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Monday, April 19, 2010
This chicken mole chili was really really tasty and not too terribly hard. I don’t know if a real Mexican would think it tasted like mole or not, but it did have that flavor.
I substituted turkey for the chicken because I couldn’t find ground chicken.
Also, ancho peppers are also called pasilla peppers (right Chris?)
I used the chili pepper option over the smoked paprika.
It made a lot. We ate it twice and we still have a meals worth of leftovers in the freezer.
Jaden even loved this….which surprised me since it was a little strange.
On Easter Sunday We popped into the Spanish service just to grab a bag we had left in the church. But, since Jaden had slept through the entire English service I guess he figured he needed to be in church more that day. While I grabbed the bag from the back he walked up to the 4th row and sat down. I couldn’t get his attention so I went and sat down with him. He was happy listening to the mariachi and the readings and playing quietly. When it came time for the children’s message he decided that he needed to go up with the other kids. Usually I go up with him, especially since the message is in Spanish and he’s easily distracted by the other kids he usually plays with at the office. But, this time, he walked right up and sat down in the middle just as the pastor’ started so I decided to stay in the pew. Look how nice he was sitting! (front, center, red and blue striped shirt)
For his message, the pastor used a large box. He pretended that it was SO heavy and that it had the very best thing EVER inside. All the kids were REALLY interested. He kept carrying it around, with great difficulty because it was so heavy, of course. Finally, he asked one kid to look inside and asked what she saw. She said “nothing!” The box was empty. The pastor went on to explain that just like the kids thought there was going to be something in the box the women that went to Jesus’ tomb on Easter morning thought there was going to be something there. The kids were disappointed that the box was empty but really, it’s emptiness, like the tomb, was the best gift EVER. It meant the Jesus had risen and was no longer dead!
Well, after having the kids look in the box the pastor put it down while he continued with the story. Before long, my nicely sitting 2 year old was up and opening the box, then closing the box, then drumming on the box, then showing the box to the pastor, then carrying the box to his seat and bumping all the kids along the way. Finally the children’s message was over before complete mayhem broke loose from my 2 year old. WHEW! Yup, that funny little kid up at the front making all of the adults laugh….on Easter Sunday….that one was mine!
The flowers had just started to bloom at Stephen’s parent’s house so we decorated the table!
I made these hot cross buns, which I was really excited about.
They were really cute.
But, I didn’t think they were that great. I’d rather have my grandma’s cinnamon rolls if I’m going to go to all the trouble of waiting for dough to rise!
When we were getting ready to for the St. Louis trip I knew traveling was going to be a different ballgame with Jaden now that he’s two. He has his own airplane seat, he likes to do more things on his own, one toy doesn’t entertain him for a long period of time, my back can’t lug around enough books to just entertain him with reading…etc.
I had several ideas for some quiet books – like many of us probably had to take to church when we were little. I saw TONS of cute ideas that gave me inspiration. However, since all of them involved a LOT of sewing AND I had very limited time, I decided to go another route.
So, here is a view of my NO SEW quiet book.
The base for all of the pages are file folders cut in half. I tried to keep the themes 4 pages (front, 2 middle, back) so that I could take out sections and replace them later. All base pieces were glued onto the file folders with rubber cement and then laminated over. All moveable pieces were cut out, laminated, and cut out again. All moveable pieces and the place the “go” for storing or placement have sticky backed Velcro attached. All the pages are stored in a 3-ring binder. (It’ll make more sense as you see it).
This page has the word to “Jesus Loves Me” on it along with the pieces for the puzzle on the opposite page.
Here is the puzzle as you put it together. I used sticky backed Velcro strips cut into small pieces for all of the pieces in this book. I figured it would help Jaden get things in the right place AND keep from having pieces flying all over the airplane. This puzzle was a little too hard for Jaden right now but, he did keep trying.
The next pages were dedicated to Noah’s Ark. This was one of Jaden’s favorite pages. He likes to name the animals and match them up
To fill in the back page of that section I put a coloring page of Noah’s Ark. I just printed the coloring sheet, glued it to the file folder. If you use crayons you can wipe it off with a Kleenex. Jaden prefers markers to crayons now so he wasn’t too into these pages. I experimented with markers but washable markers just stayed wet and rubbed right off on our hands and I didn’t trust non washable markers on planes and in other people’s houses. I suppose dry erase markers would work but, I haven’t seen those washable either and, I didn’t have any to test with.
The next section is a traffic theme.
Matching up the cars. This one was a little tricky because some of the cars are too close in color. We worked on identifying if the lines matched up and if there was a front and a back of each car. There is a removable Ziploc attached with velcro to the right hand page that holds all the pieces.
This section had an extra middle page because I had a great idea. I drew a little road and several of our favorite places, the mission, the store, the park, our street… Jaden didn’t really get the idea of playing in this “town” with his toy car. I guess that kind of pretend hasn’t set in yet.
Last in the traffic section was a coloring sheet with Cars characters
The right pages starts a “love” section. The words to “Jesus Loves the Little Children are printed with spaces to put blocks of each color that appears in the song. It also holds the puzzle pieces for the following page – Heart matching
Then I was running out of ideas and time so I just lumped the pages together. So much for being able to take activities out easily. Oh well. This is a counting and number recognition game. You count the cherries on the cupcakes and match it up to the corresponding number. At the time we took the trip, Jaden didn’t really recognize numbers yet so, he was a little lost. He tried to match the cupcakes by color. (Sometimes the cupcake with cherries has the same color frosting as the one with the correct number but not always).
The cherry topped cupcakes were stored in a library card “oven”
Next was helping the bear get dressed. Jaden liked this page but there were a few too many things for him to get the clothes back in the basket very easily. He also doesn’t quite have the concept of matching clothes yet. But, he still had fun.
And then a matching shapes page. This one was his FAVORITE. I cut out shapes from all different colors and stored them in the Ziploc on the right.
The shapes are traced on library card pockets. The pockets have Velcro on the back so you can take them off and even use this as a floor game or you can later change them out to sort by colors instead.
Just insert the shapes in the matching pockets.
And to finish it off, a Thomas the train coloring page. I also found that the coloring pages were difficult because of all of the Velcro pieces behind them in the book. They were kind of lumpy.
All in all, this project was a LOT of work but occupied Jaden for one entire plane ride and several other odds and ends of time throughout the trip. We’ll occasionally take it to church or on other travels (we have several trips coming up again this spring/summer). A useful tool, adapatable, and VERY fun!
Making Easter Cards.
Jaden colored some Easter cards to send to some special people. Here is what we did.
I printed egg outlines on some white paper and he set to work coloring them.
Here is the finished product (I had to help a bit by drawing some snowmen around the edges)
Hmmm…silly me didn’t take a picture of the finished product!
Well, I cut out the eggs and glued them onto a cardstock backing that was about ½ inch wider than the colored egg. Then I wrote a note from Jaden to the person in permanent marker and mailed them. Hmmm…need to remember to take pictures of the FINISHED product! Grrr! Well, they were really cute!
We also played with plastic Easter eggs. I started Jaden sorting the eggs by color in egg cartons.
He had fun with that for a short while but then, mommy started making dinner. He wanted to put his Easter eggs in the skillet and cook too. NOT such a great idea. So, I got out a bowl and a pot and some spoons and he spent a good half an hour “cooking” his Easter eggs.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
The weekend before Easter a few of Jaden’s cousins were in town. He had LOTS of fun playing with them but a special activity was dying Easter Eggs. This was Jaden’s first time!
Cousins Bethany and Rane having fun
Jaden got the hang of the spoon and was gentle with the eggs MOST of the time
Saying YELLOW (also see video below)
Silly mommy didn’t take a picture of the all the finished art but, it was a lot of fun! Who knew 4 kids could go through 4 dozen eggs in about 15 minutes!!!!!
Besides trains (especially Thomas and Friends), cars (especially from the movie), and the occasional motorcycle that flies by on our street, Jaden LOVES trucks. Garbage trucks, dump trucks, semi trucks, diggers…you name it, he is a fan. So, imagine his excitement when we woke up one day to a racket in our neighborhood. Our next door neighbor was having a bunch of landscaping done. By the time we made it outside there were about 15 workers, a skid steer, a portable cement mixer, piles of rock, and…a DUMP TRUCK! We spent the WHOLE day outside watching them work and Jaden was SO excited to see the dump truck dump its load that I had to take his picture with it!
The next day we went to the St. Louis Arch. I showed Jaden the little cars that we would ride the elevator in. He LOVES elevators so he was pretty excited. Here we are in front of the door waiting our turn to get in.
Once we got in, he was NOT a big fan of the little egg shaped cars. It was a good thing we had “Pablo” with us. He was Jaden’s best friend the whole time we were there.
Looking out the windows at the top was a big hit with Jaden. He especially loved watching the cars and trucks below.
The whole group
Me and my boy
And my man
That evening the group played at Zion Lutheran Church
The next day we had some free time at the Science Center. This was a cool place but most of the activities were quite a bit over Jaden's interest level. Although, Jaden did think the dinosaurs were pretty cool!
And he enjoyed looking through the window in the floor that overlooks the traffic passing on the interstate below.
The had a section with numbered blocks where you could build an arch. Mostly, Jaden loved knocking other people’s arches over. Oops! Sometimes BEFORE they were able to get a picture of their work!
He also dug for fossils in the dinosaur exhibit
That night, the Mariachi played at the Concordia Seminary Campus as the opening before a lecture series.
The next day we had a bit more free time at “The Magic House.” This place is SERIOUSLY cool for anyone under about 10. The older members of the group didn’t really have much to do since the staff wouldn’t even let them check out the cool things since they didn’t have a child with them. Sadly, they hadn’t told us that at the entrance and instead just got mad at the group along the way. SO, if you’re ever in St. Louis with smaller kids this is INSANELY cool, otherwise, not a big hit.
They have all kinds of hands on activities and science type experiments for kids to play with.
One room was a “fairy tale” room with scenes set up from various books that kids could play in.
Beauty and the Beast
Jack and the Beanstalk
W whole town where you can “work” in the various stores.
Here is the mechanic
And even an outdoor construction site where Jaden got to drive the Bobcat with daddy
The next day the group played at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Des Peres MO. They got to play music during worship and lead the Sunday School hour.
They got all of the kids dancing the “pato” and the “sapo” and had a lot of fun.
And that night we had one more concert in Washington MO. This was a last minute addition to the schedule and they had over 200 people attend. Amazing! They only booked us one week before we played!!!
There you have it. Our trip to St. Louis. At least in short!