Dec 9, 2009

A thought, by Alex

Not too long ago we were having FHE (Family Home Evening for all you non-Mormons) and were talking about the perilous times we live in. Carl, who was conducting, thought that he should clarify.

"Who knows what perilous means," asked Carl.

"I do," calls out Alex excitedly

"Ok Alex, what?"

"It means you don't have any pears!"

Get it?

Pear-less? Perilous?

Yeah, took me half a second too! Carl got it right away though and couldn't stop laughing.  Gotta love kids!

Dec 1, 2009


Last night the boys and I decided to put together a dessert that they had read about in the story "Cook-a-Doodle-Doo". In it, the great-grandson of the Little Red Hen decides he is tired of chicken feed and wants to cook some real food. He finds great-grandma's recipe book and together with his friends makes the most magnificent Strawberry Shortcake. It is a super cute book, with a great story and lots of cooking facts added in, but best of all was the recipe it included so that you could make you very own strawberry shortcake. So that is what we did!

Here is the book

After they helped me make the shortcake, Alex got to add the whipped cream.

Jacob was the strawberry man

Another layer of shortcake, and then more whipped cream. Yum!

Here comes Jacob with more strawberries

At last it was finished, hooray!

Our two chefs with their creation. After we finished making it, the four of us all sat down to read the story together. They we all got to taste our creation and boy was it good!

So, I highly reccomend the book, but in case you can't get it, I decided to include the recipe for all of you to try for yourselves. Enjoy!

Great-Granny's Magnificent Strawberry Shortcake

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
1 egg, beaten
2/3 cup milk
3-4 cups strawberries, washed and sliced
1 cup whipping cream, whipped

Preheat oven to 450 degrees farenheit. Sift flour, then sift together again with dry ingredients. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add egg and milk, stiffing by hand just enough to moisten.  Spread dough in greased 8 X 1 1/2-inch round pan, building up edges slightly.  Bake for 15-18 minutes. Remove cake from pan; cool on rack 5 minutes. Split in two layers; lift top off carefully. Alternate layers of cake, whipped cream and strawberries, ending with strawberries on top.

Nov 27, 2009

Our First Thanksgiving

This year, Carl's family came to our home for Thanksgiving and I can honestly say that it was a great experience! I was so worried that the turkeys would end up half-cooked and that no one would enjoy themselves. But all my fears were ill-founded and we all had a great time, with fully cooked food :) Here are some photos of the day:

The first turkey is in! Yes, I ended up making two of them...we like our left-overs! Can I just tell you that I hate cleaning out all the guts?! Nasty, nasty, nasty! I now know what they meant when they said I would not really want to eat all that much after cooking it all day! ha ha

Alex volunteered to peel potatoes. I was very glad for ALL my boys help! Carl was running about like mad, even waking up before me to put the green bean casserole into the slow cooker. I love my husband!

Jake wanted in on the action as well. He peeled some after he had washed off all the sweet potatoes for us.

Here is one half of our post dinner spread. I wanted to get some photos of it all before it was consumed, but you know how it goes...rushing to get it all on the table and once that happens it doesn't stay there for long! The corn pudding is the item closest. It did NOT want to cook! Took twice as long as it should have, and then no one wanted to try it except Jacki and I! And no, that is not wine in the background, but sparkling juice. :)

Here is the rest of it. All in all we had turkey, ham, stuffing, mac and cheese, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, fruit salad, deviled eggs, pumpkin pie, cheesecake, impossible coconut pie, relish tray, vegetable tray, rolls, gravy, corn pudding, and I think that is it...there was so much, and believe me, I was not the one who made it all! My fantastic husband, Mandy, Lauren and Jacki all brought something to the table and I was very grateful!

Here is Gramps and Lauren

We had to set up the tables in the livingroom to have room. Wish I would have got a photo of them before we ate. Mandy and Jacob set them really nicely!

Mandy, Carl and Jacki. Dessert time, hooray!

Moen and Jake. (Think you squeezed a little to hard Moen!)

What's up Mandy?!
I wish that more of the pictures would have turned out...we were having some issues with the camera.

Trey trying out our new Wii. This was our main source of entertainment. We also had the game on for a bit and also played Apples To Apples, both the party edition and the junior version. :)

All in all, it was a great day and I think that everyone had a great time. We were glad that we could have the pleasure and experience of hosting Thanksgiving at our home. Next year Carl, I and the boys plan on going to the parade, so it's Mandy's turn!!

Nov 18, 2009

Fun with Sparklers

We have been promising the kids for a while now that we would go out "tomorrow" and play with all our leftover sparklers. Well, tomorrow finally came and we all had a blast!  Carl had a great time taking photos of the fun and we loved being his models. But not to fear, he wasn't behind the camera the whole time. He is the "spinner" in photo # 5 and the butterfly artist behind Jacob. Enjoy!

Nov 12, 2009

Halloween 2009

Ok, trying to get caught up on my posts. This one will just be pictures as I need to get my sick bootie to bed now. Enjoy!

Nov 7, 2009

All about Jacob

Jacob turned ten on the 4th of November! Double Digits as everyone at his school keeps telling him. He is very excited to be growing up and all Carl and I want him to do is be tiny forever!

The picture is from Jacob's school soccer team. Let me tell you that this was great fun! He was only able to go for half the practices due to some interesting incidents on various Thursdays, one being a pillow fight gone wrong which left Carl with a swollen eye (a post for another day) and the flu being another.  When he did get to go, it was great fun. The best way I can describe it is this....picture 30-50 Autistic children, ranging from mild to severe, 9 years to teen, each with their own soccer ball...and GO!  Great fun, I can tell you!! This was just a trial run to gauge intrest, and will be starting up again in the spring. Next up for Jacob, the Knightriders basketball team. This is for boys at this school ages nine to 14 I believe who are too young for the varsity team, but still have a desire to play. We are very excited!  Here are some more pictures from soccer for your enjoyment!

Oct 4, 2009

Happy Birthday Alex!!

We cannot believe that our baby is 7 years old!! Happy Birthday Alex, we love you!!

Sep 30, 2009

Alex visits the hospital

Yesterday was Alex's scheduled appointment at the hospital for his upper GI scope. He has been getting pains in the middle of his chest when he eats. The first few times I wrote it off as him not chewing his food properly, or eating too fast. But after it kept happening, it really worried Carl and I. So, we took him to our pediatrician Dr. Ilyasov, who sent him on to Dr. Ayas, a pediatric gastroenterologist. Dr. Ayas then decided that a scope was in order to find the exact cause and that led us to yesterday. Whew!

Of course this was not a good idea as far as Alex was concerned! We did get him to warm up to the idea, but pulling into the parking structure at the hospital his anxieties started back up. He was a brave as he could be though, and took his polar bear "Smoothie" along with him for support. The staff at Oakwood Main was just fabulous though, and they did all that was in their power to keep him happy and comfortable. They seriously gave Children's Hospital a run for their money, and that is saying something! They postponed the IV till he was asleep and when Alex didn't want to drink the calming meds they brought for him, the Anesthesiologist ran back and got "medicine" shots for all of us, including himself! Of course ours tasted much better than Alex's, poor guy! By the time they came to take him back, he was calm and prepared. But, it seems that he didn't like the mask they were going to use to put him to sleep, so the same anesthesiologist said "Hey, you wanna see a magic trick?" and proceeded to wrap him up in a blanket so he couldn't move and put the mask on him. Dirty little trick, but it worked and Alex has no recollection of it happening! That man is going to be a great dad someday! ha ha

Eosinophilic Esophagitis was the result of the scope which seems to be a long way of saying that his throat is inflamed due to either food allergies of acid reflux. Sooooo, we are going to treat him for the reflux for a month, and see if that helps. He said the chance of food allergies is only about 30% and allergy testing is not fun, whatsoever! Carl knows this from experience and I certainly don't want to put him through it if he doesn't have to! So, hopefully this helps. He had a super sore throat afterward, but mostly from the breathing tube they had to put it. he was coughing and gagging for quite a while, but he was right as rain as soon as he got himself a big ol' chocolate milkshake! He even got to keep the pictures they took of his throat, stomach and small intestine, but decided at the last minute not to take them to school to show his friends. I don't blame him!

Before the proceedure

After the proceedure. That popsicle was so blue, that it stained his teeth! If you can see it, his poor face is all red and blotchy because of the tape they had to use to hold down the breathing tube. You can see his bear in bed with him all covered up with his own blanket!

Sep 18, 2009

Family History

Lately I have felt the urge to get moving on Carl's genealogy. My fabulous father has taken our lines by storm, and I have no idea where to start with that, but Carl's is a clean slate just waiting to be done! I have been spending the past two days with his mom looking through family albums and the oldest suitcase of all time! I have been having a blast with this, and have already made a huge discovery! Carl's maternal grandmother had a brother named Charles. Not sounding to thrilling? Well it is, considering the fact that neither Carl nor his mother or uncle knew about it! I owe this knowledge to the indexing system being put in place by the LDS church. They have begun scanning in all the records that could previously only be found on films and paper, digitally on-line so that anyone can search through them. Above is the 1920 Negaunee, MI census where we made our discovery. Carl's grandmother Loretta Connors was 5 at the time. This is really just so exciting to be doing finally! We are already 5 generations back and we have only begun. I just hope that I don't lose my momentum!!

Sep 15, 2009

Fun FHE Activity

This was a few weeks ago, but better late than never. Alex got to pick the activity for FHE and well, here it is. The boys had even more fun because Mackenzie their friend was over. Enjoy!

Sep 14, 2009

another random drive

The fall is coming, we are so excited! Nothing better than fall on the east coast, especially Michigan! here are some more pictures from a drive we took on Saturday. We started our drive out by going to our secret bakery. If we deem you worthy, you may be given the information on how to locate it's divine awesomeness... ;) After that, we went south-west to where ever the winds would take us. This time we made sure we took a lunch!

Not too often you get to see a horse drawn carriage that is not for hire!

We thought this was the coolest tree. This was somewhere in the vicinity of Maybee.

This is what we go for, this and forest. Nothing like taking a drive in the boonies!

Okay, this barn is purple...enough said.

These folks pulled up to the 4 way stop right before us. There was a kid sitting in the backseat wearing the biggest set of earphones I have seen since the 80's! Must have been wanting to drown out the noise of the engine he was sitting on top of!

We have no idea what this building was for, all we know is that the front of it is covered in tile mosaic. Something you don't see everyday in the middle of nowhere!

At this point, we were heading back toward civilization in search of a place to have a picnic. We weren't having any luck, but as we drove through Ypsi, we found this place in Depot Town. It is called Frog Island Park. I know that some or all of you have probably heard of all this before, but it was new to us! It had a wonderful amphitheater with a stage and natural seating. Also had a wonderful stretch of river that ran through/next to the park. After we ate, we explored for a bit and then headed home. All in all a great way to spend a Saturday!

Me and the boys sitting at the top of the amphitheatre after our lunch.
This is Jacob's new trick. He shows it to everyone, no matter who they are. So, what better place to do it then on a stage. He also did a selection of Hip-hop moves for us to enjoy. :)

This was on the seating section right below is. We have no idea what it is, it's just gross and I guess I felt the need to share. Perhaps some kind of shroom?
Here is Jacob posing on the bridge that leads to the other side of the park. Wish I knew what river this is. our luck it is probably the Rouge!

Someone felt inspired to staple this to the bridge. I am glad they did!

I had Jake take this shot of us. Carl is always the photographer, so we rarely have photos of the two of us together.This was right before we took off for home. I think that this would be a great place to start off a tubing adventure!