Saturday, March 31, 2012

Tanner Family Fun Night

After dinner tonight, we played some Dutch Blitz with Charlotte (kind of), then had a tickle fight, and then the grand finale of a dance party. Charlotte was AWESOME, except she stopped dancing every time I turned on the camera. I got a few shots, but know that these are only glimpses into the awesomeness that is Charlotte's dancing.

Mommy and Charlotte

I loved being home with this girl this week. We did so many fun things together and she is such a blast to be around at this age. On Tuesday, we had an afternoon of shopping and we stopped off at Starbuck's at the end for a treat and to read some of the new books we bought. It was my favorite day of the week!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Spring Break Food

Because I was on spring break this week, I decided to plan a fun menu of food I wouldn't normally have time or energy to cook during the week. On Monday we had homemade burgers and baked onion rings. Everything was delicious and I decided to play up the fast food-ness of our meal by serving with parchment paper and ketchup packets.

On Tuesday we had chicken tostadas with all the toppings, including homemade pineapple-mango salsa. Yummy!

I forgot to take pictures the rest of the week, but we had hobo dinners on the grill on Wednesday with a bunch of friends and on Thursday we had soup and those delicious pretzel rolls I blogged about a few months ago. I wish I had time to cook like this all of the time!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Spring Break Trip to the Zoo With the Hoskins

Monday was my first day of spring break and we kicked it off with a trip to Lincoln Park Zoo with our friends, Jenny, Breck, and Elsa Hoskins.

Looking at the black bear- he was right against the glass!

Playing around by the monkeys.

Super-cute little chicks hatching! Charlotte is whining to get out, actually. Not so super cute.

Lounging in the egg shell.

Playing with the tire pieces at the farm.

Elsa was eventually abandoned in the tire by Charlotte and Breck and she looked so tiny in there all by herself!

Driving the tractor.


The giraffes were probably Charlotte's favorite.

Eating leaves off of the ground in the Africa exhibit.

Getting to know the meerkats.

Checking out the fish.

Charlotte in Jenny's arms after several escape attempts.

After the zoo, we stopped by Sweet Mandy B's for treats. I love that place! They have really tasty cupcakes, a huge selection of giant cookies, and several different kinds of pies.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Birthday Parties!

Last weekend we had two birthday parties to go to! My brother, Ben, turned 9. We have no pictures from that, but my dad bought these lamb brats from Paulina Meat Market that were SO GOOD. It tastes like a gyro and a brat. YUM-O.

My grandma, Kathy, turned 70 and we had a party at Maggiano's. YUM-O again. We ate so good last weekend. All of the food was served family style, so for dessert they brought out these giant platters of cream puffs filled with ice cream...

... and Nonna's toasted pound cake- my favorite!

Kyle eating Charlotte's leg.

Charlotte looked so cute and was such a good girl.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Playing with Daddy

Last week when it was hot, Charlotte went to the playground with Daddy.
She pulled her wagon...

... and figured out how to fly "airplane style" on the swings.

She woke up the next morning with some crazy bed head and decided to read a book.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Pinterest and the Sabbath

Pinterest is my new love. I pin many creative dreams, but I am really inspired lately by home decor-ish ideas. This shelf hangs above our couch and I've been changing it for the seasons. This Valentine's garland was all over Pinterest :)

I found these birds at Michael's on sale for $1.79 each! Three little birds!

Pinterest-y new message board, with Pinterest-y hanging mason jar marker holder.

Pinterest has also inspired me to spray paint things.
Like that clementine crate. And the circle window of our pantry (with frosted glass spray paint).

And this fruit basket.

And this sign I hung in my kitchen.

So. Sabbath. Kyle and I have been celebrating the Sabbath pretty seriously on Sundays. I've read a small amount about the Jewish Shabbat and it has been so intriguing to me that we are trying to put it into practice as best we can.

This includes doing the least amount of work possible on Sundays, especially not running errands. We eat yummy, wholesome, special meals- food we wouldn't necessarily have time or calories for during the week. And we try to do as much of our food prep as possible on Saturday. The main thing we try to focus on is rest. Not feeling bad about napping every time Charlotte does, or kicking back on the couch and reading a book all day- because God thinks all of that is important.

Recently Kyle and I were in charge of coffee hour at church and I made this sour cream coffee cake (one of Chuck's specialties). Jane always put the frosting on and the few times I had ever tried at camp, I always ruined it. I finally got it right and had to take a picture of it.

One of our Sabbath breakfasts includes a few different variations of Rachael Ray's "Fluffy Pancakes, 10 Ways." These are carrot cake pancakes. Delicious!

A heap of pancakes!

And here are oatmeal raisin pancakes. Also delicious!

Last Sunday morning while we were lounging on the couch and talking I noticed the steam from Kyle's coffee catching the sunlight coming through our living room window. I think I took about 25 pictures trying to capture it on our camera. But that's the kind of thing you can do on the Sabbath. There's time to notice small, little, beautiful things.

Things You Should Know About Charlotte These Days...

She has a fixation with Uncle Colby. We suspect she thinks that Kyle's laptop is actually just a machine that shows slideshows of Uncle Colby pictures.

I'm not sure what's up with the wacky smile, but this is Charlotte sitting at her newly improved kitchen station. We added these little buckets from IKEA to store all of her kitchen tools.

Her little workstation. The best part is that the bar, buckets, and hooks for hanging aprons on cost lest than $8!!!

Here she is practicing slicing bananas.

We live directly across the street from a chocolate shop called Beijo de Chocolat. I very much love chocolate, so Charlotte and I have been practicing identifying Beijo from our living room window and she will respond, "chocolate" when you ask what you can get at Beijo. We finally took a family trip there a few weeks ago and got Charlotte a chocolate dipped Nutter Butter. She really liked it, despite how her face looks in this picture.

She LOVES "doing the dishes." She will say "dishes, dishes!," pull a full sized kitchen chair over to the sink by herself, and climb up on it. We let the water trickle and set up a towel for her on the counter and she goes to town "rinsing" the dishes and putting them to dry on the towel.

She likes to "yoooooooolllllll iiiiiiiitttt" (roll it, from Pattycake), so we let her roll out some pie crust... and okay, maybe taste some here and there.

She loves to cook!