Sunday, January 31, 2010

Primary Battleship

For primary today I did a version of "battleship" with the kids. I think I found the original idea on The Crazy Chorister and then tweaked it to fit my needs for today.

I drew a large grid on the chalkboard letters down one side, numbers down the other. I had the same grid on a piece of paper with my "secret special locations" that only I got to look at. The kids took turns giving me a coordinate and then if they hit a special spot they got to choose what song to sing. If they missed I got to choose what song to sing.

We were able to review the song of the month, throw in a few fun wiggle songs, and also learn a brand new song all today. In order to make sure no one felt like a loser for "missing", I would say, "You didn't hit a secret spot, but you did hit learn the first line of 'The Hearts of the Children'" -or whatever song I felt like I wanted them to do at that moment.

I think it went over really well. The kids seemed to have a good time with it.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

I'd Rather Pull My Toenails Out

I know I've talked about Carter and the dentist before. This kid has the WORST teeth of any child I've ever known. We have NEVER been to an office visit and left cavity free. Crud, we've never even made it a full 6 months without having to go back in for new cavities to be filled. I die a little inside when it's dentist time for Carter. I think I'd have more fun pulling out my toenails than listening to the dentist check off each hole in Carter's teeth. All I can think about is (a) the money...oh the money! and (b) the poor, poor kid. (And yes, I'm horrible, because it comes in that order in my head.)

Today was that day. That "wonderful" day of the year, when I get to go in and hear just how awful his teeth are. I've dreaded it all week. In fact, I had a nightmare earlier this week in anticipation of the event. I dreamt that my kids' teeth were so rotten that the dentist threw his hands in the air and said, "I can't help you anymore."

This is now the THIRD dentist to look at Carter. I told him before he even started, "Yes, I'm aware there is decay on his teeth. There always is." It still didn't stop him from exclaiming, "WOW!" as he ticked off each stinking one. And to add to today's "joy", he found an abscess on Carter's gum. Don't know if I told you or not, but Carter has a molar that the root somehow mysteriously dissolved on one side. We were kind of hoping it would just die and fall out on its own, but no, its now abscessing instead and will need to be pulled.

Kate and Alyssa were also seen today (Halle is next week) and neither of them had any cavities. Hip hip hooray! How is it that kids from the same family, who eat the exact same diet, and brush their teeth the same number of times, can come out with such extremely different results??? We left with a $1000 "payment plan" in hand for Carter's future treatment. Ughhh....can I go throw up now?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Chocolate Pudding

Me: "Carter did you choose chocolate pudding for your dessert?"

Carter: "No, I told Alyssa I didn't want any. I said I wanted something healthy instead."

Hmmmmm...... I think the evidence is against you, dude.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Try-It-Tuesday -- Chicken Tortilla Soup

This week for Try-It-Tuesday, Tortilla Soup is on the menu. Well...was on the menu, because I already made it, and we already ate it. This is a tad spicy, but we like a little spice in this house. Jarom and I both give it a thumbs up, two children liked it, one hated it b/c of the tomato chunks, and one wasn't home to try it. But it was tasty in my opinion and easy to make, so much to the chagrin of the tomato hating child, we'll be having this again. I apologize for no picture, you can go here to recipezaar, if you'd like a better look.

Chicken Tortilla Soup
1 cup carrot, diced (I think next time I'll use a can of corn)
1 cup celery
1 cup onion, diced
(a can of black beans added would also be very tasty)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or 1 fresh diced garlic clove
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons corn oil (I used canola)
4 (15 ounce) cans chicken broth
1 (15 ounce) can tomatoes, diced
1 (10 ounce) can Rotel tomatoes & chilies, diced
1 (1.25-1 1/2 ounce) packet taco seasoning
1 (10 count) package corn tortillas (broken or cut into small pieces)
12 ounces chicken meat, poached, diced
1 cup milk
12 ounces monterey jack cheese or Mexican blend cheese, shredded
corn tortilla chips, broken into small pieces

1Saute carrots, onions, celery in corn oil, garlic, salt and pepper until tender.
2Add chicken broth and bring to boil.
3Add tomatoes, Rotel, taco seasoning, and chicken.
4Cut Tortillas into small pieces and add to broth mixture.
5Let boil for 20 minutes or until tortillas are thoroughly incorporated into soup stirring occasionally to keep from sticking.
6Reduce heat and add 8 oz. cheese. Simmer for additional 10 minutes.
7Add milk and simmer for additional 10 minutes.
8If thicker soup is desired, add more diced tortillas and let incorporate into soup.
9Garnish with shredded cheese and broken tortilla chips.
10Substitutions: 1 cup Masa Harina (Masa Flour) for 1 10 ct. package of corn tortillas. Gradually add masa flour mixing into broth, mixing thoroughly into broth. If thicker soup is desired, add more masa flour.
11You can also use grilled chicken fajita meat for poached diced chicken.

(Side note: I used hard shelled tacos for the the tortilla bit. I just crushed them up and added them to the pot. They worked fine as they just soften and pulverize in the soup.)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sundays in Primary I'm thinking I am going to start a new thing on Sundays. I am the primary chorister for my ward (which means I teach the music to the children 12 and under) and I really need a place to remember what I did, if it worked, what I'd like to do next week, etc. And what better place than my blog? This is just for me, but if you feel so inclined, you are more than welcome to read along. And if you ever have suggestions, please feel free to pass them my way. I am always on the look out for a new creative game to play to make singing time fun for the kids.

This month we're learning the song "I Know That My Savior Loves Me". I won't recap exactly what I did earlier in the month -I'll just start with today- but basically I am teaching the sign language of the entire song to the kids. You'd be surprised at how well this helps them remember their words. We worked on the first vs. week one, the chorus week 2, the second vs. week 3, and today was review for the entire song.

Today I brought an apron with 8 pockets filled with ways to sing the song.

  • Monkey- sing 00's and ah's instead of words and listen to the melody.
  • Picture of a hand- sign language only, no singing. (This was tough, they really had to mentally concentrate.)
  • Apple- teachers sing vs, kids sing chorus
  • Bouncy Ball- We passed it from person to person each saying one word of the song. We did this a phrase at a time and then sang it. (Worked really well for sr. primary, but jr primary like passing the ball around and it gave them one more chance to hear the song.)
  • A plastic "wiggly" worm- A wiggle song or two
  • Wild Card - choose your favorite song
  • Coin -heads boys sing, tails girls sing (For jr. the choice was for who sang the 1st vs. and who sang the 2nd.) Who ever wasn't singing had to sign.
  • The Letter I - don't sing any words that mean "yourself" i.e. I, me, my.

I can't say this is my original idea, the "primary pockets aprons" have been around since I was a little girl. This was my first time using it in our ward, and all the kids voted that they liked it and want me to bring it back another time. I would call it a success, even though a couple of the 12 year old boys didn't participate, but they refuse to participate just about every week, so nothing new there. Still thinking of a way to get them to love singing time, but it may never happen.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

One Legged Chicken by Kate

Kate is ALWAYS singing something. Most of the time at the top of her lungs. And her songs always have a story to tell. Who knows? She just might be the next American Idol! HA! Here's one she just popped out tonight when I asked her to sing a song for the camera. And now, without further ado, I present "The One Legged Chicken". My favorite lines hit at 22 seconds and 38 seconds. LOLL!!

Here's the sub titles in case you can't understand.

One little chicken, one little girl.
I watch out, I want to see the chicken.
It goes ???? It has only one leg.
Girl say, "Come here, I'm not gonna hurt you.
Look at this. Is this you leg?"
It said, "Yes".

And it me, and my best friends,
Friends together.
Cause I glued it's leg on. I glued it's leg on.

Glued my toe on when I broke it,
when I gave it ?????
We were still friends now
???? cause I, cause I Halleluh
I love me, wonderful, chicken walking on its tippy toes.
Walking on its tippy toes.
It did this.
And I did this.

And as you can tell she would have (did) kept going and going. There's no end in sight to these silly songs.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Window Dressings

Ever since I painted my living room, I've been wanting curtains on the front two windows. I didn't paint that wall because of where-to-stop-the-paint issues, and I thought curtains would help disguise that a little bit. So for Christmas Jarom let me pick out curtains. I loved these in the store. They were a nice dark color and very different from my dining room curtains (which are on the opposite end of this room). I wanted them to look distinctly different so as not to look like a mistake. But when I got home and hung them....well, I didn't like them so much anymore. (And I realize they are not straight in this picture.) I had planned on buying an extra panel of the valance material and adding length to the bottom of the panels, so the length wasn't the issue. They were just too "froofy" or something in my room. They were too different from the dining room. And they were too dark. They just didn't work for me.

I left them hanging for almost 2 weeks, to see if I could get used to them. But every time I walked into that room I liked them less and less. And then, when I went to find the material to make the length was a whole other drama and that was the final straw.
I returned them and replaced them with these pretties. I like them SO much more. The colors are better, they compliment the dining room better, the length is better.

Yep...these are just better. I don't particularly love the couch here anymore; the windows now dwarf it, but it's what I've got so we'll live with it for the time being. But I love how the curtains have the new wall color on the top and the color of the dining room drapes on the bottom.

So here is my dilemma now.
See that window next to the piano? How and what do I cover it with? The new curtains are on the right as you walk in the room.

Here is a view of the rest of the room with the dining room included.

I don't really want to do the same treatment as the front two windows b/c this window seems so insignificant to the room. I'm afraid a full treatment will give too much weight in the middle of the room. What would you do?

And boy this post seems trivial and worldly as I type this during the Hope For Haiti fund raiser. Aren't we SO blessed?! My heart goes out to the Haitians right now.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

I Turned 34!!

I had a great birthday. Really great I tell ya! I told Jarom that I just wanted a day to myself with maybe a pedicure or haircut or something. Next thing I knew, he had a full agenda planned for me. Complete with pedicure, manicure, haircut, highlights, massage, dinner, and movie. It. was. awesome!! (And yes, I'm well aware that I am spoiled.)
My mom showed up in the midst of my pedicure and brought me balloons and a slice of cheesecake.

My pretty sister waiting for my pedi to get over so she could cut and highlight my hair.

The new do. Lots more layers and curls. I'm having a lot of fun with it.

After my spa day, I ran home to see my kids for a bit. They were darling. Jarom let them pick a few things to give me. I got magnetic letters for the fridge from Carter and Kate, and Halle gave me little drink umbrellas. (I'm thinking there might have been some ulterior motives behind these gifts.) I also got some new measuring scoops and a free babysitting job from Alyssa.

We enjoyed dinner at Plum Loco (a Mexican restaurant here) and then it was off to see Avatar. I have to say, I've had zero desire to see this, but with all the hype everyone is giving it, I decided to give it a try. I am shocked to report....I really loved it. It was awesome! SO much more than the trailers make it out to be. Really great show. And a great way to end an awesome birthday.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Pretty Kate

We were all ready for church on Sunday and I had to pause and take a couple shots of Kate. She just looked so grown up to me.

She tolerated the back of the head shot.

Pretended not to notice this side shot.

But wasn't very excited about the profile shot.

And was thoroughly annoyed with a face shot. What a little bugger! Even when she gives me goofy faces, I still love her.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Happy Birthday To My Dad!

I wasn't going to post birthdays this year. I have SO many family members that birthday posts get out of hand on my blog. But my mom emailed these pictures of my dad and I thought they were too cute not to post. So....Happy Birthday Dad!

Dad with some of his kids. looks like you and I are no longer the favorite children. LOL!

Try-It-Tuesday -- Bacon Chicken Pasta

Guess what folks?! It's back! T-I-T is back! I've been in the BIGGEST food rut at this house. I decided I HAD to get back into my "trying one new thing a week" deal, or this family was going to overdose on McD's and Taco Bell. I can't promise I'll post every Tuesday as I used to...for some reason it seems overwhelming to me right now. But when I get a good recipe -like the one to follow here- I'll be sure to post it.

Today's recipe was a hit. I asked my kids if they liked it and my 5 year old replied, "It's 100% delicious." The following day, when I told them it was left overs for dinner, they all cheered. That doesn't happen everyday!

So without further ado, I give you Bacon Chicken Pasta (and I have NO idea where I got this recipe- it was in my recipe file- so if it's one you've posted I apologize for reposting, but THANK YOU for posting in the first place.)

1 lb. linguine noodles
3/4 C Italian dressing
1 lb. chicken breasts
1 lb. bacon
1 bag (4 cups) spinach leaves
1 cup shredded mozzarella or parmesan cheese

Cook noodles as directed on package. Drain, reserving 1/2 C of the cooking water.Brown bacon in a deep skillet. Drain the grease and crumble. Set bacon aside. Pan fry chicken in the same skillet after the bacon is done (I sliced the chicken before I cooked it so there was more surface to get flavor from the bacon). Add the dressing, scraping the bits at the bottom of the pan. Stir in noodles and reserved cooking water. Remove from heat and add the spinach (I didn't add this, I just served the noodles over the raw spinach.), 1/2 C of the cheese, and the bacon. Toss lightly to combine. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

"Polka Dots"

We just got done running errands and we'd been in the car for a little while. When Kate got out she said, "My feet feel funny." I said, "Did they fall asleep?" She said, "Yah...they're making polka dots." LOL! Pretty good explanation of tingles from a 4 year old I think.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Snow Things

This year I've got an exotic display going on in my backyard.
A long necked giraffe.

I think this one is a llama.

Not sure what this creation is.

And good ol' Frosty to watch over everything.

Oh Alyssa....she's turning into a teenager right before my very eyes. Sigh...

Sunday, January 03, 2010


I can not get it through my head that it's the new year already. Crud, I'm barely believing Christmas happened. (Although my checking account tells me otherwise.) I'm not even ready to take the tree down, and it's not because I don't have the energy, it's simply because I'm enjoying my tree this year.

We did enjoy a fun New Year's party at Becky's house this year, but my camera died, so I have no pictures. I'll have to borrow some of Becky's to post. We also enjoyed New Year's Day lunch at my mom's with our family friends the Infangers. Their grandad passed away so all of the kids were in town at the same time. A rarity indeed. Halle keeps asking when she will get to play with Elizabeth again, apparently every 3 years is not enough.

2010 has already proven to be an exciting year. It started off with a bang when I got jalapeno juice in my eye. Oh my holy.....I don't even know what word to insert hurt like a son of a gun! I immediatly rinsed it with fresh water and serious thoughts of, "I. am. going. to. be. blind!" ran through my head.

I hopped in the shower (poor Jarom, he had the water running for himself) and yelled at Jarom to google what I should do. -What did we EVER do before Google?- A minute later he returned with a glass full of milk. He told me I was supposed to rinse my eye with milk. I did and... INSTANT relief. I really, and I mean REALLY, have an aversion to milk and tried not to gag as I dipped my face in it, but I have NEVER been MORE thankful for milk in my life. And good news folks....I'm not blind.

In other news:

  • The Zhu Zhu pet has been caught in Kate's hair. (Thankfully removed with minimal damage.)
  • I've returned my Christmas present(s) -curtains- and am waiting for new ones to arrive. (A blog post will be coming.)
  • I'm not sure if I have carpet or candy wrappers for flooring in this house.
  • And I gained just about every pound I've ever taken off, during the holidays. (MUCH work to do over the next few months.)

There are resolutions this year, there always are for me.

  1. Lose some weight. LOL!
  2. Run a 5K.
  3. More personal scripture study time.
  4. Make sure my kids are brushing their teeth! (Pathetic that this has to be a goal...but it does...this is life at the Manwarings.)

How has your 2010 been so far? Got your goals set?

Saturday, January 02, 2010

2010 Headers

Friday, January 01, 2010

New Year's Eve

The party was held at Kevin and Becky's this year. We had so much fun.

There was a violent Nerf gun game. I'm surprised we didn't end with crying kids because some of those suckers hurt! Oh but it was fun, I don't think I've laughed that hard in a long time. Poor Becky's clock took the brunt of things.

Another event of the night was a serious game of Bingo, which involved prizes. (I won a new Williams and Senoma spatula!)

Kate's winnings from the Bingo game: costume jewelry and boy oh boy did she feel pretty.

There was also a ping-pong tournament on the ping-pong table Becky and Kevin got for Christmas. Guess who won? Yep, Becky for the girls and Kevin for the boys. Sounds a little rigged to me. ;P

The kids celebrated by counting down with New York (10 pm for us),

and a toast to ring in the new year!

My mother and father-in-law.

Jarom and I and (surprise!) sleepy little Carter.

Brandon and Emily

Halle and her cute little friend Maddy.

Benjamin, Kaylin, and Eli

Halle and Alyssa