Saturday, December 18, 2010

mmm - Cake Pops. Christmas Cake Pops

I made a few Christmas Shaped Cake Pops to send to Troy's office this week.  I made them too big, and made too thick of a chocolate coating, but they were so fun to make, and I think they turned out pretty good.




I had to ship them, which required packing them in a mixture of bubble wrap and crunchy shredded paper.  We shipped them overnight, (from MD to NY), and they made it safely.  Whew!

A preview of our Christmas pictures

I finally was home, the sun was out, the girls were in a semi-happy mood and I was able to get their Christmas pictures.  I went cheap and ordered the cards from Sam's club, hoping to get them early in the week, although the web site told me I had to wait 7-10 days.  Hope not...

Here are some of the pictures I had to choose from:








Did I mention Santa brought me a new camera!?!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

13 years ago today...

... I was getting ready to get married!

I had a long day to get ready, we held our wedding at 7pm.  Hey, it was a Christmas-time candlelight wedding.  I had to make sure it was dark!

Actually, I didn't realize how late that was for everyone, and I am so grateful for all my friends and family who came.

Oh what a fun time we had.  I had so many attendants.  I think there were 12 girls and 9 or 10 boys?

What can I say?  I am the oldest of 6 children.  We are lotsa peoples!



Seems like so long ago, that day I married my best friend.

I'm so grateful that he chose me to love forever.

Isn't he the dreamiest!



That's my Grandma Mary with us.  She was a goof-ball, loved to make people laugh.  Kinda a stinker.

I'm happy.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The heart of our church

I'm sorry this is so short and that I haven't blogged lately.  Between work, school, family and everything else, blogging falls behind.  I feel like I barely have enough of myself to give to the people I see in real life, so I'm sorry - my internet world friends - I do still love you and will be back sometime.

Here's an article from FOX news that mentions our church.  We support a ministry called CALM that mostly ministers to foreign students who come to work at the beach for the summer.  I had no idea they were treated so bad by their employers in so many cases.

Fox article


Thursday, November 25, 2010

a mouse in the house, a Christmas mouse?

Nope, just a field mouse trying to eat my pies.  So, we set a few traps.  One was behind the microwave on our counter, since we saw...evidence...that he had been there.  We set the trap, went to my sister's for thanksgiving dinner, then returned home to get ready for bed.  I came down the hall from our bedroom to Troy standing in the hall telling me he had an "interesting" situation.


I followed him into the kitchen while he explained he injured the mouse.  But, the mouse had escaped from the trap.


And was running free on the counter.


Actually, he was just cowering behind the microwave.


In front of a bloody mess.  Blood was splattered all over the counter back there.  Nasty.


We were faced with the dilema - how to catch him?


Why, with a kitchen knife and grill tongs, of course!



I used the knife.  Troy used the tongs.  I chased, he waited and snapped.  We lifted the microwave.  We missed, and missed.  Oh, and missed.


Finally, I thought we needed to try a different tactic.  I made my move to set the knife down in the sink, and...


The mouse FLEW out from under the microwave right at my face.  I turned, in slow motion, saw him flying at my face, and, even though I have laryngitis, screamed bloody, (ha ha), murder.


Troy, being the athlete that he is, snatched the mouse out of his midair flight right as he was nearing my eyes.


Just kidding, the mouse actually fell into the sink on it's way to my face, and Troy tonged him right up, ran out the door and tossed him far away into the field.




Great Thanksgiving story, right?


You should hear what my parents found when they got home...

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A recipe: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies

I know, don't they sound good?  I found this recipe while blog hopping.  You should check out her blog, it's full of great crafting ideas and some yummy recipes.  She seems to love brownies nearly as much as I do ;)
noe place like home

Here's how they look.  (Wish I could describe how they taste, just imagine homemade chocolate chip brownies covered with cookie dough and topped with a layer of chocolate.  Yum~)



And, here's the recipe.  It's long, but well worth it!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies

•2 cups Butter, Divided
•¾ cups Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
•2-¾ cups Granulated White Sugar, Divided
•1 cup Packed Light Brown Sugar
•3-¼ cups All-purpose Flour, Divided
•3 whole Eggs
•½ teaspoons Salt
•½ teaspoons Baking Powder
•4 Tablespoons Milk
•3 teaspoons Vanilla Extract, Divided
•2-½ cups Mini Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips, Divided
•1 Tablespoon Shortening, Such As Crisco

For Brownies:

1 c. butter
3/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 1/4 c. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 c. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Prepare 13X13 baking pan by laying a piece of foil in the bottom and up the sides. Spray with cooking spray or butter the foil.

Melt 2 sticks of butter in a medium saucepan; add cocoa, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Add sugar, salt, eggs, and vanilla; beat with a spoon until combined. Add flour and baking powder; mix well. Stir in chocolate chips. Spread batter into pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. (I always remove my brownies from the oven when a toothpick inserted 1 inch from the side of the pan comes out clean or almost clean.) Allow brownies to cool completely before moving on to the next step.

For Cookie Dough Filling:

1 c. butter, softened
1 c. packed light brown sugar
1/2 c. granulated sugar
4 Tbsp. milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Combine first 5 ingredients in a mixing bowl and cream together. Add flour and stir until combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Spread in an even layer on top of cooled brownies. Chill before adding chocolate glaze.

For Chocolate Glaze:

1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 Tbsp. Crisco shortening

Melt chocolate with shortening and stir until smooth. Spread over chilled cookie dough layer.


I only ate one, (really, only 1 - do you believe me?), of these after I took the picture...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Long time, no see...

...or read.  Write?  Whatever.

Wanna know where I've been?

Living life.  Yep, I've been doing stuff instead of writing about it.

Mostly taking care of my children.  Troy's been out of town more than he's been in town for the last 5 weeks now.  After next week, in which he's scheduled to be gone Wednesday through Saturday, he says it should slow down.  We'll see.

I'm glad he has a job.  God is taking care of us after he was ...I don't know how to say it... fired?  kicked out?  told we don't want your kind here anymore... from our last church.  Where we know God wanted us to be.  I'm so sad about that still...

Maybe our new church needed us more?  I sure do love them, there are so many wonderful, kind people surrounding us.

But, He's given us both jobs.  If Troy's ends, which, it's really a day-to-day thing, I could go full time and maybe support us?  Don't know, kids are expensive, and so are dads.  (and moms!)

So, I've been busy taking care of the girls, working a little bit.  (by the way, work has gone mostly good, I remembered how to do my job, and Delcie does okay while I'm gone.  Just okay.  She still won't drink from a bottle.)  And, crafting just a touch.  I've added a few items to my Etsy shop.  I can't find anything to concentrate on, I like so many things.  I run a poorly managed shop.

I have the cutest models!

Check them out!  the alligator purse
I even learned how to create a header for my shop.

I also helped get our church's new web site up and running.  It's pretty basic right now, but as we run it and get feedback, I'm sure it will be super soon!

Ocean City Baptist Church

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Vacation is over...

... if delivering an 8 pound baby can be considered vacation.

Anyway, it's back to the "grind", (ha ha), tomorrow morning.


We'll see how Delcie does without me.  She has to go from about 5am until 10am tomorrow.  I have frozen milk for her, but she doesn't seem to be a fan of it.  Pray for her, I'm so worried about this.

Monday, October 25, 2010

M.A.B.E.L.

When we were first married, Troy and I would always watch the tv show, "Mad About You".  We worked or were in school all day long, came home after 9 each night, ate dinner or played cards with friends, then watched this show before we went to bed.

Wish I still had that much energy.  I'm getting old.

Back to the subject...
Paul and Jamie, (the main characters), had a baby girl towards the end of the series.  They were having trouble coming up with a name for her.  As they were heading to the hospital, Jamie's mother told her, "Remember, Mothers always bring extra love."

Jamie remembered that and used it to name the baby - Mabel.

I have remembered that for a long time, now, yes, almost 13 years.  I think I need to write it down and post it on my bathroom mirror or my fridge.  There are times when I seem to forget to love my girls.  We are so busy disciplining them or ignoring them that we forget to love them.  I know I don't spend enough time playing with them.  Sometimes I feel I rob time from one to give to another.  I guess these are all results of having children close in age.

When I was pregnant with Averie, I was having a really hard time understanding how I would be able to love her as much as I loved Camdyn.  I didn't think I would have as much love left to give to her, because I loved Cam so much.  So, I crochet her a blanket, hoping the project would help me feel closer to my unborn baby.  I'm not sure if it did, I think so, and the blanket turned out awful, but anyway...

The day Averie was born, I left the hospital while I was in labor just so I could go give Camdyn love before Averie was born.  I couldn't stand the thought of taking some of my love away to give to her baby sister.

But, as soon as Aves was born, I realized that I wasn't taking love away from Camdyn, I was adding another person to give love to her.  I don't understand how I was able to continue to love Camdyn as much but also love this new little one just as much.  It's just a miraculous thing.

Now that we have 3 little girls, I see it all over again.  I love Delcie just as much as I love her big sisters. I would give each of them anything they asked for if I could.  I don't understand how this multiplication of love works, but it's amazing.

This was just something that Troy and I were talking about tonight.  It's a scary thing being a parent, you hold a big responsibility for the tiny lives God has loaned you for a little while.   But, it's also a wonderful thing, being able to teach these little children about the world, and themselves, and God.

Don't forget, bring extra love.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Trying out cloth diapers

While I was pregnant, I found a few really good deals on nice cloth diapers.  I bought some, thinking if I decided I didn't like using them, I could resell them on E-bay.  Believe it or not, they sell for $25 each there! I left them in the package, haven't broken into them yet.

I also bought some cheaper ones, seconds, and washed them.  I have been using them this week while we are home, not out and about, though.  They're econobums.  I think I like them.  But, they're so bulky.  They look so much more comfortable than disposables.

So, since I've done okay with my 5 econobums, I'm branching out and washing my 6 bum genius AIO's.  (AOI = All In One.)

They look like they won't be as bulky as the econobums.  We'll see.

Honestly, the hardest thing about this is working with Troy.  He has been pretty vocal about not wanting to deal with the *solids* part of changing diapers.

So, I got him some bummies liners that are supposed to make "clean-up" easier.

Wonder what my attitude about these will be in a couple of weeks...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I've revived my Etsy shop!

I created it a couple of years ago to sell quilted Christmas ornaments and hand-stamped Christmas cards.  During the rest of the year, I continue to be crafty, and my family can only take so much of my crafty-ness. So, after much coaxing from a dear friend, I'm making my store into a year-round venture.

So, I have 2 items listed.  Wow!

I know.  Get on the ball.  But, I'm not as crafty as I implied, these things take time.

But, I think my 2 items are adorable ;)

Keep checking my store for more items, I do have quite a few that I'll be listing within the next few days.

The Alligator Purse

My beautiful model.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

One more thing

I can't believe I forgot to write about the best thing about being pregnant.

The 40 weeks of anticipation for the new little one who will be joining your family!  We didn't find out if Delcie was a girl or boy at our ultrasound and it was so exciting to find out when she was born.  So much fun to think daily of what our child would be like when he/she was born.

(Made it even harder to wait an extra 6 days for her!)

Pregnancy Withdraw?

Yes, I think I have it.  I can understand how some moms get ppd, (which I think I had after Averie).  I miss being pregnant.

When you're pregnant, you have something in common with just a few women in the world.  You can read posts on mothering dot com about your stage in pregnancy and relate to them.

You can walk through the mall and have people stop and ask you about your pregnancy.  When you're due, whether you know if you're having a boy or girl.

You can take it easy, people do things for you because you are so tired and they love you.

And, believe it or not, it's a little fun for me to deliver.  I feel like I'm so good at it, now.  I understand the process, even the complications.  In the hospital, you have people waiting on you, bringing you food and juice.  (Although, this hospital we were just in was so junky, they sure need to remodel it!)

I miss these things.

I think I also am kind of sad because I know this is my last baby.  We don't have any more embryos frozen, and I'm pretty sure we aren't looking at conceiving naturally.  Honestly, 3 children is just perfect for us, I couldn't wish for more children.  But, still...

This is a strange feeling, this pregnancy withdraw.

But, there's also the joy of watching my newborn grow.  She's 7 weeks old, now, and smiling and cooing.  And sleeping many hours at a time through the night!  I'm loving spending time with her, enjoying my last baby.

And, looking forward to the time when my girls are older.  When they are in school, learning so much daily.  Playing sports, teaching each other about life, learning about God.

I'm glad I have 4 sisters and a brother so I can enjoy their pregnancies and newborns.

Wow, I'm old!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Recipe: Chicken and Dumplings

I grew up on the east coast.  I moved to the midwest after I married my husband.  In the midwest, they try to make some sort of chicken and noodles, but, they have it wrong.  I guess maybe they're making egg noodles?  You don't need eggs!

This is for all you midwesterners wishing you knew how to make yummy noodles.  (We call them "dumplins" around here.)

~Cook some chicken in a pot.  I use split breasts and cook them in some chicken stock, onion and celery.

~Make the dumplins:
1 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 T. shortening
1/3 c. water

Mix everything together, add the water a little at a time.  Roll out cracker thin.  Slice into rectangles.



(I like to at least double this recipe.)

Remove the chicken from the pot and shred.  Set aside.

Slide the dumplings into the pot, sort of laying them flat/sideways a few at a time.  Stir them to keep them from sticking.  After they've cooked, add the chicken back in.

I like to serve them with boiled potatoes and peas.



Yummy!!!



Thursday, October 7, 2010

Migraine

Wow, I haven't posted since Monday.  Sorry!  This one will be short, because I'm feeding Delcie with my left arm so I'm typing one-handed.   Which means I have to correct each word at least once, often twice.

Today was my first free day this week.  I spent the morning switching out most of my maternity clothes for my regular ones.  I ended up with a laundry basket of maternity clothes, an extra large tub of garage sale clothes, some shirts, jeans and sweatshirts for my closet and one bin of winter clothes.  I cleared out 3 large and 1 regular bin!

Then, I met my mom and sister at the park for a picnic.  While there, I got a rare migraine, (I've only had 4-5 in my life.)  It was strange.  Started with a swirly bubbly spot in my vision, ended with a terrible headache reaching from the top of my head down past my shoulders.  After some x-strength tylenol and sleep, it's manageable.

But, some great things greeted me when I woke up.  First, a paycheck.  For not working.  Yippee!  Gotta love short term disability.

And then, to top it off, my new lens arrived :)  It's a 55mm lens that has some awesome focus.  But, what's super interesting is that it doesn't auto-focus with my camera, I have to do it manual.  It's so fun!

I promise proof soon...

Monday, October 4, 2010

Last of the summer garden bounty

Last week we harvested the last of the produce from my garden.  There wasn't much, because I had been so busy working and dealing with the hot temps, I let the weeds take over.  Here's what we ended the year with...


We still have 4 basil plants, but they've been flowering for a few weeks now without any trimming.  I don't know how good the flavor is now.

I'm working on pulling my tomato plants up, I have the two longest rows done.  It's not easy, they're not in cages, they're planted between stakes and climbing up a trellis of twine.  So, I have to cut the twine, pull the plant, gather the twine and move on.

After they're all pulled up, I'm going to mow the rest of the plants and weeds, then layer cardboard, then mowed leaves and grass.  I can't remember what it's called, but I believe it's what I have to do to kill the grass that's been infiltrating the garden all year.  I hope...

Yes, the carrot is growing roots.  And the yellow thing is a lemon cucumber.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Pumpkin Patch 2010

We went to a couple of local farm stands yesterday with my sisters and their children.  It's nothing like a midwest pumpkin patch, but we had fun.  

But, it makes me want to make a trip back to some of our old haunts just visit a patch...

I learned a little bit more about my camera and worked on adjusting aperture and shutter speed.  And light. I think I ended up taking some better pictures than I have in the past.  Yay!


Evan was kind enough to be my subject for about...20 pictures.  I finally got my focus right.


Working on the lighting.  This was a strap with cups on it that the kids could wheel corn up to the goats on the ledge with.


Here I was working on focus.  See that Cam is in focus and the goat isn't, while Aves is blurred and the goat isn't.


More lighting experimenting.


Just a cute picture.


Daddy and Delcie.

Then we moved on to the other market.  We picked out our pumpkins here.

We took some cousins pictures on the pumpkin wagon.  All the cousins but one, who lives in Virginia and couldn't make it ;)


Oops!  That was the outtake, lol!
Here's a better one...

And, we took pics of just our girls.


And, of course, the outtake:


Yea, they're mine.  Ha ha!


Our little pumpkin.  Or "punkin".


We completely forgot to take a picture of us outside, so we'll have to do it next time.  So, we took one in the kitchen.


Oh, and, happy day, I ordered a new lens for my camera!!!  I ordered it from a company that closes for all Jewish holidays and Sabbath, so, although I decided early in the week that I wanted it, I had to wait until sundown last night to place the order.  But, I got a notification that it's shipped already.  Yippee!





Thursday, September 30, 2010

Sneak Peak of Baby Pictures

Instead of getting the hospital pictures with baby Delcie, we asked my friend, Laura, to come over and take pictures of the whole family with the baby.

They turned out so great!  I'm the worst photography subject in the world, and she even got a couple of good ones of me.

I'm uploading them to facebook, so if you're my fb friend, you can check them out.  I will get them on here soon, but not tonight, I'm too tired.

But, I will give you a preview...





Isn't she amazing?!?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Smiles :)

Delcie smiled at me today.  A real smile, not a sleeping smile, or a grimace, but a real, "I know who you are and am happy to see you" smile.  Troy got to see it.  What a special moment, seeing my baby's recognition and love for the first time.

I'm really enjoying these milestones.  Well, there haven't been too many yet, but just go with it.

But, it's also a little sad when I think of this being the last baby that I'll experience these milestones with.  How blessed am I that I have these 3 beautiful babies to love!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Our soccer season begins

Last year, Troy and Camdyn played soccer in the backyard.  This year, she's playing on a real team.  Our church sponsors Upward soccer for our area.  She's just at the age cutoff, so she can play this year.  Troy's her coach.

Their first game was this past Saturday.  At her age, they don't keep score...(but her team won! :)

Here are some pictures from the game.

Here they are ready to get started playing.



She did so "good" that she ended up playing goalie for the majority of the game.






And, the really cute coach!


And, I couldn't not add these pictures...


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Preschool

Camdyn has been in preschool for 2 weeks now.  She went last year in Ohio at our church's preschool.  She loved it, and we decided to put her in the school that uses our church building this year.  She could go 2 full days a week, but we are trying 2 half days right now.  She starts at 8:30 and I pick her up at 12:15.

So far, she seems to love it.  She has made some friends already, something she really hasn't done at church for some reason.  I think maybe because there aren't too many children her age, they're either older or younger.  So, I'm glad she's already doing so well.

Here are some pictures from her first day...





Standing inside her classroom.  She looked a little nervous.

I lead the worship in chapel each week, (well, I will soon, right now Troy's doing it for me and I'm assisting him until I'm done recovering.)
I am also the music teacher.  I had trouble finding curriculum and am not real happy with what I found.  I hope I can do good at it.