September 24, 2014

First day of fall at the apple orchard

Olivia found a pretty apple.  We always like when a leaf stays on...
 Then, we went into the barn where they store the apples.
 This is the machine that washes them and sorts them by size.
 In the cider house:
 Juliana picked an apple and shined it up for me.
This farm used to be a dairy before it became an apple orchard.  The woman who gave the tour, said that her great grandparents bought the farm in 1942.  The few first apple trees that are there were planted by the previous owners in the 20s.
For brekkie today, we had ginger tea and apple cake:
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • grate some nutmeg (maybe a half teaspoon)
  •  a dash of salt
  • 1/2 cup oil (I used melted coconut oil)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup of water
  •  2 apples cut into slices
Mix flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt together first.  Add oil, sugar and water.  Pour into pan and place apple slices into batter.  Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes. 

September 22, 2014

Black belt...and baby!

 The karate black belt test is comprised of many different aspects (written exam, physical test, history questions, speech, kata, making a kicking routine). 
Hannah has been taking classes here for 7 years now (she started when she was 6 years old).  She's been preparing for the past month, by doing 100 jumping jacks, 50 sit-ups and 25 push-ups daily.  She wrote a speech that she had to give (without reading from the paper, which was hard) to the group on Saturday. 
All done, it was almost 4 hours...but we enjoyed watching everyone being tested, seeing their weaknesses (yes, a few emotional moments) and (MANY) strengths.  It was beautiful.  Thank you to Sensei Scott and everyone else in the dojo who has helped Hannah in this journey. ♥
Also, Sunday (just yesterday) we got really wonderful news!  At 3:11am my sister gave birth to a baby boy!  Her husband delivered the baby at home, as everything happened pretty quickly. 

September 17, 2014

Roller coasters

 I think Hannah rode the Diamondback 5 times.  She loves ♥ roller coasters.  The bigger the better.
Our friends were headed to a wedding this past weekend, so they gave us their tickets to King's Island (thanks to Proctor & Gamble, we also came home with a Swiffer, which has helped with cleaning around the house this week, and also a package of Mr. Clean Magic Erasers, a roll of Bounty paper towels, Charmin toilet paper, Covergirl bronze nail polish, and more)!
The first roller coaster we all went on was the Beast.  It has quite a history, when it opened in 1979, it was the longest, tallest, and fastest wooden roller coaster in the world!  Then, we went on Firehawk.  We divided up, so Olivia could enjoy the mild rides, in Planet Snoopy.  This one below is called Woodstock's Whirlybirds - aren't they SO cute?
Olivia wore her Graeter's ice cream shirt (inspired by Mr. Potato head)!

 We stayed until the park closed so that we could watch the fireworks.  Their Eiffel Tower was lit up and it looked so pretty:
 Overall, I have to say that although I really enjoyed the day with my family, I feel older - I have to take it easy.  The next day, my shoulders and neck were quite sore from all the jerking around at high speeds of the roller coasters!

September 15, 2014

Cones for the Cure

Graeter's is giving away FREE cones of Elena's blueberry pie ice cream today from 3 to 8pm.  They are asking for a $1 or $5 donation to "The Cure Starts Now."  We will be there!  My cousin was here two weeks ago and we all went to Graeter's, she took this picture of my family with her friend, Scott:
I was eating Elena's blueberry pie, everyone else had a sundae, though.  Graeter's is really good!
Here is our friend Sofia, who has been battling brain cancer, it's because of HER that we feel so much concern and want to try to help find a cure.  She is now unable to walk, after she had a stroke in December 2013.  This picture was taken after church one day, all the kids gathering for Sunday school. 
This is my class for Sunday school this year.  We are focusing on church life and prayer this year.  The kids wrote the Jesus prayer:
It was my dad's birthday last week.  We celebrated by having cheesecake with him!  He had a really great day! ♥
We bought this beautiful bracelet and gave it to my niece, Natasha, for her namesday (it was St. Natalia and Adrian last Monday, Sept. 8).
The kids had so much fun at Friendship Park, which is right on the Ohio River.
We did tie-dye t-shirts!

September 8, 2014

Russian Fest...

This past Saturday was the Russian Fest at our church.  Father Daniel gave tours of the church, explaining our faith, icons, the meaning behind some of the things that people may not know and answered any questions.  When I was in there, he was answering a question someone asked about our brothers and sisters in Christ in Syria. ♥  Lord have mercy on them.
 Olivia with her friend, Lenora.
 Hannah with her friend, Maerin.
 These are some of my favorite tomatoes, they are orange with stripes!
This is how I have been making tomato sauce:  chopping, blending in the food processor, adding basil garlic and cooking.
 Goodies from the box "Cones for the Cure!" 
Who wants to win a copy of this book, Rita the Boot-Neck Girl?  It's a silly story by little Elena Desserich (more about her story here: ♥