Friday, October 9, 2015

Friday Favorites - Animated Movies

Today's topic is Animated Movies! I've got a list of the top 5 movies my boys would choose and the top 5 from when I was little.


1) The Jungle Book -- they LIVE for this movie. They've memorized every word, and love to mimic the elephant marches. If you ask them if they'd like to watch a movie -- 90% of the time this is the first one they would choose. 

2) A Bug's Life - Tyler has gotten to where he likes this one a lot too, but I have to sit down and watch it with him because the grasshoppers scare him a bit. It's all good though -- I'd sit and watch a movie with them anytime. 

3)  Dumbo - they like this one too, but I'll be honest -- they haven't really been exposed to too many movies. They are just getting to the point where they'll watch anything longer than a 30 minute type show... so we're slowly dipping into the Disney waters.

4) Frozen - Who doesn't love Frozen -- it's one of John's any my favorites too. It's just a cute movie. They like Olaf and Sven. Tyler does not like Marshmallow, but the rest of it he enjoys. He cracks up when Hans falls into the water. 

5) Finding Nemo - this one is fairly new to them - Tyler has started really liking sharks, so I showed it to him. He enjoyed all of the sea life, but hasn't asked to see it again -- so I'm waiting to see when he chooses to take another look at it.


1) The Aristocats - this was one of the best movies for me as a child. It's been a long time since I've seen it, but I remember that Marie was one of my favorite characters. The jazz band was always entertaining too. 

2) Cinderella - Who didn't grow up with this being one of the best movies of all time... I still love it to this day. Gus Gus is my favorite animal character from my childhood. So cute and so funny. 

3) It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown - this is a Halloween classic! I watched it every year, and still do. Even in the years before I had the boys -- I just have loved it for a looooong time. I can't wait for it to come on television - even though I have it on DVD... I watch the airing on television every year.

4) The Lion King -- this one came out while I was in high school, but I clearly remember it taking over. I was like in 10th grade and got TONS of Lion King stuff for Christmas that year -- I loved it too! 

5) Oliver & Company - I think this came out during my junior high years, and I thought it was super cute. I loved the spunk of the characters, and the chihuahua was hysterically funny. "If this is torture, chain me to the wall..." HAHAHAHA! Greatness! 

Those are my favorites -- what are yours? Join in with us -- I'd love to know what your favorites are and what I've missed. We're just getting started with animated movies -- so lay it on me! 

Here is the list of the upcoming topics for future Friday Favorites, we'd love to have you join us! 

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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Day Out With Dad

In mid-September, John and his Dad took the boys to their first home Texas A&M game of the year. We also went on this past Saturday, and they will get to go again with their Dad and PawPaw in November too. They had a good time, but it was REALLY hot - so they only made it through to see the band perform at halftime.

They are pretty much obsessed with all things about the Aggie Band right now, and knowing that their Daddy played with them when he was there is even more exciting. They've added a toy trumpet and saxophone to their Christmas lists -- which I may regret greatly come Christmas. It's pretty cute though, and I think that their interest in music is nice. I hope to find them a way to start learning how to actually play some instruments in the next couple of years.

These 4 are such a crazy set, but they love each other fiercely. I am so glad that they get to share this with their Daddy and grandfather. They are surely making memories for years to come, and it's a beautiful thing that they can capture it on the iPhone camera -- so they can watch it over and over again on YouTube too!

They were waiting for Spirit Walk which is where the Aggie Band leads the Football Team in to the stadium -- they get to high five the band members on their way in to Kyle Field. Oddly enough, Tyler is more interested in the band than the football team... He got all of the football player's autographs earlier in the summer, but I think that he would be more excited if he could get the band player's autographs!

Since it was so hot, they also went for ice cream after they stopped off at Double Dave's for pizza rolls. I think it's safe to say that a good time was had by all! Tyler even fell asleep on the way back home.

The game started at 11 that morning, so they still had some time after they got home to relax -- and we got to see a rare moment where the boys sat together to watch a movie together on the iPad. I just love those two to pieces, and when they get along so well like this -- it just makes me smile.
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Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Brooklyn's 8th Birthday

Our niece, Brooklyn, turned 8 in late September -- which kicks off October the month that our families have 9 birthdays! It's insanity really... but anyway this is all about Brooklyn. She is a spunky little thing that used to have the biggest cheeks on the planet... oh and baby rolls for days. Then she grew up and stopped eating much of anything at all... except for the sweets. She eats all the sweets.

We celebrated on a Sunday, so we met at John's parents house for lunch after church. This was all of the kids sitting down for lunch together -- they had two friends come with them for the party. All of these 7 kids homeschool.

Here is miss Brooklyn... such a sully girl! Her sister, Aspyn, looks like she is giving her the stink eye... or maybe that was for me.

We gave her the new Cinderella movie, and she was thrilled. It was funny because she had such a precious reaction. She got some other clothes and things too. 

Here PawPaw was helping her read her cards. It was funny to watch. He really is a HUGE personality that keeps us on our toes - in a good way.

I think she had a good day and felt loved. Sometimes that can be hard when she is in between her two sisters - they are each 5 years apart so things can get interesting with all those years difference. John's sister really does have three of the most beautiful girls, and we love them so much. 

We've been lucky enough to have amazing nieces. 3 on my side, 3 on his... 1 nephew, and my little siblings which are the same age as two of our nieces.... great kids all around, and of course our two littles are pretty precious too!
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Monday, October 5, 2015

Conversations with Tyler

This little guy slays me. I mean really - those cheeks! He has been struggling a little bit since we started Kindergarten - he doesn't like that James now knows enough to be able to answer questions more quickly on occasion. He likes being the star student and having Mom & Dad be proud of him. He is learning new things -- and you can often hear him working things out.

For instance, his great grandmother passed away this summer -- and for weeks afterwards, he would ask all sorts of questions about why things die. Which things can die. Just trying to understand it all. We took a good bit of time before the funeral explaining to him what would happen, and what he would see. That he would see Memaw in the casket, but that it was just her body because she had gone on to Heaven. Also, that when we got to the cemetery, Daddy and his cousins would have to carry the casket over to the burial site because they were pallbearers. Then that at the very end, they would lower her down into the ground where her body would stay, and that we could come visit where her body was whenever we wanted to. We actually stayed long enough talking after the burial service that as we drove away, they watched the workers lower the casket into the ground. He took about a month and a half to work through all of that even after it was all over.

Now that we've started school, we hear him working on his phonics -- he will just stop sometimes and tell me things like: "Duck starts with D, Momma!" He is always thinking about something. He is the more quiet observer -- especially in new situations.

Lately they've been going to football games at Texas A&M, and they are much more aware of the Band and all things Aggie related. It's funny though because he doesn't really understand the WHY of it all. Meaning that he knows that A&M has a band and a football team, but he didn't understand that it is a school or what a college is even. He and John had this conversation the other night:

Tyler: Why does the band go here?
John: What do you mean?
Tyler: The Aggies - is it a different team in the band?
John: No, the band and the football team are part of Texas A&M the school.
Tyler: What do you mean?
John: Well, you know how you're in Kindergarten?
Tyler: Yep
John: In a few years, you'll get to middle school - then high school - then what we call college. That's where you'll learn things about whatever job you want to have. What do you want to be when you're older?
Tyler: A Daddy.
John: Well, you'll want to be able to take your kids to dinner, and buy them toys, right?
Tyler: Yeah.
John: So, then you'll need a job to be able to make money to pay for things.
Tyler: Oh, but I don't know what I want to do, Daddy. For my job.
John: You have a LONG time to figure that out, but you like to cook right?
Tyler: Yes, breakfast.
John: Ok, so maybe you'll want to be a chef.
Tyler: I don't want to go anywhere to do it, just at home.

So funny. I knew he was struggling a bit with the fact that I went to A&M, but that I wasn't a football player or a member of the Aggie Band. Now, I think maybe he understands a little more. So he has moved on today to showing me "Miss Reveille Ma'am" ten billion times. All four of us are going to the game this weekend, so I know he is just trying to show me the things he already knows and doesn't think I know about. It's just so funny! 
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Friday, October 2, 2015

Friday Favorites - School Treats/Lunches

Today we're going to talk about School Treats & Lunches on this 'ol blog. As a homeschooler - I don't have to worry about peanut allergies and such as much as other families do, but we do occasionally have parties and things that we worry about allergies. The truth of it though is that lunches for kids are so easy to get caught in a rut. I know my kids are just picky enough that it's normally the same old thing.

1) The first idea that I love is having a snacking station or lunch making station in your house -- where there are good ideas for your children to choose from and grab on their own. Have several options and allow them to choose for themselves. I've even seen it where they have categories where the kids choose 1 item from section A, 2 from B, and 1 from C... that sort of thing is great for empowering your kids to make their own healthy choices.

2) I also love the idea of using those silicone cupcake liners to help make a bento style lunch with lots of little things combined into one lunch. I've never tried this, but I've even heard when you're at home if you serve a lot of little things in muffin tins -- kids will eat more than they would off of a plate. For this discussion though, I like the idea of them getting a little variety of things - think of the possibilities if you just change out one item everyday. For instance - if you send them with berries, a quesadilla, some crackers, and carrots... if you just change the berries and carrots to celery -- it's a whole different lunch with the same crackers & quesadilla. You get the idea. You could make the same main dish for the lunch and make several of them... then just change out the sides for that week.

3) I love the clothespin butterfly snacks too - which could easily be added to your child's lunch too. I've seen them with grapes, strawberries, goldfish, and cheese... but you could use whatever your child likes. Raisins would be good in this too blueberries, cherry or grape tomatoes, cereal, whatever you can fit in the bag. Use a snack sized bag -- put one item on the left side and one on the right. Then you put a clothespin in the middle and it looks like a butterfly. I've seen the faces just drawn on different color clothespins and antennas added... but I thought these with the pompoms were super cute!

4) I love that there are so many options these days, I mean when we were kids -- you were stuck pretty much with a sandwich, chips, fruit, and a cookie... or some small variation on that. Now parents are much more creative, and you can almost do anything. I wasn't a sack lunch kid very often when I was young, but occasionally - I'd take some soup in a thermos... now you can do that... you could make a big batch of mac & cheese on the weekend and let them take that. You can send them with soup, you can send just about anything and keep it warm these days.

5) The same goes for ways to keep lunches cool. I love the idea of freezing a damp sponge and packing that with your child's lunch to keep things cool... and as it melts, it naturally sucks up the liquid back into itself. I used to freeze my water/juice box/Caprisun to keep my lunches cool. I've also seen some smoothies being added to lunch boxes for the same purpose... it's genius! By the time lunch rolls around -- unless your child is the unlucky ones that have to eat at 10:30 -- it's defrosted and perfect for their meal.

6) I'm all about the freezer cooking these days -- so I also saw this link of recipes you can freeze ahead of time for lunches. I hope that this helps some of you get on top of lunch for the week by prepping it on the weekend. Any of you into the whole food movement over the prepackaged items will love this set of recipes -- it's from the 100 Days of Real Food blog. I've also seen corn dogs made out of mini hot dogs in muffin tins -- those would be a GREAT prep ahead item!

7) For sports teams and school parties -- you just can't go wrong with rainbow fruit cups, fruit cups that are store bought then decorated with the theme, or any of these ideas from pinterest...

Remember to check with your school or coaches to find out about any food allergies... it's no fun to be turned away after making something special for the kids... or to be the one that can't participate because of an allergy. 

Next week we will be talking about our Favorite Animated Movies... so start thinking about what your favorites are either new or old.

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