Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Little by Little

Other than Mark's crazy schedule, things around here have been pretty relaxed-- except of course for the typical crazy karate nights. I actually find myself ready to get back into the school-year swing-of-things, and have everything up and running to start- look out Elisha! Please remind me of that comment in few months :)

Other events: bricks. One-by-one, brick by brick-

And a porch is slowly but surely taking form-

deck board by deck board, a new porch extension is ready for railing.
Progress is good. I think this calls for some porch-furniture shopping, don't you? Help me out here... :)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Impromptu mornings

Last minute breakfast buffets and bike-rides make for great family mornings. We're lucky to have a trail close-by, and it was the children's (minus Elisha) maiden voyage.
Lots of beauty along the way. What good is a rope swing if--- you can't do some swinging? Everyone had a turn- except Mom who passed by the opportunity. Elisha and Daddy had actually already tried the swing last week, and jumped into the water below. Believe it or not, that little hole is about 6 feet deep. We found lots a places to stop for some morning family devotion time, and as you can see Jacob was quite attentive-to the little bug he found.
Until next time, happy trails to you!

Friday, July 25, 2008


After a few nights of tent sleeping, days spent playing in the hot sun, and swimming in your kiddie pool- sometimes you just want your warm comfy jammies-

And your body tells you "enough already!"

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Save the Tree Campaign

The attempt to save the trees worked. With a possible addition, the family figured that our 2 beautiful VERY LARGE oak trees would have to leave. But, after much deliberation, some modified blueprints, and an expert tree trimmer's opinion, it was decided that just a trimming would do the trick. Here's our happy little- ok, large tree.

and a really TALL tree~

Hidden treasures from the past- The fans kept happy with cool treats- What's good is it to rent a lift when you can't go for a ride?

This is the point when a mom gets a little nervous-

And all is well with 2 happy trees and a few squirrels-- and very smart squirrels may I remind you :)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Wining and Dining

I'm back. My computer is finally running. Now I can temp you with our yummy evening out. It was a night of celebrating birthdays and our anniversary all in one. Since we did all three at one shot, that means it's OK to splurge a little more- right? (yah- I've been know to be the queen of justification)

The splurge of the year: Pittsburgh's own The Melting Pot. And a fine choice it was. When they say you're in for a 2 1/2 - 3 hour dining experience, that's exactly what they mean. The evening started with a red rose waiting for us, since they knew we were celebrating when we made the reservations.
The appetizer is a cheese fondue- you can pick from 6, and we chose the Wisconsin blend.
Being kid-free, we had to have some festive drinks- this was the yin & yang, partially devoured. Sorry :)

And the healthiest item of the evening- and uniquely delicious- the Tropical Salad with coconut encrusted cashews and fresh mango.

Sorry, but I forgot to take a picture of the entree. A platter of meats and seafood that you cook yourself in your style of choice. We picked the Coq au Vin style and Mark scarfed up every last bite.

And desert- OH MY! So many chocolate fondues to choose-- and we're not talking cheap, waxy, wedding-fondue, imitation-chocolate here! We (OK- I) finally decided on the Disaronno Meltdown- White Chocolate Amaretto in plain terms. See that platter of dipping goodness- it was empty when we left. I'd love to blame Mark but can't :) My mouth is salivating looking back at the pictures.

And that's our 3 hour celebration in 3 minutes. If you love to play with your food like me, save up some change and check out The Melting Pot. I really should be a restaurant critique.... what a fun job that must be... If anyone needs one, just let me know :)

Now about that green juice and smoothie....

Friday, July 18, 2008

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

how to cool off in the summer sun

Let me start by saying this is not a 'raw' treat- but a really fun indulgence! :) Begin by simply adding 1 T sugar, 1/2 cup milk or half and half, and 1/4 t. vanilla to a pint-sized ziploc bag, then zip. Make sure there are no holes, or your counter-top will be a BIG mess- I know from experience... Place the pint-sized bag into a gallon-sized ziploc and add lots of ice cubes with 6T of rock salt.

Mix up 5 of these goodies and hand to 4 children and 1 mom. Then shake, rattle, and roll. Roll some more. And yet some more.In about 5-10 minutes open your bag to fresh, home-made ice cream. And a mini- science/cooking lesson too! (Oh- you might want to rinse off the bag before opening, or the taste of salt won't be appreciated) The smile says it all~

Monday, July 14, 2008

Little Things

Bug-eaten leaves and torn petals from flowers become priceless when they're wrapped in love from your little girl. Those are the things that count.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Five Things

Five Things

1. What were you doing ten years ago?

Mark and I were living in our first apartment and I was preparing to run in my first -and last 5K. Boy that was a LONG time ago-- LOL! And it will be a LONG time until I'd be able to do that again :)

2.Name five things on today's "to do" list:
-finish Ebay listings -didn't happen
-go for a walk -check
-grocery shopping -check
-get laundry done -didn't happen either
-clean off my desk -that's FOREVER on my list and why? because it never happens :)

3. Things I'd do if I was a Billionaire:
Wisely invest to make sure we were set until our last years and prepared for $7/gallon fuel costs. Make sure Mom and Tony were set (and buy out the owners of this really cute house with a green roof beside them), and the children would be provided for- but not 'too' provided for -much character is formed with learning a good work ethic and earning your way. Travel the world with the kids- the ultimate homeschooling!

4.Three Bad Habits: eating late at night, not going to bed early enough, giving in to the call Starbuck's sends me when I pass :)

5.Five places I've lived: Grove City, PA. Pittsburgh, PA. Beaver, PA. Weirton, WV. A warm sunny sea community- in my dreams :)

6.Five jobs I've had: ice cream expert at DQ, cast member at the Disney Store -way fun!, bakery clerk at a local bake shop- YUM! -but that 'moment on the lips...' saying IS true!, real estate agent -yuck!, airline gate agent -NEVER a dull moment!

7..Five People I'm Tagging: Granola Girl- you're it! Sorry guys- don't know any other faithful blog readers :)

Now- about that early bed time...

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Save the tree!

This is the tree...
That once needed to be pruned...

So away Mark pruned...

And if you remember, almost killed-- but it held on with every last fighting leaf---

And now it needs YOU! Help the tree- it needs to be shaped again, and Mark has the clippers- someone PLEASE tell him how to do it correctly!?

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

One small step...

toward a really big project. House project #389 that is. This one is beginning with a little orange can of spray paint. And very strategically, the paint is marking the lines of a future -very far into the future addition-- see the men pondering their every move?

But all steps count- even if it's just a little paint in the grass :)

I have a feeling this house project will forever be "to be continued"... :)

Monday, July 7, 2008

Just for Mom

This blog post is for my Mom :)

I found my very own 'popping plant' today. For my other readers- my mom and grandma have these plants with blossoms that pop when you squeeze them. The only problem being the popped blossoms won't bloom- you can imagine how happy mom and grandma were when I was around them :) So-- I bought my own little happy, unpopped flower.

And the children will NOT be allowed anywhere near it!
See my pretty flowers? Don't you wish yours had some now?? (I popped all of yours when I was up for the 4th :) -snicker snicker
Love always,
your very thoughtful daughter :)

Saturday, July 5, 2008

4th of July in pictures

From our Nation's Birthday~

To Elisha's Birthday~ It was a festive Holiday with our family. Add some animal crackers~ And you can have a tea party before everyone arrives for the 'real' party. Little Jacob seems to worm his way into all of his sister's tea parties- I'm figuring the extra treats may have something to do with it :)

Time to move on to some fishing with PapPap~

Elizabeth tried calling the fish to her~And Jacob was the master fisherman, with 3 catches of the day. Dragonflies all around~ Smiles from all~ Time for some RC boating, until big brother discovers little brother snuck off with big brother's boat~ And time for wild berry picking with Grandma and Grandpa Tony~

Wild berries are the best~

Even had enough for morning breakfast after Elizabeth snitched all she could. Mommy helped just a little with that too :)

Relaxed time to enjoy more of nature~
And you have the makings for one activity-filled Holiday! Happy 4th of July all!