Mr. Magorium’s Magic Emporium

Despite the fact that this movie deals with death, it is one of our favorite kid movies. The music is beautiful, mostly instrumental. Natalie Portman, Dustin Hoffman, and Jason Bateman are all amazing. Plus, the humor is right on and appropriate for adults and children.

One of the best lines from the movie is, “Your life is an occasion. Rise to it.”

Something for all of us to remember.

Undercover Veggie

Shhhh….my kids ate zucchini today but they have no idea.

Somewhere I failed as a parent in regards to my kids’ eating.

We are not one of those families where the kids eat everything on their plate.

“Oh, Johnny just loves his salmon with asparagus and sushi.”

No, it’s more, “Oh, Alex loves his hamburgers and grilled cheese,” over here.

But to be honest, I’m not really worried.

At one point my youngest sister ate only white food.

For years.

Mashed potatoes, pasta, mashed potatoes, pasta?

Seriously, I don’t know what she ate but she seems to be fine now.

Plus, her food groups have expanded to include green and red foods so there’s hope for my kids.

I have begun “sneaking in” veggies as a little backup for my confidence that all will be fine.

Caroline likes orange juice. In fact, she eats and drinks just about every fruit.

But not one vegetable. I’m sorry I misspoke, she is a corn on the cob connoisseur but that’s it.

So now she drinks her 3/4 orange juice and 1/4 carrot juice combo in the morning. She’s happy and I feel like I can color in one minor section of the food pyramid.

The boys are not much better since they do not stray far from salad and carrots.

I came across a banana chocolate chip zucchini bread recipe in blog world. What? One of these things is not like the other. Zucchini? There have been several gagging incidents at our dining room table over cooked zucchini. Amazingly, we’ve never had any gagging incidents from banana bread or chocolate chips.

Soooooo…I immediately printed out the recipe, gathered the ingredients, and made the bread this morning (naturally doubling the chocolate chips suggested).

I admit the smell was pretty enticing. When I announced the chocolate chip banana bread was ready there were whoops and hollers.

Well folks. Good news. Caroline ate her piece while Andrew had seconds and Alex had thirds. I am pretty sure they consumed exactly 0.05% of the daily serving suggestion for vegetables but it’s more than before.

Hmmm…anyone for turnip tiramisu?


Apparently the one sitting where they consumed a large portion of the brad was a fluke. Alex & Andrew are now refusing to eat the the very same bread they fought over exactly one day ago. Excuse me while I go bash my head on a tree.

A Watched Pot

Last week as Alex was searching for something for lunch he asked me, “Do you know how to make mac n’cheese?”

I took it as an insult.

While I am admittedly a bad cook, I can at least make mac n’cheese.

From a box that is.

Let’s not get all crazy and make it from scratch.

Plus, I’ve made it a good hundred times or so for him. Doesn’t he remember at least one of those occasions?

Alex decided he was going to learn the very detailed and complex process of making this gourmet lunch.

I walked him through all the steps and watched as he proudly served his brother lunch.

Turns out his first attempt was so successful he decided to cook it again today. This time though he drove me crazy. Off and on. Off and on. Off and on went the lid.

I explained the phrase “A watched pot never boils” to him in hopes of getting him to walk away for a few minutes.

I should not have bothered.

He thought his idea was much better.

I cannot wait to see what he does when I explain, “A chip on your shoulder.”

OohMoon – Free Kid Art!

Katie Moon is an amazing graphic artist who has taken on an interesting project this year.

In her words, “Every day for the next year I will create a new illustration (with children in mind). For one day, each illustration will be free for you to download and use and print as you please. This is simply a little gift from me to you. After 24 hours, the illustration will still be available, but for a small purchase price.”

Katie began this project on December 1st so there is plenty of time for you to check out her site OohMoon and return daily for new art!

*I can’t even wash my kitchen counters everyday and she’s creating beautiful artwork  that both kids and parents will enjoy*

Here are some of my favorites….



Fairy Tales

Hope Series

Aren’t Katie’s illustrations beautiful?

I adore colorful, modern graphic art and this certainly fits the bill. (No, it’s not lost on me that there is a huge pelican directly above the last sentence).

I’m thinking of the Veggie Monster for above our kitchen table.

Go check out Katie’s work NOW!

Rainbow Vanilla Pops

I first saw the idea of pudding pops here and decided it would be a fun project for the kids

Items you need: food coloring, plastic spoons, instant vanilla pudding mix and milk (not shown), and small plastic cups (not shown)

Prepare the vanilla pudding according to directions

Use food coloring to change the pudding into desired colors

Watch out for little hands who are “helping”

Fill the plastic cups with various colored pudding amounts

Argue constantly that your brother is getting more of one color than you

Place a plastic spoon in the cup and place in freezer

Enjoy your frozen treat after a rough day of playing with water balloons

Are you making any fun summer treats?

Pat Morita Lives in Our House

Meet our little Mr. Miyagi

Let me widen the screen a bit on Mr. Miyagi.

Notice anything?


Let me point something out to you.

fly carolineOur sensei is standing next to her opponent.

Caroline and I were standing by the window looking at trucks outside our house when a fly started to bother us. I walked into the kitchen to grab a towel to swat the fly when I heard a whack, followed by, “I got it.”

A doll, a book, a sword?

No people. She meant she got THE FLY.

I walked back into the room to this.

In all fairness the fly may have been a little slow due to the pest guy spraying the day before but it doesn’t dismiss the fact that my TWO YEAR OLD KILLED A FLY WITH HER HANDS!

All of the waxing and painting I make her do is finally paying off.

Weekend Bloggy Reading

Piano Week

Andrew & Alex started piano lessons last week. In an attempt to add to their excitement, we had PIANO WEEK at our house.

What might you ask is Piano Week?

Well, it’s just a week of activities I thought up or found which dealt with music. This was an attempt to give a little structure to our summer days. The focus being on little.


Visited: a piano store and received a tour by a very enthusiastic employee

Created: Alex created a power point about John Williams while Andrew made a poster. I originally thought they would choose Beethoven or Mozart but once we stumbled upon John Williams there was no turning back. One morning we spent over an hour watching him conduct on You Tube.

Read Books: 1. Beethoven – A Value Tales book 2. Duke Ellington by Andrea Davis Pinkney  3. Ludwig van Beethoven by Eric Summerer  4. Keyboards by Wendy Lynch

Made: Thumb pianos – directions found here

Listened: to a Mixed Classical CD from Target in the car all week

Food: We ate SHARP cheese, ate BACHli (I’ll be honest – Derek and I are the only ones who ate the broccoli), talked about fish SCALES while we ate fish sticks, and planned to make cinnamon FLATbread but never got around to it.

We also made dessert PIANOS compliments of Alex. We used ice cream bars but white Kit Kats bars would make prefect piano keys.

Movies: We watched the movie Beethoven with Charles Grodin and Bonnie Hunt. Yes I know it has nothing to do with music but the kids loved it.

We capped off the week with a trip to eat ice cream at Braum’s (BRAHM). I wanted to finish up the week at a piano bar but Derek thought otherwise.

We had some LOWS and HIGHs during piano week but overall it was enjoyable. The boys have enthusiastically practiced piano everyday since their first lesson and can’t wait to find out what this week’s activities will focus on.

What fun things are you doing this summer?

Todays Creative Blog