

She has been taught which pony is Twilight Sparkle, which one is Rainbow Dash, and which one is Fluttershy.

And while we occasionally watch cable…

She has never been exposed to anything containing violence or adult content.

And finally, she always receives proper Jedi training in skill, dexterity, and attunement to the Force.

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Influential people.

I love these folks.  This is Parker’s karate instructor.  He is gentle with the kids and tough at the same time.  He is teaching Parker how to focus, how to be respectful, and how to defend himself against a bully.  Parker is learning self-confidence and self-empowerment, and if he’s ever in a cage fight in Vegas, he’ll at least have some basic skills. 

This is Torin’s piano teacher.  For the past year, she has come into our home every Monday afternoon.  While she and Torin are doing the lesson, I am usually in the kitchen starting supper or helping Parker with his homework.  She recently told us that she has taken a full time job teaching Chinese at a prestigious private school, so she will no longer be giving piano lessons after May is over.  My heart immediately sank when she told me, because we have grown quite attached to her.  There is something about having someone come into your home… the setting is much more intimate and you grow attached to the person super quickly.

I love both of these adults because they genuinely care about my kids.  They challenge them, encourage them, and inspire them.    I know that Torin will have other piano teachers in the future, and Parker may or may not be in karate forever, but for this stage of their lives, I am thankful to have them around such positive influences.

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Operation: Easter Surprise.

We egged some of our friends today, and it was soooo much fun!  Armed with 85 candy-filled plastic eggs, Torin & Parker snuck up on each house, scattered the eggs, slapped a sign on the front door, rang the bell, and then ran as fast as they could back to the getaway car.  House #1 was our biggest challenge.  Fearful of getting caught, Parker decided to wear a mustache to disguise himself as he stealthily made his moves.

Ruuuuuun!!!  House #1 was sort of a half-success.  We saw one of the children peeking out the window as we sped off, and we think she recognized the getaway vehicle (probably because it is the same as the carpool vehicle).

House #2 was much less stressful.  As luck would have it, I happened to be on the phone with the Lady of the House earlier in the morning, and she mentioned that they were leaving soon for a doctor’s appointment.  Score!

No one was home.  House #2 was a total success.

House #3 gave us an unexpected twist.  We pulled our undercover car up to their driveway only to discover that they had a yard full of landscapers working (gasp!)!

We remained undeterred.  After nodding at the landscapers and and giving them the universal wave which means “Don’t mind us, we’re just here to scatter some eggs, and we promise not to mess up your mulch, por favor and gracias,” we went about our business.

Uh-oh.  The operation almost came to a screeching halt when the kids couldn’t find the doorbell.

Finally found the bell!  House #3 was another success!

And finally, House #4.  This house gave us something that we hadn’t exactly planned for – lots of barking dogs who were freely roaming the cul-de-sac.  We don’t believe that the homeowners were there at the time, so we’re just praying that the neighborhood dogs didn’t get into the Reece’s eggs and the Kit-Kats after we left.  Otherwise, we may be in BIG trouble.

Success again!


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