Friday, January 28, 2011

Preschool Crafts: Macaroni Necklace

Nathan and I have so much fun hosting preschool every month.

These colourful macaroni necklaces are from our recent "M" day.

Dyeing the macaroni is just as much fun as making the necklaces themselves.

How to make a Macaroni Necklace:

Get a bag of pasta. I suggest using something bigger than macaroni, especially for younger kids. We used Rigatoni.

Add 5-15 drops food colouring to 1 cup of rubbing alcohol. Add 1 cup of pasta to the liquid, and stir it around a bit until it's all coated. I let it sit in the colour for about 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Drain on paper towels until dry.

String coloured pasta onto yarn.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Nathan has graduated from Nursery. He is now in the Sunbeam class in Primary on Sundays.

He is so excited to be with the big kids!

Now he has started asking when he's going to go to the big kids school on the bus.

Unfortunately, French Immersion starts in SK here, so this fall he will be at a different school for Junior Kindergarten.

I generally try to avoid telling him he's still about 20 months away from going to school with his siblings.

In Nathan's world, it might as well be 20 years.

We have the best Nursery and Sunbeam leaders in our ward. At least he will still get to hang out in Nursery on Wednesday nights while I am at Scouts.

(And look how cute those hats and certificates are.)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Update: Bug Number Two

Bug number two hit our family last Thursday when Brett came home from school with a fever of 104.

Since then it has hit JD, Clara, and Samantha, in that order, about 1-2 days apart.

Fortunately, this bug doesn't involve any throwing up. Just ridiculously high fevers for about two days, combined with a lingering sore throat and cough.

Clara's fever was so bad last night that she actually started hallucinating. Advil and Tylenol (alternating) have been able to bring it down though.

Seeing Clara like this breaks my heart.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Nathan Turns Four

My baby boy turned four years old this month.

This is hard for me to believe, as just yesterday he was a curly haired baby that lived in his swing and slept all day and night and never cried or demanded attention.

He must have been saving up his demands for the future.

And... well, here we are.

To say that he has become a little more demanding since those days would be the understatement of the year. Nathan is definitely one of the most high maintenance preschoolers I've met. But I still love him.

He's just very demanding.

But I love him soooo much.

He just wears me out on a daily basis.

But he's so stinkin' lovable and cute.

He just demands constant attention every waking minute of Every. Single. Day.

Except when it came time for his 4th birthday.

Then all he wanted was an Indiana Jones cake. Not a party. Not friends. Not gifts. Not games.

All he wanted on the day he turned four was a cake.

So, I baked a cake, bought some green and blue food colouring in spray cans, made some Indiana Jones-ish coloured frosting, and found sprinkles that looked like rubble.

Oh, and picked up some Scooby-Doo balloons?

Because I couldn't find Indiana Jones balloons and figured he was too young to realize these didn't go with his birthday theme.

Then I asked Samantha, Brett, and JD to go down to the Lego bin to dig up every piece of Indy Lego they could find. Which they did, and we all and worked together to decorate a cake that Nathan would love.

This is what we came up with:

My favourite part was Indiana's chewed-up whip. What can I say? Clara had to contribute to the cake too.

Indy was running from the snake pit while simultaneously avoiding the crystal skulls that were scattered across the jungle.

This bad guy disguised as a ninja was trying to steal the Holy Grail which was being carried off by an army of ants, scorpions, and spiders.

Indy's Dad was waiting in the getaway boat in the river, trying to avoid the crocodile behind him.

And this birthday boy was very happy with his cake!

And his presents.

Especially this cute frog blanket from his Stewart cousins.

Happy Birthday Nathan!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Recipe: Turkey Soup

We love this soup.

Scott insists on buying turkeys that feed 100 people just to make sure he gets lots of turkey soup the day after every Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Also, if you substitute chicken for turkey and noodles for rice, this is a great homemade chicken noodle soup recipe.


Celery, Onions, Carrots (diced)
Olive Oil
Leftover turkey, chopped
Chicken Stock and / or chicken bullion cubes or powder
Basil, Parsley, Salt & Pepper, A bay leaf or two

Start with diced onion, celery, and carrots. I don't measure these. For a big pot, I use approximately 1 large onion, 4-5 carrots, and 1/3 stalk of celery.

Saute the onion, celery and carrots in a couple Tbsp of olive oil in your big pot. Give them about 5-7 minutes or so and stir occasionally as they start to cook.

Now you add your spices and stock.

For the spices, I use pepper (to taste), dried basil (quite a bit), a little dried parsley, and a couple of bay leaves. Again, add as much or as little as you like. I don't add salt at this point because the stock will have salt already.

For the stock, I have used all boxed chicken stock, bullion cubes and water, homemade stock, or a combination of the three. Last time I used 2 boxes of chicken stock (low sodium) and 3 bullion cubes with water.

Let the stock and veggies heat up and get your meat ready.

Usually I make this with leftover turkey, but I have used chicken as well. You can buy a rotisserie chicken and take all the meat off the bones, chopped it up, and added it to the soup. You could also cook your own chicken and add it, but I love to save time. Any kind of chopped, cooked chicken or turkey will do. Throw it in.

Get this nice and bubbly and hot, then turn it down and let it simmer for a while - anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour or more on very low heat.

About 30 minutes before you serve it, add some rice and corn. You can use a combination of white rice and wild rice. To give you an idea of amounts, last time I used about 2/3 cup white rice and 1/3 cup wild rice. Again, quantity is up to you.

For corn I used 2 cans of corn. You could also use frozen.

Let the rice cook through and keep stirring occasionally for another 25-30 minutes or so. Season to taste. You may wish to add a little salt at this point. Sometimes you may not need salt, as it depends on how salty your stock is.

Serve with fresh homemade buns, hot from the oven, with plenty of butter.


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Christmas Day

JD woke up at 4:20 AM on Christmas morning. He ran into our room, ready to wake everyone up to go down and see what Santa had brought.

I told him that he had to wait until at least 6:00 to wake up the whole gang. So he settled for waking up Brett, and the two of them sneaked downstairs to check it out.

At approximately 5:59 AM they were back in our room to hold me to my words.

Pretty soon, this:

Turned into this:

Nathan with his Buzz Lightyear Lego Ship.

The rink was finally ready!

Brett spent Christmas day building Lego. This huge set took most of the day, but he did it all on his own, and couldn't even be bothered to stop for bite to eat or to get dressed.

I just adore this photo. Clara loves to see herself on the camera after she gets her picture taken.

Christmas dinner... Must have been awesome because apparently I was too busy eating to snap any photos.

Only a week after Christmas it was time to say goodbye. Sniff.

JD saying goodbye to Kepler, or "Kep" as he likes to call him.

Clara gets left out of everything during nap time.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Christmas Eve

We had so much fun with Jordana, Gibb, Jayna, Kepler & Sami here for Christmas.

The first couple of days we just hung out and enjoyed playing games, eating, watching movies, making crafts, shopping, and getting ready for Christmas.

Here are the kids showing off the ornaments they decorated and coloured:

Scott spent a lot of time working on the ice rink. It was his Christmas labour of love.

My sister and her husband at our Christmas Eve party.

Children grow up way too fast. This is one of our favourite friends and babysitters. She and Samantha happened to have matching hair at the party. So cute!

Nathan in his Christmas pj's getting ready for bed and hoping Santa will be coming soon.

We called Singapore late on Christmas Eve to wish my Mom and sister a Merry Christmas.

They reported that my sister was in labour... and her baby girl was born a few hours later on Christmas day!