Wednesday, May 28, 2008

All of the Taste, None of the Guilt

Many of you know that I started exercising regularly in an effort to get healthy. I've also changed my eating habits to go along with said exercise so that I'm not eating 5,000 calories in desserts yet don't feel guilty because, you know, I went to the gym. And then I feel guilty the next day. It's a vicious cycle.

So I saw a cooking magazine in the grocery store and thought I'd check it out. Now you must know that when I read magazines, I start from the back. I don't know why and don't really know what purpose it serves but I do. This time, I was rewarded with this fantastic recipe. And while I'm not supposed to have tons of carbs, I felt this was a good one in which to indulge my sweet tooth. I did substitute whole wheat flour for the all-purpose and used non-fat buttermilk, making it that much more wholesome. And if you don't like blueberries, any berry would do and taste just as good!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Awards Day

L had her gymnastics awards day on Saturday. I realize that at nearly 4 years of age, this isn't really a competition but it is a way for parents and families to see what their children have been doing all year. Plus, they give out ribbons and trophies to all who participate. L did great, receiving 4 blue ribbons and her precious trophy.

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Day the Craziness Begins

Or what most people call the last day of school. Oh, friends, it's a rough one. I can just hear L now asking, "Is it a school day for me?" all summer long. We do have a few things planned including VBS and visits from family and friends. We might even take a trip of our own, just our little family.

I think back to this time last year as K finished preschool and was headed to kindergarten. And L was registered for preschool for the very first time. H was brand new and still wasn't allowed to be around lots of people. In addition, Memorial Day weekend was when I found out I needed to have another major surgery to remove my gallbladder. What a great birthday present that was for my mom! Everyone was exhausted that week.

This summer has much more promise. H is old enough to take him anywhere we want to go. The girls are much more independent and don't need me as much to help them. And I'm kind of looking forward to the summer. Last year I dreaded it as it meant I had to deal with a preemie and two other young children. However, this summer is different. With K being in school every day, I feel like I don't see her as much and will enjoy having her around more. Plus she'll be entering first grade in the fall and will have to end her school day almost two hours later than this year.

So what are your summer plans?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Kindergarten Graduation

It's hard to believe that another school year has come to a close. At the beginning of the year, K could barely read and hated to write in lowercase. Now she is proficient at both. And her confidence has grown by leaps and bounds. Her kindergarten graduation program was this morning and she did such a good job. Each child took part in the program reciting poems, bible verses and songs. K, not one to speak in front of a group, did great despite a rough start to the day. I can't believe she's going to be in first grade in the fall!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Tag, Blog Style

I'm not one to normally get tagged for these things but I figured I would do this one for Sporty Mama. Here are the rules:

*Link to the person who tagged you.
*Mention the rules in your blog.
*Tell about six unspectacular quirks of yours.
*Tag a new set of bloggers by linking them.

Basically, I'm completely odd but I had to come up with only six so here they are, in random order:
  1. I hate being hot, especially at night. I would love to live somewhere that stayed about 68 degrees year round.
  2. I can fit my fist in my mouth.
  3. I will take the pecans off of a pecan pie and just eat the inside (which is basically sugar and eggs) because I don't like pecans.
  4. I had three imaginary friends when I was little: Dank, Mimp, and Little Girl. Don't ask where I got the names but I often blamed things on Little Girl. They lived in the fireplace until they had to move. Behind our sofa.
  5. Roaches creep me out. I can handle any other kind of bug, snake, worm, or crawly creature except roaches. They make my toes curl.
  6. I love Project Runway. I'm not into fashion, I don't love to sew, nor have I made any clothes. Ever. But I love this show. Don't ask me why.

Now, who to tag? I think I'll tag Mod Girl because, well just because. We need to hear some quirky things about her! Ooh, and Ten Little Toes. That would be a fun one!

...An End-of-the-Year Party Today

Here are some pictures from K's end of the year party at a local rec complex, complete with water park. The kids had a blast and I even ran into an old friend who was in town for the week. We had a great morning! K asked for a blue snow cone and I obliged hence the blue tongue.

(I have been tagged by Sporty Mama for some game of bloggy tag and I'll get to that later today.)

Preschool Program Last Night And...

Here are some pictures of the sweet preschool program L took part in. It was so cute. At the end, as all of them are dancing, I noticed L make her way from the very back to the very front of the stage. It was definitely an L thing to do!

Monday, May 19, 2008

A Whirlwind Weekend

We had such a fun weekend. Friends came in town to visit and K and L had their ballet recital. Our friends are dear friends who made the trek from a great distance with an ornery toddler. Thanks, Sporty Mama, for the visit. It was long overdue!

We had dress rehearsal for the recital Saturday morning with the performance that night. I took the pictures at the rehearsal as there's no flash photography in the big show. Plus I was sitting much closer at the rehearsal. The girls both did a fantastic job. They were beautiful ballerinas and did exactly what they were supposed to do. I was so proud! We capped off the day with a fantastic dinner of grilled snapper and the girls got ice cream (so did the boys) and then it was off to bed. We were all so tired that it didn't take long to fall asleep!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Strawberry Patch

Here are the much anticipated pictures of our girls at the strawberry patch. I ended up getting more pictures of L's class than of K's although I don't know how. I guess I was busy picking strawberries for us to take home rather than taking pictures. I had fun both times. L's idea was to pick them and eat them right away without paying for them. I let her do it a few times! She ended up with strawberry juice all down the front of her dress. We made strawberry shortcake and froze some of them for smoothies later on down the road.


This is K's picture of the cow. She was so excited about it because it was a baby cow and she was dying to have a picture of it. Hence the fence.The end of picking after a long, hot day. You can sort of see the strawberry juice on L's dress!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

I must brag a bit about my sweet husband and children. First of all, I was allowed to sleep in this morning as S got up with the kids. Then I was met with breakfast in bed (yummy omelet with fresh rosemary, thyme, fresh spinach, fontina cheese, and yellow peppers, bacon, and sweet tomatoes). This was all presented to me on a tray decorated with a lily from our garden. Our lilies were planted a couple of years ago and have just started to bloom. They smell so sweet! K made me a precious card with pictures she drew herself. And they all signed a card for me, except for H who would just want to eat the pen.

What a precious family I have!

Proverbs 23:25
May your father and mother be glad; may she who gave you birth rejoice! (And I do!)

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Flee From Temptation!

I am not what you would call a bargain shopper. I love a good deal, mind you, but I wouldn't call myself one who peruses newspapers for the best deal on an item. If I need it, I get it, and I sometimes (I know this is a shock to some of you) pay full price for an item.

This is all true except when it comes to groceries. I usually look for good bargains at our local supermarket. My favorite is the buy one get one free shelf at the front of the store. They often have their 100% juice on sale and that's the only time I buy juice. I stock up then so I don't have to pay full price later on.

About 2 weeks ago, there was the BOGOF deal on some toddler juice that is already watered down. We always water down our juice because the kids don't need that sugar and it stretches a gallon of juice much further to do so. (Nana joked that when the kids started school they would find out, among other things, what juice is supposed to taste like.) So I bought the toddler juice figuring I wouldn't have to worry about watering it down since the makers of said juice had already done it for me.

Do not be fooled by this horrible marketing ploy. We went through that juice so fast that I don't even remember what flavor it was. Oh, you juice makers and your marketing department! You expect me to pay the same amount of money for something that is only 53% juice when I could get 100% juice? You got me this time but no longer. I will flee from the tempation of pre-watered-down juice from now on.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The Curse of the Roasted Chicken

S is a great cook but has one nemesis in the kitchen: the roasted chicken. Here is the evidence:
  • the time he roasted a chicken that had been in the freezer forever and it turned out to be bad. We had to go out for lunch that Sunday.
  • the time he roasted a chicken with marsala wine in the roasting pan the oven door blew open
  • the countless times he roasted a chicken to be done at dinner time but it took at least an hour longer

Well, it must run in the family. A few weeks ago, I found a fantastic deal on whole chicken breasts. Basically, it's the roaster without the legs, thighs, and wings. It was 99 cents/pound and since it was small, it cost a whopping $2. I realize that it wouldn't exactly feed an army but it would feed our family just fine. So I defrosted it yesterday and cooked it last night.

It was wonderful once it was done. 45 minutes after I had intended. Let's just say the kids had a fantastic dinner of mac & cheese and broccoli without the chicken!

Monday, May 5, 2008

A New Use for the Tub

Remember when I posted about this tub? Well, S found a new use for it during H's first birthday party Friday night. I'm thinking I may not let him be in charge of drinks any more.

Teacher Appreciation Week

This week is Teacher Appreciation Week at K and L's school. They really do work hard all year to teach our children about our world from a Biblical perspective, not to mention the work they do after school hours.

To begin the week, we were to bring a yummy treat for both the teacher and the aide in the classroom. Since L attends on Mondays as well that meant 4, yes 4, yummy treats for which Mama is responsible. So I decided to use a mix from Tastefully Simple and bake their chocolate pound cake in four small loaf pans to cut back on the amount I had to deal with. Then I wrapped them in blue tissue paper to make it look extra pretty. I think they turned out quite nice!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Cool Video

Remember when I told you about a really cool opportunity I had in my home town a few weeks ago? Well, here's a short video from BooMama from that very concert. I was sitting just to the left of him (his right) so I had a "front row" seat. (I use that term quite loosely because there were only front row seats as it was a living room concert.)

Happy Birthday H!

H's birthday was yesterday and the celebration was so much fun. We had family and friends over to celebrate. What a blessing to have all those people there that night!

H had a great time with the cake. No interest in opening presents but completely interested in the cake and the candle. It was lots of fun.

Without further adieu, here are the fabulous cake pictures...

Friday, May 2, 2008

An Open Letter to H

Today, one year ago, you were born. It was a typical day that turned out to be anything but. My day was spent doing our regular Wednesday activities. Little did I know you would arrive that night under much duress. (For details, see H's story on the sidebar.)

I've been told by several medical professionals that I very well could have died that night. You were in that same danger, too. I actually didn't know how touch and go you were until just a few months ago. We are both so blessed to be here and I know God is going to do something mighty through both of us as you are a living testimony to His grace and mercy.

At 24 pounds no one would know you were a preemie. Having weighed only 5lbs, 12oz at birth, you have come a very long way. I remember the first time seeing you in your NICU bed, hooked up to umpteen monitors and tubes. You were on a special machine to assist your breathing (as it was very labored). It was May 3, almost 24 hours after you were born before I got to see you. Having worked in a hospital with children prior to becoming a mom, I was familiar with all the medical equipment. I will tell you, though, it's a completely different thing to see your child hooked up to all those wires and tubes. My first impression of you was that you were so tiny! K was 4lbs heavier than you at birth and L was 3 so you were itty bitty. The amazing thing is I didn't cry. I just smiled with the joy of a mother seeing her child for the very first time. This beautiful boy was mine.

I remember finally crying on Friday night about the entire situation. I was alone, attempting to get some much-needed rest, having just said good night to your father, when a flood of emotions took over and the tears were free-flowing. My heart told me to go to the NICU and check on you but my head told me I needed to rest while I could and the nurses would be taking very good care of you. Even though I couldn't hold you, I wanted to be near you. But the peace that had come over me in the midst of your birth took over me again. What a necessity it was that night.

You've brought countless smiles to my face, making many bad days melt away. You've brought me more tears than either of your sisters did in their first year. I love watching your personality blossom as you are just now beginning the transition from baby boy to little boy. I love watching you look for your sisters and try to get into their stuff. And I love the way you snuggle with me at the end of a long day drifting, slowly, into slumber.

Happy Birthday, Son!

In the NICU the day after you were born...

On your first birthday...