Thursday, June 30, 2011

First fruits

First cucumbers of our own garden! Wahoo!

Monday, June 27, 2011

memory monday–tball


I shot these yesterday ~  Hudson finished up his last game with the “Red Sox”.  Next year we are hoping he gets drafted by the Phillies Smile 

I love that if you look closely, you can see Daddy grinning at his son as he takes a swing at the pitch.  In Hudson’s league, they coach pitch 3 balls first, and then set the tee if there has not been a successful hit.


Hudson’s adoring fan….


I got it, I got it!  (Actually, it is a general miracle he is paying attention.  It gets boring out there in the field sometimes!)


Hudson with his bud Braydon.


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Made up by me

So this is a made up by me recipe I am calling strawberry lemon drop cake. I betcha it is out there somewhere on the world wide web, but I made it up. We are headed to a backyard neighbor bbq, sponsored by our get to know people in your area.

It is gonna be a blast....and we had to bring dessert.  To make this I used a lemon cake mix and baked it in 9 inch rounds. While it was warm, I poked a ton of holes in it and poured powdered sugar mixed with lemon juice all over it to sink in. After they cooled, I spread a small bit of cool whip lite over layer one and then placed sliced strawberries on it. Place the second layer on, cover with cool whip, and voila!

It is yummilicious.

Monday, June 20, 2011

jersey shore: our way

Saturday was a rockin’ day for the Jersey Shore…we do it our way, not the way you may think, compliments of MTV’s version.  Yes, while guidos and guidettes are definitely in style and en masse, we rocked the shore in a wholesome manner at OCNJ.  IMG_9297Our kiddos were so excited to be at the ocean for the day.  (I‘ll be honest, I could barely contain myself, too.) We went to Jersey to celebrate our nephew’s 10th birthday (holy cow…he’s ten!), but during the day while preparations were made, we hit the waves and the boardwalk for some Jersey-style fun.  I love this picture – they were so overwhelmed to just be at the ocean, that the wonderful feeling of letting your feet sink into the sand was good enough.  For at least 30 seconds.IMG_9301At 31 seconds, they could wait no longer and jumped right into those waves.  Anna is fearless.  Hudson has no boundaries.  It makes the ocean a thrilling, albeit slightly frightening experience, for this parent.  They do well with rules though, and they understood they weren’t allowed past their knees without an adult.  Lucky for us, the waves were just the right size at that depth for our adventurers – for a while.  IMG_9316 Castle building, digging, playing in the sand, making holes for bodies, baking sand cakes and spending a lot of time between the lifeguard flags for swimming (that is how the Jersey beaches work) took up most of our day….just the way we wanted it.IMG_9319 We ate lunch at an OC pizzeria icon, Mack & Manco’s and finished up our day with water ice, salt water taffy and lemonades.  That pretty much hit all of the must-have-foods on the boardwalk for us.  (Well, Daddy got an iced coffee before we left too).  And while we were sad to say goodbye to the salt water air and the gentle breeze, we know we will be back – and we had a party to get too!IMG_9306

Sunday, June 19, 2011

to the loves

To all the men in my life, who have always made the “littles” in their lives a priority – thank you to each of you for showering the Love of the Father onto us….through you.

The love of my life with his littles…….at the beach yesterday.


The first man in my life, who truly showed me what the love of a Daddy is really like. 


The greatest grandfather who showed humility and love to his family….who just met his heavenly father face to face 2 weeks ago.

engles on cruise 04

To my other Dad….whom by which I am so blessed, for he loves me as his own and showed his son that loving your children is a priority.  (Chris with his Dad :)


And to the other man in my life…who will some day be a great father – he’s a rockin’ uncle.



Thursday, June 16, 2011

kool aid and rain


In my previous life I had really fun learning and literacy centers – little did I know, some of those “kool” tools would come in handy in my now, current, mommy life.  I’ve been pulling from that stash of ideas since Hugs was born….today’s rain called for something from my past life.IMG_9290

     We made Kool-Aid Playdough.  This recipe rocks.  Seriously.  Earlier this week we did the whole edible peanut butter playdough thing,(apparently we are on a playdough kick)  but nothing beats brightly colored, deliciously smelling homemade playdough with Kool-Aid.  It is smooth and doesn’t leave a residue on your hands as homemade often does.  It also is the perfect portion to use one pack of mix, not 2, as some call for.IMG_9293Ingredients:
1 cup flour
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 package unsweetened Kool Aid mix 
1/4 cup salt
2 Tbsp. cream of tartar
1 cup water

Mix the flour, salt, cream of tartar and Kool Aid in a medium pan. Add the water and oil. Stir over medium heat for about 3-5 minutes. Remove the mixture when it forms a ball. Knead it until it’s smooth. Let cool and store in an airtight container OR have fun playing!!! Repeat for each color of play dough you want to make.

The fact that is smells incredibly good is a total inspiration in the make believe world of playdough food creations as well.  If you get a chance, have these simple ingredients on hand, and want some instant measuring, mixing, creative learning….then this activity is for you!IMG_9291*Recipe compliments of Mama Jenn’s site…a favorite of mine!  Hyperlink on recipe.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

arizona recap

I have too many fun pictures from my recent trip over Memorial Day to Arizona to visit our “Fr-amily”.  Seriously – I would overload the browser if I attempted such a feat.  But because I love my friends there so much, I can not NOT share!

I had a few goals while there:  have a rockin’ time seeing Em get married to the love of her life, chill with Tracy and the Wats, catch up with friends and relax.  Check, check, check, check.

Thursday when I arrived, I spent most of the day and night with the Yochims, Grandma and Grandpa Diehl and Grammy Lyn.  They all were leaving the following day to go to a quincinera(Mexican 15th birthday party) in Rocky Point, Mexico.  Our AZ church has a partnership with a mission organization there, called One Mission.  They have an awesome ministry that brings in volunteers to minister and build small, sturdy homes for families in need….touching their lives with the love of Christ in super tangible ways.


Friday after I had recovered from being up for 22 hours the day before, I hit a morning out with my chica Andrea.  We have too much fun together…honestly.  My belly always hurts after hanging out.


For lunch, I met my girls from Canyon Rim Elementary for lunch at one of my fave dining places – Rubios.  Yes, we ate outside.  It was gorgeous my whole trip.  Above is my girl Jaime and I.  We began teaching together the same year, the same team, switched schools together and basically stuck together in all storms of in school politics, making sure we kept rooms adjoining when we possibly could.


(Dani, Jaime, Laura, Sue, Peggy, Jen….Me, Jennifer, Katie)


I had to get out every morning and hit the trails behind our community.  How could I pass up an opportunity to view this while running?


Friday night the Wats took me to experience my first real sushi night at RA.  They ordered, I trusted. Smile  It was good.


Saturday Tracy and I took at three hour tour up the interstate to Flagstaff to witness Emily marry Eric – and she was pretty much drop-dead gorgeous.  It was a beautiful ceremony and a wonderful party afterwards.


Sunday we chilled, swam, and hit the Queen Creek Olive Mill and sampled til our heart’s delight.


My last few hours in Arizona was spent outside on a trail, by the pool swimming and soaking in as much love from my FRam as possible.  We even got to stuff my belly with some quality Mexican at Macayo’s before boarding the plane – and I got to enjoy the company of Uncle Dave and Jill.

SO blessed to be loved by so many – and so fortunate to get to visit and spend time with each of them.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


Something so beautiful about freshly canned strawberry jam.  Barring major injury and a small mishap with a too-small pot and burnt sugar on the stove, our house smells delicious! Now I feel like I need to make homemade bread to accompany it!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Pretty princess in purple

Hanging out on grandmother's porch this morning and I caught a picture of this pretty princess in purple