Young Indy

Don't be fooled......
this little girly girl,
pinky in the air tea-tottler,
Dora lovin',
Barney groupie
has an alter ego.....

and Load.

She and her big brother know every word,
action, duck and punch
of every Indi*ana Jon*es movie...
and attempt to act them out
(in a full Nerf regalia, of course)
directly under my feet when I'm cooking dinner.

Spring....HEELLLLLOOOOO...Mother Nature, can you hear me?
The snow is so yesterday we're ready for Spring PLEASE!


Thankful Thursday: A Tribute

On this day, I can't help but think
of one of the very best friends I have ever had.


The time always passed so quickly.
The words came so effortlessly.
The admiration and adoration was mutual.


And the laughter...well, it was plentiful and from the soul.
It engaged the world around us.
What fun we had.


In my heart, only beautiful thoughts remain.

I believe we are who we are in life because of the people
we have loved and those who have loved us so deeply in return.


Thank you for loving me so and for leading me
down the path to my Today.
You would be so proud!

You have left an indelible mark on my life.
I am truly in your debt and carry you with me forever.

Happy 63rd Birthday, FMT!
As I lit a candle in your honor this morning
I smiled and thought:
Heaven is no longer missing an Angel!

"So with love ~ Sighs from the deep sea of affection;
Laughter from the colorful field of the spirit;
Tears from the endless heaven of memories," ~ Tears and Laughter...
Song of the Rain...Kahlil Gibran



Sometimes life can get so busy that I find
I allow myself to pulled in many different directions and
I wind up feeling overwhelmed.

I lose my perspective on what is really important
to me and it hampers my ability to enjoy the beauty of those things.

I have a tendency to look at the big picture and set my sights down the road,
which isn't always a bad thing unless you forget to live in the now;
enjoying the simple pleasures life offers every day.

Sharing my life with JR and the children has given me an opportunity
to learn that I am not a One Woman Show anymore
(as I was for most of my life before them).

However, if you ask JR, he'd tell you that he has to remind me of this quite often.

I have a friend who regularly visits my blog.
She says that when she visits our life always looks so perfect
and it makes her feel like she's not doing enough.
I laugh because I think sometimes I am not doing enough either.
I tell her that its not perfect...
we, too, have our ups and downs in our daily lives like everyone else.
On any given day we stress over...work, the children, school,
extended family, juggling finances, communicating with one another,
eating and exercising right, keeping our relationship in growth mode...
the list goes on.

When I started this blog I chose to dwell on the small details
of our lives to remind myself that though not perfect,
we have so much to be grateful for and life is, indeed, beautiful.

I decided that there are so many special moments that
I want to cherish and give the honor they deserve.
I don't want to ever take them for granted or allow them to elude me,
and although I don't capture every one of them;
I find that by celebrating the little things our lives
are enriched in so many different ways.

It's my hope that by sharing the little special things that happen here,
those who visit will smile and realize that life is not perfect,
nothing beautiful ever is
rather, truly living really is in the details.

Perhaps being reminded of this they, in turn, will pause a little longer
on the very special things in their own every day that make life exceptional...

like holding onto the people who mean the most to you,


and never forgetting the importance of laughter.


For more wonderful Black and White images be sure to check out Black and White Wednesdays HERE.

the long road


Monday with Papa

Every week Nana and Sweetie pick two days
to spend together while JR and I are at work.

The other 3 days she joins her friends at school.

This week, Nana could only spend one day with her littlest granddaughter
since she has a visitor from out of town staying at her place.

Papa to the rescue.

JR has a habit of not taking his vacation days from work.

He has 3 weeks worth of vacation from 2009 to use up by June this year.
He decided to start spending some Daddy/Daughter time with his girl...
so expect lots more this to come!

Unbelieveable cuteness...let the spoiling begin.

First thing when he gets up JR runs to the bagel shop to shower his princess with a fresh bagel baked that morning ...


Then off to do some outdoor chore time together a la Papa
Note the fact that Sweetie is in her jammies
and isn't wearing ANY shoes in the freezing cold...
I did!

Then a little food shopping.

See the bandaid?

Well, after her accident last summer we kept her forehead covered and out of the sun until late Fall, per doctor's orders.

She is the undisputed Bandaid Queen 'round these parts.

Now, she's addicted to them and feels they are so much more than a fashion accessory!
To her, they are a necessity.
She checks to see if the sun is out at the window each day
and even though she no longer needs to cover her scar
(its the dead of Winter after all!) she wants to.
I tell her no and distract her until
she's on to the next thing and forgets about it.

Not JR. He still lets her wear them whenever she wants...even to bed.
Last night there was one sideways across her nose when I put the blanket on her again at 2am.

One thing's for sure...these two are completely off the CUTE-OMETER!


Worth the Wait

Sometimes when you think you just can't wait anymore...
you realize that the wait was all part of the Master Plan.


Even now, when he's not looking I glance over in his direction
to make sure he's really there.

My heart skips a beat and I catch my breath when he turns,
catching me...he always smiles.

JR and I almost missed one another.

I was ready to give up on finding someone to share my life with.
He was resigned to being a bachelor forever (albeit with a harem all his own)

I have learned two valuable lessons:

1. Almost only counts in Horse Shoes

2. Giving Up should never be attempted

For a glimpse of more Black and White Wednesdays visit Long Road to China HERE.


Happy Valentine's Day

JR had to work yesterday.

The kids and I love waking up with him on Sunday mornings
since he is usually up and out before 5AM during the week.

On those few Sundays that he has to work; we're always bummed out.

This Sunday also happened to be Valentine's Day so we were doubly bummed.

We awoke to find this little note from him next to my coffee mug.


WonderBoy and I decided to prepare some sweet treats
and have a little Valentine Party ready for when Papa returned.

We made Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
(My sous chef revelled in turning the frosting the perfect shade of pink with a drop of red food coloring!)


Sweetie Pie and her brother were full of the lovey spirit all day waiting for the party to begin.


Well, Sweetie was.


Her brother had to be coaxed but who can refuse that little face...
even he crumbled under the pressure.



The kids passed the time by making homemade Valentine's cards
with construction paper, cardboard and sparkle tissue paper for their father.
They helped me set the table with lots of pink and red goodies.



There were lots and lots and lots of sweet treats.



We made personal heart shaped pizza for appetizers.


As soon as JR arrived home the kids cheered.
Special RED beverages were had by all.

The two littlest hearts had Shirley Temples, a holiday staple.
My Valentine and I had Cosmopolitans.
Mmmm they sure did hit the spot.



For dinner we had filet mignon au poivre with
sauteed sweet brussels sprouts with chopped pecans
along with a crispy arugula salad topped with
crumbled feta cheese and dried cranberries.


It was very good.
JR had seconds and thirds!

The kids received a few little Valentine gifts along with one joint gift...
which was VERY appropros...
after they ingested a small factory worth of sugar yesterday!


Hope your day was a sweet as ours was!



Rhapsody in Red

A hundred hearts would be too few
to carry all the love I have in my heart for you.








Happy Valentine's Day!


Heavenly Peach Crunch Cake

It was one of those Saturday nights.

WonderBoy and JR were foraging for something to fill the yearning of their sweet tooth.

I saw this recipe last week on one of my favorite sites, Bakerella.

She just makes the most incredible edibles and inspires me to get back to baking;
something I have loved to do since I was a little girl.

Her stuff isn't always that easy but nothing that looks
as good as hers does ever really is.

This recipe did, however, keep calling my name so I figured it was easy
enough to whip together with WonderBoy on the fly.

So, we got to it and I can't even tell you how
amazing this dessert was, not to mention super easy.

Easy Peasy. She's not kidding!

Do yourself a favor: Serve it warm with ice cream.

You'll be so glad you did and those who share it with you will love you forever!

Bakerella Peach
(photo courtesy of Bakerella)

Peach Crunch Cake

24.5 oz jar of sliced peaches in light syrup (don't drain the syrup)
1 package yellow cake mix
1 stick butter (1/2 cup), cut into 16 pieces
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Layer ingredients in a 13 X 9 dish, in order starting with the peaches.
Bake for about 40 minutes.
Serve warm or cold… with or without ice cream.

Now head on over to COLLEEN'S blog and prepare yourself to be
wow-ed with some other killer recipes!


Snow Day Eats

As the snow came down here this week,
we decided to enjoy the time we had at home and cook some of our favorites.
WonderBoy requested my homemade bread and confessed he had a hankerin' for fajitas.

With my marching orders in hand, we hit the pantry and fired up the oven.
First we made the bread that WonderBoy learned to braid and let it rise
while we played in the snow.


Our masterpiece doubled in size as we chilled out in our Winter Wonderland.



We popped it in the oven when we came back in and then hit the showers.
By the time we were spic and span and jammied up, the smell of fresh baked bread wafted through the house like the call of the ancient mariner.


We couldn't get enough of it and in minutes it looked like a pack of hungry wolves had run through the butter and ravaged the loaf.

Next up, the beef fajitas.
We used a new recipe which called for marinating the beef in tequila, lime juice and lots of spices for several hours.
WonderBoy was so into it.

He got a kick out of being my sous chef for the day.
Right now he has a big interest in eating but as he assists in the kitchen I can see that little sparkle in his eye...the one that I and all my siblings had when we were young that led each of us to the joys of cooking.
Hopefully, WonderBoy will see the correlation between eating well and learning to cook.

We cooked the veggies for the fajitas and grilled the beef on our
new stovetop double burner grill pan which worked fabulously.

And voila...

The fajitas were a big hit.
JR and I kept staring at that bottle of tequila and decided to partake in a shot or two.
The kids were so intrigued as they watched us perform the salt, shot, lime ritual and insisted on then licking salt off their hands and chugging their milk in shot glasses at dinner.
Oh Boy, bet that'll go over real well in the school cafeteria!


No evening would be complete for JR and WonderBoy without a sweet treat.
My sous chef and I decided to make homemade Snickerdoodle cookies to end the meal.



We were right...they were the bomb.
3 dozen cookies didn't make it the night; furiously devoured by the natives...
including the littliest one who probably put away half a dozen herself!

What a perfect way to spend a blustery, snow day.