Monday, September 29

Church Picnic

We had our church's annual picnic yesterday! We also had a CAKE WALK, games, football and face-painting. As you can see, Tim was excited about the face-painting and had his turn right away. And, of course, he got his Viking 'wings' painted on his face.

Sadly, this is the first picture of us together, alone, since James was born.

I decided to get my face painted too. I had a 'J' for James and a 'P' for Peter, next to a sun and a heart. Peter (who knows better, but was slightly confused) said "Oh WOW! A 'J' for Heart and a 'P' for Sun!!!"
Here's our little adventurous monkey. He was super brave today and went on and through all of the metal bars on the playset at the park. He was so proud of himself, and so was I! He loves the camera, and saw Tim and I getting our picture taken, so asked the photographer (Erin :0) "Come take a picture of ME!" - what a stinker.

Peter and Tim playing football. . . .

James, making a silly face! He was soo tired during the picnic, but there were far too many things to look at, so he didn't fall asleep until on our way back home.

Saturday, September 27

Gingerbread Cakes

Do you like Ginger-Snaps, but aren't a fan of the hardness and crunch of the cookies? Try on of these!
This is a muffin that has the exact same flavor as those gingersnap cookies, but moist and light.

1 3/4 C flour
1/2 C brown sugar
1 t baking soda
2 t ground ginger
1 t ground cinnamon
1/2 salt
1/4 t ground cloves
1/2 C butter, melted
1/2 C boiling water
1/4 C honey
1/4 C molasses
1 egg, slightly beaten

Heat Oven to 350 degrees. Place paper cups in a 12-cup muffin pan.
In large bowl, mix together all dry ingredients. Then, add butter, honey, molasses and egg.
Bake 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out of center, clean.

Wednesday, September 24

Fall Drinks

I am in LOVE with this season, my absolute favorite. So, when Autumn starts showing its face, I start cooking and baking all my favorite fall recipes. One thing that has been very good tasting is simply adding a DASH OF PUMPKIN SPICE AND NUTMEG to your coffee grounds before brewing. This way, you get a hint of that pumpkin pie taste, without having to pay a $$$ at a local coffee shop. Also, I like to have my caffeine in the morning and my decaf coffee at night. I buy the expensive regular, so my decaf is usually generic. To spruce this up, I simply ADD A CINNAMON STICK to my decaf. For a regular cup, add before pouring, for instant crystals, I add it before putting it in the microwave. You can also add about a TABLESPOON OR TWO OF CIDER to your coffee for a little flavor. It's perfect for a Fall evening!

Tuesday, September 23

Guess Who's Eating Solids???

James is cutting his first tooth and he's just miserable, not too many bonuses for this little guy besides he gets to eat food-FOOD! He had some gerber apples (diced and very smooshy), but he adored them! I was still too frightened to give him the whole chunks, so I split them in two. He loved the fact that he could feed himself. . .and honestly, so did I!!!

Berry-Peach Cobbler

I made this cobbler for a couple different events and have been asked for the recipe a few times, but I don't remember who all asked. So, I'm going to post it! This is SUPER yummy and it keeps well too!

1 1/4 C flour
1/3 C sugar
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/4 t nutmeg
1/4 C cold butter, cut into pieces
1/2 C milk
1 t decorative sugar crystals (optional)

Fruit Mixture:
3/4 C sugar
2 T flour
1 bag of frozen blueberries (I used 'mixed berries' - better!)
3 medium peaches (cut up)
2 t grated lemon peel
1 T lemon juice

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease 2-quart casserole dish.
In medium bowl, stir together 1 1/4 C flour, 1/3 C sugar, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Stir in milk just until mixed well, set aside.
In large saucepan, stir together 3/4 C sugar and 2 T flour. Stir in berries, peaches, lemon peel and lemon juice. Heat to boil, stirring constantly. Spoon fruit mixture into casserole dish. Immediately drop spoonfuls of biscuit dough on top of fruit mixture. (about 8-10 spoonfuls) Sprinkle sugar crystals over cobbler.
BAKE: 25-35 minutes, or until biscuits are golden brown.
(serve with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream. . .a real crowd pleaser!) - ENJOY!

Monday, September 22

Piles and Piles

Here are the many piles of leaves, branches and limbs from our back yard. We saved all of the really big pieces for firewood for this Winter (hear it's going to be a doozy!) Some of the piles ended up being almost as tall as Peter! He thought that was pretty cool.
He was such a good helper too. . .I think mostly because it was the first time he was ALLOWED to intentionally throw sticks.

What We Did. . . .while waiting

This is what we did (all week!) at our In-Laws house, while we waited for our electricity to come back on.
James, slept (on his back . . . rare!) And played mostly in his playpen. Tim, watched TV, or watched a movie from our house (they didn't have cable for the first few days) Peter, plated with the grandparents, read, did puzzles, played games and watched DVDs. And I. . .got to READ! It was great! I was able to catch up on two Bible Study guides!

Here's us taking a walk. It was a little brisk outside, but we had so much fun. This was our first 'scare' with Peter handling James. Pete went down a small slide at the park, and we handed him James (between his legs) and told him to hold on real tight, which he did until about half way down, and then he suddenly let go and I tried to catch him in mid-air, but was only able to grab his head so that he was able to flip completely over, and not on his neck. That was interesting. So, here is the picture of James, happy, before his torment and before his bruised head!

Saturday, September 20

Vote Here!

I love finding interesting facts about other people. . .so, I have a new post (voting post) for you. Vote on your favorite time of the year!
-Look on the right side of this post-

Ewww. . . . bugs

Today, Tim and Peter went outside to look for bugs. I am NOT a fan of them, myself, so I was more than willing to wish them well on their way. As they were coming back inside, Tim said
"Ok, Peter. . tell Mommy what we found!"
Peter said "We found a DADDY-LONG-LEG!"
After his excitement came down a notch or two, he turned to Tim and said
"Daddy, can we go back outside and find a PETER-LONG-LEG??"

Thursday, September 18

. . .and WE'RE BACK!

After a long 5 days, without power, the Lord has blessed us with our electricity again! He has been so gracious to us, seeing as our parents (Tim's parents) are only about 5 minutes away from us, and they had power the entire time. They let us stay there all day and all night. Peter started getting restless further in the week, and not sleeping well, because he thought this was an extended 'party at Grandma's time. So, the last 2 nights, we had him sleep in his room, in the dark. Now, we have the boys go to sleep with their own music in their rooms, but Peter was so tired from the excitement of our days there that as soon as his head hit the pillow he was OUT! James stayed at Grandma's every night because he fell asleep a lot sooner and slept solid for them. Tim and I also came home to sleep. . .Tim REALLY loves HIS bed, and I REALLY love MY Tim, so that's where we went each night. First thing in the morning, for breakfast, we headed over to the Weldons. Had a lovely lunch every afternoon and then a big dinner at night. It worked out beautifully.
We are back in business here, now. Here's some pictures of our house, and our neighbors on our street, and the damage that went on here. . .
This is our tree, in the backyard. As you can see, we lost about half of it! (my favorite tree, our cherry blossom - blooms beautifully in the spring) And yes, that on the bottom of the picture are just some of the shingles off our roof!

A closer picture of our tree. We hope to save it and not have to cut it down, but a lot of the branches now are sagging badly. It doesn't look too bad in this picture, but there is a whole other huge branch that we had to remove at the back of the tree.

My poor little planters. The wind snapped my sunflower in half and the other ones are just pitiful looking. At least they lasted through Spring and Summer on my watch!

My hanging plants were hanging up during the storm, and Tim said that he was going to go take them down because he was afraid that they were going to blow right through our front window. Shortly after he did this, we were all sitting on the couch, watching Ike work his way around and suddenly we heard a loud crack and snap sound. Tim stood up and said "All right, now it's time to GO!"
. . . .this is what we heard. . .

Our neighbor, down the street, had their beautiful pine tree snap in half. It fell, thankfully, in their driveway and NOT on their house or car.
Some other pictures of our neighbors.

This neighbor had their tree fall on their house, but there doesn't seem to be too bad of damage done.

This would be our gutter. . .

We were really blessed not to have any more damage than what we had. In fact, today we were able to cut down the rest of the broken branches and throw them on the curb. Peter was such a big helper too!
Please continue to lift up those who were less fortunate in your prayers!

Tuesday, September 16

Slight Delay

We are currently without electricity and have been since Sunday. My in-laws have graciously let us stay with them (24/7), to which we are so very thankful. They ended up not loosing power, but have lost phone service and internet service frequently. It has been somewhat of a pain, but we are really having a good time here!
We did have a large tree (our beautiful cherry blossom) fall in the storm, but no real damage to our house or vehicles, which is a real blessing, seeing that some of our neighbors had a lot worse of a turn out. We are missing some shingles off our roof (OH NO. . .not another roofing problem!!!) Which we hope will be fixed easily, seeing that if we needed another roof, this would be our 4th one in 6 years! Ahhh!
Peter and James are also safe and loving ALL of this time at Grandma and Grandpa's house! We have enjoyed breakfast, lunch and dinner here. Tim and I packed up all of our frozen and refridgerated items and brought them over here. Thankfully, my Mother-in--law has 3 freezers!!! I have been able to make dinner each night and absolutely love cooking for 6 people! Who would have known! :0)
I do have pictures, but not the time right now to post them. . .as the internet may cut out, here, at anytime!
Anyway, I will try to keep everyone updated when I can. Thanks for your thoughts and prayers! Also, please remember those in TX, who have it far worse than we do here in Ohio!

Wednesday, September 3

. . . some more

Peter was eating his dinner, and I was feeding James, with my back to Peter.
Peter: "Look Mom. . . .look at my spoon!"
(I assumed he licked it off)
Mom: "Great Peter! Did you lick it clean?"
(Peter stares at his spoon still with food on it)
Peter: "No. . . .but I did lick it dirty!!!"

Peter: "Mom, you like songs!"
Mom: "Yes, Peter, I sure do!!!"

Peter and I have a bad habit, biting our nails and our mouth.
Peter: "Mom, did you BITE your lips?"
Mom: "No, Peter, I didn't"
Peter: "Yes you did. . .your lips are all red."
Mom: "Peter. . . . that's lipstick."
Peter: "Oh."

Peter: "MOM. . .MOM. . . .Tea starts with 'T'!!!!!"

On our way to TN, we rented a car, unlike the conversion-van for our MN trip.
Peter: "Are we taking a macation-van??"
Mom: "No, Pete, sorry. . .not on this trip. It's just a little vacation this time"
. . .later as we were packing in the car to leave. . . .
Peter: "Oh. . . .this is our macation-CAR!!!"

Peter was acting out and beginning to get out of control with his bad behavior, so I said to him,
Mom: "Excuse me, Peter, how old are you?"
. . . cleverly thinking that he would realize his age and know how to behave correctly, he replied. . .
Peter: "Um. . . . . 1."

Tuesday, September 2

TN Trip

Kimberly and I got an opportunity to go to TN and sing at a church, where a couple producers attend. Kimberly sings at the Tennessee Horse-Show every year, which is located close to this church. It was such a neat experience! I played a piano solo and accompanied Kimberly for 3 more songs (2 of them our own). Kimberly, later visited in the homes of some of the producers and gave them a copy of our C.D. We also sold a few after the church service on Sunday. It really was an honor.

Satan was really trying to make this a hard trip for us. We had a 'emergency potty stop' on the side of a highway, for Peter, in the middle of the woods. We had a small blowout with James at one of the rest stops. And then, after we got into our hotel, settled and ready for bed, Tim couldn't find our 'dress' clothes for the next day (forgot them at home) so I made a run to Walmart at midnight, for a dress. Thankfully, I had my shoes/accessories and the kids clothes packed already.

The kids in Tennessee. We all went out to eat after the church service.

We tried to get in a couple of shots before it poured down rain. . .it was starting to sprinkle here. . . .

Don't worry . . we brought James, he was just in the car sleeping.

Tim and I in front of the restaurant in Shelbyville, TN.
Here's my Walmart bargain dress. $17.00 . . . . not a bad deal for a cute black dress!!!

Messy is his middle name

Here's James eating one of his favorite things in the whole wide world!. . . . .biter-biscuits. He likes to spread the mess all over his face. I don't care for cleaning it up, but seeing the smile on his face when he's done, makes it all worth it!

Nice Try. . . .

I made a veggie pizza today, and Peter didn't want to admit that he liked it, so that he would have to finish it, so he kept coming up with excuses to come out of his room. First it was the 'usual', "I need to go potty", then he turned up the heat by saying "I miss you Mommy and Daddy", then he worked his way up to a pitiful "I LOVE you Mommy. . .and I LOVE you Daddy!!"
It didn't work, but it was a good try!