Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I'm officially one year older - Sunday was my birthday. I had the cutest conversation with Savannah Saturday night.

Savy: "Momma, what is it tomorrow?" She asks this almost every night.
Me: "Tomorrow is Mommy's birthday."
Savy: "Really? What are we going to do for your birthday?"
Me: "I don't know, sweetie. Probably nothing, because Mommy has to work."
Savy: ***expression of horror on her face*** "But that's not how a birthday goes!"

So we went to Olive Garden for dinner when I got off work to celebrate.

Monday morning Savy was up bright and early, DYING to make me a cake in her Easy-Bake oven. We were out of cake mix, so she made "day after birthday cookies" instead.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Graduate

Savannah graduated from preschool today. I can't believe she'll be starting kindergarten in the fall! The graduation ceremony for the 4 and 5 year olds was very sweet.

Here's Savy before the ceremony.

On her way up to the stage with all her classmates

Saying the Pledge of Allegiance

This pic just cracks me up...

Savannah receiving her diploma from Ms. Katie

The graduate

A few pics after the ceremony

It's going to be a big change this fall with Savy in school five days a week and Scarlett starting preschool. I'm not sure how I'm going to handle that...I guess I'd better enjoy having them with me this summer.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I've been feeling pretty domestic lately. Last week I was on a mad cleaning spree, and this week I've been working on a few projects. I finally got around to making myself a clothespin apron...

Cute, huh? Savannah was amazed that I actually sewed that from scratch. I don't know why everyone is always shocked when they find out I can sew.

I have finally gotten the hang of making green smoothies. I initially tried them with my old blender, and it just didn't work. THEN I got a Vitamix. I LOVE my Vitamix! No wonder everyone raves about them...they make a completely smooth, creamy drink. My favorite smoothie is a handful of greens (kale, spinach, collard, etc), big spoonful of organic almond butter, about a cup of coconut or hemp milk, some flax or chia seeds, a frozen banana, some local honey, and a few ice cubes. Sometimes I throw in a handful of walnuts or some uncooked oats.

I've started having these for breakfast instead of my usual oatmeal. Scarlett loves them, and I've even managed to get Savy to drink a few by masking the greens with chocolate.

My greens come from my little patio garden. It's so convenient to just walk out the back door and grab a handful of fresh organic greens...or strawberries as you see Scarlett doing below.

The garden is in all different stages of growth right now due to the crazy weather. Some things are just now sprouting. We've got bell peppers, several types of hot peppers, kale, spinach, a cucumber plant, bibb lettuce, and strawberries. Herbs are mint, rosemary, basil, cilantro, and chives. The collards and green onions are just sprouting and too small to see. There's also some asparagus in there, but I'm not having too much luck with that.

We had a rare treat for dinner tonight. When I first started researching "real food", ground beef was one of the first things that went on my off-limits list. But today I actually came across some organic, grass-fed, filler-free, hormone-free and antibiotic-free ground beef today and thought I'd give it a shot. I made spaghetti, and the girls LOVED it.

The sauce is just the browned meat, organic tomato sauce, organic tomato paste, sauteed onions, garlic powder, and dried oregano. I used whole wheat pasta, so this was a pretty healthy meal. Both Savy and Scarlett had seconds...I couldn't believe it! Surprisingly, Savannah didn't feel the need to say "I don't like onions" as she ALWAYS does (several times) whenever I make anything with onions. Even Jon (who has been pretty hard to please since my "real food" epiphany) liked it. Poor Jon...he is truly the poster-child for "Be careful what you wish for."

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I don't know where she got the idea to do this, but last week Savannah decided she was going to sell pictures to earn some money. She got on PBSkids.com and printed out a whole stack of coloring pages. She insisted on setting up a "stand" at the end of our driveway to sell her pictures. Savy was so excited about doing this...here she is at her "stand" with the Elmo bucket to put her earnings in.

It was the middle of the afternoon on Monday, and I knew there would be no one driving by...we don't get much traffic in our cove. I couldn't bear the thought of her being disappointed, so I secretly stuffed my pockets with change before we went outside. It was windy, so (once she got set up), I suggested she grab a couple of big rocks from the new play area to keep her pictures from blowing away. While she was doing that, I hid most of her papers in the mailbox and put all the change in her bucket. I planned to tell her someone drove by and bought a bunch of pictures while she was in the back yard. It just so happened that the UPS truck came to turn around in the cove as she was walking back, so she thought the UPS man bought her pictures.

After closing up shop, Savy and Scarlett played in the sand for awhile.

Jon set up the pool for the girls last weekend.

Wild sea monster - better than a mechanical bull.

Vita found a nice shady spot out of splashing distance.

Here's another recipe I want to share. Tonight's dinner was very good - Chicken Fajita Chowder.

I only made a few changes to the recipe. I added about a tsp of cumin. I omitted the sour cream and garnished with a little greek yogurt instead. I didn't stir in any cheese, I just sprinkled a bit on the top for garnish. And I used organic blue corn chips instead of tortilla chips. I also used my blender to puree the soup before serving since Savannah is more likely to eat a pureed soup than one where she can see all the individual ingredients...wonder where she gets that little quirk????

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Vacation and Easter Pics

I know, I know...vacation and Easter...weeks ago! I've been so busy with the girls (Scarlett's been especially demanding lately), work, etc, so I'm a little late with the pics. I didn't take a lot of photos this time.

Vacation - Savy and Scarlett were pretty good on the drive to East TN. They were happy to just relax on the bed and watch cartoons while we unloaded the car.

First thing after checking in, we went to the Old Mill to buy duck food. Savannah and Pappi climbed down to the river for a better look - I love this pic of the two of them looking at the water.

Day 1 was Dollywood. Scarlett loved the antique cars...she even got to drive!

I was so disappointed that Savannah decided she was too big for the ducks, pigs, and bees this time. So I got to ride with Scarlett.

(Savy decided it was ok to ride the smaller rides with her little sis on Dollywood day 2.)

You're never too big for the carousel!

Savannah was tall enough to go on some new rides this time...she LOVED the Mountain Slidewinder. And, of course, she still loves the River Battle - we all got soaked to the bone.

Mingo falls day. Savy was excited about seeing real American Indians at Cherokee. She made a headdress out of a headband and a duck feather she found by the river...so creative!

The waterfall was beautiful - it's one of my favorites.

We had a great time, and the weather was nice while we were there. Jon wasn't so fortunate - I think he had storms here at home the whole time we were gone. The girls also ran down the batteries in all the flashlights before we left, so he was left in the dark for several hours when the power went out.

We got back just in time for Easter. We left our Easter baskets on the porch Saturday night, and Easter Bunny came bright and early Sunday morning to fill them with goodies.

This was Scarlett's first time hunting Easter eggs...she loves it almost as much as Savannah does.

Scarlett's face is all scrunched up because she's saying "cheeeeeeese" - so cute how she does that whenever you point a camera at her now.

Easter Bunny even hid a few eggs in our little vegetable garden.

Inspecting the loot.

Chocolate carrots - Savy's favorite!

We had some VERY wound-up little girls after all that candy!

Here's what Jon did while we were gone all week...new play area for the girls. The grass would never grow very well here, and this spot was always muddy. Jon put down very thick landscape fabric, made a stone border, and filled it in with gravel. It's perfect for the sand and water table and the mudpie maker.

Savy and Scarlett love their new play area. Now I wish it would stop raining so they could play outside!