My Three Kid Circus

This may be as crazy as it gets… but we're lovin' it!

Back to School 2012-13! September 6, 2012

Filed under: Bento — Sarah @ 1:17 pm

(My apologies to any of you who follow me and received posts of just these pictures.  The new iPhone app doesn’t seem to have a very pretty way to upload pics from my phone, urg!)

It’s the start of a new school year!  Yay!  I’m in the categories of moms who likes sending her kids to school.  Of course I love them, and I even miss them a little on most some days, but we all do better with the structure and routine of school.  This is the last year all of my kids will be at the same school.  Somehow, I have a 5th grader – at Back to School Night, she commented, “When I was in 1st grade, my (5th grade) reading buddy seemed so tall.”  And now she is the big 5th grade reading buddy, on patrol, and headed off to her first multi-night overnight camp with her class in just a few weeks.  Not sure where time has gone, but here we are.

As I mentioned in my last post, I have been busy freezing muffins this week.  Here are this week’s lunches:

First Day of School:

Contents – Apple bites, cantaloupe, corn dog muffin, banana chip muffin and Hershey kiss

Details – As I told my friend, their dessert is actually the  healthiest part of their lunch, since these muffins are whole grain (oats), packed with protein (egg and greek yogurt) and rely mostly on the bananas for sweetness.

Verdict – Both my big kids forgot their lunch boxes at school yesterday, so I can’t tell what they ate, but no one complained of icky food or lunches that were way too big or way to small.  My youngest eats an early lunch at 11:10, and my oldest a late lunch at 12:50, so it’ll be interesting to see how lunch sizes need to be modified over the year.

Day #2:

Contents – Leftover hotdog, carrots, grapes, goldfish and a mini chocolate muffin

Details – Not what I was planning for lunch today, but when I opened up the fridge this morning, I saw that my hubby had cleaned up the kitchen last night and we had 3 leftover hotdogs.  Perfect-o!  Sometimes I put ketchup on the dogs for the kids, but I forgot that detail today, plus I suspect that makes a bit of a mess…

Verdict – Kids were complaining that the dogs were wrinkly this morning, so we will see if they get eaten or not!

On my to-do list: 

I need a new divided container – squee!  Because my daughter’s lunch is so late, her teacher is recommending that they bring a large and healthy snack.  Not a bad ideas since she ate almost non-stop this summer.  For her, that often means fruit and crackers so I need to find something to keep the crackers dry 🙂

Hope you have all gotten your kids off to a great start of school!


Mom, Can You Make a Special Lunch? June 26, 2012

Filed under: Bento — Sarah @ 10:10 pm

Since it was the second to last day of school, they requested a special lunch.  Apparently, that means no sandwiches.  Which is all they would eat this spring, but whatever.  Good thing I didn’t have anything for sandwiches today so they were easy to please:

Yikes, that’s an even worse that usual picture.  Sorry about that.  We were REALLY late this morning.  Anyhow, mini ravioli with leftover spaghetti sauce in the thermos, frozen corn in the small container, applesauce pouch and Chicago popcorn.

Here’s a question for all you Chicagoans:  Is this a real thing?  Cheese and caramel corn mixed?  It’s the newest Costco addiction in our household.  Man that’s some good stuff.


Still Packing Lunches… June 25, 2012

Filed under: Bento — Sarah @ 10:17 pm

My kids are still in school.  Yes, I realize that next week is the 4th of July.  I think we might be the only kids in the entire freakin’ country that are still going to school.  Until Wednesday.  That’s two more lunches I still have to make.  Can we say D.O.N.E. with making lunches this year?

I’ve had a busy spring.  Baseball season kind of sucks the life out of me.  I’ve barely been getting my kids out the door on time and I pretty much never have time to take pictures of their lunches.  But, for you diehards, here are a few of the lunches they’ve enjoyed this spring:

If I remember correctly, it seemed that the best part of this lunch was the layered finger jello.  I’ll have a whole different post on this pretty bit.  My kids were so excited, until we all realized that the finger jello melted just enough to make a big mess of EVERYTHING.  My words of advice about jello:  homemade jello doesn’t seem to stand-up so well in the lunchbox.  Even when I’ve made jello cups in their own container, they seem to melt past a point of being edible.  Finger jello in its own container may be okay, but even that, I’m not going to give a thumbs up.  And yes, I pack it over ice.  They must put extra chemicals in the store bought jello cups to help keep them solid.  I don’t even want to know.

The rest of the lunch was standard fare:  pear bites, carrot sticks and a turkey and cheese sandwich made on a leftover dinner roll.  All of it covered in jello juice.  Yuck.

Leftover biscuits make a good lunch supplement, but these particular biscuits don’t do sandwiches so well because they are crumbly the day after.  Slices of ham, carrot or celery sticks depending on the kid, apple slices and skewered grapes.  Thin Mints for a treat.  Now that’s what my kids call a good lunch!

My littlest loves hard-boiled eggs.  My older kids tend to eat the entire egg if I slice it.  If I send it whole, they just eat the white.  Go figure.  In addition to the sliced egg, I sent a side of hummus and lots of hummus-friendly-dipping food:  pita chips, carrots, apples and celery.

This is just the fruits and veggie portion of this lunch, but doesn’t yellow just make you happy?  Pineapple, carrots and green yellow string beans.  It’s like a box-full of sunshine.  This accompanied a thermos of leftover dinner.

Half a meat and cheese sandwich.  Apple bites, cucumbers and the rest of the beans.  Love my little round containers for the mishmash of leftover Easter candy.

Half a salami and cheddar sandwich.  My daughter also requested hummus on hers.  Strange, but it’s not mine, so who am I to say?  Cherries, apple bites and pretzels.  My kids said the pretzels tasted weird.  Who knew butter (flavored pretzels) could taste weird.  Clearly not my kids.

Two more lunches…who’s counting?


Dinner Leftovers Turned to Lunch March 9, 2012

Filed under: Bento — Sarah @ 2:09 pm

A couple lunches from this week.  It was a good week for using up dinner leftovers!


 The Contents:  Honeydew, half an orange, leftover teriyaki chicken, crackers and cheese.  Not shown:  a small container of pudding.

The Details:  This was a leftover kind of lunch.  One serving of chicken left from the previous night’s dinner that my hubby opted not to take, so the kids got it.  Wasn’t enough by itself, hence, crackers and cheese too.  Have you done pudding for your kids?  Easy enough to make in the morning and pour into individual sized cups.  It’ll set by the time the rest of lunch is made.  Love that it’s another easy source of protien and calcium for my non-milk-drinking kids.

The Contents:Thermos of chicken noodle soup and rice soup, honeydew, apple slices, turkey on a baguette sandwich and yogurt covered pretzels.

The Details: My family barely touched the wild rice from dinner the night before so there was plenty to add to a can of chicken noodle soup.  Made for a lunchtime favorite. 

The Verdict:  My kids said this lunch was a favorite.  Honestly, I was surprised they ate it all!


Happy 100th Day! February 24, 2012

Filed under: Bento,Celebrations — Sarah @ 11:53 am

Today my kids are celebrating their 100th day of school! I packed them 100 pieces of lunch:

10 pieces of cheese

 10 pieces of pepperoni

10 crackers

10 carrot coins

10 green beans

10 grapes (on skewers)

10 apple bites

10 candy hearts

10 bunny crackers

10 sesame sticks

What did your kids do to celebrate the 100th Day of School?


February Update February 23, 2012

Filed under: Bento,Celebrations,Crafts — Sarah @ 10:17 am
Tags: ,

It’s been a long time. Again. And I even have timely lunches and projects to show you. Let’s just say I want you to be prepared for next year and leave it at that.

Have you had this bread? Dave’s Killer Bread. Seriously good and full of yumminess.  My kids won’t eat it. I sent it, they tried it and told me it was disgusting.  I beg to differ, so I just saved the rest for my hubby and I.

Anyhow, pretty simple lunch here: half a turkey sandwich, pears and letter cookies.  It’s fun to send specific letters…names, short messages.  I think my bookend kids actually play with the letters at lunch.  I imagine that they are even conversation starters for the 10 year old girls.


This is the dipper lunch.  All things that my kids can dip into hummus. Pita, carrots, sugar peas, cucumber and apple slices. An almond cookie for dessert.

Another dippy lunch. I can tell I must have been to Costco recently. Pretzels and yogurt covered raisins.



Asian infusion lunch.  Noodles tossed in sesame oil, a touch of soy and who knows what else.  Chinese BBQ pork.  Mandarin oranges.  Pears and a cookie wrapped in plastic so that the oils from the noodles don’t ruin it.



Kid lunch galore.  Crackers and cheese (cheese is in a silicone muffin liner so that it doesn’t touch the crackers and make the crackers soggy).  Yogurt covered pretzels.  Apples.  And grapes and strawberries on a stick.  My boys won’t either if they aren’t on a stick…put them on a stick and they’d each a pound of each.  Go figure.


Valentine’s Day Lunch (see, I told you there would be timely lunches). More fruit on a stick plus the featured *hot* dog. Yes, my children made that up. Anything “sexy” is hilarious to them. Including a *hot* dog on Valentine’s Day. To make it heart shaped, I sliced it in half on the diagonal and reassembled it, using a toothpick to hold it together. If you wanted to be really cute, you could find an arrow shaped toothpick, or cut appropriately shaped pieces from cheese to attach to the toothpick to make your own arrow. This lunch also had a side of mac and cheese.

Another cracker and cheese lunch.  This one has that spreadable cow cheese (that’s the sliver wedge tucked in the corner), ham slices, kiwi, apples and a side of crackers.  For dessert, the kids got fortune cookies and a lychee candy.


A “cute” lunch.  My daughter had a school assignment in which she was supposed to write a love note to her parents.  Among the charming things she had to say:  “Mommy, you are so creative with crafts, and you used to be with lunches for school, but that’s stopped now, thanks to the boys.”  So I am trying to make amends with her – meatballs with cute picks and cheetos.  What kid wouldn’t love me?  And yesterday, I was chastised for not putting vegetables in her lunch, so today she gets cucumber slices and carrot sticks in addition to apples and strawberries.


And NO!  I didn’t send a six pack of beer for my kids’ lunches!  That’s my hubby’s Valentine Day present.  Inspired by this, executed at midnight with only the kids’ leftover scraps.  Not usually a good plan, but he loved it anyhow.  Do it next year, your hubby will love it!


Confessions of a SAHM January 10, 2012

Filed under: Bento — Sarah @ 10:30 pm

Every once in a while (oh, who am I kidding…EVERY DAY), I worry that I have screwed up atleast one of my kids.  Take this, for example: 

On Friday, my almost-six-year-old came home from kindergarten, giddy with excitement.  For those of you who know him in real life, you can picture this, and it’s quite a scene to behold.  For those of you who don’t know him, people often tell me that he is like a cartoon character.  He’s very animated and dramatic in both his facial expressions and his body movements.  So when he is giddy, his whole body oozes with energy.  Anyhow, he runs up to me and says, “Mom!  Guess what Jack told me?!?  He had this in his lunch and it sounds so good!”

As you know, my kids are good eaters.  We try hard to expose them to different foods.  Jack’s parents are pretty healthy, well rounded eaters, so I am quite intriged by what might be so fascinating.

“It’s a sandwich!  And it’s on white bread and it has jam…or jelly, I can’t remember which is which.  And that white stuff that is on our counter on the white plate with a cover!”

“Um, you mean butter?”

“Yeah!  That’s it!”

Oh lordy.  The most exciting part of my kid’s day is that he learned about bread and butter and jelly sandwiches?  And how has he gotten to days shy of his sxith birthday and not heard of this?  What have I done to this poor kid?  Have I really denied him this comfort food? <<Insert…poor third child!>>

In the spirit of rectifying this appalling situation, here is Monday’s lunch:

The Contents – carrots, blueberries, Asian Pear slices, a cooky and of course, a jelly and butter sandwich on white bread.

The Details – I bet you are all rolling your eyes by now.  Of course you all know about jelly and butter sandwiches on white bread.

For those of you wondering about Asian Pears.  If you haven’t had one, go get one.  Or two or three.  Maybe more.  They’re that good.  Some say they are a cross between an apple and pear.  They’re crunchy and juicy at the same time.  They’re sweet but not overly so.  They are covered in a tough yellowish skin that is best removed.  I usually slice them, but I suppose you could eat them whole, like an apple.  I’ll warn you, they are expensive.  They are more readily available right now as some Asian countries celebrate their new year the same calendar as the US, and they are often given to visitors.

The Verdict – Here’s where the story gets a little sad.  My little guy got sick yesterday and didn’t get to enjoy his special lunch 😦  My older two said it was the best lunch ever.  I did make my little one a small butter and jelly sandwich today and he gobbled it right up (and kept it down, even better yet). 

Sheesh.  What have I done.  There really is nothing better than white bread and butter…sometimes with a little jam!