Sunday, May 31, 2009

Disney World

We're home from our latest Disney trip. This time we varied our routine a bit by trying some new things - staying at a new resort and going to Blizzard Beach (pictures coming soon) to name two. As always we had a wonderful time. Here's a few pictures...

...Sitting on the rather garish comforter in the hotel room - we decided that Disney's All Star Resort wasn't quite our style.

...We never pass on the opportunity to eat yummy ice cream from Ghirardelli's. Here Grace had just asked us, "Did I get all the chocolate off my face?" - needless to say we offered her a napkin.

...We saw too many beautiful flowers to count at Epcot's Flower and Garden Show. This photo was taken at the entrance of Minnie's butterfly garden.

...Grace visiting with Princess Belle - getting a few autographs are always a must.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Ready for Disney World

We're headed off to Disney World in the morning. Grace has been looking forward to this trip for weeks - well actually since March when we returned from our last Disney vacation. Her bags are packed - if you consider a backpack stuffed with jewelery, a purple tote bag filled to the brim with her friends and an empty purse being packed! We'll be sure to post upon our return.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Thanks to Teachers

This was the last week of the school year (although Grace will continue to attend school two days a week during the summer). We wanted to give each of her three teachers a little something to thank them for their hard work and dedication over the past nine months. So Grace and I made them each a loaf of apple bread (the recipe was from "Beard on Bread" by James Beard) and attached a Starbucks gift card. Grace couldn't have been prouder to deliver the gifts to her sweet teachers!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

Oh how it is always so nice for our little family to spend the entire day together. Usually the opportunity only arises on Saturdays but this week, thanks to Memorial Day, we had two days. We accomplished quite a bit - the jungle in our backyard was tamed, the feathered and furry friends were fed at the park (Grace even got to see a mama duck and her five ducklings), Grace spent some time with her friend after a surprise meeting at Target, Daddy and Grace went swimming (the water is still too chilly for Mama), we had a BBQ and lastly, Grace and I made a yummy buttermilk cake with fresh blueberries and strawberries.

We enjoyed our extra day of togetherness- a big thank you goes out the men and women of our country's military who protect our freedom!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Crafting for a Cause

Crafting, in many forms, weaves it's way through our days. I find creating things for others so rewarding. In the past I have participated in two craftism projects - when I made blankets for orphans in China through our adoption agency and when Grace and I made hats for infants in Haiti for a Mama to Mama project (photo above, from last fall). I had planned to participate in the Craft for China project (since my heart is with the orphans in China) but after learning that it had been canceled I happily fell upon Craft Hope (click on the "button" in the sidebar). Their current project is making dolls for an orphanage in Nicaragua. I've never made a doll before but my goal is to make four of them by the deadline (photo below, Grace's sweet hands holding stuffed doll limbs). Why four you ask - well, since Grace is four we thought that would be the perfect number of little dolls to make.

I look forward to participating in more craftism projects, especially those that support orphans around the world. After all, although hard to believe, our Grace was once an orphan too!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

School Party

Grace's class had their end of the year party at Bounce U this morning. When we arrived Grace immediately spotted her best friend Megan. The two of them were inseparable for the entire hour - jumping, climbing, running and giggling together. Grace chose to skip out on the remainder of the festivities which took place back at school so she could attend her gymnastics class - since "gymnastics is more fun you know"!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Winding Down

It's hard to believe that the end of the school year has approached so quickly. All of Grace's activities are coming to an end - today was her last dance class. Both of us have looked forward to Monday mornings - Grace had fun dancing with her friends and Miss Erica while I enjoyed chitchatting with the other Mamas and watching her dance. For now we'll miss our little Monday routine but we look forward to the activities that the summer has to offer!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Grace's First Recital

This was the day we had all been waiting for - Grace's first dance recital. Her class performed a tap number to the ice cream man theme song. Oh how they were all so cute up on stage - it brought tears to our eyes. Unfortunately we were unable to photograph or film during the performance but we'll be certain order the DVD to remember this special day. Enjoy the post performance pictures - wasn't she just adorable?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A Welcome Sight

After many weeks of zero rainfall these dark clouds rolling over our oak tree were a welcome sight. I'm sure the thirsty plants and grass enjoyed their hearty drink from mother nature.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Our most recent batch of cookbooks from the library have proved to be quite dangerous - as far as dessert making and consumption goes. This afternoons creation was eclairs. Grace had a great time piping the pastry onto the cookie sheet and watching them "puff" in the oven. And much to my surprise (since I have never made anything like this before) the eclairs baked perfectly and tasted delicious. Well, they tasted delicious to Dean and I, Grace didn't care for them despite all of the drippy chocolate - purely shocking!

Oh, just in case you wanted to know - the recipes for the pastry and chocolate glaze came from King Arthur's Flour "Whole Grain Baking" and the custard was from Alice Waters book, "The Art of Simple Food".

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day

Today I'm counting my lucky stars on being given the opportunity to be Grace's Mama. For me, there is no greater joy in the world than to be a Mother.

Have a beautiful Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

A Wonderful Day

We spent our Saturday celebrating Mother's Day with my parents. Our day started with a visit downtown to stroll and have a "hippie lunch" (per Dean) at Whole Foods. We then headed to Fruitville Lanes for a game of bowling - Grace had us laughing nearly the entire time. Then we went back home where the girls colored, looked at recipes and played games while the boys napped. Lastly, we finished our day with a yummy dinner and dessert.

......Grace ready to bowl, holding her 6lb bowling ball

......The three of us in the backyard

......The first page of my Mother's Day gift from my parents - a beautiful scrapbook handmade by my Mom. A gift I will always treasure.

As Grace was being tucked into bed she said, "It was a wonderful day" - I couldn't agree more. I'm so blessed to have such a wonderful family - many thanks to each one of you for making my day so special!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Tomato Pesto

Last week while reading Molly Wizenberg's book, "A Homemade Life" I came across a recipe for slow roasted tomato pesto. I was thinking to myself, oh how the pesto would be so tasty on a roasted chicken sandwich. So, needless to say when I saw a delicious looking basket of Roma tomatoes at the farmer's market they just had to be purchased for the recipe. Today was the day when the tomatoes went from being our kitchen table centerpiece to being the pesto on our sandwiches. The results were wonderfully tasty - worth the five hours of roasting!

As a side note if you have never visited Molly's blog, Orangette (found here) I highly recommend you stop by. There you'll find a link to all of her wonderful recipes.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Potato Galette

We had this yummy potato galette along with poached salmon and roasted zucchini for dinner. It was relatively easy to prepare and tasted delicious so I thought you might enjoy the recipe. (It's adapted from "Art and Soul of Baking" by Cindy Mushet)

Here's what you'll need:
1 refrigerated pie crust, such as Pillsbury
1 large thinly sliced onion
2 TBSP olive oil
1 pound thinly sliced red potatoes, with the skins on
1/2 cup shredded cheese, such as swiss
1 tsp fresh herbs of choice
salt and pepper to taste
1 beaten egg
sour cream

Caramelize the onions in 1 TBSP olive oil, allow to cool slightly. Combine the onions, potatoes, cheese, herbs, salt and pepper in a bowl and gently toss. Place the pie crust on a cookie sheet. Arrange the potato mixture on the crust leaving a 1.5 inch border. Fold the border up onto the filling then brush the egg on the edge of the crust. Lastly, drizzle 1 TBSP olive oil over the potato mixture. Bake at 400 degrees for 45 min. Serve warm with a dollop of sour cream and enjoy!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Last night Grace had her final show for the school year. She sang and danced right along with the other children from her class - so cute to watch. After the performance each child received an award. Grace's was in the young artist category for her drawing abilities. Oh how she can draw - so much better that Dean or I could ever imagine drawing! After the show we all (Meme and Pop joined us for the evening) went to Tijuana Flats for dinner then McDonald's for dessert. What a good time we had!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Aunt Cathi Visits

Aunt Cathi called us late last week to see if she could come down for a visit. Sure we said - we would love it. So today was the day and fun was to be had. She watched Grace in dance class, we lunch together at Chick-fil-A, Grace and I looked at her beautiful pictures from Los Cabos and lastly Aunt Cathi was entertained by Grace's impromptu storytelling. It was a nice change to our little routine - we're so happy she came!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Evening Walk

Twice a day we take the doggies for a walk. On Saturdays it's a family affair since we're all home together. Tonight Grace went out of the house dressed as a princess carrying her phone with her. She had many conversations along the way and we were curious as to who she was "talking" with. When Dean asked, she simply replied "um... your interrupting me" - so for all we know it could have been her prince!