April 27, 2012

Flashback Friday.

Flashback to an earlier time in our family life, same month.
April 2010.
Just before we moved to our new house.
This picture cracks me up--it is just real life!
Boxes on the porch, kids being goofy, some of them looking off to the side.

Want to play along? Leave a comment with a link and I'll come see your flashback!

April 26, 2012


round button chicken

Locust trees in bloom.
They actually smell good, too!

Peter has decided that he will tolerate grass if it means I let him explore.

Five of six on swings at once is a rare treat!
The river beckons.
We had an impromtu stop at a park we'd never been to.
It was really nice and we'll be visiting again soon.
We also saw quite a few Eastern Bluebirds, which we love.

Nick loves to share his food with Peter.
Sometimes, it isn't Mom-approved.
A graham cracker is fine though!

A broken banister makes for a quick pass-through when the baby gate is up.
Especially, when you must quickly engage in a nerf war with your brothers.
Ken joked that "we did that on purpose" just for Nick.

April 25, 2012

Hot Fudge Sauce.

This recipe was loved at our dessert last night so I thought I would post it for future reference.  From Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book (I love this book, btw--a classic):

Hot Fudge Sauce
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate pieces
1/4 cup butter
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup evaporated milk

In saucepan, melt chocolate and butter.  Add the sugar, gradually stir in milk.  Bring to boiling; reduce heat.  Boil gently over low heat for 8 minutes, stirring frequently.  Serve warm over ice cream.  Serves 8.

Note:  We had a little "detour" in our plans last night and I ended up not boiling for quite as long and "held" it on the warmer eye on low for close to an hour, stirring occasionally.  The recipe held up great so I would think it would do just as well being "held" in a crockpot for a party or such.

April 24, 2012

Baptismal Birthday.

Nicholas celebrated his Baptismal birthday on the 19th.  We just celebrated it tonight!  It was one of those things...busy week turned into a busy weekend (and I plumb forgot--oops!).  We have a simple celebration, we light their baptismal candle, renew our baptismal vows and have a special dessert.  Tonight, it was ice cream sundaes with homemade hot fudge sauce.  Yum!

April 21, 2012

Book Review: Life Entwined with Lily's

Life Entwined with Lily's (The Lily Trilogy, Book 3)
I chose to read Life Entwined with Lily's by Sherry Boas because it was fiction.  I just felt like fiction.

But, I doubted that I would like it.  The third book in a trilogy seemed like it would be stale.  Seriously, don't you hate when an author essentially reviews the previous books for the first half of the novel then adds some stuff on at the end?  I do.  And at first, I didn't like it but not because it is part of a trilogy.

The first chapter confused me.  I didn't know who everyone was and how they were related to one another.  Conversely, this is the same thing that drew me in!  There were a lot of issues that are painful in this book--painful events that occurred and I wasn't so sure I liked that.  I wasn't so sure I wanted to feel all that pain.  As for being confused, all the details get woven into the storyline, as they should, instead of a play-by-play recap.  And the pain, the pain gets resolved in the only way pain truly can. (Sheesh, I'm not going to give you all the details!).

By the end of this book, I was in love.  In love with Lily, in love with life, in love with our merciful God.  Well, I was already in love with Him, lol! :)  Don't get me wrong, this book is filled with emotion.  However, it is beautifully written with wit and empathy.  I highly recommend it!  Though, maybe you should start with the first book and work your way through! (Instead of backwards, like me!).

I read Life Entwined with Lily's as part of The Catholic Company's reviewer program.  I received a book but all thoughts expressed here are mine.  You can find Life Entwined with Lily's at The Catholic Company as well as the other books in the series by Sherry Boas.

April 20, 2012

Flashback Friday.

Flashback to an earlier time in our family life, same month.
Jacob's first easter--April 2006.
He was such a tall and pudgy baby that he looked older than he was!

Want to play along? Leave a comment with a link and I'll come see your flashback!

April 18, 2012

Being Intentional: Homemade Ice Cream

Last year for my birthday, I got an ice cream maker.  I really wanted one.  Though I envisioned the old-style with rock salt, I got a modern one with a core that you freeze.  I have mixed feelings about the ice cream maker itself because I don't think the core freezes as nicely as the rock salt style.  The reality is that I would probably never ever use the traditional kind (I would never remember to buy the rock salt! lol!).  As it is, this is only the second time I've used mine (granted, my birthday is in October--not exactly prime ice cream season).

I new Ken was going to be out of town for a couple of days.  So, I planned to make ice cream.  It turned out to be chilly outside today!  I'm trying to be more intentional in planning some fun things.  I'm trying to be more intentional in using my appliances again (hey, use them or lose them) like the bread maker and ice cream machine.  My kids love little things like making ice cream and I just need to think to buy the ingredients!
It really doesn't take much in the way of ingredients!
Heavy cream, half n half, vanilla, eggs, sugar and cocoa powder (if you are making chocolate ice cream).
I'd like to try some variations but for now, this is the version that was requested! 
Oh, of course, you need helpers.
Helpers who like ice cream. 
Mix all the ingredients together. 
Blend until smooth with a hand mixer.
At this point, I put mine in the freezer while I cleaned up.
It works best to keep it as cold as possible. 
In fact, it is okay to get distracted and cut up more strawberries for the baby to keep him happy.
Go ahead, cut up an apple for the 3 yr old, too.
I have decided this is why this ice cream maker works great for me.
I can be distracted. 
It is fun to watch, but cover it up to keep it cold! 
This isn't done yet. 
This kind of ice cream maker makes more of a custard-type ice cream.
I think it is best to stick it in the freezer for a little while before eating it.
That is just the way I like it!

Basic Chocolate Ice Cream:
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup half and half or milk
4 oz egg substitute (I used two eggs)
1.5 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup cocoa powder

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and beat well.  Chill for best results.  Put in an ice cream maker for 10-30 minutes. Enjoy!

April 17, 2012


Wouldn't it be an oxymoron to order a Diet Vanilla Coke?
I didn't order it.
I just happened to be in the drive through when someone else did.

I got a proper, regular, Vanilla Coke.
If I'm going to drink it, might as well get the best.
(I should say that it was a treat for going grocery shopping by myself and not riding in the little buggy.  I walked the whole store for the first time in 8 weeks.  Whew!)


If you are getting a Diet Coke in order to avoid the sugar, didn't you just add the sugar back in?
Or do they make Diet Vanilla syrup to go with a Diet Coke?

The things one ponders when one's brain is tired.

April 14, 2012

Full hands.

Liz came down the steps and said, "Mom! I sure do have my hands full!"

How many times has she heard that in her lifetime?  Too many to count, I'm sure.  It just cracked me up that she thought it.  She followed that comment up with, "I sure look like a real mommy with my babies in a sling and everything!"

Liz loves playing with her baby dolls.  But she is insistent that when she grows up she is NOT getting married.  She is not having kids.  She is going to have a pet shop instead.  When I try to tell her that she could do both if she wanted, she says no.  Just a pet shop.  Maybe because she doesn't want her hands full? I don't know.  But I do know that I never wanted kids or to get married when I was growing up and look at me now!

God works in mysterious ways.  And I love having my hands full!  I wouldn't change it for the world.

April 13, 2012

Flashback Friday

Flashback to an earlier time in our family life, same month.
April 2007
Playing in the creek at a park with Nana.
Boys just love creeks!

Want to play along? Leave a comment with a link and I'll come see your flashback!

April 12, 2012


round button chicken

I love this entrance to one of our trails.
This is perhaps not one of the best pictures, and I missed it full of flowers.
I still love it.
You can see other, not-so-good, over-exposed photos of it here. 

A stack of clean towels.
Boys trying to retrieve an egg from the lake.
My brother threw it in but they happily worked to get it for an hour.
Too bad it was only full of soggy chocolate!
A basket full of chocolate is always a happy occasion!

My husband was proud of his perfect bacon on Easter morning.
He is the official breakfast-maker of the family.
A little dog I found in the laundry room.
I'm assuming someone realized he was in dire need of a washing.
And yes, I did wash him.

When Mommy's away, the puppy will play.
And kill my boxwood and break my St. Francis.
Too real and not at all funny. 

April 10, 2012

Simple Woman's Daybook.

April 10, 2011
First Week of Easter.

Outside my window...sunny and clear and ....chilly.  After all the days of 80 degrees in March, a day in the 50s is a bit shocking!
I am thinking...how excited I am to go do "stuff"!  Like play at the park, and clean the house, and all that stuff I haven't done for 7 weeks now.  One more week of the walking boot and I'm free!  I can't wait.
I am thankful...for good medical care. (Even if I hate the feeling of that metal plate in my leg. Yes, I can feel it).  For friends and family who were so generous with time and effort and really helped us get through the last few weeks.  For sunshine and fresh air and getting back into sports and activities.  For Amazon and two-day shipping, without which I don't know if my household could have survived! (And for Kohls too, for Easter clothes).  For Christ and all the hope of Easter!  It makes my heart sing!
From the learning rooms...no spring break for us.  Too many breaks after the "break"--I know, I'm no fun.
In the kitchen...starting to cook a bit again.  Mostly easy stuff (partly due to the busy evenings) and a few leftover freezer meals.  I need to sit down and come up with a meal plan.
I am wearing...workout clothes.  It is a workout to just lug around this big, grey boot, lol!  Really, I just wanted to be comfy.
I am creating...a few scrapbook pages on My Digital Studio.  Other than that, nothing.  It is enough to just try and keep up.
I am going...to physical therapy twice this week, another soccer practice, and Ultimate on Friday.  A first communion on Sunday.
I am wondering...how long it will take me to get my house back to quasi-normal.  And I'm missing quite a few things that I'm thinking must have gotten put away in a weird place.  Clothes and shoes for Peter are the ones that bug me the most.  I also can't find certain kitchen items. 
I am reading...well, I haven't started them yet but I have a book from The Catholic Company to review and I just downloaded The Hunger Games (it was on sale!) for my Kindle.  I'll keep you posted.
I am hoping...the warm weather kicks back in next week.  I want to get out in the garden!  Which reminds me...I need to order some seeds.
I am looking forward to...summer.  Big plans and projects.  It will be fun.

I am hearing...two little kids being very noisy, running around upstairs.  I hope they don't wake the baby!  Three boys having a very earnest ipod conversation while they make themselves some sandwiches.
Around the house...trying to keep up.  Doing little bits of organization when I can.  I've been going through the kitchen cabinets one at a time.  It is slow, but it is something.
Celebrating the seasons...can you say, candy?  That is what my kids think about celebrating Easter!  Two days and I'm ready to pitch it all.  But, as I've said before, select children have no sense of moderation in my house.  I never got around to redecorating "lenten" style and there isn't much Easter around to look at either.  It is what it is.  We did (as usual) get a new book for each child this year and we've started reading Amon's Adventure.  It is designed to be read for Lent but the kids are enjoying it and I think it will be just as fruitful for Easter.
Peter...is thinking about walking.  He thinks he has to hold my finger when he does it but the funny part is he goes sideways!
Here is a picture thought I am sharing...

Peter and his little tongue.
He really, really does not like the feeling of grass or mulch.
I got either a tongue sticking out or crying.
But I couldn't resist trying to get his picture, the flowers were so beautiful!

Visit Peggy for more daybooks!

Happy Easter!

We had such a wonderful Easter weekend. Filled with faith and family. Eggs and chocolate. Mostly filled with blessings and grace! Alleluia!
Easter morning breakfast.
Some of our dyed eggs.
Egg cracking competition!
Nick wasn't a real threat since all of his eggs were already cracked!
Nathan and the Champion egg!
Ready for Easter Mass!
Easter at Nana's house.
(Jacob made that face in every picture!  Goodness gracious!)

April 6, 2012

Good Friday.

File:Angelo Bronzino 004.jpg
After this, aware that everything was now finished,
in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled,
Jesus said, “I thirst.”
There was a vessel filled with common wine.
So they put a sponge soaked in wine on a sprig of hyssop
and put it up to his mouth.
When Jesus had taken the wine, he said,
“It is finished.”
And bowing his head, he handed over the spirit.

John 19:28-30

April 5, 2012


round button chicken
Now, dont go saying EWWW!
This little momma mouse had made herself a cozy nest under our dog house.
Her nest was pretty until we messed with it.
What I thought was so sweet was how she did her little best to protect her babies from us.
The kids took her into the woods where she would be safe from the dogs.

And, I just want to say how wonderful it is to see my kids so loving of one of Gods creatures.
Ive noticed other kids--they arent.
I saw some kids being mean to a frog a couple of weeks ago and I thought, that is really odd that they would be mean to that frog. 

We are definately a *people come first* family.  But that doesnt mean we dont think highly of all of Gods creatures.

Even spiders and mice.
As long as they arent in my house, lol!

Peter has never been a clean eater but we have reached a point where a bath in the sink after every meal is almost a necessity.
Though, you wonder how clean he could be when he loves playing in the dirty dishwater!

Funny the pictures you find on your camera when you go to see what you have for {PHFR}!
Dont your lego people play ping pong?

It can be real hard getting through phonics sometimes.
Like when your baby brother rips your pages. 
And real annoying when your other brother insists on practicing his phonics sounds too.

Thats just real life! :)

April 4, 2012

Jump for joy!

Easter is almost here!  Only a few more dark days of Lent left.  Have a blessed rest of Holy Week!