Sunday, June 27, 2010

Josh's ABC Song

With Josh's speech delay, hearing the ABCs coming out of that little mouth is music to this mommy's ears!!

video

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Happy Birthday, Tony!

Yesterday we celebrated Tony's birthday as a family. He managed to take part of the day off...he says it was for his birthday, but I think it might have had more to do with the fact that Brazil was playing in World Cup action yesterday.
And just because it is the kind of guy he is, he decided to go to Chuck E. Cheeses for HIS birthday so the kids could play. I had a couple coupons and we ended up buying a pizza for lunch and getting a total of 130 free tokens.
Tony was worried we would never work our way through all of them, but turns out, that wasn't a problem. At all.




















Happy Birthday, Tony!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Giveaway Winner!

And the lucky winner of the Florentine Chemisette is Sharlyn!

But I must say, I LOVED reading all your ideas for a name for my new sewing machine. I think I decided on Astrid and I'll tell you why. One, it is a fabulous Viking name. Two, it TOTALLY reminds me of The Office episode when Jan brings her new baby (whose father is NOT Michael Scott) to the office for a baby shower and Michael gets the M&M's with "Asturd" on them instead of Astrid.

Perfect.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Summer Solstice??

Yeah, right. It is the longest day of the year and we have spent it being rained on. It has been a rather gloomy Spring, punctuated by a glorious day here and there...just enough to keep Summer hopes alive before having them dashed. Again.

But here are a few fun things for Summer. When it finally decides to get here.

This week is the first full week of Summer vacation for my kids...their school year starts late and ends late. So I put together their Summer Fun Jar today because it was such a hit last year. I had to get creative with things to do because we're a little more limited here, but rewards include milkshakes, picnics at the park, extra swim days, and trips downtown to Riverfront Park and Mobius Kid's Museum.

And here is another winner dessert recipe. I don't know about you, but raspberries scream Summer to me!















Apple-Raspberry Crisp

4 Gala or Braeburn apples (2 lb), peeled, cored and sliced about 1⁄4 in. thick
2 cups frozen unsweetened raspberries (from 12-oz pkg)
1⁄3 cup maple syrup or pancake syrup
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla extract
1⁄2 tsp apple pie spice
8 reduced-fat pecan shortbread cookies (Pecan Sandies)
1⁄2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
Vanilla ice cream (optional)

Heat oven to 375ºF. Coat a 1 1⁄2-qt. shallow baking dish with nonstick spray. Toss apple slices, frozen raspberries, maple syrup, cornstarch, vanilla and spice in large bowl. Evenly spread into prepared baking dish; cover with foil. Bake 45 minutes. Remove foil, crumble shortbread cookies on top and sprinkle with pecans. Bake uncovered 10 minutes more or until fruit is tender and mixture is bubbly. Serve warm or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream, if desired.

(By Woman's Day Kitchen from Woman's Day | October 7, 2008)

And you still have one more day to enter my giveaway for the Florentine Chemisette!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day 2010

I got lucky that when I picked such a wonderful husband that he turned out to be a wonderful father as well. Tony has always been a hands-on dad and it is obvious the love he has for these kiddos. I love how he is the perfect mix of love and discipline...something I am still learning to master. He is encouraging, kind and ever so patient. Yes, my kids are so blessed to have Tony as their daddy.


And just a quick update on my dad this Father's Day. He and my mom are currently in Reno, Nevada receiving treatment at a wonderful clinic there. He is active, sleeping well, and sounds strong and possitive. Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers on his (and our family's) behalf.

Happy Father's Day!!

And you still have a few days to enter my giveaway for the Florentine Chemisette!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The "Thooh" Fairy

I found this on my dresser when I woke up this morning.

Obviously she was so excited to finally lose her other bottom tooth that she forgot to sound out "tooth" properly.

Lucky the "thooh" fairy found it rather charmimg.

And you still have a few days to enter my giveaway for the Florentine Chemisette!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Sewing Frenzy & A Giveaway

My mom is an amazing seamstress. And when I graduated from college, she presented me with a great Singer sewing machine. It was totally rebuilt, probably about as old as I was, heavy as all get-out and split pea green. And I loved it. In fact, I sewed the poor thing into the ground so hard that after about 8 years, my sewing machine guy threw in the towel and told me he couldn't fix it anymore. Thus began my love/hate relationship with Singer. I have owned two more new Singers and have hated them both. Hated. Had nothing but problems with them and because of it, I had just about stopped sewing altogether. Well, Mom was having none of that and she offered to buy me a new sewing machine if I did the research and decided what I wanted. And this is what I decided on. It's the most basic Viking, but I.Love.It. And I've been sewing non-stop for the last 4 weeks.

These are some of the projects I've been working on: Moose On The Porch Quilts is having a Quilt Along and every two weeks comes out with a new quilt block designed by a talented quilter. I've had a stash of patriotic fabric tucked away for years so instead of using jellyrolls, I'm using my stash. It will be pretty amazing when it's all done! These are my first six squares.

And about 3 weeks ago I was introduced to the most delightful little fabric shop called Buttercuppity that has the cutest fabric, the most darling patterns and the nicest owner. So on my maiden visit, I bought some fabric and this pattern. I made up a Gathered Chemisette for myself and had enough fabric left over to make a Florentine Chemisette to giveaway!

So here's the deal. If you'd like to win the Florentine Chemisette, leave me a comment and tell me what you think I should name my new sewing machine. Link to this post on your blog and leave me another comment letting me know and you'll get another chance.  If you have never left a comment on my blog before, come out of lurking and leave me another comment and let me know and you'll get another chance.  If you don't have a blog or if your blog is private, please leave me your email address so I can let you know when you win!!  I'll use my random selector (aka Joshua) to pick a winner on Tuesday night, June 22th. Good luck!!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Silverwood

We got to spent the day today at Silverwood Theme Park in Northern Idaho! It was another activity sponsored by the base for families that have had a deployed parent this year and they got us complimentary tickets for both theme and water parks for the family, provided lunch, and unlimited Pepsi products for the entire day. Crazy cool. But the best part was that they opened roller coaster alley an hour early just for us (notice we are the only car in the parking lot because Tony wanted to be the first people in line) so we had complete run of Tremors, Timber Terror and at the very end of the hour, they even opened Aftershock. So our friends and us took turns watching little kids while the adults rode coaster after coaster after coaster. A couple of times, we ran off the ride and ran around to the front and rode it right away again. They were all three pretty great, but the consensus is that Aftershock pretty much rocked our world. Wow.

The kids had so much fun and were so patient with each other...Anna rode ride after baby ride with Josh and we all took a time out by riding the train around the park (Josh's favorite part). We spent about 2 hours at the water park after we exhausted the rides and enjoyed the perfect 78 degree weather. We are all sunburned and exhausted, but it was a fabulous day.


And just for the record, I totally showed my boys up. Sam and Tony both got so urpy after Aftershock that I had to take Josh on the carousel all by myself...

Friday, June 11, 2010

Pass the Honey, Honey

Josh and I both suffer from seasonal allergies. I'm on a prescription allergy medication year-round and Josh takes two medications to keep his skin from breaking out and his little eyes from swelling and his ears from gooping up. Miserable. So when I heard that eating a tablespoon of local honey helps with seasonal allergies, I was all for giving it a try. I mean, who hates honey??

I guess it has something to do with the way the bees break down the local pollen to make the honey...it actually makes a lot of sense. So Josh and I begin our honey regimen tomorrow. We'll let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Thanks To Our Teachers!















This is the last full week of school for our kids.  It has been a fantastic year...thanks in large part to the hard work of our kids' teachers.  So to express our family's gratitude, I made each of the 5 teachers this year a set of personalized cards with a cute little cross-stitched apple on the front.  I tied each set with a homespun ribbon and attached a tag with a note with a piece of twine.  

Thanks for a great year!


UPDATED: Here is a link to the apple cross-stitch pattern and here is a link to the color key.

Happy Stitching!!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Poor Anna!

For the past few days, Anna hasn't been herself. She hasn't been happy, energetic and content like she usually is. And I knew something wasn't quite right, but she couldn't put her finger on anything that really hurt. But yesterday, her eye started to ooze and swell, and with pinkeye going around, I figured that was the problem. So I called and got a referral so she could be seen at Urgent Care (because it was on a weekend) and we headed downtown. After almost two hours waiting (seriously??) she was running a temperature of 102. The doctor who finally saw her said that her glands were huge, both ears were infected, and she had a sinus infection that was oozing out her eye.

Poor, brave little thing.








That's why women have the babies...

(These photos are from her field trip on Thursday.)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Lookie, Lookie...

Look what came in the mail this week!


That's right, my husband is taking me to see my boyfriend in concert.

Seriously, what a good sport.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

"Thyme" For June Visiting Teaching!

For our ladies this month, it's all about thyme.


I found these cute pots a couple months ago in Target's $1 Spot and last night I planted some little thyme plants in each one. Then I found a recipe for Summer Thyme Bread (that calls for minced fresh thyme) on allrecipes.com and made a little recipe card to attach to the pot with twine.

Summer Thyme Bread

1/4 cup egg substitute
3/4 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon lime juice
3 cups bread flour
1/2 cup instant mashed potato flakes
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 teaspoon active dry yeast

Place ingredients in the pan of the bread machine in the order above. Select Dough cycle; press Start. At end of cycle, remove dough onto a floured board, shape into a ball, cover and let rest for 15 minutes. Shape into a loaf, place in a lightly greased 9x5 inch loaf pan, and let rise, covered, for 45 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Slash top of loaf with a sharp knife or razor blade. Sprinkle a bit of flour on top. Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 30 minutes, or until loaf is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped. Remove loaf onto a wire rack and let cool.


I have them all ready for next week, sitting on my kitchen window sill and they smell so yummy!!

Happy Thursday...I'm off on a field trip with Anna's class...

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

God is Nigh

The weather finally broke yesterday and we had a wonderful, clear evening so I opened the window in our bedroom to get a little breeze. At 9:00 p.m., I heard Taps playing, signaling the "end of day". It has been a while since I've heard it...it's nearly impossible to hear it when all the windows and doors are closed in the house or when you're in the car driving on base. The house was asleep and Tony was finishing up a project at work so I was alone, pondering on the sacrifice made by so many of our friends, neighbors and loved ones. Taps is one of the great things about living on base. I've missed hearing it.

The music is haunting, especially because so many of us associate it with military honors and funerals. But the words are beautiful. There are several versions, but this is the one that I recognize the most.

Day is done, gone the sun
From the lakes, from the hills, from the skies
All is well, safely rest;
God is nigh.

Fading light, dims the sight
And a star gems the sky, gleaming bright
From afar, drawing nigh,
Falls the night.

Thanks and praise for our days
'Neath the Sun, 'neath the stars, 'neath the sky
As we go, this we know
God is nigh.




Beautiful.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Cherry-Almond Bars

I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day weekend!

Just a quick share today. I made this Gooseberry Patch recipe for our book group when I hosted earlier this month and they were a huge hit! I made them again today for a baby shower and I was reminded how absolutely simple they are to make. Easy and almond?? Fabulous.

















Cherry-Almond Bars

1 c. shortening
2 c. sugar
3 c. flour
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. pure almond extract
1 tsp. salt
21 oz. can cherry pie filling

Blend shortening and sugar together; add next 5 ingredients and mix well. Pour 3/4 of batter into a greased 15x10" jellyroll pan; spread cherry pie filling over the top. Dot with remaining batter; bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Drizzle with almond glaze while still warm; cut into squares and serve.

Almond Glaze:

1 c. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. pure almond extract
2-3 Tbs. milk

Stir all ingredients together until well blended.


Did I mention how easy-peasy these are to make? They were made even easier with this little lady. She's new and I wonder how I ever got along without her.  New KitchenAid, almond AND easy??  Divine, I tell you.