Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Food Thoughts

I've had so much on my to-do lists and on my mind that I'm afraid the blog is suffering a bit. Oh well - there are seasons...

Lately, I've been contemplating food - taking the time to enjoy it, making it interesting, and sharing it. I've fallen off the menu planning band wagon for the past few weeks and I miss it. But mostly I've just been thinking about what a gift food is and how I don't really want it to be a chore. It's a way I show love to my family, appreciate God's creation, and express my creativity.

The cooler weather is inspiring me to try new recipes, read more books (I'm currently in the middle of a very interesting food memoir), and experiment with different vegetables and fruits. It's been fun - if only the kitchen would clean itself! Actually, my amazing husband is awesome about helping with the dishes and he loves it when I try new recipes.

While we enjoy eating out occasionally, we've also been working to cut expenses and eating out is one of the ways we are doing that. It motivates me to spend a little extra time planning and making nice meals for my family and it encourages me to schedule date-nights-in with Andrew.

All that to say, I appreciate that food was given to us not only for our sustenance but for our enjoyment. What have you been making lately?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Can't Really Think of a Title...

Well, it's finally (for the minute) turned chilly around here. The trees are beginning to change, fall has come, and football season is well underway. My fantasy teams are well, actually, I'm not sure. I think I'm 2-1 in one league and the other is a points league and I was dead last before this week's game. Ah, no worries. This week, I play my husband and while I sincerely hope to trounce him, I'm not feeling all that optimistic.

I've been cooking fall food - things with pumpkin and apples as well as soups, bread, and stews. Yum! I'm not crazy about the fact that fall leads to winter but even so, fall is one of my favorite seasons. We are supposed to go camping overnight this weekend and fall camping is delightfully chilly. I've also enjoyed my first (and second, but who's counting?) pumpkin spice latte. Delicious!

Fall cleaning is kind of underway. Clothes are mostly switched out. I'm on the hunt for new curtains for my family room. And lists of things to do are long but frequently abandoned for the enjoyment of the day.

And sadly, my sweet baby is under the weather - so he is tired (but not sleeping particularly well) and cranky and therefore, I am tired. So tired. I think it might just be this wonderful thing of being a mom but seriously, I'm exhausted (always!) and already thinking of heading to bed for the night. Three boys down, a gracious husband headed to the store for a few things, and a tired mommy getting ready to sign off and to go watch DWTS. :)

Have a great night and I'll try to think of something more interesting for tomorrow!

I never get tired of photographing my kids - Titus is especially photogenic these days! So, you'll just have to continue to endure my photos because I just have to share! :) Hope he feels better tomorrow!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Homeschool Corner

We have an upstairs loft and I've converted a small corner of it into our designated school area. Typically, we do homeschool preschool on Mondays and Wednesdays. I'm also using it as an area to showcase some of the boys' art work. They are very pleased about that!

Both boys LOVE worksheets. They would rather sit and do a worksheet than just about anything else. They are very serious about them. And proud to show me their finished work.

They are practicing writing letters and numbers, tracing, cutting, and coloring. We are also working on letter sounds, counting, singing, learning Bible verses and our address. We enjoy reading, too. Not all of that happens each day but it's some of what we have been doing. And last week was pretty miserable on the homeschool front but we are back at it. :)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Best Kind of Day...

We just got home from the airport. We welcomed home my cousin and her husband and their new baby daughter from Ethiopia. We were honored to be invited and touched to be a part of welcoming the newest member of their family. It was beautiful to see them reunited with their son (who stayed with grandparents) and to see their family now as a family of four. I was admittedly very teary eyed - this is the first time we have been on that end of someone's journey and it was every bit as awesome as I imagined. We were so blessed and pleased that our boys were able to see a little more of how their own stories work - they were so excited that their cousin was getting a new baby sister. And they were super excited to be at the airport. :)

I'm not going to post any people pictures of their homecoming or of Kidest - though I took many. :) This is their special day and their memories - they will post pictures when they are ready. I will tell you that she is gorgeous and smiley and the perfect addition to their family. And I will post a couple of pictures of my family at the airport. It brought back such wonderful memories for us - it's been almost three years since we arrived home with our first two.

Another child is united with her forever family, another family is blessed through adoption, another child is no longer an orphan. It is an amazing thing and a wonderful day...the best kind of day. One of the greatest that is beautiful and life-changing.
Welcome Home, Kidest! And welcome to the family!

Friday, September 25, 2009


A big reason we went to NY last weekend was to visit Andrew's Grandpa. We thoroughly enjoyed visiting with him and he had a chance to meet our boys! I love how these photos turned out (especially the first one).

Great-Grandpa decided that our three were a little like The 3 Stooges. :) He played with them and they loved it! Titus would periodically wander into his room, wave, and visit for a couple of minutes. The boys would run in and give him hugs. And we all watched some of his funny shows with him on his new tv/dvd combo. There was definitely lots of activity in the house!
I cherish the moments our children have getting to know their great-grandparents. It is such a joy to see the generations enjoying one another. And both Andrew and I have wonderful memories with our grandparents!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Animals on the Farm

Life is moving fast these days and I've got so much going on that I'm afraid the blog has taken backseat priority. :)

Anyway, Calvin and Patrick LOVED the animals on the farm - especially the dogs and cats. Calvin could not get enough of them and I'm sure the cats were anxious to see us go (as evidenced by the final picture). :) I'm allergic to cats - otherwise there is no way we could have left without an adorable kitten.

Andrew's uncle and cousin are dairy farmers so it was alot of fun to be on a working dairy to come.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Where to Start?!

Well, I'm definitely having the post-trip exhaustion...not to mention I came down with a cold at the end of last week. I have so much to do and so little energy! I did finally upload all of the photos from our trip and I have no idea where to start. I could fill a month of posts with the pictures. :) So I'll put a few here and more on facebook. Today I'll do some favorites of the kids and I'll try to limit the number. :) We had such a great time and having a good camera makes it fun to capture everything!

(As a side note: Calvin had a nasty bruise/goose egg on his forehead - boys! They are rough and tumble! It is just starting to heal up from a week and half ago. Sigh.)

Monday, September 21, 2009


Adults - 2
Kids - 3
Hours in the car - 31
Visiting hours -52
Pictures taken - 283
Miles travelled - 1,680
Arrived home - 4:30
Hosted party - 7:30
Memories made - PRICELESS!

We had a great and all too short of trip to NY this weekend to visit Andrew's grandpa and extended family. Pictures to come. We are so tired. Thanks to Uncle Don, Aunt Gwen, & cousins for having us!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Not A Good First

Yes, that would be my first cavity. As a hygienist, you would think I would always have my cleanings on It had been awhile and while my teeth are overall fine, there is just this one small cavity. But seriously, I've never had one filled and while I reassure my patients that it's nothing to be worried about, I'm not usually the patient. I tell you, turning 30 has been hard on me and I don't recommend it. :) Yeah, I'll definitely blame the age...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Don't you wish you were here? :) I made this pie on Sunday and sadly, it is now gone. I'm sure there will be several more apple pies before the fall is over! Going to the orchard and getting fresh, local apples is one of my favorite things about this time of year. Turning those apples into pie is one of my favorite things to eat around this time of year. So comforting. So delicious.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

ZZZs, Orchard, & Happenings....

Do you ever have weeks were you just feel more tired than you can imagine? That's how I'm feeling this week - add that to having a husband working many hours (translate - doing the parent thing by myself :)), an independent baby who is in to everything, and a trip to NY to prepare for (we leave Thursday and we're driving). And I'm completely wiped out. I haven't been able to get half the things I need done completed, I have phone calls to return, thank yous to write, and meals to make. And all I want to do is curl up on the couch, turn off the phone and sleep.

This morning I took the boys on their field trip to an orchard. They had a blast and I picked up some more apples as well as some sweet corn for us. This afternoon, we headed to my grandma's house for a bit to celebrate her birthday - she turns...another year thought I would tell didn't you? :) I took some pumpkin cake bars and her gift.

Eventually I'll be ready for our trip. It will be a LONG drive and I'm not looking forward to that part. But I've never been to NY and I'm excited to see some of Andrew's extended family. We will be staying in upstate NY. Should be beautiful this time of year.

UPDATED: Andrew was the sweetest husband ever - when he came home from work, he played with the boys and made them supper while I slept for awhile! It was totally the greatest thing he could have done and I appreciated it SO much!

Anyway, here are a couple of photos from the orchard today (don't even ask about the shirts - they are their school shirts for field trips and they are awful! :)).

Monday, September 14, 2009

Today's Activity

Today has been awesome but long! Andrew I volunteered at Adoption of Indiana's Golf Outing. Andrew serves on the board and coordinated the volunteers of which I was one. :) It was a great day celebrating the work that they do to unite children with their forever families. What a blessing! Tears spilled as we heard a birthmom speak and a family that has two bio kids and were then called by God to adopt - they head to Ethiopia in a couple of months to bring home their son. People were so generous and I pray that the fundraiser was successful!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

My Guys

I love these boys so much and can't imagine my life without them. They are amazing sons and each one is so unique. They make me smile every day and they light up our lives.

Friday, September 11, 2009


Pippi is the too often ignored member of our family. She used to have more of spot here on the blog but alas as children have come, she has made less of an appearance. Today I thought should be a day about her and I love these recent pictures. She is such a pretty dog and generally good tempered. I think she still feels a little jealous of the kids but I really can't blame her. She likes the evenings after they are all in bed. :) So, here's to Pippi - the only other girl around here and our first "child."

Let me also note, that we will never forget 9/11 and the many, many people who lost their lives. The day will forever live in our memories and we are thankful for the men and women serving in the military working to keep us protected.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


All three of my boys are starting to play together. Warms my heart and makes me so happy! In my unbiased (ha!) opinion, they are so cute and sweet!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009


Well, I've been trying unsuccessfully to upload photos this morning...some internal error is preventing the pictures from uploading. Ugh - some days I despise blogger. :)

So I guess I'll have to write a real post instead of relying on photos. Here is a bullet point look at random things:

- Vacation sounds dreamy right now.

- The project I'm working on is exciting and fun - I'll tell you more soon!

- I seriously cannot get enough of cookbooks. I love, love, love to read them!

- Despite the dental office closing on Fridays and the fact that I will seriously miss my patients, I'm super excited about the potential of a new job (one is already in the works!).

- The past several weeks and months have been difficult and yet I feel peaceful. I'm so thankful that God knows the future.

- I mentioned this yesterday but I am so incredibly blessed with an amazing extended family. We have so many memories and continue to make them. The cousins have remained close and perhaps gotten even closer in adulthood. We have such a blast together!

- Andrew got his birthday gift early - an espresso machine! He loves it and we found an awesome deal (thus the early)!

- We don't have a girls' fantasy football league and I actually planned to sit out this year but instead I find myself in two leagues (both include guys & girls). And, just for all of posterity - I drafted a better team than Andrew in one league and while that doesn't really mean does give me some bragging rights. :)

- I recently learned that there are currently more children waiting/ready to be adopted in Russia than available families (at least with our agency) and for half a second, I thought we should adopt two brothers less than 3 years old that were on a waiting list. Seriously, 5 boys under 4 - yeah, not a good idea. And no, this is not any kind of announcement. We are so blessed with our three right now - it's just that knowing children are waiting tugs at my heart

- The best part about fall arriving is that we can have soup many times a week and my family likes it!

- I would like a professional organizer to come and completely clean and reorganize my house - while I'm away. :) And then I would like a housekeeper because I give up. :) Hey, a girl can dream, can't she? :)

- I'm having a Pampered Chef Party this month - if you would like to come or like to order, let me know. Some of you will get invites anyway. :) Stoneware is 20% off for guests (or anyone who orders even if you can't come).

- I'm currently being serenaded by my oldest son - so sweet! He makes up songs all day long - the car is his favorite place to debut them. :)

- The boys are growing like crazy and I sort of want to freeze these moments.

- Life is good. I'm overwhelmed with blessings. I'm excited about the future.

Okay, well, in light of the wanting to freeze the moments...we are headed to the Children's Museum for some fun!!! Maybe I'll remember my camera today. :) And maybe you will get pictures tomorrow instead of my can always hope (or you can storm blogger with pleas on my behalf :)).

Have a wonderful day and thank you from the bottom of my heart for your thoughts and prayers over the last few weeks and with my news yesterday. I'm really, really okay. I'm not wallowing in self-pity or feeling horribly depressed. :) The fact that I'm still in my pajamas has nothing to do with the events of late...truly. It's just good old-fashioned laziness. :) Off to get dressed, pack a lunch, and hang with my boys!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

I'm Back but Not Especially Good

Today, the effect of the economy has hit me personally. The dental office I have worked at since 2003 is closing on the one day a week I work. It is nothing personal and in my head I know that, but I'm still sad. I love the patients and I have worked hard in that office. Before children I worked M-W and Friday (when they were open) but after children, I just started working evey Friday. And it makes sense for her to close on Fridays. She is having to increase her personal hours and work alone instead of having an associate to work a couple of days a week. I know all of that and yet still I'm sad. It does not come as a shock to me, I expected this and am pursuing other options. For the time being, I am taking it in and grieving the loss of the wonderful people I have been privileged to serve over the last several years.

Great first post back, huh. :) I'll be fine - I really did know it was coming. It's still hard and I still feel more upset than I expected. But I'll try to be more upbeat for the week. I've got some cute pictures to post!

Oh, and we had a fantastic weekend with family - I seriously don't think any extended family could have as much fun as we do!