Monday, February 28, 2011

Melting Mama Moment

Unfortunately, we've been hit again.  This weekend my Lil Dude came down with croup.  It's been a long time since he had croup and the last time he was sick (which was only less than a couple weeks ago), it wasn't as bad as what he has come down with now.  I feel like I have a toddler again and I am certainly enjoying the moment.  He only wants mama and nothing else will do.  While I feel so badly that he doesn't feel well, I am loving being needed and snuggling with my "baby."

Last night, while we were cuddling on the couch, he looked at me in the eye and said, "Mama, I'm so glad to have you taking care of me. You are the best."

I melted right then and there.

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Salt Writing


We’ve been working our way through the Handwriting Without Tears Curriculum and I noticed Lil Dude still having trouble on where to start his letters.  The HWT curriculum has a great CD with a song that reminds you to start your letters at the top and we sing that all the time.  But even though we sing it, point to the Happy Face on our door corner, and much more, Lil Dude always wants to start his letters at the bottom!

So, I decided to break away from writing on paper and go back to some preschool basics.  I brought out a cookie sheet and poured salt on there.  This was way fun.  To erase, you only have to shake the cookie sheet just a little.  It reminded me of the old school Etch a Sketch toys, only better!



Lil Dude had fun with the salt cookie sheet activity.  He even says he doesn’t remember doing this when he was smaller!

Which serves as my homeschool reminder for the week.  Just because my kiddos aren’t preschool aged anymore, it doesn’t mean that all those fun activities I did when they were smaller doesn’t apply anymore.  I can always bring back the basics when I need them!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Homeschool Frog Unit Study

This week the boys and I worked on a Frog and Toad Unit Study and it was a whole lotta fun!
We read:

and completed a study on Frogs with this fun activity book and Frog model:

Lil G and Lil Dude spent an hour putting this model of a Frog together…

Lil Dude also helped me make a map on the feelings of Toad throughout the stories.


And began to write about his favorite Frog and Toad story.


He mentions that he did not like the ending of the story called, “A swim” because the way his own friend laughed at him.  So he decided to tell me a new ending for the story in which Frog apologizes for laughing at Toad in his bathing suit and they begin to read a book together Smile.

Lil G worked on a booklet on Parts of a Frog to put in his lap book.

Lil Dude also did math addition problem with buttons that correlated with the story, “The Lost Button” from the frog and toad book.

Lastly, we watched videos about frogs in Arizona and learned more about a very special frog that is near and dear to my heart.  Which is called the Coqui.  This is a special Puerto Rican frog that can be heard throughout Puerto Rico.

A fun homeschool week for us!  We more than made up for being sick last week.  I think after the kind of week we had last week, we were anxious and ready to get back into our homeschool routine!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Chuletas… Mami Style

We call my grandma Mami and I think about her often. 
I had some pork chops in the freezer and I wanted to make some pork chops that I remembered my grandma would make when I was little. I remembered some of the basics, she had pork chops, a yummy gooey tomato sauce to go on top and some veggies.  Unfortunately, my ma doesn’t remember my grandma making this so I was on my own to try to recreate… and I am glad I did!  This came out delicious!
Ok, so I don’t have a fancy camera to take good food porn but this isn’t a food blog so I’m not too worried about it Smile.
Pork chops
Bag of frozen mixed vegetables
Salt, Garlic Powder, 1 packets from each of the Sazon boxes here (found in ethnic aisle of grocery store), and tomato sauce.
A jar of Sofrito is optional.  You can also find this in the ethnic section of the grocery store.  I like to add it in when I make Puerto Rican food.  I know fresh is better and there are a number of recipes out there on how to make this.  For now, I’m still trying to get comfy in the kitchen so when I can use premade stuff, I do!
First rinse off and pat dry the pork chops.  Then season with salt and garlic powder. My ma uses garlic salt but I didn’t have any!
Then fry the pork chops in the pan.
After nice and brown, put them on the plate and tent with a foil (a trick I learned from Rachael Ray).
Next, make the yummy sauce in the same pan that you just fried the pork chops in.  Add the tomatoes (chopped), tomato sauce, 1 packet from each of the sazon boxes, and a couple spoonful's of Sofrito.
Bring back the pork chops and let simmer with the sauce.
Start to pour out the bag of frozen veggies and realize that there are peas in them! Ack! I don’t remember peas being in my grandma’s pork chops so I decide to pick out every single one of them.
Then go ahead and them to the yummy pork chops simmering away.
Serve over white rice and use leftover throwaway plates from the party so that you won’t have anymore dishes to wash Smile with tongue out. Make sure to scoop up all the sauce!
The verdict… YUM!
And now, missing my grandma like crazy!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Weekend Recap: Birthday Party Weekend!

It was a big hit this weekend with Lil G’s Birthday Party.  He wanted a video game theme so this is what we came up with:
DSCF6381An Xbox controller piñata…
DSCF6438Birthday cake that looks like the original Nintendo controller…
DSCF6466After the games and cake we came outside to show Lil G his surprise…
DSCF6469A Game Truck for Lil G, Lil Dude and all his friends! There were close to 20 kids inside the truck playing at ONE TIME!  Amazing!
DSCF6480Lil G was one happy birthday boy!
We love making birthday parties very special for our boys.  One of our sayings is, “We asked God for them, they didn’t ask for us.”  We are so blessed and thankful to have these beautiful boys that God has trusted in our care while on earth. We want more than anything in the world for them to feel special! With that being said, our boys are very humble and always is so gracious and thankful for what we do for them which is why we so carefully plan and budget for their birthdays!
I hope you had a great weekend tooSmile
Happy Valentine’s Day!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Quick and Easy Valentine Freebie

Keattikorn /

Recently I wrote about how love songs can really help set the tone and help get you in the mood.

So, I couldn’t pass up a great opportunity to send him a couple of inspirational songs to show him I was thinking about him. It was very easy to do and you can too!

Amazon is offering a $2 credit when you gift someone a song. The code is VDAYMP3S and is valid until 2/14.  

What I love about it is you can send a personal love note with the song.

It’s quick, it’s easy, and its FREE!

What songs will you send?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Chore Chart System

Has this ever happened to you?  Did you ever buy something that was a huge must-have for your homeschool room and to find that you can’t quite find a way to make good use of it? 
Meet my “I Absolutely Must Have THIS Pocket Folder” system.
It’s been sadly hanging blank for a while now and it’s time to pretty this baby up!
I am thankful for all the inspirations I’ve found on the bloggy world.
Today I’m drooling over this chore chart system.  I love that all the printables are available for free and it looks so adorable!
The boys and I have lots of catching up to do after being sick this week.  If only I had a great chore system and the house wouldn’t be in the sad state of chaos it is in. But I don’t live in the world of “if only.”  I don’t look back! I look forward! So I am off to sit with the boys to come up with what our system will be and I’m ready to get started on implementing it.
Do you have a solid chore system? Is it easy to reinforce? How do you stay consistent and discipline with it?
Would love to hear from you!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

What Teachers Make Final Moviebk2 0001

WOW! There aren't any words to explain how much I love this video...

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What my man wants…

*Image: Idea go /
This week in the Be My Valentine Marriage challenge, Courtney asks, “Do you know what your husband wants? Ask him!”
It’s kind of funny how difficult it was to ask my sweetie this. I tried multiple times in different ways to ask this.
Me: Baby, what do you want?
Sweetie: Huh? What do you mean what do I want?
Me: Well, like… what is it I can do to make you feel loved?
Sweetie: Oh you know what I want!
Me: No really, baby is there anything else I can do?
Sweetie: Hmmm… let me think about that
Ok, so this is going to take some extra thought on my part. I know there is something that my sweetie has been dying for but I haven’t gotten around to doing that for quite awhile…

Gasp! NO! Not that silly reader! There is no problem in that area, thank you very much! Where is your mind at?!

It’s actually Vietnamese Spring Rolls.

Have you ever had those before?  They are amazing! The thing is, I KNOW how to make them. In fact, my sweetie says they are the BEST he has ever had! Here’s the problem. It literally takes hours to make.  Not the kind of hours where you cook something, throw all the ingredients in a big pot and let simmer and all you have to do is check often to stir once in awhile. Hours as in the hands-on prep time takes hours. Especially since those darn delicate rice papers always seem to rip the first ten times I start rolling them together.

Now, I’m a good Christian girl and you won’t hear me saying bad words.  But making Vietnamese Spring Rolls can probably even make Mel Gibson cringe (I don’t know why he came to mind when I thought about someone who says bad words. I guess his ranting on the news stuck to my head).  I’ll have to make a note to put ear plugs on the boys as I make these. Yikes!

It also takes more than $20 to spend in all the ingredients. Now that’s not a very frugal dinner is it? It’s only an appetizer so I’d have to make something to go along with that! 
At our local Vietnamese Restaurant, a batch of 3 spring rolls cost $3.50.  Oh, and did I mention they take about 5 minutes to order them? 

So you see why I don’t like making them? Oh, I know what you are thinking. Buy the Vietnamese restaurant ones and then put them on a platter and pretend like I made ‘em.  That’s not going to work.  My sweetie knows my spring rolls.  And according to him, there ain’t nothing like mine.

A challenge is a challenge. And I wanna make my man happy and feel oh so loved! He will literally faint when he walks in and smells the aroma of the Spring Rolls.  I’ve done everything else, and why not make this Valentine’s super special for him? Vietnamese Spring Rolls, here I come!

Pictures and update to follow…

To get more ideas please visit:

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Homeschooling in Español

I mentioned in my previous post our quest for beginning to integrate Spanish in our homeschool curriculum.  At our last weekly visit to our local library, Lil G picked up a “Learn Spanish” DVD.  I didn’t know where he had grabbed it from, but I was thrilled at his willingness to learn more. In the car, we popped in the DVD and I began listening as the boys began to practice what was being taught. It was more of a conversational Spanish lesson to help tourists venturing in a Spanish speaking country and it sounded like the boys were doing well when they repeated each phrase.

I got comfortable in my seat to listen some more and smiled from ear to ear at the impromptu homeschool moment in the car.

As we got closer to home, I heard Lil Dude say, “Yo quiero una copa de vino, por favor”  (I would like a glass of wine please). OMG! Did you hear that? They didn’t even know what they were asking for. They may have shown a picture of a wine glass (I can’t see what they were watching from the front seat of the car) and a drink so they might have interpreted it to mean just a regular drink!

My sweetie and I looked at each other and busted out laughing.  I mean it was one of those good ole, “I’m laughing so hard, my stomach hurts”  laugh.

We got home and began talking seriously about our options. I’ve been hesitant in teaching Spanish only because I never really found the right curriculum.  We spend a good chunk of our homeschool curriculum budget on the rest of our curriculum (Saxon, Sonlight, books etc.). So, with that being said, I began searching for other bilingual homeschool bloggers and other websites for help.

Here’s what I found: – Great resource! Lot of printables for free! I like a lot of their preschool stuff too. – This website includes various articles for raising bilingual + bicultural children. Last year, they hosted a week series dedicated to bilingual homeschooling. – I love the name of this blog since I have 2 pequñeos traviesos also (2 little rascals).  Since our boys are about the same age, I am thrilled to find such great inspiration and ideas in our homeschooling venture. – This might be THE ONE.  Everything about it, the way it talks about Spanish immersion, the characters don’t look babyish (a key for our 2 boys who think they aren’t babies anymore) and the examples are just perfect.  The website also includes a link for homeschooling in Spanish.  There are FREE printable lesson plans correlate to the Adentro y Afuera (Inside and Out) DVD for $19.99 so I think I might check this out.

Ah, progress in our goal to help our boys become bilingual. Stay tuned for more!

To be continued…

Monday, February 7, 2011

Still sick!

*Image Credit Jeroen van Oostrom /
 I ended up at the Urgent Care today. My mom called this morning and she knows when I’m trying to hide how really bad I feel. An excerpt of our morning convo:
Mom: Hi mija (“little one” in Spanish), how are you feeling?
Me: (short muffled) Fine
Mom: No really mija, what’s wrong?
Me: Nothing ma!
Mom: Ok, I can tell something’s up
Me: crying, oh ma, it’s my chest… it hurts! (cough, cough, cough)  It really hurts to talk Crying face
Mom: I knew it! You were hiding it. I can hear it. It sounds like asthma mija, or bronchitis or maybe even pneumonia, you need to see a doctor…
Me: crying, I don’t want to!
So there you have it. Stubborn me. How I hate to go to the doctor when it’s for me.  When it comes to our boys… no problem! In fact, I’ve been known to go to the doctor even three times in a week just to make sure the boys are doing fine.

While waiting for my sweetie to come home so that I can go to see the doctor, I started a little recipe search for some Vietnamese Pho.  When we’re sick, I don’t lean towards the traditional chicken soup… I WANT PHO! I grew up on Vietnamese food. So in my search I found THE best blog posting on how to make it!

OMG. I love it! I laughed so hard at this posting I had another cough attack.  Knowing full well I won’t be able to pull this off today, I bookmarked this to make in the future.

Turns out it isn't pneumonia or even bronchitis. It's an "upper respiratory infection" whatever that is. Anyhoo they gave me a breathing treatment, and a bunch of prescriptions to take. I should be well for this weekend's party, yay!

My Baby’s Nine!

I’ll never forget when we first found out that we would become parents the number of people who felt the need to give you advice.  You know, the older lady in the elevator, your nosy co-worker, the grocery store clerk, and the many people who see your bulging belly and ask, When are you due? and Is this your first?

If you’re a parent too then you may have heard the same words of wisdom. 
“Enjoy every moment… they grow so fast!”
You nod in agreement and think, “not fast enough” as you wait anxiously patiently to meet your newborn. Nine months seem so long when you are in the midst of it.

This past week my first born turned 9 years old!  Those words of wisdom resonate in my head and as I embrace our boy growing older.  I am thankful for the years and yes, we made sure to enjoy every moment of it… but somehow I feel this sense of sadness as he grows more and more independent from me **trying so hard to hold back the tears**

Our family tradition is to take our babies (he will always be my baby no matter how old he may be) on their actual birth date on a day of fun if it falls on a weekday.  They decide on the restaurant and itinerary and generally receive our presents that we’ve picked out on that day.  On the weekend, we throw their birthday bash and have family and friends celebrate with us.  We took him out to get his box of Krispy Kreme donuts (yum!) and then his restaurant of choice was Olive Garden (even more yum!).  It’s amazing isn’t it? Where does the time go?
Pregnancy picture
Our Pregnancy Picture (8 1/2 months along)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

SOAP Sunday

Each Sunday, I pick out one of my SOAPs from the week and share.  If you are currently SOAP’ing I’d love for you to share your SOAP as well!

The Divine Mentor by Wayne Cordeiro outlines why daily devotion time is important. In chapter 5, he talks about how renown performers and world class athletes have a training regimen that they perform day in and day out. Even concert pianists will always play scales every single day. Why? Ignace Jan Paderewski a renowned Polish pianist explains,
“If I skip one day of scales, when I play in concert… I notice it. If I skip two days of scales, my coach will notice. And if I skip three days, the world will notice.”
In the same way, our daily devotion, our special time with God needs to be part of our daily regimen. When we miss one day, we notice. When we miss two days, our husband and kids notice, and when we miss three days, the world notices.

The SOAP method has truly helped me in growing spiritually.  Since I’ve started the SOAP method and the One Year Bible reading plan, I’ve read more from the Bible in one year than my entire lifetime! I’ll be honest, I still struggle with the discipline. But thank God for His grace! As I say daily, it’s progress not perfection!

Mark 14:38 Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.

Jesus was in deep distress and troubled with what was about to happen next.  After praying, He found that His disciples were snoring away. He had compassion for them and encouraged them to pray not for Him and what will happen but for themselves.

This scripture reminds me how important it is to also pray for myself. I find it extremely easy to pray for others and their needs but when it comes to myself, I don’t often remember to! It’s kind of like how we busily take care of our family and friends needs without much thought but forget to tend to our own.  I think it is in our nature as mamas. But I realize here how Jesus makes it a point to remind us that we need to pray that we don’t fall into temptation.

Father God, how frustrating it may have been to see the disciples falling asleep when it was extremely important for them to pray at that time. I know that I probably would have done the same exact thing and I am sorry for that. Even though it may have been frustrating you were so compassionate and caring!  Lord, today I pray that I don’t fall into temptation. My spirit is willing and though my body is weak (especially with this flu!), I lay this in your hands. Thank you Jesus for reminding me the importance to pray for myself.
In Jesus name, Amen.

Want to see other SOAP devotionals? Mom's Toolbox hosts many of them!


Great homeschooling FREE Resource!!! ($99 value!)


I just learned about Mighty Book Jr. that provides short animated read-aloud books for children learning to read.  As of right now, type “learntoread” in their coupon code box (the payment box will disappear when you type this in there) and you will receive a year of free online membership.  I just signed up and am so excited to get Lil Dude onto another great website for reading!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Ahhhhhhhhhhhh sick!


It seems we got hit with the dreaded bug going around. We are all giving Kleenex lots of business this Saturday morning, and instead of completing my planning checklist for the upcoming birthday celebration, I am on the couch wearing my Snuggie cuddled up with all three boys (my sweetie, Lil G, and Lil Dude). 

I’m feeling sort of bummed because I had high hopes for today. There is so much to do! My sweetie insists that when our bodies break down like this it just means we have to slow down…. Stomping my feet…But what if I don’t wanna?!!! <<<<<<Tantrum alert!!!!!!>>>>>

My gorgeous sweetie being the least sick of all of us ran to the grocery store this morning and made us all a great breakfast (yum!).  I am so blessed to have an amazing husband!  Hope everyone is having a much better weekend.  As for me, I think I’ll just enjoy the moment and catch up on some reading and snuggle time.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Love Songs

After reading this week’s challenge I thought about how I can pursue intimacy and place the intimate needs of my sweetie above my own.

Let’s think for a minute.  Do you remember WAAAYYYY back when you first met the love of your life and how you had butterflies in your tummy when you heard his voice on the phone? Or even when your heart skipped a beat when the phone rang because it just might be him? Do you remember how you couldn’t stand to be away from each other for even just a minute? After getting married, we began to have all those responsibilities, and it’s kind of hard to get in the moment. 

If you know me personally, I’m the kinda girl that LOVES watching chick flicks! So, there is nothing better than a bunch of love songs to get me in the mood.  When I hear a song that’s all sweet and cute, I just start picturing my sweetie and it get’s me all so smitten all over again! Right now, as I write this post, I’ve got my ITunes playlist on a bunch of love songs.  (On a side note: when I sit down and have my Bible study I find it handy to put worship songs in the background too.) I’ll tell you … when my sweetie comes home this afternoon, there’s nothing like a… ok I’ll keep that part private Winking smile

I know as a mom with so many responsibilities it’s very difficult to stay active in that arena. I can’t tell you enough how many times I want to say “I’m tired” or “not right now.”  But girl, I have read many marriage books to understand that it’s very important to satisfy your man’s needs as well.  It’s biblical. Take a look for yourself and see Smile

So, find out what works for you.  What gets you in the mood? Think about it. Pray about it. And get BUSY! Here’s a few from my song playlist in case it helps you!

  1. Stay here forever – Jewel (this one’s new. I just heard it recently!)
  2. Crazy Love – the Aaron Neville version is our wedding song!
  3. Everything – Michael Buble
  4. I’m Yours – Jason Mraz
  5. I want you – Fat Joe; Thalia
  6. No One – Alicia Keys
  7. You’re still the One – Alicia Keys
  8. Doesn’t Matter – Janet Jackson
  9. The best thing about me is you – Ricky Martin featuring Joss Stone
  10. You belong with me – Taylor Swift

I know there are many other songs and  I want to hear from you!  What songs give you the warm and fuzzy feeling?