Monday, April 30, 2012


My favorite beach (so far) is about 45 minutes away.  It's a nice little park that is actually in the bay, so the waves aren't strong and right now there's not as much sea weed.  I hope to have many fun Saturday outings here this summer!  Weekly beach therapy sounds like a great plan!

This is the life.

Up in the sunroof on the ferry

Riding the ferry across the bay

A beautiful Saturday afternoon!

Big boy

Our baby Thomas is now 19 months old! He's learning new words each day and I wanted to make a list of his cute words and phrases! This is the only "baby book" we've got!

Doesn't he look big here at the beach this weekend?  Where'd my baby go?

Dada worr (work)
Dada nigh (night)
Joe joe
Joe joe nigh
Eh-ye (Ellie)
Dih-duh (Mary Clare, not sure where that came from, maybe "sister")
NeNe (whenever he sees the phone)
Moh (more, with sign language)
Ray (grapes)
Chichih (chicken)
Nana (banana)
Teetuh (pizza)
Wahwah (water)
Ju (juice)
Safe (carseat)
Ba (bath)
Moh (yes)?
Up me (help me)
Buh-ee (buddies, "Curious Buddies" show)
Si-zuh (scissors)
Key (keys and car)

One of my favorites is "hey!" when you take something away from him. Especially funny when I am unlatching him from nursing!

Also "hap-en?" for "what happened?" and "I know" repeated when he's upset, mimicking me when I comfort him.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Monday Motivation

Monday Motivation Review
10 Goals for April 23-29
 Prayer and Community
1. Continue reading Hallie's Book about Catholic womanhood (bought for myself for Easter!)
2. Pick a scripture for the week
3. Emails about some volunteer things at church (Marian fair, VBS)
4. Attend two Zumba classes, and start looking into a new exercise program (Zumba studio closes this week) only one was offered at my studio this week, but it was a long one!  I think I've found a new fitness studio, though.  yay!
5. Sugar detox after birthday cake is gone!
6. Plan weekly meals:
Mon-Cream Cheese Crockpot chicken, Tues-Chicken enchiladas with leftovers?, Weds-Spaghetti, Thurs-Baked Chicken and rice, Fri-Pasta Bake, Sat-Grill, Sun-leftovers from grill
Meal plan was widely adjusted due to going out for Ellie's birthday on Monday as well as an invitation to some friends' house for dinner, but we did pretty good!

Home Management and Homeschool
7.  Read Chapters for FPU
8.  Work on school plan for Steven Joseph
9.  Kids laundry beginning of week, our laundry end of week
10. Schedule dental appts

Monday Motivation
10 Goals for April 30-May 6
 Prayer and Community
1. Continue reading Hallie's Book about Catholic womanhood (bought for myself for Easter!)
2. Pick a scripture for the week
3. Pray at least a decade of the rosary with the children
4. Attend one class at the new fitness studio
5. Take kids on a nature walk or to a park
6. Plan weekly meals:
Mon-Spaghetti, Tues-maybe Homemade Chicken Nuggets and potatoes, Weds-Pasta Bake, Thurs-Crockpot chicken, Fri-First Friday at church?, Sat-Grill, Sun-leftovers from grill

Home Management and Homeschool
7.  Read Chapter and do homework for FPU
8.  Work on school plan for Steven Joseph, Apparition project with girls
9.  Kids laundry beginning of week, our laundry end of week
10. Schedule dental appts

Friday, April 27, 2012

Ellie's 7th Birthday

Finally, I've gotten all the photos loaded from Ellie's 7th Birthday, her Art Party and more!

Here's her cake which I blogged about earlier this week.

The food table

The big girls painting and collage-ing

Ellie painting (in her crown) with the littler girls

Steven painting a little wooden car

The little girls' pretty paintings!

Ready to sing!

I think everyone liked the cake and ice cream!

Mary Clare led them in a tour of the "museum" of paintings

Wonderful artists!

Some special gifts

She's so sweet with the little ones, asking about the picture that was drawn for her

Everyone was interested in whatever this was!

And the gift big sis picked out!

And it wouldn't be a "B" family birthday without stringing it along another night.  We went to On The Border to celebrate Ellie again!

They sang to her and brought her a brownie sundae!

Her gifts from Mommy and Daddy

The scuba set is a hit!

Happy Kiddos!

Happy Birthday, precious Ellie!  We hope you had a fabulous birthday week!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

{pretty, happy, funny, real}

~Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life~
Every Thursday at Like Mother, Like Daughter
pretty paintings by the children at Ellie's birthday party

they all painted (or made a collage) on a canvas and painted some little peg people!

Here's Ellie with her drawing of a piano that she made during MC's lesson and gave to her teacher today.  She was so proud!  The girls have their first piano recital next week.

Happy little brother playing around during a baseball game!

Happy kids after another baseball game and a belated birthday dinner for Ellie at On The Border!  Finally we found some good fajitas in town!

A day in the life of the B family homeschool where Ellie attempts to read One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish while wearing the scuba gear she got for her birthday, and her brothers try to pester her. 

 Dr. Seuss kind of works with scuba gear though, right?

At least we're teaching our kids to multi-task!

A real moment of calm and peace with the boys using the do-a-dot paints, workbooks, and coloring for about 10 minutes.  This rarely happens.  Hoping for more of these in the coming months!

Birthday Week!

Not only did our Ellie celebrate her birthday this week, but today is my brother Brice's birthday!  HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BRICE!  He's still deployed with the Navy, but we're hoping to see his family this summer.  His sweet baby girl Arden turns one tomorrow, the 26th.  Isn't she a cutie-pie?
You may remember me sharing about Arden's struggle with SVT (supra-ventricular tachycardia, rapid heart rate).  She has a cardiologist appointment today.  Can you offer a prayer for good results for our sweet niece?  We're hoping she won't have to undergo surgery for an ablation procedure for her heart.  I'm also praying for my sis-in-law Allison as she goes through all of this with a deployed husband.  Military wives are amazing!
Here's Arden and her big sis Addison!  We can't wait to see these sweet girls (and their parents, too) this summer!  We haven't even met Arden in person yet :(  Isn't it ironic that God gave both my brother and me a baby with a heart condition?  May their needy hearts help to remind us all of how much our hearts need Jesus!  And just how much he loves each of His children.

Happy Birthday, Brice and Arden!  Sending hugs and prayers your way today!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Making it Count Tuesday, Birthday Cake!

This week, I'll share a bit about my first big birthday cake project.  My inspiration came from the cake on this blog post while I was searching for ideas for Ellie's Art Party.  I figured it would be an easy first attempt to bake a cake using fondant, but without using it to cover the entire cake.  A local friend is a very talented cake artist and let me borrow her supplies and even gave me the frozen fondant to use!

I didn't take a lot of photos, but pretty much the girls and I spent a long time just kneading the fondant and adding a bit of water, using corn starch on our hands and the countertop.  I added in the gel food coloring to our liking for each of the "ROY G. BIV" colors, and then we made the little balls and the artist palette for the middle.  For the cake, I baked two 9x13 cakes using a boxed cake and adjusting it a little (added sour cream and a bit more oil).  I made one chocolate and one vanilla, and then sliced them in half and stacked them so that half the cake was chocolate and half vanilla.  They needed to be sliced a bit to make them the same height.  I made buttercream frosting using this easy recipe.  I needed three batches to frost between the layers and also frost a light crumb layer (and then refrigerated it), before covering it all with a think layer of buttercream.

The kids all enjoyed this part, putting the balls around the bottom of the cake!

I'm having lighting issues while photographing with my iPhone (looks fluorescent here), but here is the finished colorful cake which I put on a piece of cardboard wrapped with the polka dot gift wrap.  I also put some cardstock paper under the cake because it was making the gift wrap soggy!

Here's the whole set-up with colorful fruits and veggies.  We love making the ranch dip using the dry ranch dip seasoning and sour cream.  It tastes great with potato chips and veggies!  Ellie also picked out cheese puffs and I made candy popcorn with sprinkles.  I also made my own punch concoction using Simply Lemonade with lime sherbet.  A pretty yummy, and sugary spread!  Just wish we would've found matching paper goods and put the fruits and veggies in rainbow order, oh the perfectionist in me!

And again, here's the very happy birthday girl!  We're still enjoying some cake treats here and there.

The cake was a lot of work and I'm not sure I'd want to do it again anytime soon, but maybe every few years we can try a fondant cake.  The girls are really becoming good helpers, so they might be taking over cake-making soon anyway!

Thanks for hosting Making it Count, Pam!  Go visit her there for more.
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