I have been slightly obsessing about food again with regards to having more variety and more fresh food around. My copy of Nourishing Traditions is being carried around the house as I try to plan out meals and try new versions of regular favorites with the kids. Some of our winners lately are:

Black beans. Straight up with a little salt. The kids used to eat beans a lot and even ate bean dips but had stopped a few months back. I tried these on ’em (served with a toothpick to pick them up) and got a great reaction from both of them.  My daughter initially turned her nose up and claimed she didn’t like them until she saw my son eating them with gusto…

Kefir. The kids have both liked the blueberry in the past, They tried out the vanilla flavor and both like it.

Tiny bananas. My daughter picked these out at the store and has been chowing down. Both kids had been turning down banans lately, so this is good. We also made banana pops after watching Blue’s Clues. We peeled them, speared them with a popsicle stick, and froze them. Then we dipped them in blueberry Kefir, topped them with sprinkles, and froze them again. Yummm. No win with my son yet, but the rest of us like these.

Cottage cheese pancakes. (Recipe from an NT yahoo group) Blend 2 cups cottage cheese, 6 eggs, 1/3 cup melted butter, and 1/2 cup flour.  Make very small pancakes on a griddle. Cook until crispy on the outsides. These got devoured, handheld, no toppings. We will be making these again. There is another similar recipe without butter and swapping the flour to oats. I want to try that one out too.

Oatmeal with cinnamon. Almost everyday lately has seen oatmeal on the menu. Usually the kids put sprinkles on it (instead of regular sugar), something I started a few months ago to revive the interest in oatmeal. Now they are tryng it with cinnamon. I am trying to work in some applesauce or preserves.

My son is claiming he wants to eat fish so we will be trying whitefish tonight. Who knows, I might be surprised.

UPDATE (10 minutes after dinner)…

OK-color me surprised!

My son, who is usually full of “Yuck” and “Oooh, that smells”, loved the fish! And asked for more. And is currently bragging to J. about how he tried it! He even asked me what the green stuff was (parsley in the breading) and was ok with it when I said it was part of the spices that made it crispy and tasty. Usually green is a stopper  🙂

Maybe 5 is the magic age.

COSI Toledo

We met up with a bunch of local homeschooling families at the COSI museum in Toledo for the Jump to Japan exhibit and to check out the rest of the museum.

The exhibits were very hands-on and child friendly!

In the Jump to Japan exhibit, we got to climb on the Cat Bus and pose near other props from Hayao Miyazaki’s movie My Neighbor Totoro.

There was a stop-action camera set up with lots of props and backgrounds where you could create your own short films. We enjoyed trying on kimonos, having a pretend tea party, eating pretend sushi with chopsticks, drawing manga, making headbands for the kids with Japanese writing on them. (“Jewel” for our son and “River” for our daughter), and checking out a manga store display.

In other areas of the museum, there was a “human-yo yo” that pulled you up into the air when you held onto it and pulled down hard, one of those bikes that you can ride across a one inch cable without tipping, LOTS of different building supplies and experiments, a huge keyboard, sensors to measure how fast you can run, how hard you can jump, and how fast you can throw, and so much more…

There was also a separate area for younger kids which I thought was great. They had a big treehouse with tunnels and a lookout deck, sand and water tables, dress-up, pretend ambulance and doctor offices (with babies), a pretend construction site with building supplies, soft play blocks and tunnels for climbing on and through, air blowers with plastic balls to levitate. We probably could have spent the whole day just in there.

As it was, we stayed till close. I would definitely recommend this museum. It was worth the drive (about 2 hours). Toll total was $7, parking was $4.

My Brother Came for a Visit

My brother and my sister-in-law came over last night to hang out with us and play with the kids. They came into town for the holidays (from CA) and got to stay for some extra time this year. It was really nice to get some time with them away from all the loudness and crowds of the other events.

Apparently, where they live in CA is just way too darn health-conscious, so they picked up some Mr. Hero for all of us for dinner.

While they were here, they got to see see some of the kids drawings (both kids made them valentines to take with them) and some of their favorite games.

My son definitely wanted to share all of his TV Games.  We played a bit of “We Love Katamari“, one of my absolute favorite games for the Playstation 2.

We also played some boardgames. In “Chicken Cha Cha Cha“, The team of my sister-in-law and my son proved to have the best memory and quickly won all the tail feathers (We did handicap the game by only using 8 of the facedown tiles instead of the full 12)

We saved all the animals in “Max” with 2 treats left over which has NEVER happened before. It is usually a really close game at the end.

And my husband, J., won at Pokemon Yahzee.

We finished off the night with the homemade battle game I made for my son to use J.’s D&D dice.

It was really nice to get to hang out with them at our house where everything could be more relaxed.

Shaker Lakes Nature Center

We went to the Shaker Lakes Nature Center yesterday with some of the families in our homeschool group and the weather was beautiful! For those not in Ohio…we haven’t seen snow since October, which is quite crazy.

We showed up late, but the kids still got to walk along the boardwalks, follow a trail, and generally look for stuff on the ground and play with sticks. (Oh my, the boys and their sticks)  My kids gathered up acorns and rocks for their collections.

After the walk, we checked out the Nature Center. It is a pretty small one, but my kids definitely want to go back.