Friday, November 30, 2012

Painted Ornaments

New Fish's contribution after she came home
This morning I had a little time with just Red Fish, an unusual thing.  So we had a little "Red Fish school" at her request.  We read books together, had a reading and a math lesson and them painted watercolor ornaments cut out of paper.  She painted for well over and hour and was joined by New Fish when she came home.  These kids love to paint. 

 I've been trying to work on the girls' fine motor skills to help with their writing skills later.  Red Fish does pretty well but even tracing letter with her finger has no appeal to New Fish.  She seems to like our other fine motor activities like lacing.  We have some fun barnyard lacing cards but they are very into seasonal activities so I've been cutting out Christmas themed shapes and letting them lace them.  So far the candycanes are their favorite because the red string looks like stripes.


 The dress ups around here are becoming more intense all the time.  Sometimes I don't even recognize the tiny rockstars floating around my house.
 Late night percussion session.  I love the hand percussion toybox.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

I Is Ice And Ill

This month's sensory bin
 I didn't teach preschool last week but they talked about Thanksgiving and the letter T.  This week we talked about the letter I and doctors.  We also learned the nursery rhyme "Mother, Mother I am Ill."  We read from Things People Do and First Thousand Words in English.  We also looked at the Flip Flap Body book and talked about what doctors do.  We looked at all of our toy doctor tools.

We started our Christmas songs. We used musical instruments today to make singing time exciting. We looked at our calendar.  We talked about the letter I.  I had cut it out of bubble wrap and we spent some time tracing it with out fingers and trying to identify it in a text. 
 We built capital "I"s out of ice in trays.  We learned the difference between short and long by comparing different objects.
 We practiced our counting with new felt Christmas trees with little ornaments.  We also learned the difference between less and more.  We practiced identifying it with the tree ornaments, cups of water, piles of erasers and goldfish crackers.
Felt and glitter glue.

 We looked at pictures of the different systems in our bodies and talked about how doctors help take care of people.  Then we traced their bodies onto contractor paper and let them add whatever systems they wanted to them.  I got the idea for the bubble wrap lungs off of here.  They used masking tape for bones, glued on a heart, drew on veins and muscles with markers and do a dots.  We also sang songs like head, shoulders, knees and toes and I quized them on all of their body parts.  I"m not expecting them to remember the names of the systems/organs we learned.  Those were just to introduce them to the idea that amazing things are happening inside their little bodies.
New Fish believes our lungs should go next to our brains.

Buddy B's body.  I like how many toes he drew on.
We finished off the day by playing in the new "winter wonderland" sensory bin.  It is full of cotton, little trees, fuzzy balls, artic animals and a couple of fairies.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Trees and Forks

 Today the girls painted trees with plastic forks.  Forks are one of their favorite mark making tools.  Then the girls added some finger prints to finish up.
 New Fish really enjoyed painting with a fork.  She got much more into it than she has our past few art projects.  I'm having a hard time keeping her interested lately.
 Red Fish covered her tree in marks and then decided to make it more of a finger-painting activity.

Pardon my cell phone pics for the next little bit.  I sold my camera and I am shopping for a new one.  Any suggestions?

Monday, November 26, 2012

Tissue Paper Trees

 We made some Christmas tree projects based on a pinterest pin I saw.  These are a more childlike version and I'm so in love with them.  First the girls used modge podge to decorate triangles with tissue paper and sequins.  Then we painted watercolor backgrounds and glued them all together.  Red Fish drew trunks on her trees.  I think they are beautiful.
New Fish
Red Fish

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Christmas Dresses

 This is our fourth set of Christmas outfits the girls have already worn so far this year if you count their jammies. (Yes, we are obsessed.) They wore their new Christmas dresses last Sunday (I didn't take a picture yet) and their new outfits on Thanksgiving.  The girls wore two of my old Christmas dresses to church today.  My Mom made both of them for me when I was little.  It was fun that there was a homemade dress that fit each of them this year.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

First Christmas Traditions of 2012

We started our Christmas season last night with my very favorite traditions of the whole year.  The day after Thanksgiving we always break out the Christmas decorations and put them up as a family.  We give the girls their Christmas jammies so they can wear them through the Christmas season (and all winter after that.)  We put on the Christmas music and set up the tree.
This year's jammies
 The nativities come out.  Some are allowed to be touched, some played with and some are off limits.
 We collect Christmas books and get a new one every year to put the kid's hand-print in on Christmas day.  We've inherited some, gotten some as gifts and we are always adding to the collection.
 This year the kids got a little tree all their own to decorate.  It is covered in handmade projects.  I'm sure they will be adding to it throughout the month.
Big Sur ornaments
Monterey Bay Aquarium ornaments
 People who know me well, know I'm pretty much obsessed with our Christmas ornaments.  I fret over them all year and want to have ornaments to commemorate all of the big events, trips and moments in our lives.  So this year we have ornaments from our trip to California to add to the collection and to the girls' collections.
 I try to let the girls help with as much of the tree as possible.  We talk about all of the places the ornmanets came from and look at the ones from my childhood and the beginning of our married years.  It's fun.  It's one of my favorite things we do as a family.  I'll never have a designer tree because I love this tree full of memories so very much. 

 We always lay underneath the tree and admire the lights.  I'm so happy our tree is back up.  It's like having a good friend back in the house.  The first round of decor is partway up around the house and the girls are already planning on what they want to make next.
My tree
The girls' tree

Friday, November 23, 2012

Recent Freezer Meal Menu

After a food themed holiday, I realized I had not posted about freezer meals in awhile.  Here is what is for dinner at the Fishy household.

BBQ Pot Roast- Gluten free BBQ sauce and a beef roast

Chipotle Chicken
Freeze 1 lb. Small red potatoes cut, Chicken, 1 chipotle pepper finely minced and 2 tbs. of the sace, 1 tbs. lime juice, ¼ cup heavy cream together.  Put in crock pot on low for 6-8 hrs.  
Add ½ cup sour cream, 12 oz. spinach leaves for 10 minutes or until wilted.  Serve.

Shredded Pork-
Cover pork roast in coarse salt and score it with a knife.  Keep the fat on.  Wrap tightly in tin foil and put in crock pot on low for 8-10 hours with a bottle of liquid smoke.  Shred and put back in juice.  Serve.

Ginger Chicken-
½ cup honey, ¼ cup soy sauce, 1 ½ tbs. grated fresh ginger, 4 cloves garlic minced, 1 tbs. fresh cilantro.  Cook on low for 2-3 hours

Black Bean Soup-
1 lb. black beans soaked overnight and drained, 2 tbs. vegetable oil, 1 large yellow onion finely chopped, 2 cloves garlic minced, 2 tbs. fresh cilantro or italian parsley minced, 2 quarts chicken broth.  Cook in crock pot on low 8-10 hours and serve with feta cheese in the bowl.

Chicken cous cous-
3 medium sliced carrots, chicken, 1 tsp. kosher salt, ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper, 1 lemon thinly sliced, ½ cup water, 1 cup pre-cooked cous cous pasta, Cook on low 4-6 hours and add cous cous last ten minutes.

Taco Meat- Shredded Chicken and taco seasonings

Ranch house pork chops
Sweet and sour Chicken
Ranch Chicken
Creamy Basil and Balsamic Chicken
Cranberry Chicken

Red Stew
 Stew meat, 2 potatoes, 2 carrots, 1 can cream of mushroom, 1 can tomato soup, ½ pkg onion soup mix, 1 can of water- cube beef into bite sized pieces. Place in crockpot. Peel and cube potatoes and carrots. Place veggies on top of meat. Add soup and water. Cook 8hrs on high. Stir and serve.

Taquitos-  cream cheese, green salsa, lime, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, cilantro, green onions, chicken, pepperjack cheese, corn tortillas, kosher salt  

Lemon Garlic Chicken- salt, pepper, garlic powder, a lemon, chicken

Applesauce pork chops- sage, applesauce, simply apple juice, garlic salt, pepper. 

 Garlic Pork Roast- Garlic cloves, pepper, garlic salt and roast. It's heavenly. We like it plain or we make taquitos with a white cheese (mozzarella) avocado, lime, tomato or fresh salsa.

A couple more things I can't think of.  My favorites from last month were the Red Stew, Applesauce pork chops, salsa chicken rollups, lasagna rollups, taco soup, and chicken parmeseanLast month was an especially good month.  

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Our Thanksgiving Dinner

 We had Thanksgiving dinner at our house this year for the first time.  My mother in law slept over last night and made the turkey for us.  She and the girls slept in the family room.  For some reason my pictures didn't save on my camera.  We made breakfast this morning and started the preparations.

 Red Fish made our place cards and put them on the little chocolate turkeys.  I think she did a pretty good job writing everyone's names.
The rainbow pom poms don't go with our Thanksgiving decor but Red Fish starts to cry anytime I mention taking them down.  I may hang them up in her room.
 We had all of the usual Thanksgiving fare- rolls, potatoes (I went way overboard), candied yams, turkey, green bean casserole, a vegetable tray, gravy, and sparkling cider.  We also had two kinds of pie and a spice cake.  Everything was delicious. 

 The kids made turkey cookies like Mimi used to make with me as a child.  A fudge striped cookie for the feathers, large marshmellow body, gumdrop head and candy corn beak. 
 My SIL also brought supplies for the kids to make corn husk dolls.

On this Thanksgiving I am thankful for family and friends.  I am thankful to be free and to live where I do.  I am thankful for a roof over my head and food on the table.  I am grateful for a husband who loves and supports me and whom I adore in return.  I am thankful for my Savior and my Heavenly Father.  Life is good.

Turkey Projects

Red Fish

New Fish
Our Thanksgiving decoration projects haven't been quite as prolific as our Fall and Halloween projects but they are starting to fill up the space.  These turkeys have been something the girls have been working on all week.  They use markers, paint, construction paper, glitter glue, foam stickers and do a dot markers.  For the most part they were largely done on their own in their new studio space.  We have strings hanging on windows around the house and the girls can use clothespins to hang up their favorite things around the house.  Our family room clothes line is looking pretty full.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Tomorrow is Thanksgiving.  As always, I have spent the majority of my time with my family this week and the little things have stood out to me.  I am so thankful for these three.  How is it even possible that I love them more everyday?  Tomorrow will be the 10 year anniversary of my first date with Two Fish.  November 22nd, 2002- a date that changed my life.  We were so in love and yet the love we have now makes it seem like a highschool crush back then. 

We also brought Red Fish home on November 22nd, 2007.  Two Fish had come home to go back to work and some good friends came and picked me up and brought us home.  Now our little family of four is my whole life.  They are my heart.  I am so thankful for dance parties in the kitchen, wacky moments when we parade around the house with instruments and sing at the top of our lungs, dinners together, pancake making sessions, snuggles and holding tiny hands.  This mother/wife thing I've got going here is pretty much as good as it gets.  Even on the days that feel hard, I count myself as extremely blessed.

Also- PS I have changed the comment settings to try and make it easier.  I miss my commenters.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Teaching Gratitude To Sisters

I've been trying to teach my girls about gratitude and service this month (for obvious reasons.)  We've been focusing a lot of attention on counting our blessings and on showing gratitude.  We've made lists, we have talked about expressing our gratitude through our actions.  We have had FHE lessons on prayer, gratitude and last night we talked about the first Thanksgiving.  We watched a little video and then played some games on blessings.  We decorated little trees and thought of things we are thankful for and ways we could give to others and express gratitude.  With all of these Thanksgiving themed activities it has become quite clear that what the girls are most grateful for is having a sister/best friend.  Who would they be without each other. 
I love that Red Fish has set out an onion, ketchup and a cookie for herself.  Yum.
Tea party
Cooking breakfast on Saturday