Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Chef Faith

Faithy made breakfast for her sister.

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I love her you gotta be kidding me look.  Her faces are priceless.

Really mom, what am I supposed to do?

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Dig in?

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What an adventure they are.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Decorating Delima

Decorating for holidays this year has been, well... almost non existent.  I should have been better about but I have not done much for any of them.  For Christmas I kept it very low key in only one spot of our house, mostly because the babies were eating, breaking, and throwing anything we put out.  Thanksgiving nothing, Halloween is now to far back for me to remember (sad isn't it), Valentines day well we did do a little.  I never shared it because this past week our family was hit hard and I mean HARD by a nasty virus.  It kept me home from school  I even called off to an online class because I could not get mine or my daughters head out of a bucket long enough to login.  Jay stayed home from work 2 days Both boys got sent home from school throwing up.  They made it 1 day last week, Friday.  It was bad.  I was lysoling everything.  The tiny team watching me spray stuff got a hold of the can and sprayed the baby!!!  But you know she was the only one not to get sick.  Uncomfortable and cranky yes but violently sick, no.  Maybe they are on to something.

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It was bad.  Our whole town had it.  Or at least all m friends with kids locally on facebook, same thing.  But thankfully it is over!!

Back to Valentines.  The night before I took the children to a Valentines party at church we all had a great time.  Gregory asked mom what are we doing for Valentines this year.  I was surprised it came from him it is usually Evan who is the one most excited about holidays.  I explained to him in apology it wont be much this year son I have school and dad has work plus you have school but there you will have so much fun.  It was late as all our Wednesdays are and I sent the kids to bed.  I was serious it was not going to be a big over the top Valentines like we often have.  But of course I did not want them to not feel the love of the day.  They went to be and I started baking.

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I made red velvet cheesecake for their dad plus a yummy warm breakfast in the morning   I told him I was not getting him any present this year not because I did not love him but he knows how crazy and sick we had been here.  Still no  excuse I know.  But I certainly did not want him to feel unloved either.  So don't you think I was surprised when he came home with dozens of roses for me.

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And a cake under the kids suggestion.  They suggest it because they wanted it and they ate it, most of it anyways.

But I also pulled the kids in to.  Before they went to bed I had each of them tell me why they love their dad..

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Okay so I filled in Gracies.  Every time I tried to get Faith to say something she would just stand there shacking her head like yes I love him.  She is so sweet.

I laid out chocolate hearts and candy for each of them plus dad and except Grace she got puff and yogurt bites.

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Evan had spent the week making cards for everyone the were great.  I made one for him from his cat so he would get one too.  They woke up to a table full of treats.  It sure made them happy.  The were yelling and smiling and said mom the Valentines fairy? came?  Wait mom you do Valentines or is there a fairy?  :) No its me kids.  And then the kids went off to school and had a great day.

But now that Valentines is over we hit birthday season.  My middle sons is first.  In less than a week trust me has been in count down mood for a while.  After him the just keep coming every couple days in March is another birthday.  Really. we have the 4, 6, 14, 15, 17, 21, 22 by the time March is over we are sick of cake.  Often I decorate for birthdays but this year Easter is also in March the 31st.

If I decorate for Easter when do I do it?  after the 23?  or now?  I don't even know what we are doing for Easter yet.  I am hoping we are at the White House!  I find out Friday so keep your fingers crossed for us.  I know the kids want to do something special for it.  With as little as I have done this year I hope to make Easter very special, as it deserves to be.  Today I did put up an egg wreath on our door and it could not have made Evan happier.  At the end of the day I will pin more than I will do but I will start doing now and maybe by Easter it will be good.  We will see.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Back from Camping

Over the cold snowy Presidents Day weekend the older boys packed up grabbed some friends and went camping.  They were so excited to be going they could have cared less about the snow.  Well at least until they were freezing cold because they did realize how cold it was.  Honestly the snow did not tip you off?  Well I kinda remember doing the same thing as a kid too.  They had a blast.

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I dropped off my little campers for the weekend.

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They packed enough for a week not a weekend.  And my Gregory wore the same socks all weekend!  Ugh I don't understand boys.  But I sure do love them.

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They love going to camp.  They ate well, better than they do here.  They zip lined, go carted, and they loved to play capture the flag,

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No I was not there I got these pictures off the website.

They also had plenty of time to study the Bible.

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Gregory came home with a new understand of Gods narrow streets are made of gold and the devils streets are made of dirt and dust.  He truly got it and I was so proud of him.

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A view from their cabin.

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Smiley missed them SOOOOOO much.  He is really becoming a big boy himself and wants to be with his older brother all the time.  All weekend long he kept asking when were they coming home so I brought him with me when I went to pick them up.

But all thats fun comes to an end.  Evan is sad because he lost his bible.  His brand new $40 bible!

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Smiley and I spent an hour looking for it.  Guess what we found it!!  YAY!  We went back to the boys to give it to Evan and take them home only to have Gregory say did you find mine too?  AGH!! Yes both boys lost there bibles there.  I looked 15 minutes for Gregorys but could not find it.  It is one most kids his age has and probably someone else grabbed it by mistake.  I will get him a new one and get them each the $5 ones that they can take camping

Sunday, February 24, 2013

a quick nap

Gracie is the biggest snuggler.  She has been since we brought her home.She loves to cudle in tight.  I laugh when people ask me where do we put all these kids because truthfully the answer is my bed.  Each and everyone of them has their own bed but not their own room.  It does not matter anyways because they sleep with me in my room.  Most nights Smiley and Grace sleep with me.  Although lately Faith has not been cooperative   Every night she screams, cries and runs around till I let her sleep with me in a certain spot in my bed.  You you put her anywhere but that spot she will arch her back and continue her fit.  It is funny when it is not 3 AM.  The Big boys love to sleep with me two and on the rare occasions the tiny team except for Grace, she ALWAYS sleeps with me, are sleeping in there own beds they ask Mommy (yes they pull out the full Mommy) can I please sleep with you?  I always say yes.  It is so awesome they still want to, and I love to be with them too.  But Grace is just a bit different she has to be close to someone.  She has moved through the bed to find me or Smiley since she was born and will snuggle in then sleep.  She loves her hand held while sleeping it settles her right down.  She has not spent one night in her bed.  She wakes up screaming every time she is placed in there.  She could be dead tried sound asleep lay her in her crib and she is unhappily awake.

The other day she took a nap with Dad.

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He loved it.  He is so smitten by her. Even holding her hand.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Broccoli Salad

Everyone has a recipe for broccoli salad that they love, you probably even have a few go to ones.  This is another mighty fine one and super easy.  It was originally form 6 sisters but I adapted it to fit our families taste.

Make the dressing first.

Broccoli Salad Dressing:

1 cup mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl mix all ingredients well to dissolve sugar.  Chill dressing for at least one hour. 

While that is chilling cook the bacon.  This is one thing I changed from the original recipe I made it a pound because my husband loves bacon. Like I said earlier you can adjust amounts to fit your family, add or take out ingredients too.

Then chop up the remaining ingredients for the salad.  When the dressing is ready add the salad ingredients to it mix thouroughly.  I like to sprinkle a few crispy fried onions on top of each bowl, but don't mix them into the salad or they will no longer be crispy.  And enjoy.

Broccoli Salad:

1 pound fresh broccoli (about 2 bunches) cut into small florets
1 half medium red onion
1 cup grated cheese
1 pound of bacon (cooked crisp and crumbled)
3/4 cup craisins

crispy fried onions for topping
Get ready for your family to eat bowls of it.

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Sunday, February 17, 2013

The bigger bow

What are you doing wearing the biggest bow?  After all I am the big sister.  Give it to me!

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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Feeding Grace

When you have 5 kids people feel free to express their unwanted opinions.  I have heard it all, and trust me 99% of the time it is not kind.  The most common one ...

1) Don't you know how that happens?
                                    I hate this and it is usually from older people so I can't say something I truly feel                        back.  But it is probably just their way of breaking the ice, I try to keep that in mind.  However the 1% that say something nice will say instead we had 5, 6 , 7, 10 and they were the best and fastest years of my life, THANK YOU.

2) You aren't planning on having anymore are you?
                                   Humm, why yes and I plan to repopulate the planet with a superior race sorry about your luck.

3)Are you trying to be like the Duggars? (A large conservative Christian family with 19 children)
                                    By that do you mean family and bible based?  Or the fact they rely on NO government funding and provide for their large family and support them off their own income?  Or that they are able to take this large family and travel all around the world exposing their children to many different cultures including ones that are far from their own.  No we are not trying to replicate their size.  I am so happy with 5 and feel it is the best fit for us.  But as far as their beliefs I have very much been wanting to attended an ATI conference and just have not been able to build up the funds to do so.  Not to mention my daughter gets terrible car sick and that trip would...suck.

I am not the only one who faces these comments.  My husband fends them off too.  I love his answer to this one, although I should be mad but it was all made in good humor, especially if you knew him.

A lady who came to his work: Aren't you the guy with the 5 kids?

Him: Yes, always looking for someone to have the 6th...

Lady: Oh No, aught ah honey you have too much baggage.  That is not for Miss. ######, I'm staying away from you.

me: HAHAHA yeah try to find that greener grass! 5 kids!  And we live in an alimony state!! The epitome of the definition it is cheaper to keep her.

But the most common one I hear is...

4)Wow you got your hands full.
                                   This is not always in a bad context but is often meant as you must be overwhelmed.

But truthfully no.  I have no problem with 5 kids.  It is what I know, they are great, they can be challenging, but the love that is present overseas all struggles.

Children mimic their parents and if you do it right it can make your life so much easier   And don't we all know that is what moms truly want.  Teach them well and its like a vacation. (not really, but it can be a good laugh)

The tiny team decided to feed Grace this afternoon.

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She is not hurt or cut.  Her sister decided to do both of their make up again.

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They are awesome little mamas.

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This video makes me laugh.  Smiley is her biggest admirer and the language he use s with her is too cute.  They are the best of friends and brother and sister.

Friday, February 15, 2013

My second PRINCESS

She is every bit as much a princess as her big sister.  She loves her big sister, even if she is scared of her sometimes.  She mimic her and especially me.  She makes the same goofy faces I make at her right back.  She is so cute and such a darling.

We all love her but Evan does not really pay much attention to the girls.  The are just there to him.  When Faith was little he made her a heart sigh for her crib, that came out of nowhere.  That is sorta the same thing that happened here.  He made Gracie a Princess crown out of nowhere, just because.

Maybe he thinks about them more than I give him credit for.  We had fun having her wear it..

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He even snapped the pictures of us to show it off.  I love them all so much, my princesses and my sweet wonderful boy.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup Copy

everyone loves Panera, I do.  But I do not like going in there.  It is full of business people in suits on breaks actually at all times, many of them hold their informal meetings there. Well I am never childless.  I go in and the kids are screaming bouncing around grabbing everything, being kids.  And boy does that bother everyone else who is not a stay at home mom.  it is only 15 minutes from my house so I drive by it many times each week.  I do not usually stop because there are two good Mexican restaurants right down the road, closer that are $5 for a great lunch and I can go in sit down with my kids and have a nice time.  Panera I spend $10 a lunch and because of their clientele's annoyances I eat it in my car.  But still I drive by and often long for their yummy food.  Here is a copycat of their broccoli cheese soup. 

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3 tablespoon butter, melted
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup flour
4 cups half-and-half
4 cups chicken stock or bouillon
1 pound fresh broccoli
2  carrots, finly shreaded 
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
16+ ounces grated mild cheddar cheese

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Saute onion in butter. 
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And remember 1 large onion will reduce great.  Set aside. 

Cook melted butter and flour using a whisk over medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Stir constantly and slowly add the half-and-half (making another roux and most importantly DON'T burn it). Add the chicken stock whisking all the time. Simmer for 20 minutes. 

Add the broccoli, carrots and onions. Cook over low heat until the veggies are tender for 20-25 minutes. If you would like now you can pour in batches into blender and puree. But at the moment I have no blender and I like the broccoli pieces so I skipped this part.  Also this is why I finely grated the carrots.  If you are going to blend in you can julienn the carrots   Return to pot over low heat and add the grated cheese; stir until well blended. Stir in the nutmeg plus salt and pepper to taste and serve.

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If you are going to put this in a bread bowl I would suggest you add a little more flour to make it a tad thicker, but if not enjoy!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

happy Fastnacht Day 2013!

A year I have been waiting to celebrate this glorious day.  And it is finally upon us again   It Fastnacht Day in Pennsylvania and anywhere else you celebrate it.  I enjoyed it thoroughly last year being pregnant.  They tasted better than ever.  They are still great this year but when you are eating for two they have double the goodness.

For those of you who don't know or don't remember Fastnacht Day, is a fatty doughnut treat served traditionally on Fastnacht Day (Shrove Tuesday), the day before Lent starts. Fasnachts were made as a way to empty the pantry of lard, sugar, fat, and butter, which were traditionally fasted from during Lent.
BaselSwitzerland conducts an annual fasnacht festival. The Pennsylvania Dutch territory surrounding Lancaster, Pennsylvania, celebrates the custom as well. Most chain supermarkets in the eastern Pennsylvania offer fasnachts.
In parts of Maryland, the treats are called Kinklings, and are only sold in bakeries on Shrove Tuesday. The German version is made from a yeast dough, deep fried, and coated or dusted in sugar or cinnamon sugar; they may be plain or filled with fruit jam. Pennsylvania Dutch fasnachts can often be potato doughnuts, and may be uncoated, powdered with table sugar, or dusted with confectioner's sugar.

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Welcome Fat Tuesday!  These are not your normal doughnuts because they have so many more times the fat, which = oh so much more delicious.  My favorite are the glazed.

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No more left here.

I had bought 2 dozen fastnachts on Monday, yes you would think over kill but as it turns out...Nope!  The 7 of us devoured them.

Yes all of us even Gracie.  She LOVED her first Fastnacht Day.

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Faithy she was all about stealing them.

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Ahh you caught me!

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So you caught me with two.

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Sure I am not supposed to be eating them in here.

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But MOM!

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I am hooked I tell you, I can't stop.

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Shall we talk about all of your hang ups now?

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