Tuesday, September 30, 2008

by the way...

I keep forgetting to tell you, Lake Drive is OPEN!!!! So now if your in the neighborhood, you can drive right by my house, no more detour! It's been a very long summer of road construction for us and we are very thankful that the project is finished, especially since I am driving the kids to school every morning now. It was very difficult to get everyone into the van and off to school when I had to park on Eastern.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Our Garden- fall update

It's been a long time since my post about the Garden this spring, I can't beleive how summer flew by! I wanted to share how the garden did this season. We ate well out of the garden most of the summer and right now we have cucumbers and tomatoes coming out our ears. If you'd like some, please drop by and pick yourself a few!

I did not have nearly the time I had hoped to maintain the garden this year, so it is incredibly overgrown, but the produce seems to have faired well.

This organic Roman Candle Tomato plant did extreemely well and produced far more yellow tomatoes than we knew what to do with. We made a huge batch of salsa for Daisy's birthday party, it was yummy! We had green pepper and jalapenos from the garden too!

Here's the salsa recipe, per Kathy's request :), but it's really all to taste, so make it how you like it:

-64 ounces (canned diced) tomatoes or however many you can pick from the garden
-1 green pepper
-1 jalapeno (or more if you like it spicy)
-3 carrots
-1 tbsp salt
-1 tbsp lemon juice
-1/2 bunch of cilantro (we like cilantro!)
- 1/2 of a big white onion

Dice up the tomatoes and place them in a bowl. Then dice the rest of the ingredients in a food processor or blender (hint: do the green stuff together last and separate from the rest so it doesn't turn the whole batch green) and then mix it all together!

I plant lots of Marigolds in the garden every year, they are my favorite flower for some reason. They are supposed to keep the pests away. I don't know if it works, but it makes the garden look real pretty! Having a garden in the yard brings me so much joy. I love looking at it and I love that the kids get to see where food comes from. I have come to feel that gardening is a very spiritual act and brings us so much closer to an understanding of creation and how we are tied directly to it.

I really need to make some pickles this week, before all of the cucumbers go soft. I am going to send some to Rosie's preschool class for a snack next week, but we will still have tons left. For some reason they are the thing that does the best in my garden every year. I made lots of tomato cucumber salad with fresh basil this year. Just mix up some sliced tomato cucumber and fresh basil with a little olive oil and salt and pepper...So goood!

One day when we were especially broke and commited to not spending any money, Rich said, "I wish that we had potatos." I rememered that we did have potatos (it was that weekend you know when it rained and rained and rained) but that they were in the dirt out side, so I went outside to harvest them. Yup in the rain. It was a moment I will never forget.

This is the rest of what I harvested that day in the rain:

If you've never tried them, you should totally try some FRIED GREEN TOMATOES!!! They are kind of an aquired taste I think. The first bite was really weird and I didn't think I liked it. Rich had the same reaction, but after eating a little more we both decided they were pretty good. The next time I made them, we liked them more than the first time.

So here's how you do it:
- Just slice the tomatoes about 1/4 of an inch thick and coat them in corn meal or fish fry mix.
-Shake on a little salt and pepper.
-fry them in oil till they are golden brown.
Enjoy! Yum!

So as the season is drawing to a close I am preparing to work on ammending my soil a bit and then to hunker down for that cold time of year and plan my garden for next year. If you've never done it before, you should think about it. Right now is the time to pick a spot and get your soil ready for spring! Here's a few books that I would recomend:

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Happy Birthday Daisy!

Today is Daisy's birthday. Her and I are just chillin' while the girls are at school and Daddy's at work. We are pretty tired after a long sleepless night. I am hoping and praying that being a whole year old now, Daisy will decide it's time to sleep thru the night! (I started this post and wanted to post it on Daisy's birthday on Tuesday, but due to some internet difficulties I couldn't upload the photos.)

We had a nice time together just our family celebrating Daisy's birthday. I can hardly believe she is actually 1 year old now! We went to Logan's for dinner and they even made Daisy stand on the table so the whole place could yell a big birthday 'Yeee-haaw!' It was funny and she seemed to like all the attention.

I have no idea what Rosie was doing, but it was very very funny!

What a bunch of crazies!

We had a great time at Daisy's birthday party on Sunday. The weather was beautiful and it was so exciting to be able to celebrate outside in the yard. We have far too many winter birthday's in our family, so this was a new thing for us! Thank you to everyone who came, it was a blessing to have so many friends and family members to celebrate with.

Here are some photos:the (gluten free) cake

Happy Birthday to you!

What a mess!

Opening gifts

A new car from Grammy and Papa, an instant favorite.

Lots of new babies, and she had to hug them all!

A special moment with Luna.

Watch out, Daisy's walking!

Fishing from the canoe

Daisy's new winter hat, soooo cute! Thanks Jessica and Pam!

Oh yeah and check out this cute video of Daisy walking!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Daisy is turning 1!

Please join us to celebrate Daisy's first Birthday:

Sunday September 21st 3pm in our backyard!

We'll have some snacks and cake and ice cream,
and some fun activities for the kids.
Please don't feel obligated to bring a gift, just yourself!

I can hardly believe how fast this year has flown by! and it has been one crazy year!

Daisy is going to be one year old on the 23rd! She sure is growing up all at once. In the last month she has gotten new teeth (her first actually!), learned to walk, and cutest of all, she has discovered baby dolls. The other day I walked in the living room and found her huggin' and rocking a baby while patting it's back just like I pat hers. Check out this adorable video:

She loves playing big kids things with the girls. Rosie is so patient with Daisy always getting right into whatever she is doing. They played together with the kitchen stuff all morning today.

Daisy is such a blessing to us. We can not imagine our family without her and can barely remember what life was like before she came along (except that we got a little more sleep back then!). Here are some of my favorite photos of Daisy through out her first year:

The Belly - September 10, 2007


One day old

Welcome Home!

Three Months Old

Five Months

Easter - 6 months

7 months

9 months

Summer Vacation - 10 months old

Isn't she beautiful!? She is a gift from God!

Saturday, September 13, 2008


1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsps baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
1 cup milk
2 tbsps cooking oil

  1. In a mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In another mixing bowl combine egg, milk, and cooking oil. Stir mixture just till blended but still slightly lumpy.

  2. Pour about 1/4 cup batter onto a hot, lightly greased griddle or heavy skillet for each standard sized pancake or 1 tablespoon batter for each dollar sized pancake.

  3. Cook till pancakes are golden brown, turning to cook second sides when pancakes have bubbly surfaces and slightly dry edges. Makes 8-10 standard sized or 36 dollar sized pancakes.

We have had a very long week and we were all battling despair Saturday morning as the rain poured down. The kids, especially Daisy have been sick and we are pretty broke and don't know what to do about it. All the stress of the week piled up until we were feeling very overwhelmed when the weekend came. I wasn't feeling much like doing anything, but I decided since we were all home together, which doesn't seem to happen very much these days, that I would make pancakes. I had just mixed up some gluten free flour, so I used the pancakes recipe from the Betty Homes and Gardens Cookbook. They turned out wonderfully! I have made them before, but I just don't seem to be ale to do it right on a consitant basis, especially now that I make them gf. They were so good that Rich said he couldn't even tell they were gluten free. That's a very big compliment, and if that wern't enough, he even said they were almost as good as his Grandma's! That's a huge compliment and it's the standard by which all pancakes are judged in our house!

Daisy liked them too!

We all sat together scarfing down pancakes and feeling much better about everything. I realized as I served my family the beautiful pancakes, that I have much to be thankful for inspite of how bad my circumstances may seem.

So thank God for good pancakes, and thank God that the Peace he offers us is bigger than our circumstances. In church on Sunday the words to the song we sang summed it all up perfectly:

"I do not ask to see the way
my feet will have to tread,
but only that my soul may feed
upon the living bread...

I may not know the way to go,
But oh, I know my Guide.

My soul is satisfied to know
His love can never fail."

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Celebration on the Grand

I don't have much time for words if I want to get any sleep tonight, but I just wanted to share our fun day on Saturday with you. We rode our bikes, pulling the girls in the trailers, with a blanket and a picnic, downtown to spend the day at the Celebration on the Grand. Our first stop was the Priority Health Classic Bike race. Lily and Rosie got brand new helmets and raced 150 meters in the tricycle and training wheel heat.

Look at Rosie go! You should have seen her little legs spinning! She was focused on the one thing, the finish line!

I had to curb Lily's competitive nature, because as soon as I called it a race, she was determined to win it, so I told her it didn't matter who got there first. The only thing that mattered was that you make it to the finish line, and when she got there that I had a surprise for her and Rosie. She was very excited when I handed her a pack of bubble gum. It's kind of her latest obsession.

Next we headed to the Grand Rapids Ballet for their Open house. We got to watch a free performance and then the girls went to a free ballet class. This explains why they were riding their bikes in thier leotards in case you were wondering.

When we left the ballet we stopped at Friday's for dinner (Rich sold his playstation on Craigslist this week, so we were going all out!) It was fun and relaxing and Daisy managed to get her nap in while we ate. She doesn't relax much in the Bike trailer. In fact she kind of hates it. I am hoping she gets used to it, because I really enjoy riding.

Next we headed to Ah-Nab-Awen park for a bunch of free kids activities. We even met some pirates! Rosie was quite thrilled with them and we had to go talk to them a few times. She was so excited when I offered to take her photo with them, but she wanted me in it with her. I told her I had to take the picture though, so she marched right up to the first guy she saw and asked him to take a photo for us. Not a shy bone in her body!

So we hung out the rest of the evening on our blanket playing and rolling down the hill. Daddy gave some great airplane rides.

The girls played lots of games and got thier faces painted. At dusk they played the movie Curious George on a big screen. To hype all the kids up for it they had them all dancing.

When the movie was over we packed the kids up in the trailers and headed home. It was dark and the Fulton street hill seemed extra steep, but we made it home safe and put all the kids to bed. We were exhausted. I said to Rich, "I had fun!" He agreed and then I said "But did you ever imagine having fun would be so much work." oh, kids... So much for not many words, I am going to bed.