Sunday, February 28, 2010

Happy 11th Birthday Harris!

Happy 11th Birthday Harris!
I can't believe you are 11 years old! It just doesn't seem possible that the little blond haired baby that I brought home from the hospital is now 11. Did I ever tell you that when you were born it had been storming all night long? Then as you made your entrance into this world, and the sun came out. Seriously! While you always keep me on my toes, I love you so much! I am so glad that you are apart of our family. You are such a smart boy. I knew from the time you were 17 months how smart you were going to be when you lost your ball behind the armour, and instead of crying and coming to me you went into the kitchen got the biggest soup spoon you could find and scooped that ball right out! At 11 your best friend is Robert, you still love: computer, DSI, and XBOX. Your favorite food is schnitzel and cucumber salad. You have a major sweet tooth. I find drawing of your inventions all around the house. I love how you tell me on your on free accord that you love me. My wish for you dear boy is to have a very Happy Birthday, and may all your dreams come true!

Friday, February 26, 2010

February Movie Reviews.

Dear John is a must see movie! Based on a book by Nicholas Sparks need I say more. He wrote the Notebook, A Walk to Remember which were also made into movies. I loved this movies. So sweet. The book is about a boy who meets a girl, but just as they are falling in love he has to return back to military duty. Will there love survive? Find out?

Post Grad is a 2009 fall movie that is now on DVD. I say this movie sucks and isn't even worth the rental fee unless you have Netflick. The story is about a girl who graduates from college with a plan for how her life is supposed to be, but when things don't work out she realizes that life can't always be planned. This movie I couldn't tell if it was supposed to be a comedy of a romance. Just didn't work for me in either category. Sad, because I like the main actress in her other movies.

Percy Jackson and the Olympian is based on a famous children's book by Rick Riordan. My son loved the movie (he is 11). I would give this movie a B. I think it tried to be the next Harry Potter movie, but just didn't get it quite right. Not bad, but not fantastic! I would also not take small children to this movie. It was a little to scary for the under 10 crowd, which can explain it's P13 rating.

The Invention of Lying. The jury is still out on this DVD rental. It is kind of quirky. I am not sure if I liked it or not.

I like this movie, but wished that I had waited for it to come out on DVD. While it had all the star power and it was great to see so many of the actors that I like in one movie, I think it wasn't worth the $10 admission price. The story is about how different people forge through Valentine's Day which can suck for all those out there who are not married.
One other movie that I recently rented on DVD, was a movie called The Boys are Back with Clive Owens. I don't have a picture for it, but it is a sweet movie about a man and his son as they deal with the loss of the mother. Produced by the same director as Billy Elliot. It is worth renting! Make sure you have a box of tissues handy for this is a tear jerker. Be warned that the movie starts out slow, but it is worth it in the end.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Roswell, Georgia "Corner View Street Scenes"

While Georgia might not have the old charm of Europe, we do have quite the history. Roswell a little town north of Atlanta is full of history. The town was established in 1830 when Roswell King was in search of a new place to produce cotton and have it milled near by. The town was captured during the civil war and the mill was burned down, but the three plantation homes remained. Barrington Hall, Bulloch Hall, and Smith Plantation. The homes were built in 1840, 1842, 1845 in the Greek Revivalist style. Today you can tour these three homes and I would advise to buy the passport for $18 if you want to see all three homes because it is cheaper to do this than buy individual tickets. The town is also a haven for antiques shop and cute boutiques. The streets all around Georgia have been pretty quiet because of the cold weather, but we have gone to this town on Saturdays and it is hopping with activity.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Rouladen is one of my families favorite recipes. My husband grew up eating rouladen. His mother makes the best rouladen. They are actually pretty simple to make.

Rouladen: Begin by buying Bottom round steak think sliced. Children will eat 1-2 rolls as where a man might eat three. You might even want to just make a couple for leftovers the next day. Salt and pepper your meat. Then spread Dijon mustard on each slice then lay a piece of bacon on top. Then add a slice of onion and a slice of pickle. From the smallest corner begin rolling until it looks like a fat cigar. secure closed with a tooth pick. In a skillet with a tablespoon of olive oil you will brown the rolls on all sides. Then take meat out and place on the side will you make the sauce. Add a teaspoon of garlic to the pan and saute but don't burn. Deglaze your pan with 2-3 cups of beef stock or red wine. If you choose to use wine the alcohol will cook out, so no worries of getting anyone drunk. Whisk in a tablespoon or two of cornstarch just will depends on how thick you want your sauce to be. Return meat to pan and simmer on low for about an hour to an hour and a half. The meat should be fork tender. This can be made in the crockpot for 6 hours, but you will want to make the sauce afterwards in a saucepan. Serve over spaetzle or mashed potatoes.

Monday, February 22, 2010

If you give Nana a Sewing Machine

If you give Nana a sewing machine
she will make a cozy car caddy.
My mom made this for Roman for his birthday.
To find the pattern visit Jill

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Nickelodeon Hotel

First, I have to say that I have some of the best cousins who allow me to join in on their fun adventures which is really fantastic for my children since I am an only child. On our recent trip to Florida, we stayed at the Nickelodeon Hotel http://www.nickhotel.com/. For those of you in Europe reading this you are most likely wondering what is Nickelodeon??? Well, it is a cartoon TV station here in the States that is most famous around the world for Sponge Bob Square pants. He has different names around the world like in Germany he is called Schwarmkopf. Normally, I don't think I would have considered staying at this hotel; however, my cousins were staying here and I wanted to max out the amount of time spent with them. The hotel while not the Marriott was fantastic! My children loved the in-house water park. This hotel is really geared for families and cater to children by providing different activities for them to participate in all day long. The great thing was I was able to book my room for about a hundred dollars less, by going on line and booking through Hot wire.com or maybe it was Expedia.com. I also was able to get my room cheaper because I choose a one bedroom with a pull out couch. My only complaint would be that I couldn't find any luggage carts and had to make three trips down to the car to get all the luggage. I also thought that the food in their food court was also way over priced.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Sea World

The Ruler of the Seas
My children with their adorable cousins
Dolphins, Sea Lions, and Shark Encounters Oh My!
While Disney is fantastic, one should not miss out on the opportunity to go to Sea World. However, I would not recommend it to children under 3 unless they are really good at sitting. Roman was borderline. He had a hard time sitting the length of the shows, and Sea World is really all about the shows. I am not sure if it was because we were to high in the stands and he could not see well or if it just did not interest him. However, there was no way I was going to sit up close given that it barely reached over 40 degrees that day. The sunshine is deceiving because it was very cold and windy. We all ended up with wind burns on our faces. My favorite part of Sea World is the dolphin show. I love how they intermix it with birds and acrobatic choreography. My boys had a blast visiting with their cousins. Miss E amazed me in how much she has changed since June. Instead of giving me a scowling look, she flashed me with the most adorable and heart melting smile. Check out the cheeks on that gorgeous baby too! I could kiss on them all day long given the opportunity. Harris was in heaven after getting to ride all 3 roller coasters: The Journey to Atlantis, the Mante, and the Krakken.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Disney 2010

Disney World 2010
This past week we headed to Florida to spend some time with some of my cousins from up north. We had a great time despite the freezing cold temperatures. Roman was in awe of everything. I think he enjoyed it the most while the older boys are starting to out grown Disney World. I think our next trip will have to be to Universal Studios. I was surprised at how crowded it was given that spring breaks don't begin until March. Until 6pm, you can expect to stand in most lines for an hour unless you fast pass some rides. Harris favorite rides are Space Mountain and Thunder Mountain. Winston surprised me in that after going on Space Mountain he didn't want to go on any more roller coasters. He said he doesn't like the way they shake his back. He really liked Pirates of the Caribbean and the Buzz Lightyear ride.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentines Day!

Happy Valentines Day!

We celebrated Valentines Day with Heart shaped Pizzas. We just asked our local pizza place if they could shape the pizzas into heart shapes and they were all happy to do it.
Check out what my sweetie gave me for Valentines Day! No more arguing over how to get somewhere. Hallelujah! We are heading off to Florida! See you when we get back!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Snow Falling of Atlanta and the Olympics

As the opening games of the Olympics began in Vancouver, Canada the snow fell gently and quietly laying a beautiful white blanket over the Georgia landscape. The children couldn't have been more thrilled. Visions of snowmen and snowballs danced in their heads; however, as it landed it was just to dry. It wasn't until the sun started to take away those visions that the perfect snowballs were formed, and in their eyes the most perfect snowman. Yeah for the sun! All week long I have wanted to write a post about Vancouver, Canada, but couldn't find any photos from any of our trips there. I know I took photos, but why they didn't make it into my scrap books who knows? My husband and I went there often when we lived in Seattle. It was less than a three hour drive. He even almost got detained at the border one time because the secretary didn't fill out his documents for his visa correctly. He hadn't obtained his green card at that point. Thankfully, the border patrol didn't see him as a threat and let us go. Anyway, here is my top picks of things to see and do while visiting Vancouver.
1) Stroll the charming city center. It has a totally Europe feel and quaint shops.
2) Take a shuttle to Stanley Park and go to the Aquarium
3) Vancouver is totally international try Tapas at
La Bodega Restaruante and Tapas Bar
4) Take a ferry to Victoria and have High Tea at the Fairmont Empress!
The Hotel is stunning!!!!!
5) Visit Butchart Gardens- one of the most stunning Gardens I have ever been to.
6) Whale Watching- you will not be disappointed!
7) The Royal BC Museum.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Asian Noodle Salad

Asian Noodle Salad
1 16oz of Angel Hair Pasta
1 1/2 cups of Kraft Asian light dressing
1 cup of chopped peanuts
2 cooked chicken breast diced
1/2 teaspoon of grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
3 cups of broccoli florets
1 tablespoon of sesame seeds
This recipe couldn't be simpler. Cook and drain noodles, dressing, ginger, garlic powder. Boil broccoli for 1 -2 minutes then blanch in a cold water bath to maintain vibrant green color. Add to salad and add peanuts. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Enjoy! Even my three year old loved this salad.

Silly Monkey Celebration

Today we celebrated Roman's 3rd birthday because we are heading off to Orlando for his actual birthday, and because it is President's weekend. He loves Curious George, so we choose a monkey theme. I hand made the invitations and on the inside they read: Our little monkey is turning 3! Come join us for a swinging time on February 11th at 10am. Silly Monkeys in attendance were Josh, Josh, Peter, Tucker, Alex, and Andrew. The children munched on dinosaur chicken nuggets followed by monkey cupcakes and Chunky Monkey ice cream from Ben and Jerry's. The Mommy's ate Broccoli and Chicken Asian noodle salad and Anti pasta salad. The great thing about 2 year olds/3 year olds is that no games were necessary they were just happy to play with each other. Afterwards, the guest were sent home with blue tote bags filled with Monkey Crunch trail mix, a few piece of candy, a noise maker, and home made play dough.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Happy Birthday Roman!

Dear Roman! You bring us so much joy! Did you know I wanted you to be born on Valentines day? However, there was no room at the Inn (hospital), so we had to wait until the next day. However, after getting me checked in they realized that you were a cardiac baby, so they told me to get some sleep because they didn't have any cardiologist on call at the hospital that late at night, so you were born on the 16th. You sure gave us a scare with your 12 day NICU visit. We almost thought you might not make it, but finally you decided it was time to come home and meet your brothers. I can't help but smile when I look at you because you are always so happy. I do even mind that you know what you want and don't back down. I am glad. I think this will get you a long way. You are such a good friend to all you meet. You still don't like to get your hair wet, you love strawberry milk, and chicken nuggets. You love to be outside and can walk the whole 1 mile trail at the park. You have no problem standing up to your brothers and for the most part they let you have your own way. Over most toys, you love to paint and play playdough. While at one point this year we thought you might need speech therapy, we can't get you to stop talking. You kind of skipped the individual words for full sentences. The other day you surprised me with telling me about something that happened at Halloween. We love you! While we are sad to see you grow up we can't wait to see what the next year will bring us.
Love, Mommy and Papa

Hip Hip Hooray!
You are 3!
Happy Birthday Darling Boy!
You are the light of our lives!
Photo taken by Butler Family Photography.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Off to see the Governor "my corner view"

update 10:00a
This is my son's idea of using something other than what it's original purpose.

Sorry to all of you who came to visit looking for my corner view this week in participation with Spain Daily's look at a subject around the globe each week. To tell you the truth, I am pretty practical and logical. The only thing I would be able to come up with that is something that is used for a different purpose is a plastic cup that I use to hold pencils in our junk cabinet. Not very original! Anyway, Roman and I went to the Capitol on Tuesday with other children who have Congenital Heart Disease and their families to bring attention to this cause that effects 1/100 births. It is the #1 birth defect and they don't know what causes it. We are hoping to find more money for research that we can love the number of babies born each year with this condition. The photo sucks because the assistant to the Governor took my camera before I could set the settings and tell her how to use my camera, and I could run over to help her because there were film crews there from the local news channel. I am hoping the Governor's photographer was able to get a few could photos and I can replace mine with a better photos. Do you see Roman and I sitting next to the Governor?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Congential Heart Disease Awareness Week!

Yesterday, we were invited to a special event for families who have children with Congenital Heart Disease at the Gwinnett Convention Center and Arena. The Children had so much fun making Valentine crafts, and the Chick fil A food wasn't too shabby either. Afterwards, we crossed the road and attended a hockey game for the the Gwinnett Gladiators. "Note to self is that even an almost three year old is two little to sit through a game." Otherwise, we had a really fun time. We were glad that Papa could make it! Our team won. Yahoo! Go Gladiators!!!!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Homemade Birthday Part Two

What do you get a child who have everything? I decided that I was going to make homemade gifts. I thought this would also make the gift more meaningful. The first present were the crayon rolls. I had some left over material, so with the help of my mother we whipped out these "I Spy" bags. They were super simple to make! You can fill them with just about anything:old key, paper clip, screw, small McDonald's toys, toys small toys you have gotten from other birthday parties, dice, penny, small wood dye cuts from the craft store, and the list goes on. You want at least 25 items. You can find the direction on how to make these adorable bags on this cute blog called According to Kelly http://www.according-to-kelly.com/2008/05/i-spy-with-my-own-eye.html. The only thing I did differently was I made the square larger by an inch. Also, I used my left over flannel instead of the fleece. If you use flannel, you will need to have 3 squares instead of the two. You take two of the squares and fuse them together with fusible webbing. Then cut out your window. This will give more support to your fabric, so that when you sew your plastic vinyl on it will not tear the fabric. I also didn't write out what was in the bag. I figured that a two year old can't read, so why waste my time with the additional step. I am positive this is going to be a favorite quiet time church activity.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Homemade Birthday Part One

This month we seem to have a lot of birthday parties to go to, and what do you get for children that seem to have everything? With the help of my mother, we made these adorable crayon rolls. Actually, she did most of the work. We make a good team though. I come up with the idea, I purchase the materials, cut the fabric, and sometimes sew a little, but she does the bulk of the sewing because I just can't seem to sew in a straight line. To get the directions on how to make these just visit Skip to My Lou blog. http://www.skiptomylou.org/2007/04/25/on-a-roll/

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Happy Birthday Thijs

Happy Birthday Opa Thijs!

We wish you all the best to come in the upcoming year!

Love, Harris, Winston, Roman,
Frank, and Kelleyn
p.s. your gift is on it's way. There was some confusion about who was going to send it. Sorry!

Corner View "Sweets"

It is no secret that I love sweets. Usually, though I like them in the chocolate persuation, but when I saw these doughnuts I couldn't resist. Who could resist a heart shaped doughnut from Krispy Kreme doughnuts? Aren't they just adorable? After having a child who has had opened heart surgery, hearts have a new meaning to me. This upcoming week I will be kicking off Congenital Heart Disease Awareness week. We will be attending a hockey game with other CHD patients and going to the capitol to meet with the governor. To see more sweets around the globe visit Jane at Spain Daily by going to the left under my blog roll and clicking on her link.

Monday, February 1, 2010

All in a Hard Days Work

Wouldn't it be nice to be two again, and take a nap whenever you want and wherever you want? I sure wouldn't mind. It is a hard life being two. Maybe, he lives vicariously through me and is taking the nap I would like to take. Lately, I have been so busy that I don't know if I am coming or going. I am busy with taking children to doctors and dentist appointments, and I am also trying to book our vacations through summer. It looks like we are heading to Hot Springs, Arkansas for Spring break.