Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Brent's Birthday

Yesterday was Brent's birthday...but not the best day for him! He was on call Sunday night and got paged at 1:30 AM and again at 4:30 AM. The second page sent him to the hospital and straight to the OR....where he stayed until about 6 Monday night! And it was almost 7 PM before he actually made it home.

The kids had been talking for weeks about Daddy's Birthday...and they love birthdays, primarily for the presents (even if they aren't their presents) and cake! All that to say, they were very anxious for him to get home! Before he had even eaten his dinner, they were chanting "OPEN" while sitting on the couch with his presents! So we opened presents and then sang happy birthday. I found the biggest piece of tiramasu for Brent at Nantuckets and then got the kids a cupcake.

Happy Birthday Honey! I vote that we have a quiet fancy dinner out next year!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Lovin' the Rain

Its been raining here in Durham for about 18 hours now....the plants and grass are lovin' the rain because its been so stinkin' dry and extremely hot around here for months ....

The kids are lovin' the rain because they are finally getting to wear their new rain coats!! We've had them for a little over a month and Avery has been asking regularly to wear it!! They were in their rain coats long before we left for school this morning!!

my little flower and my little pirate!

And I'm lovin' the rain because I have 2 kids at school, 1 baby asleep, and I'm sipping on a homemade pumpkin spice latte!! I started some laundry and then made myself a treat to enjoy while I play (I mean work) on the computer for a bit...Here is the recipe in case you'd like to make yourself one. The recipe is from my sister-in-law Hannah, a former starbucks barista!! Its delicious!

Pumpkin Spice Latte

1 cup milk
1 tbs. pumpkin puree
1 tbs. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

heat and stir together, not to boil

Layer your cup like this:

2 oz espresso (or brewed concentrated coffee)
milk/pumpkin mixture
foam/whipped cream
spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, etc...)

If you're not into coffee, you can definitely leave it out - in which case this would simply be a "steamer" instead of a "latte". Or you could double the recipe and use it like a creamer in your morning coffee instead. Enjoy.

Wishing you a rainy day as well!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Griffin's Favorite Activity

Griffin has a new favorite activity...."cutting pieces!" He loves to use his little scissors and just dice paper...he normally will do this for 30+ minutes at a time. He was working on this while I cooked dinner Wednesday night and he literally sat there for a solid hour!!!

He's very good with his hands - maybe a future surgeon like daddy? He normally uses his left hand but can also cut with his right. I've been giving him our junk mail to cut - I know this isn't recycling Hannah, but does it count as re-purposing or reusing?!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Easy Crescent Taco Bake

Here is a recipe that my friend Rian sent me. We had this last night and it was really good. The more "toppings" added the better! (sour cream, salsa, guacamole, shredded lettuce, etc)

Easy Crescent Taco Bake

1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1 lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef
3/4 cup Old El Paso® Thick 'n Chunky salsa
2 tablespoons Old El Paso® taco seasoning mix (from 1-oz package)
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (4 oz)
Shredded lettuce, as desired
Diced tomato, as desired

1. Heat oven to 375°F. Unroll dough; separate into 8 triangles. Place in ungreased 9-inch square pan or 10-inch pie plate; press over bottom and up sides to form crust.

2. In 10-inch skillet, cook beef over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly cooked; drain. Stir in salsa and taco seasoning mix; simmer 5 minutes. Spoon meat mixture in crust-lined pan; sprinkle with cheese.

3. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until crust is deep golden brown and cheese is melted. Served topped with lettuce and tomato.


Mud Pies

I have many fond memories of playing in the creek, making mud pies, creating cups out of "clay," etc. while growing up. We lived on several acres so we were surrounded by woods where we could hike and play in our own little world outside all day. Sometimes, we would pack our backpacks and just see how long we could last without going back to the house.

I had to laugh at Avery and Griffin as they made a "new" discovery yesterday...making mud! They started out just mixing in a little dirt into the water that they had put in Griffin's dump truck...and they just continued on until they had thick, pasty mud! My first reaction was NO! but then I thought, "they are only kids once!" So have at it!
Here are the results:

The shower was disastrous when they got out....and if their teacher looked too closely at their hair this morning they would have still found a lot of sand and dirt! But boy did they have a blast!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Griffin's feet are officially BOATS! He is not even 3 years old yet, but he has moved on from the "preschool" sizes and has entered the "boy" section!! Can you say size 10.5 WIDE?

Griffin still has trouble with frequent falls - partly because he doesn't watch where he's going, partly because he is always running, and partly because his feet still turn inward...so we decided to upgrade and buy him some real tennis shoes this go-around in hopes of giving him a little help!

This picture is include because Griffin asked if I would take a picture of his "silly face!" He's such a ham!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Good Friends and Good Food!

One of the things I love most about our house is our deck. Its pretty big and has lattice above it...and its surrounded by trees which provides a decent amount of "privacy." When its not 100 degrees outside (or 30 degrees, for that matter), we really enjoy entertaining outside. Since the weather has started cooling off in the mornings and evenings now, we decided to have some good friends over to grill out on Friday night. The Runkles and Fitzsimmons came over for some BBQ chicken - it was lovingly grilled by my wonderful chef husband and was absolutely delicious! Throw in a little corn on the cob and watermelon, and you have a perfect meal!!

diggin in!
jackson and kim

the men (brent and leo)

my smiley boy

thanks for the cupcakes, kim and katelyn! (this pic makes me envision griffin in 20 years with a mustache or goatee!)

the big kids!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Not for the faint of heart!!

Before going to get Avery from school, I had Graham in the excersaucer while I vacuumed. A few minutes after I finished, he started fussing...so I lovingly picked him up and cuddled him...and this is what I soon discovered:

And I should have taken a picture of MY arm and shirt!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Avery's Class "Field Trip"

Today Avery's preschool class had their first "field trip." All of the kids got picked up early (11:30) from school and met at a near-by playground for a picnic with every one's families. Lunch was quick and only half-eaten since the playground was beckoning the children.

This playground has a little area with water fountains and lots of mud/sand...why didn't I bring bathing suits??? The kids wore their clothes, getting soaking wet and covered in sand from head to toe...but they loved every minute of it!!!
can't you just hear the giggles?
griffin isn't a huge fan of "water in the eyes" but that didn't stop him! (note the stick-in-hand...he's such a collector!)
Hopefully, this outing will equate to LONG afternoon naps!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Easy Roasted Pork

I haven't posted many recipes lately...mostly because I haven't made anything new or exciting! We've been eating a lot of the "old faithfuls" that I can make quickly and without thought! Here is a recipe I made tonight - I have made it 2-3 times now and Brent loves it. And I might add that Griffin actually ate dinner tonight - the first time in like a year!!!

Easy Roasted Pork

2/3 light brown sugar
1/4 cinnamon applesauce (I just used 1 of the little cups of regular)
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 lb boneless pork loin roast

Preheat oven to 325.
In a small bowl, mix brown sugar, applesauce, and ginger.
Place pork roast in oven bag. Pour the brown sugar mix over the roast. Seal the bag and cut several small slits in the top.
Cook the roast for 1 hour.

I served this with apples, sliced and sauteed in butter with cinnamon and a box of garlic/olive oil couscous. It was delicious!

I am itching for some new recipes so please send me some of yours!!!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

First Day of School

Today was the first day of preschool for both of the older kids. Avery is in the 3 Day Fours and Griffin is in the 3 Day Twos - both at Epworth UMC Preschool. Avery was so excited this morning - as soon as she woke up, she came running to me and said, " I took a long nap. Is it the day of school now?" Griffin got excited a little later, mainly just because Avery was so wild.

Here they are, looking bigger every day. Griffin is 2 years, 10 months; Avery is 4 years, 3 months. And pretty darn cute if I do say so myself!

Avery Brooke

yes, we had been in her class an entire 15 seconds before she was in costume!!

Griffin Patrick

Griffin went straight to the sand box (they are talking about the beach this month so its filled with shells and plastic fish and sea creatures). Before I left, I hollered "bye griffin" about 3 times but he never looked up!
Both kids seemed to enjoy their first day of school. And I am sure that I will enjoy my mornings once Griffins class get through this "transitional" schedule. (gradually lengthening days).

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Play Date

We were really blessed with the friends we made through Avery's school class last year. There are a lot of wonderful families that we have all enjoyed hanging out. Most of them have girls - all into princesses and everything like avery is. One family has a little boy Griffin's age and they love each other and get so excited to have another boy to play with. Fortunately, a lot of her classmates will be in her class again this year. One family hosted a pre-school play date for her class today at their house. Can't wait for Wednesday to get here so we can start school!

shane and graham

emma, kaylee, avery

Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Day 2010

The Crochet's hosted a wonderful Labor Day weekend cookout last night. We had a great time with some of our closest friends here in Durham. JR grilled some delicious kabobs and polish sausages and everyone else brought the sides. The kids had a blast playing outside and everyone enjoyed this gorgeous weather!

avery and kinleigh on the see-saw

griffin cruising around....

...and picking up chics!

burn energy, burn!

2 of my handsome dudes!

chow time! (bailey, griff, ethan)