Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Tasty Tuesday–Carrot and Spinach Lasagna with Lemon Sauce

Tasty Tuesday

Welcome to Tasty Tuesday here at The Young'ns!
There’s a recipe index under the food tab above if you’re ever looking for a recipe I’ve already blogged.

I’m going to try embedding a recipe that I have entered into Kitchen Monki, which is a resource that I love! Let’s see if it will work…


Shane is ONE!! (A celebration of my little Monkey)

Sunday we celebrated Shane’s birthday with a party. Good thing too, because he got sick with some fever bug on Monday and has yet to get better, poor boy.(This was today when his fever was 103.9)2013-01-30 12.13.46

(There are a few deets I need to add, but I really really want to get this posted tonight!)

The theme: MONKEYS!

The invitation: Will try to get a picture up of it soon. It was pretty awesome.

The menu:

  • Green salad
  • 2 9x13 pans traditional lasagna
  • 1 9x13 pan Carrot and Spinach White Lasagna
  • Bowl of plain ol’ noodles and red sauce for the picky ones (like Kahlen)
  • Apple juice for the kiddos
  • Soda pop for the grown ups
  • This monkey cake for the birthday boy 2013-01-27 Shane's Birthday Party (28)
  • Banana cupcakes decorated to look like this 2013-01-26 Shane's Cakes (2)
  • Chocolate cupcakes decorated too

2013-01-27 Shane's Birthday Party (13) Feasting kiddos

The venue: gym at church. Where else can I let 20 little monkeys run free?

The d├ęcor: I went all out, at least for me, this time.

I bought monkey plates, napkins, etc, at Party City2013-01-27 Shane's Birthday Party (11)

Using my cricut and paper that I already had at home, I made him a birthday banner (letters from ZooBalloo, squares from XXX)2013-01-27 Shane's Birthday Party (2) 

Kahlen talked me into getting streamers while we were at the dollar store, so I let her direct me as to where we should hang them.

2013-01-27 Shane's Birthday Party (6)

The guests: trying to keep it small when I have so many awesome friends was hard! I invited mostly just our current fellowship team and our families that live in Loveland. I still ended up with around 40 people, half of which were kids.

The presents: A Silly Monkey pillow pet, of course! He also got great presents from our friends. He thought opening them was pretty awesome. His brother and sister have since used his new toys more than he has, I think, except for the pillow pet, which he is quite attached to.

2013-01-27 Shane's Birthday Party (21)2013-01-27 Shane's Birthday Party (20)2013-01-27 Shane's Birthday Party (26)

The video. A birthday party for one of mine wouldn’t be complete without one :-)

Shane is one!

Some other pictures from the par-tay:

2013-01-27 Shane's Birthday Party (7)2013-01-27 Shane's Birthday Party (9)

Look, ma, I’m standing!


2013-01-27 Shane's Birthday Party (14)More kids enjoying the feast.

The progression of the birthday cake. He was not particularly a fan. Oh well, I think it’s probably a good thing that he doesn’t dig the sweets, right?

2013-01-27 Shane's Birthday Party (30)2013-01-27 Shane's Birthday Party (32)2013-01-27 Shane's Birthday Party (36)2013-01-27 Shane's Birthday Party (41)2013-01-27 Shane's Birthday Party (42)


2013-01-27 Shane's Birthday Party (49)

I’m all done, mommy! I want to go home!


2013-01-28 Birthday Cake part 2 (2)2013-01-28 Birthday Cake part 2 (3)

I gave him another piece of cake the next day, he thought it was mmm, mmm, good!

And in case anyone cares, he’s 21 pounds (25th percentile) and 32” tall (95th percentile).


Wordless Wednesday–Kahlen’s Sewing

While I work on a long involved post about Shane’s birthday and party, here’s a picture of what Kahlen has been working on. She’s taking handicraft classes with my stepmom once a week. She’s learning sewing, embroidery, and crocheting so far, with more to come as she progresses. This week, she made a vest for her beloved kitty to add to the skirt that she made a few weeks ago. Now her kitty is all dressed and ready to go! Kahlen titled this picture “Pretty Kitty”

2013-01-28 Pretty Kitty (2)


Linking up at:

imageBetter in Bulkimage

Tots and Me

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wordless Wednesday–The Park!

What a lovely January day! After tot school / co-op, we went to the park for a picnic and play date with friends.

Shane and  his buddy Oliver being pushed by O’s big sister.2013-01-23 Blevins Park (9)

Kahlen and EJ up a tree. My rule on tree climbing: If you can climb it, you may climb it, but I’m not helping you get down :-)

2013-01-23 Blevins Park (2)


Linking up at:

imageBetter in Bulkimage

Tots and Me

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Menu Plan Monday - for the rest of January

So I’m still menu planning by the month, which is why my Menu Plan Monday posts have dropped off, oops. And here we are almost the end of January…but I thought now is better than never, right? I’m going to post what I’ve already made for this month as well as the rest of the month’s plan.

I came across a new idea (new to me, at least) about a month and a half ago, and I’m slowly integrating it into our meals. Here’s the idea: instead of making freezer meals, preparing them to the very last step and then freezing them, freeze the raw ingredients for crockpot meals instead! Freezer Crock Pot meals, so easy! I tend to make double batches of food that freezes well and freeze one pan anyway, so this isn’t really all that different in concept, but much better in terms of time needed! I have found several good resources for recipes, one being this great e-cookbook that I got for Christmas. Ring Around the Rosies has many posts that are about freezer cooking, with a bunch of crock pot meals thrown in. I also have a pinterest board going for all the other ones I find that sound good to me.

A few things to note about this method and us: I have two very picky eaters here (my husband and my daughter), so rather than jump into  prepping a dozen recipes only to find out that no one will eat them, I’m starting out by just making a single batch on the day I want to eat it. If it goes well, I’ll add it to the list of ones we actually like. Hopefully by March or so, I’ll have enough of these tried out that I can actually do once a month cooking with it and pop out 20+ meals to have for later. The other thing of note is that we mostly eat chicken around here with the occasional beef or pork. Nothing philosophically or morally wrong with other meat, it’s just what we all prefer. Lastly, I am not a spicy foods person and I’m cooking for three little people too, so I didn’t pick many of the recipes that included much “flavor”. Just know that if you choose to buy the ebook I mentioned above (which I’m not at all getting compensated to promote, I just think it’s great), there are a lot more choices than the ones I’m choosing to make for my family.

Okay, enough talking! What are we eating (or have already eaten) this month:

6 7 8 9

Spinach Lasagna Roll Ups

Polish Pierogies

Teriyaki Burgers

Dinner at my dad’s

Basic Tacos

Cilantro Lime Chicken from Mama & Baby Love

Crockpot Parmesan Chicken from Mama & Baby Love

Date Night! Out to Nordy’s

Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup

Breakfast Burritos

Stuffed Jumbo Shells

Tortilla Casserole

Healthy Mama BBQ Chicken

Sesame Honey Chicken

Zatarains and Sausage


Tortellini Spinach Bake

Lasagna for Shane’s party!

Leftovers or something from the freezer

Orange Beef Stew from Mama & Baby Love

Family night with Fellowship Team

Spaghetti & Meatballs

Creamy Chicken Taquitos


The only thing that I should have made already and haven’t is the Polish Pierogies. They seem like such a good idea, and they’re so yummy, but they’re also a ton of work. Making dough, filling them, boiling them, frying them. Yeah. Haven’t wanted to do all that yet. I’m hoping to make them still, though, so maybe that will be the kick off of February’s menu.

The Cilantro Lime Chicken and Crockpot Parmesan Chicken were both very tasty and I’ll definitely be making them again! Now I’m off to start the Healthy Mama BBQ Chicken for dinner and start working on the lasagna that I’m making for this Sunday. My baby boy is turning one next week, so I’m feeding 30+ of our closest friends dinner :-)


Monday, January 14, 2013

Daily Photo–Tent Making

Nate got a set of PVC pipes and connectors for Christmas. What kid wouldn’t want that, right? Daddy showed them you can make a tent out of them; they now think he’s the coolest person ever.

2013-01-12 PVC Tent (3)2013-01-12 PVC Tent (4)Peek-a-boo!


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Tot School–“The Mitten”

Tot School

Nathanael is currently 42  months.

I finished our tot school co-op that I was teaching at my house. Yep, I have all the pictures and plan sheets. Maybe someday I’ll get them all posted, it just didn’t seem like a priority at the time. We had a blast, but I’m glad to be done with it for now.

The new semester brings a new plan and new ideas for tot school. I am still co-oping first grade hands-on projects with a friend of mine, so I have her three year old once a week for two hours while she takes Kahlen to do the fun hands-on parts of Tapestry of Grace. I debated a really long time about what I should do with Nate and Tilly during this time, and finally settled on B4FIAR without actually using the book. I wanted something that requires very little planning time for me, and this fit perfectly because there are so many great resources available. I am mostly using Homeschool Creations and Homeschool Share as resources with a bit of Pinterest thrown in for good measure. We’ll be doing lap journals, kind of a cross between lapbooking and notebooking as explained at Delightful Learning.

This week was our first week back after winter break. Since we’re starting in the middle of winter, I decided to start with The Mitten. Here’s a few of the activities we did for co-op:

Roll and graph from 1+1+1=1 (Who was also doing The Mitten this week!) 2013-01-09 Tot School The Mitten (1)2013-01-09 Tot School The Mitten (2)


Coloring mini books “This Mitten is…” I love the look on Tilly’s face while Nate vigorously scribbles away Winking smile

2013-01-09 Tot School The Mitten (4)2013-01-09 Tot School The Mitten (3)

Making snowball cookies from Totally Tots (Vanilla Wafers, Cream Cheese, and Coconut)2013-01-09 Tot School The Mitten (7)

Mitten Lacing

2013-01-09 Tot School The Mitten (8)2013-01-09 Tot School The Mitten (9)

They also did a puppet show with the story props from 1+1+1=1, but I didn’t get pictures since I was helping them.

Also this week, I introduced calendar time notebooks as a way to start off school each day. I got the printables from 1+1+1=1 here and here.

2013-01-07 School time (1)

We’re doing tot trays with mild success. The main problem is that I want him to be an independent worker, and he’s really just not. I am working on some ideas to help him with this, but in the meantime, he just gets frustrated and has an extremely short attention span for each tray activity.

2013-01-07 School time (2)Here he’s working on a Montessori style tray with nuts, bolts, and washers that have to be matched up and put together. The first time he did this, he did great! Since then, he’s been less excited about it… :/

2013-01-07 School time (4)I also made a pompom stuff it activity for the tiny tot. I had this little takeout container sitting around, so I cut a hole in the top and stuffed some pompoms in it. Of course, he can’t do it by himself, and he’d rather try and eat them, but brother helped him fill and dump.

That’s what we’re working on so far. Next week, we’re going to read The Snowy Day and do activities around that book. What did you do with your tots this week?


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