Saturday, January 31, 2009


I finally got a photo editing program called Picasa. It's a free download, just googled it. Now i can crop photos before i blog! It's a simple program, which is fine. I don't need to do anything fancy, plus i wouldn't have self control and would spend too much time playing around with pictures instead of getting things done!
I tested it out with pics of the boys playing with hats. Not sure what the big deal is, but they love playing "hats".
This one might be zoomed in a little too much, got kinda fuzzy....Ben playing w/ grandpa's hat.

Seems like when one feels like kissing, the other one doesn' you can see above! :)

Have a great week everyone....

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Even though the snow this time was covered with a sheet of ice, we were able to find some snow that was starting to melt (behind the house) which made it easier to make a snowman! We had fun, this time using an adorable "kit" we got for Christmas. In this kit there are all the accessories for making a snowman.....eyes, nose, mouth pieces, buttons, scarf, hat, even a pipe.. There are enough peices to do 4 snowman. Then Adam gave the boys a sled ride.
Kitty was taking it all in.....

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A couple more recipes

I'm not much of a baker, but i do enjoy it sometimes....when the recipe is short & (literally) sweet! Adam helped me make these Vanilla cupcakes and they are quite yum. With a whole Tablespoon of vanilla in the batter, it gives it great flavor. The icing is also very good.
Vanilla cupcakes
1 3/4 c. flour
1 TB baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup butter
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup, plus 2 TB milk
1 TB vanilla extract

Mix ingredients together and beat until smooth. Spoon batter into cupcake papers so they are 1/2 full. You should get around 16 cupcakes. Bake 12 minutes at 375.

Choc. icing
4 T butter
2 c. 10x sugar
1/4 c. cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. Vanilla extract
1/4 c. milk

I'm trying out a new magazine (found a few on ebay) called Cooks Country. I found an easy recipe for pork chops that i tried last night and we liked them...
Pork chops with spicy orange glaze
4 pork chops
1 tsp. plus 1 T oil
salt and pepper
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. sugar
2 garlic cloves
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
3/4 cup orange juice
Rub each chop with 1/4 tsp. oil and sprinkle w/ salt, pepper, and cumin. Sprinkle one side of each chop with 1/8 tsp. sugar.
Place chops, sugared side down, in large nonstick skillet and press meat into pan. Cook, w/out moving, over med. heat until lightly browned (6-9 min.) turn chops, reduce heat to low, cover and cook 5 min. transfer chops to dish.
Add remaining 1T oil, garlic, and pepper flakes to empty pan and cook over med heat until fragrant, (about 30 seconds). Add juice and simmer until slightly thickened (5 min) Tip accumulated juices from chops into skillet, cook 1 minute. pour sauce over chops and serve. (i had to cook the chops a little longer at the end, they were pretty thick).

Sunday, January 25, 2009


These women deserve some recognition! The boys have 2 wonderful Grandmas, who they adore. Now that the twins are talking, they talk about "me-me" quite often. And Adam always looks forward to visits and spending time with his grandmas. They have also been a tremondous help to me, coming here to help or taking 1 or 2 boys for an afternoon or a day or two! It gives me a break and also allows me to have better one-on-one time with each one. (which would be rather challenging if not for their help!) I'm so thankful they both live close and make themselves so available. I know every grandma thinks she has the greatest grandkids, but it must go both ways, because i think the boys think they have the greatest grandmas! So Thank You for investing in their lives, for the Godly examples you are to my boys, and for all you do for them and our family!! ( I hope you didn't mind me posting's too late now! )

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Indoor Play

Someone should write a book on what to do with kids indoors during the winter months. (maybe someone already has!?!) The boys have been pretty good, but sometimes they just want something exciting to do!
we were given grapefruit in these boxes, that the twins crawl in and i push them around the kitchen and around the table. they love it, but it sure is exhausting for me!
Ben's reaction to "make a silly face!"........

....and brad's reaction to "make a silly face".....

Adam brought me his 'garden tools' the other week and said "MOM, what can i dig??" it was cute. i thought with 9 degree weather, he probably wouldn't have much fun digging in the mulch outside, so i whipped out some macoronis and put them in a big container. He was good for 15 minutes of digging :)

If the boys get too bored, they just sit on each other.....

Any other suggestions for indoor play??

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Snow play

What a pretty snow we got yesterday...the sun is taking care of it now. but ealier today we snuck in some play time.
Adam was really living it up. This morning when the twins were napping we headed out.

There's just enough of a hill in our backyard for some sledding.

Snow angel!
This afternoon after lunch, we headed out again. This time with the twins. It was a shorter outing :) Ben & Brad enjoyed it only for a little while.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Cousin Dana

We had a sleepover last night with my brother's girl, Dana. It was so fun. She turns 4 next week. Adam and Dana are exactly 10 months apart and have always been good friends. To make it a true sleepover Adam and Dana slept in the same room overnight....And finally got quiet just after 10:30pm!! I grew up with cousins my age on both sides of the family and I'm glad the boys have that too.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


I love to make soup in the wintertime. Love to eat it too. This week i made some soups, that i thought i'd share. Everyone likes them, even the boys.

The first one is Pasta Fagioli Soup, a recipe that came from Olive Garden's website. It makes a lot and freezes well...
1 LB ground beef
1 c. chopped onion
1 c. shredded carrot
1 c. chopped celery
2 garlic cloves
2 cans diced tomatoes (14.5 oz)
1 can red kidney beans, with liquid (15 oz)
1 can great northern beans with liquid (15 oz)
1 12 oz can V8 juice (or more)
1 T vinegar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp oregano & basil
1/2 tsp. pepper & thyme
1 c. pasta

brown beef in large pan. drain, and add onion, carrot, celery, & garlic. Saute for 10 minutes. Add remaining ingredients (except pasta) and simmer for 1 hour. cook pasta for 10 minutes and add to soup.

The second one is a Creamy Turkey soup. you could probably use chicken also.
1 onion, chopped
3 celery ribs, chopped
5 T butter
5 T flour
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. thyme, savory, and parsley (i never used the savory)
1 1/2 c. milk
3 c. cubed cooked turkey
5 medium carrots, chopped
1-2 c. turkey or chicken broth
1 package (10 oz) frozen peas

In a soup kettle, saute onion and celery in butter until tender. Stir in the flour and seasonings. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly until thickened. Add turkey and carrots. Add enough broth until desired consistency. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. add peas; cover and simmer for 15 more minutes or until veggies are tender. Makes 2 quarts.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Interesting realization today......before kids, i was so judgmental with moms and how they would mother their kids (like i knew anything about parenting). I couldn't believe how mom's would 'let their kids run the show' & the lack of discipline, etc. WELL, how things change when you become a mom. Things i said I'd never do, I'm doing.....Adam DOES jump on the sofa...Ben DOES walk around outside sometimes w/out a jacket, in the middle of winter......Brad does randomly shout out 'kitty cat!' in the middle of prayer during church, and i DON'T rush him out of the sanctuary and scold him. Funny how those are the things that i just couldn't believe mom's would let their kids do. It seems so minor now. I should not have judged them. I remember the people I used to critique and they are not bad moms...And neither am I !!! It was a challenge for me to not judge others....Especially when you've never been there yourself!!

Friday, January 9, 2009

This year Im going to try and stick to this. I'm reading the Daily Walk Bible, a one-year bible/devotional. I got this several years ago and tried it, and i didn't get past Numbers! So I'm hoping to do a little better this year :) I got a head start, since i started on our vacation. So I'm already in Leviticus. I like this, because before the days reading, it explains what your about to read, and gives a short devotional w/ it. Every 7th day, there is no scripture reading...just a summary of the previous week. You can also use the 7th day as a catch up day on any days you missed that week. I'm not a reader, so we'll see how far i get, but i would really like to stick to it.

Monday, January 5, 2009


Our neighbor girl Meg likes to come over & play with the boys. They love when she comes, and i like it too since she's old enough to help me out! (8 years) She comes about once a week, on average. It's fun to watch Adam interact with her and watch the twins follow her around. I call her their "big sister". Her only sibling is away at college, so she basically feels like an only child. She wants to come to church with us sometime, so I'm excited for that. She's a sweet girl and I'm grateful for the opportunity the boys have to be her friend.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Family Heir Looms

Recently, Rod's Gma and Gpa moved off the farm and into the Mennonite Home. Talk about a change! (thankfully they love it there) They decided not to do an auction, but they had a lot of things, so we had a "divi" night, where all their things were spread out on tables in the garage and in the house and the children (7) and grandchildren took turns and claimed their treasure. It was really neat. I enjoyed seeing what all they had and who took what. I am thrilled to have gotten Gma's old China set. There are a lot of pieces to the set, 12-18 place settings, plus serving dishes, trays, gravy boat, etc. What an honor to be apart of keeping this china set in the family. I look forward to using it!