Thursday, June 30, 2011

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Genny Girl

It's been a whole year already.
I don't believe it.
Happy Birthday to my sweet, sweet niece.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Strawberry fields forever...

This morning, Jen and I (and Lu) went to the Strawberry Farm.  I wanted to get in some berry picking this year, since I may not make it during raspberry season.  It was a bit soggy and a bit picked over, but I came away with 7# of the best strawberries I've ever had.

I wasted no time looking up a pie recipe.  PW doesn't have one so I had to venture out.  I found one by Sarah at Short Stop.  It claims to be the BEST fresh strawberry pie ever.  It is pretty dang good.

I wasted no time on this, either.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Baby Brother

He's looking a little chubbier these days and that makes this Mama happy.  I like how you can see his cheeks look a little fuller in this one.  I went back for some more scans of his kidney, which has now turned into kidneys.  They both have hydronephrosis, ureters are dilated on both sides and they're not sure his bladder is emptying properly. I go back in another couple weeks for ultrasound number 6.  They need to stay on top of this and my fluid levels.  So, there is an increased chance of early delivery, but we'll see.  Luckily, I really like our Pediatric Urologist (he called me back from his vacation) and am glad we are already familiar with him since this situation seems a little more complicated than Lucy's.  I have faith that all will go according to THE plan, but if you're the praying sort, offer up a few extra for us.  

Is it just me or does it look like you can see his eye open?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


With the kids finally out of school, Summer can officially begin!
We went to the pool:

So proud of how brave she was.
We went to Amish Country:

There is an Amish community not too far from Union City and they have a discount store that has unbeatable prices on baking supplies.  I loaded up on flours.

While the girls shopped, the boys fished.  Tony texted (is that a word?) to tell me he had a surprise for Lucy.  It was this little guy:

We were thisclose to bringing him (or her) home.  Then I read online about how I'd need to clean up the poop and that was enough to cancel out the cuteness and we let him (or her) go in a nearby wetland.  I am not about poop.  At least not animal poop.  Baby poop, heck, not even a 3 year old's poop really bothers me.  But animal poop makes me a bit crazy.

One of the ways I tell people I love them is through food.
I made Dad O some cashew and white chocolate chip cookies, recipe forthcoming, and Tony made some more Mozzarella.  This was even better than the stuff we made in the class.  I tell you, Tony is some kind of cheese making genius.

Now, if only the sun would stay out long enough for us to enjoy the outdoors!
Happy Summer!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

It's an honor...

Thanks to Ashton at Something Swanky for asking me to guest post!

I answer the question:

"Do you need an ice cream maker?"

Go on, go find out.

Friday, June 17, 2011

A word about Father's Day...

Because my Dad passed away, I sometimes feel like I should be sad; that Father's day should be an unhappy reminder of someone I'm missing.  However, it isn't.  I don't think about my Dad only on Father's day.  I think it's like saying you're only Christian on Christmas.  I miss my Dad all the time, and yes, it used to be a heart-wrenching, anxiety-inducing pain, but it isn't anymore.  Peace has replaced my anger.  I miss things I would have liked to have learned from him, like gardening...I know it's something we could have enjoyed together, but really, I take comfort in my knowledge of the Plan of Salvation.  I think the hardest part is not having him here to enjoy Lucy...and really that's selfish on my part...I know he would think she's amazing and I want to hear him tell me how great she is.  I want to overhear him tell someone else how "sharp" she is.   I believe that there is something special about father's of daughters.   

Around the time my dad died, Heavenly Father gave me someone wonderful.  My father-in-law.  I'm not sure what I expected a typical father-in-law to be like but I'm sure it wasn't what I have. I have been blessed with a sweet, tenderhearted man who hasn't hesitated to treat me as his own and share his life with me.  He listens when I need him to, he answers my cooking questions (just like my dad did), he lets me curl up next to him on the couch, he gives advice when he knows I need it and loves me in just the way a father should.  I realize now that all fathers are special and I feel so blessed to have been given two.

Happy Father's Day to my two special Dads and the sweet, sweet Father of my Lu and her Baby Brother, the love of my life.

Oh, and I hope Baby Brother looks just like this:

My Dad, probably around 1944.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Blog Button

Can you believe I made a button and actually got all the html to work?
I followed this tutorial.

To get the button on your blog, click on the tab above. 


If you're in your reader and saw my ice cream post...close your eyes, forget you saw it, it's not done!!!  

Did you know that inside blogger, ctrl+p=publish, not print!?  Well, you do now.

I am guest posting at Something Swanky on Saturday and thought I'd have Tony, the King of English, look over my writing.

Our conversation went like this: "Will you read this over for me?  I'll email it to you."
T: "Can you just print it?"
A: "Can't I just email it to you?"
T: {inconvenienced look}
A: "Okay, I'll print it."

click, click

A: OOOOohhhhhh Nooooo!!

As you can probably guess, I was really receptive to all his feedback at that point. 

Check Something Swanky on Saturday for the full story.

random stuff

Have you tried out Pinterest yet?  It's pretty awesome.

Method's Sweet Water soap is my favorite smell ever and I just found out they make it in laundry soap and dryer sheets.  I think I might look for the dryer sheets.

I have some projects in the works that I'm excited about, 
some for the blog and some crafty stuff.

Oh, and because I can't post without a photo, here's my girl...
this picture (taken by her Dad) perfectly captures her personality. 

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Mango Sorbet Recipe

I love Ataulfo Mangoes.

Love. Love. Love.

They are also called Champagne Mangoes, Honey Mangoes, Manilla Mangoes and a bunch of other names, but at the stores I frequent, they're always labeled Ataulfo.  They're smaller and lighter than regular mangoes.  And they taste divine.  I have found they are better smaller, and when they're mostly a brighter yellow/orange color.  They will ripen after they're picked, if you buy them greenish and keep them on the counter for a couple days.  Watch them though, they go to wrinkles easily.  

So, a friend of mine lent me her KitchenAid Ice Cream maker, and in the included recipe book was this little lovely, for Mango Sorbet.

Fresh Mango Sorbet

4 ripe but firm mangoes, about 12 oz. each, peeled, pitted and cubed 
2/3 C Sugar
1/2 C Corn Syrup
6 T fresh lime or lemon juice

Combine everything in a food processor or blender and process or blend until thick and smooth.
Turn the machine ON, pour puree into freezer bowl and mix until thickened, about 25-30 minutes.

P.S.  Here is a link for making ice cream (I suspect the same principles apply for sorbet) without an ice cream maker.

P.P.S. KitchenAid has no idea who I am, but oh how I wish they did so they could send me this, and this, and this. :)

Thursday, June 09, 2011


Yesterday we got to see some of our favorite guys!

We started with Baby Brother:

His kidney is enlarged again, much more significantly this time, and ureter is dilated.  We're meeting with a pediatric urologist, probably next week, (he's on vaca this week) and have another ultra sound scheduled for later in the month.  The good news is that we've been through all this before with Lucy.  I think it's crazy that they have such a similar problem and neither Tony or I have heard of this kidney defect on either sides of our families.  I'm glad to have a much better handle on it this time and feel better prepared for the testing and all that goes on with it.  Remember the baby rotisserie?

Other than that, they said he looks great, he's in the 61st percentile for size and his estimated weight is 4lbs 10 oz.  (+/-10oz). He measured about a week ahead so hopefully that means he'll come early, on his own.  I'm hoping for a successful vbac.  He's definitely a mover and a shaker and I'm excited to see the little fellow.  He didn't have an opinion on his name though...we're still thinking on that one.

After that we got to wish Uncle Chris a Happy Birthday and then off to the "water balloon party" for Cameron.  Lucy was so excited.  She told everyone we ran into that day, before and after the party that "you take water balloons and you throw them and you get wet!"


So excited, she's walking on air. 

I could not love this face any more.

Cam is such an awesome playmate with Lucy.  He has single-handedly prepared her for sisterhood to a brother.  She and Cam pretty much fight like brother and sister but in recent months have become more peaceful playmates.  
We're so lucky to have mischievous Crambone in our lives.

Monday, June 06, 2011

A Monday Memory...

10 Years Ago Today:

I can't believe it's been ten years since I graduated from HS.  It was not without it's share of boy drama, girl drama, and awkward haircuts but I really had an amazing experience.  I loved high school and came away with some wonderful life-long friends.  

Some of my favorite memories are:

Football Games, Road trips, Late night chatting, Christmas Dances, Homecomings, Proms, Freshman year Bio, working with Mrs. Arnold, May Crowning, Mass, College Visits, Playing at the park, the airport, retreats and especially Kairos.  I'm sure there are a million more but this is what I can think of right now.

I had teachers who went the extra mile for me and I had teachers I didn't like so much.  There were faculty who treated me like family and made sacrifices for me that I'll never be able to repay.  So, thanks SUA, for such a great experience and preparation for a wonderful life that has since then, seen me through many different jobs, some college, losing a parent, a happy marriage, motherhood to 1 (almost 2) beautiful children, a solid faith in a loving Heavenly Father and gratitude for the sacrifice of His son Jesus Christ.

Soli Deo Gloria