Thursday, April 23, 2009

Apriltoberfest 2009

We couldn't have asked for better weather this past weekend. It was beautiful, sunny and warm in the afternoons and cool and calm in the evenings. The cousins all had a great time together, especially John and Gabe. Those two played throw-and-retrieve a ball every day, with Gabe erupting into giggles constantly.
We took a trip to a local creamery and the kids had their first close encounters with cows, roosters and turkeys. Gabe did not care for the turkeys. There was much pointing, ooh-ing and ahh-ing, playing in an enormous hay pile and sliding down a makeshift tunnel slide. We also discovered that I am allergic to cows. Not too surprising considering my severe allergy to horses. But fortunately all that resulted were a few small hives, sneezing and runny nose which a shower and some Benadryl took care of nicely.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Treats

To celebrate this Easter and to thank our employees that had to work today I made some cupcakes. This great idea came from a book I was given for Christmas called Hello, Cupcake. Those are regular and mini sized Oreo cookies used for the sunflower centers, icing petals, m&m ladybugs and leaves made from green fruit roll-ups.

They were a lot of fun to make, though a little time consuming. One cupcake on it's own came together relatively quickly, but putting together 2 dozen was a bit of a task.
Steve offered to take the kids to the store to let me finish undisturbed and went about getting Gabe into the car. He stepped back into the house and yelled to me to come see Addie. I turned the corner of the kitchen to see this

Someone got her grubby little hands on the counter top and snuck off with some coloring gel (to tint icing.) I was able to get most of the dye off of her face but her hands were still cherry red. She did clean up well in the bath this morning though, just in time for Easter.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday

"On Good Friday, the entire Church fixes her gaze on the Cross at Calvary. Each member of the Church tries to understand at what cost Christ has won our redemption." -

If you are like me and unable to get to Church today here is a link to the Via Crucis, the Way of the Cross by St. Alphonsus Liguori, read by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf. I find it helpful to see representations while praying, so here is another link to The Stations of the Cross that has beautiful images accompanying the meditations.

And over at Kristen's blog you can find today's Gospel reading, John 18:1 - 19:42

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Small Successes


1. We purchased our first pieces of equipment for the restaurant yesterday, a 4 burner stove with convection oven and a conveyor toaster oven. Steve traveled to a restaurant auction and got them for an amazing deal. Whee!

2. I have gotten better about offering up the moments when I feel overwhelmed, ready to scream, or cry, or give up. Whenever I feel myself getting to that point I start singing the Divine Mercy Chaplet, or a song of praise and can feel myself calming down and refocusing. (I need to expand on my spiritual soundtrack though... any suggestions?)

3. I recently received a new floral cupcake pan and whipped up a quick batch last night. They came out of the silicone mold easily and showed all of the detail very clearly. I made up a glaze with powdered sugar, milk and strawberry jam to dip them in, and although the glaze didn't harden as much as I would have liked, they were still quite tasty.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Meal Plan Monday

Sickness has been running rampant in our house for the last 4 or 5 days, taking down every person in the family. We finally seem to be coming out of it, but because the last few days were survival mode, I have no meal plan ready for the week. Normally, I make the plan on Friday and go shopping Saturday for what we'll need. As mom can attest, Saturday was a knock-down, drag-out day with no napping or semblance of normalcy. She was kind enough to run out to the store for us, but I had her get only the essentials. So, based on what we have, we can have soft tacos one night and sloppy bunnies another. We also have saffron rice and pasta shells and sauce in the pantry and plenty of chicken and veggies in the freezer. I know what we can make, at least, which will help, but I'm taking a week off from planning.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Small Successes


1. I made a trip to In His Name and picked up some items to start putting together a mass kit for the kids. I got them each a rosary with small plastic beads on a rope, so no more breaking! I also picked up 12 holy cards, laminated them, punched a small hole in the top corner of each and put them on 2 key rings for the kids to look through during Mass. Each ring has a Sacred Heart of Jesus, Mary and 2 male and 2 female saints. I picked up St. Dominic, St. George, St. Michael the Archangel, St. Nicholas, St. Anne, St. Mary Magdalene, St. Therese, and St. Catherine Laboure.

2. Mondays dinner was terrific, so I'm sharing.
Crockpot Chicken Merlot w/ Mushrooms
1 lb chicken breasts, cut in large chunks
12 oz fresh, sliced mushrooms
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
3/4 cup chicken broth
6 oz tomato paste
1/4 cup Merlot
2 Tbsp quick-cooking tapioca
2 tsp basil
2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Combine veggies, garlic and chicken in crockpot. In separate bowl whisk together remaining ingredients then pour over mixture. Cook on HIGH for 4 hours (or low for 8.) Serve over pasta.

3. The kids have started putting their crayons to paper instead of in their mouths! I got a big pad of white paper and set them up with a few crayons each and they went to town. They really enjoy when I draw a few pictures for them of their favorite things like a school bus, balloons, or a kitty cat. Addie was so into it the first day that, apart from a break to get dressed and brush teeth, she colored straight from breakfast to lunch.