I signed my boys up for a gym class for the year. Jakob had done a hip hop class last year, and really enjoyed it, but wanted to try something new. And I thought it would be a good thing for all my boys to do together.
It's a tumbling class. They've all been doing great in it. It's so funny to watch their different personalities come out while they're doing the class.
(I haven't been able to get very good pictures-because they're so far away, and it's so big and not super bright in there, they all come out blurry. So, there's a good butt picture for you. I'm actually kind of surprised at how flexible they all look right there.)
Jakob has been spastic. He's gotten really good at front rolls and back rolls. He loves doing the different tricks on the long trampoline they have.
Brock has been exact. He'll observe the teacher closely and try to do it exactly right the very first time.
Troy has been important. Even though he's the smallest kid in the class, you'd think he was the biggest. He's just so happy to be there.
They just got a new teacher-I think their other one went off to college or something. The new teacher has them grab onto a large rope at the end of their lesson, and swing out over a pit full of large foam cubes. Then they let go and fall in. It's the best thing since sliced bread. It's very Tarzan.
They have a parent section, that's up above the floors. One side has video cameras that play on some TVs, and the other side you can look down and watch. I like watching some of the other classes. There are some little girls that are amazing gymnasts. It's like watching the Olympics every week.
One lady comes and cross stitches the whole time. I asked her about it, and she said her daughter comes twice a week for 4 hours each time. She was all, "I guess I could be at home cleaning my house, but if she's doing something she loves for 8 hours a week, why can't I?"
I guess I could cross stitch as well, but instead I take my logic puzzles book. Which, for me, is still very zen. Ivy comes along as well, and I try to bring crayons or toys for her to play with. For a while she kept trying to steal a little boy's food and toys. When I forget toys we munch on TicTacs. Have you tried the green apple ones? They're yummy, although they don't necessarily give you fresh breath.
There's also a Russian guy that teaches there. At first I couldn't really hear his accent. And I was like, dude, I wonder what he says to people when they ask what he does for a living. "I yell at little girls." He doesn't mean yell all of the time, but you have to yell to be heard in there-it's very tall and open in there.
The boys' gym class starts right when I would be preparing dinner, and ends too late for me to whip up something afterwards. So I decided to make that night my crock pot night. My friend Arin lent me a crock pot recipe book, and I photocopied a whole bunch of 'em. I've really liked all of them. And I LOVE being able to just dump everything in either in the morning or early afternoon, and it's ready to go when we get home that night. If only every meal could be so easy. (Well, I guess it could be, if we had crock pot stuff every night.)
Here are a few of my favorite recipes that we've tried thus far:
HEARTY HODGEPODGE (a.k.a. Minestrone Soup)
1 1/2 pounds ground beef, cooked
2 cans (10 3/4 ounces each) condensed minestrone soup
1 21-ounce can pork and beans in tomato sauce
1 12-ounce can tomato juice
1 cup sliced celery
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup water
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. dried oregano, crushed
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 clove garlic, minced (I just used a little bit of minced garlic)
Dump it all in a crock pot. Cook for 7-8 hours on low or 3 1/2-4 hours on high.
COUNTRY STYLE PEACH RIBS
3 pounds country-style ribs
1 medium onion, sliced
1 18-ounce jar peach or apricot preserves
1/2 cup orange juice or water
2 Tbl. bottled teriyaki sauce (I think I used soy sauce)
3 cloves garlic, minced (used minced garlic again)
Put the onion on the bottom, put the ribs on top. Mix the other ingredients in a bowl, and pour all but 1 cup on top of meat in crock pot. Put the remaining in the fridge. Cook for 8-10 hours on low or 4-5 hours on high. Heat up the sauce that's been in the fridge, and pour over the ribs before serving.
(I used the leftovers and made a sandwich for myself with green peppers and Swiss cheese the next day. YUM!)
ITALIAN BUFFET DINNER
2 1/2 pounds boneless beef chuck
1 medium onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large red sweet pepper, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1 14-ounce jar spaghetti sauce
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dried oregano, crushed
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 1/2 cups hot cooked spaghetti or mashed potatoes
grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
Cut meat into 1-inch pieces. Dump everything in the crock pot except spaghetti or potatoes. Cook for 9-10 hours on low, or 4 1/2-5 hours on high. Serve over spaghetti noodles, or with mashed potatoes.
So there you have it. My time at the gym.