Thursday, April 30, 2009
This time last year, we had no idea how much our lives would change in only a few short months. I think it's fair to say that every member of our family is delighted that God brought Ty into our family.
I love this picture of my baby and me - though I often find aspects of this stage in life challenging, I wouldn't trade it for the world. I'm constantly reminded how blessed I am with my three beautiful boys and amazing husband. I never want to take these years for granted.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
We have been debating whether to just put Titus in that room or whether to separate the boys and put one of them with Titus and give the other one his own room. You see, bed time has not been fun lately - the boys keep each other up, get out of bed, and just generally aren't minding very well. BUT when we put them in separate rooms, everything is way better. We really want them to be successful in the obedience and sleep departments and we truly want bedtime to be a positive, good time.
Since we aren't moving any time soon, we have to come up with a new plan. So I think (as much as this pains me), we are going to have to give up having a dedicated guest room. We love having overnight company but the reality is that this is the house God has given us (we really do like it - we just built it before kids! :)) and we need to make it work the best that we can for our family. We will still have a hide-a-bed and an air mattress and an extra twin bed but it won't be quite the same. :)
Now we have to determine who goes in what room. I'm excited to see how these changes (and the new black out curtains) will work to improve bed times, nap times, and even cleaning. I'm sure that some day they may be able to share a room again, but I really think this will be the best way to make things better and to give them success.
On another note, Titus has been sleeping MUCH better. We've been able to drop the late night bottle - he has a bottle right at bedtime (between 8 and 9) and then he has been sleeping until 5:30 or 6. This is truly amazing! I'm not ready to say it's a permanent change yet, but it has been great for the past week or so. Maybe it will stick!
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Monday, April 27, 2009
While I don't think salsa dancing will become our new hobby :), we would try it again. I think it probably gave us a little more confidence when we are at weddings or events with dancing. All in all, a fun evening with great friends! Here's to trying something new!
Sunday, April 26, 2009
- Spaghetti & Meatballs, Salad, Sauteed Zuchini, Garlic Breadsticks
- Hamburgers w/mushrooms, caramelized onions, balsamic mayo & cheese, Carrot Salad, Fruit Salad, Chips
- Pizza (probably vegetarian or cheese), Veggies & Dip, Apples
- Grilled Steak & Black Bean Mixed Green Salads w/avacado, tomatoes, etc. :), Bread, Fruit
- Eggs, Pancakes, Yogurt
Friday night will hopefully be a date night this week. So there you have it - the plan. I'm hoping the weather is nice and we can enjoy eating out on the deck and using our grill. Check out orgjunkie.com for menu inspiration. :)
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Anyway, I love the start of gardening season - the smell of the soil, the beauty of the plants, and most of all...the anticipation of delicious produce. Ah, summer. Enjoy your day!
Friday, April 24, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
So you see, my heart has been heavy in the midst of joy. It has been amazing and I wouldn't trade our experiences for the world but that won't stop the sad realization of the months we missed and of the children now who are waiting. But I'm so thankful for each of my children and thankful that God knew when each of them needed to come to us. I'm thankful for their growth and development and the many, many moments we do get to enjoy!
And I hug my kids a little closer, spoil them just a little, and pray.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Who isn't excited by a pile of presents?!
Patrick watched as Calvin unwrapped the gift he choose to give him - 2 monster trucks. He was happy that Calvin wanted to share. :)
This was his main gift...
He started to realize what it was...
He was thrilled! After weeks of air guitar and using books, arms, elbows etc. as guitars, he now has one to play. He loves music and has been enamored with guitars especially!
The face of a happy musician.
The cake coming his way....
A delighted boy!
The Orange Racecar Cake! I was pretty happy with the way it turned out but the real test was whether Calvin liked it - he chose a chocolate cake and I filled it with strawberry filling. Yum!
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Can you really be 4? It seems like yesterday that you came into our lives and forever changed them for the better.
Calvin, you are an amazing son. You are affectionate and sweet. Every time you tell me that you love me, I melt even more. I love every single hug and kiss. And I love that you still like to sit on my lap and cuddle.
You have worked so hard this year on speech and wow, you have come such a long way! Your dad and I are so proud of you. You are learning so much at school and your teacher tells us you are doing well. You are artistic and creative and still a ham. Just recently you have really started to tease us and make jokes. One of your highest compliments is, "Mom, you're p[f]unny." Your eyes are constantly dancing with mischief.
This past year, you visited the beach for the first time and loved it! You also helped us welcome your baby brother and have excelled even more as a big brother. I love hearing the pride in your voice as you tell your friends, "This is OUR baby."
I am still in awe that God chose you to be our son. I cannot imagine our family any other way. I love you forever and always, no matter what.
Happy 4th Birthday, Calvin!
Monday, April 20, 2009
Andrew is off today for a family day to begin celebrating Calvin's birthday (which is actually tomorrow but he has school then). We are all excited! Last year it was gorgeous, warm, and sunny - this year, not so much. :)
Calvin's big request was to go to the "Donut House" - a favorite local bakery. So, the first stop will be there. He LOVES donuts and I'll admit, these are pretty amazing.
So, I'm off for a day of fun with my favorite people in the whole world. Pictures, birthday post, and more to come this week! Have a wonderful Monday - I'm not usually a huge fan of Mondays so today will be a great change of pace! :)
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Amvets is coming next week and I hope to have a big pile of donations for them. I love that they pick it up! Tuesday is Calvin's birthday so I know there will be plenty of new things coming in the door which means we need to de-junk first.
I've written many times before about the struggle to stay organized and it's just that - a constant struggle. In my ideal world everything would have a place and be in that place but in reality it pretty much never happens that way. :) I don't function very well in the mess and disorganization and I find myself often overwhelmed. So, while I do make progress and I did start the year strong, it's tough to keep the momentum.
I think the most difficult part is that I'm the only one in the house that has very strong feelings about organization. :) In a house with three boys, a dog, and two adults, it doesn't take long for things to spiral out of control. Sometimes, I'm pretty sure I'd like to cut our living space by 2/3s just to downsize and seriously consider what we need and use. I think it would be a great excercise. But for now, I'm going to lobby hard for donating items, eliminating papers, and finding a place for everything. Anyone need a car toddler bed?
Friday, April 17, 2009
It was actually shrimp w/spinach & chive pasta.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
These two are tight and she loves all the attention.
The "campsite." You can see the "fire" in the lower left corner.
The tent - ready for "outdoor" fun!
Pippi thought it was so comfy and great. :)
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Carrot Cupcakes w/Cream Cheese Frosting
Brown Sugar Shortbread w/Chocolate & Pecans
Lemon Cream Cupcakes w/Lemon Frosting
Monday, April 13, 2009
Sunday, April 12, 2009
We all (amazingly) made it to church this morning and 15 of the 17 expected were at dinner. We have one that woke up from his nap with a fever but not feeling bad (after being well over 24 hours without one). Tomorrow, we head to the doctor. I'm concerned that it may be strep and I hope we didn't share - we would have cancelled or had it elsewhere if we had suspected he was still sick. Pictures hopefully to come! All in all, it was a really nice day and my boys looked super handsome in their matching outfits! :)
Saturday, April 11, 2009
I've been going back and forth on the menu a bit but I think this is where it landed (there will be 17 of us):
Assorted Cheeses w/crackers, apples, and pears
Baked Glazed Ham
Egg Casserole (1 - zucchini, pepper, onion, and cheddar & 1 - spinach, mushroom, and swiss)
Potatoes (scalloped or roasted - my SIL is making them)
Asparagus & Tomato Mixed Green Salad
Mini Cheesecakes w/balsamic strawberries
Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Cookies
We'll see if I get everything done. :) It's 11:15 and I have yet to start. I need to go grocery shopping later (we opted to wait and see how people were feeling today). Andrew is helping my sister and BIL in move this morning. It's a full weekend. Easter baskets and Easter outfits are just about ready to go and I'll have some help with the food contributions and house preparations.
Happy Easter, everyone!
Thursday, April 09, 2009
4 eggs, separated
2/3 cup white sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
7/8 cup all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C). Line two 17 x 12 inch baking sheets with baking parchment. Fit large pastry bag with a plain 1/2 inch round tube.
Place egg whites in bowl and beat on high until soft peaks start to form. Slowly add 2 tablespoons of the sugar and continue beating until stiff and glossy. In another bowl beat egg yolks and remaining sugar. Whip until thick and very pale in color.
Sift flour and baking powder together on a sheet of wax paper. Fold half the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture. Fold in flour, and then add the remaining egg whites. Transfer mixture to pastry bag and pipe out onto prepared baking sheet. Bake 8 minutes.
TIRAMISU (from Foodnetwork.com and Gourmet Magazine)
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup strong brewed espresso coffee
1/4 cup Italian or domestic brandy, optional
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 pound mascarpone cheese, softened to room temperature
1/2 pound savoiardi (imported Italian ladyfingers), domestic ladyfingers, or sliced sponge cake
Cocoa powder for dusting the surface
For the syrup, combine water and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat, cool and add coffee and optional brandy.
For the filling, whip cream with sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form. Fold cream into softened mascarpone.
To assemble, place a layer of the savoiardi, ladyfingers or sponge cake slices in the bottom of a shallow 2-quart baking dish or gratin dish. Sprinkle with half the syrup. Spread with half the filling. Repeat with remaining savoiardi, syrup and filling, spreading the top smooth, using a metal spatula.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 24 hours before serving. Immediately before serving place cocoa in a fine strainer and shake a light coating on surface.
There you have it! Enjoy!
Wednesday, April 08, 2009
We are so honored that the hospital will be featuring Calvin as a testimonial in the information sent to prospective patients. We are thrilled that his story will be told and it will even include a picture or two. They called us a couple of weeks ago to ask our permission and we definitely agreed.
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
I thought we surely had another couple of months (at least) before we would be through this stage but now I'm feeling very hopeful that it's over. You may think I'm overeacting to the whole spit-up thing but I can't tell you how many times he would spit-up every day - we went through countless bibs, burp clothes, and outfits. It never bothered him but for the rest of us...yuck.
Anyway, I'm hoping that it's gone for good. It's a welcome and unexpected change around here. Yay for clean clothes! Yay for a new normal!
Monday, April 06, 2009
Saturday, April 04, 2009
Thursday, April 02, 2009
My winter wardrobe is pretty sad after everything had to be washed constantly from spit-up this winter, so I was excited to replace a worn out sweater with my purple cashmere find. Ah cashmere – it almost makes me excited for winter to come back around, almost.