Thursday, February 28, 2008

Teaching the Easter Story

I posed the question to Reid the other day, "How do you teach a preschooler about Easter?" As to which his response was "That's why they have the Easter Bunny!" har har....

But seriously, all kidding aside, with Easter coming up, I have been wondering how to effectively teach Ella about the meaning of Easter. I mean, how do you teach a preschooler about Easter, and have it not be scary, and have it make sense. It's hard enough teaching a preschooler about death, let alone rising from the dead!

My friend Cindy posted the following on her blog about Resurrection Cookies. It thought it was such a great idea, and that it would be a perfect way to introduce the "Easter Story" to Ella! What better way to teach a preschooler than with something they can actually touch and relate to! So here it is. Enjoy! I am really looking forward to trying this with her the night before Easter Sunday.


To be made the evening before Easter.

You need: 1c. whole pecans, 1 tsp. vinegar, 3 egg whites,
pinch salt, 1c. sugar, zipper baggie, wooden spoon, tape, Bible.

Preheat oven to 300 BEFORE BEGINNING.

Place pecans in zipper baggie and let children beat them with the wooden spoon to break into small pieces.
Explain that after Jesus was arrested He was beaten by the Roman soldiers. Read John 19:1-3.

Let each child smell the vinegar. Put 1 tsp. vinegar into mixing bowl.
Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross he was given vinegar to drink. Read John 19:28-30.

Add egg whites to vinegar. Eggs represent life.
Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life. Read John 10:10-11.

Sprinkle a little salt into each child's hand. Let them taste it and brush the rest into the bowl.
Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus' followers, and the bitterness of our own sin.
Read Luke 23:27.

So far the ingredients are not very appetizing.

Add 1 c. sugar.
Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He wants us to know this and how to belong to Him. Read Ps. 34:8 and John 3:16.

Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed.
Explain that the color white represents the purity in God's eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus. Read Isaiah 1:18 and John 3:1-3.

Fold in broken nuts. Drop by teaspoons onto wax paper covered cookie sheet.
Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus' body was laid. Read Matt. 27:57-60.

Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF.

Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door.
Explain that Jesus' tomb was sealed. Read Matt.27:65-66.

Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight Jesus' followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed. Read John 16:20 and 22.

On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie.

Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow! On the first Easter Jesus' followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty! Read Matt. 28:1-9

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

What's in a Name?

Tomorrow we have a woman coming over to take pictures of the house for all the realtor stuff, so Ella asked me tonight:

Ella: What is the lady's name that is going to take pictures?

Me: I'm not sure. What do you think her name is?

Ella: I think her name is Sofa.

hahahaha...crazy girl!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

My Cutie Patooties

So, I think my kids are seriously cute...I'm not ashamed to admit it ;)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Daddy's Helper

Ella was Daddy's helper today! After lunch she helped Daddy put fresh pinestraw and mulch down out in the beds. After nap, she helped Daddy paint the bathroom! Reid was so sweet, and brought home this tiny little roller just for her to help him paint. She couldn't have been more thrilled! He's such a nice Daddy!! Right before bath time tonight she was still helping (and by the way, she was doing SUCH a great job! Very detailed oriented) and she said "This is fun! It is fun getting messy" :) Here's a picture of her when she first started painting. The bright red rash on her face is from Fifth's Disease, which is a common childhood virus. Don't worry, she's not contagious-she was contagious 4-21 days before the rash broke out...when we were going to school, church, dance, gymnastics, etc....eek!

Baby Food!

We started Cooper on cereal a little over a week ago and he is LOVING it now! He will finish 3 tablespoons of cereal mixed with about 3 teaspoons of pears or apples. YUMMY! Of course I must include a picture of his little punkin face! :)

Today I made a batch of Butternut Squash. I forgot how much I love this part of solids-making my own food! I used 2 squash, and made approximately 28 BABY FOOD JARS worth of food! Seriously, do you know how much money that saves?! I am going to figure out the math on that this week.

Making baby food is SO easy, takes hardly anytime to make, it is so much cheaper than buying it, and it tastes SOOO much better than the nasty overcooked, processed stuff from the store. I think that is why Ella is such a good veggie eater now.

So, I thought I would include some recipes on my blog for those interested in making baby food. I get all of my information on making baby food from It is an awesome resource and has TONS of information on it. They are also really good about answering e-mails if you happen to have a question about something.

Anyway-here is how to prepare the BUTTERNUT SQUASH:

1. Cut a butternut squash in 1/2.
2. Scoop out the seeds. I wait until it is baked to scoop out the pulp (The stringy stuff) just because it is easier then.
3. Turn them upside down in a baking dish filled with 1 inch of water.
4. Bake at 400 for 40-50 minutes, depending on the thickness of the squash.
5. You know it is done when you can poke the thickest part of the squash with a fork with no problem.
6. After it has cooled quite a bit, scoop out "The meat"
7. Place in a blender or food processor (I prefer a blender because it seems to puree it better). Add about 1/4 c. of water to start. Blend. Keep adding water until you get the consistency you want.

To store it, this is what I do:

I use ice cube trays! Take a tablespoon measure and put in 1 heaping tablespoon in each ice cube slot. This is approximately 1 oz. About 2 cubes is equal to 1 stage 1 jar of baby food. Cover with plastic wrap (not foil!) and freeze. When it is totally frozen, pop the food cubes out and put them in a giant zip lock, then stick back in the freezer. VOILA! You have perfect little portions ready to go. To defrost, let it sit in the fridge overnight, or nuke for a few seconds. SO EASY and SO HEALTHY!!

You can freeze the food for up to 3 months I believe. Also, when it has been frozen, sometimes it gets a little watery. Just mix with a little baby cereal to thicken it back up. Whenever I make a batch of food, I always set aside a few portions not to freeze that I will use over the next couple of days. It is always best before it is frozen for some reason!

Friday, February 15, 2008

16 Pounds of Butterball Goodness

Yeah, you heard me-He's fat, he's happy and he likes his milk!!! haha ;)

Cooper had his 4 month check-up today, and according to the doctor "He's perfect!" (We already knew that though) ;)

He weighed in at 16 lbs. 1 oz. and was 25 inches long. Right around 70th percentile for both.

He is meeting all of his developmental milestones, and is just a happy guy!

He got one shot today-DTaP and the oral vaccine for Rotavirus. We go back next month for the Pc and HiB to stay on track with Dr. Sear's alternative vaccination schedule. Seems to be working great for us! We haven't had to deal with the fevers, etc...that go along with multiple vaccines at one time.

The doctor said we could go ahead with starting cereal for him. We have tried it a few times this week, but it is definitely a learning process! The whole texture thing throws him off a little bit. He does open his mouth for the cereal for the most part, but he is not actually eating a whole lot of it. So, we will try a little everyday, and I know he will get the hang of it!

Overall he is doing GREAT!!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

Here are a few pictures from our day!

Monday, February 11, 2008

4 Months Old!

Ok, didn't I like JUST post his 3 month update??? Somebody slow him down!!

Cooper is 4 months old today! He is such a happy little guy and we just love him!

Today was his first time to sit in his "big boy chair"! The second I put him in it at dinner time he just smiled away! I think he loved being up at the table with all of us. This week we may try cereal, as he is seeming hungry all the time, and is waking in the middle of the night again to eat.

Cooper is rolling over now from tummy to back. He is also blowing raspberrys and making these cute little gurgling sounds all the time. I will try and get a video of it and post it on here. He is constantly "talking" and has really started smiling at Ella. He LOVES being in the Baby Bjorn front carrier-as long as he is facing forward. I don't even try to face him towards me anymore because he will having nothing of it! ;) He likes to face forward and take it all in. He loves playing with toys, and is now grabbing things and putting them straight into his mouth. He is also still a huge fan of bathtime, and will go from screaming to laughing as soon as I start the bath water running! Little stinker....

He is doing so great, and we go in for his 4 month well check on Friday, so I will keep you posted! Can't wait to see how big our "little" chunky monkey is!

Tellin' it like it is....

Well, Ella is at the age where basically, she has no inner dialogue on what she notices about certain things or people. So, today at the grocery store she seemed extra observant about those around her.

(Here's a recent picture of her that I thought was cute-pardon the spagetti on her face ;) )

Please keep in mind when reading these that the people described were within ear shot...

Exibit A:

Ella: "Mommy, why he have lots of tatoos?"

Me: Why don't you show him all the tatoos that you have. (We had just put like 4 of those temporary tatoos on her arms this weekend. :) )

Exibit B:

Ella: Why that lady have color in her hair?

The lady just laughed...haha

Exibit C:

Ella: Mommy, that lady has a REALLY big bottom!!!

EEK! Ignore comment and run out the door trying not to bust out laughing!!!!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Who Me?!

This is the face Cooper gets when he sees that little light that comes on the camera right before it takes a picture. I think it suppose to help eliminate red eye or something....hehe, so funny!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Getting a Leg Up on the Day

This past week I have started hitting the gym at 5:30 a.m. instead of waiting until later and taking the kids with me. This is because Cooper is still in the stage where the time between waking up from a nap, eating, staying awake and then being ready to go down for another nap is a relatively small time frame. Last week the childcare workers at the gym kept having to come get me because Cooper wouldn't stop fussing. So, I bit the bullet and decided to get up early. Let me tell you, it has been SO great! It is really nice to go workout and not worry about who may be crying or whatnot while I am working out! I have also really enjoyed getting home about 15 minutes+ before any children are awake for the day. I am thinking this would be a great time to fit a quick quiet time in. Anyone have any great suggestions for a devotional book? Not "My Utmost for His Highest"-even the updated version I don't understand ;) Something that is quick and easy to do, but yet will fill me up for the day.

There is a new gym opening up by us soon, and I think I am going to try and pick up some early morning classes there! woo!

And on a totally different note-Ella had pretzels and milk for breakfast! She saw me putting pretzels in a bag for Reid's lunch this morning, and decided that is what she wanted. At first I hesitated and was about to say no, but I figured, what the heck? You gotta pick your battles, right? ;)

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

He Rolled!!

And I didn't get to see it! :( I went in to get him from his nap, and he had rolled from his tummy to his back. Go Cooper!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Look How Cute I Am Now!!

Ok, seriously how cute is my new header?!?! HUGE THANK YOU to my friend MELISSA for doing such a fantastic job on it! So talented!!! I love it, girl! :)

Friday, February 1, 2008

Happy February!

Today is he first day of February! For some reason, when February hits, I somehow feel like Spring may be creeping in soon. Yeah, I know there are still several weeks of cold, but you do get a few warm days in February! (Rick and Gayle-"Looks like it's the first warm weekend in February!" :)

To celebrate the first day of Spring (haha) I felt the urge to get some Spring clean-out done. In the middle of March I am participating in a consignment sale at Ella's school, selling all of her old Spring/Summer clothes-so I got busy pulling out clothes and ironing them, putting each item on a wire hanger, and pricing each item. Very time consuming, but perfect for an organizational/anal-retentive person! ;) It even involves entering all the information into an Excel spread sheet!-it doesn't get any better than that for an organization junkie, does it?!? And get this-the excel spread sheet turns the information you enter into price tags! So awesome!

So, I got all of Ella's Spring and Summer wardrobe from last year DONE today! Yay me! Only 3 more years worth of Spring and Summer clothes left to do....eeeek!

Tomorrow is Groundhog Day-let's hope the Groundhog doesn't see his shadow!