Monday, March 30, 2009

super mom meets kung fu panda

So are you wondering what a super mom and Kung Fu Panda have in common? Quite a bit really, if you have seen the movie. Here is a simple little story about how moms really are super in their everyday actions to help their kids. My husband shared this with me as he got home one day and I had to post it.

He had the opportunity to help some high school students prepare for a school talent show. It was a Chinese class so they decided to do the Kung Fu Panda Dance from the movie Kung Fu Panda (a favorite at our house). A few days before tryouts one of the students mentioned that his mom would like to make simple costumes for the class.

A couple students asked how she could do this in a just a few days. Her son then replied, "I don't know, she's a mom." My husband just smiled as the rest of the students said,"Oh".

There must be some super power that is attached to that title of MOM. We all do many things for our families each day and though it may seem like some of these things are simple, even teenage boys appreciate that moms seem to have some kind of super power (love?).

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

muffin mix and muffins

Muffins at our house are a quick easy snack or side dish to dinner. Muffin mixes can make them even faster. Muffin mix is simple and easy to make and can be used to make many different kinds of muffins.

Muffin Mix:
8 cups flour (can use a mixture of whole wheat and white)
2 cups sugar
3 tbsp. baking powder
2 tsp. salt

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl. Store in an airtight container or a zip-lock bag with instructions for making the muffins.


Preheat the oven to 400.

3 cups muffin mix
1 cup milk
1/2 cup oil (can use1/4 cup oil and 1/4 applesauce to lower the fat)
1 egg

1 cup fruit (optional)
--blueberries, apples, cranberries, raspberries, bananas, pumpkin, raisins, or 2 cups canned pumpkin.

Put muffin mix in a mixing bowl. Mix the milk, oil and egg in a smaller bowl. Stir the milk mixture and fruit into the muffin mix and stir just enough to moisten.

Fill greased or lined muffin pan and bake 20 minutes. Sprinkle with streusel if desired.
Makes 12 muffins.

Optional streusel:
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3 tbsp. butter

Mix with a fork or your hands, until the butter is in small pieces. Sprinkle on top of the muffins before baking.

Our favorites:
Blueberry or Mixed Berry: Add one cup fresh or frozen berries when mixing. Sprinkle streuesel on top. Add 3-4 minutes cooking time if using frozen berries.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip: Mix in two cups canned pumpkin, 1 cup chocolate chips, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. nutmeg and 1/4 tsp. allspice.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

sidewalk chalk and muddy piggies

Nothing says SPRING like sidewalk chalk and sandles with muddy toes. I am sure I am not alone when I say, I love spring! Sidewalk chalk is so simple and fun. Here are a few ideas and games.
Classic Hopscotch and variations
Life Size Art - Lay down, trace your body, then add clothes, hats, accessories, etc.
Animal Footprints - What would the footprint of a heffalump look like?
Welcome Home - Make Daddy a giant welcome home sign.
Sidewalk Town - Create a town with roads, stop signs, school, store, hospital, church, playground, etc. Make it small for little cars or large for bikes and scooters.
Hop to the Spot - Draw letters, numbers, or shapes. Someone calls one out and everyone hops to it.
Draw an obstacle course
Create a connect the dot picture

Happy SPRING everyone!!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

wearing of the green

Whenever a holiday is over the first thing our kids ask about is what holiday is next. We all love a good holiday. Sometimes it means a break from normal life or at least some fun and interesting traditions. But if my kids ask what and why we are celebrating I have to admit that sometimes(ok, a lot of the time) I don't really know. Let's take today St. Patricks Day for instance. My kids know that they must wear green to school, and they love it when naughty leprechauns do mischievous things in their classrooms but who was St. Patrick and was his favorite color green? And what do corn beef, lucky clovers and parades have to do with it? Just a little FYI, St. Patrick was not actually Irish, the cabbage and corn beef tradition started in America, and green is not the color that St. Patrick was originally associated with. I found all that out on where there are interesting videos explaining everything. They will either make you look like a really smart parent, make for a great dinner converstaion or a least create a fun little holiday activity while everyones finds out why we are all celebrating. Happy Learning!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

sticky caramel popcorn

This recipe has become a family favorite quickly. We have always been a family who loves popcorn anytime really. We stumbled upon this corn popper one day and have loved it ever since. It is a fast easy way to cook regular popcorn kernels in about 3 minutes in the microwave. There are different brands that you can find online or I have also seen them at big box stores.

You probably already have all of these ingredients for this yummy treat.

butter (one stick) - 1/2 cup
brown sugar - 1 cup
marshmallows - 1 bag
popcorn - 1 bowl full (mine was about 12 generous cups popped)

tip - remove to unpopped kernels so no one breaks their teeth.

Melt the butter, brown sugar, and marshmallow in a pan over low heat until smooth, similar to rice krispies treats. Pour over popcorn and mix to coat evenly. Sticky,easy, and yummy.

One of my girls favorite things about helping with this treat is making faces in the bowl. It is just their height on the counter and they giggle at their funny face.

what's in your bag?

Recently I was late for a meeting and hurrying to the door when I met up with a good friend. As we entered the building, she complimented me on my new bag. I was excited about it and thanked her for her kindness. It wasn't until a little later in the meeting that I noticed her bag. It was fairly small and had a spiderman pencil bag poking out the top. I looked at her and then at her bag and smiled. She smiled back, well giggled really, and explained that her son had given her the pencil bag. She told me she loved to use it because it reminded her of him and because it always made people laugh when she pulled it out. For many years now she has been reminding me to truely cherish, celebrate and love the best things in life. This day proved to be no different. Thanks again Julie.

Monday, March 2, 2009

cupboard organizer

Our family has a few recipes that we use often like cookies, pancakes and breads. Instead of always having to look for these recipes, a sheet of galvenized metal mounted inside the kitchen cupboard holds them right where they are needed. I bought a 2x3 sheet of metal at Home Depot (near the heating duct supplies), and using a pair of tin snips cut it to fit inside the cupboard door frame. A spray adhesive applied to both the metal and the door hold the sheet in place. Buttons glued on magnets hold the recipes.
This idea works great in the kitchen and also in the bathroom and craft room. Another idea is to use this inside of your medicine cabinet for your child's medicine dosage. Happy organizing!

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