Thursday, August 21, 2014

little hiccups

Lots of little hiccups going on here…

The best little hiccups are going on in my belly!  I am now about 31 weeks pregnant, just a few months to go.  The baby is kicking and squirming and having a great time in there. I'm loving every minute of it.

But there are other little hiccups, the little bumps in the road of life, that have kept me from blogging.  First and foremost, I was without a computer for a week.  Our Mac's hard drive stopped working and so we had to send the computer in for a little "spa weekend" to get a new hard drive installed.  The bad news is we lost about 8 or 9 months of photos and data.  The good news is we think we found a company that can retrieve it all.  The bad news is it will be $$$.

We now have the Mac back, but with none of my updated 2014 school files.  So I will just wing it for this first week of school (next week).

Another little hiccup is a good one: Marcus was promoted to his manager's position.  This was sudden and exciting for a lot of reasons…but also brought on some extra work that was unexpected and a little ill-timed since we were prepping for our annual camping trip when this all happened.  However, I will not look a gift horse in the mouth and will just be VERY grateful for this awesome opportunity for Marcus to try out the executive ranks as a Vice President overseeing all of North America for his company's Customer Success team.

So then we went camping, which was a blast.  I wish I could upload pics, but…we'll wait for the old hard drive to come back (which also has my most recent filing system) for that.

However…on the camping trip we found out that Marcus' grandmother had died somewhat unexpectedly (to us).  So this was a sad time for us, and there were a lot of mixed emotions since we were also having fun camping with our family and friends.

More hiccups at home: This past week was supposed to be devoted to my school prep but instead was filled with an emergency dental visit (Gemma), trip to the tire repair shop, family events surrounding Grandma's funeral, and some pre-scheduled commitments.  So, whew, I'm looking forward to the time when my breathing will be more regular.  Figuratively and literally. 

These coming weeks will be both a flurry of activity AND a welcome relief of some structure back to our lives.  We will start school, ready or not, on Monday.  We still have some summer fun planned in the afternoons, and some more commitments, but as September comes in we will settle to a more regular routine.  That is, until the baby comes!  Then the schedule will go out the window and you will find me in bed cuddling with my new little one….

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Little Birdie

Bunny had posted about this on her HERE to see the story.  :o)

Friday, August 8, 2014

Migrant Ministry

I was so happy when my friend Ann Marie C. emailed her snapshots from Migrant Ministry! I hardly every seem to take my camera with me, and when I do, I usually only get a few bad shots of my own kids.  Ann Marie's photos really capture our time at the camp.

We've been going to Migrant Ministry for about 10? years now.  Maybe more, maybe before Bunny was born?  I don't remember.  Anyway, my friend Beth B. was very much involved at that time and she convinced me that it was ok that I know zero Spanish.  :o)  

I think over the years the more permanent residents get a kick out of seeing me alternate between being pregnant and having a baby.  :o)  They were all amazed by Mariposa's light orange hair and very pale skin when she was little. Most of the residents/guests speak only Spanish but the kids almost always speak English, so we usually just play with them.  I am learning my numbers through Bingo but that is about it.  :o)

We work closely with St. Vincent de Paul, and
with that we bring food and treats each visit.
 On this evening, we played some fun field-day type games.
My kids are always allowed to join in--this ministry is more
about playing together than an "us/them" type of thing.

Mass usually happens once or twice over the summer.  It
was nice having Fr. Hugo, our new pastor!!  Of course I
couldn't understand a word of the homily, but I did follow
along with the readings and the Mass parts.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Gemma at Zoo Camp

When Bunny and James were at Camp Howard, I took my little girl out to the zoo for "Zoo Camp."  Which is really just me taking her to the zoo.

The elephant habitat is under construction--they're making
a really big, awesome area for these beasts.

We had a great time, but unfortunately this year she realized that this experience wasn't really "Zoo Camp."  It looks like I'll have to sign her up for real next year.  This one is ready for some real adventure, not just "mommy time."

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

crockpot lasagna primavera

Wow, it's been a while since I did a recipe post!

The other week I tried a new recipe, Crockpot Lasagna Primavera.  I clipped this one from either Woman's Day or Family Circle.  I am always looking for good crockpot recipes since the 4 o'clock hour is hard enough with kids!

This recipe is nutrient-packed but by no means low-fat.  I found the work to be very similar to a normal oven lasagna, with the only benefit being assembling it early and then having a hot meal ready a few hours later.  Oh, and it used regular noodles but did NOT require pre-boiling, so that was a nice feature.

A whole box of kale, and a ton of carrots.
And a lot of high-fat creamy goodness.
layer assembly
The finished product.
 I always ask myself (and Marcus), "Would I make this again?"  Yes, I think I would.  It was very very thick, not soupy or runny at all. The flavor was good and Marcus and I liked it although it wasn't a knock-me-over amazing dish.  Gemma and Mariposa did not care for this lasagna but Sedric gobbled it, and I think James and Bunny would've liked it if they were home.  It was a lot of work, but this would be a fine recipe on dance lesson days when I am free in the early afternoon but not right before dinner.

Bonus picture--view of the main garden from the girls' room....  (late July)

First trip to Five Guys

We've had a Five Guys Burgers just 15 minutes from us for a few years now, but we've never been to it!  This was our first trip, and it was a big success:

Seddy loved the fries.  Gobbled them up.

We only got hot dogs (and fries) for simplicity, and they were fantastic.  They're sliced in half and then grilled, along with the bun.  I really want to try the burgers soon.  The fries were fresh-cut and reminded me of fair fries, complete with malt vinegar on the side.  Not as good as Fiske's Fries though....  :o)  Ahhh, Ingham County Fair memories....

Monday, August 4, 2014

Camp Howard drop-off

After we settled in back at home from our Michigan trip, Bunny and James left again!  This time it was to Camp Howard with the cousins.  Bunny went (alone) last year to this week-long Catholic summer camp, and this year she was joined by James as well as Aidan, Lukie, and Eliot.  We drove into Portland on a Sunday for the drop-off:

A whole lotta kids--4 busses worth.

Once they were settled on the bus, it was time for an early dinner.  :o)  We had Meghan and Sophs with us in the van, and we headed off to Pacific Pie Co (yummmm!) for dinner and dessert.  I ordered an Indian pastie and Marcus got a meat pot pie.  

Just the girls--grammae watched Seds for us.
Just for fun we thought we'd see Shane at work.  He was with customers!  We got to see him in action.  :o)  I had to be stealthy when trying to snap a picture:

Shane is just to the left of the orange cone.
It was a little sad to see Bunny and James go, but not too sad.  I only say that because I knew they would have a TON of fun and neither was apprehensive about going.  And they did have fun!  They came back tired but talkative (you know Bunny) and they had a ton of stories.  Thanks to everyone who gave them mail and nice care packages.  :o)  They (and their cousins) got the most mail by far!  I think that made them feel special.  I had a lot of smelly laundry to do when they returned the next weekend but it was all worth it.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Thursday "High Tea"

One of the things we wanted to bring back with us from Mackinac Island is "High Tea" in the afternoon.  Doing this every day would be too overwhelming for me (!) so I decided to try Thursday afternoons at about 4:15pm, since that is normally our off-school day anyway.  When we have High Tea Thursdays, we'll eat a light dinner really late (6:30/7pm) and call it good.

For this first High Tea upon arriving home, I just picked up some goodies from New Seasons.  My goal is to have a few sweets and a few savory items, hot tea for anyone who wants it, and some nice juice.  As you can imagine, it was a hit!  :o)  

We've done 3 High Teas now, and the kids look forward to them.  I have a plastic box that holds all my supplies (linens, glasses, and tea) and then in the freezer I keep the extra goodies that we didn't eat.  I intend on making scones and tea cakes (and also freezing the extras) as well as experimenting with little chocolates and sandwiches.  But I know that sometimes, whatever I have on hand will work.  So no pressure on me!

My sophisticated bunch.  I play classical
music from Pandora in the background.
Such a ladylike position.....
A sample of what I might serve at High Tea.
Ladyfingers, wafer crackers, choc cookies,
salted almonds, apples, and brie.
The kids have now taken to talking in snooty voices during High Tea (so funny) and a few of the kids helped me with the set-up yesterday.  That was nice.  Three kids so far have tried some hot tea and enjoyed it.  Marcus thought it was all kinda silly, but I pointed out, when else do we all sit together and chat on a Thursday afternoon?  Good point.  So it isn't so silly after all. :o)