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Friday, August 28, 2009

5 kid FUN!!

Last weekend Jeff and I agreed to watch our nieces, Alyssa and Lauryn. It was sounding fun already with 4 girls and then my nephew Dylan came by too.. 5 kids ages 7,5,3,2 and 1! We had a blast though! It was non-stop laughing, running, screaming and jumping! :) I don't believe that I sat down one time in almost 5 hours but it was so worth it. Braelyn and Brylee had so much fun with their cousins and we enjoyed spending time with them too! I kept counting to make sure we knew where everyone was.. haha! At one point, I told Jeff "wow, there are a lot of kids here" and he said "it's a lot more fun this way!" Don't get any ideas, Jeff! :)
Sorry I have been a bad blogger this week. I have two sick kids and we spent all day yesterday at the hospital with Braelyn getting some tests run on her kidneys.. I will blog about all that soon! Hope yall have a great weekend! :)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Swiss Stuffing Chicken

Here is a recipe I made tonight.. another one stolen from Kelly's Korner Recipes and it was delicious! Even my 3 year old and 1 year old ate their chicken and at our house that equals success! :) Here is the recipe.. make it tomorrow night!!


SWISS STUFFING CHICKEN

4 large skinless boneless chicken breasts
6 oz. Swiss cheese slices
1 can Cream of Chicken soup
1/4 cup white cooking wine
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup herb-flavored crushed up Pepperidge Farm stuffing mix
1/2 stick butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place uncooked chicken in shallow buttered casserole dish. Layer cheese on top. Mix soup, wine, salt, pepper; pour over cheese. Sprinkle stuffing mix on top and drizzle with melted butter. Bake for 1 hour.

Simple and delicious! Enjoy! :)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

FOLLOW :)

I just realized I didn't even have the "element" on my blog to follow my blog.. so I added it! And now I want you to go click that you are following.. mostly because I think it's cool to know who all is reading. And if I don't know you, follow anyways.. believe me I follow tons of blogs of people I don't know so I won't think you are a crazy person.. or any more crazy than me! :)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Print some pictures TODAY!!

Create an account at Walgreens.com, upload 50 digital prints, send them to your nearest Walgreen's for pick up or have them mailed to your house. When purchasing online enter the coupon code: EASY50 and get 50 prints for $5. Offer ends tomorrow so go upload now! You can use the code up to 3 times per account. Make several accounts if you need to ;-)


Thursday, August 20, 2009

LeapFrog Reading

Having two kids is literally doubling your toy collection. People give your kids all kinds of toys and I think toys are always "hit or miss". They either love it and it becomes a favorite or it spends a few months in the bottom on the toybox before I donate it to Goodwill! Two of my favorites are from LeapFrog. I love the company, anyways, because it's fun and educational toys! When I am toy shopping, it is always about what skill are they going to learn through playing with this. Both of these toys are Braelyn's because honestly, Brylee isn't quite to this point yet. She is happier throwing the toy across the room than playing with it correctly and that's okay! :)

1) LeapFrog Leapster: I think this is becoming a classic toy because almost every home of toddler's, that I know of, has one! Braelyn mostly likes to color on it but it also has educational games that you can plug in to it. Braelyn has the Disney Princesses one. I believe the age on this toy is 3 to 5 years old but we bought hers at ToysRUs when she was 2 and she has played with it ever since. I didn't add the Princesses game until she turned 3 but the game is for ages 4 and up so she is still learning how to use it all. It teaches counting, shapes, addition, subtraction, letter names and letter sounds and sight words. Also, we take this toy everywhere where there might be a wait.. road trips, restraunts, doctor visits.. seriously it keeps them calm and quiet. Brylee even knows how to turn it on and color on it. Well worth the money and I got hers for $40!! Of course, we have the pink one but they make it in blue and green too! :)
2) LeapFrog Tag Reading System: This toy is awesome! It is for ages 4 to 8 years but Braelyn uses her perfectly at age 3 so don't hesitate to purchase for your toddler! It looks like a pen and you buy certain books to read with it. It comes with software on a disc that mom or dad uploads to the computer. Then you add which books you want the pen to "memorize" (it can hold up to 5 books at a time). By the way, the software and loading books is so easy to do.. it took me like 5 minutes. Braelyn has two books on hers right now. The child can then take the pen to the books and she can either touch the "button" on the page to have the book read aloud to her through the pen OR she can scroll across the words with the pen and it reads it aloud as she goes along.. at her pace. So cool! My husband and his friends try to figure out all the time how it works because somehow the pen knows excatly what it's reading! It's so cool! Even the animated pictures on the pages make a sound.. just touch it with the pen and it makes a noise. It is so fun to play with and really helps with word recognition! The best part of this is that you can plug the pen back into the computer and track the progress of your child. I can see which books Braelyn was reading and if she was reading correctly (the right direction), see her accomplishments and the skills she is improving on! Jeff's parents bought this for her for her birthday and it was $50 but so worth it! If all this didn't make sense through my wonderful explanation you can read all about it HERE. Also, while I was researching these toys.. I saw this.. Tag Junior Book Pal. I don't know anything about it but it looks like a mini-Tag. It says the ages are for 24 months to 4 years so I am thinking Little Miss Happy might be needing one of these very soon.. maybe Christmas?! Here is what it says about this toy online... "The Tag Junior book pal is easy for parents and children to use. Parents can download audio for up to five books to the book pal, then let their toddlers explore. Each Tag Junior board book introduces a different preschool skill - such as the alphabet, counting or social play - through 24 playful activities and more than 130 audio responses.* Open-ended questions and fun sound effects encourage children to take charge, as they touch any part of any page to bring words, pictures or activities to life. After their child has played, parents can connect the book pal to the online LeapFrog® Learning Path to see their child's progress and get printable activities to expand the learning!" Looks cool! I am going to have to go get one ASAP! :)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The gymnast and Happy :)

August has proved to be a rather peaceful month at our house, so far. Our definition of peaceful might be a little different than yours ;-)
Braelyn has started back to gymnastics last week except this class is for "big girls". Since February, Braelyn and I did the "mommy and me" class and now that she has turned 3, she is on her own. It was a hard first day for her.. she cried a little because she wanted me to come out there with her (which, of course, made me tear up too) but she ended up doing great and this week, she was a pro! I am so proud of her! Sorry the pictures are blurry from gymnastics.. they have a "no flash" policy so this is the best I could get. She has the same teacher from Mommy and Me class, Braelyn loves her!

Walking on the balance beam.. she is great at this. She can practically run it.. super for a barely 3 year old! :)

Learning cartwheels.. not her strongest point but we are working on it :)

And just because Little Happy doesn't get to do gymnastics yet, doesn't mean I could leave her out of this blog post! :) She will be starting Mommy and Me classes when she turns 2 but that is still 7 months away! Here she is looking so cute this morning.. I could just kiss her all day!!
Can you believe how big she is getting?!?

Pink Converse :) Love them!
Look at this precious ponytail.. love, love love!

Here's Happy last week in her red overalls. This outfit was Braelyn's when she was 1.. I love all the precious clothes that I get to use again!!
One special prayer request for Braelyn Grace, also! Next Thursday (the 27th) Braelyn is having a couple tests run on her kidneys. She has had recurrent UTI's, which can be fairly common in toddlers, but we are checking to make sure there isn't a problem that might be causing them. Please join us in praying for good results! Thanks soo much!

Monday, August 10, 2009

San Antonio and Sea World

We are home from our mini-trip to San Antonio. It was a long car ride to SA with 4 kids but we had fun! The first day we spent around San Antonio and the Riverwalk area.
All 4 girls at the Alamo
Riding the glass elevators Braelyn and her JampaJeff and AlyssaOn the Riverwalk boat tourWeston and LaurynJampa and his 4 girls on the RiverwalkSaturday night, Shanna and I took the "big girls", Alyssa and Braelyn, to do a horse drawn carriage ride. It was really fun and Braelyn was so relaxed (and exhausted) that she fell asleep! Sunday, we got up and got everyone ready to go to SeaWorld! The kids were SO excited!
Lauryn and AlyssaBraelyn and BryleeIt was REALLY hot.. here is Happy getting cooled down by DaddyLauryn in the buggieBraelyn and Alyssa were big enough to do the Shamu Express! It was funny to see them get so excited! Braelyn loved it but was scared too!
Shanna and AlyssaMe and BraelynI was telling her to lift her hands up :)Look at her face! She was scared! LOLThankfully, there are spots in the kids area to cool down! This was a life saver when the kids were getting fussy because they were so hot! I will admit I ran through all this water fully clothed! It felt so good.. I was burning! HA! Happy really loved this wheel.. she played on it almost the whole time! Sweet Braelyn GraceAlyssa Taylor My kids playing in the water Happy always pretend to be a dog! It's so funny.. she crawls around saying "woof, woof" and telling me "dog". She is the cutest puppy ever ;)
Next we headed over to the penguin exhibit.. really cool! You stand on a moving belt (like at an airport) and go through the exhibit. The penguins have a climate controlled home.. it was even snowing in there! So neat.. we could see them swimming under water and the kids loved it! Braelyn and Alyssa with their pink penguins
So hot that we bought an umbrella for Happy's stroller and then she was good to go :)
I was most looking forward to the Shamu show and it was well worth it. There was tons of people packing in there. It was amazing to see the tricks they can teach these whales to do and how the trainers can climb all over them! I thought it was such a cool bond they make with these animals.. and what trust!! Braelyn loved it as much as Mommy! :)
Do you see the trainer laying on the whale's belly?! AMAZING!!
Happy loved it! You know it is good if it caught her attention because she is such a busy body!! :)Trainers surfing on the whales
After the Shamu show, everyone was starving and ready to eat. Happy fell asleep on Daddy while I was getting food. He thought this was funny.. :)
Our last stop at SeaWorld was to the water park in the park.. Sea World is incredibly huge and I probably walked more in one day that I ever have but it really is fun! The kids got to swim and cool down before we headed home! Sorry, no pictures, from the water park :(
It was such a fun trip! I can't begin to tell you how crazy it is with four kids ages 7,3,2 and 1 but it was so worth it! The little ones had more than a few breakdowns from exhaustion (lol) but we survived and had a great time! I was amazed by the amount of people everywhere.. the riverwalk was packed and SeaWorld was super packed! Crazy! Guess I have been living in my Abilene "bubble" too long! :)