Clip Reward Chart

I was feeling that we needed to start a new rewards chart as Dylan's behavior has been in need of turning around with his younger brothers first birthday, the full of fun and yet sometime boring summer time vacation and the excitement and nervousness of kindergarten right around the corner.  There is so much going on with him right now that he acts off the wall at times -- okay, he acts his age but there are times when I'm pretty sure he can tone it down a bit.  Dylan loves reward charts.  I was in search of something different so I turned to Pinterest and did a few searches on behavior charts.  The Clip Reward chart is what caught my attention and I decided to make one for us to use.

Our Clip Chart

How to make it: To make our chart, I headed to Michael's Craft store for supplies.  I got a large piece of foam core board,  primary color card stock, a bag of clothespins and a bottle of glue.  I also picked up a small container and a bag of glass stones and finally I also checked out their dollar aisle and found a few prizes.  I started by gluing five pieces of the card stock to the foam board and wrote the following from top to bottom "Awesome, Great day, Good Job, Ready, Need Improvement, Oh No! and Lose Privilege."  I also wrote in numbers from 1 to 7 next to each piece of card stock. That's all I needed to do to make the chart.  So easy!   

How it works:  Each day, when Dylan awakes the clothes pin clip will be on the green 'Ready' spot.  For us, this means we are ready to start the day.  When Dylan has negative behavior it will result in a 'clip down' .  If he clips down to the lose privilege spot than I will take something away such as a toy, xbox or something similar for the remainder of the day.  Good behavior will result in being told to 'clip up'.   

As mentioned previously, I picked up a small canister with lid and glass beads.  At the beginning of the next day, we will look at the chart to see what number his clip is on and put that number of beads into the canister.

Our small canister 

Rewards:  To earn a prize, there are a couple of ways to do it.  If he is on the Awesome spot and he clips up past Awesome, it is considered off the chart and I will reward him by letting him pick a prize out of my prize bucket.

The 2nd way to earn a prize is at every 20 beads.  I figured giving him a dollar prize every few days is definitely worth his good behavior.

And the last way is to fill the canister up!   The canister holds 80 glass beads (yes I counted!)   When the canister is filled up, it will result in a larger bigger prize than the $1 dollar prizes.

Some examples of prizes that I got are a paddle ball, a slap on watch, punching balloon, large bubbles, pez candy, a bag of M&Ms.  You get the idea.

Some of the $1 prizes
We are on day three; so far he has gotten a 3 Need Improvement, an off the chart (8 beads) and today a 5 - Good Day.  This morning he was so excited to pick out his prize.  He picked the big bubbles and at 7:00 am this morning, he was outside blowing bubbles.  Definitely fun way to earn a reward!

Vegetable, Ham, Cheese Quiche

Quiche is such a fantastic way to get vegetables into your kids! My five year old, won't eat spinach if it's just sitting on his plate but bake it in eggs with cheese, well we then will have a winner!  The fun thing about quiche is that you can make it with whatever you have on hand.  I picked up some fresh vegetables at our farmer's stand.  Frozen can be used as well, just be sure to have everything cooked so the frozen won't defrost and add unnecessary water into your quiche.

Today, we made a ham, cheese, spinach, broccoli and green onion quiche.  I used the recipe from the magazine "Clean Eating" with some modifications.  Here is how I made my quiche:

1 cup fresh broccoli florets (steamed until tender)
1 bunch of fresh spinach (sweat until cooked) 
1 cup of ham (diced)
1/4 cup green onions (chopped)
4 oz shredded mild cheddar cheese
4 oz shredded monetary jack cheese
5-6 eggs
1 cup milk
3 slices of bread 
Pie plate
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a pie pan with cooking spray to keep the crust from sticking.  

Break/Cube the bread into smaller pieces.  Use a food processor or blender to crush the cubes of bread. I used my Magic Bullet as I don't have a food processor right now. 

Press the bread crumbs into the pie plate on top of the cooking spray and bake in oven for 10 minutes.

Bread crumb crust

Place in a bowl, the steamed broccoli florets, the cooked spinach, the diced ham, the chopped green onions and the shredded cheese.  Mix and season to taste.

In another bowl, beat eggs together and pour in milk.  Pour egg mix into the vegetable/meat/cheese mixture. 

Quiche before it was cooked

When the crust is done after 10 minutes, pour your quiche mixture into the pie plate on top of the baked crust.  Bake for approximately 40 minutes until it's set.  A knife put into it should come out clean. 

Our finished quiche!
Now you have dinner and tomorrow's breakfast!  My 5 year old at two pieces and my soon to be 1 year old ate half a piece!  Enjoy!

Veggie & Feta Quinoa

Quinoa.  It's pronounced 'Keen-wah' and NOT Quin-O-ah as I had originally thought when I first saw it at Trader Joe's.  I was looking for a side item and thought it sounded different.  Quinoa is cooked like rice and can be used in a variety of dishes from a simple side or pair it with veggies to create a full meal.   

Here's a great recipe for Veggie & Feta Quinoa that I am sure you will enjoy.  I made the recipe for two adults and 1 child and we had plenty leftover.

1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 chopped red onion
1 bag frozen vegetables
1 cup of cooked Quinoa (follow instructions on package)
2 - 3 cups of fresh spinach
1/2 cup of pesto
Feta Cheese

In a skillet, sauté the red onion in the olive oil until translucent.  Add the bag of frozen veggies.  Stir as needed.  I also added a couple tablespoons of water while the vegetables cooked.  The water will evaporate as it cooks.  Add quinoa, spinach and pesto.  Continue stirring as it cooks. Once throughly heated, remove from stove and serve with a little feta cheese on top. 

We served ours with a fresh green salad.  It's a great tasting meatless meal.  Enjoy!

New Block Game

Dylan and I invented a new game last night while building block towers together.  We took turns putting one block on top of the other building up a tower.   We decided that we could only build up.  We carefully placed each block up higher and higher.  Our towers were very unstable but that was the fun part; seeing who would be the one to knock the tower down.  Whoever did not knock it down, won that round.  We played to whomever had won five rounds.  It was actually getting to the point where we would try to make it tricky for each other. It was a very quick game and lots of fun.  Try it with your kids!


Last week we went blueberry picking.  It was a last minute decision on a hot day but worth it to get these little morsels of juiciness.  Blueberries are early this season due to the warmer weather.  The blueberries look great this year.  

Hubby and I took both kids up to the orchard. I wasn't sure how Ty was going to do out in the heat but he did well and caught on quickly!  I was holding him and he watched how I pulled the berries off.  Most went into the bucket but some went into his mouth. I'm sure you can guess which he preferred to do!  Soon he wanted to get down and started to pull the berries, the stems, the unripened berries right off and stick it all into his mouth.

Dylan posing for a picture 
Tyler helping himself to the blueberries

For the past week, we've been eating blueberries.  Hubby requested blueberry muffins this morning for breakfast.  I love checking Pinterest for cooking ideas.  I found a great quick recipe from Blueberry Octopie Blog and I added a streusel topping with a mix of white sugar, brown sugar, flour and melted butter.  This recipe made 6 large muffins and I baked them without using muffin papers; I just sprayed the tin with cooking spray.  Larger muffins usually take about 5 minutes longer than what the recipe instructs.  Just be sure to keep an eye on them.  After all your hard work, you don't want to burn your muffins!  

Blueberry muffins before they are cooked
I encourage you all to get out there and find a local place to pick blueberries!  Now is the time!  Not sure where to go?  Check Pick Your Own's Website

Blueberry muffins with streusel topping

Sidewalk Chalk Paint

I've been looking forward to making homemade chalk paint with Dylan this summer and today was the day we did it!  I got this idea from Come Together Kids.  Simple, inexpensive and a bit messy but that's what summer time activities are about for us!

You will need cornstarch, water,  various paint brushes, food coloring and something to mix the paints in.  I used our large muffin tin container.   Mix in equal parts water and cornstarch into each tin.  Mix in a few drops of food coloring.  We used our fingers as then we could feel the cornstarch on the bottom and this would ensure it was well mixed.

Getting everything ready
Pouring in the water
Take your paints, to the sidewalk or driveway and get painting.  The painting goes on kind of watery but when it was drying, the colors got brighter.  I have an eleven month old and a 5 year old and both had a fantastic fun time with this project.  I couldn't decide on which picture to add, so I added a bunch! Dylan has already asked me when we would make this again!

Carrot Recipes

We've been getting lots of carrots with our CSA this past month.  Here are some ideas that we've been doing with our carrots.

Maple Glazed Carrots
Wash, peel and chop up the carrots.  Add a little water to cook the carrots.  When tender, add in a tablespoon of butter and a swirl of maple syrup.  (I know swirl isn't an exact measurement but it all depends on taste and the number of carrots you have cooking up!).  Cook until throughly heated and serve!

Dill Carrots
Wash, peel and chop up the carrots.  Add a little water to cook the carrots.  When tender, add in a tablespoon of butter and a handful of fresh dill.  (We used dill from our garden!).  Cook until throughly heated and serve!

Carrot, Apple, Raisin Muffins
This recipe made 10 large muffins.  I recently purchased a large 6 muffin tin pan since I was getting tired of small muffins.  This original recipe said it made 18 muffins - not sure what size muffins they were making but here is the recipe as I made it.

     1 cup whole wheat flour
     1 cup all-purpose flour
     2 teaspoons baking powder
     2 teaspoons cinnamon
     1/4 teaspoon salt
     3/4 cup white sugar
     1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
     2 cups shredded carrots (about 6 medium)
     1 1/4 cup raisins
     3 large eggs
     1 cup vegetable oil
     2 teaspoons vanilla
     1 large granny smith apple

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Grease 12 muffin cups or line with paper liners.  (If you are making less muffins, as my 2nd time I only had 4 muffin tins filled, be sure to fill the empty spots with water for even cooking). 
  3. In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt, then add in both sugars.
  4. Shred carrots to measure 2 cups packed.
  5. Add the carrots and raisins to the flour mixture; toss well to combine.
  6. In a bowl whisk together eggs, oil and vanilla. 
  7. Peel, core and shred the apple.  Add the shredded apple to the egg mixture.
  8. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture; stir.
  9. Divide the mixture evenly between the muffin tins filling about three-quarters full.
  10. Bake for about 15-20* minutes, or until muffins test done.
*I used a large 6 muffin tin pan twice and each time it took 25 minutes to cook through.  

Serve warm with butter.  Enjoy!  

I changed the recipe slightly but here is the original recipe from Carrot Raisin Muffins.

About to go into the oven!

Ready to enjoy! Yum!