Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Eating Right Project and PF Changs Lettuce Wraps!!!

We were standing in Trader Joe's, trying to decide what to make for dinner when Jonah said, "Mommy, can you try to make those lettuce wraps from PF Changs" tonight?  So, I looked up a recipe on my phone, and we hurriedly gathered all the ingredients we would need to make those lettuce wraps.  When my child asks for something for dinner that is  WRAPPED in a vegetable, I say yes.

Well, I am happy to say that the recipe I found was incredibly close to the actual real thing.  It was scoffed down by all my boys, including my big boy.  Check out the recipe below.  It was super easy too.


This was dinner tonight (I think I'll go in backwards order today).  Lettuce wraps with ground chicken, green onions, red onion, water chestnuts, cashews, and garlic), and rice with vegetables (green and red peppers, peas, carrots, and corn).  That dark brown blob is hoisin sauce.  Yummy.

I'm guessing 2 servings of veggies, at least.

Afternoon snack

 Cherries.  Justin bought these.  I forgot how much I LOVE cherries.  1 serving of fruit.


I took the boys to Qdoba for lunch today.  We had TONS of errands to run, and it just made sense to eat out between shopping trips to keep our momentum.  My lunch was a little light on the veggies since Jonah and I split a steak quesadilla and I knew he'd turn his nose up at veggies with the steak.  So, I got a cup of pico de gallo (Qdoba's is SO good because they add lots of cilantro) and a side of guacamole.  That ought to count for something, right?  Maybe 1/2 serving of veggies.


A bowl of Crispix with strawberries on top and a blueberry muffin (well two if anyone's really counting).  1 1/2 servings of fruit.

Late night snack (out of order, oops)

Chobani Greek yogurt for a snack while I am writing this...I know there is fruit on the bottom, but not sure if I can count it as a full serving.  Maybe 1/2 a serving of fruit?

So 3 servings of fruit and 2 1/2 servings of veggies.  Better, but I still need to work on eating veggies.  Fruit seems so much easier to snack on.  My mom suggested a smoothie made with veggies.  Any ideas?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Eating Right Project

It is so hard for me to make sure I am eating the correct servings of fruits and vegetables every day.  And now that I have a little one to nourish, it is particularly important.  So, I decided to document what I eat a few times a week, to hold myself accountable.

A cup of strawberries and blueberries, paired with some cottage cheese (for protein) and the cup of coffee I haven't been able to give up.  This counts as one cup of fruit.

Mid-morning Snack

Since my boys have been sleeping in lately (love our summer schedule, or lack thereof), they have been having breakfast at 9:00.  So, I made blueberry muffins (out of a box--does that count?) and had two muffins with them.  Not sure if the blueberries in this muffin count as a serving of fruit, so I'll say 1/2 cup of fruit for this one.


Chicken salad sandwich (yummy salad was made by my sweet husband) on whole wheat toast, cup of carrots, and a smoothie made with a cup of strawberries, milk, and vanilla yogurt.  There may have been just a pinch of sugar and vanilla extract in the smoothie too.  For lunch, I earned one cup of vegetables and one cup of fruit.  Oh, yeah, the salad had grapes in it too.  Maybe that can make up the other half of the blueberries in the muffins.  1/2 cup of fruit here too.


Tacos with chopped tomatoes, yellow peppers, red onions, and black beans on the side.  I could've done better as far as veggies go for dinner, but I haven't made it to the store for a big shopping trip in a while.  For dinner I ate one cup of vegetables.

How did I do?  
I ate 3 cups of fruit and 2 cups of vegetables.  I should be eating 2 cups of fruit and 2 1/2-3 cups of vegetables, so I have some work to do.  It is always easier for me to eat fruit than veggies.  Headed to the store today...

Thursday, July 12, 2012

I love doing Insta-Friday, but I am not the best at following the rules.  This time I'm going to be good.  The creator of Insta-Friday simply asks that anyone who borrows her idea, view other people's Insta-Fridays and make a comment on their page.  This summer has been so busy, I haven't even had a chance to look at my favorite blogs.  But today, I am determined to make that happen.  So here goes, my fav phone pics of the week...

Our church is doing a fun summer series for the kids.  They watch a clip of a movie and use it to discuss how the characters demonstrate unity.  Then we get a fun take home sheet with a verse to memorize, discussion questions pertaining to the movie, and a snack to make.  This past Sunday it was Toy Story 3 and Carson made Mr. Potato head out of Cocoa Krispies (can't believe I bought a box of that cereal), Twizzlers (my favorite), and gumdrops.  It was a fun, and tasty activity.

This pic is actually from a few weeks ago, but I had to include it because it is just so cute.  My little baseball player, in his white uniform.  By the way, what (ahem) MAN decided it was a good idea to make seven-year old BOYS, who slide even when they do not have to, wear white pants??????????  Let's just say, after two tournaments, those pants are no longer white. But he certainly does look handsome.

We were lucky to have a visit from one of the boys' best friends, Tyler, this week.  It was fun to watch them go from making a pulley system with yarn and a basket going up the stairs, to swimming in the pool, to playing doctor, to making cars out of Car Designer, to having Nerf gun battles.  They never stopped.  My boys slept well that night!

Playdough.  How is it that boys, young and old, can sit at the counter and become completely absorbed in the stuff?  I was making dinner the other night and Carson begged to play with playdough.  Justin got it out and I did not hear a peep from Carson and Jonah for about 10 minutes.  Sometimes it is worth the mess to have a little peace.
Studious Jonah.  One of his buddies, Tait, is going on a mission trip to Mexico this week.  Jonah wanted to let him know he would be praying for him and couldn't wait to hear all about his trip, so he wrote him a letter.  Now Jonah is asking about when his first mission trip will be.  Something to think about...
In any ordinary house, this would be a frightening figure to bump into.  But, here in the Karkow abode, this is a normal sighting.  Robed Harry Potter, aka Carson.

This graph wearing a pair of legs and being held by Carson was the boys' idea, and I decided it would help me out as well.  I have been particularly forgetful of birthdays this year, and the boys thought it would be fun to make a chart to show the months in which family members were born.  Carson's prechool teacher, Mrs. Owens, would be very honored to know she made the graph!  

I has been a fun and very busy week, and I am so ready for the weekend!!!

Summer Book Club


Summer Book Club

 This summer I decided to lead a summer book club for kids Jonah's age.  It was a good way to keep Jonah reading over the summer and to engage a small group of kids from his school who live in our neighborhood.  I sent out a group email to see if there was interest from other kids, and when there were many interested families, we chose a book and dove right in!

We picked a book from the Calendar Mysteries, May Magic, by Ron Roy.  Roy writes three chapter book series for kids: The A-Z Mysteries, Calendar Mysteries, and The Capital Mysteries.  I bought the books through a Scholastic book order Jonah's teacher sent home near the end of the school year. They were $3 a book which I thought was pretty affordable.

Our group ended up consisting of Jonah, Connor, and Olivia.  I read the book prior to meeting with the kids and it was a really entertaining book.  In fact, when it was all said and done, Olivia ended up reading it twice!  I love to see kids really get into a series.  After our last book club meeting, Olivia and Connor borrowed two other Calendar Mystery books from Jonah.  It's neat to see them borrowing and trading books, like mini versions of us moms passing favorites around the neighborhood.

On our first meeting, I passed out the books and a journal and bookmark.  The journal is filled with pages about making predictions, recording character information, and story mapping.  The bookmark has places for the kids to write questions that may arise as they read, and to record words they are not sure of the meaning of so they can look them up later.  Before we started reading, we read the summary on the back of the book and each recorded a prediction of what we thought would happen on the first page of our journals.  We read a few chapters together, and talked about the characters as we were introduced to them.  We made a chart on an easel to keep the characters and their specific traits and qualities organized.  Then I assigned the kids a few chapters to read.  I asked them to record one event from each chapter they read on a sticky note.  Then we set up our next meeting. 

We met three times, each time working on character traits and story elements.  On our last meeting we celebrated finishing our book with cookies!  Since the problem in the story revolves around the kids' mom being supposedly turned into a duck by Hypo, the hypnotist, we used cookie cutters to make duck-shaped cookies, and topped them with sprinkles.  While our cookies baked, we summarized the book and completed a story map in our journals. 

We had so much fun, the kids decided they would like to do the book club again.  We are taking a break for now, but will do another one in August, just before school starts, to brush up on our reading and comprehension skills.  It makes me so happy to see kids get excited about reading.  I'm glad they got a lot out of the book club, but what they don't know is that I am really the one who got the most out of it. :)  This is why I wanted to be a teacher from the time I was eight years old.  Thanks, crew!