Wednesday, May 30, 2007

3 strikes and your out...

So on Sunday while in Boston, we went out with Pete's parents for brunch. I really wanted Dim Sum so we went to a Chinese restaurant a few blocks from Nana's place. Nana eats there regularly with her other son and my father-in-law doesn't like this place. (it was very upscale and decorated very chic).

We sat down and immediately my father-in-law commented there were no chopsticks--only forks and knives. Striiiiiiiiike one.

We then asked about dim sum. The waiter mentioned that it was on the, no don't say it, the buffet. Striiiiiiiike two.

My father-in-law then ordered tea for the table (in Chinese, mind you). The waiter replied that the tea is per person. Striiiiiike three.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

We're back from Boston!

We had a great time visiting Pete's parents and grandmother (aka Nana). We got in late last night and our luggage didn't make it. We weren't mad because our first flight was late getting to Philadelphia and they held the plane for us so we could make it to State College. We knew the luggage wouldn't get there. Thank you, US Airways! It was great to sleep in our own beds and not in some airport hotel!

Here is Kendall waiting for the taxi at the airport in Boston.
She was so grown up pulling her little carry-on. And both kids were excellent travelers! I think they felt pretty special.

On Saturday, we went to the Aquarium with their Nanny, my mother-in-law. My father-in-law was in a conference all day Saturday. We took the 'T' from Cambridge to Boston where the aquarium is located. Here is Pete, his mom, Kendall and Clayton waiting for the train at the Harvard station.

The aquarium was a lot of fun. The kids loved the penguins and turtles. After the aquarium, we had lunch at Legal Seafood. Here are some more pics from the day.

On Sunday, we went to the Boston Children's' Museum with Nana. It is a great place to take kids of all ages.

All in all, we had a good visit. Pete was able to do a lot of stuff around the house for his parents and just spend some good, quality time with them. We know it won't be much longer until Pete's mom won't remember us or recognize her grand kids. I really want my kids to know both sets of grandparents. And I feel like they are so blessed to have a great-grandmother. She is 93 years young (will be 94 in July).
Here's to family!!!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Wooo Hooo!

Our team won a landslide! I actually hit the ball and got on base more than once and had RBIs! Yay!!!!!!! (I still can't get my wedding band off, however). And our pitcher was there so I didn't have to pitch. Double Yay! And I got to play 2nd base all but one inning. Triple Yay!!!!!!!

We fly to Boston tomorrow so I am looking forward to that! But, first I have to go to the hospital for one stinking hour for some continuing ed at 8am. (No yay, there!) and then off to the local elementary school for the Kindergarten open house. How great is that? I don't know who is more excited? The soon-to-be Kindergartner or the soon-to-be-mom of a Kindergartner?

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Question of the day

Why is it that when one tries to clean/organize/throw out the childrens' toys, the children decide to play with everything?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

by Mother Goose

Monday's child is fair of face,
Tuesday's child is full of grace,
Wednesday's child is full of woe,
Thursday's child has far to go.
Friday's child is loving and giving,
Saturday's child works hard for a living,
But the child born on the Sabbath Day,Is fair and wise and good and gay.

I found this cool link on a blog that I read.

Buy local

As soon as Pennsylvania can figure out a way to grow coffee and pineapples, I will follow that mantra.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Namesake

I saw The Namesake tonight and I think it is one of the best movies ever. It is very moving and it spoke to me on different levels--as a child, as a mother, as a wife that moved far away from her family.

I recommend this movie, but don't forget the tissues.

My "Tree hugger"

This is Buddy. This is a picture of a picture. I took the original about 5 years ago. He's the sweetest guy! He's a little older now and a little calmer.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Party on...

So today is the Little Guy's big 3rd birthday. We had his party yesterday with some neighborhood friends and some other kids that have known him all of his life! The weather was fairly good, however, we did have a little rain shower as the kids sat down to eat the cake outside. So, we grabbed everything and ran inside. I didn't make the cake. We bought it at Wegman's and it was delicious!

Clayton really scored with the toys. OK, I know he has too many, but the toys for boys are so much" cooler" than princesses and My Little Pony! He got a tee-ball set, a Nerf basketball and some Diego stuff. He also got a fishing pole so I hope he gets out with his daddy every time his daddy goes out!!!!!

And even though this was supposed to be a kids party, Pete had to make mojitos and all kinds of adult food. Oh well. If an army would have showed up, we could have fed them.

Here is Clayton getting ready to blow out the candles.

And here he is showing us 'what he got' in tee ball!

And some more cake pictures below:

He really wanted the Spider man face to eat. Yummy. I highly recommend the butter cream frosting but stay away from blue #1 dye!

Keep going.....

If this doesn't turn you off of blue dye, nothing will! :)

Friday, May 18, 2007

Nothing exciting, but something surreal

So, let me first say that Thursday started out wonderful, but it soon went down hill. I was such an evil mommy and felt like horns were growing out of each side of my head. I wonder some days, what the heck am I doing?

So, today after preschool, I took the kids to the indoor jungle gym. We were going to go to the park, but the skies were threatening and it was a little cool. The kids practically had the place to themselves. But, this is the surreal thing. There is a guy that works at this place. First of all, you would have to be goofy-whacked out crazy to want to work here. I mean, really, kids, kids, kids. Two is all I can handle (stand sometimes). So, I hadn't been there in a while and was chatting with the guy. We talk about the South and things like that. He moved up here for a girl and he is a musician. So, I told him that a friend of mine in Alabama is going to his hometown of Pigeon Forge, TN for the weekend. I explained that she was a friend in elementary, but now has a blog so I keep up with her through that. He said that he used to have a blog but now posts things on myspace. He gave me his url and I checked it out. He has his own music on myspace. It was actually good. I do admit that I have strange taste in music sometimes, but he has a good singing voice and can play that guitar. I can't wait to tell my husband. Here is his url Check out his music. It's not bad.

And the other thing this weekend. My little man turns 3 on Monday. WE are having a neighborhood party Sunday afternoon. I can't believe it. I think all children should be born at age 3. It is so much more fun than that baby stuff.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Wonderful Thursday

Yes, it's the day of the week that I don't have to be anywhere. There's just something about not having to get up, shower, eat quickly, drink coffee quickly, scream at the kids to get ready, and run out of the door. So, we are still in our PJs and just hanging out.

I did have something on the schedule today---a dentist appointment. Unfortunately, my husband can't watch the kids, so I had to reschedule. What a disappointment. Ha. BUT, with that said, I love my new dentist office. The dentist is good and all that stuff, but the receptionist is the NICEST person. Honestly, I liked the other dentist but I couldn't stand the receptionist. That's why it was so easy to leave. It really does matter who is at the front desk!

OK, the other day I hurt my finger playing softball. How long will it take for the swelling to go down? I could almost get my wedding ring off yesterday, but the knuckle is still too big. My husband doesn't seem to mind that I can't get my ring off. And why is it that your muscles hurt so much more on day 2 and 3 after the game, than the day right after the game? I am stiff! (and old).

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

A year ago this month...

Last year in May, my husband and I went to Brazil for a conference. I flew to Arkansas to drop off the kids with my parents and then went to Brazil a few days before Pete did. I first flew to Rio de Janeiro and stayed with then grad student Franci. I stayed in her parents' home. She is probably considered middle class and they lived in a fairly large house. They have two guard dogs-one for the back and one for the front. They keep every door locked and they have a gate that they lock, too. I think Rio is one of the most beautiful places I've ever been to. That was the first time I had ever been to a developing country (Cancun doesn't count). Yes, it was strange. Clearly, there is wealth in Brazil, but also poverty. From Rio, I flew inland to Uberlandia, Minas Gerais. I was there a whole week while my husband went to his meeting. I had my Brazilian Portuguese phrase book and actually got where I could speak a little bit. Then we flew to Sao Paulo--the largest city in South America. I will never forget a little girl around 3 or 4 begging for food as people walked by. She was on the corner and her mother was just sitting there. It was so sad to see and hard to reconcile. There is a huge disparity among the people.

Still, it was a life-changing trip that showed me truly how rich we are in the U. S. It made me realize that I need to teach my children how blessed they are, how not to be wasteful, and that there are kids all over the world that have to beg for something to eat. I look at the amount of toys my children have and feel embarrassed.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Bonehead play

Our first game was tonight. We had 9 players and we needed 10. The other team played catcher for us which was great. Usually, one of the 'girls' gets to play that position. We didn't have a pitcher, so yours truly volunteered. (it's better than catcher). I actually did OK. We held them the whole game until the end. They were last bat and we were tied. The last batter hit a pop to outfield and the left center bobbled it. So, the guy on third tagged up and ran to home plate. Yep, I caught the stickin' ball and of course the guy made it to home. Game over. What was I thinking? It would have been a great game and then I had to do that stupid play. OK, I usually play second (love it) and honestly, I don't know where all I should be when I'm pitcher. I do know, however, that I should have let that very fast and hard ball go right by me. My left ring finger is swollen and I just hope I don't have to cut this wedding ring off. I took some Advil and iced it. I bet I'll be hurting in the morning. I pitched the whole game. This is noncompetitive, so the batters stand there as long as their little hearts desire. Oh well.

I did get on base tonight! Yeah! so, I guess it all balanced out......! *

*(if you believe that, I've got some beachfront property in Oklahoma.)

the weekend flew by...

I survived the weekend. But we had a few things that happened. First, Friday afternoon our black lab helped herself to a whole bag of marshmallows. Then she wondered off Saturday to our neighbor's compost pile and ate a lot (I'm sure).

Saturday I had my friend, Mary Ann, over for dinner. Her husband was performing in his Barber Shop chorus so she and the kids came over. It was great to have company.

Sunday, we went to church and then out to eat. My husband got home around 4 pm. Thankfully, he caught some fish, but didn't bring any home. And then the fun started. Pete went upstairs for something and Cody (black lab) had puked in our room and the guest room. Nice. Well, the rule is your animal, you clean it. So, Pete cleaned up the mess. And then, after dinner the kids were playing upstairs and Clayton was coming down the stairs guessed it. We heard this bump, bump, de-bump. My husband looked over at the stairs in time to see Clay doing cartwheels down the stairs. It was a little scary and Clay was a bit shaken. No broken bones, thank Goodness.

So, the week has started and tonight is my first softball game. I am in a non-competitive, co-ed league. I play for the hospital. I'm awful at it but I used to be good at one time. It's slow pitch and that makes it a lot of fun. Yeah!!!

By the way, Music and Lyrics was really good. It had a slow start but I liked it. I actually liked the song that they "wrote". I would recommend this movie for a feel-good movie where you don't have to think a lot.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

OK, the kids gave me the best Mother's Day present...they slept in until 8 am! Yeah! But, that meant we didn't make it to the 9 am service at church. We ended up going later and then I took the kids to TGIFridays for lunch. I was determined NOT to make lunch today. The kids were great and now are getting dirty in the sandbox.

I know that the big rewards for taking care of these little ones will come much later in life. Motherhood isn't the kind of job that has instantaneous gratification.

And paying taxes is like that, too. I got a State College Area School District publication in the mail and this school district ranks in the top 16 percent in the nation's public schools. So, that is comforting. (it's a good thing, I can't afford private school).

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Happy Groundhog Day!

I mean Happy Mother's Day! You see, for a stay-home mom, every day is the same. (I'm referring to that movie where what's his name wakes up everyday and it is Feb. 2. Andie McDowell is in the movie but, for the life of me, I can't remember the actor's name.) And for this weekend, it's not special. My husband, (sweet man that he is) is out of town for the weekend fishing with old buddies. He is Shad fishing. Whoopie! Isn't that just the best? Oh no, he didn't take the kids with him. That would just be the bomb. No, I got the two kids, two dogs and the cat. (the cat is no problem). I know, I'm lucky and all that stuff, but really, if you can't feel special on the day that has been set aside to make you feel special, when will it happen?

All right, I need to stop griping and put those sweet angels to bed....I've got a movie to watch. I rented 'Music and Lyrics'. I just love Hugh Grant.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Thursday morning.....

I woke today to the sound of the alarm. It had been set for 5 am but the dogs were there also whimpering and whining. I guess I would be hungry, too, if it had been 12 hours since I had last eaten. My husband got up (as his routine) and fed the dogs. I couldn't go back to sleep--I guess I got enough sleep last night. But, my rule is to try not to get out of bed before 7 am so I lay there and listened to the birds singing away. I love this time of year when I can sleep with the windows open. The chirping was soon muffled by this wonderful pitter-patter of rain landing on the leaves outside. The birds were still singing as to say they needed the moisture, too. This morning, I had to get up around 6:30 because the early bird of the kids was calling me. He, too, had slept all night and was well rested.

Early this morning he went out to walk on the wet deck.

Later this morning, I came down stairs to see that Clayton had dressed himself.

He was so proud of himself. I was proud, too.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Beautiful Day in PA

The last few days have been absolutely gorgeous in central PA. It feels like summer and the birds are singing and chattering away. The kids and I went to a park today that is next door to Joe Paterno's house. No sightings, though. We didn't stay long because there weren't any kids that my kids knew. So, off we went to another one. And it was empty. That meant I had to play. OK, I know in the next few years I will be missing these precious moments, but all I wanted to do was lie back and close my eyes and relax. I promise I was going to keep my ears open to make sure the kiddos were OK. But, that wasn't going to work for them. I was the mommy and they invited me to their 'house'. Clayton was the puppy and I believe Kendall's name was Lily. I finally said we have to go because I was so hot. Yep, I've gotten soft when it comes to the heat. (or perhaps, I did not drink enough water?)
So, we are resting now which means the kids are watching PBS for a little bit.
I love this tree that I have on my post today. I pass it everyday when I drive into town. I've taken pictures of it in the winter and spring now.

Monday, May 07, 2007

She's 91 to you and me!

Today is Abbey's birthday. She is 13! She is my husband's first hunting dog and his first baby. So, here we go:

Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday, Dear Abbey
Happy Birthday to you!

And here she looks like she is smiling

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Comfort levels

There's a lot to be said about comfort level. First of all, it's one of those things that you don't quite appreciate until something happens to challenge it, or take it away.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Saturday night with friends...

We had our two regular families over for dinner on Saturday. A great time, but a little sad since one of the couples is moving on to another town this summer. I'm sure the husbands will still see each other (especially during hunting season).

Which brings me to our menu tonight. We had smoked wild turkey breast that my husband had soaked for 24 hours in a brine. This afternoon, he put the breasts in the smoker and then finished them on the gas grill. Great job, Pete! He got his spring gobbler last Saturday while he was hunting with Rich. And to hear my husband tell it, it was the best hunt ever (and they were done by 8 am). I can't even think of starting anything before 8 am, much less being finished and totally happy about it. We also had some margaritas since it was Cinco de Mayo! Rich also made a Mexican shrimp dish with the best ever rice. His recipes were from Rick Bayless. I was the dessert person and I made the fruit tart and the chocolate cake.

The kids played forever and it's amazing how much fun they had. And you know what that means. When the kids are playing and having fun, it means the adults can actually carry on conversations and enjoy their meals. Yep, good times were had by all.

Here are the husbands eating the turkey.

And here are the kids actually eating some turkey, too.

And the desserts tonight

And here are the kids and dads playing football. The kids were exhausted by the time the night was over.

Thursday, May 03, 2007


I did it! Here is the crust after it baked for about 10 minutes. I should have taken pics of the step by step process--maybe on Saturday I will. Tonight was the trial run. So, it turned out awesome! I used fresh raspberries and blueberries instead of strawberries. The custard (pastry cream) was perfect! I feel like I have really accomplished something!

And here is the final product.

And here I am relieved and happy that this thing didn't flop. Kendall was pretty excited too. She helped put the fruit on top. She did a great job. Clayton put the last raspberry on the custard. He was upset when we finished without him. I took a raspberry off so he could feel part of the team effort.

And just one more picture of the inside of this thing.

A little bit of Heaven here on Earth....

Feeling smug...

Just imagine Bruce the shark in Finding Nemo, in his Australian accent, saying, "I'm having fish tonight.."

I'm having strawberry tart tonight. I just put the custard in the 'fridge to chill. It's looking promising. This recipe is from Ina Garten and I found it on line from (think that's right). Anyway, it looked like something I could handle. It called for 5 egg yolks so that means I had 5 egg whites left over. Um? What's a girl to do? I got some meringue in the oven right now. I think the meringue cups will be great with vanilla ice cream and strawberries or raspberries. Decisions, decisions....

Pictures will follow. But first, I must make a run to the grocery store for some fresh fruit. Yummy!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Custard a no-go

The custard never set up. I found another recipe (more like the one I saw on TV that got this all started). I'll try it tonight or tomorrow. I am determined (and disappointed). Oh well.