Monday, August 29, 2011

Monday, August 22, 2011

5K Training: Week One in Review

One week of 5K training is complete!  I'm on my way!

Here are my random thoughts on my running experience in no particular order:

1.  Running makes you VERY sweaty.  I am not a big fan of sweat. :)
2.  The shoes really do make a difference.  On my first outing, I wore my 12 year old running shoes, and the next day my knees were hurting.  I got new shoes, and my knees haven't hurt since.  (Now my muscles, on the other hand....)
3.  I am wondering at what point I will think -"Yeah, I love this ... it feels great"... or even at what point I stop thinking "How long til I get to stop?"
4.  I am very proud of myself for making a plan and for finding a running buddy.  Thanks Kelly!
5.  I am very proud of my husband for sending me off to run and not complaining about being left to get the 3 amigos ready for bed by himself.
6.  Okay, I do not like the sweat, but I do like how I feel about myself when I have finished yet another run!

Wish me luck!!  

Friday, August 19, 2011

This post is for Magda :)

 Yup, this is another Carter story.  And I especially thought that my sister-in-law's mother-in-law (got that connection?) would appreciate this story, given that she is a Spanish speaker. And plus, she faithfully reads my blog.  So doesn't she deserve a little Smith family post in her honor? :)

Last weekend we went to Chick-fil-a for lunch.  The kids had free kids meals from VBS and we were out and about anyway so we stopped to eat.

The manager stopped by the table and asked if the kids would like balloons.  Of course they all yelled "YES!"

"What color would you like?" asked the manager.

"Blue, to match my shirt," said Audrey.

"Peek" (pink) said Chloe.

"INDIGO!" says Carter.  (Only Carter...)

I quickly said "Carter, I don't think they have indigo balloons here.  What other color would you like?"

"Morado." he said to the manager.

Luckily the manager knew Portuguese so he could pretty much understand that Carter was saying "purple" in Spanish!

Gotta love that Winnie the Pooh Kindergarten computer game.  There is Memory Game section and they say the words in English AND Spanish.  Carter is now walking around and pointing to household objects and naming them in Spanish "la mesa" (table)... "la casa" (house) and "Mom, your shirt is 'anaranjado'" (orange) ... all with a pretty good accent, I should add!

The kid cracks me up.

Did I mention he is FOUR???  What is he going to come up with when he is 10??

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Wacky Wednesday

Wacky Wednesday is a summer tradition here in our neighborhood.

I'm not sure why we call it "Wacky Wednesday" ... it really isn't all that wacky.  But anyhow...

Each of us takes a Wednesday and plans some kind of fun activity ... the kids love it and they get some kind of organized fun with their friends.  And it is one less day each week of trying to come up with stuff to keep all the troops occupied!

I haven't blogged any of the previous activities, but they have included water slides, pools, scavenger hunts, painting big boxes (aka "forts"), etc.  This past week we all took the kids over to one of the hiking trails at Valley Forge National Park and they all had a LOT of fun!

All set to go!
Wading in the water
The kids spent a lot of time looking for critters near the water.
And they were not disappointed!
The kids found this crayfish....
Then they managed to capture a toad.
Then they found this giraffe floating in the water ... although I am fairly certain that this is not indigenous to the southeastern Pennsylvania area.
It did keep Chloe occupied for quite some time though!
Carter spent most of his time doing this - throwing rocks into the water.  I think he could literally do this for hours.
And of course he spent a little time being silly too.
Isn't the waterfall behind him beautiful?
There are so many beautiful places to explore around here!
Hiking back to the cars for a picnic lunch.
This is Audrey & Chloe's favorite thing to do these days - piggyback rides!
(And it gave me a break from carrying her!  She wanted to be carried most of the way back.  Guess I should've brought the stroller!)

Can't believe another summer is coming to a close. 
Thanks neighbors for all the fun!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

My life lately

Summer is winding down around here.   Audrey is back to school in about a week and a half ... Carter will be off to preschool a few weeks after that.  It is always a bittersweet time.  I AM looking forward to the routine that comes with the school year ... but then again I am NOT looking forward to the routine that comes with the school year.  No more lazy days of sleeping in ...  no more lazy nights of sitting on the deck and letting the kids play outside till the lightning bugs come out.  Oh well.  I feel like we have had a very full summer and done most everything on our summer "to-do" list.  So my goal for these few weeks is to just enjoy the freedom and have fun with the kids.

In other news .... I have begun training for a 5K!  Yup, I'm a runner now!
See, I have new running shoes!  Ergo, I am a runner.
(If only it were that easy....)

I am doing the couch to 5K program.  I just started this past Monday ... so I am closer to the "couch" end of this thing but I am determined to get to the point where I can run the whole 5K race.  Tonight I went out with my neighbor Kelly, who is also training.  I have to say, it is much more fun to run with a buddy!  

We are running for a good cause.  I wrote before about our neighbor Gabby who is battling cancer... well, there is a 5K run for her benefit in October.  So what better reason to get my batootie in gear and start getting some exercise?  And Chad has been very supportive, encouraging me to get out there and run.  

Well that's all for now.  My life really isn't too exciting, is it???

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tasty Tuesday

If there can be "Wordless Wednesday" in blog world, I figure there can be "Tasty Tuesday", right?

Oh, I crack myself up, making up my own blog carnivals for the 20 people out there who occasionally look at my blog :)   And on top of it, I'm sure someone else has already come up with Tasty Tuesday ...

[Is  it bad that I still don't understand what a "blog carnival" is?  Every carnival I've ever been to has rides and funnel cakes, and so far no funnel cakes have arrived at my house on blog carnival days ...unfortunately - seeing as I am a big fan of funnel cakes.]

Okay, I am totally digressing.  I think I need to get more sleep.  And have school start again.  Yes, that would be nice.

So, the point of this whole post.  Yes, there is a point.

I made these muffins yesterday.  They are pretty healthy .... and my kids, all three, gobbled them down and asked for more.  So I thought I would share the recipe.  I have another healthy muffin recipe that the kids love too, maybe I'll share that one another time.

I freely admit that this recipe is taken straight out of Martha Stewart's Everyday Food magazine.  Although I made one small modification, so does that make it "my" recipe now?  No, probably not.

Zucchini, Banana & Flaxseed Muffins
[Mom Hint:  If you want your kids to eat these, do NOT tell them this is what they are called.  I simply said they were "Banana Muffins."  Throwing in the words zucchini and flaxseeds will probably not help your cause ... ]

Ingredients:  (It looks like a lot but they are mostly in your pantry)
1 3/4 c. flour (I used half whole-wheat flour ... this was my modification! ;) )
1/2 c. ground flaxseed
1 c. light-brown sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. coarse salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Whisk all of these together in a large bowl.  Then add:

1 1/2  c. grated zucchini  (about 1 large zucchini  or 2 small)
1/3 c. mashed ripe banana (about 1 large banana)

Stir to combine.

In a small bowl, mix:
3/4 c. whole milk (or whatever you have around)
1 lg. egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp. vanilla extract (of course Martha insists that it be "pure" v. extract...)

Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and stir just until combined (do not overmix or you will have muffins that are as dense as small baseballs.)

Divide among 12 muffin cups and bake until toothpick comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes.
[Mom hint:  Make them into mini-muffins.  I don't know why, but the kids eat mini-muffins like crazy but the big ones, not as much... I guess they like that the muffins are more their size!]

They have only 2 g of fat (per large muffin) but 5 g of protein and 3 g of fiber!  And not one drop of butter or oil!  You could probably cut back on the sugar as well without much flavor difference.  I might try that next time.

I tried to take a picture of these babies but truthfully - my camera does not zoom in very well, and taking a picture of a mini muffin from 5 feet back .... well, the photo just won't do it justice then.  So take my word for it - they were yummy and healthy too!  Go make some!

Next Tuesday?  Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins (which are also healthy and yummy!)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Philadelphia Zoo ... with Grandpa & Grandma!

This past week Grandpa & Grandma came to visit!  The kids were so excited!

Because Grandpa & Grandma have phones with GAMES on them!!  And their parents have lame-o phones that don't even take pictures!

No, really, they weren't excited to see them for THAT reason.  Well, not for that reason ONLY. :)  Of course, they love and enjoy playing with their grandparents.  Although, the kids do love playing Bubble Blast, just sayin' ... 

We did a lot of fun things but last Friday we all spent the day at the Philadelphia Zoo.  We had a great time although one of my children may have claimed that he wanted to leave the zoo to go home and play Bubble Blast on Grandma's phone (see a theme here?  this is one of the reasons I have no plans to get a fancy phone at this point!) ....Anyhow, I got a lot of good pictures of the kids and Grandma & Grandpa at the zoo so thought I'd post them here. 

Yup, we were here.
Grandpa & Carter strolling hand in hand
This little girl was very excited to see all the animals (in real life) that she has memorized from Baby Einstein DVD's!  I honestly think she enjoyed the zoo more than the other 2 kids!
A nice brother-sister moment. :)
This tiger came right up to the glass to say hi.
Carter & Grandma on the carousel.
Chloe and her VERY red lips after eating a cherry push-pop.
Grandpa & Grandma with the kids
This is how I felt by the end of the day.
I was SO tired!
Seriously, I must be getting old.  Walking around the zoo all day wiped me out!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Some things never change (and others do...)

See this picture?
I remember taking this picture when Chloe was just a few days old.  I remember thinking (as I took it) that Chloe looked so small next to Carter... but that soon enough she would be so much bigger and jumping all over the bed with her brother.

And I was right!