Friday, August 30, 2013


Tried a new recipe last night, and it was so quick and easy to make.  It was also delicious!  The spinach and tomatoes came from the garden which makes it feel better for some reason :)  I want to keep tortellini on hand for a quick last minute supper in the future.

Creamy Tomato & Sausage Tortellini:
1 Package (19oz) frozen cheese tortellini
2 Italian sausage links (3 oz each) sliced
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes with garlic and onion, undrained
1 pkg (6 oz) fresh baby spinach
4 oz. cream cheese
* Cook tortellini according to package directions.  In a large nonstick skillet add a little oil and cook the sliced sausage for several minutes until cooked through.  Add tomatoes and spinach; cook and stir until spinach wilts.  Stir in cream cheese until melted.  Drain tortellini; add to sausage mixture.  Toss to combine. 
That's it!  you can use any meat that you have (but the sausage is good), and throw in whatever veggies you might have leftover in fridge.  can't go wrong w/ this creamy/tomato base!

We've been eating supper outside on the front porch for over a week straight now.  The goal is to do this every night for as long as possible, at least through September.  Adam wants to eat out there in his snow pants!
I love everything about eating outside.  Except maybe the trek to get everything out there.  but we keep it simple...share waters, and usually just use one utensil each.  The dining room floor is thankful for this latest kick. 

Have to share what the boys are up to, they not only start the campfire on their own now, but they make their own popcorn over the fire!  Adam started this, using the mountain pie maker.  He watched Rod one night make popcorn in a kettle and decided to make a little personal size portion for himself . We have 3 mountain pie makers, so tonight they were all popping away, even Clay!
Pardon all those silly bands, my boys are stuck in the year 2010! 
Well the boys are up now, on their day off and Clay is demanding oatmeal (over and over and over).  Have a happy Labor Day weekend all.  

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


here we go, 1st and 2nd graders! 

it appears i'm the only mom on the face of facebook ready for the my kids to start their year!  they seem excited about the new school, new playground, new and old friends, and their teachers.  I wouldn't be doing them any favors by holding on to my mighty men!  I'm excited for what the year holds for them, and us a family.  I pray in faith that they will learn and grow in leaps and bounds.  I'm already so proud of how far they've come in one year. 

Ben and Brad's teacher is a teacher liason for the Mom's prayer group, I am happy to have her be their teacher.  Adam has another young teacher, but honestly that works great for him.  He really enjoyed his teacher last year.

Clay is doing fine and has just been a barrel of chatty-ness.  Oh the things he says and does.  We've had a young fellow helping out with our greenhouse project for several days, and today I noticed Clay over with him talking his ear off for over an hour.  I went over later and wanted to know truthfully if Clay was bothering him, and he said yes he's getting on my nerves.  Bummer.   So I pulled him away and we made cookies for the school boys for when they came home. 

Clay is starting his own adventure in 2 weeks.  This spring I signed him up for 2 mornings of preschool a week at a local church.  It was so cool, when I went in to sign him up, I saw our neighbor twins names on the list in the same class as Clay!  so excited for him to be in class with 2 kiddos he already knows.  And we plan to carpool too, which will be nice for everyone.  This is our first experience with preschool.  I didn't even consider it with the others, and used to have some opinions about preschool.  But that was before I met Clay :)  He will love it and it will be a good thing for him to be in class with kids his own age.  He truly does think he's about 5 or 6 years old.  Slow down bubba. 

 Hope everyone has a good school year. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Whew, the boys just spent the morning w/ me in the kitchen while I canned some soup.  They often like to be where I am which I don't mind except it's loud and messy and sometimes dangerous!  They hot glued some creations; sling shots and bows and arrows.  Now lunch is over and Ben went with Rod to the shop and I shooed the rest outside.  Now I get on here with my black cherry soda and peace and quiet....for now :)

An old friend of mine (from school and church) was in town this summer and she did a photo shoot for us.  She's a great photographer and captured us pretty well.  It was no easy task, the boys were on "home turf" so they were quite comfortable with this endeavor (a.k.a. rowdy and not real cooperative).  I wanted it to be fun though, and it was.  So we just let them do their thing and we snuck some photos in. 

We have 80 pics, here are some favs:  (Mom, i'll put them all up on shutterfly if you want to order any!)


Monday, August 12, 2013

past several days....

So much for taking the summer days slow and at home, we just had 4 very busy days away from home!

On thurs we went to Cherry Crest Farms, my favorite place to take the boys.  It's filled with fantastic farm themed activities for kids.  We could spend an entire day there.  We were there 5 hours and got chased out because they were closing due to rain.  We've never done the big maze, but they had a smaller, kid one this year that they liked. 
Some favorite stations:
Sling shots-lots of time spent here.  they are aiming at large pictures of animals that are hung 4 different places.

Pedal carts-

Bounce pillows-Strasburg railroad runs through cherry crest pretty often.

Giant Slide-
Mom surprised us with the 2 oldest cousins, that was a lot of fun! 
And the reason we went last week is because of tractor pull week.  We all entered, even me :) 
Clay can't figure out why he can't pedal any more!
Then Friday early morning, (before 6!) we left for Rod's cousins house, in VA.  We spent the day w/ them and camped out in their yard.  We had a great time visiting w/ them, the boys had fun with their boys who they don't get to see too often.  And poor Elsa was slightly outnumbered.  She handled it well :)
(The rest of our trip was unplanned and we just 'winged' it!)
We left the cousins late Saturday morning and stopped at Luray Caverns in Virginia.  These beautiful caverns were discovered 135 years ago.  We did the tourist thing and took a tour of that.  You almost have to visit it to get the full effect. 


Then as we continued driving toward home, Rod says hey we'll be going right past camp hebron, let's stay there tonight!  We arrived there about 5:30 and stayed overnight till late Sunday afternoon.  And we got home 6:00 Sunday night!  It was an awesome weekend, but I was happy to sleep in a BED last night and get cleaned up.  I'm thankful we didn't need to cancel out on this.  Rod's back was very bad again earlier in the week and we really didn't know if we were going to go until Thursday he decided we can do it.  It's slowly been getting better every day.  He's been through so much with his back!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

ball games

a couple weeks ago our family went to the barnstormers game.  they sat and watched a little better then the last time we were there!  (thankful for that playground though)
there weren't many people there so we sat down low, close to the visitors dugout.  we got 2 balls!  both times from someone on the other team, on his way back to the dugout after an inning was over. 
that was a fun experience for the boys (and me!) 

Cylo signed both the balls. 

And last night we went to Michael's softball game. 
Still haven't taken them to a Phillies game yet.  We'll wait till they are older and get our money's worth a little more.  For now they get to look inside the stadium a little bit on the way to the beach :)

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Best salsa ever!

I've been using this recipe for 10+ years and it's a fabulous salsa.  I doubled the recipe and it made 20 pts.  I was complaining to someone at church about all the chopping it took to make it, and he said "I used my food processor for ours".  Oh, yeah.  now there's an idea.  Next time :) 

Salsa (makes 10 pints)
14 cups diced tomatoes (skins and most seeds removed)
3 cups onions
1 cup green pepper
1/2 cup jalepeno pepper
5 garlic cloves

2 T salt
1 T chili powder
1 T garlic powder
1 cup tomato juice
1 1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 cup vinegar
5 T clear gel 

Fill jars 3/4 full of tomato mixture.  Add 1/4 cup mix (per pint).  Fill the rest with tomato mixture.  Stir. 
Process for 30 minutes.

In other news, the boys are getting their share of groundhogs, since the farmer mowed the hay again.  Grandma has been patiently waiting for this photo.  haha. 

We are savoring our evenings around here, our favorite time of day, being together outside puttering around with this or that.  Hoping for a little bit of a heat wave to come soon, as we are pool sitting next week!