Thursday, December 16, 2010

Food, Glorious Food

Recently overheard at my house:

"no, you must finish your french fries before you can have any more broccoli."

ok, seriously. The kids are making me so crazy with their food issues, that I am clearly losing it. We have a dinner system in our house. Every other night we try "new" foods. "New" foods are those the kids hate. They have either not had them before, or are on record hating them. These include anything not in the list of foods they like. On the non "hate" days, we have foods they like. These include (the very limited list of): pasta, tacos/nachos, steak sandwiches, pizza, chicken nuggets, and quesadillas. On the "new" food nights, the kids are given 3 bites of meat, 3 bites of veggie, and 3 bites of starch (i make a pretty traditional plate). They must eat these 3 bites in order to leave the table, and have anything else. And many nights result in at least one person crying (sometimes even the kids). Gotta love dinner in my house.

But there are weird anomalys. The 2 younger kids LOVE broccoli. Love it. B is the most flexible liking several other things (chili, chicken soup). K is the worst but does like tomato soup and quiche (in full disclosure, something I hate!). Big Man used to be great, but is now among the worst, except for his love of broccoli.

I started a new rule this week that nobody can talk badly about dinner. They have to eat it and shut up. I hope this passes soon. I can't handle it. I have tried having them help cook - they still won't eat it. I have tried having them help set the menu - no good.

But we will persevere. I can't go back to being a short-order cook and giving them only the crap they like. Sadly, we have had this plan going for about 9 months, and it is still a nightmare!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Quick and Easy Gift

Saw this awesome tutorial and thought I would try it. They are fast, easy and cheap.

1) buy a few 1/2 yards of fleece in different colors/patterns
2) cut them into 6" widths (the length of the fabric)
3) sew 2 of them together right down the middle (just eye-ball it)
4) cut fringe the whole length (making sure you don't cut through the middle)

That's it. So easy. When fleece is on sale, you can make these for less than $1 each! The girls are making these for their friends. They have helped me sew them and are cutting all the fringe. Have fun and try lots of different patterns/colors together!

For more ideas, visit WORKS FOR ME WEDNESDAY!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Still a few Days Left

If you celebrate Hanukkah, or are celebrating with someone who is, you MUST make these. They are in the current issue of Family Fun, but I can't find it on their website.

Anyway, they are so easy. They whole container of Fig Newtons took about 20 minutes to turn into these awesome dreidel cookies. Four simple steps:

1) cut fig newton into point on one end (save the pieces, they make a great snack!)

2) outline the cookie in white icing

3) try not to mangle the Hebrew letter that you copy from the magazine in blue icing

4) stick half a pretzel stick in the end

VoilĂ ! Aren't they so cute? We got so many comments on them, and sooo easy. So get out there and treat your friends to some quick and easy Hanukkah joy!

Friday, December 3, 2010

One Last Advent Tradition

This week I also was rushing to get ready for one last Advent tradition. Each year I gather up all our Christmas-themed books, wrap them up, number them, and stick them under the tree. Each day of December a kid opens one of the packages, and that book is added to our nightly reading.

The kids love it, and I try and add a few new books every year.

I should note that this is in addition to reading the little bear Christmas story - The Advent Storybook. This book is awesome. It has a short (one page) story for each night of Advent, that tells about a little bear's journey to Bethlehem. It is a really cute story, and has some great lessons.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Advent Calendar Just Like Mom

In the 70s, my mom made an advent calendar out of felt that we used every year when I was growing up. A few years ago, my Dad and I searched the house and couldn't find Mom's calendar. I was bummed, but made due with other stuff. This year, I decided I would make my own.

Of course, I decided this abourt 4 days before December 1. Not much time. But thanks to my friend Kathy, and the Dollar store, we got it done just in time. My calendar isn't perfect by any means, but I think its cute, and looks a lot like Mom's. I did cheat and use about 6 ornaments from the Dollar store, which I may replace before next year. Each day, a child will remove an ornament from the grid, and add it to the tree. The star goes up last, on December 24th.

We did this free hand with random felt, glue and string. Very easy. Enjoy!