Friday, October 29, 2010

Five for Friday

Five things for today:

~Looking forward to a laid-back autumn weekend. The weather is gorgeous. I could live in autumn year-round. (Have I mentioned that before?) We have family movie night tonight with chili and a neighborhood/squadron pumpkin carving party tomorrow. Should be fun.

~Loving this scent lately: Legacy by Coach. I received a sample on my birthday while shopping. I had forgotten about it until my little girls were playing in Mommy's makeup drawer. They only got into the chapstick and the perfume. (whew!) Kinda glad they thought it was an air freshener :) because now I'm excited about it!
~Thinking about some room switches and furniture rearranging...specifically, Nathanael's room and the office. Switching them would enable us to make the office our homeschooling space as well, which I think would help us be more efficient at this stage. Maybe I'll have some new pictures for you in the next few weeks!

~Hoping to finish my fall decorating this weekend. (You know, with one month left to enjoy it!) I am usually so quick to decorate for is my favorite season and usually I pull out my stuff on September first!...but this year it just hasn't been on the top of my list. I plan on having some fun peeks around our home to share next week though!

~I have to share (mostly for my Mom!) that we had the most pleasant and successful triple trip to the dentist this morning. Usually my oldest two are pretty reluctant and stubborn about even sitting in the chair. And maybe it's age (or maybe the Starbucks treats promised for afterwards!) but today all three kiddos went in at the same time, each with their own dental hygienist, took x-rays (the older 2), had teeth cleaned, the whole nine yards WITH NO TEARS. NO RELUCTANCE. I sat in the waiting room alone and each marched out happy and smiling! And they met an equally happy and smiling Mommy.

Have a happy weekend!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Chocolate...for all ages

Last week was fall break for us...and combined with Daddy being on a week-long work trip, I planned for lots of fun moments to break up the monotony of our days.

One thing I had planned was plenty of sweet treats. Of course.

One of my favorite dessert treats growing up was Chocolate Clouds. Mom made these for us in my favorite sundae goblets...the kind that make you feel special! (I'm still looking for a set like my Mom's.)

I think what makes this very simple dessert even more special is knowing that my grandmother made these with my Mom. Love the ties from generation to generation.

Chocolate Clouds

Chocolate Clouds
chocolate pudding (box mix or your own homemade recipe)
1 cup (or more) whipping cream
powdered sugar
1/s tsp. vanilla
fancy clear glass dishes

1. Make pudding according to directions on package
or your recipe.
2. In a medium bowl, beat together whipping cream, powdered sugar to taste, and vanilla with a hand mixer until stiff peaks form.
3. Spread some whipping cream to cover the bottom and sides of each glass dish. Fill the cavity with chocolate pudding and then cover with remaining whipping cream. You don't want any chocolate to show through. You can garnish with fruit or just leave plain.
4. Enjoy!

And for the adult lover of chocolate, there's always the fashionable and yummy Chocolate Molten Cakes. I made these for the two of us when Brent got home from his trip.

Here are the cakes, out of the oven. Don't they look pretty?

And here, with sweetened whipped cream and raspberry sauce. I used this recipe from Tasty Kitchen for the cakes (a very basic but yummy recipe) and my own recipe for raspberry sauce, which follows.

An easy, pretty, and impressive dessert that you can easily make at home!

Raspberry Sauce

2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1 12 oz. package frozen raspberries

In a blender (or with an immersion blender, which I love!) mix all ingredients together until smooth. Place a fine sieve over a bowl and pour sauce over sieve. Press sauce through using the back of a spoon or spatula. Discard raspberry seeds.

Sauce will keep covered and refrigerated about one week. Delicious on ice cream, pancakes, waffles...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pumpkin Patch

Saturday we went to our local "pumpkin patch" (really just a side yard at a local church in the middle of a neighborhood, but you make do, you know?)

The kiddos love it. Look forward to it. For months last year following October, we would drive by the empty lot and Madeleine would say "No pumpkins, Mommy."

But on Saturday, they were ready for us.

And of course, my first priority was snapping a few pictures in the quest for the ever elusive "perfect pumpkin".
This one above was the best "posed" shot. (Why they pass out the pumpkin patch stickers at the beginning of your visit, I'll never know. They must not be camera-toting moms!)
But I LOVE the shots we got when I told them to lean in and hug each other.
And while none of them turned out perfectly (my focus was off), as Karen Russell would say, they are emotionally perfect. Real smiles. Real fun. Real life.
This little girl pulled this tee-nincy wagon behind her the whole time. Cutie.

A few close-ups:

And our prize pumpkin! (Carried by my very favorite guy!)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


October 20, 2005

Five. It seems like such a milestone. When I look through these pictures, I see such marked change from year to year in your appearance.

And yet...

Last night, when I told you that I couldn't believe you would be five today, you said (and I will always remember it):

"Mommy, tomorrow I will be five. But tomorrow, I will still be the same size as I am today. My voice will still be the same tomorrow. My clothes will still fit me tomorrow. And I will still be your little boy tomorrow."

And you were. And you are. But I know that next year, when I add the next picture, I will see the passage of time clearly. Mommies do, you know.

One thing I don't think will ever change is your ability to express what you're thinking verbally. :) Or your enormous imagination. Or your sensitive heart. Or your contemplative reflections. Or your desire to be a helper. Or your excitement about life.

I'm so glad you had a special day.
You are my special little boy. Always.

Happy Birthday Nathanael!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


October 12, 2007

Oh Madeleine. Angel baby. Ladybug. Our little caboose. Wiggly Bubbles. Maddie Beth.

I'm still not quite sure how you have become three. (Or frwee, as you say.) The calendar proves it (as do the above pictures) but my heart is having a tough time accepting it.

You were so excited about today. You told everyone you saw (and everyone who called to wish you a happy day) "Today is my birthday." You wore a smile the entire day. You were super snuggly at naptime. You picked out quesadillas for lunch. Your cheeks were extra kissable today. You planned out your birthday evening: watch "Belle and the Beast", then dinner-your choice of chicken potpie, then cake (purple frosting), then presents.

Your expressions while opening your gifts were priceless. And when bedtime came, you were ready to sleep. But glad it was "still your birthday".

I am so excited to see what this next year holds for you, sweet little girl. You are so excited about friends. About doing just what your big sister and brother are doing. You are doing everything so much more quickly than I remember with your siblings, but that is to be expected.

You still love purple. You love kitty cats. Animals of all kinds. Princesses and dress up. Coloring with markers. You love to tell me you're a big girl. You still take a nap each afternoon. You have a thankful heart. You love to sing. You are sensitive. Compassionate. You are so very conversational. You are a snuggler. You have a precious giggle and an infectious smile.

I love you, little one.

Happy Birthday.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Step right up...

This year, we decided to do one great big birthday party for all three kiddos.

I was quite excited about the Carnival and County Fair theme...and I think everyone present had a great time, especially my birthday girls and boy!

I found an idea online for the invitations...and then my sweet and computer-savvy husband made the idea reality! I love how they turned out!

Last weekend, we set up the party in our backyard, on a perfect autumn afternoon. The one exception being the Oklahoma wind. (The day before had been perfectly still. Sigh. It ended up being fine, though.) I was so thankful to have the help of Brent, Mimi, and Grampa (my Mom and Dad) to execute all the details. Parties are a group effort!

This was the main table...popcorn, candied apples, cake. Yum.
A different angle, with the prize table included.
I didn't get pictures of all the different booths, but you can see the beanbag throw front and center, and if you peek in the right bottom corner, the homemade ring toss. (I enjoyed lots of root beer :) and used plastic shower rings to toss. The bean bag banner is from Hobby Lobby and came with three bean bags.)
On the right side of the playground, we had a "Donut Bite" booth. We hung donuts from strings and had the kiddos try to eat them without using their hands. This was by far, probably the most fun event of the day. Everyone loved it, and it was hilarious to watch. :) Here are pics of our three, trying their best.

Love the hair, buddy. (compliments of the wind, of course.)
She didn't last too long without hands :)
Sack races...Hadleigh ended up loving this, despite being a little concerned at the idea! I love this picture! (and that would be Madeleine on the edge of the photo, wrapped in her blanket!)
What carnival/county fair would be complete without a Bounce Castle?
Always a hit with the kids!
And a few of my favorites...
Hadleigh watching the face painting (but refusing to get painted.)
Madeleine enjoying popcorn with Mimi.
Everyone kept hovering around the prize table.
The cakes: Hadleigh's Strawberries and Cream, Nathanael's Pumpkin Spice, and Madeleine's Chocolate Mud Cake.
Time for cake. (And I have to add, this was the first group party where Hadleigh was open to being sung too...which was a big moment for us! Yay!)
We also had a "Kiss"ing Booth (guess the number of hershey kisses in a jar) and it looked so cute, but we didn't get pictures. Face painting, hotdogs, and freshly squeezed lemonade rounded out the day. :)

It was a wonderful day...and I must admit, I'm grateful to have the party-planning done at the VERY beginning of our busy birthday month!

Friday, October 08, 2010


October 8, 2003
Right before my eyes, she has grown from a precious itty-bitty a ever-so-slightly-plump an active this seven year old little lady. So very outdoorsy. So very generous. So very sensitive. So very thoughtful. So very affectionate. So very enthusiastic. So very entertaining. So very anxious to embrace life.

She is so very precious to my heart. This little girl who brought new joy to my life. Our lives.

Happy happy birthday, birthday girl.

I love you Hadleigh.

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