Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Family Portraits

Every summer we get family portraits taken. This summer is no exception- we went to Portrait Innovations and had these great shots taken!

Don't you just love the one of DV leaning back in the chair? Well, I love them all!

And, we even got a pretty good deal on a ton of pictures- and if we could have limited ourselves to one pose we could have spent only $9.95.

They even include a free CD so you can e-mail your pictures, get reprints, and post them on your blog.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Easy Lasagna

We are having guests for dinner tonight- they are our new neighbors and they have 2 children right about DV's age. I am SO excited!

I decided to trot out my recipe for easy lasagna. I think it is much better than the frozen kind you can buy- and for the 3 of us it actually makes 3 meals. (It makes 12 adult size servings and IV likes to eat 2!) The extra meals freeze and re-heat in the microwave really well so this is a real time saver- plus it's not much more work than spaghetti
  • 16-20 oz ground turkey
  • 1 large jar pasta sauce
  • 15 oz ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 9 lasagna noodles
  • parmesan cheese for sprinkling

Cook the lasagna noodles as the package directs. While they are cooking cook the ground turkey and drain the fat. Then add enough pasta sauce to make a slightly soupy mixture and simmer while the noodles are cooking.

When the noodles are done cooking drain them and run cold water over them. Pour some pasta sauce (without meat) on the bottom of your lasagna pan. Place 3 noodles over sauce. Add half the meat sauce and spread. Then spread half of the ricotta cheese over the meat and sprinkle on half the mozzarella. Add 3 more lasagna noodles and make the second layer of meat and cheese as the first. Cover with 3 more lasagna noodles. Pour more pasta sauce (without meat) over the top and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

At this point cover the lasagna with aluminum foil and you can refrigerate it to bake later or bake it now! Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees F.


Monday, July 28, 2008

Simple Fudge Search

I am on the hunt for a simple (read as no candy thermometer) recipe for fudge. I am working on my project now so that by Christmas time I will be ready! Homemade fudge for DV's teachers with the lovely Christmas ornaments I ordered on discount from Lenox.

The first recipe I tried is called "Simple Chocolate Fudge" and I read it in Everyday Food. Of course I modified it a little bit..
  • 4 tbs. butter
  • 3 cups mini marshmallows
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups chocolate chips

The original recipe (and thus the photo) also includes 1 cup walnuts, and calls for heavy cream instead of evaporated milk.

The fudge tastes lovely but did not set-up as well as I would have liked. I had to put it in the freezer to get it to set- and then when moved to the refrigerator the fudge is a little soft. Probably too soft for gift giving but fine for eating. So I am still on the quest.

If anyone has a suggestion please share!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

This is the kind of friend I want to be.

I received this through my e-mail today.

"If one day you feel like crying...
Call me.
I don't promise you that...
I will make you laugh
But I can cry with you.

If one day you want to run away-
Don't be afraid to call me.
I don't promise to ask you to stop,
But I can run with you.

If one day you don't want to listen to
Call me and...
I promise to be very quiet.

If one day you call and there is no answer...
Come fast to see me...
Perhaps I need you..."

I want to be the kind of friend who is always there. I am blessed to have several friends who are always available for me. Thank God for friends!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Potty training

DV and I have been working on the infamous potty training. He has been doing very well with pee- and staying dry- but we were getting nowhere fast on poop.

So, I tried an experiment- 3 prunes!- and now we have him doing his business quite regularly every evening when given the "prunies" in the morning. This definitely works for me.

For more works-for-me Wednesday links check out Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer.

Monday, July 21, 2008

3 Minute Retreat

Finding God 3 Minute Retreat
I was wandering around the blogosphere today and I found this wonderful 3 minute retreat. It is a daily, scripture guided, computer retreat- and it's just what I've been looking for to supplement my prayer life. I already have a daily reflection I read with scripture and prayer but I've been searching for something to add.

Today's scripture was from 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not you own? For you have been purchased at a price. Therefore, glorify God in your body."

I really needed to be reminded today that the spirit and body are united. Our moral choices need to be reflected in the actions of our bodies and the desires of our spirits. Our bodies are not ours- they belong to God. We must live in a way that reflects the dignity of our bodies and our souls. The last question today's retreat asks is, "How can I help others to see themselves in God's eyes?"

Sometimes I forget to see other people with God's eyes- see what is good about them. I don't know why but I really feel like this retreat was speaking to me. I am going to work on seeing the good in other people as Jesus does.

So, I actually came away with 2 resolutions from this one 3 minute reflection. 1) Remember that my body and all bodies belong to God and take care of them in an appropriate way 2) Remember that Jesus saw good where others did not and be like Him.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Reading Level

blog readability test

I found this readability test online- and I thought it was pretty funny. I mean, who knows what it uses to gauge the reading level- sentence length, word length, etc....? But, I am gratified to know I can write at the high school level even though I have most conversations with my three-year-old.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Easy out cake layers

Today I am posting a "works-for-me wednesday" idea of my own.

One of the problems frequently encountered by me while baking was a cake layer torn in half- because it stuck to the pan!

Now, it's a real pain to have to re-make a cake and hope that it doesn't happen for a second time.

My solution is waxed paper. And, this works every time!!!

1. Trace the bottom of your cake pan(s) on waxed paper
2. Cut out the pattern
3. Grease the pan
4. Place the waxed paper in the bottom over the grease
5. Grease the waxed paper
6. Sprinkle the whole inside of the pan with flour (which sticks to the grease)

Now, add your cake batter and bake as normal. When you remove your cake from the pan it won't stick- only the waxed paper will. Pull off the waxed paper and then lay it back on top until the cake cools (this keeps the layer from drying out too much.) I've never had a cake split since adopting this trick.

Works for me Wednesday is hosted by Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer .

Monday, July 14, 2008

My Miracle Baby

Beth at "A Mom's Life" has inspired me to post about my big miracle.

I thank God every day for the presence of our son DV in our lives. He was born when I was only 27 weeks pregnant. I developed HELLP syndrome and ended up in the hospital. Eventually, they needed to perform an emergency C-section which had perfect timing because a placental abruption was also discovered.


DV was 2 lbs 4.5 oz when he was born and stayed in the NICU for 9 weeks. Today even the doctors say you can't tell he was a premature baby. We had so many people and prayer chains praying for us both before and after his birth- he is a miracle baby.

I thank God every day for the miracles in my life, the small everyday ones, and especially my miracle baby!

Look at him now!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

DV's birthday!!!

Today is DV's birthday 3rd birthday and we have had a wonderful day, although very busy!

For breakfast we enjoyed fresh Belgian waffles (made on our new waffle iron, which was an anniversary gift to ourselves.)

We drove to the Naval Air Station to visit the National Museum of Naval Aviation and then had lunch at a local restaurant which features a sand play area!

When we returned home DV opened his gifts- he really loves the play cabin and the new red wagon.

Finally, we had dinner and DV actually blew out the candle on the chocolate cupcake with red icing!
What a day!!

Oh, and to top it all off, we had a storm after dinner and lost power for 3 hours- the only bad part of a wonderful day!

Happy birthday DV!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Starting to blog again...

Hello out there! Is anyone still reading my blog? If so, thanks and I'm so sorry I haven't written anything in almost a year. I have still been reading blogs and occasionally commenting, but mostly lurking.

It has been a busy year for me- with DV being almost 3 years old he is a small bundle of energy- and I also started teaching a class at the university. I have been off this summer but travelling around and DV is also off from his 2 mornings a week mother's day out so I have had my hands full.

I am starting to imagine that I am interesting enough to write about, though, so I am back!