Saturday, March 28, 2009

Birth Announcement!

Little Gaven has arrived! My sister ended up having a c-section since little Gaven's hand wanted to come out first rather than his head but mom and baby are doing fine. He's a little fellow! Madison weighed 5 pounds 15 ounces when she was born and we thought she was a peanut!! My sister and Gaven should be heading home in 2-3 days.

I got to tell you, it's hard having your sister living in Kansas and you can't be there for the birth! We kept calling to get the facts and the stats. We are sooo very happy and excited for them and this little blessing that God has given them after many years! Capri is the happy little sister of Gavin and Daddy Paul is excited too!

This is the only picture I have so far but it's better than nothing!

Stay tuned as I get more pictures of this cute little fellow!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

It's Time! It's a Boy!

No, we are not expecting! Let me just set the record straight on that one right away!! The bags are all packed, I just got back from taking Nana to the airport for her midnight flight and my baby sister is scheduled to be induced bright and early Saturday morning! This is a miracle that we've all been praying and waiting for!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Celebrity Look-a-Like

Ok, you've got to try this! Saw this on another blog and decided to give it a try. If you go to and click on the celebrities tab you can upload a picture and see what celebrity you look like. You have to register but it is free. I decided to use two different photo's to see if it turned out differently and suprisingly it did. It will pull up 8 celebrities of whom you most closely resemble. Sometimes you'll even get one of the opposite sex...I didn't include those for us because that's just wrong!

What do you thing? Jack really seems to have the "Friends" thing going for him. Mine on the other hand was hillarious! We have heard so many times that our oldest looks like Dakota Fanning and now this pops up saying that I do too. We've even had strangers stare at her and then ask us if anyone has ever told us that she looks like Dakota. Give it a try for yourself!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Is it the Flu? & some pick-me-up Movies for your Sick Kids

Last week my oldest was home for 3 days with cold symptoms and a low grade fever. Now it's time for the youngest to be home but she's had a fever between 101-102 since Sunday, a terrible sore throat and nearly no voice to go with it. Cough, throwing up on get the picture. Poor baby! So, I took her to the doctor since she's not getting any better. We figured she had the flu and I wanted to make sure she wasn't getting pneumonia since she's had that before.

After painful swabs of the nose and the throat it turns out that it's not strep or the flu...or is it?!? According to the doctor, the strep test is pretty accurate and usually trust worthy. However, the flu test...not so much! Go figure!! Based on her symptoms though, the doctor believes she has the flu and she'll need to stay home until she's fever free for 24 hours. Don't you just love modern medicine! The doctor's office was filled with coughing and sick kids. We all need to drink some Emergen-C or Airborne so we don't get sick. It should be against the law for mom's to get sick! If you'd like to get a free sample of Emergen-C check out their website

I know a lot of you have sick kids at home too so here’s a sure way to boost their spirits – pop a good movie into the DVD player. Here are some good choices for pick-me-up movies and a personal recommendation from Madison.

Monsters, Inc. - Mike and Sulley have great chemistry, and they’re a hoot to watch. Madison always reminded us of Boo when she was younger and would babble on and on about everything!

Toy Story - the jokes are laugh-out-loud funny and perfect for both kids and grownups.

Finding Nemo - the family theme makes this a winner on all sea levels.

The Princess Diaries - it’s impossible to feel blue after watching this movie and the 2nd Princess Diaries is just as good.

The Parent Trap - There’s something empowering about making the impossible happen.
Air Buddies - This is Madison's pick for the week! She loves all the Air Bud movies but recently bought Air Buddies.

American Girl Movies - My number one pick! Every one of the American Girl Movies are great but my personal favorite is the latest...Kitt Kittredge! It's a must see for all!!

I hope that this post finds most of you healthy. If you've got sick kiddo's, take some time to cuddle with them on the couch with a good movie or book! These times are precious...they grow up so very quickly.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Pistachio Cake & New England Style Corned Beef Meal

Just wanted to share what a fun evening we had on St. Patrick's Day. I hope you were able to enjoy it with your loved ones. We had my parents over for a traditional New England Style boiled Corned Beef including cabbage, potatoes and carrot with rolls and Pistachio Cake for dessert. I got a recipe from a friend for the Cake and it was soooo good and a BIG hit! We'll start with the cake I made and go from there since I mentioned the cake in a previous posting.

First of all, you have to understand that I don't do cakes. Well, that's not entirely true. I make cakes but they stay in the pan they were baked in. I have never been successful at turning the cakes over and putting them onto a pretty platter all frosted and decorated, etc. In the past, whenever I've made the attempt, the cake breaks, crumbles, etc. I've never made a cake in a bundt pan either. So this was an adventure for me that turned out to be fun and successful! Their was a big squeel of excitement and relief when I got the cake out of the bundt pan all pretty and in one piece!

Pistachio Cake

1 package white cake mix
2 packages pistachio pudding
1/2 cup of oil
1 cup club soda
4 eggs
1 jar of cherries without stems - cut up in pieces
1 tsp. almond extract

Gather all your ingredients and measuring cups so you're ready to get started. I put on my country apron to keep my clothes from getting messy too. Mix all the ingredients together well and add cherries while you listen to your favorite tunes. I wore gloves to save my hands and chopped the cherries into quarters while I listened to my blog music. My oldest was home sick so she kept peeking in on me to see what I was up to and what that wonderful smell was...almond & cherries!

Isn't the color pretty for St. Pat's Day! Grease and flour the Bundt pan or you can use Pam like I did. I sprayed the entire pan really good because I was scared it was going to stick like my cakes in the past have.

Bake the cake at 350 degrees for one hour. Remove the cake from the oven and let it completely cool on a wire rack before removing it from the pan.

My house was smelling oh so delicious when that cake came out of the oven! I patiently waited while the cake cooled. Then, I used a small spatula to loosen up the edges of the cake and turned over the cake onto the platter. Nothing! I was starting to panick but you know how it turns out. After two more attempts at loosening and turning over the cake, I gave it a good whack and presto!

I decided to make a green glaze for the cake to garnish it. Well, I've never made a glaze before and it didn't turn out quite how I wanted nor how I had pictured it. You could barely see the glaze on the cake and it was not adhering. In the end, we drizzled the glaze onto the cut up pieces of cake and it was delicious and perfect for St. Pat's Day! This would also be perfect for Christmas with the cherries.

My dad hobbled around in my kitchen with his crutches while preparing the corned beef and veggies. He has several bones of his foot fused the week after I had my neck surgery and cannot put any weight on his foot for at least 6 weeks. We all pitched in though and prepared a wonderful meal together!

I'm so thankful that my parents live close to us and we can create wonderful memories along the way. Times spent with family are some of the most precious moments and memories you will hang onto forever. Finding ways to spend quality time with your family is not only important, but vital to the stability and unity of your family. Even though I'm still tired from my surgery and my dad is barely getting around, it was a perfect night and I'm so glad we were able to work together and pull it off.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day - VeggieTales Style

The Pistachio Cake just came out of the oven and the house is smelling delicious! I'll post pictures later today or tomorrow but first...I received an email from VeggieTales and thought your children would enjoy this short video about St. Patrick! So, grab your kiddo's and snuggle up with them. Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone!!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

St. Patrick's Day with the Muppets, Trivia Questions & Shhhh! Pistachio Cake

How much do you know about St. Patrick's Day and the Luck of the Irish?? I found myself wondering this year, why do we celebrate this holiday and what's the history behind it? So, I did a little research and found some info at about St. Patrick, etc. Read the above article if you want to get educated...and just for fun...I've included some trivia questions for you but first...

My husband loves this song so I thought I'd dedicate it to him. This may not be his favorite version however but it's still fun to watch! :~)

Trivia Questions...Grab a clean sheet of paper and see how you do. I pretty much failed but learned a lot in the process. Hope you all have a Happy St. Patrick's Day with your family. After you finish the questions, I've got a glimpse of what I'm gonna try for my family for a St. Patrick's Day dessert!

1. St. Patrick wasn't really Irish at all! True or False?

2. Irish farmers in the spring would do this to each member of their family as they said, "In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost."

a) Pull the leaves off of a shamrock.
b) Give a toast with beer to each member.
c) Mark a cross on their arm with ash from a burnt stick.
d) Hang a cross over their beds.

3. St. Patrick changed Ireland's national color to green. True or False?

4. What is Ireland's nickname?

5. What Irish dance later became popular in America in early century?

6. A leprechaun is really an Irish:

a) Shoemaker
b) Thief
c) Midget
d) Magician

7. Ireland was the first country in Europe to grow potatoes on a large scale. True or False?

8. Kissing the Blarney Stone is supposed to give you what?

a) Moist lips from the dew on the rock
b) Good luck in love
c) Remove shyness
d) Heals you of warts

9. In St. Patrick's time, poets were as high ranking as Kings. True or False?

10. The first St. Patrick's Day parade was held during the American Revolution in what city?

a) Boston
b) New York
c) Philadelphia
d) Washington D.C.

11. The Irish are said to have brought this breakfast to America?

a) Oatmeal
b) Pancake
c) Waffles
d) Cream of Wheat

12. If you ask for an Irish Coffee in a restaurant, what do you get?

13. A popular Disney movie about leprechauns is?

14. "Erin Go Bragh" means this in Irish:

a) Irish Bragging Rights
b) Ireland Forever
c) Ireland the Brave
d) British Go! (from Ireland)

15. The Celtic cross has a circle in the center. What does it represent?

a) Sun
b) Moon
c) Eternity
d) Unity

16. Irish Coffee was not invented in Ireland. Where was it invented?

a) Boston
b) New York
c) San Francisco
d) Chicago

17. In traditional Irish Stew there's lots of potatoes and the meat used is?

a) Lamb
b) Beef
c) Ham



1. True...His Father was Italian and his Mother was Scot. He was born in Scotland.
2. C - Mark a cross on their arm with ash from a burnt stick.
3. False. During St. Patrick's time the color was blue. Green wasn't popular until the 19th century.
4. The Emerald Isle is the most common. It's also called, The Old Sod; Four Green Fields; The Bower.
5. Irish Jig
6. A - He's a little shoemaker with a reputation for being rich, but mean
7. True
8. C - It removes shyness and you are suddenly given the "gift of gab".
9. True! He often got the best meat, and best price for his entertainment.
10. A - Boston in 1737
11. A - Oatmeal
12. Coffee with Whiskey in it.
13. Darby O'Gill and the Little People
14. B - Ireland Forever
15. A - Sun
16. C - San Francisco
17. A - Lamb

I'm hoping to make some Pistachio Cake for dessert as a surprise! Shhh! My friend has a tried and true recipe she's going to give me but in the meantime...check out this blog I found of someone who made the Cake - There seems to be some variations on it too that you can find by doing a quick search.

Isn't that pretty and it even has pistachio nuts on it as part of the decoration. Now how fun is that for St. Pat's Day!!

Monday, March 9, 2009

February 2009 Pictures

Here are some of our pictures from last month around the house and with friends. February was a whirl-wind...our entryway flooded from our washer machine so our wood floor needs to be replaced, one of the toilets broke the same day (my dear husband fixed that...thank you!) and I got to have neck surgery. We were also blessed with meals with friends and from friends. You guys are amazing! Thank you so much for blessing our family!

I want to make special mention of my dear friend Shauna who coordinated all the meals! I know her life is very full with homeschooling, volunteering at our church and the many other activities she's involved in. I so appreciate her friendship as well as all the others who helped us out with everything! Thanks again guys!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

THANK YOU dear friends!!

Just wanted to let you know how very much we appreciate all the prayers, meals, chauffeuring, flowers, and cards we are receiving from everyone! My recovery from my neck surgery is going well. I'm getting some more strength and only taking pain meds at night now with some tylenol during the day. Hope to be driving next week too!

My scar is much bigger than I expected though! I know that it will get better over time. Oh well! May have to try my hand at knitting some scarves or just hit the sales racks! The good news is that my pain from before surgery seems to be dimished and I'm looking forward to seeing how it feels when fully recooperated in 3-4 months!

We feel so very blessed to have so many wonderful friends in our life! THANK YOU for helping take care of my family during my recovery!

P.S. The pretty Thank You card was found over at in the gallery. If you ever need to get your creative juices flowing, this website is a great resource!