Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Ohhh . . . Chloe

My little Chloe. So sweet. So pretty. So ... aum ... innocent. Innocently into discovering new things, perhaps. Here are some pictures that I recently captured. The first set is of her quietly getting into her siblings' Valentine Day chocolates we had stored in the pantry. She sat there on the floor getting her hands on all the sweets she could muster. When I discovered her, she giggled with delight and offered me some of her treasure. Her mouth was amazingly clean for the act of which she just performed.

The next couple of images are so cute. I thought she was playing so well in the living room. She was so very quiet. I was in the kitchen doing something. I decided to go check on her and this is what I found. She was having a blast shaking the baby powder all over herself and the floor. She then would take her little finger and "paint" in it. I had to snap some pictures. It was too funny. Hey, at least it was baby powder. It was easy to clean up and made my living room smell good. These are just some of the everday moments of our home. Enjoy.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Grandpa and Grandma

Theodore Jacob and Freida Bender

This is a picture of my Grandfather and Grandmother on their wedding day. They were married on the same day Phillip and I were. In fact, I did not know that until the day of my wedding and my Grandmother came and told me that Phillip and I were getting married on her 50th wedding anniversary! I considered it a great honor. My Grandpa Bender passed away when I was quite young of a heart attack while I was visiting them. He was a war vet and business owner. He also worked on the Alaskan Pipeline. He was a Christian man. Grandpa was a very hard worker who built his own apartment dwellings to earn more income. I wish he was still around for my children to glean from. Our next child due on Mother's Day will be named for him in using Grandpa's name as his middle name. "Justus Theodore Browning"
I came across this picture of them today and thought how beautiful it was. Look at Grandma's dress. So simple and modest and just beautiful. Look at how dashing my Grandfather was. (click on the image and it will enlarge) I just love this picture and hope to find a special spot for it in my home. Enjoy.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Mac - N - Smoked Gouda with Cauliflower

Here is a recipe that I tried just a couple of nights ago. It was a yummy twist on an old comfort food. My kids loved it and so did my toddler. It would be a great dinner served with a nice salad and some artisan bread.
I didn't have cauliflower on hand and so skipped that.... it was still a very soothing dish. I purchased my Gouda block from Costco - it will be enough for 3 or 4 go rounds on this recipe. Enjoy!

Recipe by Rachael Ray from the Food Network.

Coarse salt
1 pound elbow macaroni or cavatappi (corkscrew-shaped pasta)
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
3 cups whole milk
1 cup chicken stock or broth
3 cups shredded smoked Gouda
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Freshly ground black pepper
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt to season the cooking water, then add the pasta. Cook for 5 minutes, then add the cauliflower and cook for 3 minutes more or until pasta is cooked al dente and the florets are just tender. Drain well and return to the pot.
While the pasta cooks, heat a medium sauce pot over medium-low heat. Add the extra-virgin olive oil and heat with the butter until it melts. Add the onions and cook for 3 to 5 minutes to sweat them out and turn the juices sweet. Raise the heat a bit, then whisk in the flour, cayenne, and paprika. Whisk together until the roux bubbles up, then cook for 1 minute more. Whisk in the milk and stock and raise the heat a bit higher to bring the sauce to a quick boil. Once it bubbles, drop the heat back to a simmer and cook until the sauce thickens, 3 to 5 minutes.
Add the cheese to the thickened sauce and stir to melt it, a minute or so. Stir in the mustard and season the sauce with salt and pepper. Pour over the cauliflower and cooked pasta and toss to combine. Adjust the seasonings, transfer to a large platter, and serve.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Life and Such

I know it has been a week since I have posted so I thought just a little update was in order.
I went to the doctor last week and amazingly found out that I had gained only 1 lb. since the last OB checkup at the end of January! WOW! May not seem extraordinary for some, but for me that is great news! Especially because I have been cutting out all the sweet stuff and can now *see* the benefit of it. Soooo.... since the beginning of this pregnancy I have gained a total of 24lbs. and I will be 32 weeks along on Sunday! So happy about that!
Phillip is also doing great! He is feeling fine and is back to working. I am very thankful for such a sweet husband! He is my heart.
Isaac is getting too big! His size 12 suit (which I never wash, just spot clean and hang up) is too small! YIKES! Now we have to hunt for a size 14 suit! My boy is growing like a weed.
Gabriel just celebrated eight years and is also growing much. He just built a volcano with his Daddy and is waiting to see it "explode". Both boys did a fantastic job performing their piano pieces at state adjudications! I am so proud of them.
Ethan is knocking the socks off Phillip and I by reading from scripture during devotion time. He is also such a sweet little help to his sisters.
Ellie is just a ray of sunshine these days, with many smiles and giggles.
Chloe ... well, Chloe. She got caught yesterday getting into the valentine's day chocolates that were being kept in the pantry. There she was sitting on the floor taking bites out of the little sweets. Pictures will soon follow.

Our life is busy, sometimes hectic, full of unpredictables, but one thing is constant: our life is rich and full of many blessings. I never lack for laughter or for something "to do". I know it won't always be like this - so I better soak it in while I can!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Happy Birthday Gabriel

Our Gabriel was born eight years ago today. His birth included a surprise that has now become routine in our family . . . red hair. We were immediately taken with our sweet little boy. His red fuzz of hair glowing in the light of the window. He was a big baby weighing in at 10 lbs. 4 oz. He was a cuddly baby. So sweet. As he grew he definitely showed us (and his brother) that he had no problem wearing the title of "Bossy Britches". We all chuckled at him and his antics. Very soon in his life he showed an enthusiasm for the things of God. He became a believer at the young age of five - and has shown much fruit because of that decision. He is a well rounded little boy, with an interest in music as well as showing talent in sports. He also has a passion to learn about our country's history and the soldiers who fought to keep us free. He is a pleaser. Gabriel is always aiming to please his parents and those around him. He loves his family with fervor. We can see that he will be a loyal husband and father, if God so blesses him. He is truly a delight of a son. He adds a depth to our home. His conscience is one of excellent purity - and is a constant reminder to do right. We are VERY PROUD of him and pray that he continues to grow into the meaning of his name: Man of God.

Happy Birthday Gabriel: We love you so very much and are thankful for you!