Monday, March 29, 2010

Starting the garden!

Two weekends ago, Justin added more soil to our garden plot. The stuff in there had settled over winter, but it was sooo rich and black. We are proud of our good soil, since we have Carolina clay/shale everywhere else! This weekend he rototilled it again. We will plant our summer veggies in just a couple weeks! (Justin likes growing them better than eating them. :) :) :) ) I'm happy to not be pregnant this summer!

Clara ate her first handful of dirt turned mud that day. :)
Posted by Picasa

A picture post...

Eating a Costco hotdog, playing on her new (consignment sale) slide in her new (consignment sale) shoes and skirt, and feet up in ultimate relaxation until MOM said "no". :)

Posted by Picasa

Old enough for fun with friends!

Jamie hosted an afternoon tea party for Izzy!

Maggie came to our house one morning, so she joined us for our morning school lessons.
Sharing snacks: golden raisins and goldfish.
Izzy loves her friends and prays for a handful of them EVERY single night!
Posted by Picasa

More from the Egg Hunt and Carnival

Another first--Cotton candy! She tried it, but wasn't too thrilled. A little chilly that day, even though the day before we were in shorts!
Clara hung out in the stroller watching the carnival being sweet as usual.
Loving' the rabbit!
Posted by Picasa

First Egg Hunt

We took Izzy to her first egg hunt. Once again, I was confronted with the fact that my child has very little competition in her at all. :)
Holding onto that basket and holding hands with her sissy!
What in the world is everyone doing?!?!??!?!?!
Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, that's why people like to get the eggs! Mom, you didn't tell me there was CANDY!
Posted by Picasa

Finally Eating!

I've had to be creative in figuring out foods for Clara. She just doesn't like pureed food! It's sooo different from Izzy. Clara loves feeding herself these puffs, mandarin oranges, crackers, etc. As you can see from her bib, she did finally eat a few bites of pureed sweet potatoes, but I only get a few bites in before the jaw is clamped SHUT!
This weekend we found out she loves scrambled eggs, too! Now that IS just like Izzy.
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Twins! (sorta)

Since we didn't know whether Clara would be a boy or a girl until her birth-day, I never got too attached to the idea of having a son or of having two daughters. When Leslie, a friend from church, visited us in the hospital with matching dresses for the girls, I suddenly realized all the benefits of having two girls together!

Grammy & Poppy (Clark) gave the girls these matching dresses and hairbands:

Posted by Picasa

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Installation Service

Both offices of elder and deacon together model the whole ministry of Christ. As Christ on earth was "mighty in deed and word" (Luke 24:19), so now from heaven, Christ continues these two aspects of ministry through the two offices in the church. -New Horizons publication of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, March 2010
I believe that Justin is the first member to be baptized and to become an officer in Matthews OPC. Now there is an Elder Clark and a new Deacon Clark! The installation service for Luke, Powell, and Justin was very powerful and encouraging this past Sunday night. We heard a strong message from our pastor on the leaders of the church, witnessed the laying on of hands by the elders, took vows as a church, and participated in the Lord's Supper. Justin and I are anticipating serving "the widow and the orphan" together! Please continue to pray for him in his new role.
Special thanks to Justin's long-time friends, the Matthews and the Kings, and to our friend, Naphtali, for coming to support Justin Sunday evening!!!


I am Irish, Scotch-Irish, German Reformed, and probably some others I don't know of at the moment. What better than to celebrate St. Patrick's Day?! Patrick, one of the patron saints of Ireland, was enslaved in Ireland, possibly in Mayo, which is where my mom's family members live/d. She and my grandma visited Mayo when I was young. Did you know that Irish folklore says that Patrick returned to Ireland as a bishop and taught about the Trinity by use of the shamrock?
Justin was festive in his "GEEEEN" for our LightRail ride uptown to see Charlotte's St. Patrick's Day Parade (while the three of us girls could be found in pink and red).
In line for tickets:
The choochoo was so exciting for Izzy (and for me!):
Love my girls:
A very entertaining parade with floats, clowns, dancers, bagpipes, and lots of dogs!

The parking garage behind Justin is where he parks
for his Bank of America jobs downtown:
Notice that there are not many pictures of Izzy? She is in the stage of not wanting pictures taken or not smiling, which just doesn't make a very good picture. So for now, Clara can have the limelight:
My very sweet Clarabelle:

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Friends to the end?

So, I've written a little about my retired neighbors. I was talking to my neighbor, Nancy, a week or so ago. She'd had her friend down visiting all week. I found out that Nancy and Ellen's moms were close friends, and then Nancy and Ellen kept up their friendship over the years. They visit each other every year; Ellen comes to NC, and then later in the year Nancy goes to NY.
That got me t h i n k i n g .
What if that could happen with my girls and Naphtali's girl? (Naph and I were friends and roommates at Messiah College, and now we're both in Charlotte.) Ella Grace is just 11 days older than Clara, and she's about 20 months younger than Izzy. Who knows what the future holds but God?! :)

Thanks for lunch, Naph!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Delicious and Easy Soup!

Chunky Soup
Adapted from Mrs. Evelyn Fawcett,
originally passed down from her Nana
1 1/2-2 lb Sweet Italian Sausage
& Ground Turkey (or beef)
1 onion chopped
1/2 cup celery
1/2 cup green pepper
2 t salt
2 T sugar
1-2 t. Italian seasoning
28 oz. canned diced tomatoes
2 small cans tomato paste
2 c. chopped carrots
6-8 cups hot water (boiling preferably)
2 beef bouillon cubes
chopped parsley
1 head of cabbage

Start water to boiling. While water is heating, saute first four ingredients in butter in a dutch oven. Drain grease. Add remaining ingredients to the browned meat mixture. Simmer 1 hour uncovered. Add approx. 5 cups coarsely chopped cabbage, or a little over 1/2 the head. Simmer covered for 1 hour. Add water if too thick. Serve with rolls.

Note: In the picture above, I used one can of tomatoes with jalapenos and one can of tomatoes with celery. I did not buy the whole stalk of celery since I knew I would waste the unused portion. I don't like cooked carrots, but they are good in this soup! I just used two large carrots. I loved the Sweet Italian Sausage! If you eat very little meat, just use 1 lb meat. If you eat an average amount, then 1 1/2 lbs. will suit you. If you (or your hubby) love meat, 2 lbs. is tasty.

This soup will feed a large family, or you can freeze the leftovers.
We'll be eating this for days with 2 lbs of meat in there!

Grilled Buffalo Chicken

Do you remember the Caesar and BBQ Chicken I recommended?
Well, here's another easy one. It's sooo tasty!
Justin's Spinach and Spring Mix
and my Romaine and Spinach
Grilled Buffalo Chicken
Adapted from Betty Crocker
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
1/4 cup original cayenne pepper sauce or red pepper sauce
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 package (1 lb) chicken breast tenders (not breaded)
1/2 cup blue cheese or ranch dressing
1.In medium bowl, mix butter, pepper sauce, honey, celery seed and salt. Remove 2 tablespoons sauce mixture; set aside. Add chicken to remaining sauce mixture; stir to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes but no longer than 2 hours.
2.Meanwhile, soak ten 10- to 12-inch wooden skewers in water 30 minutes.
3.Brush grill rack with vegetable oil. Heat coals or gas grill for direct heat. Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade. Thread each chicken tender on a skewer.
4.Cover and grill chicken over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes, turning once and brushing frequently with reserved sauce mixture, until no longer pink in center. Discard any remaining sauce mixture. Serve chicken with blue cheese or ranch dressing and salad.

Date Nights!

Justin and I thoroughly enjoy our date nights and time together, and we think they are essential to our marriage.
"It is a mercy to have a faithful friend that loveth you entirely… to whom you may open your mind and communicate your affairs… And it is a mercy to have so near a friend to be a helper to your soul and…to stir up in you the grace of God." Richard Baxter (Puritan), A Christian Directory
Last weekend, we had two date nights in a row! On Friday, we tried out a restaurant that we had never been to before in Matthews. The atmosphere was fun, but the service and most of the food were not impressive. GadoGado's shrimp appetizer was tasty, and we compare all shrimp apps to Bonefish Grill's Bang Bang Shrimp, so it must have been good. Even with poor service, we LOVE talking with each other and not telling someone to take a bite. :)
On Saturday, we put the girls to bed, and then grilled steaks and had a really fun date night at home (saves on $ for the babysitter).

Steak with Gorgonzola Butter, Gouda Grits, Salad, and Garlic Bread!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

"It's gonna be a bright, bright sun-shiny day..."

Izzy, Clara, the dogs, and I played outside in the yard this morning while Justin had a meeting at church. After he came home, the 4 of us spent an hour at one of our neighborhood parks enjoying the sunshine and warmer weather. We just heard the weatherman say that Charlotte is 2.5 weeks behind normal Spring bloom!
Go, Izzy, go!
Hurry to Charlotte, SPRING!