24 November 2010
29 September 2010
31 August 2010
28 July 2010
10 July 2010
10 June 2010
18 May 2010
Something else that I loved was homemade bread. My one source of this was my Grandad Snelling. He was so talented in bread making. One of his specialties was egg bread. I do not know if this is really what it was called, but that is how we knew it. It had a yellow tint to it (I am guessing from the egg yolk) and was super delicious with butter. I could eat several slices of it, although one time I think it gave me a tummy ache. I seem to remember eating almost 10 slices - Unheard of for me to eat that much of anything.
I fear my mom blames herself that I did not eat. When I was growing up, it was common practice to make your child eat everything on their plate. It was a battle of wills most evenings for me to eat dinner, with many nights ending with me going straight to bed from the table. I would sit at the table for hours until my mom gave up and sent me to "go get washed and brushed". I would put a bite of food in my mouth, immediately shove it over to my cheek, put my fork down and sit. I could hold it in my mouth not tasting it for 10 or 20 minutes.
I had several tricks to get rid of my meals. We had a dog, but she was soon banned from the table when I ended up sitting alone. I used the "I need to use the bathroom" occasionally, but not too often (it was obvious). My best trick was spitting my food into my napkin and stuffing it in my chair cushion (which had a tear), then the dog would come by later and have a snack!
I have grown to love many foods as an adult. There are a few leftovers from my early days, like corned beef and liver, that I have not had to eat since I was a teenager, but I eat a pretty good variety of foods now. I do eat peanut butter every single day still - it is my number one comfort food.
Another thing that I still love to eat is homemade bread. I have learned to make and bake many good foods, but the most rewarding thing for me to make is bread. I cannot make it without thinking about Grandad. I use a mixer to get the dough started, but I knead it myself, and I love the way the dough feels. I have a pretty good rhythm, and having to take the time to knead it well gives me a chance every time to reminisce about spending time at my grandparents home in Algonac. (Sometimes Grandad would spend a weekend with us, too - Good times.) Always loved spending time with them.
The first best way to eat homemade bread is fresh out of the oven with butter. The second best way to eat homemade bread is toasted with butter.
But the very best way to eat homemade bread is toasted with peanut butter, open-faced, so the peanut butter is all melty and gets stuck on all your teeth. Oh, yum.
20 April 2010
Not sure how that seems to happen to us so often. The camera seems like such an obvious thing to pack - maybe that is why it gets left behind - so obvious that we do not need to worry about it.
This time the camera missed our mini vacation to Kalahari Water Park in Sandusky. A few years ago we went to Great Wolf Lodge, had a blast, and wanted to try Kalahari this time as it is geared to a little older kid crowd. Too bad our older kids could not make it at the last minute. Lauren and David had to stay at home with the camera.
Neat thing at Kalahari - You can use the water park starting at noon, even though you cannot check into your room until after three. So we pulled our swim suits out of our carefully packed (yeah, right) bags, checked in at the desk to get our blue wristbands, and found our way to the water park.
The place is huge! We passed a candy counter (all candy $20 a pound!), gift shop, little activity shops (stuffed animal making, pottery, hair wrapping, etc), and a cafe. To get to the water park, you must walk through the gi-normus arcade, which I thought our boys would really like. (As it turns out, it cost a dollar just to get the game card you swipe on the machines, and only Colin wanted to go to the arcade, and he only spent $5 - $1 for the card, $4 on a few games.)
Finally made it to the water - the place we had seen fabulous photos of and heard amazing stories about! It was pretty cool in there, in fact it was even a little chilly (after all, we only had our swim suits on and we were wet). Brenden and Colin went off on their own, to try out some swirl slide (think giant toilet and you end up going down the drain) and Liam, Hero and I started at a "warming"pool. Felt great, until you get out - then you freeze. We chose a slide at random and ended up in the line that took almost an hour to get through. On the bright side, while we were waiting, we saw where everything was and where to head next. Hit a few more slides, hopped in the wave pool (a huge Murphy favorite), found Brenden and Colin and relaxed in the hot tub (another favorite).
An early dinner was everyone's vote and we headed to Max and Erma's. While we were enjoying a tropic-like environment (minus the heat), the real weather took a nosedive. It was like 40 - Ugh!
After the yum dinner, everyone got dropped off at the door with all our luggage and we moved in to our home away from home, room 1429. The boys each had their own comfy bed, which they were happy to know they would be allowed to eat in. It was almost hard to leave, but we did get our suits back on to tackle the water park again (except Colin, who headed to the arcade. Later he lamented that he should have gone with us.) And we all ended up in the wave pool and hot tub again.
At home we do not watch much tv. We do not have dish or anything to get extra channels - we just have a few of the basics. Because of this, whenever tv is an option, the boys love to see what they have been missing. We spent the rest of the evening watching something (not sure what - I dozed a lot) and eating treats in bed. (Liam and I did pick up a late night game of Uno).
Breakfast in our room - not room service - $3.99 for a bowl of cereal from the Kalahari chefs! And then back to the pool. We are feeling like pros now. We know right where we want to go. And that attraction was temporarily closed. Rats. So much for the plan. Ok, moving on.
Hero did do the boogie board in the surf pool. Liam and I saw him from the top of a slide. He had to launch himself out on his belly, keep himself somewhat centered (on the board and in the pool) and follow the instructions of the coach to try different tricks. I think he stayed on for about a minute. I think he was pretty pleased with himself.
After playing for a while longer, it was time to think about leaving. We had a great time together as a family, but we all agreed that we could have had just as much fun spending less money. Good bye Kalahari!
As we had not ever been to Sonic, it was voted that was the place for lunch. Have to say, not that impressed. Good to know we have not been missing much. (Sorry to Sonic fans - just not feeling it here.)
And it was on to the next leg of our journey. We headed to Akron to see our good friends, Darryl and Shauna and their family. Had lots of fun visiting and catching up, and Lauren and David surprised us by showing up for dinner.
A great way to end Spring Break. Too bad the camera missed out on all the fun.
27 March 2010
10 March 2010
27 February 2010
I love using canvas drop clothes! Great color, fun texture and inexpensive! Love that!
20 February 2010
She is a beauty, is she not?
I can admire her all day, but if I cannot put anything in her drawers, is she worth saving? Should I put her out of her misery?
She does a dandy job of holding stuff on her top.
30 January 2010
I think is a natural wood stain, but someone spruced her up with this great soft green color. It may have been a while back, though, as she definitely needed a little loving here.
And you cannot tell by just looking at her, but she has a bit of an odor problem. Ok, a big odor problem. I gave her a good bath last fall, had her sunbathing and airing out in the garage since then and just recently moved her in. And she still had that pesky odor problem.
You know how when one of your own children makes you crazy enough to say something like,"It's a good thing you are so cute!"?
23 January 2010
Colin makes dinner for our family on Thursdays. This week he wanted to make homemade pizza in my new enamal coated cast iron dutch oven (aka "the magic pot" as everything we make in it is so delcious!) The pizza turned out great, a little doughy, but yum. He also put together a regular flat pizza, as the recipe for the dough makes lots. He even had more dough leftover. What to do with it? He braided it! Not sure if he realized he could bake it like that, but that is just what he did.Look at that beauty! Perfectly golden (I reminded him to check it just in time!)
With a little direction, he brushed on garlic butter and sprinkled (generously!) with Parmesan Cheese. You know this is looking so good!
Can you slice that a little bit faster Colin? I can hardly wait! Yeah, it tastes just as good as it looks. He shared with us.
Love this kid way more than the bread, by the way.
20 January 2010
So I am thrown off my schedule a little. Back to school starts in September, not January. It kind of goes against the natural order. Then again, it is good to shake things up. And that is just what I did.
Last fall I made my way back to my alma mater, Wayne State University, to meet with a counselor to chart the course for finishing my degree in Fine Arts (emphasis on Interior Design). It felt great to be back on campus - some changes, but still the same feel. I left there feeling accomplished and motivated to get this thing done. From there I went to Schoolcraft to reactivate my status and register for one class - World History (online).
It is fun to be a student again! I know I am just getting started and one online class is not "school" school, but I think I can do this. And I really want to do it, too. I am excited to learn and grow, and to study something that I love. I just hope that I can keep up. I'm planning to go slow until my schedule opens up a little. And while I am working on my BFA, I can earn another degree from Schoolcraft - Liberal Arts. So that is pretty cool, too.
The thing with the online class is that I do not need too many school supplies. Hmmm.
08 January 2010
This Christmas was one that I will always remember. Of course I could have been more prepared, and not have as many last minute things going on, but all in all, really great.
One thing that helped, was that I did not send out Christmas cards. Tami and I made cute “Let it Snow” cards this year, and I am thinking they will make great New Year cards. I wanted to wait until we had family pictures, including Alex and Lawson. I hired Haley Davis to take them and she did a super terrific job! We went to Old Village Plymouth and had a great time, although we pretty much froze to death. Next time we should have everyone here in warmer weather. (This week it has been a high of like 19 degrees, so it could have been worse.)
The pajamas were a great success. I even made them for Darren, Lawson and David. I was a little worried on sizing, and as usual the elastic was too loose for most everyone, except Alex, which was too small (weird). But they all turned out, and I even made some for me - I pieced a bunch of leftover fabric from all the other ones and have collage pants. I had forgotten how warm flannel is! It is wonderful. I started these early in the season, but finished them up on Christmas eve.
Shopping was a little easier this year. We had already gotten gifts for Lauren (Phantom of the Opera ticket), Brenden (laptop) and Liam (DS game), and Darren and I got Michael Buble tickets. Darren got a ping pong table for the family and we have been loving it. Interesting to see who gets it, who is competitive, or who is not such a good loser. One of Colin's new year resolutions is to beat David. We shall see.
Having friends and family around us makes for a great Christmas. My dad and stepmom, and my brother and his family came over on the 22nd for dinner. Good visit, but as usual with them, a little quiet. Jeff, Tami and Cassie came the next day. What better way to celebrate the season than with Chinese food? Yum! Makes me think of "A Christmas Story". Our traditional Christmas Eve dinner with the Coltrins was as yummy as usual. There is nothing like steaks on the grill in December. We had additional guests this year as Lauren wanted to invite her future in-laws.
We had another Great Tree Disaster this year. The tree skirt was wicking all the water that we were giving the tree, and completely soaking the floor underneath. Lawson and Darren laid underneath the fully loaded tree and pushed it up (very carefully) while Alex and I pulled the completely saturated carpet remnant out. Luckily the tree stayed upright, thanks in part from the lesson learned during the Great Tree Disaster of 2007, when the tree fell over - we had tied the tree with strong thread to the wall. Another lesson learned.
Alex really wanted to open gifts while it was still dark outside. Christmas Day saw us up early (6:30ish), loving gifts given and received. Lawson made us his traditional Christmas breakfast - Biscuits and Gravy. What better way to follow that up than with cinnamon rolls? (After all the cookies and treats we had been eating, we could handle it!) Playing, napping and watching new movies filled up the rest of the day until we went to Grandma's for turkey dinner. (Yum again!) What a great day.
I loved that the radio stations have been playing Christmas music all month, and especially loved that they kept playing them for a few days after. It made the season last a little longer. Love that. I think I am just as excited anticipating Christmas Day as enjoying the actual day.
There are so many memories of Christmas's past, and loving the traditions that we have. I love how we feel so connected to each other when we have these times to share. The spirit of the season brings lots of extra joy into our home and into our hearts. Remembering the birth of Jesus Christ and the great gifts that He and Heavenly Father give to us is the greatest tradition.