Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Yesterday ...

... Daddy was home from work! He's currently working four-tens, Tuesday through Friday. He took advantage of that and went to his parents' house to work on the bus. I let the kids go with him, but only after they finished up about half of their schoolwork. We finished school last night after dinner.

I got Kaity to take Charlotte's Web along so she could read it aloud to Joe during the drive. He's really enjoying it, though he already knows the story well. (By the way, if you've not seen the 2006 movie version of the book, you really should! It departs from the book only slightly, and definitely captures the charm of the setting and characters. I thought it was very well done.)

This is what Joe drew while I was reading a chapter to him one day.

Selah and I stayed home and got a lot accomplished! I did several loads of laundry, made a quiche for my lunch (delicious!), cleaned the kitchen, gave the baby a bath, made three batches of baby food (sweet potatoes, green beans, and peaches), cooked dinner, read a few chapters in "Wives and Daughters", not to mention fed/diapered/entertained/rocked to sleep an adorable baby!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Very Busy Saturday

Saturday began with scones. It was my first attempt at making them, and they were amazing! Tender and fluffy, with diced strawberries peeking out. The lemon glaze on top really made them something special. Along with Jeff's coffee, we had the perfect sweet breakfast.

We picked up the big kids from Jeff's mom at 8:30, then took them to a soccer camp. They'll both be playing this fall, and the camp was just kind of a kick-off (hee-hee) for the season. Joe played last year, but this'll be Kaity's first time.

We left soccer camp, went home and fed the baby and let the kids change clothes. Then we drove down to Greensboro to meet my parents for lunch on their way to Atlanta. We ate at the same restaurant we did last time, The Yesterday Cafe.
Naturally, the kids argued over who would get to sit next to Baba.
Selah got to sit with Grammie.
Grammie and her girls.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Poor Babies

Well, I pulled all of Kaity and Joe's teeth out today. Oh, wait, that's not what I did. I just had them each write an essay.

Here's Joe's essay about his family: (Joe dictated and I wrote it down.)
My daddy is special because he plays MarioKart with me. My mommy is the best cook in the universe. Kaity writes Captain Zip comic books. Selah smiles, laughs, and kicks her feet when she sees me.
Here's Kaity's essay on "Courage".
My essay is about courage. Courage is "the quality of mind that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, etc. without fear; bravery." That is the dictionary definition. I am going to talk about three people, Felicity, Rebecca, and Esther. Felicity and Rebecca are fictional, but Esther is a true story from the Bible.
Felicity loved horses. One time she saw a horse, but it belonged to someone else who treated the horse badly. One night she let the horse free. It took courage to do that!
Rebecca wanted to perform. She told jokes in front of the neighborhood! She performed on her doorstep.
Esther was a young woman. She was chosen to be queen. When Esther's cousin Mordecai did not bow down to Haman, the king's advisor, he planned to kill all the Jews, Esther's people.  It took courage for Esther to tell the king this. When people came in uninvited they were beheaded! But it turned out all right. Haman was hanged on the gallows that was supposed to be for Mordecai.
Felicity, Rebecca, and Esther were just ordinary girls. They showed courage because they kept on doing it even though they might have been scared. What do YOU think courage means?


During Joe's "Quiet Time" this morning, which I spend with him since he can't read, he asked why people don't live as long as they used to. We spent some time on that, discussing the Fall and how sin entered the world, causing the death of all living things.

I asked if he had any more questions. He asked why God isn't dead. So we talked about how God is eternal and a Spirit.

I asked if he had any more questions. He asked how you make a wall. So we discussed construction for a bit.

I asked if he had any more questions. He asked how babies are born. So we (gulp) discussed how babies are born.

Then we prayed together and started his spelling words for the day! I'd had enough questions!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Bathing Beauty

"Hey. How's it goin'?"

I wonder what the bubbles taste like?
"Look, I have a goatee just like Daddy's!"

Sweet Italian Pork Tenderloin

Sweet Italian Pork Tenderloin

1 pork tenderloin
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon crushed rosemary
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper

Whisk together all ingredients except tenderloin. Place tenderloin in a shallow baking dish. Top with marinade. Marinate for at least two hours. Bake in a 400-degree oven for 20-25 minutes.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Picture Pages

Selah is ALMOST crawling! She scootches really well all over the living room, and she'll get up on her hands and knees and rock. She loves playing on the floor.

This is one of the posters I made for the 80's birthday party last week. Each orange tab has a tagline from an 80's movie. Lift the tab and the answer is underneath. I did another poster with a Rubik's cube/80's advertising slogans theme, and made another to look like fuzzy dice with the top ten hits of each year of the 1980's.

Selah, eating what I think is peas and oatmeal cereal. She's never yet met a food she doesn't like. Kaity took these two pictures.
Doesn't she look like a baby bird here?

Daddy, snuggling his baby girl to sleep.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

First Day of the First Grade

Well, we started school Monday! It was a rough day, though I usually love the first day of school. I had not slept well the two nights before, we'd had a very busy week the week before, Joe was missing two of his books, Kaity had some software that wouldn't work ... and the house was such a mess from the weekend we'd had! But we survived, anyway! And now things are going really well.  Today is our last day for the week, and we're settled into a routine. One thing that's been difficult this year is that I now have two officially schooling. Joe is in first grade, Kaity in fifth. Joe is unable to read most of his books, so I'm doing lots of reading aloud.

Yesterday Joe was reading aloud to me and he said, "This book doesn't make any sense! Here it says this guy's name is Rob, but here it says his name is Rob's!" We had a nice discussion about punctuatuion and the possessive form of words. :)

Kaity is going back over 4th grade math this year, and I'm letting her whiz through as fast as she can. I'll start her on 5th grade math whenever she finishes 4th. She's already finished 9 lessons, plus a quiz. Joe is clicking his way through math, too, but that's his strongest subject. He's finishing lesson 9 today, too.

Now my kids only do 4-day weeks, but our curriculum includes a schedule for a 5-day program, too. When Jeff found out that one of the 5-day books was The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, he immediately determined to read that to both kids. He started a couple of nights ago and they're loving it! Jeff just finished reading the Lord of the Rings books himself, but he'd not read The Hobbit.

Selah does great while the big kids are doing school. She scootches around on the floor, following the kids around and trying to eat their books. Incidentally, she's eating baby food twice a day now. Usually that's cereal with milk, 4 ounces of veggies and 2-4 ounces of fruit. She's definitely packing on the ol' ounces! We had a good friend of ours come over to take pictures of her on Tuesday. I can't wait to see the finished product!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Dear Diary ...

Well, this is another case of being so busy I haven't had time to post anything lately! Our August has been exceptionally busy, and it's always a fairly chaotic month.

10th -- Jeff's Birthday! I actually made his birthday dinner of homemade spaghetti, focaccia and apple cobbler with ice cream on Monday night since we had to go to Hart County to vote on Tuesday night. We went to see his parents while we were there, and his mom had a "birthday cookie" for him.

11th -- I went to Athens for the day with a friend. I almost never go to Athens during the day unless it's unavoidable. I can't help being a hermit. That, and I hate to drive. So, having a friend to talk with certainly makes the trip bearable, even fun!

13th -- The usual Friday grocery shopping day! I spent the afternoon putting away groceries, organizing the kitchen and making baby food (peaches, plums, peas). That evening we took Joe out for his birthday! At home, we had his birthday cake request, a "pizza" cake. Then we went to Athens (twice in one week!) to Chick-Fil-A for dinner, then Target so Joe could spend his birthday money. He bought Legos, toy soldiers, a tank, and policeman accessories. Then to Wal-Mart so Jeff could spend HIS birthday money. He bought a bicycle.

14th -- Joe's official birthday! He opened presents from Grammie and Bobba, Kaity, and a card from Mommy and Daddy.

A dear friend of ours asked us a couple of months ago if we would organize a surprise party for her son's 30th birthday. Eli is a good friend of ours who plays guitar with the band at church, and being "one of the best blues guitarists in the state" also has his own band, The Eli Carlan Band. Since he was born in 1980, I decided to do an 80's themed party. It was absolutely the most fun planning -- we had 80's music, movies, Scene-It, video games, TV shows ... and several people even dressed up! Jeff wore a Members' Only jacket, one girl wore a sequined 80's prom dress, a couple more had the big bangs/side ponytail look going ... it was hilarious.  I had someone else cater the BBQ, Brunswick stew and BBQ sauce, but I made potato salad, coleslaw, baked beans, macaroni and cheese, and apple cobbler. Kroger made the birthday cake -- to look like the cover of an Eric Clapton album. Eli was completely surprised by it all! His mom even had a hard time getting him out of the house to "go out to dinner" so she could take him to the party!

Well, I'm exhausted just reading about it, and there's still more to come! That's all for now, though, folks!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A Bicycle Built for Two

Here are some pictures from our Saturday walk/bike ride up to the library.
This is the First Baptist Church, a beautiful building!
Kaity took this picture.

Monday, August 09, 2010


*Sigh* Joe lost his first tooth yesterday! Literally. He swallowed it while eating breakfast!

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Joe's on A Roll

Yesterday afternoon, we had a quick summer storm complete with thunder and lightning. Kaity and Joe are not fans of storms, let me tell you! They had both started whimpering when Joe suddenly stopped and said, "Hey, let's pretend we're brave men like Daddy!"

Last night, I asked Joe to pick out a onesie for me to put on Selah. He hurried up the stairs, saying, "I'm going to pick the cutest one ever!" After he brought it to me, I began dressing the baby and we had the following conversation.
Joe said, "Someday I'm going to be getting a baby dressed."
"Oh, you're going to be such a good daddy."
Changing his mind about the whole thing, he replied, "No, I don't think I'm going to get married."
"Why not?"
"Well, actually, if God tells me to, then I'll get married."
What a wonderful way to look at it!

Then, earlier this morning, I was pouring the kids' milk for their cereal when Joe announced, "I prayed and asked God that my loose tooth wouldn't come out while I was eating my cereal." After breakfast, while I was typing the story above, he ran up the stairs saying, "Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!" It took me a minute to realize he was thanking God for His answer to prayer!

Friday, August 06, 2010

You Had Me at Hello

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times ..."

At dinner, we've started a tradition of going around the table asking each person what the best and worst parts of their day were. Inevitably in the "best" column for all of us is, "Daddy (Jeff) (me) coming home from work!" In the "worst" category is "Daddy (Jeff) (me) going to work." Other "bests" for the kids include going to the library, Selah laughing, playing outside, watching Voltron, etc. Some of their "worsts" include going grocery shopping, Selah crying, unloading the dishwasher, and putting away laundry.

So now you'll understand the incredibly romantic thing my husband told me this morning. I was awake with him when he was getting ready for work. We were in the kitchen talking and just enjoying each other's company when he looked at the clock, realized it was time to go and sighed, saying "You make this the worst part of my day."

He's such a sweet talker.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

The Library

I love that both kids are proficient at riding their bicycles now! I pushed the baby in the stroller and let the kids ride their bikes up to the library today. It made the trip so much faster. Kaity and Joe were too cute with their backpacks strapped on, riding bikes. It was such a classic scene that it made me smile.

While I'm on the topic of libraries, I love that I can reserve books on-line through the Pines system. I just log in, do a search for the book I want, and then put it on hold. When the book is available at my local library, an e-mail notification is sent to me and I can go pick up the book any time! I definitely don't miss the days of going to the library in excited anticipation of what treasures I'll find, only to find out that nothing I wanted was available.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Oh, Boy.

A quote from the boy just before dinner tonight ... "Mommy, I know you're busy kissing Daddy right now, but could you tell me what this is on my plate next to the pineapple?"

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pot Pie

3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons fresh herbs (I prefer thyme and parsley) or 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 green onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

In a medium saucepan, saute onion and garlic in butter for 2-3 minutes. Whisk in flour. Cook for 3-4 minutes. Whisk in chicken broth and milk. Bring to a boil, continuing to whisk until the sauce is thickened. Stir in herbs, cheese if using, and salt and pepper.

2 1/2 cups cooked, diced chicken
* 3 cups vegetables, your choice (my favorite combination is simple -- potatoes, peas, and carrots)

1 cup butter, melted
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups self-rising flour

Stir together all three ingredients.

In a 9x13 pan, layer chicken and vegetables. Pour sauce over top. Spread topping over all. Bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes, until crust is golden.

*Fresh vegetables can be added raw, just use a small dice. Potatoes should be cooked first. You can also use frozen, no need to thaw. In a pinch you can use canned, but the results won't be as good.

Monday, August 02, 2010


The baby loves her new "exersaucer"! Her only complaint is that it doesn't come equipped with tuna.
Oh, wait ... wrong baby.

Selah likes it, too.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Baby Food

I really love food. I'll take nearly any excuse to cook something! I confess that when I learned we were expecting a new little one, one of my first thoughts was, "Ooh, I get to make baby food again!" There's something very satisfying about seeing all those little containers lining the door of the freezer. Well, Selah has had her first rice and oatmeal cereals and now she's dabbling in eating veggies. So far she's tried peas, green beans, yellow squash and sweet potatoes. I have carrots and acorn squash waiting in the freezer for their turn. When your big kids react to homemade burgers,oven-roasted potatoes, and corn on the cob with an "Ew!", it's refreshing to feed the baby peas and have her lap up every bite!

With Joe's baby food, I used a lot of frozen vegetables, but right now there are so many veggies in season that I'm mostly using fresh for Selah. Most things can easily be steamed or boiled until soft, then put in the food processor. I always bake squash and sweet potatoes. The water used to steam/boil can be used the thin the baby food, especially at this stage when the foods need to be pureed. I tend to do small batches during the week whenever I have time, and big batches of different vegetables on Saturdays after my standard Friday grocery shopping.