Thursday, October 31, 2013

Updated Tuna Casserole

With a few healthy substitutes our recipe for Tuna Casserole has been greatly improved.

2 cans light tuna in water drained
1/2 bag frozen sweet peas
2 small cans mushrooms drained
2 cans 25% less sodium cream of mushroom soup
kettle cooked chips in olive oil

Heat frozen peas in microwave for 5 minutes with a little water then drain. Combine ingredients in a casserole dish and bake at 400 for 35 minutes.

With these changes- light tuna instead of regular, frozen peas instead of canned, less sodium cream of mushroom soup, kettle cooked chips instead of regular- the recipe is far better. The frozen peas are much more flavorful than the canned. And the tuna casserole is far less salty than before making these changes.


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Game Night

Tonight was game night! Our first game is a game that we haven't played before. I mistakenly thought Zingo was a game for older kids, so I'm glad the kids got it out tonight. It's a twist on the traditional Bingo. Each player has a card with pictures. The dealer reveals two tiles at a time. The first player to call out the picture that matches his card wins that tile. The first player to completely fill his card wins. Sabrina needed lots of help, but I think she'll do fine once she has a better understanding of the rules.

Our next game was our version of Sequence for Kids. As I said last game night, we got our game used and without instructions. We like our version of the game very much and we played it several times.

We also played the Whac-a-Mole card game. This is a super fast paced game so I didn't get any pictures of us actually playing. Sabrina isn't nearly fast enough to compete with Alex, but she likes to play against me. I take this game with me when we fly- it's great for when you have to wait somewhere with kids. I found this game at the dollar store and bought enough to give in the Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes last year.

Our last game was Scrabble Alphabet Soup. This is a fun game, but Sabrina is really too young- let's just say tiles were flying everywhere. She only played once. Alex really likes this one so the rest of us played it twice.


Red Springs- Calico Basin

Saturday was family day so we went hiking at Red Springs. It is an absolutely beautiful place for hiking and scrambling.

Sabrina loves to be outdoors, but she's still young so we go at her pace and only go as much as we feel is safe for her. She thinks she's a big kid and would climb higher, if we let her, but she still needs lots of help coming down.

Alex always wants to climb higher and never wants to leave. Frank often takes him higher while I stay with Sabrina. Alex wants us to get a babysitter for Sabrina so we can make it to the top. We may have to do that some day.

I LOVE being outdoors! I feel energized by being in natural settings. Like the kids, I want to see the view from the top; maybe someday...

Frank says it's an enjoyable family outing every time we go.


Monday, October 21, 2013

Wetlands Park

On Friday, the same day as the Fashion Show, we hiked the Wetlands Trail. This is one of my favorite local nature spots. It feels like you've left the city behind without actually leaving the city limits.

There were a few new trails that we got to take. Imaginations soared as we made our way through the spooky forest and found ourselves blazing new trails full of danger. We also spotted rabbits, bugs, bird nests...

The kids were pleasantly surprised that at random intervals I'd break into a sprint. Of course they turned it into a race.


Fashion Show

We had a unique opportunity for the kids to be a part of a fashion show for a new store. Sabrina was especially excited that she could be in a fashion show like Barbie. There was close to two hundred people there and all eyes were on her. She loved every minute of it!
She certainly showed attitude too. This is her pre-show "cat face".
Alex wasn't as thrilled, but he enjoyed it and showed his own brand of attitude. I was actually embarrassed by his antics, but I reminded myself that they didn't have the rehearsal the kids were supposed to get. It worked out fine because the ladies running the show liked his attitude.
My boy looks like a bored teen! He was extremely bored; things did not start when they were supposed to. We were waiting for nearly an hour after getting there for the second time.
Although things didn't go quite as planned- we showed up only to be told it was rescheduled for later in the day, we showed up again only to wait for an hour, no rehearsal... I think it was a very good experience for the kids. They each got a $50 gift card that we can use on Friday when the store opens. Since it will be the grand opening there will be lots of sales going on too.  

Culinary Park

We had an appointment at the Culinary Training center so the kids and I played at the park. This is a Park Challenge for us. It is a small, but quite nice park. It has many features that most parks don't have such as a small jungle gym, a balance beam, and whatever you call what Alex is on.
The kids were thrilled that I played on the equipment with them. I played with both kids on the see-saw and I climbed the thing Alex is on in the picture. I need to do that more often.
The only problem with this park is I don't have many reasons to go to that part of town.

Church concert at Food4Less parking lot

Our church put on a concert at a local parking lot. There was singing, drama, and testimonies.

It was fun to be a part of drama again. Alex has joined the drama team too and he really likes it.
Since the part of the parking lot we were in was roped off the kids had fun playing with their vehicles.

Lewis Family Park

The kids had a good time at Lewis Family Park. Can you tell we like parks?


Game night

Our first game is a game we haven't played in a very long time. It's an old game that I got from the thrift store. The box got torn up and I can't remember the name. It's basically the same as barrel of monkeys, but with different sized bats. The top one is magnetic and the rest hang from each other until they all fall.
Our next game is a new to us game; Sequence for Kids. Again this one came from the thrift store so we are missing the instructions. We had fun playing with our own rules though. We drew cards then tried to get four in a row. We all enjoyed this game.
Next up was a kid's version of Jenga. It's a very noisy fun game.
Learning About Manners Picnic Basket Game is another family favorite.
Our last game was Garanimals Fun at the Zoo.
For family night we try to play games that we can all play. Alex is old enough for more challenging games and sometimes he and Frank play those. However, our goals for Game Night are to make fun memories and to help the kids learn to follow directions and be good sports.

Jim Gill Concert at the library

The kids love Jim Gill's concerts of silly kids' action songs. This was our second time to go to one of his concerts. Alex was singing his super silly songs for days. (Alex is in the red shirt in front of the middle set of doors.)
Sabrina got so excited she kept jumping up while everyone else was sitting.

Harmony Park

One day I took the kids to Harmony Park before meeting Frank at the church for movie night, (a Christian documentary). As you can tell they had a lot of fun.


Saturday, October 19, 2013

Radio Interview

Frank was interviewed about his book, Jesus' First Command, on the radio. The interview can be heard here.

Chuck E Cheese

I took Alex, Sabrina, and Chrissy to Chuck E Cheese. They had a great time until it was time to go. Sabrina chose her prizes first. She was happy with her prizes until she saw that Alex and Chrissy each got candy then she had a total meltdown. I was totally bewildered and pointed out that she CHOSE her prizes. Thankfully she fell asleep in the car.

Shadow Rock Park

For Family day we went to Shadow Rock Park. I like this park because we can walk the trail that loops around the playground while the kids play.

The kids like any park. They also will play with any kid who will give them the time of day.


Friday, October 18, 2013

Camping at Lake Mead

Last month we camped overnight at Lake Mead.

Camping is a wonderful family activity that is pretty frugal once the equipment is purchased.
 We had a great camp site with a tree that was perfect for the kids to climb. In the next site was a family with a bunch of kids and our kids had so much fun playing with them!
Alex even shared his Power Bibles with his new friend.

We went on a very hot, but pleasant (except for the last few HOT minutes) hike.
 Frank is our family chef while camping, (just about the only time he cooks).

I surprised the kids with glow sticks, which made excellent nightlights for a little girl who doesn't like the dark.

The next day the kids climbed the tree again.

We also played in the water in the rain- we pretty much had the lake to ourselves at that point.

We took the short hike around the visitor's center.

We also visited the Visitor's Center which has a small, but nice museum. We love camping as a family.


P.S. I'll try to not let so much time pass between posts again.