A Blessing In Disguise...

October 30, 2008

Our lives have been made more rich with this little one fluttering around....we can't imagine a day without her......

These last few years have been an incredible whirlwind for our family......with each day that passes, we thank God for this little blessing he has sent our way!

We will be hitting our 30th month of waiting for our China Baby and I do not know how we would be dealing with the wait if we did not have Nicolas and Sarah in our lives.

I know there are so many families out there still waiting.....some longer than us, some for their first child....whatever the case may be, it breaks my heart to see and hear the pain that some are going through while holding onto a glimmer of hope that someday they will have their child.

There are days I feel extreme guilt that we have been given such a gift......but I know our little "Blessing In Disguise" was a match made in heaven especailly for us.....for that, we are eternally grateful.

An Irish Blessing

May the wings of the butterfly kiss the sun.
And find your shoulder to light on.
To bring you luck, happiness and riches.
Today, tomorrow and beyond.

My creation
Based on the trial run....I don't think the hat will be worn tomorrow night.....


Sarah loves to play with this little bank.......the picture on it was taken the day she was baptized.

Making sure Rudy doesn't try to bite her wings....

All dressed and ready to go....Bring on the sweets!

I am feeling a little bummed out...Nick will not be Trick or Treating with us this year....he is going with his Dad. Since we divorced, we have always alternated these type of events and holidays....It is the only fair way to do it, but it still makes me sad that the kids will not be together. Nick and his Dad promised me pictures, so I hope to be able to post them. I am told it is something scary this year.....can't wait to see what the two of them have come up with for a costume!

Hope you all enjoy your Halloween......don't eat too much candy!

Hooray For Halloween!

October 29, 2008

My creation
Sarah is getting very excited for her first door to door Trick or Treat and Halloween celebration!

This week has been about all things Halloween! We watched the Ch@rlie Brown special last night on TV and we have been reading all of Sarah's Halloween books. Of course her favorite is "The M&M Halloween Treat Book"...go figure:)

My creation
Today I pulled her costume out for the first time since we bought it.....it has been packed away in her closet for a long time. She squealed with delight when she saw what I had in my hand! We tried it on just to make sure everything still fits....and we are good to go.

The final countdown is on....Halloween is in two days....Can you guess what Sarah will be wearing for trick or treat?? There is a hint buried in the blog....there was a sneak peak when I first bought the costume!

I am going to take a nap right now, but when I wake up.....I will tell you if you are right!

Sorry for the abundance of photos....went a little camera crazy today:)

Our Little VP

October 27, 2008


No matter what your political preference....you have to admit that this is pretty darn cute....she certainly looks the part and even has the right name....SARAH!


This little "press conference" went down on Saturday afternoon.....and it was orchestrated by Pat....I just assisted with hair, wardrobe, and bribery....a couple of M&M's go a long way when you need some cooperation from Sarah! If you look at the pictures close enough, you can see trace evidence of her favorite candy coated chocolate.

Pat is very into politics...honestly I think he missed his calling! Over the past couple of months he has taught Sarah to recognize John and Sarah P. Now each and every time she sees them in a newspaper, a magazine, or on TV, she screams their names....loud and clear. Sarah has made her Daddy very proud.

I swore that politics would not be a subject that I discussed here in the land of blog......but I couldn't help it....when I saw these pictures they had to make an appearance here.

So the cat is out of the bag......you all know who will be getting our vote!

The Secret Is In The Sauce....

October 26, 2008

This weekend, I taught Sarah all of our family secrets....starting with our famous marinara!!


Marvelous Marinara

Olive Oil
Large Onion
4 Cloves of Garlic(Fresh)
2 TBSP of Tomato Paste
2 28oz cans of Crushed Tomatoes
Fresh Basil
Salt and Pepper
Red Crushed Pepper(optional)
Pinch of Sugar

Heat Olive Oil in a pan, add chopped onion and cook until translusent,
Add minced garlic, but be careful...do not burn it....it will become bitter.
Add a pinch of salt, some ground pepper, a dash of red pepper flakes(optional)
About 1-2 minutes after the garlic hits the pan, add 2 TBSP of tomato paste and mix.
Now add the crushed tomoatoes
Add a little more salt and pepper, plus a pinch of sugar
Rip apart a bunch of fresh basil leaves and stir everything.
Bring everything up to a bubble, them simmer on low heat about 30-45 minutes.

Serve with over your favorite pasta and sprinkle with cheese and a little extra basil!


Always use fresh garlic and fresh basil. The jarred garlic and dried basil do not give it the same flavor!

I use this as the base sauce to all of our pasta dishes. You can add vegetables, ground meat, sausage, or make your own meatballs.....I guess that is a good idea for the next recipe that I share with you all...homemade meatballs!

And lastly, I have to eat it with Pecorino Romano Cheese sprinkled on top...you can find it fresh in your deli...it is a little more expensive, but so worth it....fresh is always better!

We were having so much fun in the kitchen....we decided to make dessert too! If we were having an Italian meal, we need an Italian dessert....


Ricotta Cookies

1/4 lb butter
1/4 cup Ricotta Cheese
1 tsp of Pure Vanilla Extract
1 cup of Sugar
1 Egg
2 Cups of Sifted Flour
1/2 tsp of Salt
1/2 tsp of Baking Powder

Mix Butter and Ricotta, Add Vanilla
Gradually add Sugar
Mix in Egg
Sift Flour, Salt, and Baking Powder and gradually add to the mixture.
Makes 36 Cookies
Bake in a 350 Degree Oven for 10 minutes

You can add holiday sprinkles, or your favorite icing! We chose to make a lemon glaze and used food coloring to make it orange for Halloween!

Lemon Glaze:
1/3 cup of butter
2 cups of confectioners sugar
1/2 tsp of Pure Vanilla Extract
a little lemon zest
1 TBSP of Lemon Juice
2 TBSP of Hot Water

Melt the butter in a saucepan, then add the sugar and the rest of the ingredients, if it is too thick add a little more water. Keep stirring and drizzle over the cookies when they come out of the oven.

After a day with Sarah in the kitchen.....this was my idea of dinner!!

Okay, only kidding, I needed a big plate of that pasta with lots of cheese, but I did enjoy a big glass of wine with it!

So there you have it....two recipes for the price of one!! Hope you enjoy!

A special thanks to Jodee for my new apron!! We certainly put it to good use this weekend.....it was a perfect gift for someone who loves to cook...thank you for thinking of me!

These Boots Were Made....

October 24, 2008









We had a little "Friday Photo Fun" at the park, followed by a trip to one of our favorite stores....Wegm@n's!

Sarah and I needed to pick up some goodies for a special family dinner....

Just think Italian.....it is an oldie but goodie. With this cold weather, we are all craving some comfort food!

I will be sharing the recipe in the next day or so....stay tuned

Hope you all enjoy your weekend!

Bye Bye Blonde

October 23, 2008

Remember a couple of weeks ago when I talked about trying to "break up" with my hair stylist?

I have bitten the bullet and shamefully, left the stylist that I have gone to for years. Our children attend the same school and we both pick them up daily. The minute I get out of my car.....he will know I have gone to someone else....and I do not do well in these types of situations. There is no easy way to tell someone that there "work" is not what it used to be. I stuck it out for a long time always giving the benefit of the doubt, but enough was enough.....I needed a CHANGE!!

My hair has been in an inbetween stage for months....letting a really short cut grow out and I just can't deal anymore...my time is limited and I just do not have an extra 20 minutes to play around trying to get my hair to fall into place.

Short and sassy is calling my name and it was time to say bye bye to the blonde.....


And hello brunette...


I need to play around with the new do a little bit, it always looks better when you style it yourself..but overall I am thrilled with the new look and glad I finally made the move!

You all now me so well.....almost everyone guessed "hair" as my change!

Fall....A Season of Change

October 22, 2008


About a week ago, I took this picture of one of the trees in our front yard. I loved all the vibrant colors of the leaves as they were starting to change.


This morning I woke up to see this.....the leaves have started to fall.......before long, the trees will be bare and winter will be upon us.


As I poured my morning cup of coffee, I looked out the kitchen window and saw a beautiful sunrise coming up behind the old farmhouse that sits beyond our property. The cornstalks are just days away from being plowed. It is probably one of the last mornings I will see the field as it looks now.

Fall is a season of change...it is both beautiful and inspiring to me....


I want to jump on the bandwagon of things that are changing....

Can you guess what I am going to change??? And no, it is not my blog design..... well, not yet anyway!

Details to follow tomorrow night.......

Just thought I would have a little fun with this post, it was a good way to incorporate some of the fall scenes that I have captured around our home. This last picture was taken at the vineyard down the street from our house. Do you see all the trees? There are grapes just waiting to be picked from the vine and turned into some good vino....yum!!

OOEY GOOEY Goodness!

October 21, 2008

So now that we picked all these delicious apples, what are we going to do with them?

Apple Crisp

Here it is! This is the recipe that is haunting me each time I open the refrigerator. The tray is calling my name....and I can't resist the ooey gooey goodness!


8 medium Mutsu or other cooking apples
1 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup butter or margarine

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Peel, core, and cut the apples into thin slices. Place them in a 9 by 13-inch baking dish. In a bowl with a pastry cutter, mix the remaining ingredients until they are well blended and resemble coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle the mixture over the apples, and bake until apples are tender, about 30 to 35 minutes. Serve warm with a scoop of your favorite ice cream.

I will need to give up some blogging time to allow for some extra sessions in the gym.....In addition to the apple crisp, I have half of an Italian Chocolate Cake with Marscapone Fudge Icing, staring me down. Thanks Mom!!

I think some of our neighbors might be getting a special delivery......I have no will power if it is in the house!

This is the last of the pictures from our Apple Adventure! I was pulling Sarah that afternoon and Nick said that he wanted to pull her.....I love how Nick is looking back at Sarah....what a great big brother!

An Apple A Day

October 19, 2008


An apple a day keeps the doctor away......

and since school has started, we have seen more of the doctor than we care to, so we are taking that age old advice. We headed to the nearest apple orchard to stock up for the season!


Nick was our master picker....the apple of the day was "Mutsu", they are a cross between a Golden Delicious and a Japanese Indu apple.....great for baking and eating!


Of course Sarah wanted to be the one to carry the 20lb box of apples.....it weighed almost as much as she does!

My creation

Along with apples, you could pick red raspberries. They were few and far between, so it took us a long time to fill one pint....but once again Nick saved the day. He had quite an eye for the ripe berries!


On the way out they had pony rides! As soon as Sarah saw them, she went running over. I thought she might be scared but she walked right up. We put her on and a big smile came across her face in an instant!


I was a little worried that she wouldn't know how to hold on or keep her balance, but she did great.


They walked her around the ring 3 times.....she loved it and did not want to get off!

While we were standing there, Nick said..."Mom, we could put one of these rings in the backyard, we have enough room to keep a horse back there. Sarah's birthday is coming up and she would love a horse"

I had to laugh....like we could just run out and buy a horse for her birthday in four weeks! I told him maybe when she gets a little older we could sign her up for lessons, but that's as far as it goes. I think Nick was the one that wanted a horse, but Sarah's bday comes before his, so he thought it was worth a try!

After our day at the orchard, we came home and started some serious apple peeling and slicing. Apple Crisp is on the menu for tonight! In fact, we are off to eat some right now....come back tomorrow, I will post the recipe and pictures....it smells like heaven!

Hope you all enjoyed your weekend!

A Day In The City..

October 17, 2008

My creation

My creation

My creation


Nick and I hit the road bright and early and spent our day visiting the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island with his 5th grade class.

Ellis Island was very interesting, lots of history there. To think that some of our ancestors entered this country through the very place we stood today was incredible. I could have spent more time in there but we were on a schedule so we had to move on.

I have been to the city often, but never took the ferry over to the Statue of Liberty...it was defintely something to see! They no longer let you go all the way to the top, you are only allowed up to the base of the statue. Security is pretty tight but it was so worth it.....the view is just breathtaking....what a piece of history!

I am so glad that I took the day off to spend some quality time with Nick, we both had such a great time together. He can't wait to go back, but next time he said he would like to have more time for shopping. Unfortunately, not my kind of shopping. If I know him, he has FAO Schw@rtz on the brain....

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Things We've Learned...

October 15, 2008

"You took my diapers away and now you want to me to go to the bathroom on this thing....HMMMM Let me think about it"

"What is that I hear?......At last, the sweet sound of success"

The day got off to a pretty good start, Sarah made it until 12:30pm without any accidents....we didn't have a perfect afternoon, but it is only day one....and I would not expect it to be that easy!!

That being said, we have learned a couple of things along the way:

The water must be running at all times....

Sarah insists that I sit and go to the bathroom(I really pretend, but I won't tell if you don't)while she is taking care of business on her little potty (This is why there will be no video to accompany this post....sorry Tonggu Momma)

I put her down for a nap in undies...probably not a good idea on day one, but I kept thinking...cold turkey, we are not going back to diapers...too confusing. If anyone has nap time suggestions, I would love to hear them.

If you think you have purchased enough underpants to get you through the day...you didn't....Go buy more.

And last, but not least, if you think your child will be thrilled with only one celebratory M&M......think again...

A girl after my own heart! I could never stop with just one. Could you?

I guess I will also be adding M&M's to my shopping list.....this jar will surely be gone in no time!

Officially In Training!!

October 14, 2008



We are officially in training....potty training that is....

I just wanted to thank everyone that gave us ADVICE a couple of weeks ago...you all had some terrific ideas and we will be using them. Quite a few of us are reaching this milestone at approximately the same time, so I will keep everyone updated as to what is working for Sarah and what is not...

I am trying to stay optimistic here....she is ready...I have been procrastinating.....it is a big commitment and we will need to stay close to home for the first few days....there has been so much going on that I just held off until the time was right. I have been watching my calendar for a good time to start and things are pretty quiet here for the next couple of days...so as they say....there is no time like the present.

As of tomorrow morning, we are going cold turkey....


The little potty is in place. Our special treat jar is filled with M&M's, the dresser drawer is piled high with the cutest little girl undies, and I am stocked with all neccessary cleaning supplies.....

Wish us luck......the diapers are coming off.... We hope :)