Saturday, October 31, 2009


Our nickname for this baby.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Practice and Progress

Addie has gotten so much better about allowing me to work with her hair. Granted, she is allowed to have her paci while I'm fixing it, but it still counts as major progress. She stays very still in front of me as I comb through it and twist it up into pony tails or pig tails. Yesterday I decided to try something new and see if I could get a small braid in before she pulled away. I made a side part, swept it to the side and quickly braided it. It stayed in place for the whole day (even through nap time!) and was successful at keeping the hair out of her face. I am hoping that I can try more and more ideas with her hair. As a kid I never really played with hair very much (I can do a simple braid on myself and that's about it.) I'd like to try a french braid, but I have no experience with that at all, and am doubting if Addie's head is the place to practice. We'll see what I can learn with her new found patience.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Small Successes


1) At a recent auction Steve was able to purchase a specialty oven worth $10,000 for $400.
2) After being surprised by a 2 inch wolf spider hiding under one of the kids toys I was able to capture and release it outside without any screaming or arm flailing.
3) I cleaned off the top of my fridge yesterday! After finding more appropriate homes for some items and chucking others my fridge top only has our bread box and dry produce storage. I'm also able to easily access all my cookbooks now (which I sorted through and organized) located in the small cabinet above the fridge. As an added bonus we found a few bottles of liquor in there, too. It may be time for a cocktail! :)

A Calmer Moment

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Me at age One

Addie at 2 1/2

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Have you heard

Of Pomplamoose? It's the band started by two very talented people. They play every instrument and Nataly sings every line of harmony. Her voice is very unique and I find it quite beautiful. We have watched several of their videos and they seem like funny, quirky people just enjoying making music. What kind of music? Per their facebook page, crazy funk awesome.
I'll second that.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Accusations and Distractions

At the breakfast table this morning the kids jabber back and forth as we clear the dishes. All of a sudden Gabe starts to make the potty sign and say, "Ah-ee" (Addie.) I ask him if he's going potty and he says, "No. Ah-ee. Ah-ee pah-ee." And points to her frantically.
"Umm. Addie's going potty?"
"Ah-ee! Ah-ee pah-ee!" (more urgent pointing.)
"How... Addie, are you going potty?"
Gabe grunts his information again, but this time as he throws out his arm to point he gets distracted by the Mickey Mouse on his pajama sleeve.
"Ah-ee! Ah... Mah Mouse!"
He spends the next 2 minutes staring down the cartoon and promptly forgets his earlier accusation.
(For the record, Addie did not go potty. I have no idea what prompted him.)

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Addie figured out what that button on the top of the camera does.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Rosary Bracelet

Faith and Family is hosting a giveaway with the gift of a beautiful rosary bracelet. I followed their link to the online store and was blown away by how beautiful they are. This one in particular. I have been meaning to pray the rosary more frequently and this would serve as a great reminder. Perhaps I will ask for one this Christmas. :)

Monday, October 19, 2009

A Walk With A View

We've started taking the kids on walks much more frequently. Now that the temperature has cooled off (quite dramatically in fact, isn't fall supposed to come between summer and winter?) The distance we've been able to walk has been increasing gradually and we're able to go 2 miles comfortably now. (That may not seem impressive, but hey, I was out of shape before having Juliana. ;) We've enjoyed finding new places to walk and have been rediscovering parks and lakes in our area. Yesterday we took a walk on the trail around a nearby lake. It was a perfect 2 mile distance and provided so much scenery and wildlife for the kids to look at. We will be going back frequently.

A view of the lake

There were ducks everywhere.

A perfect seat.

A plethora of turtles. Three of them ducked underwater just before I took this picture.

Bundled up for the ride.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Reeces Krispie Treats

I wanted to bake something yesterday for Steve's birthday, but since the kids all had fevers (and Gabe was vomiting and not eating much) extra time was nil. I decided to throw together some rice krispie treats, at least he would have something. When I was getting out the marshmallows I noticed we had a bag of Reeces peanut butter chips. I figured those would perk them up (not to mention he loves peanut butter.) But that got me thinking of how else I could add to them. I settled on something chocolate, the perfect complement. They did not disappoint. They were fast, easy and delicious.

6 cups krispie cereal
3 Tbsp butter
1 bag (or 10 oz) mini marshmallows
8 oz Reeces peanut butter chips
2 Tbsp Devils Food pudding mix

Melt butter in saucepan over med-low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until melted. Remove from heat and stir in pudding mix.
Pour peanut butter chips and Krispies into a large bowl. Pour on marshmallow mixture and quickly stir to coat all cereal. Press mixture into a greased 9x13x2 pan and let cool.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Funny Faces

She was obviously startled when I began snapping pictures. A good 1/3 of the pictures I took had this expression actually.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

6 Years

Today is our anniversary! We've been spending it playing with our kids and visiting with Steve's mom. She brought her special Chicken Ziti and an apple pie for dessert... I can't wait for dinner. A tasty ending to a wonderful day.

O God, we thank you that you have given us another year of life together. We thank you for the love which grows more precious and for the bonds which grow more close each day. We thank you for the happiness we have known together; for the sorrows we have faced together; for all the experiences of sunshine and of shadow through which we have come, up to today.

We ask for forgiveness for any failure on our part; for any times when we became difficult to live with; for any lack of sympathy and understanding; for anything which spoiled even for a moment the perfect relationship which marriage should be. Spare us to each other to go on walking the way of life together, and grant that for us it may be true that the best is yet to be: through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Evening Prayers

For the last year and a half the kids have said their evening prayers in their bedroom. Steve and I would put them down together since he was usually home from work at that time. Since we've had Ana though, only one of us puts them down so our time to pray as a family stopped. As the kids have gotten older it's also been increasingly difficult to get them calmed down enough for prayer time. In the past as long as they weren't playing with a toy, reading, or running around flailing their arms we were ok. We don't want to force them to pray or make it an unpleasant experience by making them sit still, so we gave them leeway. They are only 2, after all. After reading a post on my sister's blog about the evening prayer routine with her kids I decided to give it a try.

After their baths last night they got in their pajamas, brushed their teeth and then came back downstairs. We all gathered at the kitchen table and I explained what was going on. I lit a candle and we folded our hands to pray. I was astonished at how well it kept them focused. Gabe stared the whole time at the flame, giggling every now and then but mostly staying quiet and listening. Addie prayed right along with us. Most of what she said were gibberish words, but every now and then she would say the correct word at the right time. It was nice to hear how much she'd actually been paying attention all those other times. When we finished the Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be I told them it was time to blow out the candle. Just like my sister said happens with her two, both kids wanted to blow it out so we took turns. Everyone was happy and calm, and honestly the experience was over too quickly. We will do this again tonight (with 2 candles this time) and perhaps introduce a new prayer.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Best Banana Muffins

These muffins are flavorful, filling and actually pretty good for you. A wonderful combination made all the better by the fact that they're easy to eat and transport. Plus, the kids love them.

makes 12 regular sized muffins

3/4 cup white flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon

3 mashed bananas
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup applesauce

Combine first 6 ingredients in medium size bowl. Mix remaining ingredients in separate bowl. Stir wet intro dry until just moistened. Spoon into greased muffin pan or liners and bake at 375 degrees for 18-20 minutes.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Great Song

I have been fond of Death Cab For Cutie for a while but have never played any of their songs while the kids were around. They were in the room when I listened to this song for the first time and loved it. They danced, jumped, spun and bopped their hearts out for the entire song. If I hadn't been nursing I would have joined them.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Another Year

Today is my 27th birthday! We have no big special plans for the day, but I rather like that. It's a wet and dreary morning here so we're taking the kids to a mall to play at their indoor playground. I'll take the baby for some quick shopping and then we'll return home for a hot lunch and naps. This afternoon we'll have some popcorn and hot cocoa and watch The Iron Giant with the kids, and that's as much as a plan as we have. What a wonderful way to celebrate and thank the Lord for the gift of another year, enjoying the small things in life.

**To mark another milestone, Juliana is 3 months old today! To quote my sister, she's a baby now and not a newborn. My sweet little chub, this time is flying by.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Our Little Nut

She actually lays like this a lot. It reminds me of a picture of my sister when she was young, balancing on a chair doing a headstand with a friend. It must be in the genes.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Friday, October 2, 2009

Fall Decorating

Michael's was having a sale on fall items and I went a little crazy. I have never decorated my home for fall and decided to make some simple pieces. The first things I did were to put moss and assorted gourds and squash into glass vases and tie the tops with raffia ribbon. I followed that up by cutting the tops off of 2 small decorators pumpkins, putting in dry florists foam and making arrangements with more moss, leaves, flowers and berries.
Next came a glass basket filled with mini scented pinecones

Followed by the large pumpkin arrangement.

Then Mom showed up last night with this gorgeous birthday gift she quilted for us to hang in our kitchen

Last night I finished this wreath of leaves, mums and berries. This is the first time I've ever put one together and I am quite pleased with the results. The base wreath is grapevine and I wove the stems through and secured them with hot glue.

The last craft I put together was the "Welcome" garland. I had said I was going to string it from the wreath but I think it would make it too busy, plus the letters are rather large and would end up crowded. I settled on hanging it from the mantle to balance out the vases and pumpkins.

In the coming week we will head out to pick our real pumpkins that will stagger down our porch steps, maybe with some potted mums. I may paint them somehow, I've come across some really cute ideas, we'll have to see. But that will complete our decorating for the season. I really enjoyed putting them all together instead of picking up pre-made items from a store (not to mention I saved a pretty penny.) I'm so glad I finally have these made, and best of all I can keep them for the coming years.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Cinnamon Applesauce Ornaments

My house has smelled wonderfully fall-like for the last two days. I've finally made cinnamon ornaments, something I've been wanting to do for years but just never got around to. They're terrifically easy, and don't make as much of a mess as I had expected. Here's my recipe:

1 1/8 cup cinnamon
1 Tbsp ground cloves
2 tsp allspice
3/4 cup applesauce
2 Tbsp tacky glue

Mix all ingredients until well combined, the mixture should stay together but not be sticky. Work the dough in your hands for a few minutes. (It will turn your hands brown, but it washes off simply with soap and water... and maybe a little scratching.) Roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness and use your cookie cutters (I got 13 large.) Use a straw to poke holes for ribbons (be sure to poke two per ornament if you want it to face you when hanging.) Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 200 degrees for 2.5 hours, flipping twice to prevent the edges from curling. Use white fabric paint to decorate (it looks like icing.) Voila! Simple, easy, ornaments that will smell good for years.

I've been throwing around the idea of making a gingerbread house from the dough so that I'll always have one to put out, even if I can't get around to making the edible ones. This time though, I used letter cookie cutters to stamp out "Welcome" and I plan to string it from the wreath I'm making for the front door. I also cut out the letters for the first names of everyone in our family to decorate and hang on our tree this Christmas.