Sunday, September 28, 2008

Our poor computer...

I won't be online this week due to our recent computer problems. On Friday our computer kicked the bucket. We are hoping the information, 6 months of pictures that weren't backed up, creative projects of both Mike and I will all be able to be saved.
Hopefully we will be up and running again soon! See ya in a few days.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Slowing Down


Yesterday we had a special surprise when we walked home from Canaan's school. On the porch sat a praying mantis. I haven't seen one of those in years! He was crawling on our porch. I actually hadn't even noticed him because ~ well really I seem to rarely notice much these days with 2 high energy boys I chase around ~but anyhow, Canaan saw him first.

I called Ezra out and we all three sat on the porch for atleast an hour watching the mantis walk around the porch, up the wall, under the mailbox, fall off the mailbox into our evergreen bush, and hang out in the bush.
As we were sitting there just watching I thought about how nice it was just to be still and quiet and not be doing. The boys, who aren't particularly fond of bugs, loved watching the mantis and finally Ezra grabbed my phone and wanted to call Justin (Justin is our worship pastor at church that Ezra always wants to call EVERYDAY to talk.) Anyhow, I let him fake-call Justin which was hilarious because he pushes a couple of buttons, holds it up to his ear, and says "Justin, there's a special bug. (pause) Yeah, a special bug! (pause) Huh? What? Yeah. A bug." All this while holding Mike's empty Vernor's can from lunch. Too funny. But then the really funny part was when-without me knowing- he really did push the right buttons from our contact list and called Mike's high school friend, Matthew, who actually answered the phone and Ezra talked to, all without me realizing. I still thought he was fake-calling!

We had so much fun hanging out on the porch and it made me long for more of those times. More times of just stillness and wonder and quiet amazement. They are so few and far between. Mostly because the boys seem to only know the term "quiet" when they are sleeping. I guess I will pray for more praying mantis' to come and captivate my kids amazement. Ha!

This weekend we are heading into the mountains of eastern Kentucky for some R&R and a family reunion. We are looking forward to time away from the projects around the house and a chance to visit with family, take a mountain hike, and hopefully find some ripe pears from our secret pear tree in the woods.
See you Monday!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

103

Canaan has always loved learning and is just so smart (don't all parents say that about their kids ?)
Now that school has started he is just blowing us away with how quickly he is picking up on things and how excited he is to learn. He came home yesterday from school and started writing his numbers on the white board easel we have in the kitchen. Usually he will write to 10 and then stops. Yesterday he started at 1 and wrote all of his numbers, in order, to 103. He stood there diligently and so engrossed in the process of it all. He was really proud of himself! As we were too. (of course he can't take a semi-normal picture if his life depended on it...gotta love 5 year olds! :)

He has also started reading little books. We have these small "Bob Books" from Scholastic that Mike's sister gave us. They are great because the entire book is 2-3-or 4 letter words that are easy to sound out.
I kept one in my purse for Canaan and the other week at the store he pulled it out and started sounding out words. Within about 20 minutes he had sounded out the words in the entire book. He was SOOOO EXCITED! He kept saying "MOM, I READ AN ENTIRE BOOK!" Indeed he did, and he read it at least another 10 times before we left the store. We've been amazed at how quickly he is reading words (he sounded out the word "friendship" the other day) and writing words (like "greatest" that he did last night).
Pretty awesome stuff. Ezra is on his own learning journey in his stage in life which is equally as exciting. Most exciting is that he is finally starting to use his little potty which hopefully means diapers will soon be a thing of the past.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tart Shells Made Easy!


www.jamieoliver.com

Jamie Oliver, i.e. The Naked Chef, is one of my all-time favorite chefs. My sister-in-law, Sondra, bought me one of his cookbooks a few years back and the tart shell recipe is absolutely amazing! It is amazing on so many levels:
1. It tastes great! - little hints of lemon zest throughout
2. It is made in a big batch so that you can freeze some in logs for later use (perfect for last minute desserts!)
3. It doesn't require rolling out the dough to a perfect consistency--in fact, no rolling at all.

Perfect Sweet Pastry
1 cup plus 2T butter
1 cup plus 6T confectioners sugar
a medium pinch of salt
just over 1 lb (about 3 1/4 cups) flour
seeds from a vanilla bean (or I use vanilla extract)
zest from 1 lemon
4 egg yolks
2-4 T cold milk or water

Stage 1
Cream together butter, sugar, and salt, then rub or pulse in the flour, vanilla, zest, and egg yolks. When mixture has come together, looking like coarse bread crumbs, add the cold milk or water. Pat together to form a ball of dough. Be sure to not touch the dough too much at this point. Light, quick moves.
Stage 2
Roll the pastry into a really large, short and fat sausage shape (sometimes at this point I do 2 rolls and freeze one for later use). Wrap in plastic wrap and put in the fridge for at least an hour.


Stage 3

Carefully slice off very thin slivers of the pastry. You can make slices thicker if you want but remember that the tart will take longer to cook.
Place the slivers all around the tart, fitting them together like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. Push the pieces together and tidy up the sides. Place in the freezer for an hour.(if in a hurry you could skip this step, if absolutely need-be).


Refer to your individual tart recipe for baking instructions for the shell or the filled tart. Enjoy!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Finding a Kitchen Island but Still Looking For Our Sanity

What a weekend!!! It was a full weekend and a productive weekend overall.
After my girls book study on Friday night we were driving home from church and saw a bunch of free stuff on the side of the road from a place going out of business. We pulled over because, hello! free stuff! You'll see in the picture a green dresser. Yes, this ugly monster will someday soon turn into a beautiful swan of our new kitchen island. Just you wait!!!! I have grand plans for this big guy.


On Saturday we spent the morning lounging around the house with the boys. Around lunch time we decided to head to the park for a while--big mistake! It was close to Ezra's nap time and thus the entire trip was filled with his whining and crying and occasional fits until finally we gave up and all went back home.

I did stop at one garage sale and found 2 matching kids size golf bags WITH golf clubs. Really nice stuff, not Walmart cheap plastic stuff. I paid $2 for both ( a total steal) but the best of all was when we got home and Canaan started looking in the bags and found golf balls, golf tees, AND $5! Woo hoo! We got paid $3 for some golf bags!
Later that night we had some of our new neighbors over for dinner. Their 2 sons go to school with Canaan so the 4 boys had an outrageously fun time running around the yard, helping us build a fire in the new fire ring,eating homemade ice cream, and swinging on the tree swings.
So we are still looking for our sanity after a weekend of fits from Ezra who is clinging onto to his "terrible two" phase as long as possible. Canaan was a gem this weekend. He even woke up Sunday morning before church and had cleaned pretty much the entire house while I was doing my hair and make-up. He was so proud of himself and I was so proud of him for thinking of it and doing it.

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Story of a Porch and a Scarf....

Somedays I get alot accomplished. Somedays I do not. Both kinds of days are great in my book~ I can definitely appreciate both.
This past week has been a week of projects which I absolutely love! I am still finishing up the rock patio. Last night I worked on it (with the occasional shovel of dirt by Mike :) until dark). The problem I am seeing though is the incredible amount of mosquitos that have their nightly party in our backyard. Does anyone have natural solutions for getting mosquitos to stay out of the yard? We have no standing water around so I have no idea what makes our yard so inviting to them. Any thoughts?

Beyond the rock patio I finished up the $20 porch!


Here's how it broke down
Porch Paint $5 (on the Oops! table at Home Depot)
Planters $4 ($2 each at the thrift store)
Plants $7.50 for both (on clearance at Meijer)
Light Fixture Free (in a box lot of other things I had bid on at auction)
Spray Paint $4

Oh crap--- I was $.50 over budget. I just now saw that. STINK! Well ok, here is my $20.50 porch! Before the porch was very drab and boring. Just a concrete slab. I purchased some terra cotta colored plastic planters at the thrift store and spray painted them with spray paint for plastics~ way super cool stuff!!!!
(( The house numbers are still being painted so they are not up yet--hence the crappy look above the door))

At first I was going to paint the entire front porch but then I was afraid that would get too slippery when it rained so I opted for a "frame". What do you think? I love it (atleast this week) and Mike hasn't made up his mind on it.
We would love to paint our entire brick house someday but that would be a long way off. For now, this will do....
Yesterday I finished up canning the apple butter which is always fun. I LOVE canning! I really think I was meant to be a Pioneer Woman. Yesterday I also made this scarf as a thank you gift for a woman I know. It took a little over an hour to sew and I was able to use fabric I already had on hand. The back side in linen and the patchwork is a linen and cotton mix.

As much as I accomplished this week I certainly feel a lazy week coming on soon!
This weekend we are going on a family hike to a bird sanctuary nearby. We are really looking forward to reconnecting as a family after a long work week and getting outdoors to breathe in some cool fall air.
Have a great weekend everyone. See you Monday, if not sooner...

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Remembering Others


I love letter writing. I have always loved sitting down with my little red address book and looking through (praying through) names and taking time to write notes of encouragement and love to those in my life. I wish I had more time~ or really I guess I wish I took more time to do this. Sending an email just isn't the same, especially since many older people don't have or rarely use email.
I believe it is so important to continually check in on and encourage those people in our lives that are "up in years" as well as people that have invested in us throughout our lives. Grandma, grandpa, aunt, uncle, mentor, friend, mother, father, husband, wife, child....each person is so unique and valuable to us.
So last night I sat down with a tall glass of ice water and my stationary box and was able to write a few cards before bed.
We went to sleep with the smell of apples cooking in the slow cooker. I am making apple butter which is a tedious process in a slow cooker (10-15 hours!) but well worth it. A sweet lady at church gave me a bag full of apples from her apple tree. I saved a few to make an apple stack cake and an apple tart this weekend.
I have lots of pictures to share from the house eventually. I painted and spiffed up the front porch (boy, did it need it!) and turned our little guest bathroom into an art gallery of black and white pictures from Mongolia. I am in a continual process of challenging myself to use things we already have to decorate and add character to our home. The bathroom project took no money to do and looks a million times better! I gave myself a $20 for the porch and it is a complete transformation. Resourcefulness--I love it!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Beginnings of Fall



The days are finally starting to cool down around here which means the nights and mornings are nice and chilly. For the Smith Family this means staying outdoors as much as possible!
I think for the general public summer time would be the time for grilling, hiking, playing at the park, and spending time outdoors. For us summer means mosquitoes, heat, sweat, and bees. Don't get me wrong! there are things about summer that are enjoyable (i.e. swimming, longer days, and enjoying a cold beer on a hot day) but both Mike and I thrive in cooler weather and feel much more invigorated and energized when we have on a sweater.
With all that said, the cooler weather has beckoned us outdoors. I wake up in the morning and head out to start working in the yard. Ezra plays or helps me dig until lunch time and we head inside for food and naps. Then when Canaan comes home we are back outside playing with the tennis rackets and balls, golfing, swinging, and more yard work. I fix a quick dinner and we eat out on the screened in porch. A bit more playing before we head inside for bath time and putting the boys to bed. Sometimes Mike and I sneak back out for a late night glass of wine on the porch and call it a day.
My latest project is trying to create a small stone "patio" in the back garden. The back garden was completely unmanageable for us this summer so we are converting part of it to a sitting area with a fire pit.

We have alot of stone and rock here on the property so we haven't had to go buy anything. Just lots of backbreaking work moving dirt, leveling dirt, and rock placement. I'd love to have it done this weekend but Mike hasn't been too motivated to come work on it with me this week...so we'll see.

Take time to enjoy these cooler evenings with your family. It isn't about creating some elaborate meal or setting a beautiful table. Our meals have been so special this week with simply leftovers! The other night I lit a candle- brought out leftover pizza that we warmed up on the grill. I reheated some pasta from the previous night and sliced a loaf of bread to serve with butter. Super simple and wonderful. We listened to the boys tell us about their day while the birds sang and the cool breeze swept through. These are such precious and magical times.....

Monday, September 15, 2008

Scenes From the Farmers Market




( Special thanks to Canaan Smith, photographer extroidenaire, for his great farmers market photographs for this blog.)


Saturday morning the boys and I woke up early and ventured downtown to the weekly Farmers Market. Mike was off to Mammoth Cave with the guys from church. We always love the farmers market but rarely make it. Either busy weekends or lazy weekends when we don't want to leave the house keep us away.
But Saturday we ventured downtown for a stroll through the booths. It was so nice and breezy and Canaan kept saying "Mom! Its such a beautiful morning!" Yes, it certainly was...
The harvest is so colorful and unique this time of year. Heirloom tomatoes, potatoes, all colors of beans, pumpkins and squash, and apples all have such great color and beauty.
I bought the first of I am sure MANY white pumpkins. I love the cream/white pumpkins for decorating in the house.

The rest of the weekend was a blur. Lots of continual work on the kitchen. After the total destruction of the kitchen area we (or really Mike) has had lots of clean up and such. There were water pipes to close off, electrical boxes to move, and a vent pipe to divert. The next project is to patch up the whole in the wall and ceiling from removing the walls and then we will be ready to start the fun part of painting, new hardware on the cabinet doors, new flooring, and much more.
I'll wait until we are done to show a finished project picture. I hope it turns out as amazing in reality as it does in my head.
Off to the gym I go for my "killer class"...more about that in another post.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Girls Book Study


Tonight begins a 6 week study I do each fall with my college girls at church.This time we are reading through "Beauty by the Book"; Seeing Yourself as God Sees You by Nancy Stafford. I am really looking forward to the time we will have each Friday night to read, discuss and pray through these issues that all of us women face. Mike will be starting his study with the college guys in a week or two going through the book "Waking the Dead" by John Eldridge.
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Organizing the Kitchen


I am an organizer by nature. I remember living with my parents as a younger version of myself and organizing their linen closets, kitchen cabinets, and the clutter under the kitchen sink. I would like to think I am not too OCD about it but I am sure Mike would say otherwise. I really can appreciate things being out of order at times. Chaos doesn't totally freak me out.....I just REALLY appreciate organization. Now that I have made that disclaimer...on with the post.
So yesterday I just about had it with our kitchen cabinets. Everytime I opened one up something would tumble out or there was something out of place. Part of this is my fault since moving in I haven't actually taken the time needed to properly organize. The other blame goes to...well I won't name names but he is about 6'4", dark hair, name rhymes with Ike.
We have a friend named Carrie up in Wisconsin (hi Carrie!) who I just envy for her simplified organized home. Everything seems to have a place and there is just enough of everything--not too much. That is the place in life I am trying to get to. Having just enough and not too much.
So on with the kitchen cabinets;
I cleaned them out yesterday and wiped them down. I looked at what I had objectively and asked myself those essential questions like "when is the last time we used this?", "do we really need this", and "can we live without it". Those are hard questions to ask someone like me who loves to be in the question! Of course I need 2 sets of martini glasses and 3 sets of wine glasses!...well I guess I could part with one set of each :(
!And let me just interject here. The picture shows alot of white bowls. DON'T mess with the white bowls ! :) I have a little thing for old white bowls and really I promise, they do get used!)
So thats what I did. Went through everything parting with a few things here and there and stacking things properly so they all fit nicely into the cabinets.
In other news with the kitchen, I'll hold off showing any pictures of the kitchen until we have it finished! After the total destruction of tearing out walls and huge chunks of the ceiling we now need to put it all back together again. I am dreaming of ways to paint, decorate and create to make a great space. We have given ourselves a $500 budget to completely do the kitchen (floors, backsplash, paint, and any other decor). Wish me luck! I LOVE a challenge :) The look I am going for is something like "Swedish Grandma's house on the beach in Maine with a punch of glamour". I told Mike that and he looked at me like I was insane. (really I am and he is just now wising up to it.)
Here is a great decorating resource I found online
www.myhomeideas.com
Good stuff to be found there.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Man oh man...

7am
$22 tube of new Bobbi Brown Fall Lipstick
1 TV
1 mischevious 2 year old

That about covers it for the day! See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Getting My Hands Dirty



I really can't remember what inspired me (it was a long day) but somehow I was inspired to go spend my day tearing out old flower beds, mowing the lawn, and emptying the koi pond. I am not an avid gardener by any means and in fact I am pretty sure I do not have a green thumb but I do enjoy getting out and getting my hands dirty in Gods beautiful earth.
The prior owners of this home must have had nothing else to do with their time BUT garden. There are flower beds everywhere which was a big selling point for us. But now that we live here--holy cow is it alot of work! There are 3 medium size flower beds right up by the house in the backyard and then in the back of the property there is one HUGE flower garden. The huge one just hasn't had any attention this year. It is totally overgrown and useless to us as a family. So we have decided to simplify for next year. Much of the back flower garden will be gone next year. Our pastor and his wife are giving us a great wooden playset that we will put back there and in another part we will put a seating area and a small fire ring. We will have a few plants here and there but it will definitely be more manageable than this years jungle. The beds up by the house are getting cleaned out as well. We hope to have a deck off of our dining room by next spring so they would be covered over anyhow. We have been slowly selling off the koi pond elements (fish, plants, etc...) on Craigslist....way too much upkeep and way too many mosquitoes for our taste!
So that was my day yesterday. Super fun! I even made a great little walkway to the back of our yard with pine needles. Now we just a few fall leaves on the ground for the perfect ambiance.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Seriously....

Ok, this weekend was just insane. Absolutely insane...It would take hours to explain its insanity so I will just do it in bullet points (ok, bullet slashes :):
- 2 walls removed in our house
- one of those walls having mold
- big 6 foot hole in our kitchen ceiling from wall removal
- large chunks of our kitchen floor now gone thanks to wall removal
- sink removed and Mike having no time to put in a new one yet
- no water supply in the kitchen thanks to no sink
- Ezra throwing way too many fits
- one fit resulting in him pinching a nerve in his elbow and making a trip to the ER.
- spending Saturday night in the ER until Midnight with Ezra who now has a sling on his arm.
- getting everything together for a large kick off cookout for our college students.
-waking up Sunday, running to church to get last minute things for the cookout, running out to the farm to set it all up before 1pm all while Ezra is trying to stay coordinated with a sling on his arm.
- welcoming over 60 students to the farm for a cookout for the afternoon.
- rushing back to church for Mike to teach a baptism class before baptism last night.
- Me coming home to put Ezra to bed at 7 and cleaning as much as I could to get drywall dust and mold spores out of our house until 11pm.


So that was the snippet! Many details in between that I won't strain your eyes with.
Amidst all the absolute craziness and sometimes really overwhelming nature of the entire weekend it ended on a great note last night at a quarterly worship experience our church does. I couldn't stay because Ezra really just needed to get home and into bed but Mike and Canaan stayed and Mike said it was just amazing. 22 people were baptized and Canaan was really fascinated and inquisitive about it all. The way baptism's are done at our church is that the pastor does not necessarily baptize. He can but whoever is being baptized can choose someone who has been influential in their spiritual walk to baptize them instead. It is such an emotional and meaningful thing to watch parents baptize their children, husbands baptize their wives, wives baptize their husbands, friends baptize one another.
As this is happening the church is worshiping and celebrating it all throughout. Last night was amazing in particular because as the baptism's finished up and the worship continued one of our college kids walked over to the pastor and whispered something in his ear. He then went up to the baptism and baptized his friend. It was totally spontaneous and amazing. Then our pastor just said " the baptism waters are open so come if you want to come. Spontaneously several people throughout the worship time went and were baptised. Mike said he was crying like a baby...I would have too. It is such a powerful thing to see people, especially people we have seen come to know God personally, declare it publicly.

So really in perspective; as crazy as the weekend was, how can I really complain when the hole in the ceiling is in the ceiling of a great home that we own, and the trip to the ER was no fun but we have 2 amazing boys who are healthy and happy and full of life. Running around like a chicken with our heads cut off for a cookout is tiring but having the opportunity to invest in college students lives and have them inject vitality and joy into ours is priceless.

Sooo....with that said, I guess this weekend was a good one. Thank you God for every blessing in our lives...we are truly blessed.



Saturday, September 06, 2008

Total Destruction...

Mike watched the boys last night while I went to the gym for 45 minutes. Within 45 minutes I came home to him tearing out one of our kitchen walls. This project of tearing out a couple of walls that were closing off the kitchen from the dining room was on the "to do" list but usually any house project that we start is begun after constant badgering and pleading by me. My inital reaction was "wow honey! Thats quite a project to start on a Friday at 7pm." I was happy he took initiative to just do it but really, this weekend is NOT the weekend for big demolition projects. We have a ton going on both today and tomorrow.
He was up until about 1am working and this morning I woke up to this....


Total destruction. The project is only about half done with pipes still exposed and electrical wiring to deal with. There is drywall dust EVERYWHERE! I do mean EVERYWHERE.
All I can say is "ughhhhhhhhh......"

Friday, September 05, 2008

I am such a good girl!


Day 2 of eating lunch. Hooray for me! This is exciting stuff. On the menu today at Megan's Cafe is tuna croquette (tuna, yellow squash, zucchini, carrot, and bread crumbs) topped with sour cream----FYI ; sour cream is good on EVERYTHING! And another bowl of Tomato & Red Pepper Soup topped with...yes you guessed it...sour cream (hey now--its the low fat kind!)

Welcome Fall Foods!



I am ready to transition from my summer salad and grilled chicken recipes to the wonderful soups, stews and comfort food of fall. I put some of my fall colored cookbooks on display on top of my cookbook shelf which gives me even more inspiration to get in the kitchen. Yesterday I used my last frozen ziplock bag of chicken stock from the freezer so today I will pull out my big stockpot and make another batch that will last me for the next few months.
Here is yesterdays recipe for Southwest Tomato & Roasted Pepper Soup

It is adapted from a Fine Cooking recipe:
1 large red bell pepper, diced (or you could use a roasted red pepper)
3T olive oil
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped.
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cuin
3 cups chicken broth (I used 2c. and a bit of water)
28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup sour cream
1 Tbsp. lime juice
1/2 tsp. lime zest
Salt & Pepper

In a pot heat oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until just soft, 8-10 minutes. Stir the chili powder and cumin into the onions. Add the diced red pepper and cook another 2 minutes. Add the broth and tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer 15 minutes.
Let cool briefly and then puree the soup in two or three batches in a blender or food processor. Return to pot and add salt and pepper to taste.
Meanwhile, combine the sour cream, lime juice and lime zest in a small bowl.
Serve soup with a dollop of sour cream and enjoy!

Have a great weekend! See you Monday.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

My Afternoon



After going to the gym this morning I came home and made myself lunch. Yes lunch. This may not seem like a big thing to some of you but in my daily life I rarely take time to eat lunch let alone make lunch for myself. Usually my lunch consists of eating a few raw almonds and then eating a couple of bites of whatever I make Ezra. But today at the gym I determined that I should really start monitoring what I eat more and taking care of myself more in that area. So I came home and made Tomato and Red Pepper Soup with lime sour cream. I'll try to post the recipe tomorrow. It was really simple (about 20 minutes) and it is really healthy and good! I have enough to have for lunch for a few days and it even can be frozen for later use. YUM!
Secondly I made myself this headband. Its reversible with linen on the otherside. The underside has elastic for a snug fit. It took about 15 minutes--easy!! It is so nice having my uber-organized sewing space now that I can run up and whip out a project without having to dig for fabric, elastic, thread, etc...
The reason for this little project is that we have an open house at Canaan's school tonight and I really didn't want to have to wash my hair beforehand. So the answer to hiding dirty hair is a headband! Tada!!

Venturing Outdoors




This past Labor Day weekend we headed up for a trip to Cincinnati. We often go to Cincy, which is about an 1 1/2 hr. drive on weekends. For one, its time for Mike and I to talk while the boys nap or play quietly in the back. We have always loved long drives together. We try to always take time out during the day and evening to discuss the day and catch each other up on "life" but the longer drives give us opportunity to dream for the future, set goals, and make plans.
Anyhow, off to Cincinnati we went this weekend. I looked up some parks around the area before we left and found a park that had an outdoor wet playground. Sounded perfect for the 90 degree day in store. The park was wonderful! We paid $5 for the entire year to get us in all of the Hamilton County Parks (about 10 or so). Sharon Woods was a beautiful park with a great "wet" playground, paddleboats, fishing boats, an indoor 2-story playground and so much more that we didn't even see. Each park in the area has its own special features that we are excited to explore. This winter the parks offer ice skating and cross country skiing as well.
Our only frustration was that it took us 4 years of living here to find it! Lexington, where we live now, unfortunately doesn't have a great park system. Kentucky in general has some nice state parks but it is a lengthy drive to some of them and there isn't much else in the area to do.
So anyhow, that was our weekend. This upcoming weekend is going to be really fun! We are hosting the kick-off cookout for the college group at some property Mike's sister and husband own just outside of town. The weather looks like it will be perfect and it will be so nice to connect with our students just back from summer break.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Some Baby Love...

Now that both of my friends have received their baby gifts I can post pictures of the recent baby gifts I made for them.
Both friends live in Orlando where we used to live. Both are having their second baby. Crystal just had a little girl, Rowan, about a week ago. Freedom is having a little boy, Paolo Rio Chaim anyday now.
Both of them have great style so I was a bit scared in making them--hoping that they would be something they liked.
Here is little Rowan's quilt ( I think you can click on the picture for a larger view if you'd like)













And here is little Rio's quilt















Also on the sidebar I added a little "menu" section of what we'll be eating this week. I always love to know what my friends (especially Kristie)are having for dinner to get some new ideas and some motivation to cook "outside the box". So hopefully that little section may help you!