Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Menu Plan

Back to Rosetta Stone and booking tickets to France this week! Plus looking at buying things we'll need for Cameroon. Whew!

Monday: Peach Chicken in crockpot, mashed potatoes, green beans, french bread
Tuesday: Taco Soup
Wednesday: Spaghetti, green beans, garlic bread (didn't get to this last week)
Thursday: Fried Rice
Friday: Homemade Pizza Pockets, green beans
Saturday: Hot Dogs or Homemade Chicken Nuggest, snacky foods (popcorn, smoothies)
Lunches: leftovers or pb&j

Breakfasts will be toast or yogurt, french toast, eggs, fruit, banana bread

What's on your menu this week?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Secret Agent Girl

Marianna is using her toilet paper tube binoculars to spy on our neighbors. In her ballerina costume. Awesome.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Handsome Louis

And a little Liv too;)

Louis is very vocal. He is prone to very very loud squeals. So insert high pitched shrieks and squeals into these pictures and you have the idea. He is such a sweet boy though. We all love him and he definitely does not lack for love & attention!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A few links I wanted to remember!



By the way, please pray for us, we are REALLY going to go try to get our NC driver's license tomorrow! Leaving at 6am to try to get in line first! A little nervous since I did not pass the practice test they have online the first time!;)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Making Pizza

We "made" pizza last week using a pizza crust mix (usually make homemade but didn't have yeast yet) and I had the last minute idea to let the girls make their own on some thin bread rounds. They loved it and wanted to eat them before they were cooked. I should have too because they didn't like them nearly as much after they were cooked! I think the deli thins got sort of soggy with all the sauce. But it was still a fun time:)

Livvie was having fun even though she looks like she's in pain or something in this picture. What a ham.

In other news we had some Chinese dignitaries visit JAARS today. We were told not to address them individually if we ran into them on campus, which I thought was a little odd. So..I come out after sending Marianna out with Louis (in his stroller) to wait on the porch. Marianna is chatting away with one of the dignitaries while he takes hundreds of pictures of the two kids! Ha! Apparently they are our neighbors while here at JAARS. A little tough to not "address individually" if they are taking pictures of your kids and giving them copious amounts of candy! Too funny. So I tried to visit with him a little through limited English. Made me wish I could go back again someday! In other other news, we are going to schedule our appointment with the visa consulate tonight (for mid October)! Exciting! In other other other news (I think I am tired because this is getting out of hand:) Louis thinks he should be crawling NOW. He started getting up on his knees today and sometimes on his toes. He even made a few attempts to move forward with one knee. A little early for crawling, much? Mama isn't ready for this one to be mobile!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Pretty in Pink and handsome prince

Marianna thinks she needs to include brother in the dressing up. I almost caught a picture of him with pink sunglasses, but she took them off too quick!

There are stairs leading up to the apartment above us that the girls enjoy playing on. They swore that the flowers in their hands just "fell off" the bush. Hmmm....

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Marianna and Louis = love

These two have a bit of a special bond. Its super sweet to watch the love they have for one another.

No, Louis isn't a thumb sucker (yet) but he chews on his thumb and fingers constantly when he isn't using his pacifier or gnawing on a blankie. I hope a tooth pops through soon.

Menu Plan for Sept. 18th, 2011

Its visa week! We are going to push to get out our visa application and our apartment paperwork this week. Going to be crazy. Thankfully we have help with the girls for several mornings this week. I'll be keeping the meals simple as usual and using some of the great coupon deals this week.

Sunday: Whole Grain Hamburger Helper, salad, green beans.
Monday: Taco Salad
Tuesday: Spaghetti, green beans, garlic bread
Wednesday: Gluten free Waffles (freezer), scrambled eggs, peach smoothies
Thursday: Chicken in the crockpot (not sure recipe yet), rice, peas
Friday: Frozen Pizza, Veggie Sticks
Saturday: Sloppy Joes, salad or peas

Lunches: leftovers or pb&j

Breakfasts will be toast or peaches and cream oatmeal, french toast, eggs, fruit

What's on your menu this week?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Harris Teeter Triples and produce

I was excited to finally go to do some Harris Teeter for some triple coupon shopping today. Apparently the richer parts of town have less coupon shoppers because the store I went to was in a nicer area and was very well stocked in pretty much everything I was looking for minus some butter and Worcestershire sauce. I spent $43.67 at HT and that included several lbs of hamburger, cheese, 36 eggs, some produce, 2 packages of Seattle's best coffee, milk and snacks for the girls (raisins, applesauce) while they are in the MK station 4 mornings next week (so we can finish up our visa/apt. paperwork). I got a ton of snacks for free/almost free too, plus some fun freebies like Gold Peak Tea and Whole Grain Hamburger Helper.

Bananas from WalMart when we got ink, and red pepper and huge onion and lion crackers (not pictured) from Trader Joes.

We have a freezer full of peaches, several packages of meat and a lot of staples like beans, rice and lentils as well as canned goods to work with this next week!

Horsing around & Dress up

More fun in our "backyard" here at JAARS.

The girls love to pretend they are princesses and they put pieces of cloth on their heads and blankies around their torso. Nor sure what country these princesses are from, but they are pretty cute.

Didn't want Louis to feel left out. Here he is playing with his paci. He's gotten much better with holding things and can almost get the right side of the paci in his mouth (but not quite.)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Hold Still Louis and Worship w/ Daddy

The girls still love to play Dr. Ever since I was first pregnant with brother Louis, the girls have loved to get out their kit and poke, prod and measure anyone who would hold still. They still love to do it, but I have to watch very carefully now to make sure Liv doesn't do anything that might be a little to rough to poor little patient Louis:) Marianna is usually pretty gentle, thankfully.

We've been trying different things occasionally with our morning family devotions. We almost always work on a memory passage plus some catechisms but this particular morning we thought maybe would would start adding a hymn or some song that our church here in NC sings at the end of worship. Livvie wanted to help daddy and was pretty cute trying to sing with him.

The internet is such an amazing resource sometimes...we were able to find the song we were looking for and play it while we practiced over and over.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Many uses of a trampoline & back porch dancin'

We live in what would definitely be considered a small space for 5 people in the US of A. For Africa, probably not so much. But thankfully three of our people are small. But not-so-great is that the three little people are very noisy and full of ENERGY! So...our back porch here at JAARS has gotten to be our best friend. The girls usually spend a couple hours a day out there playing. They especially get good use out of the trampoline. The latest use is as a bed, as you can see:

Also, they have a red tub that doubles as a snack table for their 9:00am fruit and veggie snack tray.

I found the girls dancing and singing about princesses and "stars shining" the other day. They were pretty stinkin' cute.

Usually the singing involves Marianna making up elaborate lyrics and Olivia being her echo. M: "the stars are shining bright" 1/2 a second later Olivia: "stars are shining bright!" And on and on:)

Thursday, September 8, 2011


Here are the ever-so-craft caterpillars that I made with the girls out of egg cartons:

Don't be jealous of my craftin' skilz.

Louis plays peek-a-boo

This is what I found in Louis' crib after nap the other day:

Monday, September 5, 2011

Menu Plan for Sept 5th, 2011

We have been eating beyond simple meals lately (and cheap ones too). Tonight was a very good example...not just beans and rice simple but just beans. But I seem to have found the secret to getting the girls to eat just about anything! An hour at the pool right before dinner does it almost every time;).

Sunday: Vegetable noodle soup (clean out the fridge soup) with bowtie pasta and bread/butter.
Monday: Beans in the crockpot with toppings (lettuce, sour cream, salsa, cheese.)
Tuesday: Spaghetti, green beans, garlic bread
Wednesday: Lentil Sausage Stew in the crockpot, rolls
Thursday: Tacos
Friday: Homemade Pizza, salad
Saturday: Breakfast for dinner: frittata, healthy peach shortcake

Lunches: leftovers or pb&;j

Breakfasts will be toast or peaches and cream oatmeal, french toast, eggs,fruit

What's on your menu this week?

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Making Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Although I am no substitute for fun grandmas that the girls had to leave (we miss you grandma Kathy and grandma Karen!), I am trying to do some fun things with the girls when I can. The other day I stretched myself into unknown territory and did a....craft. As my mom can attest, I have zero crafty bones in my body. But my girls love crafts. So I looked up crafts you can do with empty egg cartons (therefore would be a free craft:) and made egg carton caterpillars:) I know, I know, pretty amazing;). Pictures to come. Another fun thing we did was make chocolate chip oatmeal cookies. We had lots of fun and the cookies were yummy!
Mommy and her big helpers!

Just one more taste mommy?
Yes, we used some whole wheat flour so we could pretend the cookies were healthy:)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Louis is 4 months!

Our sweet baby boy is 4 months old today! He still has his mohawk, and is as handsome and sweet as ever. He is NOT sleeping well, but we are surviving. He slept well for one whole month of his life (before we moved) so I am hopeful that someday he will again soon:). He smiles easily and talks and laughs sometimes.

Our strong boy is rolling over both ways now...won't be long until he rolls or crawls after his sisters!We found out that he does not have club foot as we suspected, but rather a "packaging problem" or metatarsus adductus (sp?) which should not cause many problems as he begins walking/running but may cause a bit of a pigeon toe when his shoes are off. No surgery...yay! What else...he was 13lbs, 10oz. at his dr. apt. this week. We love our boy...and the sisters do too!

He loves to play with his feet now as you can probably tell. Isn't he handsome?