Friday, January 23, 2015

Produce delivered to our door

About 3 weeks ago we signed up to get a box of fruit and vegetables delivered straight to our door. I heard about this company from my cousin when we were all gathered at my parents house for the New Year's Day get together. Nate and I talked about it and decided to give it a try. So far we are loving it! Every Thursday we get a box of organic fruits and vegetables delivered right to our door. Whatever is in season is what is in our box. So far, we've gotten a lot of apples, oranges, and potatoes. But we've also gotten some items I've never prepared or cooked with before such as chard, leeks, rutabaga, beets (I've eaten beets but never cooked them), celeriac (celery root), and some type of squash. 

The kids love discovering what is in the box each week. I've also had to do a lot of searching for new recipes and what in the world to do with some of the items. I've been surprised that all of the kids will take a bite of whatever new recipe I make with the vegetables because they are so excited about seeing the different vegetables. They don't end up eating what I've made, but they at least try it. Which is awesome since they have become quite picky and getting a variety of vegetables in them is hard.

The very first box of produce we got. It had chard that I ended up sautéing with some onions and garlic. It was really quite good!

One of my new favorite recipes is a Mushroom and Leek pizza (that I found on Pinterest). I've made it twice this last week. My new challenge is to find a recipe that looks yummy that has celery root (pictured below). I also have some rutabaga, a purple cabbage, a squash, and some kale to figure out how to use this week. Nate and I are really enjoying this produce box since it's forcing us to each more vegetables. Hopefully, with time, the kids will start eating more of these new recipes I make too.

Malakai's big boy room

On Tuesday we made a big change in Malakai's room. Layla and Malakai helped me take apart Malakai's crib and remove it from his room. For over a year (or maybe longer) Malakai has had a crib and twin bed in his room. The twin bed had been in Sanaa and Layla's room but we eventually got them a bunk bed and moved the twin bed into Malakai's room. Back in November I converted Malakai's crib into a toddler bed in the hopes that he would eventually start sleeping on his twin bed. But he had absolutely no interest in the twin bed. I talked briefly with Nate and we figured that as long as his crib was in the room he would probably never transition to the twin bed. 

For a few weeks I've been thinking about when the best time to remove Malakai's crib would be, but there never seemed to be a good time. So Tuesday, instead of having Malakai nap, I removed his crib and rearranged his room

He was so excited! He kept jumping around saying, "Yay! Yay!" When we brought Sanaa home from school, Malakai was very excited to show her and ran into his room and said, "Ta-da!"

I wasn't sure how the first night of sleep would go, but since he didn't have a nap it went pretty well. He cried a little when I first laid him down but I rubbed his back for a short time and then he fell asleep. Wednesday he woke up happy and excited! In fact, all week, he has woken up in a great mood. Normally he would be a little cranky and sometimes whiny in the morning. But since he started sleeping in his big boy bed he has not woken up cranky at all. He also hasn't been throwing tantrums in the morning like he did last week and all the weeks before that. I have no way to prove this, but I think he is a lot more comfortable on his twin bed. It's quite possible he wasn't getting a good nights sleep in his crib/toddler bed which led to him being whiny and cranky in the mornings. 

Malakai continues to nap well on his new bed and we have no issues with him climbing off his bed and coming out of his room. His sisters would come out of their room all the time when we moved them from a crib to a bed (and still do), but Malakai will wait on his bed and call for us to come get him!

With the new room arrangement I was able to move the small bookcase that had been in the garage into his room to hold a few books and some of his toys. I also moved his workbench over so that he now has a little toy corner.

On Wednesday I took Malakai shopping while Sanaa and Layla were at school. I let him pick out his comforter and a second set of sheets. He chose a ball theme, which works great! It'll be something he can use for many years.

Layla and Malakai now spend more time playing in his room, which is wonderful! When Sanaa comes home from school she also likes to play in Malakai's room with him.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Our 12th anniversary

Nate and I had our 12th anniversary on January 4. We didn't do much. In the evening Nate went and picked up some takeout and we watched some tv. That Sunday had been a little stressful for me. It was the first Sunday that I led Kid City at our church and when I arrived I discovered that nothing was loaded or ready to go on the computer. One of the tech volunteers spent the entire Sunday school hour uploading everything I would need and got the very last song uploaded as the kids walked in. Kid City is a mix of short skits and/or dramas, a worship time, a 10 minute video on our lesson, and an activity. So we use the computer a lot since it plays our worship DVD's and Bible lesson. But it all got taken care of. I have also talked with the staff at the church and there is a plan as to who will be uploading the lessons and music each week for me. This past Sunday went much better than my first Sunday.

Since it was our anniversary, Sanaa was very sweet and made a special picture for Nate and I.

The Tuesday after our anniversary I drove to church for a meeting with the children's ministry team. I drove through a lot of thick fog but once I got up to our church I broke through the fog and it was beautiful. Malakai thought the clouds on the tress were fun. Our house down in the valley somewhere under that fog.

How we spent the last few days of Christmas break

Christmas break went by rather fast. Which was good considering the kids spent most of those two weeks fighting. We had a few calm moments where they all got along. They spent the last couple of days creating art and craft projects and playing dress up. 

Sanaa made a cat toy with feathers, string, and some colored popsicle sticks. 

They also used their new large stamps. Malakai decided it would be more fun to cover his hands and face than actually use the large stamps on paper.

They've also done a lot of dressing up. My mom's co-worker had a girl pirate outfit that her daughter outgrew so she gave it to my mom to pass onto me. The kids love it. Yes, all of them! Surprisingly, they all did fairly well taking turns wearing the costume. Malakai does have his own dress up clothes, but he refuses to wear them. He has a Superman one that he'll wear but the others he just ignores. He would rather wear the girl pirate outfit, Rainbow Dash or Anna's dress than the stuff that he has.

Layla changes her outfits a lot. So you never know what she'll be dressed in when she comes out of her room. One minute she's a pirate and the next she's a princess with a bow and arrow hunting some dragons (a.k.a Sanaa and Malakai).

One evening I was trying to get the kids ready for bed. I had told Malakai to get off of Sanaa's bed and usually he listens and uses the ladder. But this time I heard Sanaa yell for me and when I got to her room I discovered that Malakai was indeed getting down off of her bed. He just wasn't using the ladder like I had expected him to. There is nothing that he can't climb it seems.

The Saturday before school started I made the kids some snowman pancakes. They often ask for Mickey mouse and Minnie mouse shaped, but since it was cold outside I thought a snowman shaped pancake would be fun instead.

The bedtime routine has changed a little bit for the kids. Since they got there bed lights, they love to look at books and read in the evening. So Nate and I have started praying with them and saying goodnight and then giving them 15 minutes or so to read books in bed. It has been great! It has cut down on the amount of times they come out of their room at night! We use to tuck them in and then one or both girls would come out 2-3 times for one reason or another. But now, they stay in their room. When we tell them turn off their reading light they listen and end up falling asleep fairly quick. There have even been a couple of nights that Malakai has wanted to read in his room. But I only give him about 5 minutes since he's usually quite tired by bedtime. One night he was almost asleep on top of his book when I came back in.

New Year's Day

We are 12 days into January and I'm finally updating the blog. It's been a busy couple of weeks and I expect most of Spring to be that way.

On New Year's day we drove over to my parents house. It's an annual tradition for my dad's side of the family (his siblings and their children) to get together on New Year's day. It's been at my parents house the past couple of years because they are a good half way point between Portland and Salem (where the majority of the family lives) and they seem to have the most spacious house out of the extended family. So we spent the day with about 30 of my uncles, aunts, and cousins.

After everyone left, the kids found a bucket of nuts that one of my cousins brought for my dad. The kids really wanted to learn how to crack nuts, so grandpa showed them. All three of them insisted on attempting it themselves but it was too hard and grandpa helped each of them.

Even daddy got a lesson! Mixed nuts are one of Nate's favorite snacks but I learned that he's never used a nutcracker before. I have fun memories of sitting at the table as a child after dinner using the nutcracker and then passing the nuts over to my dad since I didn't actually like to eat them.

I didn't even think to get pictures while all the extended family was there but Sanaa, Layla, and Malakai had a great time playing. They spent nearly the entire day outside playing with some of my cousins' kids. One of my cousins has a daughter that is 12 or maybe a little older and she helped watch Malakai while he was outside. Malakai loved it and became fast friends with her. Malakai even gave her the sweetest hug when it was time for her to leave.