Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Malone's first day of Preschool



Malone is one smart cookie. She's been looking forward to going to school since she was in utero. I mean, what 2 year old do you know that begs with puppy eyes to learn how to read?

So this Fall after much searching, much research and much discussion, we decided that it was time to enroll her in preschool. She was sooo excited but also quite nervous.

On the morning of the first day, she was NOT as excited. We dropped her off, along with many other first time schooling parents, all a bit nervous. It did not go like we had hoped. As the teacher peeled a hysterical Malone off of Cameron's body, I had to turn away not to get a little hysterical myself. Judah, on the other hand, was all ready stay and go to school himself.

As the days and weeks went by, she got better and better and the day we could drop her off without her crying was a celebration day. Now she has even been asking to go to school everyday (she only goes two days a week.) She LOVES the art station and will always choose to do crafts over playing with anything else. We are quickly becoming dealers of great preschool art in massive quantities. I think she's making friends although sometimes its hard to tell who are friends of the "real" category and who are friends of the "make believe" category. But either way, she is enjoying it and we are loving it for her.

Here's some pictures of the first day of Preschool.

She has been waiting for months to be able to use her DORA lunchbox.

Malone and Daddy. She looks very excited.

Malone and her Mommy. She looks a bit less excited and maybe slightly embarrassed to have to take so many pictures.

After school we took her to her favorite restaurant, Chili's, for a special mac & cheese lunch.

I think Judah was still a little upset that he didn't get to go to school.

Mommy and Judah. Again, Judah not very impressed with having to take a picture with mom.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Thinking...


Dangerous words, I know.

Today, I'm thinking about these words:

THOUGHTFUL,

INTENTIONAL,

HEARTFELT,

MOTHERING (or parenting.)

What does it mean? What does it mean practically? How do I implement it in our everyday lives?

Ok, readers, mothers, fathers, non-parents,

what does this mean to you?

Leave me a comment or send me an email if you have any thoughts on the subject.

* And a couple of pictures for your entertainment.


Thursday, August 4, 2011

No, your eyes are not deceiving you!

It is true, folks! I am updating you on our crazy little family...emphasis on CRAAAAYYYZY. So here's what's happened in the last 6 months.

- We left Washington. In a snowstorm. In an ice-storm. One of the marking moments in our marriage. We still love each other though (Ya
y! for loving each other.) We were so sad to leave.

- Along the way, both kiddos got ear & sinus infections. Hoooray for driving long distances with sick kids. Clearly, this was also very memorable or else I would not mention it.

- We finally saw Portland (on a historically cold day), spent a couple of days recuperating in Boise, on to see our coolest friends, the Cronks in Salt Lake City, and recuperated some more with Grandma & Grandpa in Laramie, WY. Yes, the Cronks were sooo cool that we needed to recuperate after their coolness. Then we headed to Colorado for a couple of days which was magical. Then for a lovely visit to Albuquerque with Cameron's aunt Evelyn and uncle Don (and cousins) and FINALLY we arrived in Alamogordo, New Mexico where Cameron trained in his new aircraft from March until June.

Isn't New Mexico pretty?

- In April, I loaded up my friend Leigh Anna and the kids and we made our trek to Las Vegas sans Cameron. Boo. We arrived at our new home, got a look around and welcomed the movers. It was the first time that I saw our new house and must say Cameron has good taste. It is the second house he has picked out without me seeing it. While Cameron was still in New Mexico, we got moved in and mostly unpacked. Of course, we left a couple of projects for him. Wouldn't want to leave him out, would we?


Here's Malone and Leigh Anna at the Hoover Dam.

This is what we do when there is no toys and an empty house.

- FINALLY, at the beginning of June, we were reunited as a family of four! Hip Hip HOoray!

- Shortly after Cameron arrived, we celebrated our 5 year anniversary by going on a mini vacation on the Strip for 3 days...WITHOUT the kids. First time ever. And thanks to my awesome big sister, Lydia, the kids didn't even know we were gone. Cameron and I literally laid by the pool, ate lots of awesome food and slept. It was pretty great.
Cameron and I at Comme Ca, a French restaurant at the Cosmopolitan. Amazing!

- Then in July my little sister, Christelle came for a visit. We sooo enjoyed having her here. And I was terribly sad when she left. Come back, Christelle, come back!!!!!!

video

- My dad also came partly while Christelle was here. Oooh how Malone and Judah loved having their Oupa here. Malone just wanted to show Oupa her new swimming skills and Judah just wanted Oupa to wrestle and throw him around.


- Then a couple days later Cameron's dad and stepmom came for a visit as well. We had such a wonderful time with them going to the pool, visiting and seeing the Elvis Cirque du Soleil. Malone only had her eye on grandma as her new playmate and Judah had a special understanding and communication with grandpa. Judah is, of course, the little Jay Schaefer.

And here we are. Phew!

Now you know what we've been up to. We love it here in Las Vegas and we are fine tuning our friends and family tour. So come on out for a visit!!!

So now I leave you with a little something to brighten your day.



Monday, April 11, 2011

Our new home

Can't write much. Too much to do. Boxes EVERYWHERE. But we made it. And its sunny. And its beautiful. "Really?", you ask. Really. Come visit and you'll see.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

White Sands



The kids and I (and the wonderful Leigh Anna) are leaving for Las Vegas this week. So, we thought we should have at least one last "family" activity before we left New Mexico. We decided to go to White Sands National Park...a must see apparently for this area.

It was nice. It was sandy. It was white. BUT we picked the WINDIEST day of the year of our sandy adventure. I don't think the consequences of that needs more of an explanation. We saw, we came and we got pelted by tiny, white sand...and Malone enjoyed it, so that's good.



Thursday, March 31, 2011

Introducing....

Friends and loved ones,

I've been working on something the last couple of days that has me so excited I don't even know how to introduce it to you. It is no mystery that I love to cook (and eat, maybe? Maybe.) I love finding new recipes to make for my family and share with my friends. If any of you know me (bible study, girls?) you know that this is true.

So I've decided to start a food blog called, "Not Without My Mom." This new venture is deeply personal for me. You see, my mom taught me how to cook and despite how much I miss her every day, I somehow feel her in my cooking adventures.

I'll be sharing recipes from my own collection, some from my mom's, some that I find from other food bloggers and giving helpful tips for people still growing in their own cooking adventures (hi Dad!) How fun, right?

So head over to www.notwithoutmymom.com and visit me for a little bit. :)

PS: Don't worry, I'll still blog over here about our crazy family adventures.

All my love,
Marelize

Friday, March 25, 2011

Something new


I'm working on something exciting.
*
Something new.
*
Something fun.
*
For me, anyways.
*
You're dying of suspense,
*
Aren't you?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Real food: Homemade Tortillas

When my children started eating real food (as in when the world became alive to them :), it became pretty important to me that they eat "REAL" food. Not food that could sit out on the counter for 20 years and still be ok to eat. (Is that ever ok to eat?)

Yes, my children still eat boxed crackers sometimes, in fact, Judah eats his weight in Graham Crackers every day. And yes, Malone could eat Easy Mac for every meal of her life, if only I would relent and let her. But as much as I can, I try to make sure the food they (and we) consume is made of REAL ingredients. I know this probably comes easier to me than most, since I particularly enjoy making things from scratch, have the time to do so and more resources than many. I wish (fist of fury in the air) that as a community we would make it easier and cheaper to eat REAL food. I could go on long enough to make Michael Pollan proud, but I won't.

I will, however, share with you my latest conquest in this journey to real, homemade food, HOMEMADE TORTILLAS. UH- mazing! That's all. This is how tortillas were meant to be eaten. I got this recipe from Petit Elefant. Thank you, Allison. Thank you. She has more step by step pictures to help you along if you are a rule follower, like me, and need to make sure your dough looks like hers. Its so easy, and fairly quick. Do it. Make them. Now!

Homemade Flour Tortillas
Courtesy of Petit Elefant
Makes 9-10 tortillas, depending on size

2 C. All-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 tsp vegetable oil
3/4 C. hot water

1. Mix together the dry ingredients. Mix well.

2. Add oil to the water. Mix together well...ha ha

3. Add water mixture to dry ingredients one teaspoon at a time. Mix, mix, mix. Until a dough forms.

4. On a very well floured surface, knead the dough until smooth

5. Cut and roll into 9-10 small balls

6. Cover with a damp/wet kitchen towel for 20 minutes. Knead little balls and cover again for 10 minutes.

7. Roll out as thin as you can (I like them not too
thin because then they got a bit crispy. I like
them a little thicker and soft)

8. Cook in a greased (BUTTER!) pan until tortilla bubbles, turn over and cook until golden brown.

9. EAT!

I made some for Buffalo Chicken Tacos. Divine. But then I also made a couple extra for dessert, which meant I sprinkled them with cinnamon and sugar. Ahhhh.

Recipe: Mexican Lasagna

Neither Cameron nor I care a ton for traditional lasagna, so this Mexican version is right up our alley. And since we're in New Mexico, I thought I'd share with you with wonderful readers (Hi dad! Hi Laura!) Hope you enjoy!

Mexican Lasagna- thought up in the recesses of my mind...

3 cooked Chicken breast, shredded
Corn chips
1 c. Sour Cream
1 can Green Enchilada Sauce
Half an onion, sliced
1 Yellow bell pepper, sliced
1 c. Cilantro
2 small cans of Green Chilies, chopped
1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
2 c. Cheddar cheese (or whatever kind)
salt
pepper
cumin


1. Preheat the oven to 375, & grease a 9x13” baking dish

2. Cook onion and peppers until just softened. Take off heat and throw in Cilantro

3. In a bowl, mix sour cream and Enchilada sauce until combined

4. Start building the lasagna: chips, veggies, chicken (then sprinkle with salt, pepper and cumin), sour cream sauce, chilies, beans, cheese, and repeat.

5. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until its bubbling and the cheese has slightly browned.


** A couple thoughts:

- This is such a forgiving, easy recipe. You can add whatever vegetables you like. Some that I have added in the past includes corn, zucchini, tomatoes, leeks, asparagus.

- Also, you can make your own corn chips if you like by baking some cut up tortillas (with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, cumin, red pepper if you like a little heat) 375, until golden.

- If you're from New Mexico you do not have to used canned anything, but rather fresh, amazing chilies and green enchilada sauce. Anyone from New Mexico: Where can I find this? I've heard rumors.

Now, go sit on the porch with a nice cold, Mexican coke (in the glass bottle) or Negro Modelo in hand. Enjoy.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Where in the World are the Schaefers?

Here's some clues:

1. Its warm

2. Its dry and desert-y (we're bathing in lotion....ok, not really, but maybe we should)

3. Close to another country

4. Cameron is in training. Again.

5. We've travelled through 7 states.

6. We've survived 3 kids ear infections (out of 4 ears) and I'm pretty sure 2 sinus infections too. So this is not a clue to anything, but I just wanted to let you know an overarching theme to our road trip.

7. This state has THE BEST green chili burgers EVER.

Where are we?

Why, yes. We are in New Mexico!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

In. a. hurry.

We leave this week.

If you were at my house, it would not look as if we are moving this week.

Thank the Lord for governmental moves.
They literally come and take stuff off of the walls and drawers and pack them up.

BUT, we are going to be in New Mexico/on the road/without our stuff for the next 3 months so I have to pack up that stuff before the packers and movers come....MONDAY!

How does one pack for 3 months on the road, for a family of 4? I'll let you know in a couple of days.

Did I mention we are going on a 2 week road trip? With a very chatty 3 year old and a pathetically sick 1 year old? Any advice for car activities?

We're swimming in paperwork.

Closing on our Vegas home, finding renters for our WA home, moving docs, its nuts and not very environmentally friendly. How very Pacific Northwest of me.
I love Seattle.

I'm so sad to leave here.

Cameron and I went on one last Seattle date last night. This was our view as we were walking back to our car.
Beautiful.

I want to come back and live here again-- with all their tech-savvy people that makes me feel like I still live in the cave-era, granola parents, environmentalists, even the liberals (that one is for you, Dad)...I'll miss them all.

Lets not even talk about my Bible Study girls.

Tear.

Tear.

But Las Vegas is sunny, right?

OK, gotta go wipe a runny nose and figure out what I want to wear for the next 3 months.

One last funny story before I go?

Ok.

We were driving the other day, and Malone said, "Dad, what do Panda Bears eat?"

Cameron replied, "They eat Bamboo."

She quickly replied with a disgusted look on her face, "EWWWW!"

We couldn't figure out why she was so grossed out by bamboo.

Later her and I were talking about panda bears and I said, "Well, daddy told you what they eat, right?"

She said, "Yes, they eat Panda Poo!"

Ahahahaha! She thought Cameron said, "Panda Poo" instead of "Bamboo!" We laughed sooo hard.

Had to be there?

Ok, I'm out. Wish me luck.



Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Dear Broncos

Dear Broncos,

I'm not a huge football fan, but others in my house are. And apparently, you didn't do so well this last season. You think you could try a little harder next season, for this kid?


Thanks.

All our love and support,

The Schaefer family

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Favorite things

Here in the Schaefer household, we are preparing to move, be in transition for a couple of months and finally, set up home in Las Vegas, sometime this Spring. (PS: Our offer got accepted on a house there! Woo-hoo! We are on our way to owning a home in Las Vegas!) All that to let you know that we are in the midst of CHANGE, oh glorious change. But I'll try to keep you up to date on everything.

Since I've been back home now for a little while, I've been finding all kinds of inspiring and lovely things. So here is a couple of them in no particular order:

1. Pumpkin Nutella Snack Cake from Twopeasandtheirpod. Make it. You won't regret it. I can literally eat an entire pan. But I won't. Because I can't make them anymore or else I will. Its a vicious cycle.

2. I've become a little obsessed with Etsy lately. I also have been searching for some unique things to put in our new house. Practical or just beautiful. This falls under the practical category and I just love this dry erase daily wall decal.


3. My particular obsession with Etsy has been artwork. Check out some of these for our reading/music room.





4. And while I'm searching on Etsy, I take a break to eat this. Key Lime Pie, also from Twopeasandtheirpod. So refreshing, so easy, so delicious. This is going in my recipe favorites folder.

5. And then I go back to finding these treasures. But this time I look for things for the kids' rooms.

Here's some for Judah:



Here's some for Malone:



6. Speaking of kids, check out these kids learning kits, called Time for Tots. People are so inventive. They are themed learning kits for kids. For instance, I just saw a February kit, or a shapes kit, and then it includes all the tools you need for the kit and a list of activities to utilize the kits with. Uh-mazing! I definitely plan on getting some of these for the kids in the HOT summer days in Las Vegas when we can't go outside. Hmmm....that will be an entire year of us not being able to go outside...Winter here, Summer there. Yikes.


7. My friend, Melanie introduced me to these. Its a website called File Folder Fun and they have free, download-able games for kids of all ages. You print off the pictures and glue the various parts to a file folder. Super easy, cute and free. I know my description of it stinks, but you HAVE TO check it out.

8. Gray. The color. I want to paint every room in my new house a variation of gray. Who am I? What happened to my obsession with bright colors? I guess its bright colors with gray walls.


Alright friends, I'm off for a little weekend fun with some girls. Cameron is graciously playing Mr. Mom, so I can go to Seattle for a couple of days, reboot, and hopefully come back a better mommy and wife. But more on that later.




Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Happy 3rd Birthday!

I have news: I no longer have a baby girl. All of a sudden, I blinked my eyes and she is a full-fledged little girl, complete with LOTS of emotions (that we're learning to control), and opinions about what to wear AND eat (WHAT? This is new for me) and a love for all things grown-up. The best part is that she can conversations with me about her day. She can randomly come up to me and say, "Mom, I like you" or "Wow, I like your socks." Yep, folks, she's three. Where did the time go?

In our house, we celebrate birthdays for days, weeks, months at a time. Since its hard to understand why we have our birthday parties on one day, but our actual birthday isn't until the next, we just keep celebrating. And that's what we did this past weekend. It started a couple of months ago, when someone...ahemm.....ahemm.....Leigh Anna...planted the idea in Malone's head of a princess birthday party. We had been talking about it literally for months and by "we" I mean, Malone and Leigh Anna. So, of course, I could not just give her a crown and call it a day.

So we made it a Princess Fest.

But first, the Birthday Girl had to open her presents from family. Oh how she loves her baby dolls and needed furniture for her dolls. We take our babies' needs very seriously around here.

Then it was busy, busy, busy getting ready for her party. We had a crown decorating station.

and lots of food. We also had a cake. Oh the cake. It took me 2 whole days to make. But it came out UH.MA.ZING (if I have to say so myself.)

I don't think she quite knew what to do when she saw it. She knew what I was doing, but hadn't seen it completed yet. I think she was more concerned that her new Barbie was stuck in the cake. Ha Ha Ha.

We opened presents. And by "we", I mean, me, Malone, Judah and some of her friends who wanted to help. It was a group activity. I'm always blown away by people's generosity.

One of her gifts, from our dear friends, Leigh Anna and Sara was a box full of princess dress-up outfits. Here's Snow White in all her glory.

What a great party! It was my favorite Malone party to date and I'm pretty sure Malone LOVED it. So, here's to you, three year old, Malula! We love you so much and can't wait to see what lays ahead in this journey of guiding and teaching your little heart.



As a PS: Look what a handsome boy this fella is. Can you believe that he will be one on Sunday? I am the luckiest girl in the world.