Friday, September 21, 2007

3 weeks from today

In three weeks, we will become a family of five. That's pretty unbelievable! (Unless of course, Madeleine decides to arrive before her scheduled c-section...not too likely but I suppose it's possible.)

Needless to say, life is pretty hectic. Aside from getting things ready for her arrival (including the lovely weekly appointments), we have been getting our house ready to sell (we show it for the first time on Saturday), househunting 3.5 hours away twice in the last week, starting Bible Study Fellowship again, and getting ready for Hadleigh and Nathanael's birthday party next Saturday.

We also have moved Nathanael into his "big boy toddler bed" that Brent made him. For days, he walked around saying "Daddy make bed." He loves it and has done an amazing job at staying in bed, falling right asleep, etc. (all the things that his big sister didn't do!) But I suppose it makes sense...Hadleigh likes to talk to herself about her day before going to bed...and it always takes the night-owl in me awhile to fall asleep. Whereas, Brent falls asleep almost the second he turns out his bedside lamp (you know the scene in You've Got Mail with Parker Posey and Tom Hanks going to bed? That's Brent) and Nathanael just follows suit. Often, he hasn't moved in two hours when we go to check on him.

That's what I've been up about you?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Only 24 hours

Sometimes I really wish I had a few extra hours in my day. Like today.
Bible Study Fellowship started back up and it felt really good to be there. Good to get back into a Bible study that really helps me to be accountable to studying God's Word. Good to see Hadleigh so excited about her class (one of her teachers from last year moved up with her which we were thrilled to discover this morning!)

We love going...but it uses our entire morning, and I failed to realize how much we/I can actually get done in a morning. So naptime has not lasted as long as I would like...and I have stuff to do, so this is just a quick post with a really yummy recipe.

One thing that helps me with the 24 hours in my day is my crockpot. I've been using it a lot more recently and right now, there is a delicious smell of chicken curry in our house. I'd share that recipe, but it's new and I'm picky about my chicken curry so I have to try it first. But if it's good, I promise you'll see it soon!

This one is really a good summer dish...but yummy any time of year!

Grilled Chicken and Mozzarella Pasta Shells

coarse salt and pepper
3-5 chicken breasts
8 oz. medium pasta shells
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
4 oz. fresh mozzarella, cut in 1/4-inch cubes
1/2 cup fresh parsley OR basil, chopped*
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. butter

1. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Grill chicken. Meanwhile, bring water to a boil for pasta.
2. Cook pasta until al dente, according to package directions. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water; drain pasta and return to pot. Add remaining ingredients (except pasta water)and toss to combine.
3. Add reserved pasta water a little at a time to create a light sauce. Serve with more Parmesan cheese.

* I have used both parsley and basil, and both recipes are delicious. Parsley, obviously is a little less expensive if you don't have your own basil plant; the flavor with the parsley is stronger than with the basil.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Sweet Friends

That's what my Hadleigh and Nathanael are.

Sure, they have their moments like all siblings do, but...
  • Hadleigh likes to be the first one to open Nathanael's door in the morning and after naptime.
  • She brings him a spoon at breakfast for his yogurt and prefers to carry his bowl of bananas to him personally.
  • She loves to give him a goldfish pretzel "snack" while they wait on their lunch being made.
  • She shares her toys so sweetly with him. (His favorite is the garage and car of her little dollhouse...or her kitchen full of food. I have two little sous-chefs!)
  • She brings him his blanket whenever he cries because he has gotten hurt.

  • Nathanael follows her around and wants to do whatever she is doing.
  • He loves to bring her juice to her if she has abandoned it somewhere.
  • He shares his toys so sweetly with her. (Except maybe his "supercar"...that takes persuasion and an exchange of many toys!)
  • He loves to talk about what "Ha-leigh" (just missing the d in his pronounciation) is doing, where "Ha-leigh" is, what belongs to "Ha-leigh".
  • When (on the rare occasion) she sleeps later during naptime, the glee in his voice saying "Ha-leigh" when he sees her just melts my heart.
  • I have yet to see him refuse to give her a kiss when prompted by us. And when he gives her a hug precious.

Yesterday following Nathanael's nap (because Hadleigh just played), Hadleigh told me, "It's so fun to play toys with Naniel." My heart overflows during moments like these. I'm so glad they are such friends...they remind me of Michael (my younger brother) and I when we were little.

I look forward to seeing how Madeleine fits into their lives...I'm sure she'll fit in seamlessly, as Hadleigh whispers to her in my tummy sometime each day "Come out soon." or "Come see us soon." Accompanied, of course, by a kiss. Another one of those moments.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


is upon us...and we've had slightly cooler weather since Monday! Yay!

Some other fun things about September that I just love:

--Pink Lady apples are again at the store! So delicious!

--I bought some of this today...Mom shared some with me last Christmas and it's just wonderful...but seasonal, so I'll be stocking up on it!!!

--My autumn wreath is hanging on the door and there is a lovely centerpiece on the table full of fall color!

--Today while driving, there were leaves blowing along the road. Of course, the leaves on the trees are still green and full...but these few leaves give me hope!

--Today, Hadleigh and I made a paper-chain with 38 links to count down the days until Madeleine arrives! (That's her name by the way! And we have a scheduled c-section, due to my previous two.) Hadleigh loved making it and it's hanging over her door, since the two girls will be sharing a room!

This past Sunday, in honor of September, I made a wonderful baked French Toast recipe that I'll share today! I really hope you enjoy is simply delicious.

French Toast with Apple Syrup (It's from the Lone Star to Five Star Cookbook, by the Junior League of Plano, TX...a great cookbook!)

French Toast ingredients:

1/2 cup (i stick) butter

1 cup packed brown sugar

2 Tbsp. corn syrup

2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced

1 loaf french bread, sliced 3/4-inch thick

5 eggs

1 1/2 cups milk

1 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. nutmeg

Apple Syrup ingredients:

1 cup applesauce

1 (10-oz.) jar apple jelly

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/8 tsp. ground cloves

salt to taste

1. To prepare toast, combine butter, sugar, and corn syrup in a small saucepan. Cook over low hear until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves. Pour into a 9x13 inch baking dish. Arrange apple slices in the dish and layer the bread over the apples.

2. Combine the eggs, milk, vanilla and nutmeg in a mixing bowl and whisk until smooth. Pour over the bread. Chill, covered with plastic wrap, for 8-12 hours. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

3. To prepare the syrup, combine all syrup ingredients in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the mixture is heated through, stirring constantly until smooth. Serve over French toast.

Serves 8. (reheats well in microwave for leftovers :)


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