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Monday, January 31, 2011

The Mile High City!

The Mile High City has sure come a long way from the stage coach and saloon days. Today it is a completely modern city with eye candy around every corner. Seriously, I was surprised with how much there is to see and do. The city has a very similar feel to Seattle minus the ocean. We totally enjoyed driving through the historic home and park district. You definitely want to make it to the Denver Art Museum. It is worth the 13 dollars entrance fee. You really get a trip around the world when you go to this museum. My favorite collection was the Western American Art which is kind of surprising since I have never been a big cowboy fan. Unfortunately, I was only there for a weekend so I didn't have time to go the Molly Brown Museum, but I have it on my list for too see next time. One can sure work up an appetite in Denver and boy did we girls eat. My favorite was Little India. The food was fantastic and the atmosphere was quaint. Don't forget to get desert at the Little Man Ice Cream Shop which is definitely not little in flavor. I loved the Mexican Chocolate and Salted Oreo. Yummy! My girlfriends and I also worked up an appetite shopping and enjoyed a good meal at the Old Church Restaurant in Castle Rock, Colorado built in 1888 just south of Denver. Since I am pregnant, I couldn't have the Brie and roasted garlic on flat bread with a blackberry jalapeno chutney. It sure looked good. They also specialized in trout and many other dishes. However, don't forget to make a reservation if you want to try this restaurant because the seating is limited. Thanks Buffi and Jennifer for such a fantastic weekend. Happy 40th Birthday Buffi! I can't wait for our next adventure!



The Denver Art Museum and it's view



A trip around the world for the price of one ticket


The Old Stone Church in Castle Rock, Colorado



Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Good Morning

Good Morning! This morning I woke up to the sweet voice of my almost 4 year old saying Guten Morgen Mommy as he was coming down the stairs. I love it! I need to tape him talking before he loses his baby voice. The second blessing was waking up to rain. I never thought I would be so happy for rain, but the rain was actually forecast as snow. So glad they got that wrong. Don't these German pancakes look delicious? I made them for breakfast this morning. Roman and I gobbled the whole pan by ourselves. He drenched his in maple syrup and I had my first round with Nutella then went on to have a second serving covered in homemade strawberry jam. I am sure the little baby in my tummy is very happy. The recipe is so easy, I think we just might have them for dinner covered with chopped bacon and syrup. Well, I better go I need to pack my suitcase because I am leaving on Thursday morning to celebrate my best friends 40th birthday with her in Colorado where she lives. My other best friend is flying in from Alaska. We are going to have so much fun. I can't wait! Hope you have a great day!
German Pancakes
3 eggs beaten
1/2 cup of milk
1/2 cup of flour
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla
a pinch of cinnamon
2 Tablespoons of butter

In a bowl beat 3 eggs then add milk, salt, vanilla, sugar, cinnamon, and whisk in flour until fully incorporated and there is no lumps. Meanwhile heat your 8 inch casserole dish in a preheated oven at 400 degrees. Then add butter. Once the butter is melted pour in batter and bake for 20 minutes until pancake is done in the center. Enjoy!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Our New Home

Yeah the sun finally came out today which is a good thing because I was starting to get grumpy from all the gloomy grey days. Over all it has been a good week. I packed a couple boxes for our upcoming move into our new house, took a little nap every day, and even read a book called Wish You Well by David Baldacci. It was a really good book. Anyway, this is my new house. We can't move into it until the end of February. They still have a few things left to do such as drywall the basement, paint, add carpet and tiles, and paint the outside door and shutters black. I can't wait! What I love about my new house is all the light that I am going to have through the large window on the backside of the house. We met some of our neighbors the other day and they are pretty nice. The have a son about the same age as my oldest. They have all ready schemed to get together and play XBOX. Well, I am off to a Pinewood Derby race for my son Winston. I just pray he doesn't come in last. Also tomorrow they have a big test for German school language proficiency. I hope they both do well. Hope you have a great weekend!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Baby Update and Other News

It's a ...........

Baby! Today, I had an Ultrasound. I am 13 weeks. It is so amazing to see how much the baby has grown in the last couple of weeks. The little bean really looks like a baby now. Not just a sac, or what I called a teddy bear a few weeks ago because the babies limbs were just little knobs. It is one stubborn baby too! Which means it belongs to our family. They tried to get measurements on Friday, but the baby would not turn over in order for them to do the proper measurements. Today they sent me to the perinatologist. The baby would not hold still, but maybe that was my fault because I drank a coke like they told me too. So far everything looks good, but they could not tell the sex. The sad part of the experience was that being back in that room almost sent me into a panic attack or something because that was were they told me our third son had a heart condition. It brought back all those memories. In other news we are moving! After much discussion, we have decided that we have grown out of our house and with a new baby on it's way our house just does not work for us. Actually, the house has not worked for us for a long time but with this economy we have tried to make it work. Our new house will allow for my husband to stay home and work. Now he will have 9 extra hours a week to be home with his family. We are so excited! The house should be finished at the end of February. I will post pictures soon. I am just waiting for a sunny day. I can't wait for tomorrow. The boys go to school. I am planning on taking a nap. I am exhausted. Hope you had a good weekend!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Cabin Fever

Seriously, don't get me wrong because I love my children, but 5 days cooped up in the house is too much. I don't know how the pioneers did it? They would probably laugh at me and say, "You have it easy! In our day there was no TV, XBOX, or DSI's." The snow was fun for about three days, but the children have lost interest in it since it is mostly ice. Today not knowing what to do with myself, I made some peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies. The cool thing is that they are gluten free and dairy free. How do they taste? Well, they didn't loose anything in texture not having butter or dairy. They were a little stronger in taste, but my children loved them and they don't really like normal peanut butter cookies.
Peanut Butter Cookies
1 cup of creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 large egg beaten
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1/2 cup of chocolate chips

Combine all wet ingredients then add chocolate chips. With a table spoon form into balls. Mine made 16, but the recipe says they make 24. Place on cookie sheet and with fork make a crisscrossed pattern across the top of the cookie. Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Let cool before serving.

Monday, January 10, 2011

While we slept







While we slept last night, 10 inches of snow fell over Atlanta and suburbia turning it into a winter wonderland. Schools were closed and highways were closed after sadly 30 fatalities occurred. Despite the snow, I had a hard time getting myself out of bed this morning. My pregnant body only wants to sleep. In the kitchen the aroma of pancakes filled the air as my almost 12 year old decided if mom wasn't going to get out of bed he was going to get breakfast on the table. Mitten, scarves, and hats were dug out of the basement from last years trip to Utah and the boys couldn't wait for the green light to go outside. They won their battle of begging around 8:30 am. Not to long afterward neighborhood children joined them. Snowballs went flying through the air. The plastic sled was put to good use with trip after trip down the littlest of hills but no one cared. They were having fun. Later my husband took the boys on a walk in hopes of making their energetic bodies weary. They day is over and I am starting to feel a little stir crazy, and tomorrow schools are canceled again because of freezing temperatures leaving the roads covered in ice. Hopefully, by tomorrow afternoon it will warm up enough that the boys can build a snowman. I also wouldn't mind getting out of the house. Sadly tonight I got a phone call that my grandmothers sister Peg died today. She was 82. I am sure the reunion with my grandmother who passed away when I was 10 and her other family members who passed away before her was sweet. She was a great woman. She worked on the Lowell police force for many years and raised two wonderful children along with taking care of me for many years. She will be dearly missed.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Hoppin Johnny Soup

20 ounces of dried black eyed peas soaked over night in a bowl of water
1 large onion diced
2 stalks of celery chopped
2 large carrots diced
1 red pepper diced
1 large bone ham hock or 8-10 ounces of chopped diced ham.
8 cups of chicken stock
2 heaping tablespoons of garlic
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large 8 quart sauce pan saute carrots, onion, peppers, and garlic. Rinse beans and add to the quart pan and cover with your stock. If stock doesn't seem enough you can always add water. Add your ham hock at this point, but if using chopped ham add at the last 20 minutes. Simmer on Med-High heat for about an 1 to an 1 1/2 hours until the beans are cooked through. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve with corn muffins.

To ring in the New Year properly you must begin it with a bowl of Black Eyed Pea Soup or Hoppin Johnny as it is called here in the south. We have been eating this soup since I was a little girl. It is said by eating this soup you will have good luck all year long.

Happy New Year!

Rocking in the New Years to good food, 80's music, and fireworks.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

1, 2, 3 Blast off!






Well, I wrote too soon because round two of the virus hit me like a ton of bricks. Really it was a cruel joke because just as I thought I was getting better I got sick all over again. The good thing I was able to get much needed rest and was able to watch a movie and read a book. The movie I watched was called Die Paepstin which is really the screen play for the Book Pope Joan. I loved it! I think they did a fantastic job of translating the book into movie which is often not the case. Usually, I am disappointed. The book I read was called Still Alice which is a fictional story about a woman and her journey into life with Alzheimer's. I cried my eyes out. It is 6 days into the New Year and I am finally ready to begin 2011! I think this year is going to be a good one. But before I begin this year I need to wrap up the end of our trip. Our last stop was the Kennedy Space Center, my husband knew someone who has worked for NASA for the last 40 years and he gave our bigger boys a private tour. It made quite the impression on the boys because they talked for hours on the way home and even days afterwards about what they saw at the center. 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Gatorland

















A trip to Florida is just not a trip to Florida without a stop to Gatorland. It had been a few years since we have gone, but the boys never seem to get tired of going. Roman was old enough that he got a kick out of seeing all the alligators. Given how cold it was, no piece of chicken was going to get those gators to jump out of the water this time. Before we headed home the boys all took their turns at wrestling the gators. This is one place I would really recommend if you are making a stop to the Orlando area.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Grand Turkey and Ship Life Day 6 & 7




Hi! I am back from the dead. I spent yesterday in the ER after coming down with the stomach flu. Man, I thought I was going to die. Thankfully, I am feeling somewhat better today, so back to the end of our cruise. Our last stop was Grand Turk or as the kids called it Grand Turkey. Only Frank and I got off the ship. The boys wanted to stay on ship at the kids camp. Carnival does a great job with their kids camp. The boys loved it. Grand Turk was kind of a flop. The weather was cold and rainy. We only stayed about 30 minutes on the island and then turned around and went back on the ship. Had the weather been nicer we would have rented snorkels to see the reef at the beach. Despite the weather being chilly most of the time, the boys had a blast on the ship. My oldest said that life was never going to be the same again. My littlest though was ready to go home. Next stop Cape Canaveral!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Puerto Rico Day 5




The waves have been pretty ruff on and off the boat, so going to the beach in Puerto Rico was out of the question.  Just one of the waves would have swept us all out to sea. We arranged for a Old City San Juan city tour once we got off the boat. We were able to get a much better price than through the cruise company. We would have liked to taken the boys to these caves on the other side of the island that Frank and I saw on a previous trip to Puerto Rico, but they closed down a couple years ago due to safety issues. After seeing the capitol, it was off to Fort Cristobal. Lessons on Christopher Columbus, Desoto, and the many other explorers followed. The boys had a good time.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

St. Thomas Day 4


Do I need to say anything more?
We spent the day at Megan's Bay!
The water was freezing, but that didn't stop 
the boys from having a little fun.