Thursday, June 30, 2011

Another Milestone

While we were in Indiana for the wedding, Sydney reached another milestone.  Can you guess what it is? 

We have been working on swimming since the pool opened and guess who swam across the entire pool by herself!!!   She did it several times and of course we were right beside her but she did great.  We are so excited.  Hopefully we can perfect our skills over the rest of the summer.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

We Are Home!

6 days

1440 miles

2 tunnels

__? bridges

1 picnic at the Tamarack

5 states

1/2 bag of dum dums

1 handsome man and 1 beautiful woman

16 member wedding party

8 pairs of chuck taylor tennis shoes

1 wedding

1 reception

325 guests

1 proud dad

1 beautiful city

1 amazing celebration

4 days with family

1 super summer trip

Lots of details and pictures to come

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


   So it seems I have a little competition, for my garden produce.  This past week I picked my first cucumber (it was delicious) and I was looking forward to the first tomato.  Each day the tomato was getting more and more red and ripe.  Then it was gone.  Well we found it on the side of the garden with several bites missing.  It seems a certain creature is watching my garden just as closely as I am and I will need to pick things before he or she gets to sample them.  We think it is a squirrel or maybe a possum.  Do you have any garden competition?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Summer List

Since Tuesday was the first day of summer (although it has been mid 90's here for weeks and felt like summer) I decided we needed to make our list of things to do this summer. 

  • grill out and eat in sun porch as much as possible
  • pool time!  Sydney learning to swim
  • Carousel Festival
  • long walks
  • summer concert in the park
  • reading program at library
  • company- my parents and my niece
  • Bill's son Marcus' wedding
  • Bill's daughter Alexandra's wedding
  • matinee
  • eat ice cream sandwiches
  • garden
  • trips to Farmer's Market
  • water balloon toss
  • fly kite
Have you made your summer list yet?  Is there anything on our list you would like to do?

Friday, June 24, 2011

We love pudding

Pudding is a big treat at our house!  I figure it has some calcium in it so it is not the worst thing I could let my kids eat.
As you can see they love it!

Do your kids like pudding?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Butterfly Craft

Have you ever made anything fun out of a coffee filter?  I had seen a few ideas so the kids and I decided to give it a try.
First you use markers and color on the coffee filter.
We used washable markers and it worked just great.

Then using a spray bottle we soaked the coffee filter and watched the colors spread
I tranferred the filters onto paper towel to dry and then we used clothes pins, little eyes, puff balls and glue to make butterflies!
Sydney's is on the right, Griffin's is on the left.  Syd helped him with the eyes and puff balls.

I saw this idea for flowers here.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Too much?

Sydney has been talking about "the kitchen stadium" and souffles lately.  I wonder if she is watching too much food network?  Honestly, second to cartoons it is all she watches and she loves it.  Sometimes her and I will cuddle up and watch a program together and talk about the dish and if we would like to try to make it at our house.  I love to cook (and eat) and I think Sydney is taking right after me.  Whenever I am working in the kitchen she wants to help. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Daddy's Shoes

Griffin loves to wear shoes especially ones that belong to someone else.  He is always clomping around the kitchen in someones shoes.  He is just too cute for me to resist snapping a few pictures. 
I hope my son grows up to be like his daddy.  Bill has so many good qualities and I pray that both the kids will grow to be like their dad.  

Monday, June 20, 2011

I'll Start

    So remember how this works, I ask a question and give you my answer and then your can share yours if you want to participate.  So the question today is what is something about you that not a lot of people may know about. 
    This is obviously a broad question but something that comes to mind for myself is that I had my own business before I had a driver's license.  I cannot remember exactly how old I was but I want to say some time between the age of 11 and 13 I started a candy and pop business at my dad's shop.  My sister and I used to go to my dad's every summer, my dad owned his own business, Yardbird Lawn and Garden.  He sold new equipment and parts but also repaired equipment.  There was always this box of candy and crackers on the counter from one of those companies that drops off the box and comes by periodically to collect the money and refill the box.  It seemed that the box was never full and usually had snacks in it that people did not want.  So I decided (and I cannot recall if it was my dad or my grandma that helped me with the idea) to have a box of candy (everyone's favorites) on the counter with a jar for money and also pop in the fridge.  We politely told the company that had the box that it was not needed.  Most of my customers were my dad and his workers but also his customers who came in all the time and knew my sister and I.  My dad helped me look at ads every week to see which store had the best prices and we would stock up.  My dad also took me to the credit union and I opened my own checking account complete with a check book that I used to buy all the candy and pop.  My dad also showed me how to keep records of my profits and sales.  I wish I still had my record book.  A simple little candy and pop business taught me several life lessons. 
    Care to share something about yourself that most people may not know?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Part Monkey

Griffin really does think he is part monkey.  He loves to climb, bounce, dangle and all of the little things monkeys do.  He is giving me gray hair at a daily rate!  I am so afraid he is going to get hurt because he already has and it terrifies me.  Two weekends ago he climbed up in the stroller which was parked in the driveway and as he climbed up the back the whole thing tipped and he hit his head on the concrete.  ARRGH!  I saw him starting to climb and I threw the broom I was sweeping with, screamed NO and started running but did not get there in time.  He barely had a bruise but still I hate it.  He loves to dangle from the pedestal sink in the guest bath, then his hands tire and he falls.  Does anyone else have a child that believes he or she is part monkey? 

Friday, June 17, 2011


Has anyone blessed you lately with their generosity?  Well our family has been blessed several times lately.  We have great neighbors, and we are so thankful.  They love us and our kids and it shows.  A month or two ago my husband was working so much, I think the record was six days a week for seven weeks in a row.  Normally he works every other Saturday but he covered for a few people and worked extra when there was a need.  So anyway he was working crazy and my neighbors knew it.  One evening I drove in with the kids and I noticed the grass was cut out front.  I was thinking to myself when in the world did Bill find time to cut the grass.  Then I saw my neighbor just finishing up the backyard.  I could not believe it.  My husband is down right neurotic about the yard and the only thing that keeps him from keeping the yard in tip top shape all the time is not having time.  My neighbor told me he knew how busy Bill was and that he did not want him to spend his one day off working in the yard.  Wow, so generous.  A few weeks later this same neighbor's wife blessed me, well all of us really.  I had been out of town at a wedding and she brought over steaks, potatoes and asparagus for us to grill the night Bill picked me up from the airport.  She knew I was out of town and when my flight was getting in and wanted to make my dinner plans easy.  She is so sweet.  This same neighbor is always bringing by farmer's market finds, just this past week she bought us at least 25 fresh peaches.  Sunday while Griffin napped Sydney went over to her house to hang out which allowed me to get some work done without any distractions.  I am so thankful for wonderful neighbors and their generosity. 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

New Recipe

I love a new recipe.  I love to try them and expand on the recipes that I cook and what our family eats.   This past weekend we tried this recipe for grilled potato salad and it was a hit!  I do enjoy traditional potato salad and I believe my mom makes the best but this is different and delicious.  Give it a try and tell me what you think.  Have you tried any new recipes lately?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Current Read

I am currently reading Choosing to See by Mary Beth Chapman.  I listened to Steven Curtis Chapman as a teen, through college and still to this day.  When I heard of the tragedy and death of their child Maria I was brought to tears and remember praying for their family.  The book Choosing to See is about the tragedy that occurred on May 21st, 2008 but it is also the story of Mary Beth Chapman and her faith and struggles.  It is a story that will make you weep and also laugh and at the same time will inspire you in your own faith.  I am half way through the book and I already want to share and encourage others to read it.  This past year has been tough, in my own life with the loss of Bill's mom and also at my office, several friends and coworkers have suffered great loss.  Last week a child in our community lost a three year battle with cancer.  So much weeping and feelings of being defeated, yet there is HOPE.  In the words of Steven Curtis "We are not home yet". 

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you  hope and a future."  Jeremiah 29:11

I am thankful that this world is not the end and that we can live eternally, reunited with our loved ones if they belong to Christ.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Garden Notes

 Our garden is growing!  My tomato plants are over my head!  This year we actually have eight tomato plants, four early girls, two better boys and two romas. 
 Do you see the baby cucumber?  I am so excited!
These are roma tomatoes which were the first to appear.  I planted the garden (with my helper, Sydney) on April 9th and we saw our first tomato on May 9th.  I am hoping we have ripe tomatoes before July 9th!
 We also have rosemary and basil and in pots by the house we are growing cilantro and thyme. 
I love gardening and only wish I had more space.  It has been so hot here, mid 90's with little rain.  Thankfully it rained twice this past weekend.  I have actually been hauling the kids bath water out to water the garden.  Bill thinks I am crazy but I like to call myself resourceful.  I really wanted a rain barrel this spring but Bill has been so busy with work and other projects that we haven't gotten around to it yet.  Are you gardening this season?

Monday, June 13, 2011

My Hostas are Blooming!

I love it when things grow.  Our hostas are blooming and they are so green and full.  I am waiting for my bulbs I planted last year to pop out of the ground.  If they do not grow I am going to be so disappointed.  I had never planted bulbs before but I ordered them for a fundraiser at the daycare and I followed the directions.  For now I will enjoy my garden (we have green tomatoes) and my hostas.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Pool Days

The Pinewood pool is open!  It is so hot, mid 90's the last 2 weeks and we have enjoyed cooling off at the pool. 
Sydney jumping in the baby pool, she is fearless and jumps right in the big pool too!
Hopefully this summer we can work on our swimming skills.
Griffin enjoys the water but it did take some time for him to warm up to the idea of being wet. 
Sydney fell asleep on our swing later that evening while I was grilling.  She was wore out.
Is it hot where you live?  Have you been swimming yet?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Queen Anne's Lace

We picked some flowers while on a walk over the weekend. Do you like the front or the back better?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Baby Bird

This past weekend we found three babies birds that had fallen from a nest.  Two of the birds were dead and one was still breathing and opening its beak.  Sydney of course wanted to care for the baby bird.  If I had thought about the infirmary at the zoo I could have called and tried to take the bird.  We felt helpless but Sydney carried it around in a bucket all afternoon.  We explained that the bird really needed a momma bird to take care of it and it was not going to live.  My mom works at a nature center and and they have an infirmary, if I lived in Michigan we could have taken it in and it may have survived.  I hate to see any animal suffer and I wish we could have done more to help. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

One Year Ago

Wow our kids have changed a lot in 1 year!
These pictures were taken last year while we were at the beach.
Griffin was just beginning to crawl

Sydney has such a baby girl face in this picture
she seems a foot taller now
Time flies by and the kids change daily, we sometimes want to stop the clock and just absorb!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Apple Turnovers

I created this recipe the other day when I had some apples that were not bad but not really crisp anymore.  I also had 1/2 of a sheet of puff pastry leftover from chicken pot pie.  I cup the 1/2 sheet in half (so each turnover uses 1/4 of a sheet of puff pastry- sprinkled with a little flour and just rolled out a bit.  I quartered 1 apple and took out seeds, peeled and then spliced very thin.  I put half of each apple in middle of puff pastry square, then I sprinkled apples with cinnamon, 1/4 tsp of sugar and put 2 little dots of butter (may 1/8 tsp).  I folded pastry over so it was the shape of triangle and pinched the edges.  I used egg yolk and brushed top of pastry.  I baked pastry at 350 for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.  We ate these with a scoop of ice cream on top.  Yummy!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Splash Pad

Saturday morning we headed to the splash pad at the YMCA (free trial day) to meet some friends.
It took the sun a while to join us but we had fun anyway!
Miss Sydney

Daddy and Griffin

Dylan (our friends little boy)
Griffin, he played in these sprayers the whole time

I love this face!!
Sydney waiting for the green bucket to dump
Me and my boy
daddy and Griffin
time to warm up
Sydney loved this squirter!  Her and Bill got me good
Have you ever been to a splash pad?

Friday, June 3, 2011

My niece Rowyn

I finally got to meet my niece Rowyn Gracie Jane!  Isn't she sweet?  She has these long eyelashes and adorable chunky cheeks!
I think she looks like her momma when she was a baby but she also looks like her daddy.
Rowyn was born September 20th and I had not met her yet because she lives in New Mexico.

She is such a doll baby!
I hate that my sisters and I live so far apart and I do not get to see everyone nearly as much as I want.  I still have not met my nephew Henry who lives in Maine.  Hopefully someday soon before he is too big. 

Thursday, June 2, 2011

More Trip Pics

Ashley and I, ready for our friends wedding
we were cracking up at something Audra said, who knows

Audra and I (Aud wasn't going to the wedding but we wanted a picture together since we are hardly in the same state!)  Audra lives in New Mexico and I had not seen here since I was pregnant with Griffin. 
Me with my niece Daniella (2nd time seeing her), she is Ashley's daughter (sister in top picture)
My mom was gracious enough to have a family gathering while I was home for the wedding. I was able to see a lot of our family and it was great.  I think we packed as much as we could into 3 days!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

weekend part 1

We had the best weekend and I took tons of pictures so they will be spread out over several posts.  Bill had a three day weekend which is exceptionally rare so we soaked up our time with him.
Saturday morning we met some friends at the Splash pad at out YMCA- free trial day (pics later)
We had a cookout with friends Saturday evening and spent most of our time outside in the afternoon.
Griffin on golf course

Daddy giving a few lessons

Sydney sitting with momma and attempting to cool off (mid 90's all weekend)

Sydney's turn for a golf lesson

Sydney and Nate

We had so much fun just hanging out together