Thursday, April 30, 2009

I love giveaways!

I was directed to this great site by a friend at They are hosting a great giveaway so go check it out!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Homemade Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

With this recipe you can make pizza dough that's half white and half wheat. When I use white wheat my family doesn't even know what hit 'em! Here's the ingredients for two sizes.

12" pan
1 T dry yeast
1 c warm water
1 t salt
2 T olive oil
1 1/4 c white flour
1 1/4 c whole wheat flour
1 T gluten

17"X12"cookie sheet
1 1/2 T dry yeast
1 1/2 c warm water
1 1/2 t salt
3 T olive oil
1 3/4 c white flour
2 c wheat flour
2 T gluten

Combine all ingredients. Knead for a few minutes. Let rise while your oven is heating and you are preparing the toppings. Then bake at 400-425 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

Cheesy Volcano Meatballs

These were very yummy, easy, and my three-year-old loved helping make these! (I just had to watch closely to make sure he wasn't sticking his fingers in his mouth after touching the raw meat.) I got this from a free magazine that kraft sends out quarterly- you can get a subscription at

1 lb lean ground beef
6 Ritz crackers, finely crushed
1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 c spaghetti sauce, divided
about 12 cheddar cheese cubes (I cut up a block of cheese)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix meat, cracker crumbs, parmesan cheese and 1/4 c of the spaghetti sauce in bowl. Shape into 12 meatballs, using about 2 T meat mixture for each. Place 2 inches apart on a greased shallow baking pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Press 1 cheese cube deeply into center of each meatball. Bake 14 min. or until meatballs are cooked through (160 degrees). Meanwhile, microwave remaining spaghetti sauce to serve over top of meatballs. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

R is for Robot

This idea came from my sister. She read some informative and creative books with the boys. The fictional ones were: "Baby Brains and Robomom" by Simon James, "Rolie Polie Olie" by William Joyce, and "The Robot and the Bluebird" by David Lucas. Then the built their own robots! They used egg cartons, pipe cleaners, beads and stickers. They loved it and their imaginations were running wild! What a fun preschool day!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Great Giveaway

Here's another awesome giveaway from my favorite bilingual website:

We love these songs! They are such catchy, fun songs and I think they are a great way to learn Spanish!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Conference BINGO

I always look forward to General Conference but sometimes it's hard for my little ones to sit still and listen. A friend of mine sent me this great idea for helping children enjoy conference a little more. This BINGO game worked really well with my boys! They actually listened to almost an entire session (2 hours)! We ended up making up our own rules that said if ANYONE got BINGO then we could all eat all the treats on our board. I used jellybeans, bunny shaped marshmellows, walnuts, chocolate chips and raisins as markers. Thanks, Amy!

Wallets & Money

We had a fun impromptu learning experience today. I'd seen an idea a few months ago in the FamilyFun magazine on making a wallet from a used juice carton. Today we decided to make one and they turned out really cool! It was more of a Mom-does-the-craft-while-kids-watch craft but they were excited about how it turned out. I let them have a few pennies to carry around in it but they kept falling out and getting lost. Eventually, I decided to make money from construction paper and teach them a small lesson in counting and values at the same time. Then we set up a little store for them to go shopping at. I'd saved some cereal boxes, granola bar boxes, oatmeal tubs, herbs containers, etc that I cleaned out and they set up a store in our living room. They loved pretending to go to the checkout and use their money.

Update on our Spanish speaking days

I'm not perfect.

In the past I would get so frustrated if I didn't speak every word of the day in Spanish on our Spanish Only Days. I felt like if I wasn't perfect in my Spanish then somehow I would completely confuse my children and ruin their chance to ever learn Spanish. I had an all or nothing attitude and this frustration only led to giving up.

This time around I've taken the attitude that something is better than nothing. I may not be able to communicate everything in Spanish. And I often feel like I'm hardly speaking any on our Spanish only days because my five year old is constantly asking questions and wanting me to explain things in terms he can understand or because I get lazy and want to communicate something right away. But atleast I am trying to speak as much as I can. And there are vocabulary words that they are learning and hearing over and over again.

Maybe I've got it all wrong entirely. But above all, I want this to be a positive experience, for my boys to love the Spanish language as much as I do. If nothing else, I feel that perhaps I'm making it easier for them to one day learn to speak fluently, even if that's not right now.

After we'd been going a few days, my three year old asked me to stop speaking in Spanish. My five year old got upset and said, "No! I want to learn to speak Spanish!" I say that's progress!