Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Family Taco Night (Giveaway)

I don't know about everyone but in our family we have a lot of taco's. I am not sure if it is the area we live in, the southwest, or if it's just because it is an easy meal. It's just one of those things that are easy and fast to throw together and always yummy. I love to get a lot of toppings together too. It's more fun to build your own food for kids. :)

To encourage "Family Taco Nights" Old El Paso (and MyBlogSpark) is giving away a lovely little prize package! Should you win, your package includes these two plastic serving containers, a package of Old El Paso Taco Seasoning Mix AND a $10.00 gift card to buy the rest of your taco fixings!

They graciously provided one for my family as well! Here is the taco seasoning at work. It has all the seasoning you need right in the package and makes taco nights even faster! (Yes, I made it in a wok. Shhh it's ok) :)

Here are a couple fun recipes to try with your Old El Paso products.
Chicken Ranch Taco's I love chicken taco's!

You could really go crazy with this. Here is a fun game to play that goes along with the theme.

Depending on your kids ages you could do a craft. I know mine love crafts.

What about dessert??? Mexican Wedding Cookies

Okay now for your chance to win this prize from Old El Paso and MyBlogSpark.
You have two options to enter. Do one or do both.

#1 Become a follower of this blog. Post a comment letting me know you are a follower.
#2 Let me know what your favorite taco recipe or other Mexican food recipe is, or your favorite taco topping, maybe share the recipe or a link to it? :)

Now go! and Good Luck!

Mixing Bowl Academy

My friend Ami over at Walking By The Way is having a giveaway. Actually two. You can enter to win one class with Mixing Bowl Academy and you can also enter to win a month of classes! These look like so much fun. I know Meghan would love them as she loves to cook anyways. Head on over and check it out and enter to win!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Apple Pie Giveaway Winner!

The winner of the Pillsbury Love the Pie Giveaway is ...... Katie Hagopian! Congrats to you, I will email you.

Thank you to everyone that entered. A new giveaway will be posted soon!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Christmas; A Time to Give Back

Christmas is a great time to give back and a great time to teach our kids about helping others. I believe that if we all helped each other more we wouldn't have so many issues. There are so many charities and causes; these are just a few that I like.

Something we have always done is the Christmas Angel Tree. These are set up everywhere, the mall, grocery stores and we have them at our church.

Operation Christmas Child is another I like. This is something you can plan for all year as well. Back to school time is a great time to get a lot of the items for the boxes and of course save those boxes all year. :)

Now this one is one that has really been on my heart this year, Hope Kids. They are local, in Arizona. I donate cakes to their special occasions when they need one. They plan and create events and parties for the kids and families of kids with major illness. When children are that sick it is really hard for their parents to plan outings just for fun. They spend a lot of time at the hospital or doctors offices having tests and treatments and just don't have the time and I would assume the energy for those things. There are also often other children in the family too and they all need that time to just try to relax and have a good time. That is where Hope Kids comes in and they do an amazing job. I love working with them. You can donate on the website.

Another awesome cause is http://reecesrainbow.org/. They are there to help children who need to be adopted. Most are from other countries and are in orphanages and institutions. The children need homes! So they get the word out and if you aren't called to adopt you can donate towards a child's adoption fees. It is so expensive to take all the trips there and then going through the process. Everything helps.

What is your favorite charity this year? What other things are you doing with your kids?

Have a Merry and Blessed Christmas!

Working Mommy Wednesday- Top Ten

Joining in for Working Mommy Wednesday over at Work, Wife Mom...Life! with my friend Julia! So today I list my TOP TEN Christmas LOVES.

1 I love THE Reason for the Season! Without Him... well why celebrate?

2. I love the baking. Those things that only get made at this time of year, that you wonder why don't I make this some other time, but never do.

3. Decorating! I love decorating my house and hassling my husband to do the outside stuff. :)

4. Movies! My secret, I watch them whenever I feel like it throughout the year. At this time of year though no one is teasing me about it.

5. Caroling! When I was a kid we went with our Christian School and we caroled at night, stopping at a predetermined house for hot chocolate and candy canes. Loved it! I have been able to take the kids a few times to carol at a local nursing home with our homeschoool group.

6. Traditions; all those little things that each family has. I know we all do some of the same things and I am sure we all have little things that are all our own too. We get new pajama's on Christmas Eve, lots of people do that. We have cinnamon rolls for breakfast on Christmas morning, drive around at least one evening looking at pretty decorated houses and do lots of holiday crafts; just to name a few.

7. Music! I start listening to it as soon as they start playing it on the radio, which is usually the day after Thanksgiving although it has been earlier.

8. Shopping... I don't always do a ton of shopping but I do like to. I almost always go out on Black Friday. I am not crazy about it or anything. I don't get up super early, or wait in lines over night, but I do go out for a couple hours and just shop around. if there is something I need great; if not that's fine too. I just really like the whole "holiday spirit" of being out there.

9. Crafting, I love to make my own gifts. I usually make edible gifts as well but I also love to scrapbook and craft. So when I get to make gifts I have a blast.

10. My Kids! Kids are just so innocent and happy. I love to watch them have Christmas and the excitement and wonder.

So much fun! Let me know what your favorite thing about Christmas is and join in on WMW. :)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Apple Pie and a Giveaway!

Everyone knows I LOVE to bake. It's my favorite, my "thing", my job, my gift... One of my favorite things about the holidays are all the pies, (baking them and eating them)! It seems like that is really the only time we have pie except maybe an occasional one through out the year. Why is that anyway? We need pie more often!
There are so many different types we have this time of year too but one of my favorites, and I think a favorite of many people, is the apple pie. So when Pillsbury (through MyBlogSpark) offered me a chance to blog about their pie crusts I was excited!

They sent me this "Love the Pie" kit. Love it! It came with a pie plate, set of measuring cups, apple shaped timer, trivet, potholder, apple corer and of course, a coupon for free pie crusts!

Now I normally make all my pie crusts from scratch so I was very interested to see how the store bought ones work and taste.
Meghan wanted to help me make the pie. She loves to help me cook and bake. So she washed the apples and helped to peel them.

I had the crust sitting out so it could warm up to room temperature. It is in a roll and all you have to do is unroll it and stick it in the pie pan! So easy. No flour or trying to roll a circle. It is very easy to work with.


And here is the finished pie! YUM!

It was actually very good! I love how easy the crust is to work with. It will definitely help me throw together a quick pie in the future. I might even make pies more often! I highly recommend trying it out for yourself and you can! Pillsbury is letting me give away a Love the Pie kit to one lucky reader!!

Please leave a comment telling me what your favorite pie is and how often you make pies.
For a 2nd entry you can blog about this giveaway and your own pie baking experiences. Leave another comment here with a link to your blog post.

The winner will be chosen randomly and posted on December 10th. Good luck and enjoy some pie!

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Birth of Jesus

Today we started our Christmas Unit Study. I looked up a quick site to read the Christmas story to the kids real quick and found this site. There is another story at the top. I just skipped that part. There are also some coloring pages, crafts and activities at the bottom. It's a cute little site to add to our study.

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

It's the Holiday Season!

My favorite time of the year! We had a wonderful Thanksgiving at Uncle John and Aunt Leslie's! They always do a great job and we have a good time. The kids love to play there with their girls and their cousin. We have a lot to be thankful for and we are.

Meghan and I went out Black Friday shopping a little bit. I was mainly wanting to get a vacuum cleaner that was on sale because we need one and an Advent calendar. I will be filling the calendar with things for us to do each day, (an idea I got from 24/7 moms last week where I also won a pair of shoes!!)

Now we can get ready for Christmas. We are getting out the Christmas decorations as we unpack all our stuff and get settled. We really have done a lot. Still plenty to do but I can see the end. I hope to get most of it done (other than books because I have to get a shelf first) and be ready to do other things next week. We will be starting our Christmas unit study on Monday so that should be a lot of fun. We need to find the closest library and sign up quick.

I also have a list of things I want to make. This week I hope to make different kinds of breads as we need them. I have pumpkin bread, cranberry bread and monkey bread on the list. I also want to make puppy chow and maybe some sort of popcorn.

What are you doing this week that is Christmas related?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Christmas Gifts

Since we just moved again I have been thinking about the toy situation. I have slowly been weeding out some toys that either the kids are too old for or things they don't play with. I also like the idea of rotating toys so they get "new" things to play with every so often as well. My thoughts though have been turning to things that aren't toys. I don't think they need a million new toys for Christmas, because then not long after that they each have a birthday. So some gift ideas I am contemplating for my kiddo's...

Board games- we have a lot of games but I like games. They have to play together and think about how to play and win. I also like the Wii games and there are learning type games for that too.

Memberships- We have a couple zoo's close and the Science Center. I might look into those. This would provide year long fun and learning! (With the added bonus of taking up no space. :))

Movie tickets or memberships- I don't know if they have any sort of membership but I would love to take the kids to a movie once in a while. I will be looking into that. This could be extended to trips to the bounce house places like Bounce U and to roller skating or ice skating.

Classes- Meghan has been asking for a lot of different classes. I haven't had time to find any close yet but I will look into it. She has most recently asked about ballet and acting classes. Kaden would probably love a gymnastics class.

Hmmm I am still thinking about this but I am really interested in things that we won't accumulate more "stuff". Since we home school also I love ideas that give us things to do all year long.

Do you have any ideas for gifts that are not toys? Please share!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Finally... our Halloween pictures

I never seem to get things up right away! BUT better late than never right. :)

I had a Hannah Montana (people asked if she was Lady Gaga a lot and she didn't care for that! I guess her wig was too blond), a Wow Wow Wubbzy and a Monkey. First thing we did was go to the mall.

Then we went to our church festival where Kaden played games,

and Meghan played games, 
and Kaden and Ellie pet the animals.

Ellie loved the animals! She stayed there the longest.

Meghan got her face painted.

They all did crafts.

After the festival we took them trick or treating. They had a blast and it was fun because the neighborhood really participated and there were lots of kids out. It was cool to see groups of neighbors out in front of a house with a fire, chatting and having fun.

Of course they got plenty of candy which is now being rationed out. :)

A New Home

So we finally moved into our own home again. (For those that don't know we have been living with my in laws for the last 8 months while my hubby found work and we figured everything out) My in laws made it possible for us to quickly come back to AZ. As much as we appreciate being able to come back "home", we are so happy to have our own place again. Right now everything is a mess of course. There are boxes being sorted and put away everywhere and from the looks of it I need a bookshelf STAT, but it feels good! Everyone seems to be happy about the arrangement as well. Ellie and Meghan are sharing a room and Ellie hasn't been fussy at bedtime at all. She goes to sleep pretty easily and I have to think that is because Meghan is in there with her. A bonus to that is Meghan has decided she likes to change diapers so when they wake up in the morning she just changes her, doesn't even tell me. Yesterday she changed a poopy one too! Ellie has also only been waking up once at night so that is a huge improvement. Hopefully she continues and maybe she might stop waking at all... I can hope. I was concerned also that Kaden wouldn't like having his own room because he had been sharing with Meghan and he isn't always the best at accepting change. He has gone to bed pretty easily and fell asleep quickly as well.
So all in all a great week here and then we get Thanksgiving dinner too. YAY We are blessed!

$100 giveaway

My friend Shannon over at Bento Lunch is having a great giveaway for a $100 visa gift card. Check it out and enter! You will love her blog if you haven't seen it before!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Painting Fun!

I decided, that it had been too long since my kids had painted so I got out the paints! Ellie had never painted so she was fun to watch. They all have these big t-shirts from Bounce-U since we had a combined party this year there. So they used them for paint shields. :) They had a lot of fun and it kept them busy for a while.

He didn't want to put his shirt on at first.

Showing me the shirt. haha

Happy girl!

Getting Messy

Decided she didn't like messy.

Fall Field Trip

We had our first fall field trip this week. We went to a local farm. They tell the kids they grow everything needed to make pizza. They give them a lot of information like the difference between herbs and spices. They have a pizza shaped area with "slices" where each item is grown or raised. For example they had a "slice" of land with wheat, one with tomato plants, one with pigs, one with a cow and one with goats. After the tour and learning about the different items (Meghan was surprised to learn that a tomato is a fruit, not a vegetable), they move on to the corn maze and games. There is also a pumpkin patch where each kids gets to pick their own pumpkin. They had a lot of fun!

Kaden collecting rocks. Again.

Corn Maze

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What's In My Purse

My purse is usually a mess. I clean it out often. Well not as often as I need to but often to me. I try to do it at least once a week but it's just a catch all for everything that needs a place at the moment. There could be anything from kids toys to sippy cups; business cards to tax receipts.
Right now my purse is holding my planner, 2 notebooks, 2 pens, my wallet, chapstick, lipgloss, lots of receipts from business purchases, coffee, lunches, random change, keys, blackberry...
When I don't want to take a diaper bag I stick a diaper and travel wipe container in there and run!
Yes it's a big purse. I'll stop there. :)

What's in your purse?? Anything extra weird? Link up and let us know!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

New pictures

Meghan wanted to give Ellie her bath. My beautiful girls!

Kaden and Ellie feeling lovey and wanting some hugs.

Ellie loves to play in shelves, just likes her older and brother and sister did.

I had some cupcakes out for something. I don't remember what it was right now but they were going to some event. Ellie decided to snag one when I wasn't looking. She looks like she knew she was naughty! ;)

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