Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I love these pictures

I love these pictures, but they make me sad too.  They remind me of how fast my boys are growing up.

Easters Past

This is a walk down memory lane for me; a look at our Easters past!

Easter 2004
Easter 2005
I spared you the picture of me 7 months pregnant (YIKES!) and just put this one of Joseph.  He looked so cute in his sailor suit.  I wish I had been able to get a full-body shot, but he wouldn't sit still!
Easter 2006    
We were at Thomas' parents house and we had an Easter egg hunt outside.  I remember it was really hot and sticky, it was a normal Alabama Easter. 
(check out Thomas' tie here....)
Easter 2007
This was after we moved away and we were visiting for Easter.
Same dress....I was actually thinking of wearing it again this year.  But then again, I don't want the same dress in 3 Easter pictures.  I think I need to go shopping!
 (see the tie again?!)
Easter 2008
I am so glad I painted over that yellow!
Everyone's hair looks too short in this picture and I wasn't in it because we didn't have anyone to take the picture.
(same tie again)
Easter 2009
I had given birth 3 days before Easter and I am sad to say I didn't get a picture of everyone.  I was not even thinking straight and certainly didn't want my picture taken, so this is it!
(I bought a new tie last year and we don't have a picture but he will probably wear it again this year!)
Easter 2010
I am determined to get a good picture this year!  I will post it later :-)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Spring Sights

Some random pictures from our spring so far....

Henry attempting to fly a kite (it didn't work very well.)
At the Arboretum
Oliver hanging out in the grass (he hates the way it feels and won't move at all!)
Looking for bugs to suck up in the bug vacuum
Henry making a "leaf collection" with leaves from last fall?!
I used some textured spray paint on my urns and they look like new!
A sure sign of spring; daffodils, tulips and hyacinths beginning to bloom.
I asked Thomas to take this picture of us because I have very few pics of the boys and I (because I am usually taking the pictures)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Time Keeps Ticking

It just dawned on me today, that Easter is in one week.  This shouldn't be that big of a deal but I realized that I haven't even thought about planning Easter dinner, the whole Easter basket/egg hunt fiasco, my mom's visit the day after Easter and Oliver's 1st birthday.  
I am feeling the worst about Oliver's birthday party, or lack of party.  When my older boys turned one we were still living near family and always had big birthday parties.  Our house was always busting at the seams with family and friends.  
This will be a very low-key birthday, with only my mom here.  I might buy some #1 plates and some balloons, but that is it.  I think I am more depressed about the fact that we really, really want to be closer to family, but feel like we are never going to get there.  It is compounded by the fact that every year my kids have a birthday all I can think about is the fact that it is another year that we are alone in this city.  I am just praying that God will make a way for us to move near our family before our kids are grown.  
I just re-read this post, sorry for being so depressing!  I know things could be much worse, but sometimes it is easy to focus on what you don't have!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Beans = Sacrifices

For the past four weeks of Lent we have been trying to live more sacrificially.  This sounds grandiose, but what it amounts to is putting a bean in a bud vase every time we sacrifice something or do something nice for someone.  I have been surprised by how eager the boys have been to do this and even more surprised that it has been four weeks and they are still excited about it!  
The way it works is throughout Lent you continue adding beans to the jar (or in our case, vase) and the night before Easter, the Easter Bunny exchanges all of your sacrifice beans for jelly beans.  I actually took the time to count our beans today and we have 106!  Honestly, I didn't think we were going to have that many and we still have two weeks left!  
This little exercise has turned out to be a good lesson for the boys.  When they are fighting over a Lego piece or a toy I say "if you let him have it without fighting you can put  a bean in the jar."  The amazing part is that it really works!  They really seem to be enjoying making sacrifices!  
This isn't just for kids either, I have been known to put one in the jar when I am really craving some chocolate or one of the kids is testing my patience.  I think we will be enjoying jelly beans for a long time after Easter!

Friday, March 19, 2010

St. Joseph's Day

Today is another big feast day in our home, the Feast of St. Joseph.  Not only is our oldest named after him, but this saint has played a pivotal role in our life as a family.  My husband has always had a very strong devotion to him and his prayers have helped us through many trials and joys throughout our marriage.  
We get to break from our Lenten fasting today and will be making traditional Sfinge di San Giuseppe, or Italian cream puffs.  I am hoping to put together a small  St. Joseph's Altar too.  Here are some pictures from our amazing altar we had at our church in Alabama, St. Lawrence before we moved.  Happy St. Joseph's Day!

Oh, Saint Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong,
so prompt before the throne of God, I place in you all my
interest and desires.

Oh, Saint Joseph, do assist me by your powerful
intercession, and obtain for me from your divine Son all
spiritual blessings, through Jesus Christ, our Lord, so
that, having engaged here below your heavenly power, I may
offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of

Oh Saint Joseph, I never weary contemplating you, and Jesus
asleep in your arms; I dare not approach while he reposes
near your heart. Press Him in my name and kiss his fine head
for me and ask him to return the kiss when I draw my dying

Saint Joseph, Patron of departing souls, pray for me. Amen.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

St. Patrick's Day

I hope you are wearing green today!  I know my Henry (his full name is Henry Patrick) is very excited that today is his day.  We plan on celebrating by actually doing a shamrock craft, drinking green milk, reading about St. Patrick and of course, the boys will be eating more of those Chocolate Stout Cupcakes!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Not My Strong Point

So, for those who are wondering, homeschooling is going really well.  The boys do their academic work in a hour or two and then we read later in the day and that is our school day.  I am noticing one area that I am not doing that great in....crafting.  I am just not a really creative person and I am a little OCD about messes.  These two things together make for a mama who doesn't like doing crafts.  Henry used to ask me a lot if we could paint and I always changed the subject.  I am going to try and do one craft a week.  This is not a lot, but I need to start slowly :-)  I will not be including painting for a while either!

Hoping For Some Sun Today!

I really wish I had a reason to make this cake, isn't it so cute?  

Sunday, March 14, 2010

St. Patrick's Day Chocolate Stout Cupcakes

I posted this on my Food Blog, but I think they are so good it is worth posting the recipe on here too!
Okay, seriously...with a name like Chocolate Stout Cupcakes how could you go wrong?  Well, with this recipe you can't!  I found it on while searching for a good St. Patrick's Day treat to make.  I probably don't need to tell you this, but they are delicious.  I was surprised that you can really taste the stout, and that it goes really well with chocolate.  We did sprinkle some with green sugar for the boys.  I think next year I might put some green food coloring in the frosting too!  Happy St. Patty's Day!
St. Patrick's Day Chocolate Stout Cupcakes:
click here for printable version
adapted from Dave Lieberman

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1 bottle Guinness stout beer
1 stick butter, melted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 eggs
3/4 cup sour cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Combine the stout, butter and vanilla.  Beat in the eggs.  Mix in the sour cream until smooth, then add the cocoa, flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.  
Spray 24 muffin tins with non-stick spray.
Fill each tin 3/4 full.  Bake for about 23 minutes, until the cupcakes have a dome on them.
Cool before taking out of tins.


1- 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened at room temperature
3/4 cup to 1 cup heavy cream
1- 1# box powdered sugar

Beat the cream cheese with a hand mixer until light and fluffy.  Gradually beat in the cream.  Slowly add the sugar until smooth.  Refrigerate frosting if you are not using immediately.
Frost the cupcakes when cooled completely.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Creative Boy

Henry decided to make a mustache, which kind of made him look like Hitler, so I helped him make a new one.....

Then we tried it on Oliver.....
I love my silly boys!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

I Need a Nap!

Lately, I have been fondly remembering the days when Joseph and Henry were babies (they are only 18 months apart) and both took naps, at the SAME time.  I really took this for granted. I also took for granted that Joseph would sometimes take 4 hour afternoon naps and still go to bed at night.  I was seriously spoiled with my first-born!  Oliver takes two maybe 1 hour naps a day.  How I wish he was a better sleeper!   He still gets up at about 5 am (or earlier) every morning.  I am able to nurse him and put him back down for a while but he is up again at 6:30 almost every morning.  Thankfully, I now have the knowledge of an experienced parent and I know that this is only a short season and before I know it he will be sleeping much later.  Until then I am impatiently waiting until his afternoon nap and a well-deserved cup of coffee!

Monday, March 1, 2010

I Can't Help Myself

It is kind of funny that I am following up my post about working out with a post about See's Candy, BUT can I tell you how thrilled I am to find out that they have Easter candy?!  I am so ordering this for ME (not the boys because they will not know the difference between this and Hershey's) for Easter.  After a long hard Lent of 1400 calories/day and working out 6 days a week, I think this is in order.  If you haven't had See's you are missing out on a wonderful thing.  Thankfully, my family in California sends us a box every Christmas and seriously, it has become one of the things I look forward to the most.  Only 5 weeks left....