July 29, 2008

A bit of this and that...

This past month, Hannah started reading in church. She has done "Our Father" from the post-communion prayers (which she says at home, too, we need to practice being louder though). Sunday, Olivia volunteered to help out and did "Lord, have mercy" twelve times. I was very proud of them. It's a little bit, but a lot to them.

Sunday afternoon was Andrea's bridal shower. She got lots of wonderful gifts. These photos in silver frames were the favors for each guest! Susanna made another fabulous cake...this time it was a mini wedding cake. She mixed sherry and strawberries together to put inside the layers. She put whipped cream on it and fresh strawberries...totally scrumptious!

I made the card, below, for someone who shares my birthday...yes, it is today. I'm officially 31. I've had a lovely day, we packed a lunch and went for a hike, Rob, Hannah, Olivia, me, Dad, Mom and Lusy, too.
I made this layout...a bit of this and it too crazy?And this one for Kim's challenge this week:
Those pom poms are so cute, but when I scanned this in, it made it look so dark on the right side...maybe a photo would be better for this one?

July 25, 2008

Today is a wonderful day!

Nothing particularly exciting going on today...

The 4 of us went to the grocery store. I overheard a couple speaking Russian and said "Zdrastvtia" and then she responded sweetly back in Russian and I told her I studied it in college. I should've asked her if she was Christian, but for all I know they are Jewish. Sometimes I wonder if people even know there is a Russian church in town, we do a good half or more in English, though.

For lunch, we sauteed onions and portobello mushrooms and had them on top of Boca burgers, with corn on the cob on the side. I had complained as I shucked the corn, that Rob picked out, it seemed too soft. He then mowed the yard. When I bit into the warm corn, oh, it was so fresh and naturally sweet. Yum. We are going back there tomorrow to buy more!

This afternoon, we went for a walk. We have been waiting until after dinner, because it's been hot, but today it was pleasant! Lusy is getting better, she lunges towards anything she likes, a squirrel, rabbit or people we pass, and has even gone into the road a few times, so I'm keeping the leash a bit tighter. Hannah rollerbladed and Olivia rode her bike... When we got home, Hannah found a beautiful little Praying Mantis. It looked at us, moved its head this way and that, even started swaying, which I read is often a way for them to distinguish something from the background. Olivia put her hand in front on it and it climbed right up her arm all the way to her hair, when Hannah offered her hand, then I, quite a friendly little guy. Then, I placed her on my roses.

I have been scrapbooking a bit. Hannah and Olivia had a "test" yesterday in swimming lessons and passed, so next session, Hannah will be in Level 3 and Olivia in Level 2. They both did very well! Andrea's bridal shower is on Sunday. I'm going to bring the Pampered Chef trifle bowl full of fruit. Then, in a few days, I turn 31 (I already got my birthday gifts, a Vera Bradley bag and some turquoise earrings from Findlay Market), I got a card from Josie & Grandpa (he'll be 86 in October, & is coming next week). The following Sunday is Mary's wedding! I am so excited. Lots of great things coming up...

July 22, 2008

Carrot Salad

3-4 uncooked carrots, shredded
1-2 garlic cloves, pressed
4 oz. Swiss or cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 cup mayonnaise

Mix the ingredients together and serve cold. I made this yesterday and added some chopped chicken to it. We all enjoyed it, even the garlic, I told them it was fresh, so extra flavorful, but VERY good for them!


Here's the birthing story of my friend Jessica (who I have yet to meet, her family was featured in the Country magazine and we have since become blog buddies), she gave birth to a baby boy yesterday!

She's giving away some Mr. Sprinkles, FREE:! Read what she wrote about the new ones that are all-natural, I understand why she likes the old colors better, but I like the fact that they are now all-natural!!!

July 18, 2008

Ice cream

My sister gave our family an ice cream maker (a ball, you fill the innermost chamber with the ingredients and the outer one with rock salt and ice)'s really neat. We made some delicous stuff with it.

Here's a recipe I'm anxious to try from:

Rum-Raisin Ice Cream

1 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup of whole milk
1 cup of sugar
3 jumbo egg yolks
1/2 cup dark Jamaican rum
1 cup golden raisins

Let raisins simmer with rum and 1/2 cup of sugar. Meanwhile, whisk yolks and 1/2 cup of sugar until they are a creamy color. Combine the cream and milk, and heat to almost boiling, but do NOT boil. Slowly pour a small amount into your yolk and sugar mixture while stirring. Add the yolk mixture back into the cream and milk while stirring. Continue stirring until thickened, but do NOT boil. Mix in the raisins and rum. Let cool. Add to your ice cream mixture and follow manufacturer's directions. If you have not cooked off all or most of the alcohol, your cream will take longer to freeze.If you do not have an ice cream maker, you can easily make it the old-fashioned way. All you'll need is a bit of patience. Pour your custard mixture into a freezer-proof container and freeze for about half an hour. After half an hour, stir and return to the freezer. Continue the process every half hour until frozen. It usually takes 2-3 hours, but will take longer in very hot climates, in which case, for faster freezing you can lower your freezer's temperature by one notch while you are making the ice cream.

And another one:
You add the rum soaked raisins near the end, so I'm thinking more intense flavor!

*photo taken from:

July 16, 2008

A 1st birthday party...

My niece, Emmelia, turned 1 early this morning. She started walking a month ago and has quite a few teeth. One the way there, Olivia asked me if she will now talk. Wouldn't it be cool if one day you could just do something completely new? I'm sure she comprehends more than we know. Her daddy is making sasparilla in the photo above!
*Lots more photos (check out the photostream on "Flickr" on the right)!
The days have been hot...this is what we've been doing to keep cool.
Funny alien-thingie at the park next to our community pool.

July 13, 2008

Our garden

Beautiful hostas, lilies and far back there is our young lilac bush. It's under our bedroom window, so I'm hoping every spring, I'll wake to the fresh scent of lilac blossoms!
Look how our garden is growing! Last night and the night before, we had salads for dinner, lettuce fresh from our garden. I'm anxiously waiting for the tomatoes (we have 24 plants)!
This is the book about dogs that we gave to our friend for her birthday. Everyone loved get to lift flaps, feel the dog's soft fir, etc.

We had lots of fun painting this box together.

Try this fun game ( you have to line up 3 of the same fruit):
My girls like Strawberry Shortcake (so do I) and seriously, I'm a bit addicted to this game. I had to play easy, then medium, then hard and a couple of times before I beat the clock!

July 8, 2008

Enjoy life sip by sip...

A card I made for a friend...
We enjoy tea, but after I dissolve a teaspoon of honey into the hot tea, I add an ice cube or two!
Swimming lessons started's a layout I did with some photos from last year. Olivia has the same teacher- Chris. Hannah has a new teacher- Tanner, because she's in Level 2 now. Both love it so's been pretty warm, so it's refreshing to jump into the pool. I do remember some cool mornings, when they were a bit reluctant.

July 4, 2008

Let freedom ring!

I'd love to hear about where you are leaning on the political spectrum. See my banner on the right? Yep, I'm voting Repulican. I'd vote for Alan Keyes, but sadly, his love of God isn't helping him, why is it so unpopular to be Christian? Read more about him here: Here's another site that is very informative, all the candidates and their stance on many issues:

Happy 4th!!! I'm so thankful to be American & enjoy the freedoms that we all too often take for granted. One nation under God! Last night we listened to some wonderful music in the park.

Lusy is doing very well. She's taking a nap, while Olivia reads a book about Corduroy. I took Thumper and Twinkle out of their hutch and to show Lusy that I care about them & she was very excited, she licked Thumper a few times on the head, like a little mother!Star pancakes for breakfast today!Look at our cherry tomatoes, ripening up. I took this photo right after it rained!I got these cute shoes for $3 at Gabriel Brothers. They were made in India. I've been very careful this month, checking everything I buy to see if it was made in China and seriously, there are TOO many Chinese products, I'd say like 80%... It's been a tough month, I admit I did buy a couple of things, but most things I put back on the shelf! I bought an American flag and thankfully, that's made in the USA. I did check, though, you never know...