Monday, April 28, 2014

Project Life 2014 - Weeks 12 and 13

Week 12:
Our friends, Kristen and Kevin worked in Maddie's nursery Sunday morning, and Kristen texted me a picture of Maddie with Uncle Kevin.
 We celebrated St. Patrick's Day on Monday with Reuben sandwiches.  I had been busy all day making dinner for two families who had just had babies, so Jim picked up the Reubens on the way home from work to save me from having to cook any more.
Pink and blue cupcakes for the new babies' families.
 Maddie got some dress-up clothes for her birthday, and she had fun trying them on.
 SO cute!
 Drew got some Lego sets for his birthday, and he and Jim put them together.
Jim and Drew came down with bad colds early in the week.  Drew felt so bad that he stayed home from school on Tuesday.  He rested, napped, and ate soup all day.  Poor Jim went to work each day, then came home and crashed each night.
Maddie woke up crying Thursday morning, and I walked into her room to find that she had thrown up in her bed.  She must have thrown up in the night and then fallen back asleep because it was everywhere in her bed and all over her.  She threw up one other time that day and had a lot of nasty diapers.  She took several naps, but besides the yucky diapers, she seemed to be feeling pretty good by the next morning. 
Jim had been absolutely miserable all week, and he hadn't really seen any improvement in how he was feeling, so he decided to take the day off from work on Friday to try to rest and get better from his cold.  I drove Drew over to school and then stopped at the grocery store on my way home to get a few things.  Once I got home, my stomach starting feeling upset.  Within an hour or two, Maddie's stomach virus had hit me hard.  I spent the afternoon and evening alternating between the couch, the bed, and the bathroom.  I haven't been that sick in a long, long time!  Poor Jim spent his sick day taking care of Maddie and me.
Jim's mom ended up picking Drew up from school and keeping him overnight Friday night to try to keep him away from the germs at home.  She called early Saturday morning to say that Drew had thrown up twice and that he was crying to come home.  She drove him home, and he spent almost all day in bed.  The stomach virus hit Jim later that morning, completing the cycle through our family.  It was a rough weekend!  We survived on pretzels, Sprite, and Gatorade, delivered to our house by Jim's mom.
Here's what I did for Week 12 of Project Life.
Week 13:
We were all in various stages of health on Sunday.  Jim, Drew, and I were starting to feel better from the stomach virus, but Jim was still struggling with his cold, and I felt pretty weak.  We all stayed home from church, but Jim had to go over to the school for an open house Sunday afternoon.  Many of the teachers had the same stomach virus that we had, so they muddled through the open house the best they could.
 Maddie had a fever off and on throughout the day on Sunday, and she snuggled and slept much of the day.
 I spent the day Monday sanitizing the house and doing laundry, and by Tuesday, we were all feeling a lot better.  I was asked to sub on Tuesday for a teacher whose daughter had the stomach virus.  I had to do recess duty, and guess who showed up for recess with the punishment of time against the wall - Drew!  He was a little embarrassed to have to tell his mother that he had been misbehaving that morning and that he had to miss some of recess!
 Drew got his third quarter report card this week, and he had all A's, except a B-plus in Handwriting.
 Drew and his friend, Abe, have lots of fun in Late Stay every Wednesday.  They played hockey in the gym this week.
 Drew and Maddie got new school tee-shirts.
 It was a busy week, and recovering from sickness made us a little tired by the end of the week.
 Maddie loves to get into Drew's stuff.  She figured out how to take pictures on his DS, and she loved to play with it.
 She also loves to dig through his lunchbox after school!
Drew had some birthday money to spend, so we took him to Meijer to buy a bike over the weekend.  Now to learn to ride it!
 Jim's sister dropped off Frozen for the kids, and we had a pizza and movie night - fun!
Here's what I did for Week 13 of Project Life,
and here are Weeks 12 and 13 together.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Whole Wheat Banana Muffins

One of the best things about Jim's new job is that he and Drew are in the same building all day, and they can ride to school together.  They leave pretty early, and since we try to let Drew sleep as late as possible, I try to have breakfasts that the guys can grab and eat on their drive.  Often, they take sandwich bags of dry cereal (they both like it that way) and a beverage, but lately, I've been trying to add muffins into the breakfast rotation.  I bake them ahead and freeze them, so I can just pull out the number I need each morning and thaw them in the microwave while the guys get ready.
I tried this muffin recipe recently, and we all liked them.  Drew ate three the first time I made them!  I've made them several times, sometimes substituting unsweetened applesauce for part or all of the bananas.  I add extra cinnamon and some nutmeg when I use applesauce.
Here's how I make them:

Whole Wheat Banana Muffins

2 cups white whole wheat flour (My mom gave me some that she ground herself, and I keep it in my freezer.)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
4 large, ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 3/4 cups)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1 large egg
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons vanilla
Turbinado sugar to sprinkle on top of muffins before baking

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line muffin tins with paper liners and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.  Set aside.
Peel the bananas and mash with a fork.  In a large bowl, combine the mashed bananas, brown sugar, oil, egg yogurt, and vanilla.  Mix until well-combined.  Slowly add dry ingredients, and stir until just combined.
Fill muffin liners three-quarters full.  Sprinkle with turbinado sugar.  Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 23 minutes.  Transfer to wire rack to cool.  Store, covered, at room temperature, or freeze.  Makes 18 muffins.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Project Life 2014 - Weeks 10 and 11

Week 10:
This week started with a very busy Monday.  We spent it preparing for the school fundraising banquet that night.  The school does one big fundraising event (a banquet) each year, and in the past, they always held the event off-site.  Jim and I had often thought that the banquet should be held at the school - so people could see what they were investing in and get excited about the school.  Jim decided to do the banquet in the school gym this year.  It was more work for us because the whole school had to be cleaned, the gym had to be set up and decorated, but we were excited to do something new and different.
I was in charge of beverages for the banquet.  We served punch, water, and coffee.  Maddie and I went and bought the punch ingredients that morning.  We had a whole cart full of lemonade, orange juice, and 7-Up.  
Here is the recipe we used.  It was very good and easy!

Sally's Punch
1 can frozen lemonade, thawed
1 can frozen orange juice without pulp, thawed
3 liters 7-Up
Mix ingredients together, and serve with ice.

 We also picked up a big cake from Sam's.
 The banquet went very well.  It was such a nice night!  Everyone seemed to like having it at the school, and it was nice to have people there who had never been out to see the school before.  The goal of the evening was to raise money to upgrade the technology at the school, specifically by getting Promethean boards (interactive white boards) for the classrooms.  They raised enough money to buy four boards, a document camera, and a couple of projectors.  They also raised enough money to pay the mortgage on the gym for the coming year.
 A couple of the teachers were in charge of decorating the tables.  They went with a school/storybook theme.  I took pictures of a few of the centerpieces.

March was Dr. Seuss month in first grade.  Each night, Drew brought home a Dr. Seuss book to read and a worksheet that went along with it.  Maddie enjoyed having Drew read his books to her every evening.
I got to read a Dr. Seuss book to Drew's class on Friday afternoon.  I brought Drew's birthday treat with me.  The class sang to Drew, and he was so excited!
He wanted me to make Oreo Cupcakes with little Lego guys again this year.

 Some of the books from the banquet centerpieces were still in the gym when we went for Late Stay on Wednesday.  Maddie sat and read them for quite a while.
I like to make iced coffee.  I usually brew it on the counter overnight, but I did it during the day one day this week.  I heard a crash and crying, and I ran into the kitchen to find this lovely scene.
 Maddie had dumped the whole thing all over the floor and herself!  What a mess!
 Drew's birthday gift from us and Jim's mom was a basketball hoop.  He has been playing basketball in the gym at school quite a bit this year, and he had asked for a hoop of his own.  He was quite excited to get one!
Here's what I did for Project Life this week.
Week 11:
Sunday was Drew's birthday!  I can't believe that he is 7!  We started the day with donuts and presents.
After morning church, we went for lunch at Qdoba.  Drew loved their quesadillas (well, we all do really).
Maddie's friend, Paige, came over for a while on Monday morning.  Her mom had to work, and her normal babysitter couldn't watch her.  The girls had fun playing and watching Sesame Street.
 We had yet another snow day this week.  The kids were cranky, and they fought a lot that day.
 Our kids have spent quite a bit of time in the school gym since Jim has become the principal.  They both enjoy playing there.
 Friday was a half day, and we went out for pizza for lunch with Jim and Drew after school.
Friday was also Storybook Day.  Each elementary child was supposed to dress up as a storybook character, and Drew dressed as Paul Bunyan.  I made his beard and ax from this tutorial.
 Curious George came to school that day too!  He went around and visited all the classes,
and then the Man with the Yellow Hat read a Curious George book to the whole elementary in the gym.
 We are Curious George fans at our house, so we had to get a picture with George!
We had a birthday party for Drew, Maddie, our nephew Brandon, and another family friend on Saturday with Jim's family.
 Drew got lots of Ninja Turtle gifts!
 Maddie got some dolls, dress-up clothes, and some other fun things.
 She was quite interested in her gifts!
 She sat on her Aunt Sharon's lap and ate lots of chocolate ice cream.  It was a fun evening!
 Here's what I did for Week 11.
 Here are Weeks 10 and 11 together.
 I did a birthday party insert too.  I put Drew's pictures and info on the front
 and Maddie's pictures and journaling on the back.