Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A Magic Switch??

There is something amazing happening with my kids y'all.  For the past two weeks they have actually been . . . . getting along!  Remember this post and this one where I wrote about my frustrations over my kids' fighting??  I was waiting to see the sisterly bond everyone had told me about.  Until recently, I was still waiting and beginning to lose hope.

Well, about two weeks ago, it was like someone flipped a switch.  Not only did the two oldest - the main offenders - stop fighting, they actually started getting along.  They played together, had conversations with each other, laughed together, and even had a "sleep over" with each other.  It was like the skies had opened and the all the angels were singing the Hallelujah chorus in perfect unison!

Now, it has not been 100% perfect.  There have been small disagreements here and there.  A few times, the little one has gotten upset because she felt left out.  But, overall, it has been a HUGE improvement!!!

I wish I could give you an explanation.  I wish I could tell you what it was that flipped that magic switch. Unfortunately, I cannot.  All I know right now is that I really, really, really like this new-found state of getting along and I really, really, really hope it lasts!!!

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Monday, March 26, 2012

How My Kid Rocks Monday

Missy over at It's Almost Naptime had a great idea!  Instead of constantly complaining and expressing frustration with our kids, we should be intentional about praising them, too.  So, she has started "How My Kid Rocks Monday" on her blog.  Because it is such a fantastic idea, I decided to link up and brag on my girls a little, too! :)
Last week, Emily had a little tif on the playground with a girl from another preschool class.  Her teacher told me that, after their outside time, they went by the other girl's classroom to talk things over, but the girl was in the bathroom vomiting!  On the way home that day, Emily was telling me all about it.  She ended her story by saying, "It is sad that she is sick.  I hope she gets better soon!"  Even after this little girl had hurt Emily's feelings, Emily was able to be compassionate and loving!  Wouldn't the world be a better place if we were all that compassionate?

I had a conference with Megan's teacher last week.  Megan is very active and high strung.  I always go into conferences a little hesitantly, hoping she gets a good report.  This time she got a great report!!  (She always does, actually.)  Her teacher said that, other than being a little chatty from time to time, she is doing great.  She is reading well above grade level and doing well in all subjects!  That is always great to hear!

All three girls are in the children's choirs at our church.  Recently, they have been working on a musical.  Rachel has one of the lead roles (the role of "Rachel" - Ha!) and she has done great!  They have performed 3 times already.  She remembers her lines and speaks clearly.  She is not at all intimidated by speaking in front of a large crowd - a very uncommon trait in a 9 year old! :)

There you have it!  My "How My Kids Rock" Monday brag session!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Asian Meatballs

Have you discovered Pinterest??  I have and I love it!  I am not addicted like some people I know, but I do enjoy cruising it in carpool line or when I have a rare, spare moment.  One of the things I look at most is recipes; there are always some tasty looking recipes I want to try.  This is one of them - Saucy Asian Meatballs.  I made it last week and they were delicious!!  

(The original recipe can be found here on a blog called "Gimme Some Oven".)

Saucy Asian Meatballs
2 lbs. ground pork or beef (I used one pound of each.)
2 tsp sesame oil

1 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
2 eggs
3 tsp garlic, minced
1/2 cup green onions, thinly sliced

(Some of these may be ingredients that you don't usually keep on hand, but, trust me, you will make these meatballs again!)

For the meatballs, preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Mix all of the ingredients listed above together in a large bowl.  Shape into meatballs and place meatballs on a cookie sheet or in a 13X9 pan.

I got 48 meatballs total - this is just one of the two pans.

(Here's a tip:  A great way to make quick, uniformly sized meatballs it to use a melon baller or similar scoop!)

Bake your meatballs at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes until they are browned and cooked through.

While the meatballs are baking, make your sauce.  Mix
2/3 cup hoisin sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp ground ginger

When the meatballs are finished, pour the sauce over the top and gently move them around to coat the OR dip each meatball into the sauce.  Done!!
(For the record, DW felt these "needed something."  That's DW for, "They are not spicy enough."  He likes his Asian food to have some kick.  If you do too, you could certainly add some crushed red pepper or some hot sauce.)

By the way, this makes a great side dish for these meatballs that is healthy and easy!


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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Clothes Wars

I have been arguing with one or more of my girls about clothes for 5 years now.  It started when Rachel was four.  Now she is 9 and there are two more!  What do we argue about??  Well . . .

Rachel would wear the same 3 outfits over and over again if they were always clean.  In fact, she would probably wear them dirty.  All 3 of these outfits involve yoga or cargo pants and a solid colored shirt.  (See this post about her clothing requirements.)  A couple months ago, she consented to wearing not-tight jeans and I bought her two pairs.  She will wear one of the two pairs when nothing else is clean.  As I've mentioned before she 100% bout comfort - fashion is not a concern. 
2 of Rachel's 3 favorites - had to pull these out of the hamper for the photo.  Couldn't get the other one because SHE"S WEARING IT!
Megan is the opposite.  She actually likes skinny jeans and will wear the 2 worn out pairs she has anytime.  She also has a tendency to mix and match items that should never be mixed or matched together.  Like this:
She obviously has no idea how to create a coordinated, cohesive outfit.

Emily is slightly easier.  She is happy to wear whatever outfit I choose for her as long a sit involves wearing a dress.  She doesn't mind wearing leggings or even tights with it as long as the top half is a dress.  We have plenty of these dresses to choose from thanks to hand-me-downs from her sisters and a dear friend.  However, there are some really cute pants - like cords & jeans - that are just collecting dust in her closet.  Here is a typical Emily outfit:

So, what to do??

I suppose I can continue fighting in an effort to make them look presentable in outfits that make at least a little sense and hope that they will eventually learn to do it independently.
I can give up and let them wear whatever they want.  You're cold? - tough!  Your friends made fun of your clownish outfit? - Oh Well!  You couldn't participate in P.E. because you weren't dressed appropriately? - Well, maybe next time you'll remember!
Is there a middle ground?  That's what I have been trying to find, but have, obviously, been unsuccessful.  Do others struggle with this as well or is it just my crazy kids or maybe my lack of parenting skills??  Has anyone found that elusive middle ground???

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