Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Friday, June 25, 2010
Hi Lo: June 25th
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Be a Fly on the Wall...
In the video, I'm the girl in the pink shirt and navy shorts who leads the drill. This is about 40 minutes into the hour-long class, and I had run 2.5 miles on the treadmill before the class started ~ hence the sweat-drenched shirt :)
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Life in Contrasts
Monday, June 21, 2010
The First Day of Summer...
Friday, June 18, 2010
Hi Lo: June 18th
1) On Sunday, we went to a fun pool party for the girl Phil sponsored for Confirmation. The best part was that I didn't even have to put my bathing suit on because there were some nice teenagers who played in the pool with my kids :)
2) John-Paul is on a field trip today for his last whole-day of first grade. They are going to a beautiful zoo in the next state. Lucky duck!
3) I love my husband ;)
1) Work stuff. A co-worker got fired, my holiday pay and vacation/sick days got taken away (not just from me but from all the part-timers), and I am left feeling like I should be looking for a new job. How I wish I could be a SAHM :(
2) Eamon and Maggie were battling colds this week, but they're on the mend.
3) I have so much to get done, both work-wise and house-wise before we leave for vacation next week. I am very excited to go, but I know when I get back I will wonder if all the work piled on my desk was worth it! (I'm sure it will be!)
How was your week?
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies (they really are!)
Makes 16 cookies
Avoid using a nonstick skillet to brown the butter; the dark color of the nonstick coating makes it difficult to gauge when the butter is browned. Use fresh, moist brown sugar instead of hardened brown sugar, which will make the cookies dry. This recipe works with light brown sugar, but the cookies will be less full-flavored.
1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (8 3/4 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
14 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 3/4 sticks)
1/2 cup granulated sugar (3 1/2 ounces)
3/4 cups packed dark brown sugar (5 1/4 ounces) (see note)
1 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips or chunks (see note)
3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted (optional)
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 large (18- by 12-inch) baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.
2. Heat 10 tablespoons butter in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until melted, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking, swirling pan constantly until butter is dark golden brown and has nutty aroma, 1 to 3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and, using heatproof spatula, transfer browned butter to large heatproof bowl. Stir remaining 4 tablespoons butter into hot butter until completely melted.
3. Add both sugars, salt, and vanilla to bowl with butter and whisk until fully incorporated. Add egg and yolk and whisk until mixture is smooth with no sugar lumps remaining, about 30 seconds. Let mixture stand 3 minutes, then whisk for 30 seconds. Repeat process of resting and whisking 2 more times until mixture is thick, smooth, and shiny. Using rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir in flour mixture until just combined, about 1 minute. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts (if using), giving dough final stir to ensure no flour pockets remain.
4. Divide dough into 16 portions, each about 3 tablespoons (or use #24 cookie scoop). Arrange 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets, 8 dough balls per sheet. (Smaller baking sheets can be used, but will require 3 batches.)
5. Bake cookies 1 tray at a time until cookies are golden brown and still puffy, and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft, 10 to 14 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack; cool cookies completely before serving.
I am a cookie monster, and chocolate chip cookies are my absolute weakness!! These are the best I've ever had, and to make them a SUMMER treat, freeze them and enjoy frozen on a hot summer night :)
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Willow Tree Woes
Well, now that beautiful figurine looks like this:
How sad is that to see a mother and father looking down at empty arms where once a baby had lain?
Were now just four holes, and the contents of that shelf were all over the place:
Heads were scattered everywhere, limbs were missing, and bodies were massacred all over the floor.
Now I realize they don't have faces...but they are supposed to have heads, right?
Even some wedding gifts were broken in pieces:
As I was cleaning up the mess I was remembering when and why I got each beautiful Willow Tree. My first mother's day, a birthday, after the birth of my second son, upon finding out our 4th baby was a girl....the memories all came flooding back.
Monday, June 14, 2010
Andrew's name is called...
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Babies in Review
Long story short:
I LOVED it!
Short story long:
There were so many wonderful scenes from the first year of life of the four babies. It is amazing how differently we are all raised in various parts of the world, yet how similar we all are. For example, just watching all the babies getting cleaned - one gets in the shower with Dad, one gets a bath, one gets licked by her Mom, and one gets breast milk squirted in her face and then wiped down.
All of the moms in the movie breastfed their babies, but the African moms who don't even wear shirts are truly breastfeeding on demand. They are nursing babies and toddlers at the same time, and will simply bend over while walking to let their baby have a drink. It's really beautiful and reminds me of how God's plan is supposed to work....if we could all just spend all day with our babies and our shirts off ;)
There are a couple of gross instances, like when one baby poops on his mother's leg. And another baby gets a piece of what looks like cow intestine with a match in it to suck on as a pacifier - blech! Speaking of pooping, I was shocked to see how so many babies around the world don't wear diapers of any kind. They just go bottomless and pee and poop wherever. It must make potty training very easy, but my OCD personality could not handle that.
And the funny scenes - there are so many! A goat drinking out of the baby's bath water, the American baby eating a banana and handing her dad the skin, piece by piece, and each individual string until she finally eats it (my kids do this too!). The brothers and friends fighting with the babies, and the babies standing up for themselves. It's wonderful to see what happens before the baby breaks down and cries for Mom...they are pretty tough! The Mongolian baby was always very humorous, he stole Phil's heart. But the funniest scene for me involved the African baby sucking on her brothers belly button because she mistook it for a nipple :)
I think there is a great pro-life message in this movie as well because even though there are so many different families, economic situations, dangers, and struggles - these babies are all born and raised with love. It makes me rethink my "financial" reasons to use NFP to postpone our next child. Phil even was thinking about using the movie in his high school morality class until he realized there were "too many breasts for teenage boys". Ha!
Anyway, if you get a chance, go see it, or rent it when it comes out. But be forewarned, you might leave wanting to have another baby!!!
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
And here he is with the best P-3 teacher in the world, Miss Marijanna!!
Congrats to his whole class, what a bunch of cuties!