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Each member of our family is so different, like individual components of a symphony. But, like a symphony, each part is important to the overall structure and sound of the piece. We all work together to make a beautiful sound...our family. Just as the Lord knit us together in the womb, He is now knitting us together as a family, for His glory, outside the womb.

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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Cupcake


My MomPom loves pink and cupcakes. She loves to make or buy yummy and pretty cupcakes and display them on her cupcake tree. She also likes to sew. So, when I saw this pattern for a pin cushion, I immediately thought of her and had to make it for her. It was really quick and easy. I was able to knit it up in only a couple of days, with 3 kids around me. So just imagine how fast it would go with no kids or interruptions. I love how the pins look like pretty sprinkles. I just want to eat it up! I hope she likes it!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Finn's Birthday Videos



Today, we went down to Denver to celebrate Finn's birthday with Bill, Karen, Jeff, Kelli, Bryan, Jenny, Sophie, Clara and Sam. Karen was so sweet and prepared a sack lunch for all the kids to have a picnic out on blankets on the lawn. Everyone got a cute flower shaped peanut butter and jelly sandwich, capri suns, pudding, applesauce, string cheese, fruit snacks, Cars plates and napkins, and a hotwheels car! It was so thoughtful! I loved it! Thank you MomPom! For the adults, Karen made yummy wondersandwich. If you don't know what that is, maybe she will post it on her blog. It is so yummy and fattening...full of cream cheese. Then, after much running around, Finn took a break to open his presents from Granny and Papa (Kelli and Bryan already gave Finn his Handy Manny tool box for his birthday). He got clothes, Percy and the Sodor Library train car, a Cars sippy cup, and two builder books. He loved them! He played with the trains all the way home and then brought his hotwheels car with him to the store this evening.
I was able to go through the Einstein Bagels drive-thru on the way home (lucky for me there is one on the way out of town from Bill and Karen's) and get a delicious Frozen Cafe Mocha. Love it! It's probably good that we don't have Einstein Bagels in Ft. Collins because it makes it that much more of a treat when I get to have one.

I finally figured out how to post bigger videos in the body of my blog. So, here are some videos from Finn's birthday of the farm, the cake and the presents!


Friday, August 20, 2010

Aria's First Laugh



Today, Cadence and Finn were throwing balloons in the air and Aria started laughing at them for the first time (I'm sure she will find many more opportunities to laugh at them in the future). I was so happy to capture it on video.

So I had my friend Karen, whom I went to school with in Prague, over for lunch today and I wanted to share the recipe. I made taco salad and it tasted great, looked fancy and was really easy to make. If you don't want to make the Tortilla Shells you could just throw in some tortilla chips instead, but they make the dish look really nice and they are super easy to make. Also, I made the Thousand Island Dressing because I didn't have any bottled, but I had all the ingredients to make it, but you could substitute bottled dressing to make things easier and quicker (though it didn't take long to make at all. I just made it the night before).

Recipe Highlight:
Taco Salad
Tortilla Shells
3/4 C Thousand Island Dressing
1 pound lean ground beef
2/3 C. water
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. ground red pepper (cayenne)
1 can kidney beans, drained and can reserved
1 medium head lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese (4 ounces)
2/3 C. sliced ripe olives
2 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium avocado, thinly sliced
Sour cream, if desired
1. Make Tortilla Shells and Thousand Island Dressing (see below)
2. Cook beef (I used turkey) in 10" skillet over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until brown; drain. Stir in water, chili powder, salt garlic powder, red pepper and beans (if you don't have these ingredients you could probably substitute taco seasoning). Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer uncovered 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool 10 minutes.
3. Mix lettuce, cheese, olives, tomatoes and onion in large bowl (I don't really like olives and onions, so I left them out). Toss with dressing. Add beef mixture and toss. Divide among Tortilla Shells. Garnish with avocado and sour cream (I didn't have these, so I left them off).

Tortilla Shells
Reserved empty kidney bean can
Vegetable oil
8 flour tortillas (10 inches in diameter)
1. Remove label and both ends of kidney bean can. Wash can and dry thoroughly. (Or use a metal ladle if you have one).
2. Heat oil (1 1/2 inches) in 3-quart saucepan to 375 or medium to medium-high heat. (Diameter of saucepan should be at least 9 inches).
3. Place 1 tortilla on top of saucepan. Push tortilla into oil by gently pushing can down with tongs or with metal ladle.
4. Fry tortilla about 5 seconds or until set; remove can or ladle. Fry tortilla 1 to 2 minutes longer, turning in oil, until crisp and golden brown.
5. Carefully remove tortilla from oil, and drain excess oil from inside. Turn tortilla shell upside down on paper towels; cool.
6. Repeat with remaining tortillas.

Thousand Island Dressing
1 C. mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. shopped fresh parsley
2 Tbsp. chopped pimiento-stuffed olives
2 Tbsp. ketchup
1 tsp. finely chopped onion
1/2 tsp. paprika
1 Hard-Cooked Egg, finely chopped

Mix all ingredients. Store covered in refrigerator.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

First Day of Preschool



Today was Cadence's first day of preschool for the year. She goes Tuesday and Thursday mornings. To celebrate her first day I bought her a new dress and sparkly pink Toms. So cute! I think I was more excited about the outfit, especially the shoes, than her.

Finn was also dressed up in his tie shirt and plaid shorts. He had to go to the doctor today to get shots, not as fun as preschool. He did great, though! No tears. Lightening McQueen came along for moral support.

Afterwards, we got red slushies from Sonic to celebrate making it through his doctor's appointment so well and for Cadence's first day of preschool. She had a lot of fun! She drew a picture of me and a picture of flowers. She even had pink feet because they painted something with their feet and it turned their feet pink. Most of the kids in her class were first timers, so there were a lot of emotional parents there. I was glad to already have a year of preschool under my belt and feel comfortable leaving her there. It was also nice that she was comfortable with it and didn't have any emotional break-downs when I left. A great day!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Happy Birthday Baby Boy!

Today our baby boy turned 2! Wow! I can't believe it. He is such a joy in our family and in my life. He is handsome, funny and a cuddle bug. These days Finn loves Thomas the Train, Cars and Pugsley. He is a wonderful brother and son. I love him so much!
We started the celebration day off by putting on party hats and Cadence and Finn each got a goody bag of toys. Cadence said that she looked like a unicorn with her party hat on. After breakfast, we headed to the Lee Martinez Farm near Old Town. It is a cute little animal farm and the kids were able to feed the sheep and goats grain. They were very slobbery, but it was fun. There was also a big fat pig playing in the mud, but he wasn't too interested in us.
After the farm we came home for lunch, presents and cake. I used chocolate Twizzlers for the train track and jelly beans for the balloons on the cake. Finn got 2 sets of p.j.s (Thomas and Cars), a lightening McQueen car, a Vtech computer like Cadence's (only not pink), and two new trains for his train track. The trains are Bill and Dennis, in honor of his grandpas.
After his nap (which his new car took with him), we went out for birthday pizza at Beau Jo's. Yum!
It was such a great day and a fun celebration! We are blessed with a beautiful little boy.
Last weekend, my parents came up for lunch on Saturday to celebrate Finn's birthday. They brought pizza and very yummy cupcakes, as you can see from Cadence's lovely display on her face. Doesn't that look appetizing. They gave him some nice clothes, Thomas p.j.s, and a train track with two trains. As you might have guessed, he loved the trains!

This Saturday, we get to go down to Denver to celebrate with Granny and Papa! Don't you wish your birthday could be drawn out this long?









Thursday, August 12, 2010

Happy Things

I bought these bright and happy sunflowers at King Soopers the other day. Some days you just need something bright around the house to look at and remind you to be happy. I love having fresh flowers in the house. I never thought I was a flower person, until I received some. Then, I realized how lovely and pleasant they are to have around. They make the house feel loved, bright, inviting and cheery (especially when it's clean).
On a different note, here is a silly picture of Cadence to make you smile. She likes to put her pull-ups on top of her head. She thinks it's very funny. Don't worry, these are clean. We don't let her put used pull-ups on her head. I was going to post a picture of Brad running around the house with his underwear on his head, but he didn't want me to. Just kidding.
video
Have a dance with Cadence and Finn. Finn's is a little more jumpy than Cadence's style, but it's still dancing to him!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Visitors

This past Friday we had some lovely visitors, Kelli, Sophie and Clara! Cadence and Sophie play really well with each other now that they are getting older. They even want to have a sleepover. I think they need a few more years for that, though. They bought Finn a musical Handy Manny toolbox for his birthday, which he LOVED! He spent the visit running in and out of doing his own thing, playing with Cadence and Sophie (mostly being the monster that they were running from) and trying to keep Clara from playing with "his" toys. Poor Clara, she is a girl without a place to play. Cadence didn't seem to have any kind of beef with Clara, but she was busy playing with Sophie. Clara seemed to like Aria and kept moving her chair around to sit by her. Kelli was 21 weeks pregnant, I think, and looked great. She said that Millie kicks a lot. So, she has a lot of movement around her and in her with all those girls! I was so thankful and happy that they drove all the way up to visit us. Brad even stopped by during lunch to say "hi". I love getting to visit with Kelli (though, we don't get to talk as much as we did before kids or even when we both just had Sophie and Cadence).










Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Happy Anniversary

Today was our 8th anniversary! I wish we could have celebrated more, but that is hard to do with an infant and two toddlers. Thankfully, we will have many more years ahead when we will be able to celebrate with just the two of us. We went out to dinner at CB&Pott's because we had a coupon for a free kid's meal. I know, romantic.
Brad bought me this beautiful teapot with warmer and cups. He also got me some yummy tea. It smells sooooo good. It makes me want to eat it out of the bag. He went to "Teavana" at the Cherry Creek Mall and they mixed the teas for him. So he got peach and blueberry, I like the fruit teas. Can you see the dried blueberries in the picture?
I bought Brad a new pair of Toms and a small, personalized tumbler. I usually like to buy something from the list of traditional or modern materials, but I couldn't think of anything that fit the criteria for year 8. Maybe I'll be able to get back on track next year.
Speaking of new shoes, Finn and Cadence got some new sneakers from Walmart, only $10 each! We were walking buy the shoes and Finn saw these Thomas shoes and he was hooked. I was glad they had his size, because they were on the clearance table. Then, Cadence saw these Strawberry Shortcake shoes and she was drawn in by the glitter (I have to admit, I am a sucker for glitter too). Both pairs light up, too! Bonus! I practically had to pry Finn's shoes off him to go to bed. He loves Thomas. We've got some happy feet around here.

Estes Park...again!


Last Saturday we headed up to Allenspark for a morning wedding. The ceremony was at an adorable log church and they played this beautiful Celtic version of Pachebel's Cannon. After the ceremony we headed back down the mountain to Rocky Mountain National Park because we had a 7 day pass that was still good from the previous week's trip. This time, we let the kids play in the water. I felt like a lifeguard again, watching the kids and making sure they didn't get pulled down stream. They really enjoyed throwing rocks into the river. Cadence's rocks were a little bigger than Finn's.





Brad is enviously watching a guy catch a fish. He desperately wants to go fishing again. Hopefully one day. I told him that I might be up for our first family camping trip next summer, so maybe he can fish then. We'll have to get Cadence and Finn their own poles.





















These pictures are from our picnic at RMNP the week before. I got eaten alive by mosquitoes. My mom said she thinks they attack me because my legs are so white.:)

The next day, we had a potluck after church and I made this fruit salad. I had fun balling all the watermelon and making apple butterflies. I was originally going to make flowers out of pineapple rings to put on the skewers, but the pineapple kept falling apart.

It was a busy weekend and I am so thankful to live closer to Estes and Rocky Mountain National Park. I think we will have many more fun family trips there in the future!