Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Kids' Daily Schedule


I truly believe that kids LOVE and THRIVE on schedules and routines. My training taught me this, my experience in teaching "proved" this in my opinion beyond ANY shadow of a doubt, and my monkeys proved this 10 fold.

I also am a FIRM believer that kids are SMART. Often so much more than we give them credit for. (One of my first memories was of me thinking ~I understand so much more than my mom and dad know! ~) I know that with some intense instruction/training and time, your children can learn way more than you thought that they were capable of. It just takes YOUR time and YOUR planning. For example, I potty-trained all of my boys starting at 18 months and they were all in underwear by 20 months all day long and by 22 months - day and night! They rock, but it was a lot of dedicated time to the process but they ALL THREE got it.

When Gabriel was 3 1/2 and the twins 2, I decided that it was time for some basic morning chores/schedule. *Morning could be a very hectic time, so thus evolved the schedule.* They LOVE this thing! LOVE.... I explained how it worked. I trained them in their chores and these boys again lived up to, NO EXCEEDED!!!, my expectations.

Time invested wisely in children pays off in great outcomes.

So my children are now on a daily routine that starts as soon as they have asked to be excused from the table, put their own dishes on the counter and have washed their hands and faces. They are getting big and so capable. What a fun new experience for our family to be in little boy chapter vs. baby chapter.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Nourishing Protein Bars ~ World's Yummiest Dessert!

Here are some yummy protein bars that I have been telling everyone about! They are EGG-FREE for Gabriel, SUGAR-FREE, GRAIN/GLUTEN-FREE, and DAIRY-FREE for Corey. So in reality getting/finding a dessert that is eatable by the whole family is a massive struggle due to the logistics of cooking. Flour makes things rise and hold shape, or eggs do. My family can't do either because of somebody, so I usually end of making all kinds of different desserts. It is very sad though seeing Gabriel or Corey eyeing something and asking if they can have it, and telling them sadly NO. Argh..... So my quest for healthy, decently good desserts has been on my "to-do" list for a few years!
Well I found them! They are insanely DELICIOUS, extremely HEALTHY, and unbelievably EASY!

Nourishing Protein Bars - A Great Whole Food Snack
(Better than a LaraBar!)
  • 2 C. almonds
  • 1/4 C. pumpkin seeds, flax seeds or chia seeds (I did pumpkin)
  • 1/2 C. dried prunes, dates or raisins (I did prunes)
  • 1/2 C. shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1/2 C. "plain" peanut butter or almond butter (I did PB)
  • 1/2 t. sea salt

All of these items need to be pulsed together in your food processor until ground down. I don't have one so I did each ingredient separatedly in my Magic Bullet and then poured it into my Kitchen Aid and mixed.

  • 1/2 C. coconut oil (melted)
  • 1 TB. honey or maple syrup (I did honey)
  • 2-3 t. vanilla extract (pure)

Melt coconut oil over very low heat. Remove from stove and stir in honey and vanilla. Add to food processor and pulse until forms a course paste. (I added to my Kitchen Aid and mixed thoroughly). Press into an 8X8 glass baking dish. Chill for 1 hour until hardens.

  • a few squares dark chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)

~~~~~ I did Ghiradelli 100% unsweetened cocoa chips. They have NO SUGAR and taste horrible alone, so I melted mine with some honey (1 TB) and 1 1/2 t. vanilla for my thin layer of frosting on the bars.

In a small saucepan, melt chocolate over very low heat, stirring continuously. Spread melted chocolate over bars; return to refrigerator for 30 minutes, until chocolate hardens. Remove from refrigerator, cut into bars and serve. Makes about 12-16 bars. Store in the refrigerator. Try not to eat the whole pan in one day!!!!! Yum-O! :)

Enjoy, I am making a new batch again today and will try to add a picture, sorry but we ate them too fast! These are the best, and I will be bringing these to every function from now on! They are THAT good!
* These are suitable for People doing a NO Egg, Gluten, Grain, Dairy or Refined Sugar Diet. These are SCD diet approved for people with Crohn's Disease! Praise God for Good Food!

First Trip to the Children's Museum

My first thought was: WOW! This place is EXPENSIVE! ($40 for the fam!)
My second thought was: WOW! This place is AMAZING!
Here is the water room where they can dump, pour, and play with WATER!

What kid doesn't like water! Gavin was playing in the area where they can race the ducks/boats down! You can also set up the course. Corey loved doing this with our kids!

Grant was all over. He was ULTRA excited!

Gabriel setting up a new course for him and Gavin to race their boats!

Corey and the boys pausing for a picture. Gabe still playing/ Gavin asleep (kidding!) and Corey and Grant looking!

Gabe taking a picture of Corey and I!

The 4 boys!

All 3 of our monkeys loved brushing the alligator's teeth.

I think Corey is DONE! D*O*N*E, done!

Not Gavin though, he finally has a computer that he can type on!

Grant's turn!

Gabriel typing in the doctor/hospital area!

YIKES! I suddenly went ILL and needed a doctor!

Now we are working on Gavin!

Corey giving me the Look! "Can we please be done!?"

Gavin is still out of breath and panting ~ but fully recovered!

Grant is now on the operating table! He will be fixed up in NO time!

** We played in the digging area, water area, clay area, food and grocery area, Kangaroo Crossing exhibit, building area, hospital area and climbed in the overhead forts. Such fun!
Ending our day on a good note and leaving before we get too hungry, tired or fall apart! Our boys loved the Children's Museum! What a fun outing!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Gabe's 1st trip to the DENTIST!

Here we are in the waiting area!

Gabriel is giddy with excitement and nervousness!

Getting some x-rays of the chompers!

Cleaning off the "sugar bugs."

Shiny, clean teeth for Gabe!

The Chair ~~~ Grr....

Here is the story:
Corey has always wanted a recliner.
Corey got offered a comfy recliner for free.

It doesn't match my decor AND IS FREAKIN' KILLING ME.

But all the men in the house LOVE it, so I lose this battle for the moment. I am scheming a new recliner for Father's Day?? ;)

What is cuter than one sweet baby? Twins ~ of course!

My little boys are 2 and 1/2 years old. What joy they have brought to our lives!

Looking at Chickens!!

Gavin and Grant were memsmorize by the busy-ness of the chicken. They were here, there and terrified of my boys! :) Every move that Gavie and Grant-Grant made caused commotion in the coop and my boys ROARED with laughter. Hilarious!

They would have stayed there all day!

As we were leaving, Grant is begging, "More, More please!"

The Herd Overheard

My sister-in-law Sarah always posts some of the funny, sweet and cute things that her kids say. I thought that I would share some of our fun....

  • We were rocking out to Raffi "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" in the van when it slows to "Out came the sun and dried up all the rain..." Gabe suddenly closes his eyes and raises his hands and tells his brothers "this is the worship part." They instantly close their eyes and raise their hands to sway with the music.

  • "Mom, I REALLY want to marry you." "Gabe honey, I am married to your Daddy." "Ahh..., it's just Daddy, and I think that he would let me marry you."

  • "The Farmer in the Dell" music comes on and Gabe comments that this is Papa John's song. I look confused, and then hear Gabe singing, "The farmer in The Dalles, The farmer in The Dalles, Hi-Ho the Cherry-O, the Farmer in the Dalles." (Papa John is a cherry orchardist in The Dalles, OR.)

  • "Gavin keep your nose in that corner, " is heard from the kitchen. "ODD, " was my first thought. I go into the kitchen and sure enough, Gavin has his nose in the corner. Gabe has his hands on his hips watching him like a hawk. I ask Gabriel what is going on and he tells me that Gavin was naughty. I set Gavin free, and Gabe and I discuss (again) who is the parent in the house.

  • I had just spanked Gabriel for defiant behavior. Corey still wanted to talk to Gabe about the whole situation. Corey comes out and informs me that I need to get tougher on the boys since Corey asked Gabe if the spanking hurt, and Gabe thoughtfully replied, "No, but don't worry, I did cry so mom would THINK it did."

  • Gabe's favorite song is HERE I AM TO WORSHIP.

His version is: Here I am to worship, Here I am to VOW down, Here I am to say that you're my God. You are all together lovely, all together WOOLY, All together wonderful to me.

  • When my dad asked Gabe how our beach was, Gabe replied, "We did good dam(n) work." My Dad was shocked and I reassured him we built a huge dam in the wet sand. YIKES!

Camping at Horsethief Lake ~ May 21-23, 2010

We love camping!!! This was our first camping trip of the year. It was directly across from the Dalles on the Washington side. It was pretty and their was a lake for fishing. ;) John and Sandy brought their trailer over for us to use. We were appreciative because it was still cold out (and windy as we were soon to find out!)

Sarah and I were getting ready to make some lunch for the gang!
The gang was: Randy and Adam Watkins, My brother Andy, Sarah and Baby Lance, then Corey, myself, and the 3 G's for all 3 days.

Enjoying the camper!

Grant hovering around the food, surprise-surprise!!! :)

After fishing and walking around the lake. All 3 passed out on the bed in back! :)

Playing Hide and Seek! Not sure who is hiding, or who is counting???

Gavin smiling with his arm out, "Found ya!"

My boys just LOVE being outside!

Before the CRASH....

SMACK! All 5 Cowarts walking to the bathrooms in the morning ~ I offer to take Gavin and Grant with me, while Corey takes Gabe into the Men's side. I grab my two monkeys by the hand and lead them to the restrooms. Corey turns the corner and Gabe walks SMACK into the corner wood post. Real crying, but I let Corey deal with it and try not to be a hovering mom.

This is my Gabe when I come out. I quickly push my nausea down and get the poor kid some ICE and 2 children's Tylenol. WOWZA ~ What a headache!

Gabe and I chillin' in the trailer!

The trailer had a DVD, so we popped in a new video (thanks Ma'z) and decompressed for lunch and nap time!

Kinda ~ They are 3 BUSY boys!

Ma'z snuggling Baby Lance.

Papa John

The boys do want to watch the DVD, but my kiddos just HAVE to be right where the action is, or where I am!

NAPPY TIME for all 4 boys. 1 down, 3 more to go!

Tucked in,
Snugga- Bugged Tight!

Good night! YES, we were 4 for 4. My boys DO nap. They play hard and sleep hard!

Grant up to shannigans

JP and Cortney came up with Ebba-Christina on Saturday and stayed until Sunday! So fun!

The gang up and around on Sunday.

Breakfast of pancakes, potatoes, bacon, eggs and fruit!