Saturday, October 31, 2009


I cannot believe I'm THE MOM taking my daughter out for trick-or-treating. I remember all those years of going out with my parents and sisters. What a funny feeling to be the parent. Last year, we took Izzy out in this neighborhood after closing on our house that morning! We only went to a few houses last year, cause it's kinda awkward holding a bag out for candy when your child can't even walk. You know the candy givers know that the parents are gonna eat the candy, but we really just wanted to meet some neighbors. Anyhow, I think last year, we went to about 5 homes. This year was different--got to go to a lot of homes and Izzy could walk!

I never grew up in a neighborhood, so we drove to neighborhoods for trick-or-treat. This year, Justin stayed to hand out the candy (to btwn 30-40 kids), and I strolled the girls all around. We hit a little light rain that only got me, and Clara cried for about 5 minutes cause she was tired, but soon she just fell asleep in the stroller. The first door we went to kinda scared Izzy. She didn't know who was coming and why we were there. Once she realized that the opening doors meant more candy, she was excited. A couple places had homeowners dressed up really scary, and of course, my little scaredycat didn't like those places. Although, she did say thank you even to the scariest of candy-givers. At the majority of homes, Izzy "neigh"ed and said "trick" but couldn't quite get the "or-treat" out. As her mom, I thought she was just sooo cute.

We got this horse costume for free at the end of the church yardsale since it was left over--woohoo! (Thanks, Ashley.) I am always amazed when I'm looking and looking for something, and if I just keep waiting, I get what I wanted for cheaper than expected!
Clara was a pumpkin--got the outfit at a consignment sale and the hat for $1 at Target.
I was wearing shorts cause it was soooo hot and humid! Definitely not Pennsylvania weather...

Greediness came out in abundance... Izzy didn't understand taking only 2 or 3 pieces when there was a whole bowl sitting outside. :) I was so shocked when people would hold the bowl out for her, and she would just start scooping as much as she could like she was starving. We had a talk about sharing candy so the other kids had some to get...
Our last stop before home--to see our wonderful neighbors Joe and Nancy! Do you see the little pumpkin in Izzy's basket? Joe brought it over to Izzy earlier today, and that pumpkin took a nap with her, went to the grocery store with her, and of course, went trick-or-treating with her!
Woohoo! Never had so much candy in all my 22 months! Two full baskets...
Both the girls were in their orange this morning...

Izzy begs to hold Clara everyday, but only for a few minutes or sometimes just a minute.

What a fun day with my girls!

Lemons and Old Ladies

We love going out to breakfast with Daddy! Izzy cracks us up with her LEMON faces. I couldn't stop laughing during breakfast, cause all the old ladies kept leaning over Justin totally IN his personal space bubble to see Clara. You had to be there, but it was pretty funny.


I can finally be a happy blogger again! I got a new camera that I could afford, and I got it for cheaper than the SONY site was selling it on sale for--thanks, Amazon.
I didn't realize how much I love taking pictures and documenting our lives until I didn't have a camera. This camera is just a newer version of my old camera, so I don't have too much to learn about it. After playing around with the camera, I was surprised to find that this camera can do a slideshow and plays music during it... I love my little electronics. :)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Breaking the fast

I woke up extra early this morning before church, so I made baked oatmeal. My mom sent me a recipe that got me thinking about oatmeal, and I changed it around a bit to fit my calories and tastes. Very yummy!

Ingredients: 2 cups uncooked quick-cooking oats, 1/3 to 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar, 1/2 cup dried cranberries or dried cherries, 1 t. baking powder, 1 t. cinnamon, 1/4 t. freshly grated nutmeg (anymore would be too strong, in my opinion), 1 pinch salt, 1 1/2 cups fat-free or 1% milk, 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce (optional), 1 T. pure vanilla extract, 1 1/2 T. melted butter, 2 egg whites -- beaten well (or I used 1/4 c. egg substitute)

Preheat oven to 375 deg. Combine first 7 ingredients in medium bowl. Combine the milk, applesauce, butter, vanilla, and egg. Beat well. Pour mixture into an 8 inch square baking dish coated with Pam. Bake at 375 for 25 minutes or so until oatmeal is set. Serve hot with milk poured over it. Or garnish with yogurt and/or fruit. Store leftovers in the fridge and heat in the microwave. Yield: 4 servings.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Hard-working hubby

I'm so thankful for a hubby who works VERY hard and sometimes long hours in order to provide for his family! He's an electrical engineer by degree but is in outside sales in that field.

Here are some pics I found on his phone:

Justin sells valves and control systems to different manufacturing plants or buildings in his Charlotte area territory.
This is the view of uptown Charlotte from the top of the Bank of America building. He was looking at some valves up there.

Mr. Sales Guy takes customers out on the company's deep sea fishing boat.
He also takes customers to sporting events... the wives had to go to this event since the customers wanted to bring their spouses--my very first redneck NASCAR race at Lowe's Motor Speedway this past May. (I must say, it wasn't that bad at the race and the food at the tailgate was some of the best food I've EVER had!!! TV racing is much more boring in my opinion.)
So thankful to have a GREAT job for my hubby!

Zoo fun

So, a week ago I turned over a new leaf. I started getting up much before the girls in the morning. I was always so tired during the mornings, so instead of going back to bed for an hour after feeding Clara at 6 am, I'm just putting her back to sleep and getting myself up and going. I've felt better overall and been very productive.

That said, I woke up sometime before 6:30am this morning (Sat), even though Clara hadn't woken yet. Justin woke up, too, and we looked at the radar map to see about rain in Columbia, SC... and decided to go to the zoo! We knew we'd drive in rain and see some when we got there, but we took the risk since the high was supposed to be 76 F. We went in the aquarium and ate lunch during the rain, and the sun came out bright and warm for all the animal exhibits! Izzy's favs were the gorillas and the birds that you could hold on your shoulders.

**My camera DIED. I'm so sad! Anyhow, we got just a few shots with Justin's cell phone. I used the video camera for our home videos during our zoo visit.

Do you see Clara's smile? I bundled them up, but we shed all the layers with the warm sun. Click on the pic to make it bigger.
The gorillas had some serious personality. I thought Izzy would cry when this gorilla turned around and looked right at us, but she was so enamoured with the 3 gorillas that she didn't want to leave.

Friday, October 16, 2009

To cook or not to cook...

Ok, so last night I wasn't in the mood to cook, and Justin said we could go out (even though he doesn't partucularly like to since he goes to such nice restaurants almost everday for lunch with his customers). Poppy was traveling, so we asked Grammy to meet our little pumpkins and us at Hopps for soup and salad. Tonight I'm making the meal scheduled for last night, healthier stuffed peppers. We're going to eat this dinner a little early before bundling up and heading to Butler High's football game. We're excited to see Colin (a junior from our church) make some tackles!

For three people:

3 bell peppers, 1/2 lb. ground Italian flavor turkey, 1 small onion (chopped), 1 c.cooked brown rice, some garlic, 8 oz tomato sauce--I buy no salt added (divided), 1 T. Worcestershire sauce, salt/pepper to taste, a small handful shredded Cheddar cheese

Cut tops off bell peppers and remove seeds. Brown meat in skillet with onion and garlic. Drain. Add 1/2 c. tomato sauce, rice, Worcestershire, salt and pepper. Simmer for 10-15 minutes. Stir in cheese. Stuff each pepper with turkey mixture; stand upright in greased baking dish. Don't let sides of peppers touch each other. Pour remaining sauce over peppers. Cover dish tightly w/ foil. Bake at 350 for 50 mins. Uncover and bake 10 minutes longer.

Optional ideas: top w/ grated parmesan before serving, add mushrooms or zucs to meat mixture, parboil peppers first if you like them a bit mushier, serve extra rice on the side, etc.

Lover... and so not a fighter

Ok, so I'm in this Moms group every other Thursday morning called MOPS, and each meeting there's a speaker or activity or in this case, short self defense training class. HaHahhhhhhhhhhhhhaaaaa. I just cannot fight for fun and in front of an "audience." I laugh. A lot. We learned some helpful moves, but mostly I enjoyed the laughs...

Naphtali and I were partners:

Awkward time with the trainer... and proof that I couldn't finish the practice rounds w/o laughing:

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Clara turned 2 mo old, so we celebrated with a few vaccinations! ;) She was exercising those lungs most of the time we were in the doctor's office. I had to warn Izzy ahead of time that Clara was gonna cry a lot, cause Izzy would have been seriously concerned that I wasn't doing anything to help Clara. She loves to solve problems. (Any baby crying means that the baby needs me to nurse it, according to Izzy.)

Izzy was in the 95th, 98th, and off the chart percentiles until her 9 mo check up (slimmed down after crawling), but Clara is in the 80th percentile for height and weight and 75th for head circum. I love seeing their differences. Izzy only cried during the vaccinations and then stopped pretty quickly. Clara, who doesn't cry much, cried a very SCARED cry any moment that I wasn't holding her in the office. Thankfully, she's been just fine after having her vaccinations. :)

While we still have sun...

Tomorrow we have a 100% chance of rain with highs for the rest of the week in the low to mid-50's, so we took full advantage of today's sun and 78 degrees at our neighborhood playground! Izzy didn't want to leave...

2 months old today!

Izzy loved the slides today on the playground. She doesn't have older siblings to copy and is not much of a risk taker at all, so going down the slides on her own was a BIG deal!

LOVIN' the ducks!

Fun with Food

Yesterday morning, Izzy and I got dinner in the crockpot and healthy bread baking in the bread machine. Here are a few pics of our fun...

Proof that Izzy enjoyed her peanut butter & jelly on whole wheat bread:


Our church had a bazaar on Saturday to raise money for a unique school here in Charlotte serving the inner-city. Our friend, Steve, and Justin were in charge of cooking the BBQ all night Friday into Saturday morning. Izzy, Clara, and I went out to eat with Grammy and Poppy on Friday evening, and then we stopped by the church to see the guys hard at work. We didn't realize that we were pulling up to a regular little party! A bunch of people from church were just spending time hanging out around the big smoker. Izzy had a blast and [happily] stayed up till we left at 10:40pm! Justin's bro-in-law, Calvin, and a friend from church, Jeremy, stayed all night to help out, too.

Izzy & sweet Lucy

Calvin (bro in law), Justin, and Doug (Justin's dad)

The Pork

Yes, Steve & Justin were up all night... pretty tired at this point on Saturday afternoon! Justin hasn't stayed up that long since his college days, and he definitely could feel it. ;)

The guys want to do a BBQ in the Spring with two smokers to raise more $ for Brookstone School!