Justin at 7.5 months

Justin at 7.5 months
his first pontoon boat ride

Austin at 1 year

Austin at 1 year
when dandelion seeds are still cute

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Selah's arrival and a few other things.

These pics are not in order.

This was the day Selah was born.

Reading Sports Illustrated.

Loved this pic of a double rainbow a few weeks back.

This was 2 days after Selah was born. Lily went looking for me in the house and here is where she ended up....in the dining room bay window.

This was the cherub choir singing at church. This pic cracks me up.

The kids preparing for Selah's birth 5 days before she arrived.

Selah within a minute of being born.

The 2 midwives on either side of me have been my 2 lead midwives for all 4 births.

Selah's first bath at 8 days old.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Mother's Day, plus a few extras

I am way behind, but what else is new these days?

Mother's Day started out at church w/the kids singing a song, in front of the church, to the parents.

After church, we went home for lunch. Later, we decided it was such a beautiful day (it was suppose to rain) that we would take the kids to the park. They all 3 love to swing.

After the park, we went to Dairy Queen for ice cream and then a local Chinese rest. for dinner, where mommy got sushi!!!!!! (Yes, we did dessert and dinner backwards. It wasn't planned that way, it just happened that way. Oddly enough, the kids never complained.)

Earlier this week, Austin dressed up as Pharaoh (the one that was a burden to Moses and the Israelites). The other 2 kids were his minions. (Did Pharaoh have minions?)

Today...... The boys laid down with Matt for a nap after lunch. I needed to clean the kitchen floor so that Matt could set up the birthing tub when he woke up. I made Lily stay off the floor until I was done. She asked me several times, "Done?" The last thing I did was unload and reload the dishwasher. I told her I would sit down with her in a couple of minutes so that she could take a nap. Her reply, "Don't want a nap." Not 5 minutes later, there she lay.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Austin' s 5th b-day party...and what I learned about cake pops!

Austin doesn't turn 5 until the 12th, but for the past 5 years we have had his b-day party in conjunction with a Mother's Day party since his b-day always falls right about the same time as Mother's Day. He plays in a Spring soccer league for 4 year olds. He loves it. I'm not sold. It has been a muddy Spring. Anyway, I wanted to make him cake pops, and I wanted them to form the allusion of a soccer ball...not individual ones, but one large one. This was my first attempt. I researched many times on line, looked at videos, and got some advice from a friend at church who has made them. Needless to say, I learned some lessons. As you look at the pics, use your BEST imagination.

View from very close up. Notice I ran out of black fondant on one of the black pops. I think if I had taken a pic from the roof top it would have looked more like a soccer ball.

Wider view of whole thing. The flower pops were the Mother's day dessert (Big thanks to my mom and g-ma who took them from the pink pops w/silver glitter dust to actually looking more like a flower. I was just out of time.)

Austin was proud of me before I even had it put together. That makes up for my own personal disappointment in how my vision didn't turn out. Happy birthday sweet heart!

Some b-day presents.

Austin going for a goal.

Some extra details about the pops (Extra meaning in addition to what you find on-line.). Be sure the cake is wet enough or the pops will want to crack apart. Be sure when you roll them they are firm/solid or they will want to crack apart. Be sure the cake is crumbled enough or the larger pieces and dryer edge pieces will not want to form into your ball. Kroger's white melting candy worked better than Wilton's. I had to add shortening to the Wilton's, but did not to Krogers. Be sure the melted candy coating is thin enough and deep enough to dip the pop straight into with very little twisting of the pop on the stick, or it will become unstuck and either crack or fall off. Let them air dry before trying to shape them as I did. I couldn't get them closer together because they were wet. Do not push on the pop end of the pop to secure it into the styrofoam, it will punch the stick all the way through. I made about 5.5 dozen pops and you can see how far that got me...not very. I secured the styrofoam ball to the styrofoam platform with wooden skewers, but it wasn't enough. The pops were so heavy I had to secure it further with toothpicks on one side when I was about 3/4 of the way done. It took me almost 2 hours to stick them and dip them and attach them. I baked a white cake and a chocolate cake on Tuesday. I crumbled them and added icing on Thursday afternoon. I then refrigerated it and rolled all the pops Thursday night. I did all the rest today. I read blogs where some people make these as a snack for their kids. Ummmm, I don't think so! Too much work. I also read where someone skips the baking cake/crumbling/adding icing part and uses doughnut holes. I think adding candy coating to a doughnut hole would make it too rich to eat. I had a vision. It's still in my head. Will I do these again? I hope not too soon :)

Monday, March 21, 2011

St Patty's Day foods and other updates....

Matt's marines in training.

Karen and a few of/most of/all of her kids spent most of St. Patricks Day with us. Again it was all due to Karens ideas and planning. We started the day with breakfast. We had green ham with a green egg omelette, green o.j., green cinnamon sugar toast, and green sausage gravy on cream cheese biscuits. Looks a little strange but it was all DELISH!! Karen proceeded to read the kids Green Eggs and Ham, a book on Saint Patrick, and show them slide pictures of Ireland. She also helped them make shamrocks.

We then spent a few hours of that beautiful day at the zoo. We all met back up at my house for dinner. I made Irish beef & lamb stew, Irish soda bread, and Karen made an Irish apple cake for dessert. MMMMMMMMM!! Jonathan and I had a meeting at church, so Karen offered to watch all of my kids and hers at the church. Long fun day!!

Lily update: All 4 of her eye teeth are cutting. She can count to 13 (because we have 13 steps that we practice with). She has been done nursing for 2 weeks. (This is the first break I have had since Austin was born 5/12/06!) When I get through taxes and redoing the kitchen/bedrooms/bathroom/basement I will work on potty training her more consistently/regularly...all before baby #4 gets here :) Removing binky will have to wait until she is about 10 :)

Justin update: He had a kidney infection a week or so ago. Now he has to go for further testing to see if he is prone to recurring infections. he already had a bladder and kidney ultrasound. Next is a trip to the urologist....no fun! He can dress himself head to toe, occasionally things are inside out or backwards. He is already looking forward to his next birthday party....in December!

Austin update: He is doing very well at practicing his letters and numbers on paper. For the first time, a couple of days ago, he was able to write out the entire alphabet and his numbers without using a copy sheet. He helps me with laundry, but his new thing is folding towels. On his second try his looked like mine! We won't say what mine look like, but it works for me :) And he will be playing Spring soccer pretty soon.

They all take the time to talk to the new baby, and they have all enjoyed some much needed outdoor fun recently.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


Justin, just because.

Matt's oldest son Nathan, 17, w/his siblings at his most recent basketball game in Bexley.

Silly & cute.

I made this dish one night last week. When I sat down to eat it I thought it looked colorful enough to warrant a pic. It's a dish we used to make at the Hyatt: chicken, shrimp, chorizo, linguini, colored peppers, tossed in a cream sc. Divine!!!!!

Monday, February 14, 2011


Karen and 3 of her kids came over this morning for a Valentine breakfast and lunch. Elizabeth needed to do some homeschooling fun, so we all benefited. Big thanks to Karen for including us and coming up w/all the great ideas.

We started with chocolate filled heart shaped doughnuts from Tim Hortons.

Then it was on to cutting hearts out of red peppers for the vegetable & cheese skewers.

Next was the task of making heart shaped pizzas. I made the dough but it was forgettable. However, the fresh mozzarella on mine and Karen's was scrumptious!

Heart shaped sugar cookies would have to be made, of course! After they cooled we iced them with a cream cheese icing and topped them with fresh sliced strawberries and sliced bananas.

The main attraction of the day was chocolate dipping strawberries.

Then striping the dipped strawberries.

The final lunch menu of heart shaped pizzas, heart shaped jello bites, vegetable (cherry tomatoes & red pepper hearts) & cheese (baby bell cheese cut into hearts) skewers w/ranch dip, and hawaiian punch.

The final dessert menu of chocolate dipped strawberries, heart shaped doughnuts, and heart shaped sugar cookie pizzas. Mmmmmmmmmmmm!!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

My newest-old favorite piece of furniture.

I came across this $75 solid oak church pew at Heritage Square Antique Mall. (My friend Polly and a friend of hers have a booth there called Motley Junket, B002, and she has a booth at The Old Shoe Factory in Lancaster called Sassafraas Stuff, and she has the cutest blog, www.sassafrasstuff.blogspot.com.) (I was looking for a piece of furniture to re purpose as a double sink vanity for our main bathroom.) On a previous trip there I found a large court house bench that got my mind thinking (scary, I know!). I have wanted to build (I mean, have built) a bench seat w/storage under our dining room bay window ever since we moved in 3 years ago. For extra seating because we never seem to have enough w/guests over. And more storage of course! I mean, really, who truly ever has enough of it? So when I saw the court house bench, I thought that it was the answer to the bench seat dilema. However, it was too long and too tall. So, I went back again, but armed with measurements and a tape measure! After walking the entire mall in almost 2 hours, I found 2 nearly identical church pews at 2 different booths. They had the PERFECT measurements! That was on a Tuesday. The following Saturday I was on my way to buy it when I ran into a guy I went to high school with. He told me not to buy it yet because he might be able to get me one for free. His brother-in-law purchased a church and was gutting it. It turns out he was in Hawaii on vacation and hasn't returned any calls. I told Matt I would give it a week before going back to buy my church pew :) Today was 1 week and 2 days. It was still there. Now it's home with me. It has some flaws. One side was coming apart so there is an extra piece of wood screwed to it to strengthen it. The middle support leg is gone (doesn't seem to be an issue at the moment--unless it has something to do with the other previously mentioned problem), and very worn. However, it still has both of its shelves for hymnals (on the back) and several pieces of gum stuck to the bottom! Ok, that grossed me out, but I think it helped to authenticate the pew. I had planned to paint it white, but now that it's in the kitchen, I may try to restore it to match the oak window and oak table and chairs. I will aslo be researching different costs and types of storage bins to put under the pews. They WILL be on wheels.

Now I have a new problem. My current oak table is oblong and not long enough. So, I will be researching ways to elongate this table, or make one myself (No, really. I saw it on DIY.), or buy another treasured piece for another great deal.

I am just beside myself with this find :) It looks a little bit like a restaurant, don't you think? Hmmmmm